Page 1

August 2011

Judge Don T. Hall

Covering What’s Growing

HARDEE • HIGHLANDS • DESOTO • GLADES CHARLOTTE • OKEECHOBEE • HENDRY August 2011 www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 1


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August 2011

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 3


From the Managing Editor

Sarah Holt

August VOL. 3 • ISSUE 11

August 2011

Until Next Month, The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Sarah Holt

Publisher

Rhonda Glisson Karen Berry

Judge Don T. Hall

Covering What’s Growing

HARDEE • HIGHLANDS • DESOTO • GLADES CHARLOTTE • OKEECHOBEE • HENDRY August 2011

www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

1

Judge Don T. Hall

cover photo by Kathy Gregg

Pg. 32

6 Farm Bureau President’s Letter 8 Advertisers Index 14 Mark King’s Fishing Report 16 Young Rancher Cole Brewer 24 Jay Houston’s Hunting Update 28 Rocking Chair Chatter 36 Woman in Agriculture Holly Shackelford

Senior Managing Editor

44 Florida Farming Ron Lambert

Sarah Holt

Assistant Editor

Morgan Taylor Norris

Operations Manager Lizzette Sarria

Office Manager Bob Hughens

Sales Manager

Danny Crampton

Sales

Karen Berry Morgan Taylor Norris Chass Bronson Ron Brown Tina Richmond

Creative Director Amey Celoria

Staff Writers

46-53 Food Section 59 Events Calendar

Contributing Writers

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 their 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.

August 2011

Senior Managing Editor

Al Berry James Frankowiak Robbi Sumner Tanner Huysman Justin Smith

In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and other local venues within Hardee, Highlands, Charlotte, DeSoto, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of the Farm Bureau and those with ag classification on their land. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to Heartland in the Field, P.O. Box 3183, Plant City, Florida 33563 or you are welcome to email them to rhonda@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-708-3661.

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

Tel: 813-708-3661 Heartland: 813-750-1683 Office: 813-759-6909 Fax: 813-754-4690

Cover Story

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has joined forces with the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and Miami-Dade County to institute the “Don’t Pack a Pest” campaign. Why is this important to us? Florida is ripe for a multitude of invasive species and the multiple ports of call, both air and marine, throughout the state, raise a high risk for the introduction of pests and disease. According to a press release from the Florida Department of Agriculture, “At least one pest or disease is introduced into Florida every month, including pests that are new to Florida, new to the continent or new to the hemisphere.” That is a staggering statistic! The nature of the agriculture industry leaves us susceptible to pests that can have a crippling affect on both crops and livestock. “Pests and diseases can be devastating to Florida agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “Keeping them from entering our borders is the most effective way to avoid infestation.” The list of invasive species is extensive. The “Don’t Pack a Pest” campaign is an important step in minimizing the impact of nonnative species not only on Florida’s agriculture, but also on the native fish, wildlife and marine life. For additional information on the “Don’t Pack a Pest” campaign, visit www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/travelers. On another note, it’s almost back to school time! On school days, and every day, have Fresh From Florida breakfast. Remember, it’s the most important meal of the day.

4

Heartland’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

Ron Lambert Brenda Valentine Jay Houston Lindsey Wiggins

Photography Jim Davis Karen Berry

www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 5


HARDEE COUNTY FARM BUREAU 1017 US HWY. 17 N., WAUCHULA, FL 33873 (863) 773-3117 What will Florida do with E-Verify? What is E-Verify? U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce. “U.S. Immigration web-site” The aim of the bill is to open up lowpaying jobs, mostly in the fast food and other service industries, which employ a large number of undocumented immigrants. However, agriculture will suffer consequences as hundreds of thousands of potential workers may no longer be available. Arizona started to enforce the immigration laws with SB 1070, which has drawn national attention as the toughest immigration law in the United States, then Utah followed with SB 81. This past year we watched Georgia pass an even stricter immigration law with HB 87, followed by Alabama (“Alabama set a new national standard for get-tough immigration policy with Gov. Robert J. Bentley’s signing of a law that surpasses Arizona’s SB 1070, with provisions affecting law enforcement, transportation, apartment rentals, employment and education.”) and most recently South Carolina with H 4919. And now there is a bill in the U.S. House: HR 2164. The Legal Workforce Act, was introduced in the House by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill quite simply makes the use of E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S. The bill also strongly enforces identity theft and imposes prison terms for workers caught using stolen identities, which most illegal aliens do to gain employment. Under HR 2164, employers will be given the tools to ensure their workforce is legal, but they will face large fines and prison time if they are caught hiring illegal aliens. The new E-Verify bill in the House of Representatives is being touted by supporters as the bill to end illegal immigration in the United States after decades of uncontrolled mass illegal migration from Mexico. Roy Beck, CEO of Numbers USA, believes this is the bill Americans have been waiting 20 years for. He says this bill will turn off the employment magnet in all 50 states, most illegal workers will stop coming, and millions of illegals here now will begin to return to their home countries.

Beck and his team believe with strong public support, this bill will be passed this Fall by both houses of Congress and signed by President Obama. With 25 million Americans looking for work and over 8 million illegal aliens working in American jobs, it’s a “no brainer” bill to put Americans back to work during this economic depression. Now!!!! Let’s look at the other side. Where is the labor going to come from to harvest our crops???? Here are a few examples that show the un-employed will not take these jobs. In California: Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers made this statement: “Last year Rodriguez’s group started the “Take Our Jobs” campaign to entice American workers to take the fields. He said of about 86,000 inquiries the group got about the offer, only 11 workers took jobs.” In Georgia, a farmer called the Governor after he signed their law into effect and offered $100,000 a day for people on unemployment to come work in his fields, but they had to keep up with his seasonal workers and harvest the same amount - He had no takers!!!!! Georgia also tried to place people that had community service time in the fields and they walked out after an hour or two with very little harvested. Yes, there needs to be laws about immigration, but when Florida doesn’t have the labor, Florida Agriculture will be a business of the past and when the U.S. has to import their food supply - this great county will not have power. The United States grows the safest food and the highest quality food in the world, but if we can’t get it harvested - why do we want to grow it - think about it. I strongly urge you to stay involved in what is going on in Washington and Tallahassee if you want to survive!! I believe in our industry of Agriculture, because that is why I work in it, but I also have to be a realist and watch what is happening in these other states that are passing these strict immigration laws. The labor is leaving and the crops are rotting in the fields..... May God Bless and be with you,

David

Phil 4:13 Hardee County Farm Bureau President David Royal

HARDEE COUNTY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

CHARLOTTE/DESOTO COUNTY FARM BUREAU

HIGHLANDS COUNTY FARM BUREAU

1017 US Highway 17 N Wauchula, FL 33873

1278 SE US Highway 31 Arcadia, FL 34266

6419 US Highway 27 S. Sebring, FL 33876

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863.494.3636

Phone: 863. 773.3117

Charlotte Line: 941.624.3981 Fax: 863.494.4332

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863. 385.5141 Fax: 863.385.5356 Web site:

Fax: 863.773.2369

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President............... David B. Royal Vice President ..... Greg L. Shackelford Sec./Treasurer ..... Bo Rich

DIRECTORS FOR 2010-2011 Joseph B. Cherry • John Platt Corey Lambert • Daniel H. Smith Steve A. Johnson • Bill Hodge David B. Royal • Greg L. Shackelford Bo Rich Susan Chapman County Secretary

FARM BUREAU INSURANCE SPECIAL AGENTS Agency Manager N. Jay Bryan Agent George L. Wadsworth, Jr.

David B. Royal, President; Greg Shackelford, Vice President; Bo Rich, Secretary/Treasurer; Joseph Cherry, John Platt, Corey Lambert, Daniel Smith, Steve Johnson, Bill Hodge. 6

HARDEE COUNTY FARM BUREAU

www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

1017 US Hwy 17 N. Wauchula, FL 33873 (863) 773-3117 www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President............... Jim Selph Vice President ..... Jeffrey Adams Sec./Treasurer ..... Bryan K. Beswick

DIRECTORS FOR 2010-2011 Jim Brewer • John Burtscher Mike Carter • Steve Fussell Lindsay Harrington Richard E. Harvin • Ann H. Ryals Mac Turner • Matt Harrison Ken Harrison County Secretary Katherine Renfro

FARM BUREAU INSURANCE SPECIAL AGENTS Agency Manager Cameron N. Jolly Agents Dawn A. Hines 1278 SE US Highway 31 Arcadia, FL 34266 (863) 494-3636 August 2011

www.highlandsfarmbureau.com

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President..............................Marty Wohl Vice President ................ Scott Kirouac Secretary ......................... Drew Phypers Treasurer ............................. Doug Miller

DIRECTORS FOR 2010-2011 Sam Bronson • Steve Farr Carey Howerton • Charles Lanfier Mike Milicevic • Lindsey Sebring Mike Waldron • Jim Wood Jeff Williams • Frank Youngman County Secretary Janet Menges

FARM BUREAU INSURANCE SPECIAL AGENTS Agency Manager Chad D. McWaters Agents Joseph W. Bullington 6419 US Highway 27 S. Sebring, FL 33876 (863) 385-5141 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 7


Index of

Advertisers

All-Around Septic .............................. 60 Arcadia Stockyard .............................. 19 Big T Tire .......................................... 28 Blinds ASAP ...................................... 22 Callaway Farms .................................... 2 Camper Corral .................................. 60 Cattlemens Livestock Market ............. 21 Central States Enterprises ................... 11 CF Industries ....................................... 9 Christine Montoyne, DeSoto Automall .. 60 Cowboys Steakhouse & Saloon........... 18 Cowpoke’s Watering Hole .................. 64 DeSoto Automall ............................... 63 DeSoto Machine Shop ........................ 49 DeSoto/Charlotte Farm Bureau ............ 7 Dixie Pride Seasoning ......................... 60 Edgewood Landscape ......................... 60 Eli’s Western Wear ............................. 21 Fields Equipment ............................... 15 Florida Fence Post .............................. 39 Fly-N-Hi Enterprises .......................... 49 Glade & Grove Supply ....................... 47 Glisson’s Animal Supply ..................... 61

Goin’ Postal ....................................... 60 Griffin’s Carpet Mart ......................... 37 Hardee County Farm Bureau ................ 7 Heartland Gold ................................. 30 Heartland Periodontics, Dr. Kirsch ..... 61 Helena Chemical ............................... 31 Hicks Oil ........................................... 41 Highlands Farm Bureau ....................... 7 Jay Houston ...................................... 17 Jim Webb, Merrill Lynch .................... 52 KeyPlex Nutritional ............................. 5 Laye’s Tire ......................................... 35 Miller’s Central Air ............................ 40 Mosiac .............................................. 19 Nick Smith, Langford Ford ................. 61 Okeechobee Dodge .............................. 3 Peace River Citrus .............................. 53 Platinum Bank ................................... 49 Precision Citrus & Pump Services ....... 23 Prestige Home Center ........................ 22 Quail Creek Plantation ...................... 49 River Pasture/Metal Art ..................... 45 Roadrunner Vet .................................. 17

Robbins Nursery ................................ 34 Sebring Thunder ................................ 13 Sherco Surveying Services ................... 52 Southern Excavation .......................... 49 Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters ............. 61 Sunshine Family Denistry ................... 61 Superior Muffler ................................ 61 Taylor Oil .......................................... 15 The Andersons ................................... 52 The Timbers at Chama ...................... 25 The Trailer Exchange ......................... 55 Tree T Pee .......................................... 47 Triangle Hardware ............................. 61 Trinkle, Redman, Swanson, Cotón, Davis & Smith, P.A. ........................... 31 Wauchula State Bank ......................... 37 Werts Welding ................................... 27 Wicks, Brown, CPA ............................ 53 Wild Turkey Tavern ............................ 61 Winfield Solutions .........................23, 27 Wish Farms ........................................ 29

Phosphate Operations “Helping Farmers Feed a Hungry World”

Please join CF Industries in supporting  these community events: 

 

Friday Night Live! Back to School Tailgate Party  Friday, August 19, 2011 – 5‐9 pm  Main Street Heritage Park – Wauchula   

2011 Back to School in Hardee County 

Phosphate Operations “Helping Farmer

August 12‐14, 2011 ‐ 2011 Back to School

Sales Tax Holiday

August 15, 2011 – First Day of School for Teachers    August 22, 2011 – First Day of School for Students 

Please join CF Industries in August 26, 2011 – Hardee Senior High School  these community ev       VARSITY FOOTBALL KICKOFF CLASSIC   

    Publisher

Rhonda Glisson 813-708-3661 rhonda@inthefieldmagazine.com Karen Berry kdberry@inthefieldmagazine.com

Senior Managing Editor

Sarah Holt sarah@inthefieldmagazine.com

Sales Team

Assistant Editor

Morgan Taylor Norris morgan@inthefieldmagazine.com

Sales Manager

Danny Crampton 813-759-6909 danny@inthefieldmagazine.com

www.I n T he F ieldMagazine. c om

Morgan Taylor Norris morgan@inthefieldmagazine.com Chass Bronson chass@inthefieldmagazine.com Ron Brown ron@inthefieldmagazine.com Tina Richmond tina@inthefieldmagazine.com

P.O. Box 3183, Plant City, FL 33563 Business Office: 813-750-1683 | Fax: 813-754-4690

YOU, TOO, CAN BE A WINNER No Food 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 InTheField® T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the page on which you found the logo and where on that page you located the logo to: No Farmers

InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042 All Entries must be received by August 15, 2011. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! 8

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Hardee Wildcats vs. Lake Placid  Go Wildcats!  

