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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

JULY 2013

W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E .C O M


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Hillsborough County Farm Bureau

®

Contents

VOL. 9 • ISSUE 9

Feature Lauren Der Pa ge

54

Pass-Alongs

Page 10

Page 47

Jolie

Recipes

Page 14

Page 50

Tampa Bay Fishing Report

The Maker’s Farm

Page 52

Page 18 Zephyhills MuseumPreserving History

Page 58

Page 22 Feelings Run Deep Planning for the Unexpected

Page 61

Page 24

GMO - What’s It All About?

New Headquarters for FFA Assoc.

Page 70

Page 35

Gov. Scott and Round Table Discussion

Page 40

Page 89 Rain Gardens

Helping Birds at Risk

Page 43

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Insurance Services: 813.685.5673 Member Services: 813.685.9121

OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Danny Aprile ..............................President Jemy Hinton ..............................Treasurer

Business Up Front

AG in the Classroom

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

Bill Burnett .........................Vice President

Cover photo by Stephanie Humphrey

Rocking Chair Chatter

100 S. Mulrennan Rd. Valrico, FL 33594

Page 91

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013

Amanda Collins, Roy Davis, David Drawdy, Jim Dyer, James Frankowiak, Stefan Katzaras, Greg Lehman, Kenneth Parker, Jake Raburn, Alex Ritzheimer, Marty Tanner, James Tew, Patrick Thomas, Ron Wetherington, Michelle Williamson, Will Womack, Ray Wood

Judi Whitson, Executive Director 813.685.9121

Farm Bureau Insurance Special Agents Valrico Office 813.685.5673

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

Plant City Office 813.752.5577

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

Tampa Office 813.933.5440

1046 W. Busch Blvd., Ste. 100 Tampa, FL 33612 Greg Harrell, Jeff Harper, Ralph Russo

AGENCY MANAGER Tommy Hale

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INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

JULY 2013

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From the Editor

ITFM Staff PUBLISHER/PHOTOGRAPHY Karen Berry EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Al Berry SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR/ ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Sarah Holt

This month the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, published ten years of contract data online. According to their web site at www.freshfromflorida.com, this online information allows users to sort and download the information. “Floridians have the right to know how their taxpayer dollars are spent, and I’m committed to increasing transparency in our operations,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Through our new online database, we’re increasing consumer accessibility to department contracts. Floridians can now access 10 years of contract data with a simple search.” For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ new contract database, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com and click on “Contracts.” In addition, the FDACS has launched a new site with tips on making homes energy efficient. It is an interactive site that allows homeowners to evaluate their current usage and provide options to save energy in their homes. “My Florida Home Energy” can be accessed at www.myfloridahomeenergy.com. As always, please remember to purchase “Fresh From Florida” foods when you are shopping for you and your family. You will get the freshest food and help your local farmer and rancher as well. A very special Thank You to our advertisers for allowing us to continue to cover what is growing!

Until Next Month,

Sarah

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. –Numbers 6:25 In The Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Hillsborough County businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes all of the Greenbelt Property owners, members of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau and Strawberry Grower’s Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: info@inthefieldmagazine.com or call 813-759-6909 Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In The Field magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc.

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EDITOR Patsy Berry OFFICE MANAGER Bob Hughens SALES MANAGER Danny Crampton SALES Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Melissa Nichols CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mona Jackson PHOTOGRAPHY Karen Berry Al Berry Stephanie Humphrey STAFF WRITERS Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Libby Hopkins CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Woody Gore Les McDowell

Index of Advertisers ABC Pizza......................................................................................93 Ag Technologies...........................................................................66 Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers................................................29 Alto Recycling, LLC...................................................................41 Antioch Feed and Farm Supply..............................................85 Aquarius Water Refining..........................................................68 Astin Strawberry Exchange......................................................23 Badcock...........................................................................................23 Bankers South...............................................................................84 Bill’s Transmissions.......................................................................63 Bingham..........................................................................................34 Brandon Auto Services, Inc......................................................44 Brandon Regional Hospital.....................................................46 Brewington’s..................................................................................25 Broke & Poor...............................................................................87 Cameron Financial......................................................................23 Cecil Breeding Farm....................................................................38 CF Industries..........................................................60 Choo Choo Lawn Care.............................48 & 49 Chuck’s Tire & Automotive ................................12 Crescent Jewelers.................................................. 65

Index of Advertisers Dad’s Towing....................................................................87 Discount Metals...............................................................88 Dr. Barry Gaffney O.D. PA.............................................72 Driscoll’s............................................................................90 Eshenbaugh Land Company..........................................65 Everglades Farm Equipment...........................................96 Farm Bureau Insurance...................................................76 Farm Bureau Insurance/Jeff Sumner..............................86 Farm Credit ......................................................................93 Felton’s ..............................................................................51 Fishhawk Sporting Clays ................................................83 Florida Mineral, Salt & Agricultural Products.............92 Florida Strawberry Growers Assoc................................77 Forbes Road Produce......................................................12 Fred’s Market.................................................................. 44 Gator Ford........................................................................95 Grimes Hardware Center ...............................................57 Grove Equipment Service ..............................59, 39 & 81 Halfacre Construction Company.....................................9 Harold’s Feed & Pet Supply .............................................3 Harrell’s Nursery, Inc.......................................................93 Haught Funeral Home....................................................67 Helena Chemical-Tampa ................................................92 Hillsboro State Bank........................................................73 Hillsborough Community College.................................65 Hillsborough County Farm Bureau...............................86 Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Insurance.............76 Hinton Farms Produce, Inc.............................................21 Huff Muffler.....................................................................88 I-4 Power Equipment ......................................................29 Jane Baer Realty...............................................................94 Jarrett-Scott Ford................................................................2 Johnson’s Barbeque..........................................................25 Jon & Rosie’s Tree Farm.................................................88 Ken’s Well Drilling & Pump Services, Inc.....................44 Key Plex ............................................................................62 Loetscher Auto Parts .......................................................19 Malissa Crawford............................................................63 Mark Smith Excavating..................................................93 Mosaic...............................................................................21 Myers Cleaners.................................................................36 Parkesdale Market...........................................................26 Pathway BioLogic............................................................42 Plant City Homestyle Buffet..............................................5 Plant City Tire & Auto Service, Inc...............................93 Platinum Bank..................................................................20 QLF Specialty Products...................................................13 Railroad Credit Union.....................................................69 Savich & Lee / Stalnaker......................................30 & 31 Seedway ............................................................................28 Shrimp & Co Express.....................................................19 Southside Farm & Pet Supply.......................16, 45 & 78 South Florida Baptist Hospital .........................................7 Southwestern Produce Company...................................27 Squeal Deal.......................................................................82 Stephanine Humphrey.....................................................88 Super Service Tire & Auto..............................................71 The Hay Depot................................................................25 Thompson Nursery & Vineyard ...................................13 Timberlane Pet Hospital & Resort................................82 Trinkle, Redman, Swanson, Coton, Davis & Smith .................................................................57 Turkey Creek Animal Hospital......................................13 Vertigro .............................................................................69 Walden Lake Car Wash ..................................................28 Waller’s Lawn Equipment...............................................79 Wells Memorial................................................................75 Wert’s Welding & Tank Service, Inc..............................36 Willie’s ...............................................................................75 Woodside Dental..............................................................11 W W W. 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100 South Mulrennan Road • Valrico, FL 33594 • 813-685-9121

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR FLORIDA AGRICULTURE Preparing for the Unexpected Dear Readers: Awareness of the importance of agriculture is something we strive to achieve on a continuing basis through the efforts of our Farm Bureau member families and staff. That’s a significant task and I am happy to report about a series of events that have taken place across Florida and an announcement that took place last month at the state FFA convention at Orlando. Though not related, each will help us spread important information about agriculture today and tomorrow. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom held a series of workshops across Florida designed to help teachers help us educate students about the important role agriculture plays here in Florida. We supported those workshops and some of our board members spoke at them, as well. Our thanks to those teachers who participated and to all educators in Florida who help us tell the story of agriculture. Also last month there was an important announcement at the state FFA convention at Orlando. Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick announced a special partnership that will underwrite the cost of a new state headquarters structure for FFA here in Florida. That new facility will be located on the Farm Bureau campus in Gainesville and will help state FFA officers carry out the duties of their offices that relate to FFA members throughout Florida. This is important from the standpoint that these young men and women who comprise FFA also

represent the future of our industry, and anything that takes place in support of this organization is truly appreciated. Please read the articles in this issue of IN THE FIELD about these two activities. And while you are paging through the magazine, pay special attention to the feature on emergency preparedness here in Hillsborough County. We have a good group in place through our county government and the Office of Emergency Management under Preston Cook, but the ability to respond to the unexpected and beyond is not just their responsibility. We all need to think about and prepare for the unexpected whether a major weather event or calamity of some sort. Those things don’t just take place during hurricane season. That article includes a variety of resources that each of us can easily access as we plan for protecting our families throughout the year. Lastly, if you’re not a Farm Bureau member, please visit our website: ww.hcfb.org or call 813/685-9121. Remember, you don’t have to be a farmer or rancher to join, and we would be delighted to have your family become part of our organization. Thank you,

Danny Danny Aprile – President

Board of Directors

Danny Aprile, President; Bill Burnett, Vice-President; Jemy Hinton Member-at-large; Amanda Collins, Roy Davis, David Drawdy, Jim Dyer, Jim Frankowiak, Stefan Katzaras, Greg Lehman, Kenneth Parker,Jake Raburn, Alex Ritzheimer, Marty Tanner, James Tew, Patrick Thomas, Ron Wetherington, Michelle Williamson, Will Womack and Ray Wood, Judi Whitson, Executive Director 8

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

InTheField® Magazine

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

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• The spaniel family of dogs contains more breeds than any other. The name comes from the word Spain. • When first born, the baby kangaroo is the size of a bumblebee. • Ultraviolet rays from the sun can penetrate three feet below the waterʼs surface. • Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, exactly 50 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. • The worldʼs oldest amateur golf tournament is the British Amateur Golf Championship. It has existed since 1885. • The President who served the shortest time in office was W.H. Harrison, who served one month in 1841. • Coffee beans are actually the pits of a red cherry like fruit. • Post cards and postal cards are not the same thing. A postal card is one that already has a stamp printed on it. • The first all-professional U.S. baseball team was founded in 1870. Its members at that time were known as the Cincinnati Red Stockings. • An easy way to chop nuts is to place them in a cloth bad and roll with a rolling pin. • A “country mile” is the distance between an empty gas tank and the nearest filling station. • 11% percent of the people in the world are left-handed. • August has the highest percentage of births. • Unless food is mixed with saliva you canʼt taste it. • A bear has 42 teeth.

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JULY 2013

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Business Up Front

IT BEGAN WITH A DREAM EVERGLADES FARM EQUIPMENT

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very once in a while you hear a story about a man who had a dream, who put everything into this dream and even with humble beginnings, ends up making it. From these humble beginnings Everglades Farm Equipment has proven to be a business that is known for customer satisfaction and dedication. In 1963 a farmer in Belle Glade, Fl., Mr. Walter Schlechter, had a view that his area needed a local place to buy high quality John Deere equipment, so that is exactly what he provided. He hired a few knowledgeable employees and started selling tractors out of a barn. Over the years, Mr. J.O. Schlechter, the son of the founder, reflects of the times that were trials and times that they didn’t know how they were going to make it. He says “there was a lot of theory that went into building this dealership; however it was by the Grace of God that it happened and succeeded.” But just as any loyal farmer knew, he knew that no good man ever gives up. He said with hard work, sacrifice, dedication and perseverance his company was going to make it through, and that it did.

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Another philosophy that Mr. Schlechter has is that he shares with his employees. If he had a little he shared a little, if he had a lot he shared a lot. There is no room for greed in a successful business and he knew that. The current CEO, Mr. Mike Schlechter, looks back and says my Dad and Granddad knew they had good employees, they just had to let them do their jobs and God would provide. To this day Everglades Farm Equipment is still run by family, this is the third generation of Schlechter’s that has been instrumental in

the success of the dealership. They have grown from a barn in 1963 to having 10 stores and 2 satellite locations throughout Florida. Not many businesses today have been around for 50 years like Everglades Farm Equipment has. They are one of the largest dealership in the world and a company built on pride and loyalty. Customer service for Everglades Farm Equipment is everything. They believe in doing business the old fashioned way, where the customer is happy and satisfied,

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although nothing about the stores or equipment is old fashioned. They truly care about their customers. They believe in supporting not only the community but also the youth of the community. This year Everglades Farm Equipment gave away 5 FFA scholarships to graduating and deserving seniors. They have a motto that is simple “they believe that your Everglades experience should be better than any customer service you have previously experienced.” They are a dying breed when it comes to businesses. Right now Everglades has kicked off a huge campaign to prove to people that John Deere equipment is not as expensive as people think. They are encouraging people to come in to an Everglades store and bring a competitor’s quote. They are matching prices on equivalent competitor’s equipment. Everglades’ stores carry much more than just John Deere equipment, they have a full line of Stihl equipment, Honda outdoor power equipment and full line of yard and farm equipment. Stop by your local Everglades Farm Equipment today and experience the Everglades difference. www.evergladesfarmequipment.com • Belle Glade 561-996-6531

• Loxahatchee 561-784-4000

• Ft Myers 239-332-5045

• Melbourne 321-261-8141

• Ft Pierce 772-461-5568

• New Port Richey 727-842-8618

• Immokalee 239-657-4413

• Okeechobee 863-763-1921

• Largo 727-259-7748

• Palmetto 941-722-3281

• Leesburg 352-315-1016

• Plant City 813-737-1660

Our Services Include: Cosmetic Crown and Bridge Dentures Xrays • Cleanings • Root Canals Whitening • Denture Repairs - while you wait • In-Office BOTOX Now Offering LASER PERIO SURGERY (A more effective way to treat gum disease)

NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Open Fridays Most Insurances Accepted

WOODSIDE DENTAL Practicing in Plant City for Over 20 Years

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813.752.5554 704 N. Alexander St., Plant City, FL

Cleaning, Exam and Xray $ New Patients Only. Must present coupon

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WOODSIDE DENTAL Coupon Expires 8/15/13 W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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By Jim Frankowiak

