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February 2011 ®

73rd Annual Brighton Field Day Festival

PRCA Rodeo & the Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Event, February 17-20

Covering What’s Growing


February 2011






“We have it all”

High Performance Organic, True Granular, Microbial, Fertilizers.

and it’s all for you.

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Billions of beneficial microbes inside plus mycorrhizal fungi True granulated and homogeneous products Safe-Sterilized, low odor, and free of pathogens The most technologically advanced manufacturing facility in the U.S. Fully allowed under NOP, with no restrictions Research verified and field tested

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February 2011





Highway 70 Arcadia

4094 Paul Buchman Highway Plant City, FL 33565-7404 (813) 752-1177 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

2011 JEEP

Visit us 24/7 on the web.



2011 DODGE

All stores available at one convenient location

Mon-Fri 8am-7pm Saturday 8am-5pm Sunday Closed


February 2011


From the Managing Editor

Sarah Holt

January VOL. 3 • ISSUE 5

Heartland’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

Cover Story February 2011 ®



Tel: 813-759-6909 Fax: 813-759-6905

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”—Winston Churchill Hello Heartland! We have some exciting new things in store for you. Most of it will be revealed in the next issue of In The Field. What I can tell you is that we are expanding our coverage area to include Glades and Hendry Counties. I can’t disclose everything just yet, but rest assured the integrity and mission of In The Field magazine will remain the same. It is our intent to raise awareness of agriculture, the farmer and rancher, and what goes in to getting food on your table on a daily basis. In every issue you will find positive editorial and clean advertising designed for readers young and old. In this months issue you will read about the 73rd Annual Brighton Field Day Festival that includes a PRCA rodeo and Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls event. The event will be held February 17 – 20 and promises to be full of excitement. You will also read about John Platt, long time member of the Hardee County Farm Bureau, cattlewoman Sarah Childs, dairy farmer Jacob Larson and much more. We would like to express our gratitude to each one of our advertisers. It is your support that allows us to continue to cover what is growing and spread the word about agriculture. If you are at the Florida State Fair, come by the In The Field booth in the Ag Hall of Fame building. We would love to see you! Until Next Month The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Sarah Holt


73rd Annual Brighton Field Day Festival

PRCA Rodeo & the Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Event, February 17-20

Karen Berry

Covering What’s Growing

HARDEE • HIGHLANDS • DESOTO CHARLOTTE • OKEECHOBEE ww w ww.I w..IIn w nTh TheeF Fiieelld dMa Maggaazin zziin nee..cco om m n i a i n i i i

FEEBRUARY BRU BR UA AR RY Y2 2011 011 01 11 B B



Seminole Tribe of Florida: The Legacy Continues Pg. 32

Sarah Holt

Editor/Writer Rhonda Glisson

6 Farm Bureau Letter 10 Whipping Bowl 12 Grub Station Lightsey’s Restaurant

Office Manager Bob Hughens


14 Business UpFront Blinds ASAP!

Nick Massey Karen Berry Chass Bronson W. Russell Hancock Danny Crampton Ron Brown

16 Okeechobee Judging Team

Creative Director

20 Farm Bureau Highlight

Senior Managing Editor and Writer

Senior Managing Editor and Writer

24 Rocking Chair Chatter 26 Brenda’s Beliefs 38 Woman in Agriculture Sarah K. Childs 48 Farm Bureau Field Agent Report

Amey Celoria


Juan Carlos Alvarez

Staff Writers

Al Berry James Frankowiak Jack McConoughey

Contributing Writers Lindsey Sebring Joanna Glisson-Lamarra Ginny Mink Ginger Neal


In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and other local venues within Hardee, Highlands, Charlotte, DeSoto and Okeechobee 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 P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: or call 813-759-6909.

Jim Davis W. Russell Hancock

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.



February 2011

February 2011


HARDEE COUNTY FARM BUREAU 1017 US HWY. 17 N., WAUCHULA, FL 33873 (863) 773-3117

Greetings, I am seriously thinking about moving to Florida. I understand it is supposed to be warm down there. First, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. With the changes in our Florida Government leadership, we all need to do as much as possible to educate them on Florida Agriculture every chance we get. I am so thankful that we have someone like Adam Putnam as Commissioner of Agriculture – someone that truly understands our industry. I would like to share with you a little issue that I have been working on for over a year and thought it was resolved, then it popped back up with a whole new perspective. A friend of mine called me about a letter he received from a government agency. A complaint had been filed against him because an individual did not have access to Charlie Creek and that he was going to have to remove his fence that went across it. They then came and met with him and of his 67 acres, they wanted him to fence off over 40 acres. They basically marked off the high water mark. I made a few calls and then ended up going to Tallahassee to meet with them. I decided to take several facts to share with them. First, fences have been across these waterways since the fence laws came into effect in the 40’s. If the Government Agency is going to take land that is considered sovereign waters and use the high water marks as the guidelines, then in Hardee County alone they would be taking about one-fifth of the county, so this land would all be coming off the tax rolls. I explained to them that the fences were to secure your livestock and they have been in place. I also asked who was going to maintain all this property once it was fenced out - and if they wanted it fenced – then they should be responsible for building the new fences, since they are the new landowners. Well by the end of the meeting we had agreed that a type of fence or other restraint device should be in place to keep the livestock on the property and canoes or kayaks could pass through. Also, I stressed that those on the waterways have to understand that once they step out of the water, they are on private property.

Well, we thought it was resolved. This past month there was a teleconference call between several boating interest groups, government agencies and industry representatives and some groups now want to be able to pass boats that have a three foot draw and airboats. The biggest new addition is that the landowners must sign a document stating they are responsible if any accident or damage to a water vessel takes place while passing through the landowner’s property. This opens up a whole new can of worms. As we landowners know, so many of the creeks and waterways in Florida are not navigable at times, along with even some of the rivers. The Florida Cattlemen and the Florida Department of Agriculture have been tremendous resources. You may be asking, “Why bring this up?” I share this because if people are not involved and willing to help, this could have passed through and been made into policy or law. Once it gets to that stage, it is very hard to get it changed. I know we are so involved in our day-to-day operations of our ranches or farms that it is difficult to stay on top of these issues. This is why it is so important to be involved in the Florida Farm Bureau and the organizations of your industry. They all do a great job and they are working well with each other. If we fight these issues unified, we will be successful. Florida Agriculture is the economic driver of our state and it has been the only stable industry. Yes, tourism is the number one, but it is unpredictable... Remember, “I Farm You Eat.”

Phil. 4:13

David Hardee County Farm Bureau President David Royal



February 2011



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 2009-2010 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


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


Agent George L. Wadsworth, Jr. 1017 US Hwy 17 N. Wauchula, FL 33873 (863) 773-3117

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

DIRECTORS FOR 2009-2010 Jim Brewer • John Burtscher Mike Carter • Steve Fussell Richard E. Harvin John Pfeil • Ann H. Ryals Mac Turner • Matt Harrison Ken Harrison County Secretary Summer Chavarria

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 February 2011

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

Monday’s Sale - 12 noon

• Mature turkeys have more than 3,500 feathers. • There are 47 different breeds of sheep in the U.S.

• Today’s American farmer feeds about 155 people worldwide. In 1960, that number was 25.8.

• The average person consumes 584 pounds of dairy products a year.

• Raising beef cattle is the single largest segment of American agriculture.

• 160 degrees Fahrenheit is the correct cooking temperature to ensure safe and savory ground beef.

• One pound of wool can make 10 miles of yarn. There are 150 yards (450 feet) of wool yarn in a baseball.

• Twenty-nine cuts of beef meet government guidelines for lean.

• The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed 86 pounds, about the size of an average third-grader.

• The average dairy cow produces seven gallons of milk a day, 2,100 pounds of milk a month, and 46,000 glasses of milk a year.

• Cows have four stomachs and can detect smells up to six miles away!

(Bring Your Cattle Tuesday 8am - 9pm or Sale Day)

To Mark o G s ’ t et Le

Owned and Operated by: Carl McKettrick and Joe Hilliard II Located on Hwy. 17 (8 miles north of Arcadia, FL)

863-494-3737 863-494-1808 Fax: 863-494-5933

Photo by Ron Steffler

• Like snowflakes, no two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots.

• Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.

• Turkeys originated in North and Central America, and evidence indicates that they have been around for more than 10 million years.

Wednesday’s Sale - 12 noon

• Agriculture employs more than 24 million American workers (17% of the total U.S. work force).

• Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world.

• Elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a soybeanbased hydraulic fluid.

(Bring Your Cattle Sunday 10am - 7pm or Sale Day)

• Cows are herbivores, so they only have teeth on the bottom. • There are 350 squirts in a gallon of milk. Courtesy

Are You Tough Enough To Wear Pink? March 11, 2011 To Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness

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

Mutton Bustin’ • Calf Scramble • ShootOut • Quadrille • BBQ • Vendors

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


February 2011

Schedule of Events 9a Ticket Window Opens 11a Gates Open 1p Shoot Out 2p Rodeo Opens Parade 10a Saturday 1-800-749-7633

February 2011


Heartland’s Growing Businesses E D G E WO O D L A N D S C A P E COMMERCIAL




Banana Berry Jam



3 cups chopped strawberries 2 cups mashed bananas 7 cups of sugar 1 box pectin


Combine berries, bananas, 1 ½ cups of water and one box of pectin. Bring to a boil. Boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat, pour quickly into jars and seal. Invert for 5 minutes. Yields 8 half pints.

My Strawberry Shortcake (Poundcake) Ingredients

2 sticks of butter, room temperature 3 cups of sugar 6 eggs, separated 3 cups of flour, sifted ¼ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 cup sour cream ½ teaspoon almond extract Submitted by Malissa Crawford Coldwell Banker 813-967-0168


February 2011


Cream butter and sugar really well. Beat eggs yolks with wisk and add to creamed mixture. Add a little water. Sift dry ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients and sour cream into the creamed mixture alternately ending with dry. Add almond extract. Whip egg whites and fold in. Bake in a bundt pan at 325 for 1-1 ½ hours. Top with fresh Plant City Strawberries and whipped cream.

To advertise your business in Heartland’s Growing Business Showcase, please call Nick 863-224-0180

To advertise your business in Heartland’s Growing Business Showcase, please call Nick 863-224-0180

Please patronize these fine businesses in your area.

February 2011


Shucking Fresh Oysters

Fried Catfish Dinner

Fresh Shucked Oysters

Shrimp BLT Salad

Cat Nips

Fish Dippin’

Grilled Shrimp Dinner

Key Lime Pie“fect”

Crunchy Peach Cobbler

by Jack McConoughey


M Retail Fish



Located on the beautiful waters of the Kissimmee River as it flows into Lake Okeechobee, Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Established in 1977, Buddy Arrants opened Lightsey’s Fish Co. as a meat shop, fish house and grocery store. “My Dad, Buddy, had just quit his job at the bank and opened the business in the old A-frame Lightsey building on the outskirts of the county of Okeechobee,” recalls Ray Arrants, who was seven years old at the time. Buddy hired his brother Andy, who was just out of the military, to start working for the company. With quality being their number one goal, the Arrants brothers became successful and mostly known for their fresh fish. After a while, they began to sell fried catfish and decided to put one table in the store for guests to sit and eat. “We caught fish, bought fish, skinned fish, sold fish, smelled like we thought we’d cook fish,” as it states on their menu today. That one table eventually turned into two tables, then three tables, until the fish house became a restaurant. Later on, Buddy became the sole owner while Andy moved onto another opportunity. In 1991, Buddy moved the restaurant to its current location on Lake Okeechobee. Then in 1994, after being diagnosed with an illness, Buddy decided to sell Lightsey’s. Ray begged his father to let him buy the restaurant even though his father consistently told him no. “It took lots of begging, and me promising to work for nothing in order to pay my dad back,” said Ray. In 1998, at the age of 27, Ray Arrants became the full owner of Lightsey’s Restaurant. “Developing a management team and the menu was my goal for continued growth,” recalled Ray. He added many visual elements and has brought back the original feel of the fish house by having fresh fish available for customers to take home. However, one thing that he has never changed is his Dad’s guiding principle: Never compromise quality and your customers will always come back. Upon entering the restaurant, guests come upon a recently added outdoor bar area used for special events. Once inside, guests are greeted and shown to their table. On the way to their dining experience, guests can view the fresh fish case, watch fresh oysters being shucked, browse through the homemade seasonings available for purchase, and take in the extraordinary decor. The well designed menu provides a great deal of choices for seafood lovers or land lovers. Our dinner began with the Fried Greenish Tomatoes, served with corn salsa, followed by the Fish Dippin’, then Cat Nips, derived from red catfish. Ray explained the Cat Nips are the oldest recipe at Lightsey’s. “Dad made it and gave them away back during the fish house days.” After watching them being shucked as we walked in, it was impossible not to enjoy the fresh oysters.

