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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

February 2017

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Mon. - Sat.: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

813-752-2379

I T F M Pkwy. I T S. F Jim M Redman February 2017 (Hwy. 39 S) Plant City, FL • SouthsideWesternWear.com 23014 N HE IELD

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CONTENTS

FEBRUARY 2017 | VOL. 12 • ISSUE 4

70 THE 82ND FLORIDA STR AWBERRY FESTIVAL “We’re Playing Your Song!” It’s Florida Strawberry Festival time once again! From March 2nd through the 12th

PAGE 35 Florida Loquat

PAGE 62 Fresh Never Frozen

PAGE 38 Strawberries PAGE 42 Jack Payne

PAGE 66 Livestock Schedule

PAGE 46 Business of bee’s

PAGE 79 A Closer Look

PAGE 48 Taco Traveler

PAGE 84 FSGA Tailgate

PAGE 28 Endangered Species

PAGE 54 Literary Time Machine

PAGE 90 Kent Humphrey

PAGE 32 GCREC Interns

PAGE 58 Junior Chef

PAGE 12 Turkey Creek Middle School PAGE 14 History of the Festival PAGE 18 Fishing Hot Spots PAGE 22 Rocking Chair Chatter PAGE 24 Fancy Snacks

PAGE 74 Meet the Minks

Hey Readers!

Hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing to win a FREE No Farmers No Food Sticker and a FREE In The Field T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the number of the page which you found the logo and where on the page you located the logo to the address below

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InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377 • Plant City, Fl. 33566-0042 *Winners will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner!

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Hillsborough County Farm Bureau 100 S. Mulrennan Rd. Valrico, Fl. Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Insurance Services: 813-685-5673 Member Services: 813-685-9121

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Kenneth Parker....................President Will Womack................Vice President Michelle Williamson..............Treasurer Buddy Coleman..................Secretary DIRECTORS FOR 2015 - 2016 Jake Cremer, Tiffany Dale, Carson Futch, Jim Frankowiak, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Tony Lopez, Rep. Jake Raburn, Emeritus, Sambahv, Marty Tanner, Vincent Tort, Carl Bauman, Dennis Carlton Jr, Melissa Grimes.

Judi Whitson, Executive Director 813-685-9121 Farm Bureau Insurance Special Agents

Valrico Office 813-685-5673

100 S. Mulrennan Rd., Valrico, FL. 33594 Tommy Hale, CLU, ChFC, CASL, CPCU Agency Mgr. Juile Carlson, John McGuire

Plant City Office 813.752.5577

1302 S. Collins St., Plant City, FL 33563 Jeff Summer Bill Williams

Tampa Office 813.933.5440

13103 W. Linebaugh Ave. Tampa, FL.33626 Greg Harrell, Sonia Valladares

AGENCY MANAGER Tommy Hale WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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STAFF Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt Editor-In-Chief Al Berry Editor Patsy Berry Sales Manager Danny Crampton Sales Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Melissa Nichols Lisa Donini Creative Director/Illustrator Juan Alvarez

Letter from the Editor The Florida State Fair kicked off in fine fashion with the Fresh From Florida Breakfast held in the Ag Hall of Fame Building. Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture was on hand to greet attendees, as was Attorney General Pam Bondi. Local farmers, ranchers and representatives from Florida’s agriculture community were also on hand for this annual breakfast featuring Fresh From Florida products. When you mention a fair to most people today, their first thoughts are of stomach churning rides and equally stomach churning food. In actuality, fairs have deep ties to farming, ranching and our country’s agriculture background. Fairs began as an opportunity for families to share livestock, crops, agricultural techniques and equipment. While fairs have grown to include all kinds of entertainment, you will still find the youth of our great nation, showing the hard work they have put in on numerous projects, as they learn, through 4-H and FFA, about responsibility and leadership to prepare them for their future, the future of our country. If you were in attendance at the Florida State Fair, I hope you had the opportunity to stop by the livestock area and watch our youth and the fruits of their endeavors. If not, mark it down for next year. It’s always a great time.

Sarah Holt PAGE

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. - Numbers 6:25

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Photography Karen Berry Al Berry Stephanie Humphrey Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Libby Hopkins Nick Chapman Vanessa Caceres Contributing Writers Woody Gore Les McDowell John Dicks

In The Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Hillsborough County businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes all of the Greenbelt Property owners, members of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau and Strawberry Grower’s Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: info@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-759-6909 Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In the Field magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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IT’S FAIR AND FESTIVAL TIME Many of our future farmers and ranchers are involved in a wide selection of competitive activities during both the Fair and Festival. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

- Kenneth Parker - President

Dear Readers: This is a special time of the year for all of us, especially those engaged in agriculture. This month marks the Florida State Fair and in March the 82nd Florida Strawberry Festival is taking place. Both are wonderful opportunities for fun, entertainment and a lot more – especially the wide range of food items. Please read this edition of IN THE FIELD’s cover story about the Florida Strawberry Festival. I concur wholeheartedly with the Festival’s General Manager Paul Davis and his comments regarding the range of benefits the festival brings to attendees and participants. Much of what he says applies to the Florida State Fair, as well. Both annual events are great for families and visitors. Yes, the Festival showcases our strawberries, but it also provides a chance to celebrate agriculture. Many of our future farmers and ranchers are involved in a wide selection of competitive activities during both the Fair and Festival. They have worked hard throughout the year to prepare for these competitions and they have received guidance and direction from a host of volunteers. Many of these young men and women are carrying forth family traditions, while a good number of those volunteers are paying back for the mentors they had at the Fair and Festival while they were growing up. But there’s more. Both events attract thousands of attendees and many are not familiar with agriculture. However, their attendance provides an opportunity for them to learn

about the importance of agriculture and precisely where their food comes from, a fact often unknown to many. This edition of the Florida State Fair has very special significance to our Farm Bureau Family as Judi Whitson, executive director of Hillsborough County Farm Bureau is recognized by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, as she was presented the Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award. Judi is so well deserving of this honor for her tireless efforts to foster a better understanding of agriculture among residents of our county of all ages, elected officials and representatives of various regulatory agencies. I would also like to thank our national Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval for his recent visit to Hillsborough County at G & F Farms to hear first-hand the labor issues that are challenging our growers, as well as our concerns about competition from Mexico. Farm Bureau at the national level is concerned about our local farms and is carrying the banner for us in many areas such as tax reforms and reducing ever-increasing regulatory burdens. If you are not a Farm Bureau family member and would like to join us and become part of the Voice of Agriculture, please visit: http://hcfarmbureau.org or call 813/685-9121 for more information about the ways in which you can help as we look to the future.

Kenneth Parker Kenneth Parker - President

100 SOUTH MULRENNAN ROAD • VALRICO, FL 33594 • 813-685-9121 Board of Directors

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Kenneth Parker, President; Will Womack, Vice-President; James Tew, Treasurer; Buddy Coleman, Secretary; Member-at-large; Glenn Harrell; Board members: Jake Cremer, Tiffany Dale, Bradley Ferguson, Carson Futch, Jim Frankowiak, Chip Hinton, John Joyner, Tony Lopez, Lawrence McClure, Rep. Jake Raburn, Emeritus, Sambahv, Marty Tanner, Vincent Tort, Ron Wetherington Judi Whitson, Executive Director

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Turkey Creek Middle School FFA Strawberry Project

The Turkey Creek FFA Chapter has been making history since 1936. Turkey Creek was a “Strawberry School” until 1956. Strawberry School’s were closed for the three month strawberry picking season when everyone had to pick berries. While things have changed, one of the favorite tradtions continues at Turkey Creek, the strawberry project. Thanks to Tres McQuaig, Astin Farms and McQuaig Farms, Turkey Creek student’s plant, pick and sell strawberries. In late October, students learned how to prepare the land and strawberries. The strawberry beds were formed and the drip irrigation and plastic mulch were laid. Students learned about technology used and how the global positioning system helps the drivers set straight rows in perfect locations. Drip and overhead irrigation systems are compared. Students learn the parts of the plant and the correct procedures of planting, and throughout the season, continue to discuss how variety, insects, diseases, and marketing impact the strawberry industry. Turkey Creek FFA is looking forward to a beautiful, productive season and will be selling strawberries and onions to the public. Special thanks to Turkey Creek FFA Strawberry Project spnsors Tres McQuaig, Astin Farms and McQuaig Farms. Farmers Tres McQuaig and Mike Connell ensure the field is maintained and students are able to experience strawberry farming with a hands-on approach. Also, Turkey Creek would like to extend a big thank you to Sue Harrell and the Florida Strawberry Growers Association for donating promotional items for the Robinson visitors.

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FFA Advisors/Ag teachers at Turkey Creek are Allison Sparkman and Buddy Coleman.

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SOON TO BE PUBLISHED THE FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL;

A Brief History

Story by Plant City Photo Archives and History Center

Watch for the book – soon to be published by the Florida Strawberry Festival!

tive Lauren McNair, along with Plant City Photo Archives and History Center Executive Director Gil Gott.

The Florida Strawberry Festival was first presented in March of 1930 in the small city of Plant City, Florida, to celebrate its most notable product – the strawberry.

Working closely with the Donning Company’s editor, McNair and Gott completed their work in November 2016, and after editing, reviewing proofs, and making some additional changes, they finalized the book in January 2017. It is currently going into production with a target date for shipment in late February.

With a population of 6,800 within the city, and many more in the surrounding communities of Dover, Hopewell, Seffner, Trapnell, Lithia, Turkey Creek, Cork, and Springhead, the festival drew an impressive 15,000 attendees on its first day. The festival has gone on for the past 86 years, but for a short hiatus during the World War II era, with 81 festivals involving many thousands of local residents and national and international visitors. The long-running festival continues to focus on the area’s agriculture, including its 4-H and FFA clubs. There have been stories written about the Florida Strawberry Festival, but until now there has not been a complete history of the festival from its inception in 1930 through 2016. The Florida Strawberry Festival; A Brief History is scheduled for publication in time to be available for this year’s festival. The book is an outgrowth of the Florida Strawberry Festival Board of Directors’ years of discussion of publishing a book about the festival. This time the discussion began in earnest in July 2015 and a contract was signed with the Donning Company, Publisher.

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The festival’s Board of Directors appointed General Manager Paul Davis to oversee the project, and History Committee members Terry Ballard and Al Berry were advisors. Davis assigned the task of researching and writing the book to Florida Strawberry Festival Public Relations and Media Representa-

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The coffee-table type book is in both black and white, and full color, with over 200 pages, a colorful dust jacket, and a bright red hardbound cover. The narrative text covers a preface, a five-page introduction, a brief overview, and two chapters, each divided into decades and covering the years 1930 through 2016. This section includes over 200 images and photographs. The appendices include 82 photos of festival queens from 1930 through 2017, and listings of all maids in the queens’ courts. There are also 25 photos of the festival presidents and a complete listing of all the many directors over the years, as well as a list of the charter members. Last, the book also includes an extensive index consisting of thirteen pages. Organizers are planning to hold a special event to release the new publication and celebrate the 80-some years of the festival and its amazing history. Book-signing events are also being planned and information will be available soon by contacting the Florida Strawberry Festival or the Photo Archives and History Center. For further information contact the Photo Archives at 813.754.1578 or email gil@plantcityphotoarchives.org WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Amy Carpenter

Ellis Hunt presents Amy Carpenter, accompanied by her sons Casey and Ben, with the resolution.