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he story of Jolie, the 8-year-old thoroughbred mare, is a tale that ended sadly despite the best efforts of a horse rescue group. It has, however, given rise to an effort to have the state’s laws changed regarding animal cruelty or new ones passed. But first, more about Jolie’s short life. She did not make it on the racetrack though she had excellent blood lines, which led to the next step in her life. That was a multi-year attempt to take advantage of her lineage, but she did not produce any foals. Her owner at that time agreed to have her ownership transferred to a woman in the Carrollwood area where she would share her new home with three other horses and become the “pet” of her new owner’s granddaughter. A good plan, but the execution fell short. The first sign of trouble came in December of 2012 when volunteers at a nearby horse rescue notified the Hillsborough County Sheriff that Jolie was not receiving proper care. The investigation that took place at that time determined Jolie was thin, but the other three horses on the property were in acceptable condition and there was evidence of sufficient food and water. The owner was given the opportunity to improve Jolie’s condition. Moving forward to early May of this year, there was another anonymous complaint levied with authorities and this time the results were substantially different from those six months earlier.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Detective Troy Davis with the Agricultural Crimes Unit investigated the May report and was told by the owner that Jolie was being fed twice daily, “but her poor condition told me the owner had to have the horse seen by a veterinarian within the next day.” That did not take place and the horse’s owner agreed to surrender Jolie to The Equestrian Inc. Horse Rescue where Detective Davis arranged for a vet to examine the horse. “She examined Jolie and determined the owner’s story about the twice daily feedings did not make sense.” Davis also reviewed the information secured as a result of the December report and it was obvious “Jolie had become worse and the other horses owned by the women were now in poor condition.” He also did not find evidence of sufficient hay and feed on premises to support the owner’s claim of twice daily feedings. Animal cruelty investigations and determinations are covered under Florida Statute 828. “After discussing the matter with the owner, she agreed to give the other horses up to the Sheriff’s Office,” said Davis. “She also promised to turn herself in to the Sheriff’s Office the next day when she would be changed with Felony Animal Cruelty.” The three horses were turned over to the sheriff and then to Equestrian, Inc. and the owner turned herself in to authorities. She has been charged with

felony animal cruelty. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, as well as fines and restitution. “The results of blood work done by the vet indicated Jolie had kidney issues,” said Glenda Smith, CEO and founder of the rescue. “Initially, Jolie seemed to be improving along with her former stable mates, but that changed and it became impossible for her to stand even though we tried using a sling,” said Smith. “Eight men tried to get her up, but she was unable to stand and we had to make that decision with our vet to have her euthanized. What is so sad is that we have been watching Jolie and well before the December investigation we had offered the owner $500 for her, but our offer was refused. It is impossible for us to understand how anyone could mistreat animals such as this on a daily basis. It is heart breaking.” Smith is limited by the number of animals she can care for at Equestrian Inc., but “we gladly offer help to owners who need our assistance to properly care for their horses, be it information, feed, hay or all of that.” Smith has been rescuing horses for over three decades and moved to her current location in 1986. She incorporated the organization in 2009, forming Equestrian Inc., which became a 501 (c) (3) non-profit entity in 2011. It is dedicated to providing a rehabilitative sanctuary for abandoned, abused, unwanted or slaughter W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


bound horses. The rescue has 35 horses under its care as of this writing. “We take horses in of all breeds, all ages, in all conditions. Some of our horses are able to be retrained and placed into a loving home, however, some will live the rest of their days relaxing at our farm.” The rescue is 100 percent volunteer run and it relies on donations to care for its horses. She notes the average monthly cost for basic care of a horse is $350. “Equestrian Inc. does not sell horses, but carefully screens potential adoptive owners. We have former resident horses now engaged in most all equestrian disciplines and some living out their lives at ranches.” Two of Jolie’s former pasture buddies were slated to join another horse on 13-acres of lush pastureland near Leesburg, a happy portion of an otherwise very sad tale. “We strive to bring people who love horses together with the horses we love through rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming.”

as livestock, or new laws passed that achieve the same result.” Such action would permit authorities to intervene sooner in instances of abuse or neglect. “The ability to act sooner has multiple benefits,” said Smith. “It would permit much more humane treatment of horses with less suffering. Also, the costs for care of those animals would be less with a much greater chance for a successful ending unlike Jolie’s. • For those interested in supporting Equestrian Inc., as volunteers, benefactors, sponsors or activists anxious to see Florida’s laws changed to permit more expedient treatment of horses, visit: www.equestrianinc.org or email Smith at horserescue@equestrianinc.org.

But this is not the end of the story. Smith, and others who care a great deal for horses, want to see changes in Florida law and are taking action to facilitate those changes. “At present, horses are considered livestock and those statutes regarding abuse and neglect really handcuff the sheriff and force them to wait too long before taking the kind of action they did with Jolie,” said Smith. “We want the law to change and horses no longer classified

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Toni Cooper of Serniteas and Soothers in Plant City, Fl. can find a use for just about everything that grows in her backyard as well as all of the woods in Hillsborough County. Cooper is a fourth generation herbalist and the women on both sides of her family are healers.

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id you ever look at some of the plants you have in your backyard and wonder if there is really any other use for them other than they look and smell pretty? What about the weeds in your backyard? Did you ever consider they might have some medicinal use before you sprayed them with weed kill? Well Toni Cooper of Sereniteas and Soothers in Plant City, can find a use for just about everything that grows in her backyard, as well as all of the woods in Hillsborough County. Cooper is a fourth generation herbalist and the women on both sides of her family are healers. Cooper is a LPN by trade but left the field four years ago after her stepfather passed away from Pulmonary Fibrosis, which is a disease that scars the lungs. “My stepfather was a carrier of Pulmonary Fibrosis and he was given a medication in the hospital before they checked his records and it caused the disease to go into hyper drive and it killed him within six months,” Cooper said. “It was then that I realized what my calling was; you can say it was spiritual.” An herbalist is a person who studies herbal medicine and the healing properties of plants. The study of herbs and plants dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians who were among the earliest civilizations of the world. Traditional practices of herbalism remain in modern societies, such as China for instance. With all the sicknesses besetting us today, people are seeking a kinder, gentler way to heal, which is why there is a movement toward alternative methods of treating diseases and conditions. The herbs and plants growing in your back yard could help W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

Market Watch SERENITEAS

improve your everyday life. They can help relieve a headache or help you sleep better at night. You might be growing some in your own garden but not know all the medicinal uses for that herb. Cooper uses the different plants and herbs she grows to make teas, lotions and soaps. She sells them at various farmers’ markets all over Tampa and she loves sharing her knowledge with others as well. “I promise to craft only the most natural and organic herbal teas and herbal products,” Cooper said. “I also promise to use only the freshest and locally grown products available. I met Cooper at the Ybor Twilight Market and she let me sample some of her Hibiscus Morning Herbal Brew, which is a mix of Hibiscus flowers, red raspberry leaves, Chamomile flowers, rose hips, orange peel, cinnamon chips, rose petals and anise seed. It was out of this world. I immediately bought a bag to take home and make for my family. Cooper came from a generation where they ate what they grew and she learned to use what you had around you to survive. “My grandmother would say in her thick Southern accent, ‘I have a cold and I want you to go in the woods and find me something that is going to cure me and something that is going to make me see Jesus,’ she did that so we would always know the difference between the good and bad plants,” Cooper said. “It was a constant education.” While I was at the market, Cooper also sold me her Calendula Comfrey Lavender Salve. “This is a third generation recipe that is loaded with freshly picked calendula, comfrey, and fresh lavender,” Cooper said. “It is soaked for

AND

SOOTHERS

By Libby Hopkins

awhile in fresh coconut oil, olive oil, and hemp seed oil and it has a little peppermint for it's awesome soothing properties.” It is great for bug bites, eczema, psoriasis and acne, but it also saved Cooper’s arm when she was a child. Her parents had one of those old wringer washing machines and she got her arm caught in it right after her father had tightened the rollers. “My parents took me to the hospital long enough to establish the damage to my arm, but we could not afford to keep going back so my family would rub the salve on my arm and wrap my arm in gauze a couple of times a day and my arm completely healed,” Cooper said. All she has is a small scar to remind her of the incident. Cooper loves working at the different markets and sharing her knowledge with all of her customers. “The people I meet and the spiritual shift of everyone finally starting to realize when it comes to what they put in their bodies is what makes me happy and love what I do,” Cooper said. “I want to teach others to use the herbs and plants they have around them to heal themselves and their families.” If you would like to learn more about the different products Sereniteas and Soothers offers, you can visit Cooper’s website at www.sereniteasandsoothers.com or call her at 813-720-9136. Her website also has a listing of the different markets where you can find her products. The Ybor Twilight Market is held every Tuesday night at The Rosevelt 2.0 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The market is located at 1812 N. 15th Street in Tampa. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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July 2013 Report by Captain Woody Gore

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t is already July and it’s hot. If you’re fishing low water flats before an incoming tide and your live bait starts dying, keep in mind the low water may be depleted of its oxygen as it comes out of the shallow backcountry areas. Wherever low tides last through the night, especially as water temperatures have climbed through the mid and afternoon heat, the shallow water back country tends to lose its ability to hold oxygen. Therefore, some backcountry flats and pools containing oxygen-depleted water are carried out to your favorite fishing areas during outgoing tides. As usual, July remains hot without any degree of relief at least for another couple of months. In spite of the heat, anglers willing to endure high temperatures and humidity can look forward to catching plenty of fish. From Mackerel to Tarpon everything is cooperating and eating just about anything tossed in their direction.

SNOOK season remains closed, but after a three and a half year moratorium for the species, it will be reopened to harvest on September 1. Snook, Redfish and Trout have remained strong through the summer. 18

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Snook seem to be everywhere especially around the flats and mangrove shorelines, willing to take greenbacks tossed in their direction. Speaking of greenbacks, they are everywhere and the young fry are starting to appear. This means trout, trout, and more trout on deep water grass flats. REDFISH action throughout the bay seems consistent with plenty of slot fish waiting to tug on your line. Trout, snook and redfish usually haunt the same areas, often cruising open flats and sandy patches early then moving into the mangrove shade during the day. However, the trout will usually stay on the open grass flats hanging around sandy potholes. Anglers favoring artificial lures should try topwater action with lures like the new MirrOLure Series III S7MR or the Top Dog 74MR, Top Dog Jr. 84MR. Later in the day, soft plastic jerkbaits baits like the favorite Gulp Shad rigged using their new 1/16 or 1/8 oz. heavy hooks practically assure success. COB IA Markers and sandy broken bottom grass flats, especially those holding bait, equal Cobia. These fish also frequent markers, those holding bait. They often cruise the miles of open grass flats following rays and manatees on the lookout for a quick snack. When fishing open water flats, it’s always a good idea to have a rod and reel rigged for something larger, like a cobia. You never know when one might slide by.

Threadfin herring, crabs and larger greenbacks are all over Tampa Bay and work very well for tarpon. The Skyway Bridge, Anna Maria, St. Pete Beaches, and Egmont Key should be holding plenty of fish this month. MACKEREL Fishing is on fire and Tampa Bay is loaded. August fishing should be no exception. Just find schools of threadfins or greenbacks, net a few, put out a chum bag, and hold on to your rod and reel. This means some real excitement on spinning tackle using 50 to 60 pound Seaguar leader and 2/0 long shank hooks.

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” – 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done. Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM, send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give him a call at 813-477-3814.

TARPON Fishing should continue this month. Many begin moving offshore to spawn. W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


New Insecticide Method

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etGun™, an innovative, new concept in the world of cattle insecticide is now available. The VetGun delivery system removes the hassle, stress and danger associated with working cattle to control parasites, including horn flies and lice. It is the only system offering the convenience of quickly dosing an entire herd in the field. It eliminates the need for expensive handling facilities, makes the process safer for both the cattle and ranchers, and reduces the labor requirement by up to 75 percent. The VetGun saves time, saves money and increases productivity. The power behind VetGun is the AiM-L VetCap™, which is a first-of-its kind, whole-herd topical insecticide application. The VetCap is a patented, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved, new dosage form that encapsulates Lamba cyhalothrin and Piperonyl Butoxide into a special soft gelcap. The VetGun uses CO2 to apply the VetCaps to cattle at a range of 15 to 30 feet. The VetCap bursts on the cow, releasing its contents just behind the shoulder. The formulation then goes to work in a similar way to pour-on products. The application dose is one VetCap for 600 pound or larger animals. “The VetGun Delivery System removes the need for additional labor or special handling, making it ideal for operations that may not have sufficient working facilities or labor available to move and work cattle, particularly when it is hot. One person could dose at least 100 head in a fraction of the time it would require with other methods,” noted Randall Tosh, Vice President-Business Development, SmartVet USA. The VetGun and AiM-L VetCaps are available for purchase at local farm supply retailers and online animal health companies. It is manufactured and marketed by SmartVet USA and distributed by AgriLabs®. For more information and to view a testimonial video, visit www.smartvet.com.

About Sma rtVet, US A SmartVet is a drug delivery and biopharmaceutical company with a particular focus on large animal health. It was co-founded by a 4th generation cattle rancher to find simple and logical solutions to everyday problems. SmartVet believes in developing innovative solutions by listening to the people who work the land every day. We approach every problem from a cattleman’s perspective – “how can we make this easy to use, efficient and cost effective?” SmartVet is located at the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute in Olathe, KS. • W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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lant City is one of the state’s most productive agricultural areas. The farmers that grow crops here are some of the hardest working people in the world. Over the years they have accumulated a history of stories and events, some good and some not so good. Carl Grooms told me the story of his grandfather who was cutting hay. He said one hot summer day a preacher from one of the churches in Springhead was walking down the road and saw his grandfather struggling to load hay back onto his horse drawn wagon. “You look tired, my son,” said the preacher. “Why don’t you rest moment, and I’ll give you a hand?” “My father wouldn’t like it,” he said. “Don’t be silly,” the minister said. “Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.” Carl said, again my grandfather repeated that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the preacher said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!” “Well,” he replied, “he’s under the load of hay.” Then there’s the story of the farmer that decided it was time to have his three sows bred. He called his buddy down the road and they agreed on a stud fee. The next day the farmer loads the three sows in his pickup and takes them down the road to the males. He leaves them all day, and when he picked them up that night, he asked the man how he could tell if it ‘took’ or not. The breeder replied that if the next morning the sows were grazing on the grass they were pregnant – but if they were rolling in the mud as usual, it most likely didn’t take. Come the next morning, the sows were rolling in the mud as usual, so the farmer put them in the truck and took them back for a second full day of frolicking. This continued for a week, since each morning the sows were rolling in the mud. About the sixth day, the farmer woke up and told his wife, “I don’t have the heart to look out the window again.