February 2011

A plate heaping with their delectable Shrimp BLT Salad came next and tasted as good as it looked. The grilled shrimp dinner and fried catfish dinner, one of their signature dishes, that followed were magnificent. One can really taste the freshness in the seafood. Lightsey’s takes pride in their fresh Gulf shrimp by peeling them daily. With over six million peeled, the shrimp can be fried, grilled, blackened, cajun, broiled, etc. The pumpkin bread, which is served with the grilled shrimp dinner, is an ancient, local, Seminole Indian recipe. The Crunchy Peach Cobbler and Key Lime Pie“fect” ended our wonderful meal. The Peach Cobbler is rightly named for its crunchy and delicious crust. The Key Lime Pie“fect”, as it’s called on the menu, could not be named better as it was perfect. If taste was the only sense given, based on that alone it would be enough to make one return to Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant time and time again. Open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. thru 9:00 p.m. Lightsey’s provides an outstanding lunch menu, available from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with very reasonable prices. The fish market is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The dinner menu, also available at lunch time, allows guests to find exactly what they like. As their motto states: If it swims, crawls or hops we probably serve it! While serving everything from freshwater fish, seafood, gator, frog legs, turtle and salads, Lightsey’s is also well known for their Ribeye steaks. Daily specials are available with a Sunday buffet; Tuesday - 3 for $30 with an appetizer, two small meals and dessert; Wednesday - sushi; and Thursday - Shrimp 8 Ways with a pound and a half of shrimp. With a history spanning over 35 years, the success of Lightsey’s is contributed to its owner Ray Arrants, and his terrific managers and staff. Ray proudly told us, “during the recession, many of the servers, managers stayed here at their jobs and continue to work.” Ray is also very proud of his managers who have contributed to the longevity of Lightsey’s with Megan Hardy being there 10 years, Don Ferris 6 years, and Ronnie Rios a year and a half. Guests come from all over to enjoy the wonderful food and incredible dining experience at Lightsey’s. Two guests came over to tell us they drove 115 miles one way just to have lunch, and do so quite often. With a very professional and family touch, Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant is definitely a place to eat, and take home some fresh fish. Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant is located inside Okee-Tantie Recreation Park on the Kissimmee River at 10435 Highway 78 West, Okeechobee, FL, and can be reached by phone at 863.763.4276.

Things you’ll hear at Lightsey’s! • “If it SWIMS, CRAWLS, of HOPS we probably serve it!” • Family Owned for over 35 years! • Voted #1 Gator by Florida Living • Retail Market Open 7 Days a Week 10am-9pm • Over 6,000,000 Shrimp Peeled • Over 20 tons of fish served last year! • Sunday Buffet 11am - 8pm • 3 for $30 Tuesdays • Wednesday’s Freshly Rolled Sushi • Thursday’s Shrimp 8 Ways • Bring Your Catch of the Day and We’ll Cook It!! $6.95

Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant 10435 Hwy 78 West Okeechobee, FL 34974 863.763.4276 Inside Okk-Tantie Recreation Park on the Kissimmee River Ray Arrants, Owner

February 2011


Business UpFront: Blinds ASAP! of Sebring

Blinds ASAP of Sebring is a well established business serving the community for many years. The previous owners, due to poor health issues, were looking for the right people to continue the service and satisfaction of this community. Duane Feller was their manufacturer of vertical blinds and their installer for more than five years. Knowing that his wife, Starr, had previously owned her own custom drapery and blind shop, it seemed like a great fit. They employed Starr in the beginning of the year 2010 and from there decided that this would be a great team to continue to serve Highlands County with their experience and enthusiasm to give their very best in helping the customers with their window treatments, whether it be in selecting the style they want for their homes and meeting their needs, or for comfort, design or energy efficiency. Their goal is to give excellent service to the customers. “We love meeting and working with the customers and meeting the many challenges of making sure the customer’s window treatments are the best for their individual needs. We are pleased and fulfilled when we know the customer is happy with our service.” One unique thing about Blinds ASAP is that they manufacture verticals on premises. “We also have repair service in home and on premises and do free estimates in the home. We carry all types of vertical blinds (PVC and Fabric), horizontal blinds (vinyl, aluminum, faux woods, composite and wood) Shutters (PVC and Composite and Wood) Specialty Shapes including Arches, Eyebrow, Half Circle, Elliptical and more. We carry all types of Cellular Shades, Roman Shades, Rollers Shades and Panel Tracks. We are especially proud of our complete line of Solar Shades available in Roller, Roman or Panel Track.” The designer plans really add to the homes interior design, as well as making the home more energy efficient and you more comfortable. They are proud of the fact that they are trying more and more to get products manufactured here in the United States. “We are especially proud of our newest PVC vertical patterns company and love the many new patterns and designer looks with all the newest and latest color fashion trends, as well as the classics.” “Our Eclipse Shutters are manufactured here in the U.S. and are guaranteed in seven days production time frame, so


February 2011


from time of order we are usually installing with 14 days. These shutters are fabulous with such features as energy efficient (reduce heating and cooling bills), fire retardant (home and office safety), child safe design (no choking hazard from cords), non-porous (will not mold, mildew or absorb stains), waterproof (perfect for high-moisture areas), virtually indestructible (will never chip, crack, warp, or peel), UV protective (will never yellow or fade), lightweight design, little or no maintenance, can wash with soap and water and come with a 25 Year Limited Warranty (unconditionally guaranteed for 25 years).” At present Comfortex is offering Rebates on some of their Energy Efficient and Innovative Products until April 30, 2011. Some of the products are: • Panel Track for Persona and Envision $50.00 Rebate per unit (max 10 units) • Persona Roller &Roman Shades $25.00 Rebate per unit ($25.00 per order) • Shangri_La Sheer Shadings $25.00 Rebate per unit (max 10 units) • Comfortrack Plus Energy Saving Sidetrack System $10.00 Rebate per unit (max 10 units) • Fusion Insulating Roman Panel Shades $25.00 Rebate per unit (max 10 units) • Ovation Cellular Sliders $50.00 Rebate per unit (max 10 units) • And a must see is the New World’s Only Insulating Blind “Odysee” $25.00 per unit (max 10 units) Odysee combines the energy efficient performance of cellular shades with the variable light control of rational wood blinds. You must see this new innovative gorgeous shade to believe the superior benefits and greater versatility of a traditional wood blind. Not only that but it is available in 800 beautiful colors to match any decor. Come visit the showroom so they can demonstrate “The World’s Most Versatile Insulating Blind.” Serving Highlands, Hardee, DeSoto and Polk Counties, Blinds ASAP! can be reached anytime by calling 813-314-9790 or visiting their store during office hours (9a-5p Monday-Friday, Saturday by appointment) at 237 US Hwy 27 North, Village Fountain Plaza, Sebring, FL 33870. “Where You Never Pay A Dealer Fee!” Serving Highlands County For Over 30 Years Certified Public Accountants

Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co. Serving Central Florida for Over 40 Years


C. Mark Cox, CPA, Partner John W. Davis, CPA, Partner Tanya E. Cannady, CPA

Lake Placid

W. Bruce Stratton, CPA, Partner


Cheryl M. Williams, CPA, Partner Corey A. DeHays, CPA

140 South Commerce Avenue Sebring, Florida 33870

(863) 382-1157

1-800-330-3145 For 24-Hour Roadside Service Call: 1-863-452-2031



Okeechobee Judging Team by Jack McConoughey Jessica Humphrey, Marshall Johnson, Allyson Trimble, and Josh Lea are four high school students that understand the meaning of hard work, teamwork, and practice. In April 2010, this Okeechobee 4-H Livestock Judging Team earned the title of “State Champion Team” at the State 4-H Livestock Evaluation Contest, in Gainesville, FL. That title was well earned, especially due to the determination and commitment it took for the team members to travel to the contest in Gainesville and come back with the championship. The team members wrapped up their day at the Okeechobee County Livestock Show at around Midnight the night before the State Finals. The team then had to meet at 3:00 a.m. the following morning in order to make it to the State Finals in Gainesville. Tired, yet determined, they traveled to Gainesville, took the contest by storm winning first place, and then rushed to Okeechobee where the Okeechobee Youth Livestock Sale had just ended. Although the team members didn’t make it back in time to be able to walk their market animals into the sale ring, the news of their achievement got back to the community and Fair during the sale by way of coach, Robbie Johnson. “I was on the phone to Mr. Trimble, Allyson’s father and auctioneer, who was in the middle of the auction. I explained that the team was on their way home to the fair, but wouldn’t make it to the sale in time, but they did win first place! He announced it to the audience then we heard thunderous applause,” recalls Robbie. Upon their arrival back to the Okeechobee Youth Livestock Show, the team was welcomed home by a banner and by many proud friends, family and community members who waited there to congratulate them. When asked about their feelings and thoughts on this experience, Jessica stated, “As a freshman in high school, I was so honored and proud to be a part of both the State Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team and the state Champion Meats Evaluation Team.” Allyson Trimble, also a freshman, said “This contest has helped me have a better eye for things, and I’ve also become a better speaker because of the Reasons classes.” Jessica Humphrey and Allyson Trimble were also team members on the State Champion Meats Evaluation Team with fellow 4-H Club members Austin Harvey and James Sharpe. In late October, this team traveled to


February 2011

the National 4-H Meats Evaluation Competition, which was held in conjunction with the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri. At this competition, the team placed Tenth “Overall” nationally. Individually, Jessica Humphrey placed Tenth in “Retail ID.” Then, less than three weeks later, Allyson, Jessica, Josh, and Marshall, arrived at the North American International Livestock Exposition, in Louisville, KY for the National 4-H Livestock Judging Competition. There, Jessica Humphrey placed 16th on Beef Cattle Performance classes. These youth, all members of the “Chobee Cattle Kids” 4-H Club, practiced many hours to prepare for these contests. They, along with other fellow club members and family members, worked hard holding various fundraisers to fund their trips to both national competitions. They raised money by selling custom branded signs, worked a concession stand at the Okeechobee High School Rodeo Competition, and held a Bar-B-Q dinner. The team is quick to tell everyone in the community who supported them how thankful they are, expressing their gratitude to their coaches, Robbie Johnson and Jamie Humphrey, along with their FFA advisors (former and present) Brian Trimble, Buddy Mills, Roger McWaters, and Brian Dryden, and to their parents. These competitions were truly a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for these youth as once an individual is a team member of a 4-H “state winning” Livestock Judging and/or Meats Evaluation Team, they are no longer eligible to compete in the same 4-H event category their remaining high school years. Why did you start judging, is a question often asked of these team members. “The main reason I started judging was to help me pick out my steers, give me something to do after school, and to also show people that I can do something when I put my mind to it,” said Marshall. This year, Jessica, Josh, Allyson, and Marshall will all “tryout” for the FFA Livestock Judging Team. They have all been judging together since middle school and have been a powerhouse team. They will continue preparing for the FFA State Qualifying Livestock Judging Competition at the Florida State Fair on February 12, as well as the FFA State Livestock Judging Finals at the University of Florida, on April 9, 2011. In the Field will be there, following these kids on their quest for an FFA championship title. Be sure to follow their story in the March edition of the magazine, and learn more about these fascinating young people.

February 2011



CHristmas Bass

It has become a tradition for me and my wife to go bass fishing on Christmas Day. Generally, the only time we don’t go is when we go out of town for the holidays or have some company in (unless it’s my step-daughter, Jennifer, and she loves to fish, too). This started several years ago, the first Christmas after my father passed away. We also have fish (either bass or crappie) for our Christmas dinner, which became a tradition ever since Jennifer asked for it the first time she spent Christmas with us. It was a typical central Florida December day with the low somewhere in the 50’s and the high in the 70’s. It was the first Christmas that we did not go out of town and did not have anyone come in for the holidays, so we decided to go fishing on our home lake, Lake Walk-in-Water. It was before the hurricanes had come through and wiped out all of the vegetation, so fishing was still quite good. It was just the two of us fishing in the south end of the lake in front of the ranch. There was another couple that we knew fishing further over in the southwest corner of the lake. We had been fishing for a good while and catching a few here and there when all of a sudden a huge school of bass (more like a whole college) pushed bait fish to the surface. They were hitting them so hard it made it look like the water was boiling.


February 2011

This took place over an area of about an acre or so. We started casting lipless crankbaits (like rattle traps) and were catching 2-3 lb bass almost every cast, and sometimes two at a time! It was absolutely amazing. After a few minutes of this I turned and looked at my wife, Joyce. She was just sitting there, taking it all in. I had seen something like this before, but never to this magnitude. But she had never witnessed anything like it before, so she was just sitting there, completely amazed. I called to her and said “Start casting!” We continued catching bass after bass, anywhere from 1 ½ lbs all the way up to around 5 lbs. After about 15-20 minutes of this, I got on my cell phone and called our friends in the other boat and told them to come over our way, that the bass were schooling. They proceeded to make their way over toward us, trolling so as not to spook the fish. Once they were within casting distance the fish settled down. At first we assumed it was just because of the disturbance of another boat entering the area. But the entire time they were in our sight, we all only caught a few here and there. Eventually, they decided that they must have spooked the fish and went ahead fishing elsewhere on the lake. Once they were out of sight, the bass erupted once again.