Amy Carpenter was presented a resolution by Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, Ellis Hunt, for 35 years of service to the state of Florida citrus industry. Carpenter would like to thank the Florida citrus growers for the opportunity to serve them and promote the healthy, delicious products they grow. “I am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing friends and organizations through the years. To have the chance to work promoting our delicious, healthy Florida fresh fruits, orange and grapefruit juices, has been a sincere pleasure. I have seen the industry go through so much and continue to be strong. Thank you Florida citrus growers! I plan to continue serving our state.� INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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TAMPA BAY FISHING REPORT FEBRUARY 2017 Snook: So far we’ve had another fairly mild winter. The water temperatures have moved into the low 60s, and the fish should start eating, if it doesn’t get much lower. With warm weather looming ahead, snook fishing usually gets fairly productive, especially if you have the elusive, and often hard to find in the winter, scaled sardines (whitebait/ greenbacks). Hopefully, you can find them in the same places as the summertime. The top baits still include live greenbacks, shrimp, and small pinfish. Snook are not bashful about picking up dead bait lying on the bottom, so don’t forget to dead-stick a few cut baits while anchored. Artificial lures, especially the MirrODine and Top Dog Jr. from MirrOlure, works wonders on snook, trout and redfish. A slow twitching retrieve causes the bait to dart from side-to-side. Then, because it looks wounded, fish tend to chase and strike the lure. If you’ve spent any time fishing, you’ve certainly had this happen to you. You’re about to lift your lure, or bait, out of the water, after reeling in for another cast, and a fish suddenly strikes. Most of the time you miss the fish. That’s why I always tell folks to pause, or stop, their baits or lures momentarily, about five or ten feet from the boat. You will be amazed how may fish you’ll catch by doing this little maneuver. It’s a good habit to get into if you’re not already doing it. Redfish: These guys are notorious chasers, and the maneuver I mentioned above works great on reds. By now there seems to be plenty of fish roaming around. I haven’t found any big schools, but plenty of one’s, two’s and three’s scooting around the broken bottom grass flats, submerged oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. All are excellent starting points when looking for redfish. Docks, especially the older ones, seem to attract more redfish and sheepshead. Try skipping artificial’s or live shrimp around and under docks, twitch it a couple of times and if Mr. redfish is there he’ll grab it. Out on the grass flats, and around some of the larger oyster bars, try greenbacks broken in half, shrimp, cutup dollar size pins, and patience. It usually produces a couple of decent redfish.

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Capt. Woody Gore (www.captainwoodygore.com)

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Spotted Sea Trout: Good clean moving water and a popping cork with live shrimp or artificial DOA and Gulp Shrimp prove deadly in catching spotted sea trout. Also, soft plastics, especially curly and paddle tail jig bodies, work great when fished on a jig head. Be sure to slow crank the lure with a twitch/twitch action and bounced off the bottom, being prepared because the bite normally comes as the bait falls. This technique normally produces some nice trout. WWW. INITNHE FIELD MM AGAZINE.COM WWW. THE FIELD AGAZINE.COM


Capt. Woody and Olive’s first Sheepshead

Snook

Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Multi-boat Group Charters With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give me a call at 813-477-3814

Redfish

Cobia: Tampa Bay certainly has its share of cobia. However, the average angler never catches them because they only see one by happenchance. Most anglers would rather target snook and redfish than go looking for cobia. Many cruise the flats, hang around markers, bridges, and swim up and down the bay. They are great angling adversaries and excellent table fare. So get off the snook kick and try cobia fishing. This time of year they hang around the power plants. Here’s all that’s needed, a large shrimp on a ¼ oz. jighead, free lined pinfish or a small chunk of crab normally does the trick. Sheepshead, Snapper, Grunts, Flounder: Fish are showing up around the bay, so try fishing markers, bridges, docks, seawalls, rock piles, oyster bars or practically any type of barnacle encrusted structure. Shrimp and fiddler crabs seem to be the bait of choice. If you have shrimp left after a previous trip, freeze them in plastic bag, then when you get to your favorite spot, chop up the frozen shrimp and use them for chum to get the bite going. Remember, be mindful of the current, you don’t want to push them off your favorite rock pile.

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing”

813-477-3814

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• According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat an average of 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year. • Ancient Romans believed strawberries had medicinal powers. • There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries. • Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. • Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. • Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. • The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria in the rose family, along with apples and plums. • June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day

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Unusual Contest We all love to watch contests, everything from football to the strawberry shortcake-eating contest at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. There are hundreds of weird and unusual contests going on all over the world every day. Every year, young men in a Sudanese tribe take part in a fourmonth long eating contest. The goal is to eat as much as possible staying as still as possible (since moving burns calories). At the end of the four-month period, they’re carted out in front of their fellow villagers and judged on their roundness. I know a couple of people who could win this one hands down. Just park them in front of a TV with a barrel of nacho cheese and they could make history. One of the oddest competitions known to man is the World Worm Charming Championship that has been held in a small village in England since 1980. Contestants stake off a small plot of land and, for 30 minutes, coax as many earthworms out of the dirt as possible without digging for them or using drugs. They use vibrations, by inserting a stick in the ground, and rubing it with another stick. Some say they make “earthworm music,” and the worms come to the top. Whoever collects the most worms, wins. Grand prize is a fishing pole! Men are asked to test their strength in Finland every July by running through a 772-foot obstacle course while carrying their wife on their back. The winner wins his wife’s weight in beer. The rules are: You must be married to the woman you are carrying, and she must be over 17 years of age, and weigh at least 108 pounds. Each time you drop her during the contest a 15-second fine is incurred. The sport originated as a joke in Finland, and is supposedly reminiscent of the past when men courted women by running into their village, picking them up, and carrying them off. According to the records, the first “World Toe Wrestling” competition started in 1976 in a pub in the UK. The locals kicked off this competition by having contestants lock their big toes together, and attempt to force their opponent’s foot to the ground. The organizers were so excited about this game they applied in 1997 to have it included in the Olympic games. Unfortunately the supporters of this competitive sport were turned down. Toe Wrestling doesn’t sound like much, but past participants will testify to the contrary, as they have broken toes and sprained ankles to prove it.

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About 85 years ago there were numerous endurance tests

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in the United States. Some of the marathon competitions included people walking, talking, running, dancing drinking, eating and even kissing. One of the most famous competitive events of all time was the “Bunion Derby.” It was the first, and last, transcontinental running race between Los Angeles and New York City. No wonder they called it the “Bunion Derby!” It started on March 4, 1928. By the end of the first day, 77 runners had dropped out. Only 80 left Oklahoma! By the time they got to Chicago only 65 remained in the race. Finally, on May 26,1928, 55 runners made it to the finish line in New York. The winner, had a 15-hour lead, and was Any Payne, a 20-year-old Cherokee farm boy from Oklahoma. His time was 573 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds over 83 consecutive days. He won $25,000 and paid off the family farm debt. If you’re over 65 listed below are a few games you can play! 1 - Sag. You’re it. 2 - Pin the Toupee on the bald guy. 3 - 20 questions shouted into your good ear. 4 - Kick the bucket. 5 - Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says bend over. 6 - Hide and go pee. 7 - Spin the bottle of Mylanta. 8 - Musical recliners. Speaking of competitive senior citizens, have you seen the movie, Age of Champions? The movie is about five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the Senior Olympics. In the movie there’s a 100 year-old tennis champion, 86 year-old pole-vaulter, and a rough and tumble basketball team, known as the “Tigerettes,” made up of grandmothers who discover the power of the human spirit and triumph over the limitations of age. Adolph Hoffman, 88, wins the track and field events, and 90 year-old swimmers Bradford and John Tatum win the swimming competition. It’s a fact that brains of the elderly are slow because they know so much. The elderly have so much information in their brain that it takes longer for them to access it. The seniors’ brain is somewhat like a computer. A computer struggles when the hard drive gets full. Likewise, senior citizens brains take longer to access information because it has so much information stored over the years. Some doctor’s say the brain of the elderly does not get weak, it is slower because of all the information taken in over time, and they simply know more. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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Fancy Snacks By Libby Hopkins

When you hear flavors like, “Coconut Cream Pie” or “Caramel Expresso,” what comes to your mind? Cookies? Pies? How about popcorn? No? When you hear flavors like, “Coconut Cream Pie” or “Caramel Expresso,” what comes to your mind? Cookies? Pies? How about popcorn? No? Well, think again because these are just some of the more than 100 flavors of popcorn that Ipop Gourmet Popcorn in Tampa has to offer. “Creativity in flavors comes from my experience in the cake and pastry world,” said Laurie Cinelli, owner of Ipop. “I always search for new recipes and flavors to try. I have even included some of my cake business in the popcorn and have made wonderful delicious popcorn, like carrot cake, red velvet and birthday cake.” Cinelli is a proud mother of three, the owner and operator of A Piece of Cake & Desserts in Tampa, in addition to owning Ipop Gourmet Popcorn. “Passion for creativity and the love of making food for family and friends, is how I got into this business,” Cinelli said. Creativity is the main ingredient in her popcorn. Some of her more unique flavors include “Cheddar Pretzel Ale,” “Creamy Dill,” and “Buffalo Bleu Cheese,” to name a few. “We make our flavors from scratch, other companies use a pre-mix and add more sugar,” Cinelli said. “Ours are a family recipe. We also use a natural flavoring and can customize colors. We use local food vendors for some of our supplies and come up with creative flavors from local spice, oil, and coffee companies.”

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Popcorn quite possibly has been a snack food since the time of cavemen. According to the website, Fact Monster (www. factmonster.com), “Archaeologists have found 80,000-yearold corn pollen below Mexico City. Because this pollen is

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almost the same as modern popcorn pollen, researchers believe that “cave people” most likely had popcorn. Popcorn probably grew first in Mexico, though it was also used in China and India hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Americas. The oldest popcorn ever found was discovered in the “Bat Cave” of central New Mexico. It is thought to be about 5,600 years old. In tombs in Peru, archaeologists found ancient kernels of popcorn that are so well preserved, they can still pop. Popcorn was very popular in the United States from the late 19th century through the middle of the 20th century. It was available in parks, from street vendors, and near theaters. During World War II, when sugar was rationed, Americans changed their snacking habits—they ate three times as much popcorn as they had before. Perhaps the favorite place to eat popcorn was at the movies. When television took off in the 1950s, popcorn sales dropped for a while. Today, the average American eats nearly 70 quarts of popcorn a year. But the United States isn’t just a land of popcorn lovers, it’s also the land of popcorn. Most of the world now gets its popcorn from Nebraska and Indiana.” Popcorn always has a lot of nutritional value, as well. Popcorn is an abundant source of fiber. It has B vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorous. Polyphenols are concentrated in hulls because popcorn doesn’t have a lot of water and because it’s 100 percent whole grain. Another plus about popcorn is that it’s minimally processed. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Polyphenols are strong antioxidants and responsible for protecting the body from various dangerous diseases and conditions. Polyphenols are thought to be much more powerful antioxidants than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These antioxidants provide several important health benefits, such as protection from coronary artery disease, protection from cancers, healthy blood sugar levels and prevention from premature aging.