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This is getting ridiculous, and expensive. You check today.” The wife peeked out the bedroom window and started to laugh. “What is it?” asked the farmer. “Are they grazing at last?” “Nope.” she said. “Two of them are jumping up and down in the back of your truck, and the third one is honking the horn!” Some folks say that farmers aren’t really bright, but this story proves they are wrong. Back in the 50s, a farmer from Dover decided to take a train to Jacksonville to visit some relatives. The train was full and he had to sit next to a city slicker. To pass the time the city slicker decided to play a game with the farmer. He said, “I will ask you a question and if you get it wrong, you have to pay me one dollar. Then you ask me a question, and if I get it wrong, you get ten dollars. You ask a question first.” The farmer thought for a while. “I know. What has three legs, takes 10 hours to climb up a palm tree, and 10 seconds to get back down?” The city slicker was confused and thought long and hard about the question. Finally, the train ride came to an end. As it pulled into the station, the man takes 10 dollars and gives it to the farmer. “I don’t know what has three legs, takes ten hours to get up a palm tree and 10 seconds to get back down. What is the answer?” “I have no idea.” The farmer replies, and hands the city slicker one dollar, and gets off the train. I like the story of the two farmers in Tennessee out on a walk in the woods. They came upon a mineshaft. They looked at each other, and one said, “I wonder how deep this hole is?” “Heavens, I have no idea,” answered his buddy, and said, “Let’s drop a stone in and listen for it to hit bottom.” They dropped the stone in and waited, but there was no sound. They found a larger rock and threw it in and waited. Still no sound! A short distance away they spotted an old railroad tie. Each lifted an end, W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


and with great difficulty they dropped it in. Again no sound! As they waited, a goat ran right between them and jumped into the hole. They stood there scratching their heads when a farmer came along an asked, “Have you seen a goat around here?” “Well, as a matter of fact we have,” replied the first farmer. “We just had a goat run past us and jump into that hole!” “Oh, it couldn’t have been my goat,” said the farmer, “Mine was tied to a railroad tie.” In closing: CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull and build a herd of cows. BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE: You have two cows. Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pour the milk down the drain. •

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their identified roles and responsibilities as detailed in the CEMP. “Our efforts are aimed at not only preparing for and responding to incidents, but fostering a more resilient community so that our time to recovery from large scale emergencies or disasters is minimized.

Planning for the Unexpected

By Jim Frankowiak

is the question Preston Cook and his staff deal with every day. He is Director of the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) with responsibility for providing vision, direction and subject matter expertise in the field of emergency management to heighten Hillsborough County’s state of emergency preparedness.

“What if?”

“Some people have the mistaken belief that we work only during hurricane season and once that season is over, we can rest,” said Cook, who joined OEM in 2011 and has served in public safety for over 24 years. Most of his career was spent with the Orange County Florida Office of Emergency Management where he served as Executive Director. “Our work is year round and it embraces much more than hurricane preparedness. Sinkholes, tornadoes, flooding, natural gas and chemical leaks are just a few of the non-hurricane events that we must be prepared for and respond to.” His office is responsible for proactive leadership in facilitating and coordinating a county wide and regional approach to emergency management. Additionally, the office serves to assist county, regional, state, federal, volunteer and private partners in being prepared to effectively respond to and recover from emergency events. “That involves over 40 of our partners, both public and private sector, for any type of unexpected event that occurs and exceeds local capabilities in terms of response and recovery,” said Cook. The office, just as those in all of the state’s counties, is mandated by Florida Statute. “What we do, how we do it and what is involved is all covered by Florida Statute Chapter 252. We serve as the key link between the county and resources of the state in the event of an emergency.” Under that statute, Cook and his staff annually prepare and update the county’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and related annexes. OEM provides inclusive emergency management planning coordination for all population segments in the county, and facilitates emergency planning initiatives with other jurisdictions throughout the region. This includes coordination of emergency training, simulations and exercises necessary to prepare first responders, county agencies and partners to carry out 24

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“We also coordinate and conduct public emergency management outreach and educational programs to increase awareness on emergency preparedness among families and businesses to foster disaster recovery, resiliency and continuity among the business sector,” he said. “It is our job to make sense out of chaos and make things work. This means making critical decisions with very limited information within a short period of time,” Cook added. To accomplish this he and his staff work throughout the year with their many partners to build relationships that foster the OEM mission. “We meet with our partners on a quarterly basis to achieve our overriding goal and that is to be prepared to quickly respond to an emergency and foster recovery as quickly as possible.” The partners include local, county, state and federal governmental units plus private sector and non-profit entities. “Our partners are not just those needed to meet the immediate needs required in response to an emergency, but the groups that will help with immediate needs and recovery.” These groups are broken down into functional areas such as transportation, communications, public works, firefighting, planning and information, mass care, resource support, health and medial, search and rescue, hazardous materials, food and water, energy, military support, public information, volunteers and donors, law enforcement, animal services and business and industry. “When an incident occurs that is beyond local capabilities, we function as the quarterback bringing our broad public and private resources to bear on both the emergency and recovery,” he said. That requires continual updating of the CEMP, regular exercises with all partners and steps to assure that required certifications are kept current. OEM conducts training exercises and sessions, as well as engaging state level resources to augment local efforts. Cook notes that emergency preparedness is not just a task for government. “That’s a job we all have. And if you think -- that will never happen to me or I’ve been through a storm like Hurricane Charlie or TS Debby and I know what to expect -you are mistaken because every storm event is unique with different challenges.” To that end and to help county residents make proper advance preparation for emergencies, OEM has created a Disaster Planning Guide and Hurricane Kit. Each is available at public libraries throughout the county and on the OEM website: www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Emergency. “The Hurricane Kit offers planning tips and a 10-week shopping list to help residents gather items needed in the event of a hurricane,” Cook said. Both the kit and guide contain a comprehensive listing of resources available and things to be done before an emergency occurs. “We do spend a great deal of time at OEM thinking about ‘what if’. I would encourage residents of the county to give that some consideration, as well as not be complacent, so that when the unexpected does take place, they will be ready.”• W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


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Adopt-A-Pet

Phineas

is an adorable male kitten with a great personality who was born 4/12/2013 and is looking for a forever home. He was brought to us by a great client who took him from kids that were trying

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to get their dog to eat him. He is now in great health and will be neutered by us prior to adoption. He is also up to date on all of his vaccinations and is FeLV/FIV negative. Call us at 813-754- PETS or stop by the hospital to meet him!!

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To Benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation

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egistration is now open for Romp in the Swamp, a 5K and 10K obstacle run that benefits South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation and The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. The event takes place October 12 at Lower Green Swamp Preserve (formerly Cone Ranch), in Plant City. Orthopaedic Medical Group of Tampa Bay is the presenting sponsor. The 5K and 10K races are for ages 14 and older, are chip timed, and include both natural and manmade obstacles. There are approximately 32 total obstacles in the 5K and 10K runs and the first two waves are Elite. Participants may run, walk or jog the course as they see fit. There will be two afternoon races of approximately ½ mile with seven obstacles for children ages 5-8 and 9-13. Each participant will receive a dri-blend shirt and finisher medal, and awards will be given for fastest times, best costumes and largest team. The largest team will receive preferred parking and a VIP tent. In addition, there will be a Wedding Wave where couples may renew their vows or get married by a notary public! The Wedding Wave begins at 10:40 a.m. Registration fees range from $60 - $80, depending on the category, and include free bag check, shirt, and after party with music. Kids Wave is $25. The registration fee increases each month, so participants are encouraged to register early. Discount codes may be found on the event’s Facebook page. Parking is $10 per car.

*** All Items Are 8 lbs. Unless Otherwise Noted.***

VEGETABLES Foodhooks........................$22

Brussel Sprouts ................$14

Baby Butter Beans ...........$15

Baby Carrots.....................$14

Green Beans......................$14

Broccoli .............................$14

Pole Beans ........................$14

Cauliflower........................$14

Speckled Butter Beans ...$14

Mixed Vegetables ............$14

Blackeye Peas...................$14

Soup Blend .......................$14

Butter Peas .......................$14 Crowder Peas ...................$14

FRUITS

Pinkeye Peas.....................$14

Blueberries 5# ..................$15

Sugar Snap Peas ..............$15

Blackberries 5# ................$15

Zipper Peas.......................$14

Raspberries 5# .................$15

Green Peas ........................$14

Dark Sweet Cherries 5# ..$18

White Corn........................$14

Mango Chunks 5# ............$15

Yellow Corn.......................$14

Pineapple Chunks 5#.......$15

Cream White Corn 4# ......$6

Whole Strawberries 5# ...$15

Cream Yellow Corn 4#......$6

Peaches..............................$15

Collard Greens..................$13

Rhubarb #5 .......................$15

Mustard Greens ................$13

Funds raised will benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital’s many projects to enhance medical care for the Plant City community, as well as community initiatives supported by the Chamber.

Turnip Greens ...................$13

GEORGIA PECANS

Spinach ..............................$13

(Frozen)

Cut Okra ............................$13

Halves and Pieces

For more information or to register, go to rompintheswamp.org or call (813) 757-1277. You also can track the development of the obstacles and “like” the event on Facebook.

Breaded Okra....................$13

1 lb bag................................$9

Whole Okra .......................$13

2.5 lb bag ....................$22.25

Sliced Yellow Squash.......$13

5 lb bag ............................$44

Sliced Zucchini .................$13

10 lb bag ...........................$87

AB OU T B AYCARE HEALT H SYSTEM BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. • W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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Dry Creek

You could tell a lot about a person by the way their letters sloped. When you’d read one you could almost hear their voice, and the way they spoke. I have letters I’ve kept thru out the years of family and friends I hold dear. I read them over and over, cause it’s like they’re still here. Well folks I hope you liked my scribbling on The Letter. Love to hear from you. Heck even write me a handwritten letter. Just address it to Dry Creek. Everybody knows where Dry Creek is... cause it’s inside each and everyone of us. Watch Dry Creek on BlueHighwaysTV, Channel 246 on Verizon Sat nites at 7:30. Go to DryCreekT V.Com for more information. Check us out at drycreektv.com

The Letter By Les McDowell Photo Courtesy of Linda Constant

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ell here we are in summer again and the grass is growing tall. The summer rains help cut back on the feed bill and around Dry Creek (which isn’t Dry any longer) we are busy planning our next shows. Lots of great things have happened at Dry Creek, the TV Show. We are now on Bright House Saturday evenings at 7:30 and 10:30 eastern time, Channel 195, HD 1316. Bright House picked up Blue Highways TV and Dry Creek. We are now in 1.5 million more homes. I want to thank everyone who wrote in to Bright House requesting Blue Highways TV and Dry Creek. It worked and there is proof once again that expressing your self in an email or letter can make a difference. Speaking of letters, I received something in the mail the other day I hadn’t gotten in a long, long time. It was a handwritten letter. Like all of us I receive my share of emails and text messages, but boy was I surprised to see it. It wasn’t who the letter was from or it’s contents. It’s handwritten address and pages brought me back many years. It was as though I was looking at an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. It was such a treat to receive a hand written letter that I just had to write a poem.

The Letter There’s emails and text messages and cell phones these days. There’s plenty of ways to say what you want to say. Buts there’s something that time has almost forgot and it’s really better. It’s a personal carefully written out hand written letter. When you read one there’s even feelings between those blank lines. It means more and maybe it’s cause the person just took the time. My Dad he used to write them to my mom. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I came along. There’s been many tears that have fallen way past the dawn. When one arrived addressed to Dear John. That was before an address was a just a contact. And in your address there wasn’t an @. 28

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Specials! No Climb Horse Fence

100ʼ x 4ʼ CL1 No Climb Horse Wire...............................$99 100ʼ x 5ʼ CL 1 No Climb Horse Wire ............................$132 100ʼ x 6ʼ CL 1 No Climb Horse Wire ............................$169

Chain Link Gates – Round Corner

Chain Link Gates Round Corner 4ʼ wide x 6ʼ High Walk Gate ...........................................$29 42” wide x 5ʼ High Walk Gate ........................................$18 42” wide x 6ʼ High Walk Gate ........................................$29 10ʼ wide x 5ʼ High Drive Gate (2-5 wide gates) .............$49 10ʼ wide x 6ʼ High Drive Gates (2-5 wide gates) ...........$59

Honey

2lb fresh raw honey ....................................................$9.89 *While supplies last

SAVICH & LEE / STALNAKER 6902 Causeway Blvd Tampa, FL 813-620-3006

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sulphur, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum are thinner. To the right of 7, where it is slightly to medium alkaline, the bars for iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc are narrow. In general, the thicker lines signify greater nutrient availability. Thinner lines signify less nutrient availability. To tie it all together, you can predict possible nutrient deficiencies at high and low pH values. In addition, potentially toxic nutrient levels can occur at low pH values.

Soil pH Tests Provide Garden Clues

By Nicole Pinson, Urban Horticulture Agent/Master Gardener Coordinator UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service

H

ave you ever planted something and it just didn’t grow well? Reasons could be nematodes in the soil, planting at the wrong time of year or not choosing cultivars and varieties appropriate for your area. But, another common issue is soil pH. You can’t tell the pH of your soil just by looking at it. You have to send a soil sample to a lab for analysis. Information provided in a soil pH test can help you plan a garden, choose turfgrass or ornamental plants and narrow down possible nutrient deficiencies. Soil pH is a measure of the concentration or activity of hydrogen ions in the soil. Soil pH is an important variable, and a relative indicator of the soil’s acidity or alkalinity. On the pH scale, 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. For example, orange or apple juice has a pH of 3.5, milk has a pH of 6.5 and hand soap has a pH around 9.0 – 10.0. So, how can understanding pH can make you a better gardener? Here are the take away messages: • Choose your plants based on your soil pH. • Use pH information to determine possible nutrient deficiencies.

When looking at a soil pH chart, the values to the left of 7 are acidic, and the values to the right of 7 are alkaline. Each bar in the chart corresponds to a particular nutrient, and the size of the bars indicates nutrient availability. Notice to the left of 7, where it is strongly acidic, the bars for nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, 32

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For example, bahiagrass is a low maintenance and drought tolerant grass. However, it doesn’t perform well on high pH soils. When planted on high pH soils, you may notice yellowing. This can be corrected by adding micronutrients or choosing a grass better suited to the site. Another example: blueberries! Blueberries are delicious and you can easily grow your own in Florida. But, keep in mind blueberries like very acidic soils. If planted in high pH soils, they won’t perform well no matter how much you care for them. To sum it all up, understanding the link between soil pH and nutrient availability is important because it can provide clues to potential problems your plants may have. Soil pH can help you choose plants best suited to your site, reduce replacement costs and make appropriate fertilizer applications. Be a curious gardener, take a soil sample and get your pH tested. You can take one representative sample for your entire yard, or take samples in specific locations, such as vegetable garden, St. Augustinegrass lawn or citrus tree. Contact your Extension agent if you have questions about your soil sample report. Follow the Florida-Friendly Landscaping principle “Right Plant, Right Place.” Group plants with similar pH requirements and “Fertilize Appropriately.” Visit our website for more information on taking and submitting a soil sample: http:/ / hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/ residential_lg/ diagnostics.shtml

You’ll be well on your way to becoming a more successful gardener! The Hillsborough County Extension Service is located at 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, Florida, 33584. Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Contact me by phone at (813) 744-5519 or by email at pinsonn@hillsboroughcounty.org. Look for Master Gardener plant clinics and UF/IFAS horticulture information at your local events and libraries. References: Broschat, T. Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms of Woody Ornamental Plants in South Florida. 2008 (revised 2011). University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep362 Sartain, J.B. Soil and Tissue Testing and Interpretation for Florida Turfgrasses. 2001 (revised 2008). University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss317 Schober, A. and G. Denny. Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies in Ornamental Plants. 2010 (reviewed 2012). University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss530 Schober, A., C. Wiese, and G. Denny. Soil pH and the Home Landscape or Garden. 2008 (revised 2011). University of Florida. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss480

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

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lorida is the top producing state in the country for longans, sweet Asian fruits that are found only in July and August. The longan is a member of the Sapindaceae family along with lychee, rambutan, pulasan, akee, Spanish lime, and soapberry. Longans have a light brown, thin peel with a white pulp and a large seed in the middle. They are enjoyed fresh, eaten out-of-hand, and can also be frozen, canned, dried, or preserved. Longans are in season for only a short period, usually July and August. According to statistics in 2008, longan production in Florida has increased four-fold over the past 20 years, and the annual longan crop in the state is estimated to be worth almost $3 million. Longans are available in many varieties, but the main type grown in Florida is “Kohala.” Round in shape, longans are slightly smaller than lychees with a smooth, thin, brown, leathery peel. The fruit’s texture is soft, yet crisp, and resembles that of a grape. Longans have a sweet, floral taste, much like a lychee.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE The longan is considered a very good source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. The fruit is naturally low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a 100g portion of fresh longan (approximately 8 fruits) contains 60 calories, 1.3g protein, 0.1g fat, 15.1g carbohydrate, and 1.1g of dietary fiber. It also provides 140% of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin C, 8% for riboflavin, 4% for dietary fiber, 3% for manganese and significant amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

VITAMIN C

anemia. Additionally it aids in the development and maintenance of healthy capillaries, gums, and skin, as well as strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties that make them helpful for protecting against conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation plays a big role.