Friday Night Live! Back

24  Annual Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards 

F Main S

2011 Back to School in Hardee County  August 12‐14, 2011 ‐ 2011 Back to School

Sales Tax Holiday August 15, 2011 – First Day of School for Teachers  August 22, 2011 – First Day of School for Students  For their outstanding support of education in Hardee County, CF Industries was recognized at the 2011    Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards.  Nick Katzaras (CF Industries), Jan McKibben, Marie Dasher (both  Hardee County Public Schools), and Richard Ghent (CF Industries) were joined by former Commissioner of  Education, Dr. Eric J. Smith. These awards are for successful alliances within the business community and among  local school districts for the benefit of Florida’s students. 

August 26, 2011 – Hardee Senior High School        VARSITY FOOTBALL KICKOFF CLAS 6209 N. County Road 663  Bowling Green, FL 33834  863-375-4321 www.cfindustries.com www.InTheFieldMagazine.com A 2011 I T F M 9       Hardee Wildcats vs. Lake Placid  ugust

N HE IELD

AGAZINE


Fred Nation, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bugwood.org

Air Potato

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org

Australian Pine

Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org

Skunk Vine

10 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

Florida’s Been Invaded

by Ginny Mink The media has begun to expound upon intensely orange in color; Chinaberry treethe issue of invasive species but many peo- has small lilac-colored flowers and fruit that ple are still unaware of just how significant is poisonous to humans and livestock; Chithese unwanted visitors are when it comes nese tallow tree (Popcorn tree)- produces to the harm they are causing native habitats milky, poisonous sap and its seeds look like and agriculture. This is no small problem popcorn; Cogon grass- has yellow-green with billions of dollars spent annually to leaves that are very pointed and hairy at the control the invasion and repair the damages base, it is found in pastures and is highly caused therein. flammable; Guinea grass- has long, narInvasive species can arrive in our bor- row, flat, bright green hairy leaves, it was ders unintentionally via imported goods first introduced as animal fodder; Japanese and as stowaways in the ballast waters of climbing fern and Old World climbing fern large ships. However, others are intention- – these are viney ferns with wiry green or orally delivered to our continent and state, ange stems; Kudzu vine- has brown, woody, most times as “exotic pets,” that people rope-like stems with wide, flattened bean decide they no longer wish to care for and pods and it can kill trees; Lead tree (Jumbie therefore are released. bean)- its mimosa-like leaves grow from a Farmers are not immune to these alien brown trunk with white spots and it proinvaders, some of which duces puffy white flowers; are plants, bugs or fish. Melaleuca (Punk tree)For the sake of this article, has lance shaped leaves the focus will be placed on that smell like camphor the invasive plants deemed when crushed, it can cause to be of the utmost conrespiratory irritation; cern. To list the invasive Mexican petunia, Mexispecies in Florida would can bluebell, Britton’s wild require far too much Kudzu Vine petunia- prominent veins space. Thusly, a short de- James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, on underside of leaves scription of some of the Bugwood.org with white, pink or purple more problematic invaders will be provided flowers, it was introduced as an ornamental here, as well as, some of the methodolo- plant; Rosary Pea (Crab’s eyes)- its fruit is gies utilized to control and hopefully eradi- an oblong pod that has bright red seeds with cate these pests. Together people can assist black bases inside, these seeds are very poiFlorida’s agricultural market in protecting a sonous to humans, cattle and horses; Skunk much-needed resource. vine- its leaves emit a “skunky” odor when “While there are more than 125 ex- crushed; Torpedo grass (Bullet grass)- the otic species identified by the Florida Exotic stems are hairy at the tips and rough to the Pest Plant Council (EPPC) as Category I touch, it is considered a major threat and or II pest plants, the Invasive Species Task can be found in citrus groves; Tropical soda Force of Hillsborough County, Florida, has apple- its small round fruit look like a tiny selected 20 especially troublesome plant watermelon, it has white flowers with five species found in the Tampa Bay region. Lo- petals and its stems and leaves are prickly, cal, state and federal governments, farmers this plant is a big problem for agriculture and ranchers, and other organizations play since it is spread by mowers and other maa role in the control of non-native invasive chinery as well as contaminated hay seed. plants. Ecologically, these plants change the When trying to get rid of these invasive composition of natural plant and animal plants, there are three methods of applying communities. Many animal species that co- herbicides. “The three techniques are foliar, exist and evolve with native plant communi- basal bark and cut-stump. The foliar methties cannot readily adapt to rapid changes od involves the application of the herbicide made to their habitats by nonnative invasive directly to the leaves of the plant, while the species.” (www.tbep.org). basal bark technique treats the bark of the The following are the 20 invasive plant plant at or near ground level. The cut-stump species identified by the Invasive Species method requires the plant to be cut down Task Force of Hillsborough County: Air and the herbicide applied immediately folpotato (Air yam)- a vine with heart shaped lowing and directly to the cut surface of the leaves and aerial tubers; Australian-pine stump.” (www.tbep.org) (Suckering Australian-pine)- looks like a While this is not an exhaustive, all inpine but has branchlets instead of needles; clusive list of invasive plants and the methBrazilian pepper- has toothed leaves that ods of eliminating them, it does provide smell peppery when crushed, it is related some necessary information for farmers and to poison ivy and produces clusters of red lay people about how to identify and deal berries; Carrotwood tree- produces white to with these problematic pests. For further green flowers and fruit with seeds that are information feel free to visit www.tbep.org.

August 2011

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For more information contact Central States Enterprises 800.275.4429 www.censtates.com

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 11


South Florida Water Management District July Agricultural Highlights Report Charles M. Shinn III, Assistant Director, Government & Community Affairs, Florida Farm Bureau

Water Shortage Remains Even as Drought Eases Though starting several weeks late, summer rainfall across South Florida has been sufficient to ease the devastating impacts of the spring drought. Farm fields are responding and cattle are in good condition on growing pastures. Water shortage will continue to be an issue with low surface water levels. Lake Okeechobee recently edged above 10 feet NGVD and though the rising levels are good, the normal stage for this time of year should be around 14.5 feet.

governmental and public interests. With the streamlining of the district at all levels, governing board members see the opportunity to also streamline WRAC by reducing the number of members to around 30. It was emphasized by governing board members that balance is critical to maintain the integrity of WRAC. The advisory body is heavily utilized by the board to work through issues and come to consensus before the issue reaches the board. Governing board member Kevin Powers serves as Chair of WRAC and is heading up the process of reducing the number of members.

Governing Board Approves Proposed Millage Rates for FY2012 Development of the South Florida Water Management District budget process includes board approval of proposed millage rates for the upcoming year. Staff then certifies approved rates with county appraisers to comply with the Truth in Millage statute. During the July meeting, the board approved the following rates for FY12:

Without ample tropical rainfall this summer, South Florida water users will remain in water shortage restrictions into the winter dry season of 2012. Lake Okeechobee must rise into the Beneficial Use Zone with model predictions showing that lake levels will remain in this zone before district managers will consider the removal of water restrictions. A caveat for lake level rise remains in the hands of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their concern about the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike (surrounding the lake) will impact the timing and volume of releases made from the lake during the tropical season. Agricultural interests are urging the Corps to allow the lake to be at 15 feet NGVD on November 1 if enough rainfall is received. This level will allow for adequate releases to be made to agriculture, municipalities and the environment during the typically dry winter and spring.

WRAC Downsizing Expected The Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC) is an advisory body to the SFWMD Governing Board and the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. It is a forum for improving public participation and decision-making about water resource issues in South and Central Florida. Since its inception, the body has slowly grown to 42 members representing business, agricultural, environmental, tribal,

12 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

Millage

FY11 FY12 Millage Adopted Adopted Reduction Millage Rates Millage Rates

District-Wide

0.2549

0.1785

(0.0764)

Okeechobee Basin

0.2797

0.1954

(0.0843)

Everglades Construction

0.0894

0.0624

(0.0270)

Total Okeechobee Basin

0.6240

0.4363

(0.1877)

District-Wide

0.2549

0.1785

(0.0764)

Big Cypress Basin

0.2265

0.1633

(0.0632)

Total Big Cypress Basin

0.4814

0.3418

(0.1396)

Part of the budgeting process is to use current reserve fund balances to offset part of the budget through FY16. The goal of district managers is to maintain a reserve fund of $60 million beyond FY2016. $50 million of the fund will be targeted for emergency operation and maintenance of capital projects while the $10 million leftover is the emergency fund for hurricane repairs. District staff is still in the process of trimming $25.4 million from the current proposed budget for FY12. The budget will be available to review on August 1 and the first tentative Millage & Budget Hearing will be on September 8.

Monthly Reports Available on Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Website This report is also available on Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s website (www.floridafarmbureau.org). Click on ‘Issues and Public Policy’ on the left side of the home page, then click on the ‘Water and Natural Resources’ subheading.

www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 13


The Heartland’S FISHING REPORT

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3440 US HWY 17 SOUTH ZOLFO SPRINGS, FL 33890 (863) 735-1122

by Captain Mark King

As the water level on Lake Okeechobee creeps up slowly the fishing has remained fairly steady for the last month and should be good going into next month. The water level is at 10.20 feet above sea level, a far cry from what it should be but it is a lot better than what it was a month ago. I have been fishing both here on Lake Okeechobee and in the Florida Keys and it hasn’t been hard to catch fish at either location this summer. The bass seem to be sticking closer to deep water if that is what you can call it here on Okeechobee. I have been catching fish in the dynamite holes and out the main Clewiston channel for the past few weeks and the size of the bass have really surprised me for summer time fishing. I have had a good number of bass from five to eight pounds the past month and those are some really nice bass to catch in the summer time heat. I have been fishing a couple of different techniques this summer with one being my favorite and that is a shakey head rig and the other being a Carolina rig. For the Carolina rig I use either a Gambler Ace stick bait or a Gambler Super Stud minnow style bait. The Ace will work best on most days and you only need junebug colored ones to get the job done. My shakey head rig is the same that I have been using for over three years now and it is a Gambler Giggy Head jig in ¼ ounce size with a Sweebo worm in either junebug or black. The only other lure that has been producing for me has been a lipless crankbait in the sexy shad color, and yes the color really does seem to matter. I have also been using a stop and go retrieve and the bass have been hitting it when you stop reeling the bait. Fishing with the wild shiners for bass has been a little slow and I find this to be the case during the hot summer months. I have been trying to get my clients out as early in the morning as possible to get the best bite before the sun gets up high in the sky and the mid afternoon heat slows the bite down. August will be a hot month here on Lake Okeechobee but as we head into September the bass should start heading in toward shallow water like they did last year. We enjoyed an awesome September last year catching a lot of big bass in the shallow water grassy

14 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

TS12 STEALTH

3203 HAVENDALE BLVD WINTER HAVEN, FL 33881 (863) 967-0602 17215 HWY 27 NORTH MINNEOLA, FL 34715 (352) 394-7181

Captain Mark King is a full time guide and tournament angler guiding out of the world famous Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort in Clewiston Florida and in the Florida Keys. Mark is an IGFA Certified Captain, active member of the Florida Guide Association and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. Captain Mark is sponsored by Ranger Boats, Evinrude Outboards, Roland Martin’s Marine Center, U.S. Reel, Deep South Rods, Power-Pole, Minn Kota trolling motors, Gambler Lures, AFTCO clothing, Smartshield Sun Protection Products, RMR Industries, Fuel Medic Ethanol Treatment, and Frigid Rigid coolers. Mark can be contacted to book a guide trip, seminars, personal appearances, test rides in his Evinrude powered Ranger or to fish a tournament with him at 863-677-0983 or at www.markkingfishing.com.