DIY popcorn bar. “Our popcorn is an awesome gift for out-oftown guests,” Cinelli said.

Local foodies (like myself) visit Cinelli’s store on a regular basis to sample her latest flavors. “We continue to keep perfecting our flavors and creating new ones every day,” Cinelli said. “We want to start offering this absolutely delicious gourmet popcorn all over Tampa Bay and beyond. We hope that Ipop continues to grow.” Cinelli’s popcorn and bakery can also service a lot of brides getting married, with custom favors and

If you would like to learn more about the different flavor of gourmet popcorn offered at Ipop Gourmet Popcorn, you can visit their website at www.ipopgourmetpopcorn.com or call Cinelli at 1-888-241-0890. Ipop Gourmet Popcorn is located at 11284 West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. Their hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Keeping thing local is extremely important to Cinelli. You can find her taking part in local markets and festivals. “It is a major part of my business to keep things local,” Cinellis said. “We shop small and we appreciate all of the clients that shop small when buying from us.”


Save $2.00 on Adult & $1.00 on Youth General Admission Tickets at Publix

Artists Appearing on the

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra

Drifters, Platters & Cornell Gunter’s Coasters

Thu. Mar. 2, 10:30 FREE

Thu. Mar. 2, 3:30

for KING & COUNTRY Thu. Mar. 2, 7:30 $25

Willie Nelson and Family

Fri. Mar. 3, 7:30 $35

Kane Brown

Wed. Mar. 8, 7:30 $25 & $30

Cab Calloway Orchestra Thu. Mar. 9, 10:30 FREE

Sat. Mar. 4, 7:30 $35

Jennifer Nettles

Mon. Mar. 6, 3:30 $15 & $20

Scotty McCreery

3 Doors Down

Sat. Mar. 4, 3:30 $25

The Bellamy Brothers

Sun. Mar. 5, 7:30 $45

Tracy Byrd

$15 & $20

Kip Moore

Fri. Mar. 3, 3:30 $40

Little Big Town

Wed. Mar. 8, 3:30 $15 & $20

March 2 –12, 2017 Plant City, FL

Soundstage:

Mon. Mar. 6, 7:30 $35

The Oak Ridge Boys Thu. Mar. 9, 3:30 $15 & $20

Brenda Lee

Tues. Mar. 7, 3:30 $15 & $20

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Buccaneers Don’t Just Have Swords: The Endangered Buccaneer Palm By Ginny Mink With Gasparilla still nipping at our heels, and football season having come to a close, it seemed appropriate to introduce you to the endangered, Buccaneer Palm. Believe it or not, Buccaneers don’t just have swords, some have fronds. The Buccaneer palm’s scientific name is Pseudophoenix sargentii. Some people call this a Cherry Palm or the Sargent’s Cherry Palm. It’s native to Cuba, the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize and South Florida.¹ Buccaneer palm trees are each very unique in their appearances. They come in a variety of colors. Some are light green, blue green, plain green, and some are even completely silver. Their signature swollen trunks come in varying shapes as well.² The Buccaneer palm is the most rare of Florida’s 12 native palms. Most landscaping nurseries won’t even attempt to grow it because it takes a long time to mature, frequently only adding one frond a year. That means it takes about 10 years to even look like anything of value.³ Most people simply don’t have the patience to wait for these trees to fully mature. Due to the Buccaneer palm’s slow growth, many people are completely unaware of its existence. Add to that the fact that it is sensitive to cold, and it’s easy to see why it is not as well publicized as it should be. After all, it is a striking native Florida palm. But, those things that keep it less noticed are the same things that make it a great landscaping option.² These palms don’t usually exceed 10 feet in height when used in landscaping. However, in some of the few existing natural stands, there are those that reach 25 feet tall. The fronds remind palm experts of those associated with the diminutive blue-green traveler’s palm. This is especially true when the Buccaneer palm is still young. Its fronds spread out to create a fan-shaped appearance.² Some people feel that the Buccaneer palm is particularly easy to recognize. They suggest that the light brown rings against the background of its light green trunk are a dead giveaway. And, these same individuals suggest that the fronds are distinct as well. According to Robin Robinson’s piece, “Leathery, pinnate fronds that are dark green on the top and silver underneath are standouts in the lush landscape.”³ While the Buccaneer palm prefers alkaline soils, it can certainly tolerate salt water. Ensuring that the soil is moist, but well drained, is key. And, planting them in full to partial shade will help guarantee their growth.¹ If you were to try to purchase one, you might find a six foot specimen for well over $200. It’s a lot cheaper to learn to grow these yourself. Patience is the biggest requirement.

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One cool thing about the Buccaneer palm is its ability to be a selfcleaning palm. This happens as it matures, but it can save you a lot of tree maintenance if you choose to add one to your landscaping designs. Self-cleaning, when it comes to palm trees, just means that it will drop its own limbs as they get old or die off. Some palms will just let them hang.²

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Understanding how to recognize these endangered palms and even how to plant them, as a means of rescue, is key to their existence. However, one has to wonder why these trees have become endangered. Research says they don’t have any known pest issues. So, what is causing their demise? Our research led us to the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension of Lee County. They write, “Buccaneer palm, Pseudophoenix sargentii, is an endangered Florida native, once found in abundance in the upper Florida Keys. Wild collecting and development have greatly reduced its numbers…”⁴ So, we are back to humanity being the issue with our native plant and animal species. If people are the problem, as with so many environmental things, they should be the answer, too. Therefore, it seemed prudent to offer our readers a more definitive method for assisting the preservation of these neat looking palms. You can readily germinate the seeds from these palms. They flower year round and attract bees with their white inflorescence. The seeds are found within the fruit, which ripen to a bright red. There is one seed per thin fleshed drupe (or berry).⁴ Gather some fruit. Remove the outer covering, or pulp, and then let them dry for about a week. Next, soak the dried seeds in water for two days. Take your soaked seeds, and plant them. Be sure not to bury them deeper than half an inch. They take six to eight weeks to germinate. That’s when the real patience necessary kicks in. They don’t produce more than one or two fronds a year. Mature ones have between eight and twelve fronds on their crowns. By the way, another notable trait is that, “the broad frond bases wrap around each other to form a bulging crownshaft.”⁴ If your heart is to make a difference in the environment, to protect the plants and animals God has entrusted to our care, the Buccaneer palm could use your help. There are very few natural stands left in Florida. Find out where you can get seeds and then do what you can to add them to your landscaping plans. Resources: ¹Real Palm Trees: The Rare and Endangered- Buccaneer Palm Tree. http://realpalmtrees.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-rare-and-endangered-buccaneer-palm.html ²South-Florida-Plant-Guide: Buccaneer Palm. http://www.south-florida-plant-guide.com/buccaneer-palm.html ³Robinson, R. (2009). Keys News: Stately buccaneer palm requires patience to grow. http://keysnews.com/node/11967 ⁴University of Florida: IFAS Extension Lee County. Pseudophoenix sargentii. http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/Buccaneer_palm. pdf Photo Credits: Treeworld Wholesale- Pseudophoenix Sargentii (Buccaneer Palm- with red fruit)- https://flic.kr/p/KXZpUr Treeworld Wholesale- Pseudophoenix Sargentii (Buccaneer Palm- in pots)- https://flic.kr/p/L2TrGN WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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GCREC WELCOMES LARGEST INTERNATIONAL INTERN GROUP TO ASSIST WITH PLANT PATHOLOGY PROGRAM

By Jim Frankowiak Five international students are interning at the University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center this semester. They are being hosted by Dr. Natalia Peres, Professor, Strawberry Pathology, who has supported the involvement of student interns at both undergraduate levels for the last 10 years. “This is the largest group we have had since beginning the program,” said Peres. “It is a win-win endeavor for both my program and each of the interns. Our program includes research activities here at the Center, as well as, at various commercial grower locations. Interns provide valuable assistance during the strawberry season, while gaining hands on experience in the field.” Dr. Peres conducts basic and applied research on important diseases affecting strawberry production in Florida. The goal of her program is to develop a better understanding of the causes of the diseases and the environmental factors affecting their development, and to provide more effective disease control recommendations. She also works closely with strawberry and ornamental breeders on the development of cultivars with some level of disease resistance, and oversees the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic, located at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. The five-member intern group includes: • Andre Bueno Gama – University of Sao Paulo • Carolina Rebello – Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) • Eduardo Suarez – Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano University • Robiel Vieira – University of Passo Fundo (UPF) • Erica Zelienski – Federal University of Parana (UPFR) Suarez is from Panama, but goes to Zamorano in Honduras, while the other interns are from different states in Brazil. Gama is pursuing an advanced degree and has made application to the UF doctoral program. His intern colleagues are completing undergraduate studies. All of the interns have expressed interest in continued work in research and teaching.

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Interns accepted into the program are recommended by professors at the institutions they attend. “These are individuals that I either know or have collaborated with on vari-

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ous projects,” said Dr. Peres, who is from Brazil. She received her undergraduate, masters and doctorate from Sao Paulo State University. Her internship program, which includes compensation for participating students, has its roots in her personal experiences while a student. “I had the good fortune to participate in three internships at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred,” she said. “I know first-hand the value of such experiences and I am pleased that I am able to pay back, to some degree, for my experiences while fostering this program.” Student interns must pay for their roundtrip travel and costs associated with securing their visas, a process that often takes several months. Interns reside in graduate student housing on the grounds of the center. Their activities during the internship include help with trials underway and the collection and analysis of data. “It’s a good chance for them to determine if they like this type of work and if it is the career path they wish to follow,” said Dr. Peres. The internship also introduces students to strawberries, a commodity not always grown in their homeland. There is an added, international dimension to their experience, as they share living quarters with graduate students from other countries. Currently that includes residents of Canada, the Dominican Republic and Nepal. Students housed on the center grounds share cleaning, cooking and laundry duties, and that makes “for some very interesting meals,” they all noted. Weekends often include excursions into the Tampa Bay area courtesy of graduate students with vehicles. An invaluable asset to the internship program is Lorna Torcedo Carter, a member of Dr. Peres’ staff, who is kindly referred to as, “Lab Mom,” by the interns, for her help and assistance throughout the duration of their stay at the center, which is either January through April or August through December. For more information about the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, visit: http://gcrec.ifas.ufl.edu/. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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Loquat Florida

By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science Also known as the Japanese plum, the loquat is popular for its delicious fruit, as well as, being an attractive shade tree with beautiful fragrant white flowers. Native to China, the loquat is popular in the Asian countries, as well as, in Europe. This fruit is a cousin of apples and pears. Loquats thrive in Florida’s sunny, warm climate, and are tolerant of drought, but easily damaged by frost. The flowers bloom in fall and the fruit is harvested in the early spring, usually in February through April. Florida is the largest producer of loquat in the United States. Sweet and juicy, loquats taste like a mixture of peach, citrus, and mango. The fruits are ripe and at their sweetest when soft and deep yellow-gold in color. They range from oval to round to pear-shaped, two to five centimeters long and average 30 to 40 grams. The peel is edible and smooth, similar to that of a peach. Inside the flesh there are one to ten dark brown seeds. Loquats are delicious eaten out-of-hand.

