Page 1

December 2010

Heartland’s AGRICULTURE Magazine Johnny Georges’

TREE T-PEE An Invention Whose Time Has Come

Covering What’s Growing







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From the Managing Editor


Sarah Holt Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is upon us. Trees have been trimmed, lights are blinking and stockings are hung waiting for the bounty of treats and gifts. You also know it is the Christmas season when you go shopping. You can’t find a parking place, getting through the stores is a challenge and waiting in line to pay for your purchases can test the most tolerant people. When you are thinking of gift ideas for the holiday season, don’t forget the gift of Fresh From Florida fruit! It is delicious, nutritious and is always a hit. Let us not get so caught up in the material things that we forget the real reason for the celebration, the birth of Jesus Christ. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. As you bow your heads to give thanks, add the farmer and rancher. They allow us to have the safest most abundant food supply in the world. Until next month,

Sarah Holt

Senior Managing Editor and Writer

VOL. 3 • ISSUE 3

Heartland’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

Cover Story



December 2010

Healthy, Happy Babies Delivered and Cared for at DeSoto Memorial Hospital by

Karen Berry

Heartland’s AGRICULTURE Magazine Johnny Georges’

TREE T-PEE An Invention Whose Time Has Come

Associate Publisher Johnny Cone

Senior Managing Editor and Writer Sarah Holt

Covering What’s Growing




Center for Family Health


Tree T-Pee Johnny Georges Pg. 32 Cover Photo: Russell Hancock 6 Farm Bureau Letter 10 Ginger 12 Grub Station Schooni’s Italian American 14 Business UpFront The American Shed Company 24 Farm Bureau Field Agent Report 28 Lake Placid Middle School 30 CBS: Citrus Black Spot 46 Woman in Agriculture Nicki Smith 50 Rocking Chair Chatter 56 Young Farmer/Rancher Andrew Fells

Editor/Writer Kellie Duke

Office Manager

Dr. Harrison 888 N Robert Avenue Arcadia 494-8401 Dr. Durfee 1012 N. MillsAvenue Arcadia 494-8436

Bob Hughens

Sales Manager Johnny Cone


Nick Massey Karen Berry Garrett Duke Chass Bronson W. Russell Hancock Danny Crampton

Dr Fawn Harrrison, Board Certified Pediatrician and Dr Kiersa Durfee, OB/GYN Growing to better serve you and your community...

Art Director Amey Celoria


Juan Carlos Alvarez

Staff Writers

Al Berry Kellie Duke James Frankowiak

Contributing Writers Lindsey Sebring Rhonda Glisson Nick Chapman Jim Konkoly Joanna Glisson-Lamarra


Kellie Duke Jim Davis W. Russell Hancock In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and other local venues within Hardee, Highlands, Charlotte, DeSoto and Okeechobee counties. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of the Farm Bureau and those with ag classification on their land. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 33563-0042 or you are welcome to email them to: or call 813-759-6909. Advertisers warrant & represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. In The Field® Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Berry Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in In The Field® magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications, Inc. Published by Berry Publications, Inc.




HIGHLANDS COUNTY FARM BUREAU 6419 US Highway 27 S., Sebring, FL 33876 863.385.5141