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This went on for quite some time, probably almost a half hour or so altogether, but it seemed like an eternity. After we both settled down and regained our wits about us, we talked about what we had just witnessed. We came to the joint conclusion that my Dad and her Dad, who had passed away years earlier, joined forces in heaven and sent us their last Christmas present. They had both been avid fisherman while here on earth and, now being in heaven and able to watch over us all the time, they might have been able to send us this ultimate gift. Anyway, that’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it! That was the only time that has happened to us. Of course there have been other times that we have found schooling bass, but never as many as we saw that day. Now we chose not to go this Christmas Day because it was kind of windy and we both slept in since we didn’t have any com-

pany this year. As my step-daughter puts it … it was a “stressfree” Christmas. Now that we are both semi-retired, we can go most any time, picking and choosing the best days. Anyway, we like to leave the weekends and holidays for the poor working man or woman because they’ve earned it. According to my wife, that’s what her Dad used to say and I think it’s a good rule of thumb. I hope that all my fishing buddies out there had a wonderful and blessed Christmas, realizing that our best gift of all eternity is the gift God gave to us 2,010 years ago. Accept the gift of Jesus and make the New Year your best ever. Best Fishes and God Bless, Capt. Dick Loupe

February 2011


John Platt

Farm Bureau

February 2011

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John Platt is a man with quite the sense of humor. He’s been on the Hardee County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for “dog gone 12 or 15 years,” and he’s got a passion for education. “Americans have become apathetic,” about where their food comes from. It is vital to him that people realize, “eggs don’t come from the grocery story, milk isn’t from the dairy aisle and produce doesn’t come from Publix.” The Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program is of the utmost import to him. In fact, the Farm Bureau spends the majority of its donated funds (they have about 20 loyal business sponsors) on this program designed to teach fourth graders the truth about agriculture and how it sustains this country. Mr. Platt received his first experiences with education as a Unit Commander over artillery when he spent nearly 38 years directing four different units in the Florida National Guard. He realized then how satisfying it is to see the “light bulb come on,” and thanks to the Ag in the Classroom program, he gets to relive that satisfaction. While fourth grade students are a “neat audience,” that sometimes ask intelligent questions, he finds there are times when they are just not interested. He thinks that it would benefit students greatly if the program could reach them again in ninth grade when they are a “little more focused.” Aside from Ag in the Classroom, the number one reason Mr. Platt serves on the Board of Directors is its “watch dog concept.” The Bureau monitors what’s going on in legislation and they attempt to protect property rights. Holding onto the greenbelt laws is vastly important so that agricultural entities can continue to receive tax breaks. It appears that the public is not affable to agriculture and while the Hardee County Farm Bureau can’t endorse any politician until the Florida Farm Bureau does so, their goal is to keep abreast of which candidates are agriculture friendly. According to him, only 1.5 percent of Americans are involved in agriculture. This means that this group is severely outnumbered when it comes to politics and legislative decision making. The Farm Bureau invests a large portion of its time watching legislation to protect agricultural interests in the polls. Mr. Platt says, “That’s huge and why I serve.” The ordinary, non-agriculture related, voting public is often unaware of the ramifications of legislature that “beats up ag in

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FREE Delivery and installation up to 30 mile radius with purchase of shed general.” An example Mr. Platt provided has to do with navigable waterways like the one that runs through his property, the property he pays taxes on every year. Currently you’re allowed to take a canoe down the waterway, but no lines can be drawn to outlaw airboats or motorboats, not that this is the problem. The problem lies in the possibility of legislature being passed that would allow people traveling through his property to sue him if they got injured – obviously this is a massive concern. Laws like this need to be reconsidered and reviewed. Without the Farm Bureau’s keen focus on legislation most people would be unaware of this detrimental proposal. When asked how the Farm Bureau makes its findings known, Mr. Platt said that they utilize advertising and publications like In the Field. The difficulty therein is that the general public isn’t always part of the audience that reads such publications. One possible way of rectifying the problem is attached to the Farm Bureau’s membership drives. Anyone can become a member of the Farm Bureau. “Shoe salesmen and people who work at K-Mart,” or in any other non-ag related industry are welcome to join if what the Farm Bureau is doing is important to them. Mr. Platt believes this organization is valuable to everyone. He says, “Your next breath is the most important thing to you right now, and if you don’t believe me, pinch your nose and purse your lips.” Next on the list is water and then food. Farmers are environmentalists and the Farm Bureau is concerned about keeping air and water clean not to mention making sure there’s food on the tables of Americans everywhere – a feat that cannot be accomplished without the 1.5 percent of the population who work toward that end. In addition to his Farm Bureau position, Mr. Platt serves as Director of the local Cattleman’s Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (a Board his father served on for 30 years). He is a cattle rancher and works with his 91-year-old father on their 700-acre ranch, which is home to 250300 head of cattle. He’s been married to the “same unfortunate girl since 1972,” and they have two beautiful daughters and one grandson. He says he’s got his 19 month old grandson in an “intensive training program,” so he can take over the ranch “soon.” For a toddler, those are mighty big shoes to fill.

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Whose Slave Are You? by One of Christ’s Slaves, Pastor Robert P. Herrin

My wife, Lisa, and I recently saw the movie “Amazing Grace” which reminded us of the gallant and courageous fight of William Wilberforce of England to stop the horrendous slave trade. What an awesome movie! Slavery, where one man was owned by another and looked upon as a piece of property, is not only a regrettable and despicable part of English and American history, but was also a deeply rooted part of the economy and social structure of the ancient Near East and of the Greco-Roman world. Thank God those days are history, and all Americans regret that part of our past that echoes with the pains and sorrows of our fellow man. Webster’s dictionary definition of slave is: “1. a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; bond servant. 2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person.” Notice the second definition says a person can be a slave to an influence or person. Again, we are all eternally grateful that human slavery is history. But, regrettably, much of mankind is still in bondage, still under the powerful influence of someone and something else. Unfortunately, much of the human race is under the cruel hand of slavery. This slavery is sin and the taskmaster is Satan The darkness of slavery covers the hearts and minds of mankind, blinding their eyes to the truth of their dilemma. This slavery to sin entered the human race through the blatant disobedience of Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis and Romans 5:12-21, and has been man’s slave master ever since. Romand 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Many today say that mankind is basically good and just needs to be encouraged and educated to bring that basic goodness to full fruition. But, Holy Scripture informs us that the opposite is true and that the heart of man is desperately wicked and that he has a constant struggle with the propensity toward evil. God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, broke the bonds of


February 2011

sin and set us free. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John also tells us in 1 John 5:12, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” John is speaking here of eternal life which can only come through faith in Jesus Christ who gave His life for our forgiveness of sin and freedom from sin’s tyranny. Paul asked the question in Romans 6:17, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Then, speaking of the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and freedom from sin he says in Romans 6:18, “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Verse 22 victoriously proclaims, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life.” WOW! Free at last! Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” You can’t live an abundant and free life and be chained and enslaved by sin. Jesus gives a life free from smothering guilt and devastating regret. He gives an abundant life of freedom. The word abundant that John uses in John 10:10 actually means: superabundance, excessive, overlowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient. Hallelujah! Who wouldn’t want such a life? Not things. Freedom. Not pleasures. Peace. Not slavery. Liberty. Not hopelessness. Eternal life. Whose slaves are you? God’s or Satan’s? Righteous or sin? Life or death? If you haven’t, I pray you will make Him Lord of your life, for in Him is the true meaning of life. If you are His slave, then enjoy your freedom. To be His slave is to be free.

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The other day I was walking down the sidewalk in downtown Plant City and a bug tried to fly up my nose. Of course it made me sneeze, and immediately the person walking in back of me said, “God Bless You.” I said, “Thank you,” and went in to the Chamber of Commerce. I thought, why do they say, “God Bless You,” when you sneeze? I asked Marion, Amy, Jane, Susan and Al at the Chamber if they knew, and they all said they had no idea. Later that day I ran into Dean Snyder and asked him if he knew. He said, “Yes Al, as a matter of fact I do know why they say ‘God Bless You’. When I was going to Harvard I wrote a thesis paper on this very subject. To sum it up, the Romans apparently routinely greeted sneezing with a salutation, most often, “May the Sun be with you!” The writers back then referred back to the legend of Prometheus, who made a clay model of a man, then brought him to life by applying a heavenly celestial-fire-filled reed in the clay man’s nostrils.” Wishes for good health appeared to have been born out of a number of epidemics beginning the Middle Ages. There was a legend that the habit of sneezing dates back before Christianity, even before the time of Jacob. Back then the shock of sneezing was fatal. Buford, the right hand man for Cyrus the Great, bargained with the Gods, exchanging the fatality a of sneeze for the promise that a prayer would be said every time one sneezed. Thus, from that we get today’s “God Bless You,” so says Dean. Why I spend time on the subject of sneezing I’ll never know, but one thing I did learn is that there are numerous superstitions about sneezing. When you sneeze you do it with your eyes closed, and your bodily functions completely are beyond your control. Have someone take your picture when you sneeze and you’ll see what I mean. Your face contorts, you might turn pink and the threatened


February 2011

explosion comes whether we are at home, attending a funeral or behind the wheel of our car. ‘Nuff of that, let’s move on to another subject. I have two questions. One, if man evolved from monkeys and apes why do we still have monkeys and apes? Two, what do you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant? I’ll let you work on those. Have you ever heard of “Coon Dog Cemetery?” I have and

I have been there. It’s located in northwest Alabama in a small, grassy meadow, deep in the rich, thick wilderness of Freedom Hills. The coon dog graveyard was established in 1937 on a popular hunting camp where coon hunters from miles around would gather to plot their coon hunting trips and compare coon hounds. The first coon hound buried there was old “Troop.” It was said he was “cold nosed,” meaning he could follow cold coon tracks until they grew fresh and he never left the trail until he had treed the coon. The only dogs that are allowed to be buried there are coon dogs. Key Underwood who established the graveyard said, “there is no way we would contaminate this burial place with poodles and lap dogs.” The official name is now “Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard,” which has over the years become a popular tourist attraction and is the only cemetery of this kind in the world. More than 200 coon dogs have been laid to rest here, and all have met the three requirements for internment. 1 - The owner must claim their pet is an authentic coon dog. 2 - A witness must declare the deceased is a coon dog. 3 - A member of the local coon hunters’ organization must be allowed to view the coonhound and declare it as such. You can find the “Coon Dog Cemetery” 7 miles west of Tuscumbia on U.S. Highway 27. Turn left on Alabama Highway 247, travel about 12 miles. Turn right, and follow the signs. For more information contact the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. Put this place on your next vacation, and watch the expression on your friends faces when you tell them where you went. Some people make profound statements, and I have collected a few of my favorites;

mpbell bby Ca o H y S” b “PAIR

• Will Rogers - We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. • Billy Crystal - By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere. • Joe Namath - Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP! • Rodney Dangerfield - My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. • Lillian Carter - (mother of Jimmy Carter) Sometimes when I look at my children, I say to myself, “Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.” • Victor Borge - Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. Have you noticed how many people are using their cell phone while driving? Stranger things have happened on the interstate highways. When Lamar Maxwell of Lithia was with the Florida Highway Patrol he pulled over a car that was being driven by a chimpanzee on I-4 between Plant City and Lakeland. Recently I heard the story of a highway patrolman that pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway in California. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper lowed his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, “PULL OVER!” “NO” the blonde yelled back, “IT’S A SCARF!” Till next month I leave you with this to ponder. Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?

February 2011


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Few, if any, conservation stories are as remarkably successful as that of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Hunt-able populations of wild turkeys can now be found over most of North America. Due to this widespread availability there has been a virtual explosion of turkey hunting fans and fanatics. Once it was thought that only those gifted few with a trained ear and a talent for mimicry calling could hope to be a successful or accomplished turkey hunter. To that way of thinking I say, hog wash. As with any kind of hunting, there are a variety of methods, any of which can put a gobbler in the cooking pot. A couple decades of springs devoted to outsmarting my fine feathered friend has convinced me it is all up to the bird. It’s the gobbler that decides whether he will waltz in twirling and showing off his full courting regalia or if he’ll cower away snubbing your most desperate pleading on every call in your hunting vest. A wild turkey has a mind of his own that can and does change often. This is the reason that not any one tactic will produce success every time. The hunter that keeps an open mind, a flexible attitude, and a large bag of tricks will always be the hunter with the most filled turkey tags. I’d rather be a mediocre caller with a variety of tunes than an expert with only one song. There are days that all gobblers will turn a deaf ear to the most seductive yelps of a box call yet be utterly suicidal for any random scratching on a slate. I’ve seen a snuff can tube call inspire five gobblers to race headlong into a load of Winchester No.5’s, while a gold-trimmed custom wing bone yelper sent them running for cover. The reaction of a wild strutter on any given day is usually determined by a trial and error check. This is one reason why I carry an arsenal of hunting tricks and tools in my turkey vest. My new signature “Sweet Talker” friction call does double duty since it has a glass striking surface on one side and a slate on the other. With the red cedar “Sweet Strike” peg it is possible to sound like multiple hens without having to carry multiple pot calls. I also depend on a well tuned box call for windy days or other situations when there is a need for a louder yelp. Add to this a tin full of assorted diaphragms and a locator call, such as those that mimic a crow, hawk or woodpecker, and I feel confident and prepared for even the most stubborn old gobbler. There is a direct link between comfort and success since being comfortable means you are more apt to hunt longer and it is easier remain still. Here’s my list; Redhead Turkey Lounger vest. This vest has a patented integrated stadium style seat that supports my back for the most comfortable seat in the woods, plus it keeps my bottom dry when sitting on wet ground. I outfit my shotgun with the best recoil pad available and an extendable monopod shooting stick. Winchester Extended Range Turkey Ammunition is tops for reaching out and seriously touching the bald noggin of what was almost our National Bird. Having survived a round of tick fever a few years ago, I’m extra cautious about using a good tick spray on my hunting clothes, plus tick gators on my pants legs. The RedHead Leafy suit has a fine mesh liner that prevents ticks from gaining access and the Mossy Oak camo patterns helps me melt in to any habitat. There you have it! Be confident, hunt comfortable, and kill more turkeys.