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visit us online at fieldsquipment.com areas. I am also hoping for some really good storms to help fill the lake back up before this winter and it may even take a tropical storm to do this so lets all keep are fingers crossed that we get a lot of rainfall before winter. The bluegill fishing is still pretty good on the lake, try fishing dynamite holes and along the rim canal in clean water areas. A cricket fished under a cork seams to be the best method to catch them. I am booking lobster trips for the months of August and September to do some night time bully netting in the Keys, just give me a call and we can get a trip set up. Until next month good luck, tight lines and hope to see each and every one of you on the water soon. And remember to drink lots of fluids and use plenty of sunscreen as the summers are hot here in South Florida.

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 15


Young Farmers & Ranchers

24 hrs a 7 days a day 365 days week a year

Est. 1969 by Robbi Sumner

Cole Brewer

Cole Brewer was born in Bartow but has lived in Arcadia since he was three years old. Now at 21, Cole is spending this summer as an intern with Johnny Georges at GSI Supply, Inc. Johnny says that he is “happy to act as a mentor to such a fine young man with great potential.” Both men are members of the Pine Level United Methodist Church where during a visit one day, Brewer invited Georges to speak to one of his classes at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, where he is majoring in Citrus. From there, the idea of the internship developed. The agricultural internship involves 400 hours of work in the student’s chosen field. When asked to describe a typical day, Cole explains that one of things he has enjoyed the most is the variety of tasks and information that he has been exposed to. “It all depends on the needs of the farmers. I may be pulling and replacing a pump, running a bush hog, or discussing the benefits of the Tree T Pee.” The Tree T Pee was developed by Johnny Georges in the late 1980s, but its use really began to take hold the past few years, largely due to the public focus on water conservation. Both Cole and Johnny believe in the importance of being good stewards of the land and they strive to work in ways that benefit the industry and the environment. The two have focused on expanding on the academics and putting Cole’s formal education to the test in the field. “It is important to be able to calculate and answer farmers’ questions on the spot,” said Johnny. “Too many people these days rely on their computer to supply all the information.” He regularly quizzes Brewer on things like the number of citrus trees per acre and pump capacity calculations to make him think on his feet. “I feel like I’m getting a well rounded view of the industry, having seen all aspects from planting to marketing,” said Cole. Johnny says that he has really “put Cole to the test” during their time together, and that he has not been disappointed with Cole’s grit and determination. “He has stepped up to the plate with modesty, humility and conviction.”

16 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

DR. LARRY BRITT, DVM

In August, Cole will begin his senior year at Florida Southern, with plans to graduate in 2012. His brother Dylan will join him there as an incoming freshman, and Cole says that he couldn’t be happier – he is very proud of his brother. Their mother, Jan Bellamy Brewer, has been the driving force behind both boys, particularly since the death of their father in 2003. Walt Brewer, an attorney and chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, was killed when two people trying to outrun sheriff’s deputies crashed a stolen Jeep into his sport-utility vehicle and it erupted in flames. “Our mom set a positive example for us by quickly getting a job and having no time for self pity.” Cole is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity at Florida Southern, and is in charge of intramurals and membership development for the group. He also enjoys bow hunting “whatever is in season” although deer are his favorite. “I love being in the woods, especially the peacefulness of being 30 feet up in a tree stand.” The summer internship will culminate at the Citrus Expo held in Fort Myers in August. “I’ve really enjoyed working with Mr. Johnny. He’s helped me make valuable contacts and gain a full understanding of the industry,” says Cole. According to Johnny, “it is an honor and a privilege to work with young people and Cole has done a phenomenal job this summer.” When asked about his future plans, Cole states that he is keeping his options open, but ultimately would rather be farming than be behind a desk. “I love the citrus industry – you have to be self reliant and not count on others to get something done. Citrus is in my blood. Dad was an attorney but his passion was the citrus industry. Every chance he had he was in the groves tending to the trees with me at his side.” Regarding when he would consider himself a success he replied, “Success to me is at the end of the day knowing that my mom and brother are proud of me, and that my dad is looking down on me smiling because I turned out to be the man he wanted me to be.” Stop by the Tree T Pee booth #616 at the Florida Citrus Expo August 17 and 18 to say hello to Cole and Johnny.

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 17


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I am Mosaic. District 6 Update

From the Desk of Andy Neuhofer Those of you who are professional agricultural producers know all too well the hardships of profitably producing a crop. Those difficulties include inclement weather, low prices, high input costs, and laws or regulations that prohibit common sense. Another challenge is people who work in other industries yet have the nerve to negatively comment how terrible production agriculture is to society. Most recently, a “portly” author wrote a book on how bad a nemesis the tomato industry is to our country. These types of attacks on agriculture do not serve any purpose except to let complainers talk badly of others. Other attacks on conventional agriculture happen within the agricultural industry. Organic growers tend to persecute their conventional brethren at times. Those who prescribe solely to the idea of “local” and “sustainable” will talk badly about conventional farmers. Local, Organic, Conventional, Sustainable – what does it matter? We are all in agriculture. Each segment can overlap but they serve their purpose. Locally grown is nice but it cannot be 12 months a year. Organic is fine if you think it is better. Conventional is done to produce mass quantities at cheaper prices for consumers. It is all

18 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

As we mine the phosphate needed to help grow the world’s food, it’s no coincidence that we preserve the water quality of nearby creeks and rivers. As an environmental specialist, I’m part of a team that monitors these bodies of water to ensure that

sustainable with proper management. If you are a buyer at any level, buy what you prefer. However, why should you complain because you do not like the way others produce a product? People in agriculture and the food industry should be working together to work on common solutions to common problems. There are plenty of issues on which we can work together without bashing one another. The last time I checked, this is still the United States of America. You may have the freedom to complain too but it serves no real societal purpose. However, we do have the freedom to produce whatever type of product we wish to produce and the freedom to sell it to those who wish to buy that product. If it is not produced in the United States, it will be produced in a foreign country. Farm Bureau is an umbrella organization. We support agriculture. We do not support one segment, one industry or one method. We support all of agriculture and our mission is to help our members be profitable to supply America and the world!

the water quality is sustained or even enhanced. Mosaic takes great care to meet Florida’s clean water standards. Because stewardship is an integral part of what we do. And I see to it that the job is done right.

®

Andy Neuhofer Field Representative District 6 Andy.neuhofer@ffbf.org 352.318.2506 www.floridafarmbureau.org

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 19


S ’ I EL Back

A Closer Look: Bioluminescence; The Living Light

A Closer Look:

Bioluminescence; The Living Light By Sean Green

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bleeding” to protect itself in the same manner The light shows in the sky earlier this Firefly that comes naturally to Photinus. Like the fire month pale in comparison to the wondrous beetle, the firefly eggs glow as well as the larva light show nature can provide. Certain organ(glowworms). Fireflies can be found in moist isms produce light through chemical reacmarshy environments and near streams, far tions taking place within their bodies known from competing city lights, where they feed on as Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence litersnails, slugs, and earthworms. ally means Living Light, from the Greek bios Glowing Mushrooms may seem like some(living) and the Latin lumen (light).The reacthing you would only find in Pandora, the habittion involves the oxidation (chemical burnable moon on which the Na’vi lived in the 2009 ing) of luciferin, a biological pigment, adfilm Avatar, however, it was our nature world enosine triphosphate (ATP), a cellular energy that served to inspire the films academy award source and luciferase, the enzyme that starts winning visual qualities. Bitter Oyster (Panelthe reaction. Magnesium and manganese are lus stipticus) is one of several species of bioluchemical elements that react with an enzyme minescent fungi that can be found in Florida. called luciferase to create a chemical exploThis species has become more important with sion of cold light. the discovery of its formidable ability to detoxify The Fire Beetle (Pyrophorus) is one of the most impressive bioluminescent click beetles in the world. environmental pollutants. It grows in clusters on logs and stumps Known as the brightest bioluminescent insect in the world Py- of deciduous trees such as Oak, and Birch and glows from the rophorus has two glowing “headlights” that are said to be bright underlying gills of the mushroom. Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms enough to read a book by and a taillight underneath that glows (Omphalotus illudens) are large orange mushrooms with yellow when it flies. Its lights do not flash like a firefly, but can be dimmed or orange gills. This species is toxic and often mistaken for the for non-threatening situations. Adults feed on pollen and small non-toxic Cantharellus mushroom. The Jack-O-Lantern mushinsects including aphids and scale insects. Larvae are important room has a dull green glow to its gills and is only visible in nearly detritivores that feed on organic material but also are predators of pitch black conditions after the eyes have adjusted. Earthworms can glow too! Diplocardia termites and other beetle larvae. This inJack-O-Lantern longa is a species of large earthworm that is sect glows in every stage of its life and can Mushrooms common in Florida. It can reach lengths of 15 be found in soil and decaying logs. inches. When threatened, Diplocardia longa Fireflies (Lampyridae) are not flies at release blue bioluminescent fluid. Imagine all, but actually winged beetles of the Cowhat that would do for your fishing trips. leoptera family. Worldwide there are over Red Tide is large concentration of phy2,000 species, over 50 occur in Florida. The toplankton blooms, commonly called algae common eastern firefly (Photinus pyralis) blooms. Blooms are triggered by pollutants is the most frequently sighted in Florida. and other excessive amounts of nutrients, noThis species is easy to recognize in flight by its J shaped posture. Males are famous for their flashing mating tably phosphates and nitrates found in fertilizers, which wash into signals. The females do not typically fly, but respond with flashing the water. Certain species of phytoplankton, such as dinoflagelate, patterns to guide the males in for mating. Some flashing patterns are known to have bioluminescent defense mechanisms. Sea Sparare thought to be a defense mechanism warning predators to stay kle is a common name for Noctiluca scintillans, a dinoflagellate away. The toxic steroidal compound called lucibufagins closely re- commonly associated with Red Tide. They produce light when sembles the venom of poisonous toads and repels natural preda- disturbed as a defense mechanism, attracting larger predators to tors such as birds, lizards, and most spiders. The steroid produced consume its own predator. This characteristic creates a light show with every disturbance in the water, be it a from this species is so effective at repelling splash, the churning of water from an oar, or natural enemies that another firefly speOyster Mushrooms even waves breaking on the beach. Blooms cies, Photuris, uses its ability to light up have occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on a to mimic the mating call of Photinus, luryearly basis and will likely continue, though ing the male like a siren only to consume the danger of Red Tide discourages most him and ingest the defensive lucibufagins from witnessing this fascinating phenomthat she cannot produce within her body enon. for protection from predators. Once Photuris has ingested enough lucibufagins, it can excrete the chemical through “reflex

to School Sale

20 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 21


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Naturally Amazing Activities MAKE GLOWING SLIME by Sean Green

There is something about things that glow that seems to fascinate the human mind. Creating an activity that would mirror the article on bioluminescence would be expensive and difficult to do so safely without a controlled environment such as a chemistry lab. In the interest of celebrating the glow of bioluminescent nature, this month we will create our own glowing slime. Although it will not actually glow in the same manner that mushrooms and fireflies glow, it is nevertheless a fun and inexpensive project. Tonic water glows under a black light because of the chemical quinine that is used to make it. Quinine is a crystalline compound that readily absorbs UV radiation and transmits the stored energy as light that can be seen under a black light (ultraviolet light). Anything made from tonic water such as ice cubes, jello, or drinks, will also glow under a black light. Using tonic water in our slime recipe will make our slime glow under a black light.