Nutrition Loquats are low in calories and a great source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh cubed loquat contains 70 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of protein, and 0.3 grams of fat. It also contains 46% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, 11% for potassium and manganese, 7% for vitamin B6, 5% for magnesium and folate. Plentiful amounts of other nutrients also occur in loquat, including phosphorus, copper, calcium, iron, vitamin C, thiamin, and riboflavin.

Vitamin A Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that has several important functions in the body. In the form of retinoids, vitamin A is famous for its role in healthy skin. Topical retinoids are used to help treat the skin lesions associated with severe acne and psoriasis. Vitamin A is also used in some facial creams to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Often an early sign of vitamin A deficiency is poor night vision. Research shows that people who eat more foods with vitamin A are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Those who consumed high levels of vitamin A though their diets also had a lower risk of developing cataracts. Additionally vitamin A is needed to help cells reproduce normally, maintain healthy immune system function, bone formation, and wound healing.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine, a water soluble vitamin. Pyridoxine has a variety of important functions in the body. It is needed to make antibodies which help fight infec-

Magnesium Magnesium is an important mineral for every organ in the body, particularly the heart, muscles, and kidneys. It activates enzymes and helps regulate levels of other vitamins and minerals in the body such as vitamin D, calcium, copper, zinc, and potassium. Magnesium also is required for healthy teeth and bones. Consuming plenty of magnesium through fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains in the diet is associated with lower blood pressure. It may also help prevent migraine headaches and shorten the duration of a migraine. For the heart, magnesium is especially important. Magnesium helps maintain a normal heart rhythm and a high dietary intake of this mineral is associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

Selection and care Choose fruit that are golden in color and slightly soft. Loquats are delicate and bruise easily, so they should be handled carefully. They are best eaten shortly after harvest, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to several days. Slightly under-ripe fruit make excellent jelly due to its tartness.

Preparation and Use Fresh loquats are delicious eaten out-of-hand. The peel is entirely edible. Simply rinse under water, pinch off the blossom end, squeeze out the brown pit, and eat. In addition to being made into jams and preserves, they can be frozen or canned for longer storage. Other ways to enjoy loquats include: • Chop and mix with other fruit into a salad • Cook the flesh and puree into a dessert topping • Chop and add to pie crust for loquat pie • Dice and use in quick breads and muffins and cobbler • Chop into small pieces and use to top cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt • Puree, mix with sugar and cream for fresh loquat ice cream

Selected References http://nassau.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/fruit/loquat.html http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-andshrubs/trees/loquat.html http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/FCS/FlaFoodFare/Loquat.pdf https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/loquat.html INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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tion. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function, keep blood sugar in normal ranges, and break down the protein you eat in your diet into usable source of energy. Pyridoxine is also needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells to all the tissues in your body. Low levels of vitamin B6 can cause anemia.


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Strawberries Florida

By Sandy Sun, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science

Strawberries are the world’s most popular berries, but technically they are not a berry or a fruit. Instead they are modified stem tissue. These heart-shaped berries can grow wild or be cultivated. Strawberry plants have an average of 200 seeds on the exterior of the berry, unlike other fruit in which the seeds are contained inside the fruit. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), strawberries are the second most valuable freshmarket fruit in the United States following apples. Overall they are the fourth most valuable fruit produced in the United States, after grapes, apples, and oranges. According to the USDA, annual consumption is approximately 4.85 pounds of fresh and frozen strawberries per person, and strawberries are consumed in over 94% of all U.S. households. Since the 1970s, greater availability of strawberries has led to greater consumption.

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According to the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Office, Florida ranks second, behind California, in the U.S. in the production of strawberries. Florida produces 15 percent of the total crop, and most of the fresh strawberries consumed in the eastern half of the U.S. during the winter. Approximately 95 percent of Florida’s commercial strawberry production acreage is located in Hillsborough and Manatee counties. In fact Plant City, which is located in eastern Hillsborough County, has been named “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.” Strawberries are also produced in other areas of Florida, but the acreage in these areas generally consists of small, U-pick plantings. Greater than 80 percent of the U.S. strawberry crop is consumed fresh. Most of the remaining crop is processed as frozen whole or sliced fruit. Frozen berries are packaged for retail sales and sold in bulk to makers of jam and jelly, syrup, juice, ice cream, and yogurt. Less than 10 percent of the nation’s strawberry crop is used for juice or puree.

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NUTRITIONAL PROFILE Low in calories and naturally free of sodium and fat, strawberries are packed with powerful, disease-fighting antioxidants, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals. Strawberries have more vitamin C per ounce than oranges. Eating just one serving of strawberries (roughly eight berries) per day has been associated with lower blood pressure and better heart health, as well as lower risk of some cancers. Among the important cancer-fighting compounds in strawberries are antioxidants and phytochemicals called phenols. Phenols protect cell structures in the body and prevent oxygen damage to the organs. They are heart-healthy and fight cancer and inflammation in the body. Phenols are found in fresh and frozen berries, but not in processed foods, such as strawberry cookies or pastries. Strawberries are also a good source of dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, manganese, folate, riboflavin, vitamin K and magnesium. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of raw strawberries (152 g) contains 49 calories, 1.02 g protein, 0.46 g fat, 11.67 g carbohydrate, and 3.0 g of dietary fiber.

Vitamin C One cup of strawberries provides a whopping 140% of your daily Vitamin C needs! This vitamin is important for a healthy immune system, cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. This vitamin acts as a potent antioxidant in the body, neutralizing harmful free radicals and preventing its damaging effects in cells. By fighting cell and tissue damage, Vitamin C protects against cancer and other diseases, such WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


as the common cold. This vitamin also helps the body absorb more iron, and aids in the development of strong bones and teeth. Additionally, recent research studies suggest that a diet high in vitamin C containing foods, like strawberries, may protect against rheumatoid arthritis. Current research findings support that Vitamin C’s benefits come from consumption of whole fruits and vegetables. A high intake of produce, including strawberries, is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Taking supplements does not seem to provide the same protective benefits as eating the fruit itself.

Manganese Manganese is necessary for the utilization and balanced metabolism of many other nutrients. This mineral is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol and is essential for the production of sex and thyroid hormones. Manganese is also important in skeletal and connective tissue development.

Fiber Strawberries and other berries contain a significant amount of dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, assist with digestion, and prevent constipation. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in fiber may decrease the risk of several types of cancer including colon, rectum, breast, and pancreas.

with a lid that snaps tight can stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days to a week. For longer storage, seal the fruit in plastic bags and place in the freezer. Frozen berries can be tossed straight into a smoothie, or thawed before use.

How to Enjoy Strawberries are delicious eaten out-of-hand. Other ways to enjoy include: • Tossed in a vegetable or fruit salad • Dipped in chocolate • Sliced over cereal or oatmeal • Baked into a strawberry bread or cake or pie • Stirred into lemonade or iced tea • As a topper for ice cream or shortcake or yogurt • Blended into a smoothie or milkshake • As a jam or salsa With their attractive appearance, delicious flavor, and strong nutritional profile, Florida strawberries make a great treat all winter long.

SELECTED REFERENCES

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_ edit.pl http://www.nal.usda.gov/pgdic/Strawberry/ers/ers. htm#record http://www.strawberries.com http://www.whfoods.com http://www.florida-agriculture.com

A single cup of raw strawberries provides over 13% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, which in turn helps prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help maintain steady blood sugar levels and aid in weight control.

Folate Florida strawberries are a good source of the B vitamin folate, a vitamin that can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects) in the fetus. Pregnant women should consume a diet high in folate, and eating strawberries and other fruits and vegetables every day can help. Folate is also essential for growth and development, and plays a key role in DNA formation. Its heart-healthy benefits come from its ability to lower homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood that is correlated with heart disease.

Smokin’ WE’RE

Additionally, low levels of folate have been linked with low energy levels, depression and even memory impairments. So it’s an essential vitamin for everyone, in addition to its significant importance for the developing fetus.

How to Select and Store Choose strawberries that are uniformly red with caps that are fresh and green. Avoid strawberries with bruises, mold, or large white or green spots. For the best taste, eat strawberries soon after buying them. Buying local, Florida strawberries means you are getting a fresher product, compared to strawberries from California, which must be transported across the country by truck.

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Credible Messenger For Science By Jack Payne

There isn’t a shortcut to trust. Like the proverb says, it takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. So Dr. Natalia Peres got busy working on putting in the years as soon as she got to the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma more than a decade ago. Al Herndon managed a strawberry farm in Floral City at the time. Before a weather station was installed, Herndon’s information source was a daily call to Peres on his flip phone. By Herndon’s account, it took some time for Peres to really figure out what the growers’ problems were. After enough phone calls with weather information, and listening to what Herndon was seeing in his fields, though, she earned his trust.

Herndon told her it wouldn’t work. Trying something new is risky, so he needed to trust Peres. Because she’d earned that trust, he agreed to nine rows where he’d follow reduced fungicide spraying instructions from Peres’s strawberry advisory system. It worked. Herndon remained skeptical. Could be those nine rows benefited from the more heavily treated rows around them. So he went to five acres. And he saw the same results.

PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS

Peres has published in academic journals about the success. We’ve done news releases touting the huge financial savings That made her a credible messenger for science. That’s for growers. Herndon summed it what every University of Florida FLORIDIANS’ TRUST IN SCIENCE up by simply saying, “The hell of Institute of Food and Agriculit is, it works!” 68.1 tural Sciences faculty member 63.2 should aspire to. Herndon, who’s now retired from the farm, but continues to serve It takes years to build trust, and it as a consultant, still won’t be then a few weeks to measure it. spoon-fed science. Every year The UF/IFAS Center for Public he and Peres argue about the Issues Education put in those advisory system. But then she weeks this past fall with a surtakes that input, goes back to 30.5 vey. It’s important work because the lab, and makes her system 26.9 when our scientists build trust even better. Knowing she’ll liswith the public, they increase ten and respond gives her – and trust in science itself. science’s search for constant im6.3 4.9 provements -- that much more We start with more than twocredibility thirds of the public already on SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SCIENTISTS CONTRIBUTE TO board. The survey found that 68 SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THE WELL-BEING OF SOCIETY Peres exemplifies the impact percent of respondents agreed THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT of combining excellence in the or strongly agreed with the STRONGLY DISAGREE OR DISAGREE NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE STRONGLY AGREE OR AGREE lab with trust-building out in the statement, “Scientists contribute field. to the well-being of society.” Slightly more than 63 percent of respondents agree that “Scientific research should be supported by the federal government.”