February 2011

FLEXSTEL sofas were $2000 now $500 to 700. while they last. Plus other pink tag items

February 2011


Making Florida’s future

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by Mark Cook We all have had doors open and close for unknown reasons. Some people question things while others go with the flow looking for ways to make a difference. Kellie Duke, the new Highlands County 4-H extension agent is one who takes things as they come, always looking for a way to make a difference. And in her new job she is more than satisfied with the possibilities it holds. “I was a teacher for years and it’s kind of funny how things happen. I never really looked to leave the classroom, but needed a more flexible schedule in order to be able to help my parents when needed. When this job opened up, I was encouraged to apply. This job gives me the opportunity to continue to work with the youth of Highlands County in an indirect yet valuable way. I will be working with the youth leaders and parents of students participating in the 4-H Programs. But more importantly the opportunities are endless and I really look forward to being able to reach more young people than ever before!” As the 4-H agent for Highlands County Kellie will be able to help provide leadership to the county’s 11 4H clubs, work closely with the University of Florida to help provide the resources that the leaders need, and plan and facilitate activities for the students involved. Kellie’s qualifications could take up the whole page. Kellie Duke started her career in education as an elementary teacher. She has taught at many different levels at various schools in Highlands County. “When I was teaching third grade I had the chance to take my students to Ag Venture and it helped me to understand the value of agriculture education,” she said. Years later she decided to make the jump to middle school. She was teaching eighth grade Reading and Language Arts when a new opportunity came her way. While teaching at Avon Park Middle School Kellie’s principal, Dan Johnson, mentioned he wanted to start an agricultural education program for his students. She quickly volunteered. Johnson remembers the day Duke came to him about the job. “I had known Kellie for a few years and she was an excellent teacher,” Johnson said. “She made the jump from elementary teacher to eighth grade reading teacher with ease, but I was a little hesitant at first to let her head up our agriculture


February 2011

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February 2011


Thank You... program. But after thinking about her enthusiasm I decided to let her do it and I’m really glad I did. After two years we were above programs that had been around for decades. That is how good she is. And I have no doubt the 4-H programs in Highlands will really take off with her leadership. She’s just a great lady.” Highlands School Board agricultural resource teacher Gary Lee agreed with Johnson. “I was one who thought, how in the world can a reading teacher become an ag teacher?, but I shouldn’t have been concerned,” Lee said. “I told the state FFA advisor, if we could clone Kellie Duke it would solve the state’s problems in looking for great teachers. Her care and compassion she shows her students is a wonderful sight to see.’’ As the FFA advisor at Avon Park Middle School, Kellie Duke’s teams won numerous state awards in categories like citrus, dairy, food science and parliamentary procedure. “Our chapter averaged between 90 and 100 students every year, making us one of the largest in the area. I tried to reach out to students that typically would not join the FFA. Many would say no the first time they were asked, but eventually they would give in, join up and really end up loving our program,” said Kellie. “Being able to take my FFA members to the FFA Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C was the most rewarding experience for me! To see them take part in the highest level of leadership training offered by the FFA was spectacular. I’m really hoping to be able to do some of the same things with the 4-H clubs we have in Highlands County.” One of Duke’s great success stories is Charlie Brown. “I met Charlie at Avon Park Middle School when he was in seventh grade and I thought he could really develop into a great speaker,” said Kellie. “So I kept asking him to join and finally he did. Brown went on to being elected the governor of Boy’s State in Tallahassee and then being elected the national president this past summer in Washington, DC.” “Charlie is one of those success stories that motivates you to keep doing what you are doing. Charlie is very smart and could have been very successful without FFA, but his mother and I believe the values and experiences learned by being in FFA have really helped him develop into the young man he is today. Charlie is an excellent example of what that little bit of extra from FFA or 4-H can do for a young person’s confidence.” Charlie Brown couldn’t say enough great things about his former FFA leader, Kellie Duke. “As far as most influential people in my life she is right up there,” Brown said. “The things I’ve done and been able to experience was because she asked me to be a part of the FFA organization. As an African-American and from the city I didn’t really feel FFA was for me but she believed in me and helped me along. Without her support and guidance I would have never been able to do some of the things I’ve done like being elected President of Boy’s Nation in Washington, D.C. and being able to meet President Obama.” As Duke settles into her new position, she can’t help but feel positive about the future and the goals she has for 4-H across Highlands County. “I have some ideas about how we can incorporate 4-H into our after school programs. Many 4-H activities go right along with the Sunshine State Standards for science, so 4H members can learn while having fun! There are so many young people in our county that can and will benefit from the things that 4-H can teach them and also give them life lessons that they will carry with them the rest of their lives.” “I want to learn as much about 4-H as I can and help develop a program all of Highlands County can be proud of. I’m very excited.”


February 2011

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Phosphate Operations “Helping Farmers Feed a Hungry World”

Please join CF Industries in supporting  these community events: 

Friday Night Live! Grillin’ and Chillin’  Friday, February 18, 2011 – 5‐9 pm  Saturday, February 19, 2011 – 10 am – 3 pm  Main Street Heritage Park – Wauchula      Friday Night Live! Mardi Gras  Friday, March 18, 2011 – 5‐9 pm  Main Street Heritage Park – Wauchula 

Left to right: On April 27, 1939, men line up to run at Brighton Field and women race for the finish line at Brighton Field.

Hardee County Fair  February 19‐26, 2011  Wauchula, Florida    Strawberry Festival  March 3 – 13, 2011  Plant City, Florida 

by Sarah Holt Seminole Tribe of Florida Photos Courtesy of Seminole Media Productions PRCA ProRodeo Photos by Mike Copeman


he Seminole Tribe of Florida has a rich and colorful heritage. Established in 1938, the Brighton Reservation is one of five major reservations in the state of Florida, encompassing more than 38,000 acres, most of which is used for ranching and farming. A big part of this heritage, according to Amos Tiger, Director of Fred Smith Rodeo Arena, is rodeo. “That is how the tribe was able to make money to go to Washington, D.C. (for the Seminoles) to become a chartered tribe.”

Flanked by Hardee County Fair Royalty, CF Buyer John Barlow (right) is pictured with Caleb  Boyette (left) after purchasing Caleb’s hog at the 2010 Hardee County Fair. CF is a proud  supporter of the youth livestock sale in Hardee County each year because fair projects teach  valuable lessons in agriculture.  6209 N. County Road 663  Bowling Green, FL 33834  863-375-4321


February 2011

February 2011


The Seminole Tribe of Florida brings that heritage home with the 73rd Annual Brighton Field Day Festival, which includes a PRCA Rodeo & the Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls event, February 17-20 at the Fred Smith Rodeo Arena on the Brighton Seminole Reservation, Okeechobee, FL. The Festival will include amusement rides, a culture camp, wildlife show, alligator wrestling, a pageant of Seminole clothing, a parade on Saturday and lots of fun! There will be exhibition dancers, a pageant, arts, crafts and food with more than 70 venders on site. Sunday’s event will include a special youth showcase. The goal of this event is to, according to Amos, “Lead from the young back to the old of where the tribe has come from with rodeo involvement.” The Seminole Tribe of Florida has been a partner of the PRCA for years including the PRCA’s Dodge Southeastern Circuit Finals Rodeo in Davie and the Wrangler NFR telecasts. “They get a lot of good publicity. They probably get more out of these two events (Xtreme Bulls and NFR) than they do with the super bowl for a 30 second commercial,” said Amos. In addition to the usual rodeo events, Sunday will showcase the Seminole Hard Rock Xtreme Bulls Series, one of only ten events each year. This series was established to showcase one of rodeo’s most popular events, bull riding. The toughest bulls available are used for this event, bulls that have had cowboys across the country eating dirt well before the sound of the eight second horn. The Xtreme Bull Riding will be televised at a later date on GAC. Two cowboys competing in the Xtreme Bull Riding event are Kanin Asay and Chance Smart. Among his accomplishments, Kanin was fifth in the world standings in 2010 and tied for sixth place at the 2010 Wrangler NFR. He won the Wrangler NFR average title in 2009 and in 2010 won round three of the Wrangler NFR with a 91-point ride and round four with an 88.5. Chance tied for first place in round three of the 2008 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and placed in two other rounds, finishing second in the world standings. That same year he won the Dodge Xtreme Bulls Tour Finale in


February 2011

Indianapolis, IN and the season points championship. Both these bull riders agree that one of the best points of the Xtreme Bulls competition is the money earned. Many rodeo event participants have some longevity in their events, giving them years to earn paychecks. Not so with bull riders. “You don’t see many 40-year-old bull riders,” said Chance. Xtreme Bulls allows them to earn more money in a shorter period of time and the earnings count toward the world standings, which determine qualifiers for the National Finals Rodeo. Kanin agrees with Chance, and adds another thing he feels is important, and that is the chance to bring a ministry to more people as a whole. These two bull riders, will join three time PRCA World Champion J.W. Harris, as well as others who rank among the top cowboys from the PRCA world standings vie for top honors. The price is right, so come watch the excitement as this event is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Thursday, February 17 and Friday February 18 the gates will open at 5:00 PM and the Rodeo is at 7:00 PM. Saturday, February 19, the Festival gates will open at 9:00 AM and the rodeo will begin at 3:00 PM. Sunday, February 20, the Festival gates will open at 10:00 AM with Xtreme Bull Riding at 3:00 PM. Parking will be courtesy of the Seminole Police Explorer Kids, who are raising money for a trip to Washington, D.C. Cost for parking is donation only. Advanced tickets are available at Brighton Seminole Casino, Brighton Trading Post, Glissons Animal Supply, Everglades Farm Equipment, Lake Placid Feed, Custom Graphics & Signs and Okeechobee Dodge. You can also purchase tickets by phone at 863-467-6039. Tickets for Thursday through Saturday are $15 each or $12 in advance and children 10 and under get in free. This includes Festival admission. Tickets for Xtreme Bulls on Sunday are $20 or $15 in advance and 10 and under are admitted free. According to the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s web site, “The challenge of maintaining the unique Seminole culture while operating in the mainstream economy is the priority for today’s Seminole Tribe of Florida. The descendants of Osceola, Jumper, Micanopy, and Sam Jones have come a long way since the

February 2011


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bullets stopped flying a century ago. These days, the battleground is often a courtroom, where the Seminole Tribe of Florida has proved a vigorous defender of its sovereignty. The proud, “unconquered” Seminole Tribal community remains, as always, a valuable legacy of Florida’s rich and diverse heritage and a national leader among American Indian tribes striving for self-reliance.” Help keep the memory of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, its cultures and traditions alive by attending what is sure to be an outstanding even each day. Also, tell the event sponsors thank you, for helping to make this event possible. Sponsors include First Bank of Indiantown, Seminole Casino Brighton, Everglades Farm Equipment, Izzy’s Tire Sales, Little Big Man’s Marina, Okeechobee Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Deangelis Diamond Construction, Travis Trueblood Law Group, Best Western, Holiday Inn Express and Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. The facility also hosts a variety of events including concerts, barrel races, reining events, and others. Check out their web site at for more information on upcoming events.

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To advertise your business in Heartland’s Growing Business Showcase, please call Nick 863-224-0180

To advertise your business in Heartland’s Growing Business Showcase, please call Nick 863-224-0180

Please patronize these fine businesses in your area. 36


February 2011


February 2011


n a m Wo


Sarah K. Childs By Jack McConoughey Meeting Sarah K. Childs for the first time is an incredible experience. Her positive upbeat energy bounces onto those around her, making them feel welcome and proud to have met such a remarkable lady. After growing up in Illinois, Sarah decided to attend Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, where she met her future husband Tommy. On the weekends, Sarah stayed at the 125,000-acre Sky Valley Ranch, which was owned by John D. MacArthur and managed by the Childs family. There, she fell in love with the cattle, the wildlife, and ranch life in general. After college, Sarah taught physical education for a year before moving to Florida in 1970. Sarah has two children, ShareenLynn and JohnTravis. Missing the hard manual labor that she loved on the ranch, Sarah began helping her father-in-law and husband at Buck Island Ranch in 1973. Mr. MacArthur visited Buck Island every Tuesday and most weekends from Palm Beach. He had such an impact on their lives and became such a great family friend that Sarah decided to name her son JohnTravis after him. Buck Island Ranch, now called MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center, was leased to Archbold Biological Station in 1988. During this era, women were not encouraged to work out with the cattle, and preferred to stay back. However, with strong determination, Sarah asked her father-in-law and began helping in the background to work cattle. Working cattle on a horse was one thing, but a woman going to work in the cow pens was definitely not permitted. After a while, she became one of the first women allowed at the cow pens where she loved watching cattle being ear marked. As time passed, Sarah was asked to help in the cow pens and began ear marking. During her first year she marked 50 head of first calf heifers, then half of the herd the following year. From first being told that women weren’t allowed to work cattle, to becoming one of the top ear markers on the ranch, Sarah’s determination brought her to the forefront. In 1987, Sarah proudly became Assistant Ranch Manager at Buck Island Ranch until 1994. The ranch sponsored numerous field days, ranch tours, and demonstrations for public agriculture organizations along with Publix Super Markets and Purina Mills. Wanting to learn more about the cattle industry, Sarah started taking every class available and was a speaker at the Beef Short Course at the University of Florida in 1981. She also attended classes offered by various feed companies, and mostly learned on the job at Buck Island. She loved working in the cow pens so much, it did not bother her occasionally to go into meetings, such as a National Resource Advisory Commission meeting, carrying part of the dirt and residue from the pens on her jeans and boots. “I loved all of the hard physical labor, working with the calves and having something to show that you helped produce,” explains Sarah. In 1976, her father-in-law, Dan Childs, introduced Sarah to Carolyn Kempfer and Ruth Tucker, who were officers of the Florida CowBelles. Sarah


February 2011

became an officer of the Florida CowBelles in the summer of 1976 and State Florida CowBelles President in 1976, was Highland County CowBelles State Director from 1976 until 1992. In 1992 she was elected Highlands County Cattlemen’s President. She was a Highlands County 4-H Leader for 14 years, as well as serving on the Highlands County Junior Livestock Committee and being President for eight of those years. In 2007 Sarah became President of the Florida CattleWomen, the only member to be elected both CowBelle and CattleWomen President. Throughout the years, Sarah Childs has held various titles, served on numerous committees within the Florida CattleWomen’s Association. From 1982-2003, she served as Florida Hereford Association President and Southeastern Hereford Association Bull Show and Sale Chairman. With the exception of two, she’s attended all Florida Cattlemen and CowBelle/ CattleWomen’s Association Conventions, and attended the American National Cattlewomen National Conventions from 1988-1993. In 2008, she served on the Board of Directors for the American National CattleWomen and was also Presidents Committee Chairman of the National Convention the same year. Upon leaving Buck Island Ranch in 1994, Sarah began working at Lykes Bros. Inc. as the Environmental/ Safety Coordinator, where she continues today. She also is a water plant operator, is in charge of all fuel tank compliance, Worker Protection Compliance and annual environmental audits. This job requires spending a majority of her time out of doors, which suits her fine for as she says, “I never would have made it cooped up inside of an office five days a week. I am a most fortunate person. I get up everyday and actually enjoy going to work. It is the love of the land and the truly gratifying work and people I am involved with, in a traditional industry that makes life so rewarding.” As a lady who was told first told that women could not work cows, Sarah’s motivation, love for agriculture, determination, and positive outlook took her straight to the top. “I am so enamored with the agriculture industry, I can’t imagine not staying with it.”