22 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

Materials: • • • •

Black Light Tonic Water Cornstarch Food Coloring

instructions:

Place cornstarch in a bowl and mix with water at a 1:1 ratio, add cornstarch as desired to create the desired consistency and food coloring to the desired color. The mixture will become thicker as it settles, similar to jello thickening as it cools. If you want thinner slime, just add more tonic water and mix well. Turn on the black light and enjoy the glow! Get creative with this one, see what happens if you make different color slime. Can you mix the finished slime in the same way you can mix colors in painting?

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 23


Hunting the West

difference between success and failure. Take time to use your optics to search out every possible place a bull might hide. Look for low horizontal lines that may reveal the back of a bull. This is no time to get in a hurry. Take your time. Look for a patch of light color in the midst of the green foliage or the glint off of the tip of an antler. Hunting dark timber during midday requires stealth and a keen awareness of the wind. If elk have adequate water and security, they will bed in the same general area day after day unless they are disturbed. Just like you know the layout of your own home like the back of your hand, the elk are familiar with their bedding areas as well and are quick to pick up on any changes. If you want to sneak up on elk during midday you will have to be on your toes. I used to carry a small squeeze bottle of unscented talc with me to determine wind direction, but have since changed my method of determining wind direction to watching the flame of a small disposable lighter. A quick flick of the lighter gives me an instant read on the wind direction. If, in the course of a stalk the flame from the lighter indicates that the wind has shifted in favor of the elk, I will wait 15 to 30 seconds to make sure that it wasn’t just a momentary swirl. If a second test tells me the wind is from my back, I am outta there! No matter how much work I may have done to get to that point, there is no point moving forward with an unfavorable wind. I will back out of the area as quietly as I came in and attempt to approach it from another direction. An elk’s primary sense of detecting danger is its nose and if the wind is coming from your back, you are wasting your time by continuing the stalk.

with Jay Houston

Hunting Elk Post Rut It’s October in elk country, and the Aspen have shed their leaves of gold leaving the forest floors covered with a layer of popcorn-like leaves that make a stealthy stalk a challenge even for the most experienced of hunters. Breeding has run its course with the exception of a few late season cows. The herd bulls are dead-tired and quickly begin

24 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

See you around the camp fire,

Jay

transitioning back into their solitary lifestyle. Post rut is the time of the rifleman. As the rut begins to wane, heavily hunted elk will have shifted their feeding patterns to a predominantly nocturnal cycle, including moving back to their bedding areas long before daybreak. If you want to get into the elk at this time of the year, you will need to have located the transition routes between these areas and have a plan to be in place well before daylight. The annual invasion of elk country by hunters in large numbers creates pressure and elk react accordingly. Since the first few days of the early archery season, the elk have been adjusting their travel routes to avoid confrontation with hunters. Summer scouting trips can be invaluable in helping a hunter to learn how to navigate an area, locate feeding and bedding areas, and determine if, in fact, elk in huntable numbers inhabit the ground you plan to hunt. Have you ever wondered why on the days before the opener of elk season you saw elk everywhere and the morning of opening day, there were no elk to be found? How about a hoard of hunters “scouting” a stand the day before season opens? I always council folks to do their homework and devise a solid plan long before elk season and, on opening day, execute that plan. If your early morning ambush plan doesn’t produce, here is another tactic. Requiring about eight hours to digest the previous night’s meal, elk retire to the refuge of cool dark timber where they can rest and ruminate. If the elk can find water, security, and relief from the heat and bugs in the timber, they will remain there throughout the long hours of mid-day, rising occasionally to feed again and walk about. If you want to find elk during the middle of the day, then you will have to head into the dark stuff to find them. Before you go crashing over deadfalls however, a thorough glassing of the area is called for. Quality optics with first-rate low-light capability can make the

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Jay Houston is the President/CEO of HUNT CONNECTIONS, a nationally recognized speaker on his Christian faith and the outdoors, and the author of five highly successfully books on elk hunting the west. In future issues, Jay will be sharing exciting stories of hunting the high country and more tips for big game hunting success in Hunting the West.

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 25


Jacque Lyn Palomaki – Sharing the Roses Couture’s Gallery’s featured artist for August is Jacque Lyn Palomaki, well-known for her stunning Florida landscapes and wildlife – especially birds. An absolute stickler for the smallest detail in her famed bird (and other wildlife) paintings, she travels frequently in search of new specimens – and new vistas. Her landscapes are something special to behold. From Vero to Sebastian (and the Stick Marsh), from St. Petersburg/Crystal River to Everglades City/ Chokoloskee, Palomaki has painted and/or photographed hundreds of scenes and thousands of birds and other creatures. “I’ve loved Florida ever since I first saw it – its scenery and wildlife are the reason I paint,” she said. Her dedication shows in her finely detailed works, which have papered her studio walls with a plethora of blue ribbons from a variety of shows and has made her work a hot item at Couture’s Gallery in Sebring where a number of her prints are on display. “I’m so very grateful that I’ve been blessed with enough skill to represent what I love about this state,” she said. “And I hope that those who look at my paintings might feel the same wonderful emotions I felt when I saw the scene. I want everyone to realize what a beautiful, beautiful place this place we call ‘Florida’ is. I hope each of my paintings makes each viewer want to go outside for a walk in the woods. “That’s why I paint. I feel like, if someone looks at one of my paintings and feels that special little something, then I’ve done my job – I’ve brought them the roses.” As an aside – each of Jacque Lyn’s paintings display the coordinates (Long/Lat) where the original scene is so that you can actually go by GPS to the same spot – see the same perspective – as the artist saw. Couture’s Gallery is conveniently located on U.S. 27 in Sebring just south of the Home Depot and directly across from Lowe’s. Hours are 9 am - 5:30 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am - 3 pm Saturdays. You can reach Couture’s at 863-386-0029 or couture@ vistanet.net. You can visit the website at www.CouturesArt.com.

26 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

August 2011

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 27


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and

The other day I ran into a high school class mate of mine, Dick Saliba. While enjoying a cup of soup at Panera Bread we started reminiscing about the “good old days” right after high school. He started comparing those days with today in the job market. Like most of my classmates I got a job and made a few dollars. He went on to say, “thank goodness I still have a job. I work and they pay me each week. I have always paid my taxes and the government distributes what I pay as they see fit,” Dick said. He continued, “The last time I applied for a job I had to pass a urine test. Now in my 70s I have come realize that I have a problem with the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test. I think a person qualifying for a welfare check should have to pass a urine test before they get the first dollar. I have a real problem helping someone sitting on their rear end doing drugs while I work.” I have to agree with Dick. Can you imagine how much money we could save if people had to pass a urine test to get a welfare check? Maybe the President will have a program called “Urine or You’re Out!” (Since the writing of this story the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring anyone applying for welfare to pass a urine

August 2011

test. I guess they had heard about Dick Saliba’s feelings on the matter.) Come to think of it, maybe our politicians should have to pass the test, too. It’s for sure most of them couldn’t pass an IQ test. One last thing, if you’re on welfare you cannot vote! I have always heard that women are more sensitive than men. Most likely that’s true, but men are sensitive, too. Let me give you an example. This lady wakes up during the night and notices her husband is not in bed. She slips into her bathrobe and walks into their kitchen where she finds him at the kitchen table sipping on a cup of coffee. She stands there unnoticed and watches as he wipes tears from his eyes. She eases up to him and said, “What is the matter, dear? What are you doing down here at 3am?” He looks up and says, “It is the 20th anniversary of the day we met.” She was astounded he remembered and she started to cry. He looked up at her lovingly and continued, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 19 and you were 17.” “Yes I do,” she replied. Her husband’s bottom lip began to

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quiver as he continued, “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?” “Yes, I remember,” she said as she sat down in the chair next to him. The husband continued. “Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?” “I remember that, too,” she said softly. He wiped another tear from his eye and said, “I would have gotten out today.” Thinking about 20 years ago reminded me of an e-mail I got from my cousin Dale Woodruff in Jacksonville. Grandma’s 9-year old grandson was talking to her about some of the more current news event on TV. He asked her what she thought about the shootings at schools, computer hacking, and other news relative to the day. Grandma thought a minute and said, “Now let me think for a minute. You know son I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, Frisbees, contact lenses and the pill. There were no credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. No one had invented the pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers and our clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air. Man had not walked on the

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moon. Your grandpa and I got married first, and then we lived together. When I was your age, and up to at least 25, I called policemen and every man with a title of, “Sir.” I was born before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, group therapy and daycare centers. We lived by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. I was taught to know the difference between right and wrong, and to stand up and take responsibility for my actions. Serving in the military was a privilege, living in the U. S. was a bigger privilege. I thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a good and meaningful relation meant getting along with your relatives. Draft dodgers were those who closed the front door as the evening breeze started up. We knew timesharing as when the family spent time together in the evenings and weekends, not buying a condominium. I never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD players, electric typewriters, yogurt, or men wearing earrings. We used to listen to, Jack Benny, The Lone Ranger and the news on the radio. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Hardees and instant coffee were unheard of. If you had a nickel or a dime you could actually buy something with them at the 5

& 10-cent store. Coke was a cold drink, grass was mowed, pot was something your mother cooked in and rock music was your grandmother’s lullaby! “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office. Software wasn’t even a word, and it appears I lived in the last generation that actually believed that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. I remember when we would roll up the old newspaper as tight as can be and used it as “logs” in our fireplace. When we butchered a pig, we saved all the fat and made homemade lye soap that we used to bathe with, or wash clothes and do the dishes. We would save Gold Bond and S&H Green Stamps to purchase Christmas gifts for the family. “ Grandma closed by saying, “You see Grandson, some people think I am old fashion, but I am only 59 years old. Boy, how far we have come along in such a short time. As we age we notice everybody whispers, and we have three sizes of clothes in our closet. Two which we will never wear. The five pounds we wanted to lose is now 20, and we have a better chance of losing our keys than the 20 pounds. And lastly, your joints are more accurate than Channel 8’s weather service.

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 29


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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 31


Judge Don T. Hall

T by Robbi Sumner

he Honorary Don T. Hall of Arcadia is a man of many talents – judge, rancher, pilot – just to name a few.

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 33


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Born and raised in Miami, Hall graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law and was chosen to clerk for the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He later moved to Arcadia, working as a prosecutor in the State Attorney’s office for three years prior to successfully running for election as a County Judge. He began service on the County Court Bench in January 1995 for the 12th Judicial Circuit, which serves DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. He presides over both criminal and civil cases, those involving juvenile delinquency and family court. “We hear everything from traffic tickets to crimes involving jury trials, as well as civil cases,” stated Hall. Monday through Friday typically finds Judge Hall in court. If no court appearances are required he spends time working on orders, memorializing and explaining his judicial decisions in writing. According to Anita Collins, who has worked as Hall’s Judicial Assistant for three years, “Judge Hall has succeeded in

maintaining a close connection with the community. His care for this town is evident in the way he handles cases before him and his concern for those affected by his decisions. His calm and level-headed approach to complicated and tense situations makes him a wonderful boss and leader.” The practice of law is somewhat of a tradition in the Hall family. Not only was his grandfather an attorney, but his father, M. Lewis Hall, also practiced general litigation for 50 years. Two uncles are attorneys, one also a retired Second District Court of Appeals judge, and he has a brother who is an attorney. He proudly states that his wife Cynthia’s law firm, located in Naples, is among the top five family firms in Florida. The Hall family has been involved in the cattle business since 1938 when Don’s grandfather purchased land near Arcadia. At the time his grandfather was a practicing attorney in Fort Lauderdale, but he loved to quail hunt and frequented southwest Florida to pursue his hobby. These visits led to purchase of property in the area, and the family now owns 6,000 acres in DeSoto County. Hall’s Tiger Bay Ranch is so named after a portion that existed during the days of open ranges, when his grandfather used to visit the area. Tiger Bay Slough runs through the property and is the headwater of Prairie Creek. The ranch is home to 600 head of mostly Brangus beef cattle, and three full-time employees take care of day-to-operations. About one-quarter of the property has been improved, with the rest remaining in its native state. Hall enjoys riding and said, “There’s nothing better than a good horse. That’s really the best way to get around on the ranch.” There are plenty of deer and turkey, and family members enjoy hunting on the ranch as well. Judge Hall is involved in a number of charitable organizations, including being a past-president of the local Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He has also been a member of the Arcadia All-Florida Rodeo Association for 17 years and has served as President the past 12 years. During that time, the rodeo has received several honors including being a six-time recipient of Florida Monthly magazine’s number one Rodeo in the State of Florida designation, and being chosen as the 2004 www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