RIBOFLAVIN Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body, so it needs to be continually replenished through food sources. This vitamin works synergistically with the other B vitamins and is important for body growth and red blood cell production. It also helps the body utilize energy from the carbohydrates consumed in the diet. One serving of longan provides almost 10% of your daily riboflavin needs. Other foods high in this vitamin are green leafy vegetables, legumes, and dairy products. POTASSIUM Longans are high in potassium, a mineral which promotes healthy heart function and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. People with low potassium levels are more prone to muscle cramps. Fortunately vegetables and fruits, such as longans, are a rich source of potassium.

With only 60 calories per ten fruits, one serving of longan meets 140% of your daily vitamin C requirement! This vitamin is important for a strong immune system, cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. Vitamin C 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.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

This vitamin also enhances iron absorption from other foods, which reduces the risk of

Choose longans that are tan to light brown in color, since they turn from green to tan when ripe. They should be uniform in color, free of

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any wet or soft spots, and feel bouncy (firm but yielding to pressure) when squeezed. Longans are delicate and best when eaten right away. They can be stored in the refrigerator in an open container or loosely wrapped in a paper towel for up to seven days. Longans can also be frozen whole, with the skin on, in an air-tight plastic zipper bag. Canned longans, found in Asian markets and some grocery stores, are whole fruits packed in syrup, and a convenient way to enjoy the fruit year-round.

HOW TO ENJOY Longans are sweet, juicy, and delicious eaten out-of-hand. Rinse the fruits and peel before eating. Peeled and pitted fruit can be enjoyed in the following ways: • Add to fruit salads and desserts • Toss in salads or stir-fries • Slice as a relish for fish or chicken • Puree for use in sorbet or ice cream • Boil to make fig jam • Chop and add to cereal or oatmeal or yogurt Savor fresh Florida longans today at its peak season. Sweet and delicious, longans are a nutritious summertime treat. Selected References http:/ / www.ipmcenters.org http:/ / www.hort.purdue.edu/ http:/ / edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ pi050

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New Headquarters for Florida FFA Assoc. TO BE BUILT By Jim Frankowiak

ON

FLORIDA FARM BUREAU CAMPUS

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he annual state FFA convention is always a much anticipated gathering for members to learn, share and foster relationships. The 85th gathering recently held in Orlando was even more as Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick told attendees of a funding partnership that will underwrite the majority of costs associated with the construction of a new Florida FFA Association headquarters on the Farm Bureau campus in Gainesville. “This is one of the most exciting initiatives I have ever had the privilege of participating in as president of our great organization,” Hoblick said. “We have always supported leadership development programs for young people. We have also enjoyed a long and productive association with our FFA partners.” “We want to continue the tradition of creating opportunities for our very capable FFA members,” Hoblick added. “I know that the new headquarters will be a vital resource for many decades into the future. This structure will stand as a permanent demonstration of our shared commitment to your education and the quest for success.” The project is valued at an estimated $1.5 million. The Florida Farm Bureau Federation and the Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company will fund most of the cost. Donations from individual donors, businesses and private organizations across the state are expected to contribute $150,000. The new 6,000-square-foot building will include an auditorium, conference rooms, office space and storage areas for the FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America, which had been leasing 1,600-square feet of office space in the Farm Bureau Florida headquarW W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

ters building in Gainesville. The FFA structure is to be located on the northeast side of the Farm Bureau campus and construction is anticipated to be completed in 2014. Florida Farm Bureau and Florida FFA have enjoyed a close relationship for many decades. Farm Bureau members have always supported leadership training and the creation of career paths for young people. FFA’s statewide membership of 15,000 middle and high school student members, as part of over 300 local FFA chapters, boasts many of the future’s most talented and capable young people. Farm Bureau’s partnership with FFA reflects both a tradition of mutual collaboration and a tangible commitment to the future of communities in Florida. Founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers gathered at Kansas City, the organization’s mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They taught members that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting, it is a science, business and art. FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet those challenges by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways. Since 1928, it is estimated that millions of agriculture students have donned the FFA blue jacket and championed the FFA creed. The organization has opened its doors and its arms to minorities and women, ensuring that all students could reap the benefits of agricultural education. So, while FFA still represents the Future Farmers of America, it does the same for the Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers and Future Entrepreneurs of America, too.

Today, the National FFA Organization remains committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Now the organization is expanding the nation’s view of “traditional” agriculture and finding new ways to infuse agriculture. Florida FFA members annually participate in nearly 50 leadership and career development events. The Florida FFA Association is a resource and support organization that does not select, control, supervise or approve local chapter or individual member’s activities except as expressly provided for in the Florida FFA Constitution and Bylaws. FFA is an integral part of the Agricultural Education program. To join the FFA, students must be enrolled in an Agricultural Education course in a local school. It is not a club, but one of three integral components of an agricultural program that includes classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience and life skills. Students between the ages of 12 and 21 who are enrolled in a systematic course of instruction in agricultural education are eligible for membership in their school’s FFA chapter. Florida Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general agricultural organization with more than 147,000 member-families representing Farm Bureaus in 60 counties. Membership provides a broad range of benefits and it is not necessary to be a farmer or rancher to become a member of Florida Farm Bureau. For additional information about the Florida FFA Association, visit: ww w.flaffa.o rg, and www.hcfarmbureau.org is the site for Farm Bureau information. • INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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By Libby Hopkins

Vet Technicians Wanted HCC Vet Tech Students get hands-on experience while earning their degree.

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eterinary Technicians perform the same duties for a veterinarian that a nurse would for a doctor. They don’t diagnose or perform surgeries but they can pretty much do everything else that needs to be done at a veterinary hospital. Becoming a vet tech requires one thing, an unwavering love of animals. The work can be messy and physically demanding, but they do the job because they want to help animals and provide them with the best care possible. Vet techs must complete a post secondary program in veterinary technology along with a 2year associate’s degree and take a credentialing exam to become registered, licensed, or certified, depending on the state. The Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Plant City Campus offers a veterinary technology program associate in Science degree and the program recently became accredited. “The program has been in existence since 2005 and was ‘provisionally’ accredited in 2008,” said Angela Walters, Community Relations and Marketing Manager for HCC. “The recent accreditation is a full accreditation. All programs first receive a provisional accreditation then five years later they are evaluated for full accreditation.” The campus is proud to offer an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) veterinary technology program to serve local veterinary medical practices. The mission of the program is to provide superior veterinary technology instruction, cuttingedge technology, and hands on opportunities for students in an innovative learning environment, so they acquire the skills to excel in today’s highly competitive workplace. “We graduate 20-25 students per year, therefore we accept approximately 30-35 students per year to take attrition into account,” Walters said. “Our program is extremely challenging and not everyone can make it though, therefore, like most vigorous vet tech programs across the country, we plan for as much as 30 percent attrition.” The vet tech degree program consists of 18 credit hours of general education requirements and 55 credit hours of veterinary technology courses. The program courses include animal anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, animal clinical pathology, avian and exotic pet medicine, animal nursing and veterinary work experience. Completion of this degree allows and prepares the students to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam and achieve the status of Certified W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

The HCC vet tech program had a 100 percent job placement from the 2012 class and they have already placed 85 percent of their 2013 graduates.

Veterinary Technician. The whole program takes about two years to complete and students have many career opportunities in veterinary private practices, human societies, specialty veterinary medicine, zoo and wildlife medicine, agriculture and biomedical research. “Ours is a two-year program with both lecture and hands-on laboratory classes,” Walters said. “Students are also required to take four externship courses called ‘Work Experience Courses,’ during the program. Each externship requires 60 hours of time at a veterinary clinic, animal shelter, animal hospital or a veterinary emergency clinic.” She said this is a service to the clinics and other externship sites because students are volunteering there, and it’s also a service to the program because students learn what it’s like at an actual facility. “All the sites are potential employers, so the sites also get the added benefit of essentially enjoying a 16-week long work interview,” Walters said. “Many of the work experience externships then end up offering the students jobs after the externship is completed.” Students in the program also perform inhouse hands-on exercises with animals from Hillsborough County Animals Services (HCAS). They provide the animals that need to have actual procedures performed on them, such as spays or neuters. The students prepare the animals for surgery, place them under anesthesia and monitor them while the veterinarians perform the surgery. “This also provides a valuable service to HCAS because it helps them save resources,” Walters said. “It is a mutually beneficial relationship and important community service.” The students

also perform dental cleaning, certain blood tests and radiographs on HCAS animals that require them. Certified vet techs are in high demand as well. According to the U.S Department of Labor www.dol.gov) “Employment of vetwebsite, (w erinary technicians is expecting to grow 52 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.” The website also says that the “Overall job opportunities for veterinary technicians are expected to be excellent, particularly in rural areas. The numbers of veterinary technology programs has been growing.” The HCC vet tech program had a 100 percent job placement from the 2012 class and they have already placed 85 percent of their 2013 graduates. “These are excellent job placement numbers for any program,” Walters said. “We work hard with our contacts at many veterinary general practices and specialty practices throughout the county to place our graduates and we have an excellent record.” Walters hopes the program can hire more faculty members so HCC can increase the number of students in the vet tech program and eventually have two graduating classes per year. • If you would like to learn more about the vet tech program at HCC, you can visit them on the web at www.hccfl.edu/ departments/ vet-tech.aspx or call 813-757-2145. The HCC Plant City Campus is located at 1206 North Park Rd. in Plant City, FL.

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By Jim Frankowiak

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chool was out for students throughout Florida in early June, but for some of their teachers it was time to reverse roles and attend class, in this instance workshops held at four locations across the state as part of the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC) Summer Regional Workshop series. The first session was held at the Trinkle Center in Plant City and drew more than 30 educators from Hillsborough and adjacent counties, as well as some from as far away as Marion, Sarasota and Osceola counties. Other workshops were held in Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers and Orlando. Teacher facilitators for that session were Sharon Cutler of Lawton Chiles Elementary in Tampa, Deb Wagner of St. Paul Lutheran School, Lakeland, Kay Duke, Okeechobee Freshman Campus and Lisa Gaskalla, executive director of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc., which is based in Gainesville. “The workshops provide teachers with lessons for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from FAITC’s curricula project Food, Land & People, Keeping Florida Green and Gardening for Grades that will help educate students using the new national Common Core standards,” noted Gaskalla. The workshops included hands on lessons and activities and a windowsill greenhouse with instruction on how to use it in the classroom. Lunch, which at Plant City was provided by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, included open discussions with Will Womack, president of Tampa Bay Landscaping and a member of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, and John Lawson, co-owner with his wife of Hydro Harvest Farms. Hillsborough County Farm Bureau

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Executive Director Judi Whitson also participated in the dialogue session with attendees. Workshop participants are surveyed for their evaluation of these training sessions. Here are several comments from the recent workshop series: “Fabulous training! Instructors were knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Gave us so much to go back to the classroom with. Great, great, great training. Thank you.” “Awesome information! I learned a lot and will pass it on to my students.” “Thank you for all of the hands on activities and ‘Make ‘n Take’ activities. I loved the presentations during a yummy lunch.” The national Common Core Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. Florida is one of 45 states that have adopted the standards, covering English language arts and mathematics. FAITC is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in its agricultural curricula and materials, which they in turn use to educate students about the importance of agriculture. The organization also provides grant money to teachers and volunteers for projects that teach students where their food comes from and the important W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


contributions Florida farmers make to their communities and the state. Additionally, the Mosaic Company Foundation has a special School Garden Mini Grant Program for teachers in DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties through which they are eligible for $500 school garden grants. “Our mission is to expand youth awareness and understanding of Florida agriculture and natural resources by integrating agricultural concept into core educational disciplines and FAIT C supporting programs,” said Gaskalla. T he organization is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag. T he purchase of those specialty license plates, which is $20 per plate plus a $5 administrative fee.

The fee permits FAITC to: • Hold Florida’s Agriculture Literacy Day on which thousands of industry volunteers read to tens of thousands of students every year • Award more than $349,000 in teacher and $300,000 in volunteer grant money over the last decade plus • Sponsor more than 20 county workshops • Send teachers and administrators to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference • Provide school garden curriculum Gardening for Grades for free to Florida teachers, and offer workshops to train teachers in how to use it and a school garden as a teaching tool FAITC is governed by a board of directors, comprised of public and private representatives of the industry. It also receives assistance from Educator and Volunteer Advisory Committees. For more information about the organization, its workshops and resources, visit: www.agtag.org.