February 2011


IFAS Updates It’s That Time of the Year Again! by Dee Dee Jacobson Highlands County Extension Horticulture Agent Last year the Ag Tour was such a success the Highlands County Extension Service decided to offer an Ag Tour again this February; February 28, 2011 to be exact. The Extension’s Overall Advisory Committee opted to step it up one more notch. There will be two different tours the same day. One tour bus will be going to the north side of Highlands County and the second tour bus will be headed to the south side of Highlands County. Your biggest concern will be to decide if you want to go north or south. For those of you who are lucky enough to get a ticket, we will meet at the Bert J. Harris Jr. Agriculture Center’s auditorium at 7:30 AM. After coffee, orange juice and donuts, we will load

up the tour buses at 8:00 AM and head out. Please keep in mind there will be steps to climb and places to walk so come prepared to do so. Lunch will be provided, snacks and something to drink during the tour. We will arrive back at the Agriculture Center at approximately 4:00 PM. The tickets will go on sale January 24, 2011 at a first come, first serve bases and will cost $50.00 per person. Just stop on down at the Agriculture Center to pick up your ticket and ask for Katie Duncan. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact the Highlands County Extension Service at 863-402-6540. Thank you… and enjoy your trip!

Maria Gallo Named UF/IFAS Agronomy Department Chairman By Mickie Anderson Maria Gallo, a molecular genetics professor, has been named chairman of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ agronomy department. Jack Payne, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, announced the move Jan. 14. Gallo, who has served as the interim department chair since September 2009, replaces Jerry Bennett, the department’s chair for 17 years. Bennett is now serving as the department’s graduate coordinator and teaching. “Maria Gallo represents what is best about the IFAS faculty. She is a proven researcher, gifted teacher, and a great team player, who as an administrator, recognizes the challenges of her department, IFAS and the university in maintaining the level of expertise necessary to solve global problems,” Payne said. A member of the UF/IFAS faculty since 1996, Gallo is best known for her research that may someday help create a nonallergenic peanut. Gallo and a graduate student found that one of the allergenic proteins in peanuts is sometimes produced with a portion missing — resulting in a form that apparently doesn’t trigger a bad reaction in human immune systems. Gallo said she expects to continue that research, along with other projects, including one that could increase sugarcane’s potential as a bioenergy crop by reducing or eliminating the plant’s flowering, boosting its biomass and altering its lignin composition. She is also leading another multi-state, multi-agency research team that hopes to gain funding for a regional biofuels


February 2011

and bioenergy consortium to work toward the commercialization of third-generation biofuels utilizing energy cane, elephant grass and sweet sorghum. Gallo said she believes the biggest challenges for her department are twofold: The first is finding ways to communicate to potential undergraduates that agronomy is about much more than crop production — it is increasingly an academic discipline focused on issues such as sustainable agriculture, bioenergy, climate change research and controlling invasive plants. “I think that in crop science and agronomy, we are positioned to make a really big difference right now,” she said. “Our little window of opportunity is right here, right now, so we need to grab it and go. I think our country’s becoming more aware of the importance of food and the environment and sustainable approaches – it’s on people’s radar screens.” The second challenge, she says, is in reaching out to potential private donors who could help create a push for a more modern facility to house the department, which is currently based in Newell Hall, one of the main campus’ oldest buildings. Gallo holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Cornell University, a master’s degree in crop science from North Carolina State University, and her doctoral degree in genetics, also from North Carolina State. This year, she is president of the Crop Science Society of America, a group of more than 4,700 members dedicated to advancing crop science.

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February 2011

updated 01/2009


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My name is Jan Platt. I was raised in agriculture right here in Hardee County. We grew a variety of vegetables, had citrus groves and raised cattle. After marriage I continued in agriculture, but this time just raising cattle. My family also owns a tanning salon (Jan’s) in Wauchula and I am in my 13th year as a Hardee County School Board Member. My family includes myself, my husband John, our daughter Julie, her husband Daniel, our grandson Brody, our daughter Jaime and her fiancé Jason. We all like to eat! So cooking is essential! As a child, I enjoyed helping my mama and my granny cook. They would let me mix some of the ingredients and sometimes, while making biscuits, I was allowed to roll my own little pan of biscuits. I began really cooking in my teens. It was mine and my sister’s responsibility to plan and cook supper most week nights. When my sister got married the responsibility was left to me. Mama is a cook who hardly ever measures, so while I was learning to cook

Pineapple Upside Down Cake—Jan Style

I had to learn what a pinch of this or a smidgen of that was in terms of measurement. So began my early cooking years. I later learned why Mama didn’t measure. It does not always require the same amount or type of ingredients each time that dish is prepared. I usually do not follow a recipe. I usually just wing it (sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t). If I borrow a recipe from someone I normally figure, if it is good like this, it would be better if I add this or that. It was hard to decide which recipe is a family favorite. My daughters suggested Chicken n Dumplin’s, but I do not have a written recipe, I just make them. They were more than willing to write down the recipe while I mixed up a batch. I didn’t fall for that! The recipe I have chosen is another family favorite and I did have the recipe written down. I chose Pineapple UpsideDown Cake. I have made this for family reunions, meetings, birthdays, family dessert and have used it to pay my father-inlaw for mowing my yard. I hope you enjoy.

• 1-Yellow or Butter recipe Duncan Hines cake mix • Mix as directed * you can substitute drained pineapple juice for water or pineapple/water mix (1/2 cup oil, 3 eggs, 2/3 cup water) • Melt butter in baking pan (9x13) (usually ½ to a whole stick). You need enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan very well. • Next, spread brown sugar over butter – Enough to soak up butter (1 -1 ½ cups) press it evenly over entire pan. • Drain a large can of pineapple rings* Place rings on top of brown sugar/ butter mix and press in. • Place maraschino cherries in middle of pineapple slices and in between (just decorate) press in. • Place pecan halves around pineapple and cherries. Press in (this keeps them from floating up when you pour in cake batter) • Pour cake batter into pan • Bake at 350 for approximately 30-45 minutes, (when knife comes out clean)


February 2011

Optional Glaze ¼ lb butter (1 stick) ¼c water (to make this stronger don’t add water) 1c sugar 1/3c rum

Heat butter and water until butter is melted, add sugar. While sugar dissolves, add 1/3 cup rum. Bring to a boil. Pour over cake before dumping out of pan. Save some to put a light glaze on top. HINTS: crushed pineapple is also good. Sometimes I use pecan pieces in the cake (they help hold the rum glaze in).

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By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science Wintertime in Florida means a bountiful supply of juicy, delicious citrus fruits in their peak season. Florida is the second largest citrus producer in the world, behind Brazil. In 2005-06, Florida accounted for 68 percent of the U.S. citrus production, California for 28 percent, and Texas and Arizona for 4 percent. Tangerines are similar to oranges, but are smaller in size, peel more easily, and have a less tart flavor. In the United States, tangerines are grown in Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas, and their peak season is November through January. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, Florida produced 27 percent of the total U.S. value of production for tangerines ($58 million) in 2008. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE Florida tangerines are bursting with nutrition. They contain vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium. In addition to these nutrients, tangerines contain a wealth of other disease-fighting compounds, such as phytonutrients and antioxidants. These potent chemicals fight cancer, lower cholesterol, and control blood sugar levels. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one cup of tangerine segments (195 g) contains 103 calories, 1.6 g protein, 0.6 g fat, 26 g carbohydrate, and 3.5 g of dietary fiber. It also provides 87 percent of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin C, 27 percent for vitamin A, 14 percent for dietary fiber, 9 percent for potassium, 8 percent for thiamin, and other nutrients including vitamin B6, calcium, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, and riboflavin. Vitamin C Vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system, cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. This vitamin acts as a potent antioxidant in the body, neutralizing harmful free radicals and preventing its damaging effects in cells. By fighting cell and tissue damage, Vitamin C


protects against cancer and other diseases, such as the common cold. This vitamin also helps the body absorb more iron, and aids in the development of strong bones and teeth. Current research findings support that Vitamin C’s benefits come from consumption of whole fruits and vegetables. A high intake of produce is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Taking supplements does not seem to provide the same protective benefits as eating a tangerine or consuming the juice. Fiber Tangerines and other citrus fruits contain a significant amount of dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, assist with digestion, and prevent constipation. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, a diet high in fiber may decrease the risk of several types of cancer including colon, rectum, breast, and pancreas. A single tangerine provides 12.5 percent of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, which helps to prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help maintain steady blood sugar levels, as can fructose, the naturally occurring type of fruit sugar found in oranges. Oranges also contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and aids in satiety. Potassium Tangerines are a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and cardiac arrythmias. One tangerine contains more than seven percent of the Daily Value for potassium, which is needed for proper electrolyte and fluid balance. Potassium plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission, and people with low levels may experience muscle cramping. This important mineral may also help prevent or slow down bone loss from high-sodium diets. Thiamin Thiamin helps the body convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. In addition to

February 2011

energy production, thiamin is important for brain and heart health and in coordinating the activity of nerves and muscles. Vitamin B6 Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps form red blood cells and maintain brain function, among other functions. Vitamin B6 is also needed to help the body use protein. Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is important for metabolism. It is also essential in the formation of healthy red blood cells and plays a role in maintaining the central nervous system. How to Select and Store Choose tangerines with glossy, deep orange, pebbly skins that feels heavy for its size. When gently squeezed, they should feel firm to slightly soft. Avoid those with soft spots or dull color. Tangerines can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days. How to Enjoy Since tangerines come in their own natural packaging, they are a portable, convenient snack. You can simply peel and eat the tangerine out-of-hand. Tangerines can also be juiced for a refreshing beverage. Other ways to enjoy tangerines include: • Toss tangerine segments into a salad. • Squeeze the juice into a pan, allow it to thicken over heat, and use it as a sauce for fish or chicken. • Add tangerine juice to baked goods or icing for a bright refreshing twist. • Slip a few slices of orange into a pitcher of water for a refreshing low-calorie beverage. • Boil tangerine slices with your teabag or add slices to boiled tea. Enjoy sweet, juicy Florida tangerines in their peak season today! SELECTED REFERENCES


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February 2011


By Johnny Cone

Wild Citrus

By Ron Lambert Greetings to all of you out in the Heartland, who look forward each month to a copy of In the Field magazine. I would like to say that I have enjoyed putting my thoughts on paper for the benefit of the readers. I will admit that it is somewhat of a challenge to come up with an idea that makes for interesting reading. I hope that I have been successful with my efforts so far. Up until last Thursday, I had no idea what I might write about this month. Then the two ladies in our office rode over to a 40-acre tract of land we own. They returned with a basket of very orange, sweet, easy to peel tangerines that grow in the wild on the land. When I looked at those fruit I thought to myself, I can write an article about wild citrus growing all over Florida and how we believe it got here. Originally, the Spanish brought some varieties with them and either scattered seed or planted seedlings in areas where they established a settlement. The most likely region where citrus got its earliest start was no doubt St. Augustine. The Spanish had both sour and sweet oranges growing in warmer areas in Spain, as well as large containers that could be moved indoors for cold protection. Citrus was being grown around the Mediterranean, as well as in France long before a Spanish explorer ever set foot on North American soil. One fact that I want to mention is that a number of species of plant and animal life have been introduced into a new part of the world with less than desirable results and long lasting and damaging consequences for the environment. A few that come to mind are the Brazilian pepper, the melaleuca, congan grass, water hyacinth, and the pythons in the Everglades. These are examples of species being introduced with many negative results and very little desirable beneficial results. Those of us who have had the opportunity to observe citrus growing throughout Florida have surely noticed how well the trees seem to adapt. Citrus of all types has gained a foothold in our oak hammocks without crowding out native vegetation at all. On the area near the Buckhorn Nursery where I grew up, you can pick grapefruit, sour and sweet oranges, rough lemons and two or more types of tangerines. This fruit is always blemish free, clear of skin with bright color. Because the trees are seedlings, the fruit will vary widely in quality and desirability. But the important thing to remember is that these wild trees, whose actual origins are obscured in the passage of time, still form the foundations of the modern citrus industry that benefits so many in the Sunshine State. In anticipation of adding a little more interest to this portion of the article we have included photographs of several different types of wild fruit growing near our home and business. These include tangerines, grapefruit, sweet oranges, and rough lemons. I hope all of you enjoy this month’s article and the accompanying photographs. I plan to write more on this subject next month with details on how citrus began to be planted commercially. I will also have information to share about the selection and development of many citrus varieties, some which are still in culture today, and others that are all but forgotten. Until next month, make the most of 2011 and resolve to be a blessing to someone you meet. Recognize the opportunity.