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Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Southeastern Circuit Small Committee of the Year. The Association has been so successful that they are looking to relocate to a new property that will allow more room for parking and offer more comfortable seating for spectators. According to Hall, he chose affiliation with the Rodeo Association because they sponsor “enjoyable, ranch related, family events.” In addition to the annual professional rodeo, the committee is happy to host a Florida Cattlemen’s Association Ranch Rodeo qualifying event, a Bull-A-Rama Extravaganza, Working Ranch Cowboys Association Ranch Rodeo, and a highlight being Junior Rodeo Events that help encourage the next generation. Says Hall, “I enjoy working with the other Board members. As a charitable organization, we’re always looking for ways to bring in funding.” Katie Willis, who has worked for the rodeo since 2003 and managed the office for the past six years, said “Judge Hall is a great boss. He is very easy to work with and is tireless in his dedication to the Rodeo Association. His contributions are invaluable.” When time allows, Hall enjoys flying and has had his commercial pilot’s license since 1974. “We have a small airport in Arcadia. I either lease a plane or go with friends,” he said. Since he also has Flight Instructor certification, he hopes to one day teach his children to fly as well. Described as an outstanding family man, Hall and Cynthia have been married 20 years and have two children, daughter Casey and son Parker. Cynthia was originally from Canada, but the two met while attending law school. Both children have been active in 4-H and have shown livestock projects. Fifteenyear old Casey plays on the DeSoto High School volleyball team and also competes in barrel racing. Parker recently graduated from DHS and will be attending Florida State University this fall to study history and perhaps later pursue law school. Don’s parents, Lou and Muriel Hall, also live on the ranch and help provide a strong family bond. Judge Don Hall is a well respected member of the community where he is happy to live, work and raise his family. www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 35


E R U T L U C I IN AGR

by Robbi Sumner

Holly Shackelford

Holly Shackelford’s career with the UF/IFAS Charlotte County Extension Services began in 1997, with a position as Horticulture Program Assistant. She is now the Horticulture Program Coordinator, responsible for the coordination of a variety of educational programs geared towards audiences ranging from pesticide applicators to homeowners. She plans many Extension events such as farm tours, plant sales and workshops. Volunteer Coordinating is a facet of her job that she particularly enjoys, stating that, “We at Extension couldn’t do our job without volunteers.” One major volunteer program within Extension is the Master Gardener program, with over 100 in Charlotte County. “Coordinating their training and volunteer activities takes up a lot of my time, but their efforts reach an enormous amount of people. They are a great group to work with,” she says. Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Holly and her family relocated to Punta Gorda in 1973 to enjoy a more family-friendly environment. Growing up, Holly was active in both 4-H and FFA. One of Holly’s early jobs was a position with a local company, then known as Agricultural Management Services, where she worked for eight years. The company was responsible for overseeing several different agriculture investment properties, and management believed strongly in cross-training all employees. There she gained invaluable knowledge from time spent in the field of nurseries, citrus groves, and even a fish farm. Another facet of Holly’s current job with Charlotte County Extension is with the Charlotte Soil & Water Conservation District. Their Board of Supervisors works with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to implement conservation plans for both public and private lands. While the Board is elected, they are not paid, and most

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work other full-time jobs. Holly acts as a liaison, planning their meetings and events, working to ensure that a quorum is present at meetings and that everyone’s time is optimized. She also serves the public, providing assistance with plat directories, soil surveys, and historical maps. Recently Holly accepted a role as District Representative for the Florida Conservation District Employees Association. To further her professional knowledge, Holly has achieved certifications as a Florida Certified Horticulture Professional from the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association, a Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices Program Trainer and as a Florida Certified Volunteer Administrator through a program sponsored by the United Way. Holly has many hobbies that include raising and showing poultry, horses, and trail riding. She has two children, Jenna 17, and Jared 20. Jenna shares a similar interest in horses and showing poultry. Jared is a fisherman who is getting started in the commercial fishing business. Holly says that she fell in love with poultry when her children became interested through their participation in the Fur N Feather 4-H Club. The club focuses on poultry and rabbits, and has members ranging from 5 to 18 years old. Holly has been a leader of the club for four years now. She enjoys the birds so much that she also participates in open shows with her Brahma bantams and large fowl Cochins, and has found the shows to be great activities for families to enjoy together. According to Holly, “Many youth have done very well with the birds they have gotten from me, including State Fair and District Fair champions.” Holly recently traveled to Gainesville with two junior teams for the 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest. In this competition, poultry is judged on a number of criteria including grade quality of meat and eggs, and past egg production hens. “Neither team won, but they did a great job and had fun,” she said. In February she participated in the Florida Cracker Trail ride, a weeklong horseback adventure that crosses the state from Bradenton to Fort Pierce. Holly and her 4-year old Appaloosa mare, Skye, covered between 15 and 21 miles each day. “This was a great experience which I look forward to doing again,” she stated.

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My name is Charlie Brown I am from Avon Park Sr. FFA chapter, and this year I serve Florida FFA as its president. On June 17, my life and seven others for the next year would be totally changed, on this day we were elected to serve Florida FFA as state officers. We were given a week to recuperate after the long draining week of convention, then we hit the ground running with our first trip as to the National Leadership Conference for State Officers(NLCSO) in Peachtree, Georgia, which is conducted by National Officers. There we learned the importance of teamwork and cooperation, which will serve us as we spend the next year working together on various projects. After a great experience in Georgia we headed back to Florida for another leadership conference in Gainesville called BLAST OFF(Building Leaders and Strong Teams of Officers). Here we learned more about ourselves as individuals and what each persons strengths were and what they brought to the team. After these two conferences I believe we are just about ready to start our adventure as state officers when school starts. This year is going to be filled with excitement and joy. Though Haley Webb and I still have another conference to attend I’m sure it will be a great one in our nations capital for SPC (State Presidents Conference). I look forward to our own conferences that we put on for the members, and on top of that we are more than excited about our trip to China in January. Florida FFA is simply different from all the other associations and this year we will try our best to make you all proud of us. Where ever this year takes us, be it good times or bad, I’m sure that we are more than prepared to handle it, thanks to the support of our communities and state staff.

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 39


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Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Championship Bull Riding and Labor Day PRCA Rodeos

Ca ll ing All Co o k s! The Okeechobee County Cattlewomen are looking for delicious recipes to be included in their new cookbook. Once completed, the cookbooks will be sold to raise money for local scholarships that are awarded each year. Cookbooks will be available for purchase at Eli’s Western Wear or the Cattlewomen’s booth at any of Okeechobee’s local rodeos. Whether you are a Cattlewoman, Cattleman or just someone who loves to cook, please send in your best recipes! Make sure your name is on your recipe so we can give you credit for your creation. To submit recipes, please send to okeechobeecattlewomen@ymail.com or to P.O. Box 46, Okeechobee, FL 34972. Here is a sample favorite recipe from one of Okeechobee’s Finest Cattlewomen, Mrs. Ida Clemons. Cow Crew Stew by Ida Clemons Ingredients: 2 lbs. stew meat 1 lb. brisket meat 6-8 large potatoes 6 carrots 3 onions ½ c. flour

Cooking instructions: Cook meat in a small amount of oil until very brown. Make gravy with oil from skillet and about ½ cup of flour. Stir in enough water to make gravy thin. Add a little kitchen bouquet for color and flavoring. Add brown meat and simmer 45 minutes until tender. Add potatoes, onions and carrots. Cook until vegetables are tender. You may have to add more water to stew to keep from burning. Serve with rice and cornbread!

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Photos by Jim Davis Photography The Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association will hold their Annual Championship Bull Riding and Labor Day PRCA rodeos at the Agri Civic Center. The event has come together to create an exciting weekend for all! The events start Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm with the Championship Bull Riding and continues on Sept. 4th and 5th. The Okeechobee County Cattleman’s rodeo will show contestants competing to win cash prizes and points toward a circuit championship. The Okeechobee rodeo has a well-deserved reputation of being the “wildest rodeo east of the Mississippi!” Visitors from many areas of South Florida are expected in attendance to observe traditional rodeo events such as calf roping, saddle bronc, bareback riding, team roping, bull doggin, barrel racing and the favorite of all, bull riding. “We are proud to host two annual PRCA Rodeos every year here in Okeechobee,” says David Hazellief, Cattlemen’s Association President. “A large portion of our proceeds are awarded in scholarships to local Okeechobee High School graduates each year.”

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This year’s rodeo will bring some of the nations top cowboys to show their talents and compete. Participants come from all over the United States and Canada to compete for their titles. Jerry Todd will return to Okeechobee to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2011 Labor Day Rodeo. Jerry Todd was awarded announcer of the year for WPRA in 2004, World’s Toughest Bulls and Broncs Announcer in 2005 and 4L Rodeo Company Mossy Oak Series announcer from 2004-2006. Mutton Bustin’ for the cowkids will begin at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5, 2011. All cowkids from ages 3-5 can enter to win. The winner receives a shiny western belt buckle. Advance registration required. Kids may also participate in the calf scramble for prizes! Rodeo tickets may be purchased in advance at Eli’s Western Wear, 907 NW Park Street or at the gate. Presenting sponsor for the 2011 Labor Day Rodeo is Marcum & Associates, Nationwide Insurance. For ticket information, call Eli’s Western Wear at 863-7632984 or visit www.okeechobeecattlemansassociation.com.

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 41


Kaitlyn Gill

Convention Recap

The New Florida Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart

photo by Ron O’Connor

by Chass Bronson Marco Island played host once again to the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention and Allied Trade Show. A good time was had by all June 20-24, 2011 as nearly 800 members attended the event. The Marriott Resort hosted the extravaganza full of committee meetings, luncheons, a sweetheart contest, silent auction, cattlemen’s dinner and awards presentation, dance and allied trade show. Cary Lightsey received the Top Membership Recruiter Award. His efforts of forming new relationships are greatly appreciated by his fellow members of the FCA, as membership numbers flourished this year with 800 new members, 200 of which signed-up online using the newly designed Web site. Other convention highlights were: Cowmen/Cowwomen: Dottie Mae “Katie” Nail, Ouida Smith Roberts, Jesse “Jack” Simmons and James E. Williams. Honorary Directors: Rosa Lee Hull, Joe Jordan, Bernard Lewis, Gerald Simmons, E.L. Strickland, Frank W. Williamson Legislature of the Year: Steve Crissafulli President’s Special Recognition Award: Don Plagge The FCA welcomed Don Quincey of Chiefland, FL as the new FCA President. Members of the FCA would like to thank Mr. Strickland for his diligent work and dedication to the cattle industry over the past year and would like to wish Mr. Quincey good luck in the upcoming months. Kaitlyn Gill was crowned the 2011 FCA Sweetheart. The year 2011 had good things in store for the ladies who attended the convention – diamonds and cash! Congratulations to Lauren Butler for winning the diamond bracelet provided by the Florida Association of Livestock Markets. Another lucky lady was Sue Ann Outlaw, as she left with a $5,000 dollar check in her pocket as the 2011 Florida CattleWomen drawing winner. Ga-

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August 2011

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Patty Barthle, Outstanding CattleWoman 2011 photo by Barbara S. Bird, Florida Cattleman & Livestock Journal tor Collegiate of the Year was Cindy Young – Congratulations and Go Gators! Outstanding CattleWoman of the year went to Patty Barthle. Her knowledge, diligence and sweet spirit plays a remarkable role in the Florida CattleWomen’s Association and is appreciated by all of her fellow members and peers. Congratulations Patty! Emma Johnson was the winner of the grand door prize - a handmade, hand-tooled, Billy Cook roping saddle sponsored by Nutrena. Congratulations Emma on receiving the “best seat in the house!” Wendy Petteway, President of the FCW, reflects on the convention, “I was so happy to see all the cattlewomen at convention as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Florida Cowbelles and CattleWomen. We have a rich history and we should all be proud of the work we do to promote beef and educate the consumer about the role of beef in our diet. Everyone had a great time and we are continuing the work we do at the Southern Women’s Show and the American GrillMaster Experience in Orlando in the coming months. Please check the website for upcoming meetings and other information.” The Fall Quarterly Meeting will take place August 31- September 2, 2011 at the Chateau Elan Hotel & Conference Center in Sebring, Florida. For more information visit www.floridacattlemen.org/d/fallquarterly.pdf.