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Helping Birds at Risk

Untangling The Fishing Line Wildlife Threat By Jim Frankowiak

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here would be few fishermen without fishing line, but that line has become an increasing threat to wildlife, especially birds, as well as manatees, fish, turtles and other wildlife. “Fishing line that is not disposed of properly can get wrapped around birds’ legs or wings,” noted Ann Paul, Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator for Audubon of Florida. “Sometimes birds actually carry the material back to line their nests, perhaps mistaking it for straw or grass. In the colony, the line becomes a persistent killer, as one bird after another becomes ensnarled, doomed to a slow death from dehydration and starvation. “Hundreds of adult and young birds die each year from entanglement in fishing line,” she said. “Sea turtles, manatees, as well as fish, are also killed. Much of this can be avoided through the careful and proper disposal of fishing line, nets and other line which could entangle wildlife.” Audubon and other groups in the Tampa Bay area are working together to create awareness of this problem and to help educate fishermen on their practices and what to do if a bird becomes entangled. “In the event you hook a bird or come across a bird that has been caught up in fishing line, don’t just cut the line,” said Paul. “If you

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catch a bird by accident, reel it in carefully and remove the fishing line as gently as possible.” But that is easier said than done since the bird is most often afraid that the “rescuer” is a “predator” and going to hurt it. Paul suggests a series of steps that should be taken whether a bird has been “caught” or discovered entangled by fishing line: • Assemble the rescue team and determine who will hold the bird and who will disentangle the fishing line • All team members must wear glasses, goggles or sunglasses to protect their eyes • Secure the bird with a net or towel, gently but firmly grasp its beak or neck near the head. Do not let go. If this hold on the head or neck is loosened, the bird will make a desperate lunge to free itself • Cover the bird’s head gently with a towel, soft material or hat to shield its eyes because by covering its eyes, the bird will become calm • Gently but firmly fold the wings up next to the bird’s body • Grasp the legs, but be cautious that the claws do not scratch the rescuer-bird holder • The “dentangler” team member can now proceed with removal of the line, hooks or other gear

• Check the bird over for other hooks or line. Gently unfold one wing at a time to make sure that the wing bones and flight feathers are not broken • Assess injuries to the bird to be certain it is healthy enough to be released • Put the bird in the water or on land with its head faced away from the bird holder and quickly step away from the bird as you release it. Remember, the bird still considers its rescuers to be predators and may try to jab at the rescuers to make them let it go. • Watch the bird to make sure it can swim and fly with agility • If the bird is too injured to be released, secure it in a safe, dark place and contact a bird rehabilitator for treatment The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission maintains a list of rehabilitators and that information is available by calling FFWC at 863-648-3200 or by visiting its website: www.myfwc.gov. “To help avoid the increasing incidence of wildlife entanglement and other threats, several groups in the greater Tampa Bay area are organizing an educational outreach program to help educate fishermen about these risks,” said Paul. The Fishing Pier Bird Protection Committee hopes to reduce the INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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capture and accidental entanglement of birds at fishing piers, starting with the Skyway Pier State Park. The group plans to accomplish its goal by educating fishermen on accidental bird-capture avoidance, development and proper disposal of bait, fish carcasses and fishing line. In addition to fishing line entanglement, “it’s important for fishermen to recognize proper disposal of bait and fish carcasses,” said Paul. “Big fish bones, whether the result of cleaning or accessible by birds from bait containers, are dangerous to pelicans, cormorants and herons. Those large bones penetrate the bird’s intestines, leading to peritonitis and death.” Other threats to wildlife include hook injuries and lead poisoning if the fishing line is attached to lead sinkers, which when ingested can lead to toxic lead poisoning. “We have an annual event each fall during which volunteers remove fishing line from various locations, including posted bird sanctuaries in the Tampa and Sarasota bay areas,” said Paul. Those interested in volunteering or supporting any of these initiatives financially are encouraged to contact: Tampa Bay Watch, 727/867-8166, www.tampabaywatch.org Sarasota Bay Watch. www.sarasotabaywatch.org Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, 813/623-6826

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By Shannon P. Mitchell – THE REDHEADED GARDENER

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was recently out working in the heat of my garden. Across the way, I noticed, my mother toiled in hers. Yes, I live in a house next to my mother’s. Hers is still the home where I spent my childhood. It’s where my love of gardening was first nurtured by wonderful parents who were always active and engaged in making a beautiful home inside and out.

While I was asking her opinion, one of our neighbors, Rick, walked by with his dog and stopped to exchange some news and neighborly humor. These little impromptu “passthrough” chats are quite common in our close-knit neighborhood. We often meet in the middle of the street to discuss projects and exchange news.

You see, they often spent time in the yard on weekends and evenings creating new landscapes or taking care of the existing flora and fauna. They, in turn, encouraged us as children to participate in these family efforts at growing beautiful plants and in learning how to take care of the garden. I’m certain it was part lesson in responsibility and part a desire to instill a pure love of nurturing growing things that they wanted to pass on to their children.

As we got to talking, he surprised me with a few questions about attracting hummingbirds. You see, this is a stoic, but friendly man of few words. He keeps his yard neat and spare. Not a bad gardening style, just different from our haphazard style. I’ve known him and his family since I was a child. Our neighborhood is one of those legacy neighborhoods where parents still live and children like it so much they have purchased their own homes in the same spot. One big family.

There were garden chores that my sister and I were assigned. It might be to whack back a certain hedge, sweep the debris from the sidewalk or to pull weeds. But we also learned how to plant seeds, entice wildlife to the garden and to appreciate flowers. A legacy “passed along” for sure.

Well, I was delighted to be able to lead him over to my landscape and point out a few key plants he could use to start his hummingbird garden. For these are wonderful little creatures who so often “pass-through” our gardens rapid-fire, bringing a glimpse of beauty zooming in their wake.

I’m digressing. The point is, we – my mom and I, are still connected as closely as ever, through a mutual love of gardening. I walked over to say hi, get her advice and discuss a few ideas for my own garden as well as admire her new project – a planted fence border. She and I tend to “pass-a-long” plants to each other. It’s an easy way to multiply the variety of plants in your garden, exchange treasures with other gardeners and share your garden’s bounty. This is a generous tradition in gardening that has gone on for centuries.

Exhibit A. was Firespike, Odontenema strictum, with its tall leggy 6’ stems, large oblong 4-6’ lime green leaves and its truly spiky tubular red flowers. The blooms are like little firework bursts. They easily root and make not only a wonderful hummingbird attractor, but can be one of those awesome “pass-a-long” plants. I promised him some cutting as soon as it’s time to shear them back for the year. They easily withstand numerous shearings. Place them at the back of your sunny or partly-shady border.

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Hummingbirds are attracted to red blooms but typically they are looking for tubular

shaped flowers to accommodate their long tongues and nectar needs. Good nectar source plants are the key for attracting these little jewel-like, zipping fliers. In Florida, there are about 12 species you are likely to encounter. My favorite, and one that has personally visited my garden, is the RubyThroated Hummingbird. You will generally see them during the spring and autumn months here in Florida, but you can find them year-round if you plant for them. You can spot them in the early morning or dusky afternoon hours. Another favorite hummingbird haunt in my garden is the native, Firebush or Hamelia patens. This easy-care, drought tolerant, hardy perennial bush bursts into brilliant orange tubular flowers every summer and delights not only my hummingbird visitors but also brightly colored butterflies including Zebra Longwings, Monarchs and even a few Sulphurs. Plant in full sun as it gets tall. It can reach heights of around 15 feet, but can be maintained at a shorter height for convenience. It is also salt-tolerant for those coastal dwellers. One last plant that I pointed out to my neighbor was the silvery, green-leaved Coral Honeysuckle Vine, Lonicera sempervirens. Another native, this vine rambles naturally throughout Florida. Beautiful coral or scarlet colored clusters of slender blooms attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Small berries on the vine bring in songbirds. It is also drought tolerant, freeze-hardy and thrives in full sun. So if you want hummingbirds to visit your garden try planting some of these natural, low maintenance pass-a-long enticements and then have a little Patience as the Pass-alongs will bring the Pass-throughs. • INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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RECIPES Recipes Courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture

Family Pizza

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

ʻʼ

FOR CUPCAKES 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 3/4 cups finely shredded Florida carrots (about 4 carrots) 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped fine, toasted lightly, and cooled 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted lightly and cooled FOR ICING 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

PREPARATION FOR CUPCAKES 1 Prepared pizza dough 1 cup Prepared pizza sauce 1 cup Florida tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup Florida zucchini, chopped 1 teaspoon Fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground oregano 1 teaspoon Fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves 12 ounces low fat, grated mozzarella cheese ½ cup Florida parsley, chopped

PREPARATION Spread dough evenly on a baking sheet. Cover top of dough with the sauce. Sprinkle oregano and basil over sauce and bake dough on 400° F for 5 to 7 minutes or until dough starts to brown on edges. Remove from oven and add tomatoes and zucchini. Top with cheese, add parsley, return to oven until cheese melts and begins to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Chef Tip: Use leftover vegetables or meat from other meals for the toppings 50

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Preheat oven to 350°F and line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Beat in flour mixture until combined well. Add carrots, walnuts and coconut, stirring until just combined. Fill muffin tins two thirds full with batter (there will be enough batter remaining to make 4 more cupcakes) and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack and cool completely. Muffin tins may be used again immediately for second cupcake batch.

FOR ICING In a bowl, beat together icing ingredients until fluffy. Spread icing on cupcakes. Cupcakes may be made 2 days ahead and kept in airtight containers. Icing may be made 2 days ahead and chilled in an airtight container. Soften icing at room temperature to spreading consistency.


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By Ginny Mink

Making a Difference

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f you have solar panels set up to power your yurt, or you have actually considered building a windmill in your backyard in order to get off the grid, then chances are the words green and organic are a familiar aspect of your daily verbiage. However, in the world of farming such concepts are relatively new, especially since there are so many rules and regulations on chemical usage. Perhaps this will surprise you but Purdue doesn’t have the corner of the market on nonsteroidal poultry. In fact there are a growing number of people entering into the healthier, more natural arena of small farms for the sake of feeding their own families in a safer less-carcinogenic manner. What drives people to change their lifestyles in this manner? Well, for Scott and Vanessa Coldwell, owners of The Maker’s Farm, cancer was the instigator. Scott shared the history, “As far as background in agriculture, I don’t have a whole lot but I can give you the story about how we got started in agriculture but we’re only about a year and a half into this thing. The long story is, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with pre-leukemia about three years ago. She was in her late sixties and was really set against chemotherapy and radiation. Her alternative treatment plan was through her diet and natural supplements, stuff like that. So, we began to do a whole

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bunch of research on health and healthy eating and what does healthy mean and all those things that kind of go along with that. We had some other parts of our family involved in that and we became a part of a couple of organizations that support healthful eating for healing. Through those we began to look for local sources for organic, naturally raised vegetables and meats. Anyway, we came across our farm two years ago. When we moved out here we had plenty of room to start raising poultry. My brother in law was actually raising some poultry, pasture broilers, as well. The demand was great enough that we started to fill what he couldn’t meet and after a few months of that he actually stopped doing it so we took all his customers and some other ones and that’s where we kind of got started with the whole Maker’s Farm principle. The idea behind what we do and how we do it and all that started that way.” It’s always amazing how something seemingly negative can spur us onto greater things. Scott and Vanessa are examples of that process. He explains, “The Maker’s Farm comes from Psalm 121:2, ’My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ I’m a pastor; that’s what I do full time. I’m the Associate Pastor at East Thonotosassa Baptist Church out here in Antioch. I work there, I do all their chil-

dren and family, youth ministry, that is my full time job. Anyway, of course, being a pastor and a Christian, I believe that God created everything here on earth for us and He made a way for us to heal ourselves. He gave us the medicines and things to do it; He’s got a design for all those things. That’s kinda what we wanted to do, create real healthy food as naturally as we can. We strive to make everything affordable and economical to provide as much healthy food to our community as we can. We do the majority of the sales through the website. We process once a month, it’s all pre-ordered ahead of time with a deposit to hold the new orders. The day we process the chickens is the day that people come and pick them up. Right now we’re doing about three hundred chickens a month and we will probably expand in the fall. The majority of them are gone within an hour of processing, off to someone else’s house.” The Coldwell’s are always seeking to better their products and thusly they pay attention to customer suggestions. Scott said, “We’ve seen a big demand for GMO free and soy free certified organic birds so we are going to try to meet that need in the fall. We’ll do an alternative, it will be both because the price is going to be so great that most people won’t be able to afford it. There are people out there that will pay for it, but we are gonna offer our normal. What we’ve been doing is what you call pasture poultry. We get day old chickens from a hatchery and we raise them in a brooder until they’re about two weeks old. Then, after two weeks we put them out in a pen on the pasture. It’s a portable pen that every day I move to another ten feet of fresh clean grass. It allows the birds to be raised without antibiotics. We don’t have to give the birds any chemicals, supplements or anything to keep them from getting sick as opposed to a commercial chicken which is constantly doused with antibiotics because of the environment that it’s raised in. They’re raised in small batches of about a hundred in a portable pen and they stay out there on the pasture for the other six weeks of their life. We process them at about eight weeks and they weigh out between three and five pounds. Basically we can sell it as no-chemicals. It’s not certified organic. It’s less fat, it’s got grass whereas a commercial chicken isn’t going to get any exposure to pasture or anything like that, bugs, all that good stuff that makes them so good; all the things our

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chickens get. We do have to give them a supplemental grain which has got some natural minerals and vitamins, probiotics and things in it; they can’t survive off just the grass and bugs. That’s pretty much the gist of it.” The Maker’s Farm has some pretty cool expansion coming soon, and Scott shared that as well as the legal and regulatory aspects of the business. He concluded, “We’ve got some lamb now, we’ve got a couple of ewes. We are going to have some more lambs here in the spring and we’re going to start into the grass fed lamb market. They’ll be all antibiotics free, raised on pasture, strictly grass fed. None of that’s available yet. We do turkeys for the holiday season, they’re available right before Thanksgiving. We operate under a Master Feed Registration

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which is a state license that allows us to produce food for pet food, not for human consumption. Because chicken and poultry is so regulated by the state and federal government they don’t really allow you to sell farm raised and farm processed chicken wholesale to the public or even to the private as a matter of fact. The only way that we can do it legally is to sell it as pet food. So all of our products are labeled not for human consumption but our customers know that’s just a requirement that we need to fulfill to be able to do this. Under that same thing we can sell just about anything we produce here on the farm without having a problem. It goes back to the farmer consumer relationship. Most of our customers have been to our farm and had the farm tour. They are welcome to come on processing day and watch us or help us and we’ve had cus-

tomers do that before. We just try to be as transparent with our customers as we can be and that’s what people want; they want to be a part of the farming experience and we just try to meet that need. People are hungry for good food and they’re more conscious about what they’re eating and how it’s raised and what it does to their bodies. We’re just doing our best to try and meet that need. We’re just trying to do what we can to help the community find real food.” You can learn more about The Maker’s Farm on their website: www.themakersfarm.com

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Photos by Stephanie Humphrey By Jim Frankowiak

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he Florida Strawberry Festival has a new public relations and media representative, and the fit is just about as perfect as you can get. Lauren Der, 23-year-old daughter of Dennis and Lori Der, has a nearly lifelong relationship with the Festival that began at age three when she first exhibited at the annual event. “Over the years I have shown sheep, swine, dairy cows, steers, chickens and rabbits at the Festival,” said Der. Youth events are an important part of the Festival and are among “several aspects of the Florida Strawberry Festival that set it apart from other fairs and shows,” said Der, who sees sharing that appraisal of the Festival as one of the key aspects of her new position. The post’s primary responsi-

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bility includes serving as liaison between the Festival and media outlets. Her activities include communicating major news announcements, writing press releases, coordinating interviews and managing the Festival’s Media House, a facility on the Festival grounds limited to use by media covering the event. Der, a lifelong resident of Plant City, is also responsible for creating various informational materials used by the public. “I believe that what we have at the Florida Strawberry Festival is something very special,” she said. “It is my hope to be able to share with the media why our Festival is different from other events. It is a won-

derful place for families to enjoy fellowship and recognize the importance of agriculture. Those are things I know first-hand given my years of involvement in the Festival and my family’s agricultural heritage.” Prior to joining the Florida Strawberry Festival staff, Der taught agriculture at Plant City High School, the school she attended. Her responsibilities included teaching agriculture foundations and agricultural communications classes. Der also served as an FFA advisor, helping lead two officer teams and coach career development events alongside Plant City’s two other advisors.