February 2011

Florida has been invaded by aliens! I am not talking about little green men and flying saucers. I am speaking of exotic wildlife species. This invasion began when the first explorers visited the New World and continues today. We see these exotic species every day and many times may not be aware that many common animals are not native to this state. For example, the brown anole lizards that are a common sight in most residential yards are not native to Florida. They are native to various islands in the Caribbean. Older folks will most likely remember a time when the only lizards we saw in our yards were our native Green Anoles. But now the brown lizards are everywhere. Another species commonly seen and often assumed as a native is the House Sparrow. This small bird is a common sight at backyard feeders. The House Sparrow is actually native to Europe and parts of the Middle East. The reason exotic species found their way to Florida is as diverse as the species themselves. Some arrived as part of a natural range expansion from other portions of the United States. Others were intentionally introduced in hopes they would serve some purpose or solve some issue. Many times this issue is the control of another non native species. On several occasions state officials have intentionally released an exotic species as a method of control of another exotic species already established. This has worked in some cases and in some cases it has not. Other exotics have become established because they were released, both intentionally and unintentionally, by pet owners. Of note, Hurricane Andrew is felt to have played a significant role in the establishment of some exotic species. Miami is an entry point for exotic captive wildlife coming into the United States. Because of that, there are many breeding and wholesale operations in Dade County. Those operations got hit very hard when Hurricane Andrew hit that part of the state, damaging and destroying many buildings and cages, causing the release of thousands of exotic animals. The strong winds helped distribute many animals, especially among the smaller species, far and wide across the Everglades and South Florida. An underlying cause with the exotic wildlife problem in Florida is the same cause as other issues the state has, population growth, traffic, etc. Florida is a great place to live. The exotics like it here as much as the people do. With a mild climate, plenty of rainfall, and lots of sunshine, there are few species that cannot survive here. Some even appear to do better here than they do in their native habitat. The heat is not so excessive that it causes a problem for species from more temperate climates. It also does not usually get cold enough to cause a problem for tropical species. While we get a good amount of rainfall, many desert dwellers even do fine in Florida. Looking at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website page on Invasive Species, it becomes clear just how serious the problem is Florida. The number of species now residing in the state, established and breeding is simply staggering. According to the above mentioned site, the numbers are as follows: There are 15 species of mammals that are established and have been breeding for at least 10 years in portions of the state. Notable species include coyotes, nutria and Rhesus Macaque monkeys. Amphibians have the fewest species with just four. However, one of the four is the Giant Marine Toad, which is deadly to pets and native predator species. A whopping 52 exotic bird species have bred within the state. Some of these species have become established, some have not, and with some species it is not yet confirmed. Bird species of note

include Muscovy Ducks, European Starlings, and numerous parrot species. When it comes to fish, 55 species have been collected in state waters. The blue tilapia, known in Florida commonly as the Nile Perch, is a common sight for fishermen. In Saltwater, Lionfish, a native of Indio Pacific waters, has become established on our reefs and near shore waters. Lionfish pose some unique problems. Aside from the fact they are ravenous feeders and preying heavily on our native reef species, they possess venomous spines that can cause a serious injury to an unwary fisherman unlucky enough to catch one of these brightly colored fish. There is one success story when it comes to non native fish species. The state of Florida successfully introduced Peacock Bass, a South American Species into south Florida. This species does not compete with native predatory fish and does a good job of keeping many non native fish species in check. Peacocks are a sportfish and great fighters. So a new recreational fishery was created. The state considers the introduction of Peacocks as an important success and the species has the distinction of being the only non native wildlife species that receives legal protection with size and bag limits. Leaving some of the most serious risks from non native species for last, we come to reptiles. Forty-six species of reptiles have been reported as breeding here in Florida. As with birds, some of these species are established, some are not, and some are unknown. This list contains some very ominous species, including the Nile Monitor Lizard. A large carnivorous lizard native to Africa has become well established in the Charlotte County area of Southwest Florida and appears to be expanding. This large lizard grows to a size of about six feet in length and is a cunning hunter that can be aggressive towards humans. Aside from the potential threat to humans, this lizard’s hunting habits pose a great risk for many native species including bird life. Notorious nest raiders, they are preying on the eggs of threatened species such as Gopher Tortoises and endangered sea turtles. Another Reptile established here in Florida has received national attention and has been the subject of television documentaries is the Burmese Python. This large species of snake has colonized the Everglades. Capable of taking large prey including deer, feral hogs and alligators, this species poses a very real safety threat to people. Like the Nile Monitor they appear to be expanding their range along the east coast of the state, with reports as far north as Volusia County. In addition to the 54 species on the FWC’s file of non native reptiles, there is one other species that may or may not be of a very serious concern. In August of 2009 a cable television worker was bitten by an Eastern Green Mamba while working in a Hollywood Florida neighborhood. Green Mambas are native to Africa and one of the most dangerous venomous snake species in the world. The bitten man recovered with treatment. But the snake was never found and captured. It is not likely that State Officials or anyone else will be able to eradicate any of the problematic species of exotic wildlife. The best we can probably hope for is that numbers are held in check and new species do not become established. Keep an eye out, because one day you may look out your back window and see anything from a Gambian Pouch Rat, to a monkey, to a Burmese Python or worse. The next time you hear someone talking about aliens, don’t look to the sky for flying saucers. Take a look in the bushes because something just may come crawling or slithering past.

February 2011


A Closer Look: The Winter Ecology of Insects

A Closer Look:

The Winter Ecology of Insects By Sean Green

Photo Credit: Thomas Hank

D i s t r i ct 6 Up date From the Desk o f Andy Neuho fer

Involvement in worthwhile organizations is a good way to help our communities, churches, state and nation. Farm Bureau has a multitude of opportunities for all of us to have a positive effect due to our efforts and willingness to serve others. At the local level, County Farm Bureaus need members to volunteer for membership recruitment, correspond with elected and regulatory officials, become involved in the Women’s and the Young Farmer and Rancher’s programs. Promoting Farm City Week and volunteering at local events are ways one can market Farm Bureau and the agricultural community. Volunteers can become involved by being nominated for the Florida Farm Bureau commodity advisory committees. Members are invited to attend Farm Bureau Days in Tallahassee which will be March 21 and 22. The state Women’s Conference will be February 28 – March 2 in Tallahassee. Young Farmer and Ranchers are invited to attend the state conference in Jacksonville this coming July. Attending statewide meetings gives us the opportunities to meet other members from throughout the state and could spark some interest to begin a new project in our home county. On the national level, registering for the FBACT is a simple way to convey our message to Congressional representatives. The Field to the Hill trip to Washington D.C. is in May. This trip provides the opportunity to meet directly with members of Congress and their staff. Often times, we will meet with regulators. Participants have the opportunity to meet American Farm Bureau Federation staff, too. For the youth, Farm Bureaus throughout the state support 4-H and FFA. We sponsor a speech contest for ages 14-18. This year, the district contest will be May 12. Many County Farm Bureaus sponsor Ag Literacy Day, which is in April. A lot of County Farm Bureaus also host agricultural field days for students. The Florida Farm Bureau provides mini-grants for teachers who may need help with some funding for an agricultural project. Familiarization with our policies and a willingness to be a part of the local organization can open many doors for those who wish to see agriculture continue to be a part of Florida’s future.

Andy Neuhofer

Andy Neuhofer Field Representative District 6 352.318.2506


February 2011

The natural capabilities of insects have fascinated me from an early age. Some insects can shoot streams of acid from their bodies, while others glow in the dark, change their body structure, or have ingenious predation behavior. Some of the least celebrated capabilities of insects are the adaptive mechanisms that ensure their survival through seasonal temperature changes. If you have ever wondered how such small creatures manage to survive cold weather, then you share my curiosity. Although some insect’s species will seek refuge in human structures, the majority will remain outside and rely on inherent strategies that predate the option of human structures. Unlike mammals and birds, insects are not capable of generating enough heat to maintain their core body temperatures. When the weather gets cold they become cold and sluggish or completely immobile. As long as they do not freeze, most insects will resume normal activity as the weather warms. An insect’s innate ability to survive a great range of temperatures is an amazing feature distinguishing insects from other animals. Insects can survive core temperature changes that would be fatal for any other animal. The spruce budworm (Choristoneura) for example can resist freezing in temperatures approaching –22°F and the Alaskan beetle (Upis ceramboides) can survive temperatures of –76°F. A core temperature change of ± 5 °F is enough to compromise human metabolism and degrade normal body functions. With a change of ± 10 °F human organs begin failing and death is expected. The ultimate goal for any living organism to survive in cold temperatures is to avoid cell damage that results in lethal freezing. Lethal freezing occurs when internal ice crystals cause cellular death. When ice forms on the outside of a cell membrane it draws water from the interior of the cell causing cellular dehydration (osmosis). Ice formations on the inside of a cell create mechanical damage as the ice crystals expand through the cell walls. Insects adopt one of two strategies for surviving cold temperatures that could result in lethal freezing. Insects in the northern hemisphere, where extended cold temperatures are expected are freeze avoidant species, they avoiding freezing by keeping bodily fluids in a liquid state. Insects here in the southern hemisphere are freeze tolerant species because they are able to tolerate moderate formations of internal ice crystals.

Freeze avoidant species condition their bodies to prevent internal fluids from ever reaching a solid state. Water requires a seed particle such as dust, food, or bacteria for ice crystallization to begin, without seed particles, pure water can cool down to about -43°F without freezing. Freeze avoidant species eliminate sources of ice crystallization by starving themselves or shedding their midgut when molting. Insects also manufacture cryoprotectants that are circulated through the body of the organism to lower the lethal freezing temperature of their fluids. Cryoprotectants is a term used to describe a variety of substances manufactured from overwintering insects that protect its tissue from freeze damage. Typically insects will circulate sugars and alcohol substances such as glycols and glycerins as a cryoprotectant to reduce the freezing point of their body fluids. Some insects have a wax coating that helps protects them from external moisture that could turn to ice while others such as the bark beetle will over winter inside living plants. Migration is a common strategy for freeze avoidant species. The most familiar example of insect migration is that of the adult monarch butterfly in its journey from Canada southward to Mexico. The return trip will be made by a member of its offspring. Freeze tolerant insects that remain in their host environment during the winter months have adapted to tolerate the formation of internal ice rather than avoid it. Instead of relying solely on cryoprotectants they also produce antifreeze proteins that bind to small internal ice crystals and inhibit the internal growth and recrystallization of ice that would otherwise be fatal. The production of antifreeze proteins in the insect are triggered by the reduction of sunlight as the shorter winter days approach. Species that produce antifreeze proteins can control where the crystals form within their body thus reducing damage to vital functions. Not all insects produce antifreeze proteins and instead rely on the environment to provide enough heat to avoid freezing, a dry place to hibernate is critical if the insect is to avoid ice formation of internal ice from external sources. Insects may seem to disappear in winter, but can be found. Ladybugs hibernate in communities under stumps or rocks to share heat. Many butterflies and moths overwinter in soil in the egg stage. Beetles hibernate underground or in tree bark during the winter and will be found on the southeastern side of trees where they will receive the longest duration of warmth.

February 2011


Foundations by Johnny Cone Photo by CM Foto

hampion wins Grand C h Florida Helen Davis ut So at the 2011 Market Steer phomore So a is , elen, 15 Fair. Sarah H Junior , e High School ember. at Okeechobe m A eman and FF uth Florida Cattl So e th at first year r he as w s hi lb T 60 . She and her 12 Senior Florida Fair. e th all” also won all sold steer “Rockw kw oc uckle. R B ip sh an m Show t Animal e Youth Marke y 22, for $6/lb. at th nuar rday night, Ja Auction Satu e show that th r te af ld he 2011, that was morning.