In the PIE Center survey, 25 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “Americans believe too much in science and not enough in their own feelings.”

The glass is about two-thirds full, but we have much work to do outside the lab to ensure that our work has the impact we all hope for.

Trust is a feeling, a belief. We’re not going to flip that 25 percent with more detailed data. Scientists give people reason to believe by calling them on flip phones, walking their rows, and demonstrating before their eyes that scientific solutions serve them.

For Peres, trust was absolutely essential for her to get her science out of the lab. She wanted to develop a model for determining when to spray for certain diseases. To Herndon, what Peres meant was that he was, quote, “not supposed to spray unless her little computer told me to.”

It’s as labor-intensive as agriculture itself. But that’s why trust takes years to build.

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Jack Payne is the senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. jackpayne@ufl.edu • @JackPayneIFAS

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Celebrating a most fruitful relationship between Florida Strawberry Growers and International Paper.

1979

Together we’re sure to enjoy many more years of sweet success.

711 E. Lancaster Rd Orlando, FL 32809 (407) 855-2121

1996

2402 Police Center Dr Plant City, FL 33566 (813) 717-9100 6706 N. 53rd St Tampa, FL 33610 (813) 744-2220 Sales: Ray Reteneller (813) 230-4216 or Mike Sanders (813) 240-7316

2001

2003

Present

©2016 International Paper Company. All rights reserved.

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The Business Of Bees And Hope That They Don’t Buzz Off! by John Dicks Over the years there has been quite the buzz about the declining bee population. Zoom in a bit and the picture begins to appear more bleak than at first blush. The bee population throughout the United States has been on a downward track for nearly 70 years. The actual numbers are alarming. In 1947, some six million bee colonies zipped around America. Today, the estimate is that there are only 2.5 million. That nearly 60% drop has caught the attention of scientists and beekeepers alike . Within the hives, the bee colonies are also struggling. Beekeepers lose an estimated 30-40% of their bees each year. Of course new ones are born, too, and even more are bought and delivered to the hive from breeders through delivery by the likes of FedEx. Nonetheless, this bee colony collapse disorder, as it is referred to, combined with the annual loss within the hive itself, is alarming. The business of bees is a critical one for any farming community. It’s estimated that worldwide there are more than 90 crops dependent on the hard work of the buzzing pollinators. Keeping the hives full of healthy and happy bees has been an enterprise tended to by beekeepers for centuries. The technical term for a beekeeper is an apiarist. No, I didn’t know that either, but I learned it while donning a protective suit and spending several hours watching and learning from a local apiarist as he was checking his hives. It’s a fascinating business, which produces more income from renting hives to farmers than from selling local raw honey. Interesting in that unlike the bee colonies themselves, the business of beekeeping is actually thriving. In Florida alone the ranks of apiarists have swelled since the year 2006 when there was an estimated 600 beekeepers in our state compared to over 4,100 today. Fortunately, both the demand for pollination of crops and the sales of local raw honey are strong enough to sustain the apiarist’s business. However, that overall net decline in bee colonies has people concerned since the obvious point is noted that without bees, blueberries, strawberries, citrus and any number of the countless crops that depend on their pollination would be in serious jeopardy.

giant threat to our food production. It’s estimated that more than one third of humans across the planet depend on pollinated crops. The biggest worker of that group is the honeybee, which carries the weight for 80 percent of all pollination. Their economic value is enormous. Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U. S. economy in terms of agriculture and crop production. So significant are bees to farming, food and our lives that Florida is taking steps as a leader to their sustainability. Thanks to collective funding from the Florida Legislature, IFAS (UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) and the private sector through various beekeeper groups, the University of Florida is preparing to build a state of the art laboratory and research facility dedicated to the study of bees. The mission of the new project will be to investigate, study and create new beekeeping techniques and solutions to stop that referenced bee colony collapse disorder. If all goes well, the new facility will soon be started this year and in operation sometime in 2018. The industry has been working towards this goal of the lab and research center for several years and finally achieved success with the last session of the Florida Legislature after having hit roadblocks along the ways. Gaining public awareness and support led to fruition through publicity and, as you would suspect, the use of social media. Take a look, for example, at the numerous posts found at Facebook.com/BuildtheBeeLab. Enthusiastic supporters are lobbying to gain further support for their project by advocating for a honeybee pollinator Florida license plate. This would provide additional ongoing financial support. The hope is, of course, that with science on our side, and the continued excellent efforts towards sustainability by beekeepers, the demise of bees will begin to buzz off!

Simply put, without bees, we’d be facing a

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John Dicks is both a lawyer and a farmer. He and his family own a blueberry farm and have agricultural lands which they lease for cattle operations, as John says, “to someone who knows and handles cattle much better than I do!” John is both a Gator, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, and a Seminole, with his Law Degree from Florida State University. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Plant City, where he served nine years as City Commissioner, including three years as Mayor.

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Mon. - Sat.: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

813-752-2379

Western & Outdoor Wear, Farm, Ranch & Pet Supplies

3014 S. Jim Redman Pkwy. (Hwy. 39 S) Plant City, FL • southsidewesternwear.com INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Food Exploration The Taco Traveler

By Libby Hopkins

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, and discover.” Kyle King can relate to Mr. Twain’s statement because he too decided to, “throw off the bowlines,” so to speak, by starting his own food truck business, The Taco Traveler. “I’m a native of Michigan, but was raised in the Tampa Bay area,” King said. “After spending 14 years in the hospitality industry, working every position from dishwasher to multiunit area manager, the time came to take the leap and test my entrepreneurial spirit. The Taco Traveler is the first embodiment of that spirit.” King and his business partner, Tyler Catalano, saw an opportunity to incorporate their passion for food, and their experience in the hospitality industry, as a chance to bring great food directly to the customer. They chose The Taco Traveler branding as it pairs well with their menu inspirations. “We create new menu items that are inspired by regional cuisine and street food from around the world,” King said. “We also felt it was important for our customers to instantly understand what to expect from our menu.” The Taco Traveler was born.

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The taco, a vessel synonymous with flavor and endless possibilities, was their first choice when they began creating their concept. “Though the idea of the taco may be

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recognizable, our focus on testing the boundaries of culinary experimentation will have you salivating at the combinations that we come up with,” King said. “We constantly work to find new ways to incorporate our local community into our business practices. We have begun incorporating other local food businesses whenever possible. For example, we are about to begin working with St Pete Ferments to source our locally produced Kim Chi that we use on our Korean BBQ Nachos.” Food trucks have become all the rage nowadays and it’s a trend that seems to have no end in sight. According to the website, How to Live Gourmet (www. howtocookgourmet.com), “Food trucks are a welcome change from fast food chains we’ve all learned to grow tired of. As Americans, we demand food that is novel, inexpensive and fast to get, especially during lunch breaks at work. You don’t have to leave your comfort zone by going to a restaurant surrounded by stuffy people. You don’t have to wait for a seat, or be ill-treated by the food server staff. You don’t have to worry about having too much to drink or getting a little tipsy” There are also some great benefits that go along with eating at food trucks. You get the chance to meet the chefs in person, experiment with new cuisines, the menus are always changing and usually offer fresh, local ingredients, as well as, you are giving your money to a local small business. The food truck industry is not just a phase, it’s here to stay. “I believe WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


it came at the same time as a trend of the consumer wanting more creativity, integrity, and passion in their food,” King said. King and Catalano have plans to expand Taco Traveler over the next year. “Our plan is that the Traveler is the start to a company with multiple concepts focused on quality food with integrity, real hospitality, as well as, providing an environment that is engaging, genuine, and fun for both the customer and the employee,” King said. “All while being an active member of the community.” Both King and Catalano strongly believe in supporting all things local. “We believe in the civic responsibility of businesses to genuinely be a part of our communities,” King said. “We strive to provide both support and leadership in our community. Some avenues that we have shown local support is through providing support to charity benefiting events, and utilizing local ingredients.” One of their goals for 2017 is to begin working on partnering with local organizations and focus on project oriented goals to inspire and achieve change. “We are currently working to structure community oriented events that will be project oriented,” King said. “Essentially, bringing different groups together with similar missions and intentions to achieve very specific community oriented goals.” If you would like to learn more about The Taco Traveler and the variety of tacos they offer, or if you would like to know their food truck schedule, you can visit their website at

www.thetacotraveler.com.

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Polk Tractor Co.

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" Florida's Oldest Kubota Dealer " 3450 Havendale Blvd. Winter Haven, Florida 33881 863-967-0651

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Ornamental Gardening in Florida By Ginny Mink Two years strong traveling on this Literary Time Machine. That’s amazing! We trust that you have begun this New Year with guts and gusto. And, that you are raring to join us on the next part of our voyage through a nearly one hundred year old book. We can only hope and pray that we are doing Mr. Charles Torrey Simpson justice by relaying the wisdom he revealed in the mid-1920s. Having left our chapter on aquatic plants, it makes sense to delve into another area of relatively sensitive ornamentals: native ferns. Mr. Simpson dives right in and first brings our attention to Acrostichum. He writes that they are, “Tropical ferns of large size inhabiting the fresh and brackish swamps of the southern part of Florida.”¹ Then he decides to break them down into subspecies and continues his description, “A. excelsum sometimes reaches a height of twelve feet or more and is a striking object. A. aureum is somewhat smaller but is a magnificent plant. The leaves are irregularly pinnate and the black spores completely cover the backs of all or part of the pinnae.”¹ The idea that there are 12 foot tall ferns is intriguing. We are more accustomed to the small ones that curl up when you touch them. So, we needed to get a better understanding of something so “striking.” It would appear that the name has been changed to Acrostichum danaeifolium and that they are better known as the Giant Leather Fern.² The pictures we found made us think of something akin to a Jurassic Park plant. Seriously, giant ferns! But, moving on from our fantasy imagery, we discover a much more dainty plant, the Adiantum, or Maidenhair fern. Simpson describes it this way, “A. tenerum is an exquisitely delicate fern that grows in lime sinks in Central and Lower Florida. A. capillus-veneris is beautiful and is occasionally found in the upper part of the state.”¹ The care with which Mr. Simpson chooses his descriptors makes us appreciate how deeply he loved the native plants of our state.

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This love is further illuminated in his next plant explanation.