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A 2012 graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural education and communication, she planned to return to Plant City High School in the fall, but she could not “pass up the Festival opportunity. I enjoyed teaching agriculture and worked with some wonderful students and teachers, and this was a very difficult decision for me. But after much prayer, I felt like this was the direction in which the Lord was leading me, and I have had nothing but peace about it,” she said. Der’s undergraduate education included a specialization in communication and leadership development. While an undergraduate, Lauren was selected for an internship with Design4 Marketing, a Plant City-based firm that permitted Der “to gain real world experience through the application of lessons that I learned in the classroom.” The Der family’s agricultural legacy can be traced back to Lauren’s great grandparents. “Our family legacy includes citrus and cattle through four generations. I hold a very deep appreciation for agriculture, and that’s why I love working in and pro-

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moting the industry,” she said. Her agriculture involvement goes well beyond raising and showing livestock. Der has been involved in FFA since the 6th grade “and I think I have participated in every FFA contest that’s offered.” She has also been an officer and says that, “after Jesus, FFA changed my life the most because it helped me to grow as an individual and learn skills that will serve me my entire life. I also made many lifelong friends. I hold FFA near to my heart.” Der’s father was the owner of Southside Farm and Pet Supply in Plant City for nearly 35 years. He decided on early retirement and sold the business within the last year. Lauren’s sister Erica is an employee of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, working as liaison between the department and agricultural education statewide. “It’s only natural that we work in the industry because it’s what we know and love,” she said. The family’s agricultural involvement in the Festival has a long-standing history as well. Dennis exhibited the 1974 Reserve

Grand Champion Steer and Reserve Grand Champion Carcass. Erica exhibited the 1998 Grand Champion Steer and statewide Grand Champion Carcass, and Lauren exhibited the 2006 Grand Champion Steer. “Showing provided us with projects to work on as a family, and I wouldn’t trade the time it gave us together for anything,” she said. There’s another dimension of Der that she brings to her new position. She is a former Florida Strawberry Festival Queen, having won the honor in 2009. “That was one of the best years of my life,” she said. “I had the privilege of serving alongside four wonderful young ladies, and they are some of my dearest friends. My year as queen was a learning experience in so many positive ways as I served as an ambassador for the Festival.” Leadership plays a prominent role in most whatever Lauren takes on. In addition to her FFA posts and Strawberry Festival honor, she has served as President of the UF Agricultural Communications and Leaders of Tomorrow, earned the

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American FFA Degree, been named an Athena Young Woman of Promise and won the National FFA Creed Speaking Contest.

For additional information about the 2014 Florida Strawberry Festival, visit: www.flstrawberryfestival.com, and plan to attend. The dates are February 27-March 9, 2014.

In her spare time, Der enjoys travel, involvement in her church, Plant City’s First Baptist Church, and outdoor activities such as saltwater fishing, hunting for deer with her father and caring for her donkey, Leonard. “My dad and I had a very special hunting experience four years ago when we traveled to Colorado on an elk hunting trip,” she said. “I was fortunate enough to take a 6x6 bull that weighed about 900 pounds. Hunting is our ‘thing’ that my dad and I love to do together, and hunting with anyone else is just not the same.” There’s an additional and important aspect of FFA that has potential long term considerations for Lauren. “It’s ‘FFA love’ at its finest,” she said with a laugh, referencing a special friendship she made while serving on a national FFA committee with a young man from San Antonio, Texas. Andrew McNair, an alumnus of Texas A&M University, and Der, have been a couple for nearly three years. He is currently a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and is deployed overseas. “The next steps are to be determined,” said Lauren with a bit of a twinkle in her eyes. “It will be wherever the Lord leads us.” In the meantime, Der will focus on her new responsibilities, utilizing the special skills she has learned and blending them with her firsthand knowledge of so many aspects of the Florida Strawberry Festival from showing livestock to serving as royalty. “I love and believe in the Festival. It promotes family values, promotes being proud of your community and promotes agriculture as the backbone of our country. These are strong standards that won’t be changed. When visitors walk in the gates of the Festival, they are met with a warm, genuine, hometown welcome. People notice that. It is one of the key reasons they keep coming back year after year.”

Laurenʼs dad (Dennis Derʼs 1974 Reserve Grand Champion Steer) 56

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HONORING MILITARY MEN & WOMEN

Zephyrhills Museum Seeks to Preserve History; Foster Appreciation By Jim Frankowiak

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he motivation for Cliff Moffett and his fellow board members at the Zephyrhills Museum of Military History is twofold: Preserve military history and teach others about the contributions and sacrifices military men and women have given this country through their military service. “Some of us are veterans, all of us have relatives who have served and we share the bond of seeking to preserve this important aspect of our country’s history,” said Moffett. The “bug” bit Moffett while he was growing up in Connecticut. “I was at a car swap meet with my dad and I met a man who was a Korean War vet,” said Moffett. “He was one of only 12 who survived the battle of Pork Chop Hill and I was totally intrigued by his story and that was the beginning of my personal commitment to military history.” The focal point for the efforts of Moffett, John Bolender, Ted Johnson, Dan Evans and Ed Lark is the one-time infirmary for the U.S. Army’s 10th Fighter Squadron, which trained hundreds of Army airmen on P-51 “Mustangs” from the end of 1943 until 1945 at the Zephyrhills Army Airfield. It was donated to the city after World War II. Though the “P-Shooters,” as they were known, trained in P-51’s they flew P-47’s while serving in Europe. “The P-51s were better suited for bomber escort duty,” said Moffett, “while the P-47 was great for

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ground support and dogfights.” The P-51s offered greater distance, while the P-47s were considered especially “stout” for combat and offered exceptional protection for the pilot. The Zephyrhills training facility was a “hub” for the 10th Fighter Squadron’s command headquartered in Orlando. Though the museum is based in what was the 10th’s infirmary it is similar in structure to the many barracks that made up the training base. The only difference is that the infirmary has walls while the barracks did not. The infirmary was moved to its current location in 1997 and served as temporary “home” for a Zephyrhills Fire Department unit while that unit’s new facility was being built. It was operated as a museum by the city’s library system for a period and was later offered to Moffett and his group in 2010. “The city continues to own the barracks, but we operate the museum,” said Moffett. The museum is opened Saturday’s from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. The museum’s collection is broad and dynamic with new additions and items on loan. The collection includes flight gear, unit insignias, military rank badges, a pictorial history of the 10th Fighter Squadron, ammunition samples, publications dating back to World War II, uniforms of military men and women serving various branches of the U.S. armed services, as well as other countries and items reflecting how Americans lived during

war time. “We are fortunate to have many friends who share our mission and lend display items and also provide them for use during our annual events,” said Moffett. The museum annually hosts a three-day event each February known as Bivouac and Barracks, plus commemorative activities in conjunction with D-Day each June and in December a Pearl Harbor event where last year they had seven Pearl Harbor survivors come out and tell their story. They will have them out there again December 7, 2013. These activities include re-enactments with participants wearing period uniforms of allied and enemy forces and “Our location at the airport enables our friends to fly-in aircraft and we can also host vintage military vehicles,” he said. The museum has also benefited from items donated by World War II veterans or their families. That includes a collection of decorations earned by Major Peacock, a B-17 pilot with some 30 combat missions to his credit. A little over two years ago, the museum board was able to secure a 1942 C-53D transport plane that towed glider planes used to train paratroopers. The plane is one of 159 built for service in the war. It is the military version of the DC-3 transport used by many commercial airlines. Moffett and his board, plus volunteers, have spent the last two years rebuilding the Douglas Aircraft, which is on display outside of the museum home. “The plane had to be W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


trailered from Hattiesburg, Mississippi and needed a good deal of work,” said Moffett. The body was incomplete and the plane had no engines. Today, from afar it looks as though it is ready to tow some gliders. The transport refurbishment expenses, as well as all funding for the museum, comes from donations, many from board members and individuals. “We also are fortunate to attract financial support from corporate sources. CF Industries recently gave us a donation and we will be naming one of our display rooms in recognition of their support,” he said. “They became aware of our existence and many of their employees have relatives who served during the Second World War,” he added. Though the museum is currently only open on Saturdays, it plans to expand its hours and days of operation “with additional volunteer and financial support,” said Moffett. “It is amazing and rewarding to see how many people share our desire to preserve this important part of our nation’s history and share it with future generations. While we have many items from World War II, we welcome materials from other wars and conflicts. It all contributes to our mission.” Those interested in contributing items, offering financial support or volunteering on a regular or periodic basis are encouraged to contact Moffett. He can be reached via email at cprmof1@aol.com or by calling 352-206-1819 or 352-521-5997.

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feelings run deep UF/IFAS study finds

in Goliath Grouper debate By Mickie Anderson

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epending on one’s perspective, goliath grouper are either a conservation success story or a protected species that no longer needs help, according to a new survey from the University of Florida. Atlantic goliath grouper, part of the sea bass family, were overfished from the 1960s through the 1980s and their numbers thinned until 1990, when a harvest moratorium was put into place in U.S. waters. As the name suggests, the slow-moving fish can reach 800 pounds and more than 8 feet in length. They’re found off Florida’s coasts, throughout the Caribbean and off West Africa. While it appears conservation efforts have worked and goliath grouper numbers have grown, scientists still don’t have a firm grip on how well the species have recovered. The species’ recovery is good news to some groups, such as scuba tour guides who show the impressive fish to their clients. But for some anglers who’ve had the misfortune of goliath grouper snatching their catch from fishing lines or spears, the large fish may have bounced back too well, said Kai Lorenzen, a University of Florida fisheries professor. Lorenzen led a team of UF and Florida Sea Grant researchers that surveyed nearly 6,000 stakeholders in the goliath grouper debate and facilitated a workshop with stakeholder groups, in hopes of finding common ground. He presented the

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findings to policy makers at the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council this week. “We did find a differentiated set of opinions, but we also found quite fundamental differences that can be traced to people’s feelings about marine resources use and conservation – and those things will not change,” he said.

Among the survey results: Many commercial reef fishermen believe that goliath grouper negatively impact ecosystems by decimating other fish populations. In addition, goliath interfere with fishing operations and many commercial fishermen (43 percent of hook and line, 87 percent of spear fishermen) have had to change where and how they fish to reduce such interactions. More than 70 percent of commercial fishermen surveyed would like to see the goliath-harvesting moratorium lifted. Most recreational anglers view goliath encounters as desirable or neutral and only 19 percent of anglers feel that goliath impact negatively on the ecosystem. Just more than 50 percent of recreational anglers would like to see the fishery re-opened. The survey also found that most fishing charter captains view the current situation neutrally, but expect a positive impact to their business if anglers were allowed to catch some goliath.

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Lorenzen says that while a majority of both commercial and recreational fishermen support a controlled re-opening of the fishery, they do so mostly for different reasons: commercial fishermen because they are concerned about the impact of goliath on other species and on their fishing operations, and recreational anglers because they are positively interested in harvesting some goliath. Goliath are most popular with recreational (non-fishing) divers, of whom 87 percent considered goliath encounters desirable and 54 percent have undertaken dives specifically to view goliath. Dive charter operators benefit from this interest in goliath viewing and expect negative impacts to their business should goliath become subject to harvest. Non-fishing divers and dive charter operators strongly favor keeping goliath off-limits to fishing. The survey team found surprisingly broad support for limited harvest for scientific research but only, Lorenzen said, if a solid case for such a take could be made. Lorenzen recommends that policy makers continue to seek in-depth, representative information on stakeholder views and bring groups together to communicate and look for shared solutions. Combined with more biological research to understand the status and ecological effects of goliath grouper populations, he said such engagement would help in developing sound management plans for the future. •

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By Sean Green

Photo Credits: EAB-adult closeup: David Cappaert of Michigan State University Infested Tree: Daniel Herms of Ohio State University

A Closer Look

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)

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f you frequent our Florida parks, you may have noticed some new purple sticky traps hanging from the trees. This is in response to a potentially devastating insect imported from China over ten years ago. The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) was first discovered in southeast Michigan in 2002 and since then, has made its way as far south as Virginia and Tennessee according to the 2012 USDAAPHIS detection updates. Without regard to the threat of extinction of one of America’s most historically significant trees, the American Ash tree, the cost of managing this imported pest is already formidable. Government sources estimates management of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) populations average $29.5 million per year from the handful of states it has already affected. In the eastern U.S alone, ash trees are a significant source of saw timber representing an annual value of $25.1 billion per year. Although the Emerald Ash Borer has not yet made its way to Florida, this species certainly deserves a closer look and the watchful eyes of our readers if we are to preserve our American Ash trees. The EAB is a member of a family of beetles known as jewel beetles, or metallic wood-borers (Buprestidae), characterized by their beautiful iridescent metallic appearance, many Buprestidae are highly prized by collectors, their beauty, however, cannot mask their mischief. Our native species are held at bay by natural enemies. EAB however, belongs in China and have no natural enemies in the United States to calm their proliferation. Florida is home to four main species of ash; White Ash (Fraxinus americana L.), Pop Ash (Fraxinus caroliniana), Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall), and Pumpkin Ash (Fraxinus profunda), all of which are targets of this imported pest. The purple sticky traps adorning park trees trap a sample of tree dwelling insect as a monitoring function of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Program, established to diminish the threat to America’s native ash trees. Much of what is already known about EAB has come from such monitoring programs and studies conducted in the northern states where populations of EAB are prevalent. In the northeastern US, adult EAB are active in May and early June and found on host trees on warm sunny days. Scientists speculate that when established in the Southeast, the EAB will be active earlier in the spring. Adults feed on ash leaves for about a week before mating, females feed longer before laying eggs, however, not in sufficient quantities to defoliate the tree. Eggs are laid in crevices or under the

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tree bark. The larvae hatch within two weeks and begin feeding on the rich nutrients contained in the inner bark (Phloem). As they grow, the larvae eventually feed through the cambium and sapwood through October and November at which time they create a pupa chamber for overwintering. Pupation begins in April, continues through May, and adults chew a “D” shaped exit hole from which they emerge in June and July. This cycle will continue for several years before the tree shows signs of distress, which by then is often too late to treat. In as little as three years of infestation, larvae populations will have increased, attracting a corresponding increase in woodpecker activity. By the time the tree has reached this stage of infestation, shoots at the base of the tree and branches provide further evidence that the tree is struggling. By three or four years of infestation, the tree begins to die off, one section at a time. USDA-APHIS and the Forestry Service have initiated a search for potential biologic controls with The Peoples Republic of China and continues to work with State agencies to control and prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer Three biologic agents have been identified, but more research will be needed before implementing biologic control. The most effective strategy remains public awareness, survey programs, and regulatory measures designed to eliminate the spread of EAB. In Florida, regulatory efforts limit the transportation of firewood and other unprocessed wood products into and within the state. Estimates suggest that an infestation could result in a local extinction of ash trees in as little as 8-12 years of infestation. Florida forestry service has created an EAB identification guide that includes signs of infestation and the insect itself. Access to the guide is provided at the following website: http:/ / www.floridaforestservice.com/ forest_management/ fh_insects_ eab_index.html. Although the sticky traps help foresters monitor insect populations, they can only provide limited data. Citizen Science is becoming one of the most effective means of maintaining and improving our American environment. Our readers are encouraged to become familiar with the Emerald Ash Borer and participate in documenting any sightings of this imported pest. Those willing to participate can visit the following website: http:/ / www.eddmaps.org/ florida/ report/ index.cfm. W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


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Florida "Florrie" Todd, 95 of Plant City died June 25, 2012. Randy Eugene Childers, 59 of Plant City died June 24, 2013, at his home. Mary Louise Barber, 68 of Okeechobee/Plant City died June 24, 2013. Kathleen "Kathy" Claar, 57 of Seffner died June 23, 2013.