AgCalendar What’s going on InTheField? • 2/2–5/11 NCBA Annual Convention, Denver • 2/4–13/11 Charlotte County Fair, Port Charlotte • 2/4/11 NCBA Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction Market All Breed Bull Sale, Lakeland • 2/10–21/11 Florida State Fair, Tampa • 2/9/11 Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show, Marrianna • 2/11–19/11 Highlands County Fair, Sebring, FL • 2/12/11 Polk County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo, Bartow 50 50 I NITNHE THE FIELD FIELD MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

FFebruary ebruary 2011 2011

• 2/12/11 Florida Cattle Ranching Exhibit opens at University of Florida, Gainesville • 2/19–26/11 Hardee County Fair, Wauchula • 2/25–26/11 Hendry County Cattlemen 2nd Annual Ranch Rodeo, LaBelle • 3/1/11 Okeechobee Rodeo, Okeechobee • 3/11-13/11 Arcadia Rodeo, Arcadia • 3/11–20/11 – Okeechobee County Fair, Okeechobee • 3/26/11 – Ropin’ In the Swamp Team Roping Event at UF Horse Teaching Unit, Gainesville

Getting a new puppy or dog can be a very exciting experience. It should be the beginning of a friendship, a partnership between owner and dog, and many years of enjoyment. However, you need to ensure you start off on the right foot or it can become a frustrating experience. Far too many people wait too long to begin training a new dog. Some people voice comments and opinions that a puppy should be allowed to be a puppy. Or a new dog should be allowed to settle in. These statements are true. But they in no way mean that training should not begin immediately. When you build a house, you don’t frame in the walls and run the wiring before you pour the slab. In home building the real construction cannot begin until the slab is poured and finished. It is the same way when it comes to dogs. You cannot begin your relationship until you have set the foundation. Far too many people wait. In most cases, waiting leads to a dog that laid its own foundation and decided for itself what behaviors were and were not important. The result is a dog that needs to be retrained proper behavior. It is much easier, and enjoyable, to train a dog how to do the proper things in the first place rather than eliminating problem behaviors and re training the correct behaviors. Cynthia Humphrey of Call Me Farms, a long time breeder of Australian Cattle Dogs, Border Collies and Rat Terriers, advises her clients to start training the basics right away. She recommends keeping the sessions short and fun, and to only use positive reinforcement. Don’t make it too complicated for the dog. Use simple techniques that are easy for the dog to pick up on. If you follow this advice, there is no reason a puppy cannot begin learning, sit, stand, and down right away. These commands can easily be taught using treats for shaping and motivation. A creative trainer can create fun little games to introduce and teach these games, so the puppy is playing and learning at the same time. Ms. Humphrey also suggests keeping treats in your pocket at all times. Each time you call or speak to the puppy and it responds by coming to you, reward it with a treat. This ingrains the behavior and lays the foundation for when you begin formally teaching the recall later on. Ms Humphrey’s recommendations ring of the three key ingredients in building a great foundation with your dog. Keep it fun, keep it simple, and keep it positive. It is important to remember when building the foundation that you are not only training and reinforcing commands and behaviors but you also establishing a bond and building a relationship with the dog. This is a critical ingredient that will follow you for the life of the dog. If the dog enjoys training with you and learning from you, it will be eager and responsive. Negative reinforcement has its place in dog training. Likewise, complex training techniques to learn advanced cues are another valuable tool, as is pushing the dog to work harder and longer. But not during the foundation, save these tools and techniques for later. Failure to do this can result in a dog that shuts down on you, reacts poorly to stress, and has a distant relationship with you. So it needs to be repeated. During the foundation, keep it fun, keep it simple, and keep it positive. To keep it fun, always make training a game. For example, if you are working on sit, bring that training into a game your dog loves, such as fetch. Have the dog go into a sit each time before you throw to ball. Or if you are playing a game of tug, take a break and have the dog go into the down position for a brief moment. This is also not the time to use the latest fad training technique you learned on a television show or DVD. You can save those for later if you like. But at this point you are working on very simple behaviors. All can be shaped and taught

to the dog very quickly and easily by luring the dog into the position you want with a treat. If you want the dog to sit, take a treat and move it past the dog’s nose, just above its head and move your hand towards the dog’s tail. The dog will naturally move into the sit position to get the treat out of your hand. As soon as the dog is in the right position, it immediately gets the treat. There are two important pieces of advice here. Only reward when you get exactly what you want. When the dog goes into a down, it does not get rewarded for “sort of” going into a down position. Only reward the dog when it goes into a proper down with its rear legs tucked and its elbows making contact with the ground. It is the same for sit and stand. Only reward nice square sits, and nice solid stands with the feet square. There are a lot of sloppy dogs out there. They are sloppy because sloppiness was rewarded during the foundation. Again, it is much easier to train it right the first time than to clean it up later. The second piece of advice is that timing is critical when rewarding the behavior. Make sure you get the dog the treat the instant the dog performs the behavior you are looking for. This will ensure the dog understands what you are looking for and gives it to you the next time you ask for the behavior. And don’t forget to only use positive methods of training at this point the dog’s development. Reward what you want and ignore what you do not want. Just like a well built house, a good foundation is critical in your relationship with your dog. That foundation can be the difference between a poor dog ownership experience or maybe a mediocre ownership experience and a great long lasting relationship with a dog that wants nothing more than to please you. So don’t wait for cracks to form in the walls. Start building your foundation today. If you have a dog question you would like answered in the magazine, email it to Johnny Cone,

February 2011


Citrus Update:

Nutrition Is Where It’s We’re At by Justin Smith We have all survived the holiday season and the New Year is not quite as new anymore. If you make your living in Citrus, then you already know, this all means it’s time to get ready. Even though we may still be on the look out for a few more chilly nights or frosty mornings the new season is underway. Plans have been formulated and many have already begun executing the first stages of them. If you live near Citrus you know the familiar sounds that are returning. Maybe not the spring time sound of the birds chirping but that of sprayers, spreaders and pumps. During what some may call the good old days we really did not think about running the sprayers until later on in the year. Now spraying is such an essential and complex part of our operations. We have learned that one of the keys to keeping citrus producing in the presence of so many diseases and pest is giving it the right nutrients, combined with the right timing. Unfortunately there is still no perfect answer as to what those nutritional needs are. We all laughingly say just throw everything in a tank but the kitchen sink. To some extent that is true. We do put much more in tank mixes than we ever have, traditionally. Although it sounds a little crazy there is a method to some of the madness. By now most everyone has heard of the Boyd spray program, which has gained much attention in our industry. I recently took a tour with the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association to the Boyd Groves. This makes several times I have seen these groves over the last few years.


I am amazed at the improvements every time I return. In 18 months these groves went from something I would have said must be replanted to thriving, producing, and healthy looking trees. Watching the rehabilitation of these trees has given me new found hope of the survival of the citrus industry. It has also led me to examine and modify my own personal spray program. The Boyd spray program, as many great discoveries before it, was born out of dire necessity. Boyd was faced with the same decision many growers are being faced with. The decision, either replant the majority of your trees and wait years for them to become producers or find a new way to do business. This spray formulation is nutritionally driven. The attempt is to provide all that a tree needs so that it does not have to work just to survive. The theory behind it is that if the tree doesn’t have to work for what it needs then its energy can be spent in other places such as resisting disease and production of fruit. The theory is rather simplistic when thought of in these terms. The not so simplistic part is deciding what those needs are, hence the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. All of this sounds like a random shot in the dark but everything in these nutritional concoctions do have a specific purpose. With successful nutritional sprays all of the components are mixed with specific design. Some components are not necessarily nutrients that would have been used just to sustain a tree but are combined in order to allow the tree to better and

February 2011

more easily use other portions. Much the same way vitamin C allows human cells to utilize certain nutrition more efficiently, so is the same approach in many nutritional citrus cocktails. With most, even the timing of the application is carefully calculated to get the most out of the endeavor. The Boyd program, for example, times the sprays to coincide with the onset of flush. This is in attempt to allow the new foliage to absorb the maximum amount of nutrient, just one more attempt to make things easier and less work on the tree itself. Another component, which is gaining more attention and is being utilized in many of the nutritional sprays are products that promote Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR’s). In short when SAR occurs the plant produces greater amounts of defensive substances. This phenomenon is being studied and carefully analyzed to better understand its full potential within citrus trees. Results seem to vary greatly among both growers and scientist as to the exact effect of the occurrence. Although nutrition has never been on the back burner for growers, it is being looked at much closer and in different ways. If you haven’t begun to incorporate an intensive nutrient plan into your spraying regiment then it is something you should look into. If you have, then analyze your results year by year, stay in touch with other growers to help share information. Our beloved industry can still thrive, but we must all work together and share information in order to accomplish it. For now, in the citrus business, nutrition is where we’re at.

Rooney Named Chairman of House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) was selected to serve as Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry in the 112th Congress. “Florida, and particularly the 16th district, is one of the largest, most diverse agriculture producing areas in the country, and I look forward to bringing that perspective to the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry,” Rooney said. “I am honored to serve as Chairman of this subcommittee, which plays a critical role in making sure our country has a safe, affordable and abundant food supply. The agriculture industry is a great economic engine for Florida and the country, and I look forward to leading on these issues.” “Congressman Rooney is a strong advocate for American agriculture and understands how important the industry is to both our state and national economies. I am pleased to have him as a Subcommittee Chairman and look forward to working with him,” said Chairman-elect Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. Rooney’s subcommittee has jurisdiction over livestock, dairy, poultry, meat, seafood and seafood products, and the inspection, marketing, and promotion of such commodities. The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over aquaculture, animal welfare, and grazing. Rooney also serves as a Vice-Chair of the Congressional Dairy Caucus and sits on the Congressional Beef Caucus.

Punta Gorda Office 226 Taylor Street Suite 200 Punta Gorda, FL 33950 p (941) 575-9101 f (941) 575-9103 February 2011


Naturally Amazing Activities OVERWINTERING INSECTS By Sean Green

Our tropical climate in Florida provides a terrific home for overwintering insects. Some insects even migrate here from other states to overwinter. Insects can overwinter in any of several life stages (eggs, pupae, adult). Finding overwintering insects can be like a treasure hunt if you don’t recognize the species. This month’s activity is the exploration and observation of overwintering insects. Watching immature insects develop into an adult can be especially fascinating. Some insects are active while others remain inactive during hibernation periods. You will be surprised with the variety of insects that can be found in the wintertime in Florida, and for some of us, it can be more exciting than the theme parks that attract winter visitors.

Materials: •

Appropriate Clothing

• Habitat Container (Jar, plastic critter box, Tupperware) • Container Top (old nylon stockings, plastic lid with air holes) •

Substrate (soil, moss, sand)

Rubber Bands

Knife / Pruning Shears

Where to find winter insects: Acorns provide both shelter and nutrition for some insects. Gather acorns from under the oak trees and place them in a container of water. Acorns that float are likely to have insects inside. You may find an Acorn Weevil or an Acorn Moth or one of a number of ants or fly species. Galls are warty growth structures (usually round) you see on trees and shrubs and range in size from that of a pea to as large as a basketball depending on the species that created it. They are often created by


February 2011

insects such as gall flies, gall wasps, gall midges, aphids and psyllids as a habitat and food source for the insect. Tree bark on decaying logs provides a home for a number of beetles such as the Patten Leather Beetle but also home to some of Florida’s centipedes and scorpions not to mention both native and imported fire ants. Caution must be implanted when exploring decaying logs, especially very large ones that can provide a habitat for many species. Compost piles and leaf litter will provide a warm home for a huge variety of insects, each fulfilling its role in the decomposition of your compost pile. Of the many insects you may find one of the larger treasures are beetles, if you’re lucky perhaps you will find one of the larger species of stag beetle. Ladybugs also hibernate in leaf litter and usually communally. Keeping Insects: If you intend to keep the insects you find, try not to disturb its overwintering process. Include components from its environment in the habitat you create for it. Keep any substrate in the habitat humid but not wet by misting the habitat every two or three days. It is best to keep the habitat outside to approximate the temperature and exposure to sunlight it received in the wild. If you do move an insect to the warmth of your home, it may develop faster that it would have in the wild or may not develop at all. Enjoy observing the insect for a while, then return it to the wild unless you have researched the species and understand the commitment necessary for husbandry throughout its life cycle (which could be years). It would be great to see pictures of your findings.

Land Protection:

Apply Now to Protect Your Farm & Ranch Lands Proposals Must Be Submitted by March 21, 2011

If you have farm or ranch lands you want to protect from development, now is the time to apply for help. The USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals now for funding opportunities for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). USDA-NRCS, in partnership with State, Tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations, acquires conservation easements, or other interests in land, from landowners. FRPP provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farms and ranch lands in agricultural use and to protect historic or archeological resources. NRCS provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement. The 2008 Farm Bill provided for a continuous signup to allow eligible entities more opportunities to sign up, but a batching date has been established for fiscal year 2011 funds. Applications must be submitted on or before March 21, 2011, to receive consideration for funding in fiscal year 2011. Land proposed for the FRPP must meet one of three eligibility categories: 1. Have prime, unique or other productive soil. 2. Contain historic or archeological resources, or 3. Further State or local policy consistent with the purposes of the program. Eligible entities must secure the appraisal, survey, and title search, prepare the conservation easement deed, and pay for the closing. Owners of the parcels must have an adjusted gross income of less than one million dollars and be in compliance with the USDA highly erodible land and wetland compliance requirements. Proposals should be submitted to the attention of Zakia Williams, USDA-NRCS, 2614 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, FL, 32606. NRCS will obligate funding for the selected parcels in a cooperative agreement with the eligible entities that submitted the selected parcel. The proposals will be reviewed and evaluated based on the entity’s eligibility, land eligibility, and the extent to which the proposal supports FRPP objectives. Proposals must include adequate proof of a pending offer for the subject land. Adequate proof includes a written bid, contract, commitment, or option extended to a landowner. Pending offers based upon appraisals completed and signed by State-certified general appraisers will receive higher priority for FRPP funding. The proposal shall also contain the following: • Acreage of the proposed project area (acreage needing protection); • Acreage of prime, unique, and/or locally important farm land soils that is estimated to be protected; • Number or acreage of historic and archaeological sites estimated to be protected on farm or ranch lands; • FRPP cost per acre; • Rate of land conversion within the County; • Percentage of funding guaranteed to be provided by cooperating entities; • History of cooperating entities’ experience with acquiring, managing, holding, and enforcing easements (including average annual farmland protection easement expenditures over the past five years, accomplishments, and staff); • Amount of FRPP funding requested; and • Participating entities’ estimated unfunded backlog of conservation easements on acres eligible for FRPP assistance. For more information check out the FRPP website, or contact Zakia Williams, (352) 338-9554,