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On Wednesday, June 22 the crowd went wild when 18-yearold, Kaitlyn Gill was crowned the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart at the FCA Annual Convention in Marco Island. Kaitlyn is a shining star in Florida agriculture…..one week prior to winning the Sweetheart title she was announced the Florida FFA Star Farmer and she was the Florida FFA Star Green Hand her Sophomore year. Kaitlyn’s other accomplishments include first place in the National Cattlemen’s Association public speaking contest, second place in the Florida FFA public speaking contest, and Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association state officer, just to name a few. She resides in Ft. Lonesome on her family ranch, Lonesome G Ranch, in Hillsborough County. What is a Sweetheart you might ask? Every year the county cattlemen associations select a young lady, between 17 and 23 years of age, to represent them in the state contest, held every year at the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention in Marco Island. The FCA Sweetheart is always beautiful, however, it is her knowledge of the Florida beef cattle industry that earns her the title - not her looks! The girls compete in a rigorous contest while at the convention. They complete a written exam, which tests their knowledge about the Florida cattle industry, they are interviewed by a panel of three judges, they give a power point presentation, and answer an impromptu question on stage during the youth luncheon. These events give the judges an opportunity to judge the contestants based on their communication skills, personality, poise, and knowledge of the beef industry. This year’s judges were Hoppy Kempfer, Marcia Lightsey, and Bill Sellers….they had a very difficult job! Kaitlyn competed against seven amazing contestants: Kayla Crosby (Clay), Dianah Enochs (Marion), Shelby Freeman (Polk), Kyndall Robertson (Hardee), Olivia Shelfer (DeSoto), Kelly Yarbrough (Highlands), and Cindy Young (Sumter). The court included Second RunnerUp: Shelby Freeman, First Runner-Up: Cindy Young and the Julia Parrish Spirit award (Miss Congeniality) went to Kayla Crosby. The Queen and first and second Runners-Up will receive a scholarship upon completion of their reign and responsibilities. The FCA Sweetheart is a beef ambassador and it is her responsibility to attend events throughout the year to promote beef to people not involved in the beef cattle industry. She also writes an article each month for the Florida Cattleman and Livestock Journal to highlight the activities she has participated in. Being the Sweetheart is a once in a life time opportunity with amazing benefits – from traveling this great state to meeting industry and political leaders. Kim Strickland, Lindsey Wiggins, and Suzannah Belflower provide the leadership for the FCA Sweetheart committee. They encourage girls all over the state to participate in this contest. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Kim at 239-8513896 or Lindsey at 863-673-5971.

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 43


The Early Years by Ron Lambert

Greetings to each and everyone out there who read these words. I have been planning and thinking of a new topic ever since I concluded last month’s story. Incidentally, I was well pleased with the result and hope most of you found it interesting. This month I will attempt to describe my memories of jobs that I helped with when I was growing up here in Hardee County. I have mentioned in the past that my grandfather owned an orange grove and also took care of another grove that joined their property. This adjoining acreage was owned by a Mr. and Mrs. Baillod, who immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. I am not exactly sure how they came to Hardee County but he owned and operated a jewelry and watch repair shop here in Wauchula in the 1930s and 40s. Nevertheless they became friends with my grandparents and he took over caretaking for the Baillods, as well as his own grove. The total acreage of both was just over 50 acres. Along about 1959 my grandfather wanted to slow down and think about retiring. This led to my parents moving here in the summer of 1960 into a house that they built. This house had only been finished maybe two weeks when Hurricane Donna hit Florida. Hurricane Donna was a powerful storm and did a lot of damage in all areas that it touched. I remember watching trees falling over in the woods right behind the house and after it passed seeing orange trees uprooted and stripped of fruit. Anyway, we were here in Hardee County and my parents had to provide for all of us any way that they could. They had always raised a garden with a wide range of vegetables for home use, as well as, selling to restaurants and hotels over in Avon Park. This was a practice that my grandpa Porter described as “peddling.” I think that my mother might still get mad if you remind her of that. She would load fresh vegetables in the family car and after selling those to her customers, have enough cash to go to the grocery store and buy groceries for several weeks. These were hard times but they weren’t bad times. Some of you who read this will know what I mean. There were a lot of folks here in the county who were like us. Not much money, not a lot of fancy things, but we made do with what we had. I want to talk a bit about the way that groves were worked back then. I don’t have pictures to include with this story, but for those of you who lived during that time, my words will carry you right back. I can still recall seeing big piles of wood stacked around groves to burn in a freeze. In the 1950s very few groves had the heaters that began to become common in the 1960s. The groves here were hurt badly in 1957 and again in 1962. Grove heaters that were made in Upland, California were ordered and shipped by rail

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cars. Diesel fuel was cheap and most everyone put it in storage tanks and stockpiled five to ten thousand gallons to protect them in a hard freeze. This was a costly and back breaking task to get ready for a freeze. The heaters were moved out into the grove and filled with fuel. You always stayed up to watch the temperature and agonized over the decision to light the heaters. The next day of course the heaters all had to be refilled and made ready for the next night. This was very tiring manual labor. Just one part of being a citrus grower! During this time there were no herbicides available to control weeds and grass that we have today. There was also no such thing as a cab tractor. Tractors were small by today’s standards and one thing I remember was most everyone fastened a stick to the front to knock down spider webs as you were driving through the grove. Included are examples of the tractors used at the time. Cultivation was done with either a disk or perhaps a chopper. Some people bought a machine called a Hester tree hoe. You attached this machine to the three point lift, and drive very slowly down each side of the row. This machine was a small rotator that ran under the tree and tilled up weeds. It was a slow hot dusty job. Another thing that I am old enough to have been a part of was hoeing trees by hand. I mean by hand and I mean the whole grove. You had your choice of tools, a shuffle hoe was not bad for most weeds. We also had great big chopping hoes called eye hoes. I still have a scar on top of my right foot from a misdirected chop of that tool. This was one more hot dusty job. Remember I said herbicides hadn’t been invented yet. I mentioned watering last month with perforated pipe made by Race and Race in Winter Haven. We had a fair amount of three inch pipe and had small shallow wells throughout the groves. We usually only watered in the spring of the year, sometimes even into the summer if rain did not come. I will do my best to describe how this all worked. We had a pattern that we followed to spread the pipe out that was the same every year. First you would get the gasoline pumps out and get them into running order and hooked up to the well. Then you went after a trailer load of the dry line. After dropping this out you were ready for the perforated pipe or sprinkle line. We had enough to run two lines at a time so that you could move one line while the other was running. This really did a good job of wetting the ground in every other row as you moved across the grove. We would start those pumps up early in the morning before I went to school. I remember how it felt to be out in the very early morning moving pipe so that my dad could get an early start watering. I

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would help move one line and then he would send me to start up the engines. At my age this seemed like a big responsibility and I guess that it was. You were to check the oil, fill the fuel tank, crank the engine and prime the pump. Our pump had an exhaust primer, which was a little tricky to get used to. But they worked well and soon you would see that silver spray of water shooting high into the air. Then it was back to the house for breakfast and then head to the bus stop. In the afternoon you would move a couple of lines and finish up late in the day with a set that would run into the night. I remember driving the tractor up into the grove at night to switch the line into the spare line. Once again this was a great responsibility and a little bit scary also. We always imagined that there might be some wild animal out there, much bigger than a raccoon, that was going to get us, but it never happened. My dad did see a panther run in front of him one night. On days when I wasn’t in school, I recall how cool and refreshing an orange tasted after the water had sprinkled a row of trees. The evaporation would cool an orange almost as if it had been in a refrigerator. The sights and smells and experiences that took place in those old groves are even today unforgettable. They cannot be duplicated from an air conditioned cab tractor. I enjoy air conditioning as much as anyone, but looking back I realize that none of the hard work hurt me and it was a part of growing up and learning that continues to benefit me even today. So much has changed, improved and modernized in citrus production that is so beneficial in culture and production. I have the highest regard for modern day cultural practices and equipment. Being one of the generation who experienced being part of life as I described doesn’t mean to suggest a desire to go back to

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the old ways. However, a vast majority of the population enjoys reminiscing about their early life. I am simply sharing my own early experiences with you. Have a blessed day and make the most of any opportunity that comes your way. Best wishes until next month from a native Floridian, Hardee County raised, who recalls grove pepper growing in seedling groves. I know there are more of us out there!

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 45


Citrus Report: Summer Time as a Citrus Grower by Justin Smith

Everyone thinks about the summer as the laid back time of year. Thoughts of vacations, boats and the beach fill the minds of most. For many the summer is the slack time when things can go just a little bit easier. Kids are out of school and there are less sport activities, no big holidays to shop or decorate for. But if you are in the citrus business you know first hand summer is not the slack time. We still get to go fishing plenty or take the kids to the beach but vacations must be carefully planned around production activities. Spraying, herbicide, mowing, monitoring pest and the list could keep going and going. These are the activities on the mind of a citrus grower in the summer months. It seems there is a never ending cycle, if you are not spraying then you are checking the results of the last spray and planning the next one. All the while there is either a mower going or the herbicide machine. As so many people come to Florida beaches for the summer, the actual Floridians, many times, don’t get to spend as much time as they would like at the beach. But this is what we have chosen to do and we really don’t mind because we love it. Another summer occurrence is the kids being at home. For many this will bring a time to decide what to do with them on a daily basis. However, those of us who grow citrus or any other agricultural product have a rare opportunity. Summer is one of the best times we get to pass on our customs to the next generation. Kids can learn so much just by being with their parents. They are like little sponges absorbing everything they get to be around. What they absorb will shape them into what they will be like later in life as well. Summer is such a wonderful time to show them what life is like outside of school. We not only get to show them hard work, we also get to show them the importance of education by explaining all that goes into growing our product. 46 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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My boys, Blake and Zackary, have been working in our groves for several summers now. They are progressing from the basics and beginning to take a deeper interest in what goes into everything. Recently they were riding with me as I was scouting and checking on a sprayer. They began to ask questions and wanted to know more about what I was doing and why. On several occasions this summer they have gotten up, as soon as they hear me in the morning, wanting to know what they need to go do out in the grove. I know having some spending money is as much a motivator as knowing about the grove but it all builds character. This is one of the greatest feelings, both as a parent and a citrus grower, of knowing you are passing on the love of our lifestyle. If you want to be a proud Dad (or Mom) have your kids meet you in the morning as you’re walking down the hall and ask if they can go to work. You will know you are raising them to be successful adults. In all of this there is one more great thing that we need to remember to pass on in the summer. That is the importance of down time. Just as important as it is to teach our kids how to work and continue our heritage we need to teach them how to relax. We shouldn’t neglect vacation and time we spend with them then, either. Sometimes I think our kids have to reeducate us in this area. When vacation time comes we have already planned it around the sprays and mowing so leave those in the grove. Where ever you may go for vacation or what ever you may do, enjoy it and don’t bring the grove along with you. Show the kids this is part of it as well. In order to be successful we need rest as much as we do the drive to work. So, even though the choice to be a citrus grower may come with less off time in the summer than other lifestyles, it also comes with some great benefits. www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 47


GROWING

Mexican Steak Soft Tacos Ingredients 12 ounces 1/2 cup 2 teaspoons 1 clove 1/4 teaspoon 1/8 teaspoon 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 3 cups 4 medium

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grilled beef steak, cut into slices sour cream fresh lime juice garlic, minced salt pepper drained canned black beans chopped seeded tomatoes thinly sliced romaine lettuce 10-inch whole wheat or flour tortillas (8 to diameter)

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1. Combine sour cream, lime juic e, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl. 2. Spread each tortilla evenly with sour cream mixture leaving 1/2-inch border around edge. Top with black beans; place steak slices on 1 side of each tortilla. Top with tomatoes and lettuce. Fold tortillas in half to serve. Recipe adapted from and photo as seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons Makes 4 servings.