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Josefina Perez Rivera, 93 of Plant City, died June 21, 2013, at her home.

Harold Dean Boles, 79 of Plant City, died on June 15, 2013, at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Nathaniel Tyler Hoxit, infant son of Melissa Murphy and Juan Hoxit, died on June 14, 2013, at Tampa General Hospital.

Antonio Jesus Villorin, 66 of Plant City, died on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

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And the Awards go to... Imogene Yarborough Mrs. Imogene Yarborough of Geneva, FL. was named the 2013 Farm Credit/Florida Cattlemen’s Outstanding Rancher & Leadership award winner at the FCA Convention in Marco Island. She is the first woman to ever win the award.

Pictured L-R: Immediate FCA President Woody Larson, Imogen Yarborough, & Farm Credit of Central Florida President & CEO, Reggie Holt. Photo by Ron OʼConnor – Farm Credit

2 Rivers Ranch 2 Rivers Ranch won the Florida Cattlemen’s Association’s (FCA) prestigious Florida Environmental Stewardship Award at the FCA Convention in Marco Island.

Pictured L-R: Gene Lollis, Ranch Manager at Buck Island Ranch; Robert Thomas, 2 Rivers Ranch (2RR) CEO; Johnny McCarthy, VP of Agriculture 2RR; Michael Babb, President 2 RR; Wayne Thomas, Executive Vice President, 2 RR; and Woody Larson, FCAʼs Immediate Past President. Photo by Ron OʼConnor – Farm Credit

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In agriculture, genetically engineered crops are created to possess desirable traits, such as resistance to pests, herbicides or harsh environmental conditions, improved product shelf life, increased nutritional value or the production of valuable goods such as drugs, known as pharming. The first commercial cultivation of genetically modified plants took place in 1966. Some plants have been genetically modified for use in producing biofuel. Critics have objected to GMO crops for ecological and economic concerns. The latter because these organisms are subject to intellectual property law. These crops are also involved in controversies regarding their safety and whether they are really needed to address the world’s food needs.

GMO – What’s It All About? By Jim Frankowiak

Bacteria were the first organisms to be modified in the laboratory. These organisms are now used for several purposes and they are particularly important in producing large amounts of pure human proteins for use in medicine. Genetically modified bacteria are used to produce the protein insulin to treat diabetes, clotting factors to treat hemophilia and human growth hormone to treat various forms of dwarfism. In addition, various genetically engineered micro-organisms are routinely used as sources of enzymes for the manufacture of a variety of processed foods. These include alpha-amylase from bacteria, which converts starch to simple sugars, chymosin from bacteria or fungi that clots milk protein for cheese making and pectinesterase from fungi which improves fruit juice clarity.

here is growing discussion and other activities – both for and against – genetically modified organisms or GMO. This focus is global in scope and has to do with an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These genetic modifications have included micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish and mammals. They are also the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than foods.

Genetically modified mammals are an important category of GMOs and are currently included in six broad categories:

Genetic modification involves the mutation, insertion or deletion of genes. When genes are inserted, they usually come from a different species, a form of horizontal gene transfer. While this does occur in nature, artificially it requires attaching the genes to a virus or just physically inserting the extra DNA into the nucleus of the intended host with a very small syringe or with very small particles fired from a gene gun. Other methods exploit natural forms of gene transfer in both plants and animals. The general principle of producing a “GMO” is to alter the genetic material of an organism’s genome. This may involve mutating, deleting or adding genetic material. Sometimes this includes adding genetic material from a different species and is termed recombinant DNA and the resulting organism is called a transgenic organism. This was first done in 1972.

• To enhance product or food quality traits such as faster growing fish, pigs that digest food more efficiently, etc.

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GMOs are used in both biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine and agriculture. The term can include targeted insertions of genes from one species into another. Such methods have proven useful for biologists in many research areas, including mechanisms of human and other disease or fundamental biological processes. Transgenic plants have been engineered for scientific research, to create new colors in plants and to create different crops. 70

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• To research human diseases • To produce industrial or consumer products • To produce products intended for human therapeutic use – such as pharmaceutical products or tissue for implantation • To enrich or enhance the animals’ interactions with humans (hypo-allergenic pets)

• To improve animal health through enhanced disease resistance Genetically modified animals are becoming more vital to the discovery and development of cures and treatments for many serious diseases, including treatment of organs that will be more suitable for transplant with less chances of rejection, development of therapies for HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and further research related to Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Within the field of pharming, intensive research has been conducted to develop transgenic animals that produce biotherapeutics. In February of 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first human biological drug produced from such an animal, a goat. That drug, ATryn, is an anticoagulant, which reduces the probability of blood clots during surgery or childbirth. It is extracted from the goat’s milk. Enviropig was a genetically enhanced line of Yorkshire pigs in Canada created with the capability of digesting plant phosphorus more efficiently than conventional Yorkshire pigs. The use of these pigs reduces the potential of water pollution since they

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excrete from 30 to 70 percent less phosphorus in manure depending upon age and diet. The lower concentrations of phosphorus in surface runoff reduce algal growth, which leads to dead zones for fish. Chinese scientists generated dairy cows genetically engineered with genes for human beings to produce milk that would be the same as human breast milk. This could potentially benefit mothers who cannot produce breast milk but want their children to have breast milk rather than formula. Genetically modified fish have been developed with promoters driving an over-production of growth hormone for use in the aquaculture industry to increase the speed of development and potentially reduce fishing pressure on wild stocks. Gene therapy uses genetically modified viruses to deliver genes that can cure human diseases. It has been used to treat genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency and Leber’s congenital amaurosis. Treatments are also being developed for currently incurable diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease and muscular dystrophy. Current gene therapy technology only targets the nonreproductive cells and any changes introduced by the treatment cannot be transmitted to the next generation. Additional research has taken place involving insects and aquatic life.

with the use of genetic engineering technology and the development and release of GMOs, including genetically modified crops and genetically modified fish. There are differences in the regulation of GMOs between countries. Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. There are various controversies associated with GMOs, including whether making them is ethical, the safety of food produced with them, the labeling of such food and if so, how. However, there is broad consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. Added discussion focuses on agricultural biotech needed to address world hunger now or in the future and intellectual property considerations of GMO crops and market dynamics. Additional issues concern the environmental effects of GM crops and the GM crops’ role in industrial agriculture. Advances in the application of GMOs, the development of more diverse genetically engineered products will no doubt foster increased controversy and discussion. We encourage IN THE FIELD readers to seek out information on this growing phenomenon to enable them to make informed decisions about GMOs. (Editor’s Note: Information used in the development of this article originated with multiple websites, especially Wi ki ped i a .com and others via search engines www.googl e.com and www.bi n g.com)

The regulation of genetic engineering concerns the approaches taken by governments to assess and manage the risks associated

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Naturally Amazing Activities

Plaster Casting By Sean Green

Last month we had plenty of rain, the hiking trails were often muddy, but that is not always a bad thing. Wild animals tend to forage after a good rain and if you’re willing to get your boots muddy, you may find some fresh tracks of interesting animals. Plaster casting is easy to do and makes for a great project, safe for any age. Plaster is the least expensive material to use for this project, if your ambition is to have high quality casts that are suitable for scientific accuracy and durable casts that can withstand frequent handling, we suggest using dental stone rather than standard plaster, it is a little more expensive and harder to find, but well worth the investment for high quality casting.

Materials: Plaster of Paris (or Dental Stone) Mixing cup Water Batter Spoon Paper Clip Cardboard Strip

Pouring the Cast: • Carefully remove any debris that is in the track • Shape the cardboard strip into a circle large enough to encircle the animal track • Securing the cardboard circle with a paper clip. • Place the cardboard circle around the animal track, gently twisting it into the soil or mud so the plaster will not run out of the bottom. • Mix plaster of Paris and water at a ratio of about (2:1) (Plaster:Water) should be like pancake mix • Gently spoon the plaster into the animal track

Removing the Cast: • Plaster should set for at least 30 minutes; it should feel cool and hard to the touch when set. • Gently twist the cast to loosen it from the soil before lifting it out of the soil from the underside of the cast. • Allow the cast to dry for a day or two before cleaning or painting. • Cast can be cleaned with an old paintbrush or carefully run under water with a gentle scrub (short duration, water will dissolve the cast) For an exciting alternative, try mixing old coffee grounds with the plaster to give the cast a brown fossil coloration. 72

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Managing Beneficial Insects in the Home Landscape Green Lacewing

James Castner, UF/IFAS

Honeybee

Sean McCann, UF/IFAS

By Virginia Overstreet

Water-Wise Program Coordinator, Hillsborough County UF/IFAS Extension

T

he Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM program encourages the use of environmentally sustainable practices designed to conserve Florida’s natural resources. This program helps homeowners save time, energy and money by conserving water used in the landscape. There are nine principles in the FFL program and “Managing Yard Pests Responsibly” is one of these important principles. The unwise use of pesticides to treat garden pests can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment. Managing pests in the landscape through the use of chemicals was once the norm. However, research has shown that the continued use (and possible overuse) of pesticides and herbicides by home gardeners can be detrimental to their health and to the environment. The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommends Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM emphasizes the use of natural or low-toxicity controls to maintain a healthy landscape. When gardeners use toxic pesticides, many times beneficial insects are killed along with the pest insects. There are several advantages to encouraging beneficial insects to inhabit our gardens. Less time and money are spent controlling pests because the beneficials are doing the work for you. You don’t need to worry about pesticide resistance or environmental pollution.

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Tachinid Fly Eggs on Green Stinkbug

Also, beneficial insects often keep pace with pest insect populations. It is unrealistic and unwise to strive for a weed-free and insectfree garden. Beneficials in the landscape can be divided into four categories: PREDAT ORS - are hunters include lizards, spiders and the larvae of many insects like ladybeetles, green lacewings and syrphid flies. Most predators are generalists, which means they will eat anything they find. Lizards and spiders love roaches while insect larvae enjoy aphids. PARASIT OIDS - are one of the most important biological means of treating pests in and around home. These insects use the bodies of other insects as hosts. They lay their eggs on or in the host and the larvae feed on the host’s body. Parasitoids kill their hosts, unlike parasites, which use their hosts without killing them. The syrphid flies, also called the hoverfly, braconid wasps and tachinid flies lay eggs on caterpillars. Their larvae control aphids almost as well as the larvae of lady beetles and lacewings. The Larra Bicolor wasp lays her eggs on mole crickets. If you have problems with mole crickets in your turfgrass, consider planting a Lara Flower Bush, Spermacoce verticillata, which will help to attract these beneficials to your garden.

James Castner, UF/IFAS

DECOMPOSERS - are earthworms and microorganisms that live in soil and fulfill a critical job. By consuming dead plant material, the dead bodies and organic wastes of other organisms, decomposers return nutrients to our soil and increase its water holding ability. Earthworms contribute to soil aeration and water infiltration in the soil by tunneling. They are constantly on the move looking for dead plant or animal material. POLLINATORS - are the most appreciated of the beneficials. They account for the pollination of 80% of world’s food crops, including blueberries, citrus and strawberries here in Hillsborough County. Approximately 85% of all flowering plants require an insect to pollinate them. Bees and wasps are the workhorses of the garden, responsible for the pollination of most plants in our landscapes. Other pollinators include flies, beetles, butterflies and moths. There are several ways you can manage your landscape to attract more pollinators and other beneficials. It is important to have flowers in bloom throughout the year. Many of the beneficial wasps and bees have small mouthparts, so small flowers are necessary for them to feed. Ensure you have nectar and larval plants for butterflies and moths. Group your plants in clusters so beneficials will not have to travel far for more nectar. It is important to provide food for each of the W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M


four life cycles of the butterfly. Plants that bloom at night will attract moths and bats. These nocturnal feeders are also attracted to plants with fragrant blooms. Provide foraging and nesting habitats by having layers of plant materials in your garden. Add plants with differing heights and textures. Install bee and bat houses. Provide water sources in shallow dishes with flat surfaces so bees and butterflies can rest while drinking. Learn the four life cycles of beneficials (lady beetles and butterflies). Walk your garden often and at different times of day. Take photos to document your garden at different times of the year. Limit your lawn to the extent that turfgrass serves a functional purpose. Plant natives and remove invasive plants. Avoid improper fertilization by having your soil tested at the Hillsborough County Extension Service. Applying too much nitrogen can encourage aphids and mites more than it helps vegetation. Good horticultural practices go a long way in the minimization of pest infestations. Keep your garden healthy by practicing “Right Plant, Right Place,” the first of the nine FFL principles. If your plants are planted correctly and are receiving the correct amount of light, water and fertilizer, they will be healthier and require less input by you. Incorporating more types of plants in your landscape will attract more beneficial insects. Think of your

garden as a living eco-system and learn to live with minor cosmetic damage to plants. Most plants can handle slight damage, and the reward for you will be a healthy and more enjoyable landscape. By learning to consider many insects in the garden as beneficial, you will help to preserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.

For additional information, see the University of Florida publication Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook at: http:/ / fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/ homeowner. htm and Beneficials in the Landscape at http:/ / aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ galveston/ beneficials on which this article was adapted. For assistance with horticultural questions, call 813-744-5519 or visit us at the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584. More gardening information is available at: http:/ / hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu and http:/ / edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

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Remember to reuse, reduce and recycle.

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Registration Registration deadline is July 25th, to be listed in event programs.