February 2011


Winners on Janu

ary 8 Bennelli M2Field APG Ca mo Semi Automatic Shotg un Raffle sponsored by Joe Marlin Hilliard – won by Bobby Shekels • OutShoot the CattleWo man – Bill Dover. Prize of two rounds of free Sporting Clays and one car t rental , compliments of Quail Creek Plantation. • Shooter Trophies we re sponsored by Farm Cre dit with four different categories. • Top Lady – Vonnie Mc Daniel • Top Youth – Luke Hie rs • Top Individuals: • 1st – Parsons Metzkow Score of 98 • 2nd – Cliff O’Donnell Score of 97 • 3rd – Joe McMahon Score of 97 • Top Teams: • 1st – Ray Royce, Ray Broughton, Charlie Wilson , and Joe McMahon • 2nd – Center State Ba nk Team of Frank Irby, Elvie Posey, Wes William son, and Bill Dover • 3rd – Crop Productio n Services Team of Jeff McDaniel, Bobby Shekels, Lee Shekels, and Vonnie McDaniel • Green Bird 50/50 Ca sh Winner – Bob Riedel • Dollar raffle drawing winners took home Eli’s Western Wear gift cards and merch andise, shooting accessori es, coolers, dog food donate d by Walpole of Okeechob ee, and many other items. •

• • • • •

world-class sporting clay One hundred and three shooters enjoyed Weather, and a Ribeye er Wint da Flori facilities, postcard-worthy mild Men shooters were very comSteak dinner on January 8. Women and 90. Awards featured a cattle petitive with many individual scores over Bull in honor of our Presis flair with trophies topped with an Angu red a print of turkeys in nafeatu ion auct dent, Wendy Petteway. A live Waters, Polk County Cattletive habitat painted and donated by Ned immons for the winning man. Congratulations to Sarabeth Barthle-S missioner of Agriculture Com da bid. We enjoyed the company of Flori thanks to our major y Man am. Putn and Consumer Services, Adam and Mr. Joe Marlin Hilliard. sponsors including Mosaic, Farm Credit, tively scheduled for the Next year’s Fourth Annual Shoot is tenta e see our website- www. Pleas . first or second Saturday in January, 2012 event, FCW youth next the on info more for F recipe and nutritional programs and scholarships, and for BEE otional and educational information. FCW also provides BEEF prom , and T-Shirts to all rams prog information for school and extension and the Florida State Fairs nty Cou at s youth beef and dairy exhibitor esentative youth contest Fair. The FCW Florida Beef Consumer Repr t news about BEEF. The selects a winner annually to spread the grea to earn credit towards a nts geme winner is available for speaking enga to women in Florida open is FCW in ip $1,000 scholarship. Membersh who care about cattle and the Beef Industry. We hope to see you at the next shoot!

Plants • Manufactured Stone Trees • Design Natural Stone • Installation Decorative Gravel • Full Garden Center Pottery • Gift Shop 16162 Hwy. 441 N. Okeechobee, FL 34972 863-763-7736 • 863-763-8730 Fax

oot h S y a l g C for n i t r o p c. S s Money n I , n e m se i o a W R e y l l t l Cat ccessfu ograms a d i r o l F Su Youth Pr 1 1 0 2 , Jan. 8 arship and by Lindsey John, FCW 2009 Past President Schol


February 2011

February 2011


Florida Farm Bureau Federation

4-H Club Happenings

Lake Placid Clovers 4-H Club

The Voice of Agriculture in Florida

South Florida Water Management District January Agricultural Highlights Report Charles M. Shinn III, Assistant Director Government & Community Affairs, Florida Farm Bureau South Florida Growers Brace for Water Restrictions Water restrictions will be a certainty by late January or early February without ample rainfall in the District. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board will meet in Clewiston and the amount of available water in South Florida through May will be a hot topic on the agenda. Models at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center are pointing toward very dry conditions for March – May. The summer rains typically start by the second week of June.

The water restrictions will be one more blow to an already difficult season due to several freezes in December that have resulted in damaged crops. Fields of corn, squash and beans as far south as Homestead had to be replanted after cold temperatures and heavy frost damaged crops beyond recovery. Sugarcane and citrus were damaged and efforts are currently underway to harvest as much of the damaged crop as possible. Adequate water is vital to the proper growth and development of agricultural crops. Decreased water stunts growth, reduces production and in severe cases results in total crop failure. Water Shortage Grower Meeting in Belle Glade on January 14 At a special meeting for growers in the Lake Okeechobee Service Area, SFWMD district staff briefed attendees on actions the District is planning to take to address the impending water shortage issues. The meeting was held at the Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade on Friday, January 14. This was an important opportunity to remind District leadership that adequate water supply is essential to the livelihood of agriculture and south Florida’s economy. Governor Scott Needs to Appoint Governing Board Members South Florida Water Management District currently has two vacant Governing Board seats and two additional seats will expire on March 1. Scott’s appointments will undoubtedly direct


February 2011

the future path of the agency. Newly elected State Representative Pat Rooney vacated the Palm Beach seat last summer to focus on his campaign. Shannon Estenoz stepped off the board in December to accept a position with the U.S. Department of the Interior, leaving a vacant Broward seat. Board Chairman Eric Buermann (Miami-Dade County) and board member Charles Dauray (Lee, Collier, Hendry and Charlotte counties) both have terms that will expire on March 1. Mr. Dauray has announced that he will see reappointment by Governor Scott. Florida Farm Bureau Federation looks forward to a balanced approach by the Governor to make sure that all interests are represented equitably on the Governing Board.

The Lake Placid Clovers 4-H Club is our 4-H Focus Club for February. The Lake Placid Clovers have a wonderful leader in Mrs. Paula Sapp. The Lake Placid Clovers main focus is on community service. Paula pointed out that her club members were very busy over the holiday season as they purchased and delivered 30 complete Thanksgiving meals to needy families in Lake Placid. They also

joined with the 4-H County Council to help decorate the Lake Placid Health Care Center for the holidays. When Christmas arrived there was no slowing down for the Lake Placid Clovers as they purchased well over $1,000 worth of toys for a toy drive in Lake Placid. They also donated nine Christmas meals to families in need. Paula said, “We have had an awesome time and have been very busy! I want everyone to

Clover of the Month: Hannah Thompson

Upper East Coast Water Supply Plan Supports Ag Comeback Recent years have been extremely difficult for the Indian River citrus industry due to several exotic diseases. Acreage that was once abundant in grapefruit and oranges is now fallow in Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Okeechobee Counties. Farmers are hopeful for a cure so they can replant and this is being reflected in the current planning efforts for the Upper East Coast Water Supply Plan. The water supply plans are required by Florida Statute to provide a 20-year planning period to assist water resource and supply development. The plans also address minimum flows and levels for particular water bodies and provide recovery and prevention strategies. The planning horizon under development is 2010 – 2030. Two previous plans were developed for the Upper East Coast in 1998 and 2004. The goal is to update the plans every five years. As resistant rootstocks are developed for citrus to combat the disease pressure, replanting will take place. It is imperative that planning is in place to provide water to the future crop of citrus. A concern to agriculturists is the vast growth being planned in public water supply. The water volume is tied to growth projections developed several years ago, which need to be updated to reflect the current economic climate. Over 90 percent of the growers in this region have developed Best Management Practices (BMPs), which focus on efficient use and management of water resources. They see the need to be conservative with water and deserve the opportunity to make a positive economic impact to the region in the future.

• Herbiciding • Fertilizing • Hand Labor • Irrigation Maintenance • Hedging & Topping • Spray Application • Mowing • Discing • Tree Removal ...and much more Pricing available upon request

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

know how hard my kids work. They work hard in our club, school and in sports, and how they do it all…I surely don’t know. They are happy to be able to do for others, which is a very important life skill to have!” Paula and her Lake Placid Clovers would like to invite everyone out to the Highlands County Fair to see what all the 4-H members have been working on.


February 2011

Contact: Kevin Sanders 863-990-3093 Office: 863-494-3066 160*34*5085 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE 59

Young Farmers & Ranchers by Ginger Neal

Jacob Larson

Interviewing Jacob Larson own needs.” The forage profor Young Rancher and Farmer duction is just as important you realize very quickly that he at Larson Dairy. They started doesn’t want the article to be many years ago implementing about him but his family. The Best Management Practices history of his grandfather Louis and have used these practices to “Red” Larson and grandmother keep a balanced ecosystem. No Reda who started Larson Dairy, wonder Jacob says his office is his mother and father Woody his truck. and Grace Larson and espeIt was Danielle’s love of beef cially his wife Danielle, who he cattle and their shared desire acknowledges more than once to own their own dirt that led on how blessed he is to have her them to start Southern Point beside him. Angus in Okeechobee. Starting Steve Leighton, Jacob Larson, US Rep. Tom Rooney, and Woody Larson In 1932, eight-year-old Red Larwith three cows from Montana, son and his family lost their South Dakota farm in the Great De- Southern Point Angus now has a small herd of Angus and at one pression. The family loaded a truck and headed to South Florida. time had as many as 100 head. Their goal is to produce Angus It was here in Florida that Red Larson turned his first profit by Bulls raised and foraged in the harsh South Florida climate. Jacob selling a pony he bought with money he earned on a paper route. and Danielle also own and operate a 500 acre ranch in Southern With that profit, he bought a dairy cow and began bottling milk Mississippi as well as their 5 L Cattle Company that owns and and selling it to his neighbors. Since then, Red has purchased and leases land in Okeechobee and their land holding Company 5 Iron. merged 37 dairies to form the 10,000 acre, 6,000 cow operations While Jacob often finds himself working 70 or 80 hours a week, that is Larson’s Dairy, which he owns and operates with his wife he and Danielle always make sure to include their three children, Reda and two of their grandsons, Jacob and Travis. four-year-old Luke, three-year-old Lilly Grace and one-year-old Jacob’s father, Woody, followed in Red’s footsteps. After gradu- Levi, in the family operation. Their children have learned respect ating from the University of Florida, Woody and his wife, Grace, for the animals and farm equipment and Luke has already begun managed a 1,200 head farm for Larson’s Dairy. At first, Grace han- to develop a knack for the business. dled the bookkeeping and payroll, but soon retired to raise their Passing on a love for the dairy business to the next generation is children, Travis, Jacob and Ginger. Now, Woody runs his own also important to Jacob. “It’s so important to educate the public,” dairy and cattle business, Family Tree Enterprises. “My father is Jacob says. To that end he has partnered with Okeechobee Area an amazing man,” Jacob says. Agri-Council to host field trips for the county’s approximately As for Jacob, he knew from a young age that the dairy and cattle 500 eighth grade students. As past President of Okeechobee Area business was his future. Jacob kept beef cattle for his 4-H and FFA Ag Council he feels “Every opportunity I get to hold a field trip projects, something his father Woody encouraged. In this way, or explain to the public what we are doing here to preserve our Woody made sure Jacob understood the business side of manag- natural resources and produce a good product that is the safest ing a beef herd. in the world and the most affordable ---I do,” Jacob says. This is In 1999, Jacob was studying Dairy Science at the University not the only leadership role Jacob has taken on he has been Past of Florida when he met his future wife, Danielle. She grew up in President of the Young Farmer & Rancher Leadership Group— Brookhaven, Mississippi and went to Gainesville to earn a dual State Level, Current Board of Director’s State Farm Bureau, Dairy major in Beef Cattle and Ag and Oversight Advisory ComEducation. “I am so fortunate mittee for the Farm Bureau, to have a great wife,” Jacob says. Okeechobee Board of Directors Jacob is manager of Barn #5 for Cattlemen’s Association, with Larson Dairy that has apBoard of Directors Okeechobee proximately 2,200 cows, which Ag Council, Board of Direccan produce 18,000 gallons of tors and Treasurer Okeechobee milk and can feed 150,000 peoFarm Bureau. ple a day. He also oversees the A humble man, Jacob readily heifer raising from baby calves admits to being blessed with a to springers and has a little great family and credits all of over 4,000 head. “I Am pleased his success to God. “Everything to say and my goal ---if we are we have we owe to God,” Jacob buying we are expanding. We admits, “we feel blessed to help raise enough heifers to sustain by feeding people.” our herds---closed herds---we For more information go to produce enough to meet our


February 2011

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February 2011




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THE JUDDS (The Last Encore)

Artists Appearing on the Wish Farms Soundstage: Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3 Thu. Mar. 3

10:30 am 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

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FREE $10 & $15 $15 & $20

Fri. Mar. 4 Fri. Mar. 4

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

John Conlee .38 Special

$10 & $15 $20 & $25

Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5 Sat. Mar. 5

1:00 pm 3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Suite Caroline Jeremy Camp Gaither Vocal Band

FREE $20 & $25 $20 & $25

Sun. Mar. 6 Sun. Mar. 6

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Trace Adkins $25 & $30 The Judds (The Last Encore) $45

Mon. Mar. 7 Mon. Mar. 7

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Charley Pride Clint Black

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Tues. Mar. 8 Tues. Mar. 8

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Chubby Checker Chris Young

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Wed. Mar. 9 Wed. Mar. 9

3:30 pm 7:30 pm

Tanya Tucker Rick Springfield

$15 & $20 $20 & $25

Thu. Mar. 10 10:30 am Thu. Mar. 10 3:30 pm Thu. Mar. 10 7:30 pm

The Guy Lombardo Band FREE George Jones $15 & $20 The Doobie Brothers $25 & $30

Fri. Mar. 11 Fri. Mar. 11

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Sat. Mar. 12

3:30 pm

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3:30 pm 7:30 pm

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$15 & $20 $45







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Tues, Mar, 8th $2 Off Gate Admission


FREE CONCERTS Thurs, Mar 3rd Jimmy Sturr Orchestra Thurs, Mar 10th Guy Lombardo Band Concerts 10:30am



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February 2011

February 2011


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Okeechobee Dodge Chrysler Jeep | 4224 US Hwy 441 S. | Okeechobee, FL. 34974 64 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

February 2011

In The Field - Heartland  

Heartland's In The Field Magazine February 2011