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Florida Cattlewomen News: The Fall Quarterly meeting will be held September 1-3, 2011 in Sebring at the Quality Inn. It will be hosted by Hardee and Highlands County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen. At the quarterly meeting the Cattlewomen will be distributing children’s names from the Hope Children’s Homes to the ladies who wish to purchase gifts and bring them to the December quarterly for these children who are less fortunate. We will also take donations for BEEF Certificates for our “Beef for the Holiday’s Charity”. Last year we gave over $2000 in certificates to use for Beef throughout the year. This will be the fourth year we sponsor the home, it is such a great opportunity for us to be able to help them and educate them about the Beef industry. Upcoming Events: Southern Women’s Show, Orlando-October 13-16, 2011 December Quarterly, Gainesville-November 30-December 2, 2011 Cattlewomen Clay Shoot-Okeechobee (Quail Creek Plantation)-January 7, 2012

August 2011

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 49


Barbados Cherry By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science

Cherries are on sale right now at the grocery stores, a good sign that the fruit is at its peak harvest and fullest flavor. One type of Florida cherry that is exceptionally high in nutrients is the Barbados cherry, also called acerola, Antilles, or West Indian cherry. The Barbados cherry received much attention in the 1950s for its exceptionally high vitamin C content. The largest producers of Barbados cherry are Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The fruiting season for Florida cherries is generally from April to November. The fruit is soft, juicy, and thin-skinned with a light to deep crimson skin when mature and a yelloworange flesh. The flavor ranges from tart to lightly sweet. The more acidic fruits have the highest vitamin C content.

Nutritional Profile The Barbados cherry is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, and is bursting with other vitamins and minerals as well. Cherries are a great source of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3, carotenoids, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and folate. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of whole, raw Barbados cherries (98 g) contains 31 calories, 0.39 g of protein, 0.29 g of fat, 7.54 g of carbohydrate, and 1.1 g of fiber. It also provides 76% of the Daily Recommended Value (% DV) for Vitamin C, 25% for Vitamin A, and 7% for potassium.

Vitamin C: For a strong immune system Barbados cherries contain the most concentrated amount of vitamin C of any fruit. They provide an astounding 2740 percent of your daily vitamin C needs in a one cup serving! Vitamin C has many important functions in the body. It plays a vital role in forming collagen, skin, blood vessels and muscles. Additionally, it helps heal wounds and keeps bones and teeth healthy. The National Institutes of Health recommends regularly consuming foods high in vitamin C content, since it is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body. You can meet your entire daily needs for vitamin C in just a couple of cherries!

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Antioxidant Properties Barbados cherries are full of health-promoting antioxidants, powerful compounds that help fight free-radical damage. Free radicals damage healthy cells, which leads to problems such as inflammation and heart disease. Both vitamin C and vitamin A are well-known antioxidant vitamins, both of which are abundant in Barbados cherries. Additionally, these fruit contain compounds called anthocyanins, which also have antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins may help lower the risk of heart disease, enhance memory function, protect developing fetal brain tissue, and have anti-inflammatory effects.


Potassium: For blood pressure control Barbados cherries are high in potassium, a mineral that promotes healthy heart functioning and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. This mineral is also critical in maintaining cell membranes, and balances with other minerals in the blood to regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Most vegetables and fruits, such as cherries, are a rich source of potassium.


How to Select and Store Choose cherries that have deep red-colored skin, and feel firm with a slight give when squeezed. Consume them as soon as possible or refrigerate ripe cherries for up to three days.

How to enjoy Barbados cherries are delicious eaten out-of-hand or squeezed into juice. They can also be stewed, or made into juice, puree, or fruit sorbet. The puree can be a delicious topping on cake, pie, ice cream or a fruit or vegetable salad. Since Barbados cherries are so high in vitamin C, mixing other fruit with their juice will prevent darkening of sliced bananas or apples. Cherries may also be made into syrup, jelly, jam, and other preserves. Enjoy this beautiful, nutritious fruit during Florida’s peak season today. Eat it out of hand or combine with other fruits for a healthy treat.

Selected References http://www.floridagardener.com/ http://www.hort.purdue.ed www.InTheFieldMagazine.com

Barbados Cherry Ice Courtesy of Cooks.com Ingredients 3 lbs Barbados cherries 4 oz water sugar to taste Preparation Squeeze out the seeds from the cherries which should give about 2 pints of pulp and juice. Add the water, sweeten to taste and freeze.

Firecracker Salad Courtesy of The Florida Department of Agriculture Ingredients 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 small jalapeño, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons honey 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/4 cup vegetable oil kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears) 6 medium radishes, halved and thinly sliced crosswise 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced Preparation To make the dressing, purée the lime juice, jalapeño, honey and cumin in a blender. With the machine on, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside. In a large bowl, toss the corn with the radishes, parsley, red onion and dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and serve. Tip: For a roasted taste, lightly season and oil the whole corn cobs and then roast in a 375-degree F oven until lightly browned. When cool, slice the corn off the cob and add to the salad. Yield 4 servings

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 51


James D. Webb, Jr.

Senior Vice President–Investments Financial Advisor (863) 402-2009 • (800) 937-0259 2623 US Highway 27 South, Sebring, FL 33870 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is a registered trademark of Bank of America Corporation. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured

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Starting Tuesday, August 16th, lunch will be served Tuesday thru Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Stop in for Summer Time Specials and Live Bands on Friday and Saturdays! 52 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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For Fruit Sales & Pricing Please Contact:

Fran Becker V.P. Fruit Procurement

Office: (863) 494-0440 • Mobile: (863) 990-8582 by Morgan Taylor Norris This restaurant may be known for the 14-foot alligator that used to call it home, but the mouth-watering food and laid back atmosphere at Cowpoke’s Watering Hole in Sebring is sure to keep you coming back for more. Cowpoke’s Watering Hole is under new ownership but I am here to tell you that the same great food and atmosphere you have come to expect from the Watering Hole can still be found in this oasis of a restaurant. The minute you step out of your car, the aroma fills the air and welcomes you in through the tiki hut to the front door. Walking in feels like you have stepped back into time into an old cowboy town and local watering hole. Managers Vernon and Teresa Hinote are there to greet patrons and you begin to feel right at home. The Watering Hole provides something for every family from chicken tenders and burgers for the little pokes to the choice quality beef for landlubbers and all fares from the sea. Our meal started with an appetizer of mahi fingers full of flavor and a light breading. For our entrées, we ordered the 10-ounce Cow Hand Top Sirloin and Yellow Fin Tuna. Both the

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beef and tuna were cooked to perfection. The upper two-thirds choice quality beef was cooked medium then seasoned with garlic butter for great flavor. The sushi grade Ahi tuna had a delicious sesame seed crust and was seared perfectly. Our entrées included a fresh garden salad and choice of potato. To finish the meal, we had the Florida Orange Cake that melts in your mouth as if you just picked a fresh orange off the tree and dipped it in sugar. It was frosted with a light fluffy orange icing then drizzled with a glaze and topped with a slice of key lime. The perfect end to a delicious meal! Long time patrons, Glenn and Barb Hall of Avon Park, said they have been coming to the Watering Hole for almost 20 years. “I always get frog legs,” Barb says. “They taste like chicken, but only much better.” Her husband, Glenn, recommends the K-Bob, a skewer of filet mignon and New York strip, shrimp and veggies. The Halls brought along their friends, Bob and Chris Streeter, who said that the food was well worth the drive. “This has to be pushing the best steak in town,” Chris said. Her husband echoed by saying, “This was excellent, we’ll be back.” Recent renovations to the building created a dance floor and stage for live bands to perform every Friday and Saturday nights. Club Cowpoke is open until 2 am making it the place to be any weekend. The Tiki Sports Bar will highlight 4 - 55” HD LCD TV’s and 2-70” HD LED TV’s to watch all of your favorite college and NFL Teams. The sports bar will feature ESPN College Game Plan as well as the NFL Sunday Ticket. The restaurant is also open for events including anything from birthday parties to bridal showers. They have a private room you can reserve that seats over 60. When you are looking for great food, a laid back atmosphere and a good time, remember to visit Cowpoke’s Watering Hole in Sebring.

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August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 53


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4-H Meat Judging Team Excels at State Contest by Sonja Crawford Coach and Hendry County 4-H Agent The Hendry County 4-H Meat Judging Team captured second place in the Florida 4-H Meat Judging Contest in Gainesville. The team consisted of Adam Barfield, Andy McAvoy, Jarad Plair, Katelyn Steelman and coach Sonja Crawford (not pictured). For those that are unfamiliar with the 4-H Meat Judging and Identification contest, it is a contest that has two parts, Judging and Identification. Judging and Identification requires the students to develop their judgment, decision making and verbal skills. In the judging portion of the contest, the teams placed meat cuts and/or carcasses to rank in order of the best to the worst. In the Identification portion of the contest, the teams had to identify the species, primal cut, retail name, type and cooking method for 50 retail cuts of beef, port, and lamb from a list of 132 cuts.

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The total placing category, the team placed seven classes; beef carcasses, pork carcasses, hams, beef rounds, beef loins, beef top sirloin steaks, and pork sirloin chops. Questions were given for the pork and beef carcasses. In the Overall Individual Standings, Jarad Plair led the way by placing second in the state with a score of 745 points out of 950. Andy McAvoy captured fifth place, Katelyn Steelman took sixth with Adam Barfield in seventh. The team will continue to practice to compete in the National competition to be held January 5-8, 2012, in conjunction with the Western National Roundup Event in Denver, Colorado.

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Grazing Management school: Sept. 15-16 The 2011 Grazing Management School will be held September 15 and 16 at the Okeechobee County Extension office. The course is sponsored by the South Florida Beef-Forage Program of the University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Service, and is conducted with the volunteer assistance of area livestock producers and allied industries. It represents separation of the original Forage and Pasture Management School into subject components that can be taught in a couple of days. It is part of a continuing multi-County education effort to help South-Central Florida producers raise and market more high quality beef cattle, per cow, per acre, profitably. Grazing management is the manipulation of livestock grazing to obtain defined outputs of livestock products. It involves careful management of both pasture and livestock resources to meet desired objectives. This course is offered in a two-day session, with theories of grazing management concepts and methods discussed in a classroom setting the first day, and those concepts are supported by practical applications in the field with a ranch tour the second day. Some of the topics to be discussed include Pasture Establishment & Renovation, Weed Control in Varying Grazing Systems, and Economics of Producing Cattle on Forage. The registration fee is $30.00 if returned by August 26, and $50.00 if returned after August 26. Registration forms are online at http://sfbfp. ifas.ufl.edu/events.shtml or can be picked up at one of the Extension offices in The South Florida Beef-Forage Program area. Registrations should

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be returned to, and checks made payable to: South Florida Beef-Forage Program, c/o Pat Hogue – Treasurer, 458 Hwy 98 North, Okeechobee, FL 34972.

The National Wild Turkey Federation held their 5th annual Women in the Outdoors event April 30 at Quail Creek Plantation in Okeechobee. There were 120 women in attendance who came from all over the state to participate in the day’s event. Some of the classes which were offered include: Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Cake and Cupcake Decorating, Duct Tape Tote, Dutch Oven Cooking, Florida Cracker History, Fly Fishing, Hand Gun Safety, Jewelry Making, Leave No Trace, Outdoor Digital Photography, Outdoor Gourmet, and Shotgun/Sporting Clays. There was also a terrific turn out for the Friday evening social, Osceolas Under The Oaks, which both men and women attended. Everyone enjoyed a fantastic steak dinner provided by Mark Berggren and Everglades Farm Equipment and then joined in on a great Silent Auction to support the Women in the Outdoors. The event was a huge success and a great time was had by all. Dates for next year’s event have already been scheduled for April 27-28, 2012.