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Part 29

He writes, “Asplenium serratum is an elegant fern in wet places in hammocks in the peninsular part of the state with long, entire leaves which form a crown. A. myriophyllum and A. biscayneanum are marvelously beautiful and delicate…”¹ His words fascinated us so immensely, that we had to search for the fern he was obviously enamored with. Unfortunately, those efforts proved fruitless. However, we did discover that one of them is referred to as the Limestone Spleenwort. That struck us as pretty funny. Skipping right along we landed at the Lygodium palmatum or climbing fern. Mr. Simpson elaborates, “This rare and beautiful plant grows down into northern Florida and is sometimes cultivated.”¹ A little research revealed that what Mr. Simpson calls “rare” is actually on endangered and threatened lists in several states. And, in truth, the images we saw make it one of the most unique ferns we’ve ever seen. That’s why we included a picture in this article for your inspection and enjoyment. A sad truth, though, that a rare plant of the 1920s is an endangered one of today. But, he doesn’t waste time on predictions in these descriptors, just facts. So, he moves on and eventually arrives at Osmunda spectabilis, which he says is pretty much the same as Old world O. regalis. And this, he adds, suggests that, “…taken together they probably have the widest distribution of any plant on earth.”¹ That implies this is a particularly hardy fern. Interesting news on that topic though, is the fact that genetic studies proved the spectabilis and regalis are actually different varieties of the Osmunda genus.³ No doubt Mr. Simpson would find that information quite interesting. And that leads us to P. aureum or Serpent fern. He says it, “…is found living on the palmettos of South Florida and is a striking plant. It has been placed in the genus Phlebodium but Bailey retains it in Polypodium.”¹ We love it when he presents a potential argument. And, he did not disappoint because when we found it on the Atlas of Florida Plants it was listed as Phlebodium aureum within the family Polypodiaceae. And, its common name is Golden Polypody.⁴ Looks to us like no one won that classification argument. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


He concludes this section by writing, “The above is a long list yet I believe every species in it and many others are worthy of cultivation by plant lovers and especially those interested in our native vegetation. I see no reason why gardens may not be made by those who have the ground and means that contain nothing but our wild things.”¹ We don’t see why that can’t happen either. So, consider doing some research on the plants native to your specific part of the state and then help preserve their existence by adding such “wild things” to your own gardens. We can all do our part to prevent endangerment of those things initially intended to reside here. Resources: ¹ Simpson, Charles T. (1926). Ornamental Gardening in Florida. Published by the Author; Little River, FL. Printed by J.J. Little and Ives Company, New York. (p. 122-124). ²Atlas of Florida Plants. Acrostichum danaeifolium. http://florida. plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2191 ³USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilits (Willd.) A. Gray royal fern. https://plants. usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=OSRES ⁴Atlas of Florida Plants. Phlebodium aureum. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3613 Photo Credits: James St. John- Acrostichum danaeifolium (giant leather fern) (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA) 6- https://flic.kr/p/ChLkiS Kerry Wixted- Climbing Fern- https://flic.kr/p/6u77ND Forest and Kim Starr. Starr-110330-3606-Phlebodium_aureumfrond-Garden_of_Eden_Keanae-Maui. https://flic.kr/p/EdhaMH INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Junior chefs cool as a cucumber

Winner Caden Mittan

By Justin Kline The strawberry shortcake is a Plant City staple, and four young chefs put their spins on the dish in last month’s Junior Chef Strawberry Shortcake Challenge. Held at the city’s Jan. 27 Food Truck Rally in the Historic Downtown District, the 30-minute competition was open to anyone between age 10 and 13. Zoe Meeks, Emma Thirion, Larkin Consuella Baxter and Caden Mittan were given a tray of strawberry shortcake ingredients and more items, such as chocolate pudding, Cool Whip and cookie cutters. As with the television show, Iron Chef, the contestants were also given a “mystery basket” containing a secret ingredient that they all had to incorporate into their dishes. In this case, it was cucumber. “It stumped a few of them for a minute, and then they went to creating their masterpieces,” marketing director “Strawberry” Sue Harrell said.

Mittan guest starred in the Florida Strawberry Growers Association’s segment with Charley Belcher on FOX 13 News the following week. According to Harrell, he will have to defend his title in next year’s competition. “I love to see kids in the kitchen, and young men like Caden who are not afraid to compete with the girls,” Harrell said.

“We have some future chefs in the making.”

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At the end of the 30 minutes, there could only be one winner. Judges Kenneth Parker and Gresham Stephens loved Mittan’s take on the cake: the 13-year-old chopped his cucumber as fine as he could, giving the shortcake added texture and crunch.

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~ Helen P., a patient of South Florida Baptist Hospital

The Care You Need, When You Need It.

Having lived in Plant City for 60 years, Helen is thankful for having a trusted hospital so close. From general surgery to yearly mammograms and the utilization of South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation, Helen has always been treated like royalty. A member of the community since 1953, South Florida Baptist Hospital was built on quality, compassionate care. You’ll find a highly skilled and experienced team that works to make patients and visitors as comfortable as possible during their hospital experience. When you’re treated at South Florida Baptist Hospital, you’ll feel at home, close to home — all your health care needs are covered, without ever leaving Plant City.

Choose South Florida Baptist Hospital. Let South Florida Baptist Hospital be your partner for getting you well and keeping you well. Fill out a health profile online at SouthFloridaBaptistCare.org and you’ll be sent a complimentary travel first aid kit.

■ ER: Efficient medical treatment for minor or major emergencies and illnesses ■ Surgery: Large operating rooms, high-tech equipment and spacious recovery rooms create a pleasant environment for patients ■ Heart: State-of-the-art heart and vascular center offering cardiac diagnostic services and procedures

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Our Specialties:

BC1700483-0117


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Fresh, Never Frozen By Libby Hopkins

There is an old saying that, “In order to change, we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Many people nowadays feel this way. They are looking for healthier food options so they feel better and get in shape. “People are moving towards healthy because they are sick of being sick,” said Felicia Lacalle, owner of HealthE Gourmet. “What ‘America’ has created, as far as processed foods and genetically modifying food, is causing our bodies great damage. People are becoming aware and more conscious of what they are putting in their temples, as I call it.” Lacalle is a mother of three boys and a Tampa native. Ever since she was a little girl, the kitchen has been her passion. “My mother was a single mother and worked grave yard shifts at the post office,” Lacalle said. “She would come home, crash on the couch and have me watch the only thing that kept me quite so she could nap a little, Julia Childs on PBS.” She was in awe every time she saw her and heard her voice. “I wanted to be a famous chef on T.V. like her is what I used to say,” she said. This is when her passion for cooking began. As she grew a little older, her mother would have her do small tasks in the kitchen. “When I turned 12 years old I started cooking full Spanish meals,” Lacalle said. “My plan was to go to medical school and become a doctor because I love kids, too, but at the last minute, I changed my mind and got accepted to Johnson and Wales in Miami. I graduating Magna Cum Laude and came back home to Tampa and started my career.”

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After Graduating, Lacalle worked at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion for 10 years, as pastry chef and sous chef. “I left the company to pursue a little more well-rounded knowledge of the kitchen

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and the different doors that could possibly open, opened,” Lacalle said. “I became the executive chef at Samba Room in South Tampa, and received amazing rewards from it for the delicious food we had. Everything from the keys to the city to front page on the TBT, I was getting great reviews.” Lacalle’s amazing culinary journey did have a few bumps in the road, but they ended up being a blessing. “I was once married, unhappy and very overweight,” Lacalle said. “When I got divorced I hit rock bottom, and had to move in to my mom’s house with my children, and was left with nothing but my skills.” She had to go back to work at Roy’s. When this happened but her old co-workers received her with open and loving arms. It was during this time that she realized she wanted something more. “I started cooking at home for myself and posting the meals on Instagram, and one day a friend suggested I make meals for him,” Lacalle said. “So I did. I was producing 200 meals out of the house, and couldn't fit anymore, so I decided to take a large leap of faith with only $3,000 left in my IRA and I prayed to God that this would work. I'm very blessed to say we are going into our second year.” HealthE Gourmet was born. HeathE Gourmet’s motto is “Fresh, Never Frozen,” and Lacalle stays true to that motto. “We have an amazing team of chefs, my co-workers from Roy’s,” Lacalle said. “Our food is made from scratch. We don't use anything processed, or anything GMO. We change our 10 meals weekly and deliver three times a week to ensure we get the freshest and most nutritious product to our clients. We don't overcook anything, to ensure that they are as nutrient dense as possible.” WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


HeathE Gourmet’s food is a culinary journey. They get their clients excited about eating healthy. “We take gourmet meals and twist them into healthy alternatives,” Lacalle said. “We also have a line that is custom to our clients who want to reach their personal goals of lean muscle mass or weight loss. I currently do the shopping wherever I can get good prices. I am currently working with someone to get local vendors involved as well.”

can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HealthE-Gourmet or email Lacalle at Healthegourmet@gmail. com. HealthE Gourmet’s new website will be up and running by the end of February of this year.

Lacalle feels people want healthier food options and HealthE Gourmet has what they want. “We offer the convenience of cooking the food and delivering it because as time progresses, so does the demand to work, and no one has time anymore to cook, and they find themselves eating junk,” Lacalle said. If you would like to learn more about HealthE Gourmet, you

PARTS & EQUIPMENT IN STOCK AT KENNCO YEAR ROUND!!!! You know what works... and we’ve listened to you. Kennco’s new line of Strawberry Equipment is compatible with your current equipment and proven to form rounded beds on 48” row centers, lay tight plastic and drip, resulting in the best berries.

KENNCO MANUFACTURING, INC. P.O. Box 1158 | Ruskin, FL 33575 800-645-2591 | Fax 813-645-7801 Sales@KenncoMfg.com | www.KenncoMfg.com Hear about specials and deliveries in your area.

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JOIN!

FRESH FROM

FLORIDA “Fresh From Florida” is a program administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is designed to connect distributors and retail buyers with Florida growers to increase sales of Florida products.

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Visit FreshFromFlorida.com/Join or call 850-617-7399

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2017 Florida Strawberry Festival®

Livestock Schedule

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Event Date Time Location Mosaic Poultry & Rabbit Shows

March 2 – March 12

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Swindle Family Pavilion

Mosaic Youth Swine Show

March 2

7:00 p.m.

Youth Plant Show

March 2 – March 5

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Swindle Family Pavilion

Mosaic Youth Swine Sale

March 3

7:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Dairy Contestant Judging Contest

March 3

1:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Dairy Show Showmanship

March 4

11:00 a.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Dairy Show

March 4

1:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

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Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

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Adult Dairy Showmanship

March 5

11:00 a.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Pee Wee Dairy Showmanship March 5

11:30 a.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Dairy Costume Ball

March 5

12:30 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Youth Ornamental Plant Sale March 5

2:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Lamb Showmanship & Show March 6

5:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Lamb Jumping Contest

March 7

3:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Lamb Costume Contest

March 7

7:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Mosaic Youth Steer Show

March 8

6:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Mosaic Youth Steer Showmanship March 9 7:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Beef Breed Showmanship

March 10

6:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Livestock Judging Contest

March 11

10:00 a.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Mosaic Youth Steer Sale

March 11

7:00 p.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

Youth Beef Breed Show

March 12

11:00 a.m.

Patterson Co. Livestock Arena

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THE 82nd FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

“We’re Playing Your Song!”

By Jim Frankowiak

It’s Florida Strawberry Festival time once again! From March 2nd through the 12th, this community-wide event will again be celebrating the strawberry harvest of eastern Hillsborough County, and its agricultural roots, for attendees from the area, country and beyond.