Company Address: Phone: Registrants Names: Sponsor Registration  Clay Shoot Dinner  Tues. or Wed. Break  Tues. or Wed. Breakfast  Tues. or Wed. Lunch

$500 $250 $500 $1,000

Registration  Clay Shoot Registration $300 (50 Clays) *Team of 4 Shooters  Membership Registration $35  Non-Membership Registration $50 Exhibitor Registration

Corporate membership required

The 31st annual Agritech is hosted by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. As a vendor you will meet with growers and industry representatives, and enjoy great food. Fifty (50) booths are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To exhibit, Associate membership is required. Gold Associate members get a free booth. This is one event of the year where we have almost 90 percent of the industry in one room! This year’s theme is Hunting. Ribbons will be given out to the top three booths that participate in the theme by decorating their booth. New this year is a Clay Shoot and dinner on Monday night. After the exhibitors set up at Agritech, we head to the Fishhawk Sporting Clays in Lithia for a fun event! Agritech guest speakers and sessions are currently being lined up. Topics will include food safety, immigration, fumigant alternatives, traceback, and labor issues – along with the latest information on research and technology. Included in your Registration: Breakfast and lunch both days for two (2) people • 8 ft. x 8 ft. booth • 8 ft. high backdrop & 3 ft. high side drape • 2 side chairs • One 6 ft. table • Electricity: 5 AMP 120 volt Important Dates & Times: • Set-up: Monday, Aug. 12th - Noon to 4 p.m. • Clay Shoot: 5 p.m. • Show Times: Tuesday & Wednesday, Aug. 13th & 14th 7:30 a.m. 4 p.m. • Tear down: Wednesday, Aug. 14th after and not before 1 p.m.

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Booth Associate Bronze Silver Gold

$500 (per booth) $250 $500 $1,000 $2,000 Total Due $

Please fill out form completely if you are paying by credit card. If paying by check, please make payable to FSGA.

 Visa

 MasterCard

Name on Card: Card Number: Exp. Date:

Billing Zip:

* All registrations include meals, breaks & educational materials. Mail registration and/or checks to: 13138 Lewis Gallagher Rd. Dover, FL 33527

Agritech 2013 will be held in the John R. Trinkle Building and is located at the Plant City Campus of the Hillsborough Community College at 1206 N. Park Rd., Plant City, FL 33563 Hotel accommodations can be made at the Holiday Inn Express on Park Rd. For a special rate, mention the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. For more information call FSGA at (813)719-3800.

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County Fairgrounds

Improvements Continue Covered Arena Under Construction By Jim Frankowiak

U

nless you have attended recent events at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds on the north side of State Road 60 from Sydney Washer Road east, chances are you are not aware of the improvements that have been taking place there since last August. “We’re pretty much shielded from view along Highway 60 due to the trees and bluffs on the southern edge of our site,” said Fair Director Tom Umiker, “but a lot has been taking place and we are delighted with the improvements that have occurred, especially the first of several permanent structures.” The most dramatic advancement is the construction of a 20,000squre-foot arena for exhibits and events. This covered facility is expected to be completed by this fall. Visitors to the Fairgrounds will also be able to experience a number of improvements in addition to the new, covered arena and they include: •Completion of a paved driveway from the Sydney Washer Road entrance to the parking area, which includes eight disabled parking spaces • Grand stand improvements for disabled access and safety • Water tank and hydrants for fire safety • Improved lighting for increased visibility and safety at night • Public restrooms at the new arena, replacing those currently on site • Replacement of modular storage and office facilities with two concrete masonry buildings “The new arena will provide our attendees, competitors and exhibitors with many benefits,” said Umiker. “In addition to protection from the weather and greater comfort, we will be able

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to offer different kinds of events within a larger and protected environment.” Improvements to the Fairgrounds represent a $2,000,000 investment by Hillsborough County through its Capital Improvement Program. The project was designed by Fleishman & Garcia Architects. Work on the project began in August of 2012 and is expected to be fully completed by year’s end. The 2013 Hillsborough County Fair is scheduled for October 16 – 20 and will once again include a broad range of competitions and events, as well as midway fun. There will be livestock shows each day plus sheep jumping, cow clipping and rabbit costume contests. Area youth will compete for showmanship awards and 4-H and FFA students will participate in the annual swine auction. The Family Living Arts and Crafts competition offers entrants to compete in photography, baking, needlepoint, quilting and other events, while children can opt to participate in the “Just For Kids” contest. There will also be a Recycled Yard Art Competition and Hay Bale Decorating. The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association will hold its annual auction and gardeners, both adult and youth, will have a chance to compete in the horticulture competition. While the free show listing has yet to be finalized, the fair will include a Ranch Rodeo and youth horse show plus several free shows and other entertainment events. For additional information about the 2013 Hillsborough County Fair, visit: www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com.

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Commissioner Putnam Invites Florida Land Owners to Apply to

Rural and Family Lands Protection Program Land Conservation Program Accepting Easement Applications Beginning July 15 Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam is urging Florida’s agricultural land owners to consider applying to the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. The goal of the program is to acquire perpetual agricultural conservation easements that ensure lands will be preserved in agricultural use while providing for the protection of natural resources. The program will be receiving easement applications from July 15-Aug. 29. “The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program offers a unique opportunity for Florida’s land owners,” said Commissioner Putnam. “The program protects our state’s invaluable natural resources and preserves agricultural land use at the same time.” Recently, the program was appropriated $11.3 million for the acquisition of perpetual agriculture conservation easements. Below are the goals of the programs: • Protect valuable agricultural lands. • Create conservation easements that ensure suitable agricultural practices and prevent conversion to non-agricultural land uses in the rural base of Florida. • Protect natural resources in conjunction with these agricultural operations. • Promote the U.S. military mission in Florida. • Promote the concept of a statewide conservation corridor. • Florida agriculture has an overall economic impact estimated at $100 billion annually, making it the state’s second largest industry. Florida agriculture is responsible for more than 750,000 jobs and adds about $3 billion to state and local tax rolls. For information on the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program visit: http:/ / www.floridaforestservice.com/ rural_lands/ index.html. For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

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Gardening Videos UF/IFAS debuts new

by Robert H. Wells

A

new video series from the University of Florida tackles many common gardening questions with answers from experts with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The short video segments cover topics ranging from when and how to water your lawn to growing your own blackberries. They may be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list =PLbnrETfHgIug6UuUaAlevLinrq9wAIxT. “The videos are a great starting source of information for gardeners,” said Emily Eubanks, communications coordinator with the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. “They’re quick to watch and provide information from the experts.”

Topics available now are azalea care, plant purchasing, gardening with annual flowers, growing blackberries, conserving water in the landscape, lawn watering, finding the right plants for your landscape, using landscaping to save energy, testing soil pH, fertilizing trees and shrubs, selecting lawn fertilizer, avoiding over fertilization, and vegetable garden basics and maintenance. The videos are part of Gardening Solutions, a program initiative by the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. The center focuses on social, environmental and economic issues affecting Florida’s urban landscapes. The video series was funded by the UF/IFAS Institute for Plant Innovation, a multidisciplinary team that researches ways to help people eat better and live healthier lives.

The first installment of the video series contains 14 videos and was uploaded in May. Future videos, such as one about fall gardening, will be added in the coming months.

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A Visit from the Congressman Farm Credit representatives met with Congressman Tom Rooney for a status update on the Farm Bill and other issues pertaining to Farm Credit and Florida agriculture. Farm Credit is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System created by Congress in 1916 to provide a stable, reliable source of credit to Rural America. The Customer-Owned lender has almost $2 Billion in outstanding loan volume and serves approximately 4,000 Florida Farmers, Ranchers, Growers and Homeowners. The cooperative also sells crop insurance.

Pictured L-R: Farm Credit of Central Florida (FCCF) Director

Dennis Carlton Sr., Farm Credit of Florida CEO, Greg Cunningham, Congressman Tom Rooney, FCCF Chairman of the Board Emeritus, Al Bellotto Sr., FCCF Director Lewis Stidham, FCCF President & CEO, Reggie Holt. Photo by Ron OʟConnor – Farm Credit

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Round Table Discussion By Melissa Nichols

O

n Monday July 1, members of the agricultural community were invited to meet with local and state politicians including, Governor Rick Scott, Senator Tom Lee, Representative Dan Raulerson, Representative Jake Raburn, and Mayor Mary Thomas Mathis of Plant City. Other political figures present were City Commissioners Bill Dodson and Mike Sparkman, members of Marco Rubio’s office, former Representative Rich Glorioso, FSGA Executive Director Ted Campbell, members of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

Plant City Chamber of Commerce members, and various local farmers and ranchers. Farmers such as Carl Grooms, and Gary Wishnatzski, and dairy farmer Dale McClellan, led the forum with questions. This meeting was planned so that they could go over some concerns and problems that are facing our local farmers and ranchers. It took place in Plant City at Fred’s Restaurant in the middle of the original local farmer’s market district. The meeting was held in a round table type discussion setting.

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The meeting began with Senator Lee introducing all of the elected officials and politicians. Governor Scott then began talking and detailing some information about the current state of Florida. He discussed education, teachers, jobs and the rise of real estate sales. After his introduction, Governor Scott asked about the local concerns of the farmers and ranchers of the community. At this point Ted Campbell addressed Governor Scott to inform him of challenges affecting Florida strawberry sales. The forum style discussion reflected the concerns of not only strawberry farmers, but also citrus growers and cattle ranchers. Farmers just aren’t making ends meet. Between regulations, lack of skilled employees and farm workers and encroachment of produce from other countries, our local farmers are suffering.

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Those present spent several hours discussing solutions to these topics and have several approaches that they would like to see come out of this meeting. One of them is spreading the word about buying Florida produce and supporting your local farmer. When going into local grocery chain stores, if you don’t see produce that you know is grown locally and in season, ask where it is. Ask why they aren’t carrying local produce. If they say they don’t have it, ask them to start carrying it. The suggestion was made by elected officials to keep in touch with your Representative, Senator and the Governor’s office. Governor Scott told the people who were present that if “we” the people and farmers don’t tell him there is a problem, they will not know. It is our job to keep the communication open. Governor Scott was open to suggestions on how he and his staff can assist with any problems that the agriculture community is facing. The problems facing our local farmers and ranchers are really across the board statewide and after hearing the discussion, I realized it is very serious. We rely on agriculture, we rely on farmers and just as our motto says “No farmers, No food.” The problems can’t be solved in one meeting, however our concerns were addressed and heard. The Governor and elected officials agree that we will meet again soon, as agriculture is very important to all of them and the future of Florida. •

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By Lynn Barber, Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Agent Hillsborough County and UF/IFAS Extension

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ain gardens are a beautiful landscape addition that can be planted with carnivorous plants as we have in the Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden, Extension Service courtyard. Leslie Hickland says, “‘While not a gardener myself (my townhome community limits me to pots on my porch!), I live vicariously through the efforts of staff and Master Gardeners at the Extension Service. You can find me in the rain garden area every morning, before the heat of the day, during my break. I check on the koi residents in the pond and cross the bridge by the rather unusual-looking carnivorous plants to settle on my favorite bench for 15 minutes of quiet. It makes my day!” Creating a rain garden is an easy way to make good use of a low area in your landscape or at the bottom of a downspout where water puddles. Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the ground (any shape or size) that can perform several functions. They capture stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways and other impervious surfaces and allow this runoff to percolate through the soil. Rain gardens decrease flooding, reduce erosion and attract beneficial insects and wildlife. They also filter runoff which would otherwise carry pollutants (oil, fertilizer, chemicals, pet waste, grass clippings, etc.) down storm drains and ultimately into the bay, resulting in algae bloom and fish kill. The first step in building a rain garden is to determine the size and placement: at least 10 feet from your foundation, in full sun, not within 25 feet of a septic tank or well, away from tree roots, in an existing low area which quickly drains after a heavy rain and within 30 feet of a water source. The larger the garden, the larger the plant diversity and more maintenance may be involved. The second step is construction: placing a call to 811, Sunshine State One Call of Florida, Inc. for underground utility marking, creating the shape with a hose and then digging the garden. Plant selections should include those that like wet feet and are drought-tolerant for those times we don’t get much rain. Consider W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M

using Bald Cypress, River Birch, Beautyberry, Dwarf Palmetto, Walter’s Viburnum, Swamp Hibiscus, River Oats, Tickseed and Muhly Grass. But, before you purchase plants for your rain garden, determine the existing site conditions. These include sun or shade, moist or well drained soil, mature height and width of the plant and soil texture. Rain gardens installed in sandy soils only hold water for a few hours. These gardens require some maintenance: watering plants until they become established (60 days or so), weeding, spreading mulch or sphagnum moss to top dress which will decrease weed growth and compaction, regulate soil temperature and retain moisture. This is an overview of the steps needed to create your rain garden. For more detailed information on how to create a rain garden, please see “Fact Sheet: Rain Gardens” by Marina D’Abreau, Ed.D., our former Horticulture Agent at: http:/ / hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/ documents/ pdf/ lawn_garden/ factshee ts/ Rain_Gardens.pdf , “Rain Gardens: Plant Selection and Maintenance” by Annemarie Post, Extension Agent, Sarasota County UF/IFAS Extension Service, http:/ / sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/ FYN/ Pubs/ AP-04102010004_%20Rain_Gardens_Plant_Selection_Maintenance.pdf and “Rain Gardens, A Manual for Central Florida Residents” by Marina D’Abreau, from which this article was adapted. Please stop by our office to see our rain garden and pick up your free copy of the publication listed above. We have refurbished our rain garden twice, and each time it has become more beautiful. For assistance with horticultural questions, call 813-744-5519 or visit us at the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584. More gardening information is available at: http:/ / hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu and http:/ / edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Remember to reuse, reduce and recycle.

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PRODUCE FRESH PRODUCE Forbes Road Produce. Open everyday from 7:30am - 8pm. Forbes Rd. & I-4 @ exit 17. Come out and see us!

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REAL ESTATE 40 ACRES Plant City Strawberry Field. For lease or purchase. Call 813-833-7522 FOR SALE – 45 ACRES VACANT LAND (Pasco County) 45 acres are comprised of gently rolling hills with big trees & solid ground. A great setting for residential development. To the east of the property is a 60 acre parcel (Lake Gilbert) that adds significant aesthetic value to the 45 acres. Zoning: AR (Agricultural-Rural) Call Heidi Cecil for more information 863-899-9620 FOR LEASE 24 Acre Farm 5" Well Gulf City & Willis Road. Ruskin FL. Call or email Lee@leepallardyinc.com 813-355-6274 GEORGIA MOUNTAIN HOME 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1700+ sf under roof 1100+ sf living area. Large porch, 2 utility rooms, carport, beautiful creek on property. 1 mile off of hwy 41 in Mountain City. Paved road up to driveway. Asking $128,00. Call 813-748-6772 2.66 ACRE NURSERY FOR SALE OR LEASE N. Lakeland with 1,000 sq ft frame house, 2 sheds, irrigation throughout. Call Bruce 863-698-0019 FOR LEASE 15 acre for hay. State Road 70 & Vernon Road. Manatee County. Call or email Lee@leepallardyinc.com 813-355-6274 JANE BAER REALTY Looking for that mountain getaway home? We have what you are looking for. Check out our website at www.janebaerrealty.com or call us toll free 800-820-7829. We are located in Blairsville GA, North Georgia Mountains!

SERVICES CALLER ON HOLD A low cost service that enables you to communicate important information about your business to customers while they are on hold. No monthly payments or annual payments. Call today and ask for Al 813-763-2220

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You probably have a treasure in your home or products that someone would love to have... like dishes, furniture, books, electronics, CDs & records, homemade crafts, etc. Call today and check out our great CLASSIFIED rates! W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M



In The Field magazine Hillsborough edition