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 55


Reality Ranch Youth Rodeo Finals by Kathy Gregg For many years the second Friday night of every month meant the Reality Ranch Youth Rodeo in Zolfo Springs. Youth from the ages of 3 – 18 gathered excitedly at the Reality Ranch arena in Hardee County to rope, run barrels and poles, tie goats and calves, and get on the backs of everything from woolly sheep to steers to full-grown bulls. The roughstock riders were especially fond of the zebus there. After a hiatus of two years, the Reality Ranch Youth Rodeo returned to an enthusiastic group of young cowboys and cowgirls. Beginning in September of 2010, it ran on the fourth Saturday of every month (taking a break for the Christmas holidays in December), holding it’s Finals in April of 2011. A new event, chute doggin’, was added to the roster of events. This season added a “Tiny Tots” division for the 3 – 6-yearold beginners. This division was the fastest growing one, and even included special needs children – and what a wonderful sight it was to see them enjoying their time with the horses! Competitors came from Fort Pierce on the east coast, Parrish and Myakka City to the west, as far south as Hollywood and Southwest Ranches in Broward County, and as far north as Ocala. And of course, there were all of the Hardee and Desoto County youth riders. Every rodeo began with a short cowboy church led by Pastor Randy Johnson of Reality Ranch Ministries. Anyone in rodeo in Florida knows Randy, and his smile was welcome every month as he cheered on these young rodeo stars. At the conclusion of the season, an awards banquet was held at the Arena on May 14. The many prizes were terrific, with saddles for the all-around winners, custom-made belt buckles for the various event winners, and lovely leather tack made by Kaufmann Enterprises of Polk City, all proudly bearing the “RRYR” initials. Each division, Tots, Juniors and Seniors, had two saddle winners – for the All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl. Addison Roberts of Southwest Ranches and Cody Vina of Bowling Green and Punta Gorda took home the Tots saddles. Hannah McLeod of Sarasota (who came to the banquet sporting crutches from being stepped on by her horse) and Dawson Cantu of Zolfo Springs were the Junior All-Around Champions. And the saddles in the Seniors division went to Loni Damboise of Zolfo Springs and Lucas “Brittle Bones” Brasfield of Parrish. These youth rodeos and the great prizes would not be possible without the generosity of the sponsors and the many volunteers. The proceeds from all concession sales throughout the season went back to the kids, and these wonderful people also provided the delicious banquet food. The list is endless – y’all know who you are, and to each of you we gratefully say “THANK YOU”. Put it on your calendar -- the new season starts next month on September 24. Timed events begin at 11:00 am, with the roughstock events following at 4:00 pm. Anyone interested can contact this writer at ksleepyk@aol.com or at (863) 773-9459. Even if you don’t have a child participating, come out for a great day of rodeo fun and good homemade desserts! Visit www.inthefieldmagazine.com for the rodeo results.

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by Kathy Gregg

Finals

The Arcadia Youth Rodeo Association (fondly referred to as “AYRA”) had its beginnings in early 2008, as the brainchild of Don Hall, the President of the Arcadia Rodeo Association. He turned the organization and running of this monthly event over to a group of very dedicated and capable people, many of them associated with the Rodeo Association, but he has always remained a regular at the events. And the 2010-2011 season, which concluded with it’s Finals and banquet on May 21, was the fourth season of this very successful youth rodeo. Some of the competitors have participated all four years, and the membership roster grows with every season. The season runs from September – May, but not every month has a rodeo, as there is a break for the Desoto County Fair time, and every effort is made to coordinate with the Wrangler and High School rodeo events. And speaking of Wrangler and Florida High School Rodeo – the AYRA was proud to sport several members who went to Gallup, New Mexico, and Gillette, Wyoming, for the National Finals. Wrangler finalists were Robert Appel and Colt Matthews. FHSRA finalists were Nat Stratton, Justin Tyler Mills, Katie Rimes and Corey Fussell. Then there are the “doubles” – families with finalists in both – Shelby and Jacey Johnson (with Shelby in Wrangler and Jacey in FHSRA) and Blake and Bailey Vickers (with Blake in Wrangler and Bailey in FHSRA). Not only are the AYRA members into rodeo, many of them sported the highest score possible on the Florida FCAT exam this year!! The roughstock events are run first, with the timed events following. This youth rodeo includes saddle bronc riding, with Matt Carlton of Wauchula (a PRCA saddle bronc rider himself) providing the bucking broncs. The sheep are provided by Bob and Shirley Jarriel of Wauchula, and they provide the tots with a good ride. Bulls are provided by Chris Stewart of Peace River Bulls of Arcadia and Brian Massey of B-Bar-B Bucking Bulls of Myakka City. And these bulls provided a whole lot of entertainment as the pick-up men attempted to get them back into the holding pens – Matt Condo, Alton Langford, Clint Boney, Luke Cantu, DJ Benton, Dale Carlton, Nye Bauman, and Jimmy Fussell to name some. The roping stock was provided by Alton Langford of the A-Bar-L Ranch (also a team sponsor), Jimmy Fussell and Luke

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Cantu. A big THANK YOU to y’all for helping make these youth rodeos the great events that they are! The Finals showed a change-up in the order of events, mixing the various roughstock events with the timed events, making for a great day of rodeo. A few hours later – to give Dale Johnson time to input that day’s scores and determine the standings, and to set up tables and get out the prizes – we were all back at the Arcadia rodeo grounds for the banquet. The stage was filled with colorful buckets, all sporting the AYRA insignia, halters, custom-made belt buckles for the event winners, canvas roughstock bags, leather roping cases, and, of course, the custom-made saddles for the six All-Around Champions. The belt buckles were donated by Eli’s Western Wear of Arcadia (as well as Okeechobee and Dundee), and Carter Smith himself presented each and every one. The leather goods were made by Kaufmann Enterprises of Polk City, and each bore the AYRA initials. They also made the saddles, donated by JTF Performance Horses, Ryals Citrus and Cattle, Gibbs Farm (of Oklahoma), Hypoint Mechanical Corp., Abbott Backhoe, and Buddy and Sandy Mansfield (Desoto County Commissioner). THANK YOU to all of you wonderful and generous people and companies. And the winners were – Tots saddles went home with Savanah Nelson of Arcadia and Cody Vina of Bowling Green and Punta Gorda. The Juniors champions were Summer Ball of Nokomis and Colt Matthews of Lakeland. And the Seniors winners were Aldyn Ashton of Lorida and Corey Fussell of Arcadia. (Corey was an all-around winner for all four seasons of the AYRA, and Aldyn was also a repeat winner.) This year the graduating seniors were honored – Teale Humphries, Katie Rimes, Corey Fussell, Rusty Hurst, Dustin Accardi, and Josh Driggers. The Board of Directors approved a scholarship for each of them once they were enrolled in college or a trade school. Josh, who is a bullrider, was also the student President of the AYRA for all of the past four years – his column in the monthly newsletter will be missed. The new season is fast approaching, with the first monthly rodeo in September. Check on www.arcadiarodeo.com for updated information, or contact this writer at ksleepyk@aol.com or at (863) 773-9459. Visit www.inthefieldmagazine.com for the rodeo results.

August 2011

INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 57


The Lake Placid Caladium Festival by Chass Bronson

It’s hard to believe a festival that has been “in bloom” for the past 20 years was once just an idea to compel others to explore the tiny town of Lake Placid. About 20 years ago, Audrey Vickers and Ann Bond approached Carolyn Phypers seeking her assistance to aid in promoting the county during the late summer months. Tourism was down and the only thing going on in Lake Placid during such time of year was the caladiums were in bloom. So the ladies decided to set up an educational tour and luncheon to promote the town and the caladiums. The year 1991 marked the first year of the “Caladium Festival” and Happiness Farms hosted the event. Happiness Farms is a caladium operation owned by Carolyn and Paul Phypers and family. Two bus tours transported guests to the caladium fields, which provided an overview of the caladium business and the Highlands County Cattlewomen prepared the lunch. The second year took quite a growth spurt as Stuart Park, a park on Interlake Boulevard in Lake Placid, hosted the festival. The event was ex-

tended to begin on Friday and last until Sunday. Outside vendors and entertainment were also brought in and the streets surrounding Stuart Park were closed to host all of the festivities. Inside the park there are only two booths set up and those are reserved for the main focus of the festival – caladiums. Bates Sons and Daughters provide potted, live plants and Happiness Farms provide bulbs in a bag. Both variations are available for sale to those who attend the festival. This year, Happiness Farms will have 3,000 bags available, 12 bulbs per bag, to those who want to take a “little piece of Lake Placid” home with them. All the proceeds made from the sales of the Caladiums are donated to the Chamber of Commerce for future events. All food and craft vendors assemble on the outskirts of the park and in the blocked-off streets. All food vendors must be local to the community and all money made gets donated back into the community to support future events and community organizations. “All civic

Pictured is a hand made quilt by Samantha Phypers, granddaughter of Paul and Carolyn Phypers. She sewed the backs of 14 shirts together from years 1993 through 2007 as a way to remember all her grandparents have contributed throughout the years to the Caladium Festival.

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AgCalendar What’s going on InTheField? • August 1-4—National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Summer Conference, Orlando • August 6—NBHA Barrel Race, $1500 added to the Open, Turner Ag Center, Arcadia • August 13—Christian Rodeo, Turner Ag Center, Arcadia • August 13—11th Annual Harvest Festival Grape Stomp and Bluegrass Festival, Henscratch Farms, Lake Placid, henscratchfarms.com • August 17-18—Citrus Expo, Lee Civic Center, Ft. Myers • August 19—Friday Night Live, 3rd Friday Monthly - Main Street Heritage Park and Downtown Wauchula

• August 20—Ranch Rodeo Benefit for Tidewell Hospice, 1:00 pm Turner Ag Center, Arcadia • August 20-31—Gatorama’s Alligator Hatching Season Festival, Palmdale • August 26-27—21st Annual Caladium Festival, Stuart Park, Uptown Lake Placid • August 27-28—Calusa Agility Dog Show • September 3-5—Annual Cattlemen’s Labor Day PRCA Rodeo, Agri-Civic Center, Okeechobee • September 5—Annual Cattlemen’s Labor Day Parade, Okeechobee • September 29—Friends of NRA Banquet

groups have an opportunity to raise money and it goes back into the community,” explained Phypers. Art contests open to those in the community provide the theme picture for each year’s festival. In the adult category, each participant must submit a painting depicting caladiums in some fashion. The paintings are judged by the staff at the Caladium Arts and Craft Co-operative. The winning painting becomes the scene on the back of the following year’s festival tee shirt. The tee shirts have become a tradition since 1993, the third year of the festival. Every year since, tee shirts have been produced with the previous year’s winning painting printed on the back of the shirt and are available to those who attended the festival as a memento. There is also a children’s art contest available to the young ones who are filled with caladium pride. The same concept applies so that the youngsters have shirts available in their sizes to wear. For the festival goers that venture further than Stuart Park, one will notice that the streets even support the deep tradition of caladiums. All medians feature lush, rich caladiums blooming in all the different varieties. All bulbs that are planted are donated by Happiness Farms. North Main Street is planted and cared for by the Lake Placid Women’s Club. South Main Street, and through out the town, is cared for by Mike Eisenhart. Tour buses are also available to those who desire to

learn more about the caladium industry. In the past years, 32 buses were in circulation every 30 minutes through out the three-day festival. One caladium grower/producer from the community per bus rode along to educate and share with the tourists about the history, processes, and landscaping options of caladiums. There was even a tour of local housing subdivisions through out the community that used caladiums donated by Happiness Farms in their landscaping. The Garden Club judged the yards that participated to decide on the winner with the prettiest yard. The festival now takes place in August rather than September due to hurricane season. The festival has been canceled twice in the past due to hurricanes. One year, a shirt was even produced that said, “Cancelled by George!” because Hurricane George was sweeping through Lake Placid at the time. Carolyn explained that every year so many festival goers ask why the festival is held during the hottest part of the year. Her husband Paul’s answer made sense to me – “Because that’s when the caladiums are in bloom and the festival can’t interfere with FLORIDA GATOR FOOTBALL.” Even though rain is a common threat during the festival year after year, always positive and upbeat Carolyn responds with, “I tell them that’s just liquid Sunshine! This year’s festival dates are August 26 – 27.

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 59


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To advertise your business in Heartland’s Growing Business Showcase, please call 813-708-3661 Please patronize these fine businesses in your area. 60 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 61


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Heartland In The Field Magazine - August 2011  

The Heartland of Florida's In The Field Magazine for August 2011

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