The theme for this year’s Festival is “We’re Playing Your Song!” While highlighting the broad entertainment menu of the Festival, “It points to our focus of providing what our visitors like,” said Festival General Manager, Paul Davis. And that’s something that has been taking place annually since the very first Festival in 1930. There was a six-year hiatus during and immediately following Wald War II, but it was reactivated in 1948 and has been an annual celebration with, and for, the community ever since. Each year the Festival attracts a half-million visitors from throughout Florida and the world, each enjoying exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts, horticulture and crafts. The fabric of American life is woven into the Festival through social events, contests, youth development programs, top-name entertainment with an expanding genre and parades, featuring floats and marching bands.

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The Festival represents a time in American history when fairs and festivals brought communities together through celebrations of harvests. “It has continued to grow in popularity year

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after year through the preservation of this heritage,” said Davis. “Central to its focus, the Festival continues to preserve and enhance the agricultural and history legacy of the Florida strawberry.” It has become one of the best festivals in the nation, consistently ranking among the “Top 40 Fairs” in North America. The Florida Strawberry Festival has maintained the same internal structure since its founding, a community-oriented organization, governed by a board of directors from the community that annually devotes many hours to establishing policies and direction for the event. “The Festival has never been subsidized by taxpayers,” noted Davis. The Festival Board, which is currently headed by Dan Walden, consists of 16 members, 14 associate members and the ongoing engagement and support of a number of emeritus board members, “sharing their wisdom, institutional knowledge, experience and love of our community,” said Davis. “And they all do this for no pay or any other type of benefit other than their individual love for this community.”

Community engagement and support of the Festival is a sometimes unknown, but critical factor to its longevity. “Simply put, there would be no Florida Strawberry Festival without the ongoing support of our volunteers,” noted Davis. “And that goes well beyond our board, as we are blessed with on average more than 2,700 volunteers every year and each of those WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


shares in the dedication, passion and drive.” Davis takes particular joy in walking through the barns where area youth compete in various events, something he has been doing for more than 40 years, initially as a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy, until he retired as a major nine years ago and has been Festival GM since his retirement. “I love the family atmosphere that is manifest in the Ag barns,” he said. “Young people, many of whom are carrying forward traditions with the support of their families, are benefitting from so many life lessons through their involvement.” Those youngsters benefit in many, different ways, according to Davis. “Yes, there is the commitment, hard work and responsibility they reflect through participation in competitions, but I know, for some, the money they have either won or received through sales has enabled them to attend college. “I recall Plant City Mayor Rick Lott telling me his Festival win was a life-changing experience for him. That recognition enhanced his self- esteem and helped him grow as a person. He has never forgotten and continues to volunteer as his way of paying back.” “When you think about this, our community benefits from the investments those families have made in their children,” he said. The scope of that involvement is impressive. At the 2016 Festival, nearly 700 area youth participated in seven different competitions: Poultry and Rabbits Exhibits; Swine Show and Sale; Dairy Showmanship; Youth Plant Sale; Lamb Showmanship; Steer Show, Showmanship Contest and Sale and Beef Breed Showmanship and Show. The largest group was involved in the Youth Plant Sale with 163 exhibitors, followed by 110 exhibitors in Beef Breed Showmanship and Show.” “Each of those exhibit categories had the ongoing support of volunteers,” said Davis. “Nearly 110 volunteers helped these youngsters, not just at the Festival, but throughout the year, as they grew their plants, cared for their animals and trained them for their individual competitions. These are producers, past competitors, parents and many of the area’s Ag teachers. Show sales and competitions result in substantial financial rewards. “Every two years, we write checks to competitors that total $1.5 million and that includes 12-18 scholarships, too,” said Davis. “This money comes from local businesses that recognize the benefit of this type of involvement by our youth. Often, those purchases go on to benefit the community as those items are donated to help the less fortunate.” continues on Pg. 86 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Double Quiver Ranch By Ginny Mink

This month’s Meet the Minks, if I am being honest, was more for me than the kids. Sure, I wanted them to see what it looks like to live and work on a “micro-farm,” but I also wanted to spend a little time with my new friend, Robin. She and her husband, Dalin, own Double Quiver Ranch (and if you’d like to know the basis of the name, read Psalm 127:4-5). Double Quiver Ranch is a micro-farm we had the pleasure of visiting recently. Robin offered to make us breakfast, and thinking that my kids wouldn’t be able to pass up pancakes and bacon, I accepted. However, Robin is pretty health-conscious. So, when she presented the four of us with whole wheat pancakes (which included some flour she had ground herself) and nitrate free bacon, my family was far too reluctant. Her kids weren’t that enthusiastic either, so don’t judge. And by the way, she has eight (although one is away at college and another was off taking college courses). I guess that means having my three there was only like having one extra. We have another friend who has six kids and she constantly tells me that that once you have that many, extra kids are not a problem. I’m glad she takes that stand since Zeke and J spend a couple days a week with her and her family. But, I digress.

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We went out to the barn after that most interesting breakfast. Hazel and Zeke did at least try the pancakes and I ate two pieces of bacon. J chickened out of everything. Anyway, we

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walked out to the barn where the kids were introduced to the Ranch’s newest baby goat. He’s a boy and took a fancy to nibbling on my jeans. It was kind of weird. Zeke and Hazel walked into the barn to see where the chickens laid their eggs and Zeke was able to actually get one out of a nesting box. Hazel carried some that one of Robin’s daughters, River, gathered for her. Then when River tried to get Hazel to feed the chickens, Hazel freaked out. A whole bunch of chickens surrounding her was a little more than she could endure. Zeke, in the meantime, had discovered a defunct four-wheeler and he and Spring (another of Robin’s daughters) were busy playing on it. When he came out, Robin picked up the baby goat for Zeke and Hazel to pet. Zeke didn’t have any problem, but Hazel wasn’t the slightest bit interested. This is an intriguing change of positions, especially if you’ve been following this story for a while. Zeke used to be the total wig-out boy when it came to animals, now he’s completely willing to get up close and personal. The kids got to see the ducks and the big Billy goat, Cairo. Apparently, he has to prove his manliness whenever one of Robin’s boys gets in the “ring” with him. Bryce, Robin’s third child, got in there and entertained us with the antics that Cairo pulled. He reared up on his back two legs attempting to make himself taller than Bryce. He ran up the “playground” to get a loftier position. King of the hill is definitely a goat game WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Sadly, it didn’t take too long for the kids to get tired of chickens and goats. That’s when Robin offered to take us to the back of the property where the hay and the pond are. Oh, and there’s also a trampoline, but we won’t admit that the kids said that was their favorite part of the visit. Instead, we will say that Zeke got to hide in the hay with some of Robin’s younger kids, Robinson and Brody. We walked around the pond and talked about how to clean it out and what she would like to put in it. The kids explored and then the “micro-farm” visit came to an end and the children went off to play. That’s when I had the joy of sitting with my new friend and chatting about life. They were a city family desperately desirous of getting back to living like the good Lord intended. So when the opportunity eventually presented itself, they stepped out of “city life” and bought acreage in Plant City. Robin intends to plant a garden and an orchard. She hopes one day to add cows to the farm as well. They have been through the ringer, she’s a breast cancer survivor, and she’s a woman full of faith in God and His ability to provide even when it seems like it’s at the last possible moment. She taught me some things about being thankful even when things appear completely hopeless. And, she gave me much needed advice. So, even if the kids didn’t garner all the future farming hopes I had desired for them, this Meet the Minks was a much needed one. Like I said, if I’m being honest, this one was for me. Thankfully, as we drove away, the kids were telling me how much fun they had and begging me to take them back there tomorrow. Good thing Robin said we’re always welcome. We might have to take her up on that invitation.

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A Closer Look A Closer Look

by Sean Green

The Recluse Spider (Loxosceles) Spiders are a terrifying insect for many people in the United States. Ironically, at any given moment, we are surrounded by far more spiders than we are aware of, sometimes hundreds. I enjoy demonstrating this fact when I assist park rangers in leading night hikes. It’s not only in the wilderness that we are surrounded by spiders, there are indeed some spider species that have adapted specifically to urban environments. The good news is that there are very few spiders that present any real danger of death by envenomation to humans or pets. Although all spiders are venomous, their venom is an adaptation used to subdue and digest its prey, which is typically insects. We are simply not on the menu. This, however, does not reduce our cultural fear of spiders. There is one spider in particular that often insights legendary tales of horrifying necrotic wounds. With any discussion of spider bites, invariably the recluse spider will be mentioned as the bandit that nearly killed a family member, friend, or even narrator of the story. Like any legend, truth is at least partially obscured by myth. The recluse spider is a popular villain in stories of Florida spiders. The terror these spiders incite may not be entirely justified. In Florida we have only a handful of medically significant spiders, four of which are members of the Widow family (Latrodectus). Contrary to popular misconception, the recluse spider (Loxosceles) is not common in Florida. In fact, it is a very rare occurrence to find a persistent breeding population of this species in our state. A population of recluse spiders was found in Hillsborough County, Florida in December. A closer look at this recent population will enable entomologists a tremendous opportunity to study the species, it’s distribution, and behavioral characteristics to augment the body of knowledge specific to Florida occurrences of recluse spiders. Historic records of the recluse spider (Loxosceles) in Florida demonstrate a disconnect between exaggerated medical reports of recluse bites and verified records of recluse populations. One such document, dating from 1904, illustrates that Loxosceles have been verified in only 10 of Florida’s 67 counties in a 100 year period. Furthermore, various circulars published by the Department of Agriculture confirm there are eleven species of recluse spiders native to the United States, but none are native to Florida. The most widespread species is the Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), and its natural range excludes Florida with the possible exception of a small portion of the western tip of the panhandle region. For the most part, historic evidence of verified occurrences of Loxosceles have been specimens that were inadvertently transported out of their endemic range in the course of travel or interstate commerce and arrived in cargo boxes, under vehicles, on ships, or in luggage. The abundance of authoritative documentation of this species is consistent in maintaining that persistent populations of recluse do not exist in Florida. I have cultivated awareness of this species, parroting the published research with every discussion that lead to a learning opportunity and through various education and natural history programs that I have been involved with. Last month began a very exciting opportunity to take a closer look at Loxosceles, and work with two of Florida’s leading authorities to confirm and study what appears to be a persistent and established population of recluse in Hillsborough County. In December, I was contacted by an associate of mine that found a population of spiders that he suspected were Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa). Based on existing published documentation, I assured him that they were probably not recluse spiders and more likely a male Southern house spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) but I agreed to visit and take a look at his spiders. Upon examination I was forced to reconsider my certainty that persistent recluse populations do not exist in Florida. These spiders had all the characteristics of a recluse; solid cream color, characteristic violin pattern on the thorax, six eyes in three groups of two,

I am only an amateur entomologist; for a find this significant, I wanted confirmation from a professional, so I contacted the local Extension Office for Hillsborough County, hoping to bring the live specimens to a staff entomologist, but was told there was no staff entomologist at the local office and was encouraged to contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I contacted Dr. Leroy Whilby, Bureau Chief - Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, and was ultimately introduced to Dr.GB Edwards, and Dr. Ian Stocks to look at the specimens we collected. I could not have asked for better authorities to confirm our suspicions. Dr. Ian Stocks is the divisions current spider identifier for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Dr.GB Edwards is a 31 year veteran of arachnology and Curator of Arachhnida and Myriapoda for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Dr. Stocks and I made arrangements to meet in Gainesville with the live specimens. Upon initial inspection, Dr. Stocks could hardly contain his excitement, agreeing that the spiders definitely appeared to be recluse. We shared a few stories about our shared passion for spiders and Dr Stocks expressed his excitement in seeing live specimens. Dr. Stocks explained that live specimens provide more opportunity for study than specimens preserved in alcohol, and that a DNA assessment may be possible if more specimens from this population could be captured. Dr Stocks emphasized the importance of documenting persistent populations and offered me the opportunity to co-author further documentation of the population. Dr.GB Edwards contacted me soon after examining the specimens and reported that he was 95% sure the spiders are the Mediterranean recluse (Loxosceles reufescens ). The male specimen was one instar away from being mature enough for a 100% positive identification, but will rear the spiders for further study. According to Dr Edwards, this species of recluse is the one most often found in Florida, typically brought in through commerce, into warehouses, and shipped into other places such as stores, laboratories, or factories. Fortunately, this species does not disperse well and populations are often limited to the building in which they were introduced. The important thing to consider with any discovery of recluse populations in Florida is, as a species, they simply do not do well in Florida’s tropical climate and are virtually nonexistent in the wild. Loxosceles have become a cosmopolitan species in Florida and when found, are typically restricted to the building where they were introduced. Caution should be exercised when receiving and storing any product received from states with endemic populations. Though they have a bad reputation, they are actually less aggressive than most spiders, and only bite when accidently trapped against the skin. Their very reclusive nature lends them the name “recluse.” The severity of the recluse spider bite is largely exaggerated by the media and could be a story in and of itself. More often than not, the horrific photos of recluse spider bites are misdiagnosis and necrotic wounds caused by a number of more likely sources. Fortunately, the work of professionals such as Dr. Ian Stocks and Dr.GB Edwards provide a closer look at these spiders and with more research and understanding, we may find we have less to fear than we thought.

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no tibial spines. Against every fiber in my body, I had to admit, these spiders definitely appeared to be recluse spiders. This was a great find because we had a large female that appeared gravid (pregnant) and a nearly mature male. I looked at the location they were found in and collected first instar spiderlings as well, evidence that suggests a thriving and persistent population, rather than a few spiders that hitched a ride.


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FSGA tailgate brings more fun to field day By Justin Kline

The Florida Strawberry Growers Association decided to try something new for last month’s Field Day. At the Jan. 18 event, held in conjunction with the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, the FSGA kicked things off with a tailgate party in the morning. “This was an informal, casual get-together,” Director of Member Services Tiffany Dale said. Over 150 growers, nursery members, FSGA associate members and more were invited, and associate members were asked to bring food to be served. Tailgaters munched on pulled pork, grilled shrimp, sliders, fries, fish, chicken wings and more. The field day, and the nursery dinner the FSGA hosted afterward, gave growers, nurseries and chemical companies the chance to network and discuss current research being done to combat diseases and pests, among other things. “Sometimes, some of the challenges growers deal with could come from the nursery level,” Dale said. As productive as the events were, it was mainly an opportunity for food, fun and fellowship.

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“It was a good opportunity for us to see our members,” Dale said.

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continued from Pg. 71

An additional benefit of many of the Ag-related programs at the Festival is agricultural education. “There was a time when this part of Hillsborough County had countless small farms,” said Davis. “That has changed and led to larger operations. Also, many urban residents have little knowledge of where the food they eat comes from.” “We have a cow-milking display at every Festival, and I have often been asked by children from the city, “where does chocolate milk come from?’ after viewing our display. That’s just one of a number of exhibits that help enhance agricultural education, something that’s very important to the industry as it faces countless challenges while working to feed the community, our country and the world.”

• Cab Calloway Orchestra –under the direction of Cab’s grandson, Calloway Brooks, deliver both the authentic sound of a hot jazz orchestra and snazzy stage style making “swing that is king and jive that’s alive!” New Foods for 2017:

The Festival prides itself on blending traditions with new entertainers, foods and events to provide a fresh experience every year. New entertainment this year:

• Deep Fried Strawberry Cheese Burst –a sweet Plant City strawberry injected with smooth cream cheese, deep fried and topped with powdered sugar and strawberry sauce.

• Kazual (pronounced Casual) – a family band of three brothers and a cousin who mix the sounds of R&B, pop and hip hop together to create an experience they call “DooWopHipPop.”

• Governor Burger – a fried beef patty topped with chili, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles.

• ROBOCARS – feature “Yellow Jacket,” a Camaro, and “Big Blue,” a pickup truck, a strolling performance duo that transforms themselves from robots to cars and back again. • Publix Showcase Tent – nightly showcase acts Will Erickson and the Wreckage, Soul Circus Cowboys, “Gospel Night,” featuring First Baptist Church of Plant City Modern Worship Team and Pastor Calvin “Pee Wee” Callins, new entertainers in HOLA Plant City!, NRG, Ben Allen Bank, 33 Years, J. Klein and, Neon Truckers and Jack Michael Band.

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• Tampa Bay Times Race Zone – a family exhibit blending items of interest for the little ones and long-time NASCAR fans, featuring a 2006 M&M’s Ford Fusion NASCAR racing simulator, “Toby,” a replica of “Lightning McQueen” from the hit movie “Cars,” a Sebring Pace Car Corvette, a Dale Earnhardt race car and NASCAR memorabilia.

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• Brisket Burger - a fried one-third-pound brisket patty finished off with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles. • Shortcake Burger – a fried hamburger patty topped with white cheese and the customer’s favorite finishings, sandwiched between two shortcake buns with strawberry topping and strawberry glaze For more information about the 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival, visit: www.flstrawberryfestival.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (#berryfest17)

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Mosaic proudly invests in programs that help our hometowns thrive. By providing essential crop nutrients to farmers, The Mosaic Company helps the world grow the food it needs. Across Florida, we focus on feeding communities, safeguarding wildlife, protecting natural resources and supporting education. We understand that the strength and vibrancy of our local communities are the seeds of our success. Visit mosaicco.com/florida to learn more about Mosaic’s efforts in your area. Let’s keep our communities growing, together. ®

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Kent Humphrey: An Example of Successful Career Planning with Wide Application “Listen to as Many Voices as you can” By Jim Frankowiak

When Kent Humphrey was a student at Plant City High School he was certain he wanted to go to college, but as for career plans, he just wasn’t sure. “I was thinking about majoring in political science or business administration,” said Humphrey. The youngest of Byron and Stephanie Humphrey’s three sons, Kent was born and raised in Plant City. “We’ve got agriculture all around us, but I never really thought about a career in agriculture.” His dad is a Hillsborough County Sheriff Officer and his mother is a professional photographer whose work often graces the pages of In the Field Magazine. Kent had the good fortune of connecting with two mentors, one happens to be a member of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame and the other is his father-in-law to be. Dr. Charles F. “Chip” Hinton is the former, while Glenn Harrell, owner of Butler Tree Farms, is the latter. Dr. Hinton is well-recognized for his strong leadership on numerous committees and councils for all segments of agriculture, including research, labor, environment and outreach. Among his other accomplishments, Dr. Hinton worked with county officials and strawberry and tomato growers and the nursery industry to establish the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm. Over the years he has been a mentor to countless youth in 4-H and FFA, and with the students he recruits annually for the University of Florida. Through his commitment to the future of agriculture in Florida, he worked with Dr. Gene Trotter at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science to bring to reality his vision of an institute to foster young agricultural leaders. As a result, the Wedgworth Leadership Institute was established. He has also been a highly effective consultant to the Florida Association of Food Banks, forming a partnership between the association and Florida fruit and vegetable growers to provide fresh produce to the hungry in our state and the nation. “Dr. Hinton took me to Gainesville and the University of Florida to meet with professors and deans within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (UF/CALS),” said Kent. “That trip was an eye opening experience for me that demonstrated the many, varied opportunities within agriculture.”

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“Jemy (Mrs. Hinton) and I have been avid recruiters for UF/ CALS for almost 45 years,” said Dr. Hinton. “We have found a number of outstanding students that were unaware of the diverse majors and outstanding employment opportunities available through Ag degrees. Kent is certainly an outstand-

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ing example of a success story. He is a fine young man with a great future ahead of him.” Kent went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Food and Resource Economics specializing in Marketing and Management and a Master of Science in Agribusiness, both from the UF. He is currently a Grain Originator with Smithfield Grain, which is part of the Hog Production Division of Smithfield Foods, a $14 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor producer. He is responsible for buying local grain used for pig feed; managing grain supply at the feed mill, analyzing local basis and futures markets and managing new and previous farmer relationships. Kent is based at the Smithfield Grain office in Rose Hill, North Carolina. He was introduced to Smithfield Grain in the summer of 2016 as a student intern where he was responsible for analyzing cash grain and futures markets, assisting with daily duties at feed mills, and scouting the local corn crop to forecast and predict the upcoming harvest. His future wife, Kelsey Fry, is the daughter of Glenn and Kendra Harrell. Kelsey is completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, majoring in Agricultural Education and Communication with a specialization in Communication and Leadership Development. The 2013 Florida Strawberry Festival queen, Kelsey is also a news writer for AgNet Media, Inc., where she develops radio, print and web content for diverse agricultural industry clients. Kent and Kelsey are planning a June wedding. While members of the agriculture industry are well known and highly regarded for helping one another and the communities where they live, as well as serving as mentors to future industry members, Kent suggests young men and women planning their futures “listen to as many voices as you can whether it has to do with agriculture or another industry.” “I also encourage them to seek out mentors like Glenn Harrell and Dr. Hinton, people who have been through the process and help provide guidance to both careers and courses of study to help you get there,” Kent said. “Make sure you explore opportunities in all fields and never think you have all of the answers.” “I am so fortunate to have mentors that I can contact most anytime. I know there are many prospective mentors out there; you just have to ask them for their help. Chances are each of them was helped by a mentor and they are happy paying it back.” WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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EFFECTIVE PEST CONTROL

STARTS WITH PAL ADIN® Start the strawberry season with Paladin ® soil fumigant for broad-spectrum control of weeds, nematodes, and soil-borne diseases. Since 2012, growers in Hillsborough County have relied on Paladin® fumigant to effectively control sting nematodes, purple and yellow nutsedge, and charcoal rot. And Paladin® has proven cost-effective while delivering high yields.

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Paladin® soil fumigant is a restricted-use pesticide. Always refer to and follow the federal label requirements for crops, specific use rates and application directions.


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February 2017

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In The Field magazine Hillsborough edition