Greetings: Highlands County Farm Bureau has had a very great year of activity. Most recently, we had our annual dinner at Rafter T Ranch on Arbuckle Creek. What a great setting for a nice meal and some dancing. Scott Kirouac, Doug Miller, Sam Bronson, Carey Howerton, Frank Youngman and Drew Phypers got the fire going in the grill and grilled tasty sirloin steaks and shrimp on a sugar cane skewer. Fresh from Florida! Over 260 meals were served and plenty of attendees went back for the best “nanner puddin” this side of the Mississippi. Everyone settled in and listened as HCFB president, Marty Wohl, introduced special guests and new 20102011 board members, Steve Farr of Ben Hill Griffin, Charles Lanfier with Brandt Chemicals and Lindsey Sebring of Glisson Animal Supply. Board member Mike Waldron introduced the band from Naples, FL., Fakahatchee Band, and the music drifted through the clear and cool Florida evening like the dark water flowing down stream in Arbuckle Creek, south to Lake Istokpoga. Several stayed well past midnight listening to old tunes played by “J.J.” of Fakahatchee Band. Also in November, HCFB once again donated funding to the always popular “Highlands County AgVenture.” Many board members volunteered their time to helping Highlands County third grade elementary students understand not only where food comes from, but why farming and ranching are important to our county for the jobs and money that comes from the hard work of farmers and ranchers. Earlier in October, president Marty Wohl, Scott Kirouac, Frank Youngman, Drew Phypers and yours truly, made the trip up to Daytona to the beautiful Daytona Hilton Beachfront Hotel. What a great bunch of people there in Daytona for the annual Florida Farm Bureau State Convention. FFB did another fantastic job of putting on a first class meeting along with the Hilton people. It’s always fun meeting up with friends from other county Farm Bureau boards. Highlands County Farm Bureau was recognized for Outstanding Service in four different categories.

May found the HCFB board members traveling to Washington, DC to spend time talking to their Senators and House representatives. Mike Milicevic, Scott Kirouac, Jeff Williams, myself and my lovely daughter, Emily, spent three days in our nation’s capitol listening to many politicians and explaining the tough hurdles that stand in the way of farmers and ranchers these days. The five of us met with Senator’s Nelson and Lemieux and Congressman Tom Rooney and had a 30 minute session with Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. The “Field To The Hill” trip is an annual trip in co-operation with our American Farm Bureau Association and is a great working trip that helps connect the dots on ideas and solutions with the many problems we ask our legislators to solve during their time in office. The big fundraiser for HCFB is our popular sporting clay shoot held at the premier sporting clay facility in Florida, “Quail Creek Plantation.” This annual Spring time event brings out hundreds of shooters for a “fun day” of shooting. The HCFB Cracker Shoot, as it is known, raises funds that are distributed throughout Highlands County to worthy programs like 4H, FFA and Ag Venture. A great steak dinner is cooked to perfection by the HCFB cooking team and several items are raffled and auctioned off. It is that time of year again when we start planning for the 2011 Cracker Fun Shoot to be held in April.  And looking all the way back to last February, HCFB donated add-on money to 4H and FFA exhibitors at the annual Highlands County Fair and Livestock Show. Over 100 exhibitors worked hard with their swine and beef projects and those exhibitors that are Farm Bureau members received a check from their Highlands County Farm Bureau.  Yep....there’s a lot going on and a lot of wood to chop when you are sitting on a Farm Bureau board. I love it!

Mike Waldron Highland County Farm Bureau Board Member


Marty Wohl, President; Drew Phypers, Secretary; Scott Kirouac, Treasurer; Sam Bronson, Carey Howerton, April Butler, Andy Tuck, Mike Waldron, Jim Wood, Doug Miller, Mike Milicevic, Steve Farr, Lindsey Sebring, Charles Lanfier 6






6419 US Highway 27 S. Sebring, FL 33876

1278 SE US Highway 31 Arcadia, FL 34266

1017 US Highway 17 N Wauchula, FL 33873

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

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

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

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

DIRECTORS FOR 2009-2010 Sam Bronson • Carey Howerton April Butler • Mike Milicevic Andy Tuck • Mike Waldron Jim Wood • Doug Miller Steve Farr • Lindsey Sebring Charles Lanfier

Phone: 863. 773.3117

Charlotte Line: 941.624.3981 Fax: 863.494.4332

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

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

Fax: 863.773.2369

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

DIRECTORS FOR 2009-2010 Joseph B. Cherry • John Platt Corey Lambert • Daniel H. Smith Steve A. Johnson • Bill Hodge David B. Royal • Greg L. Shackelford Bo Rich Susan Chapman County Secretary

County Secretary Janet Menges

County Secretary Summer Chavarria




Agency Manager Chad D. McWaters

Agency Manager Cameron N. Jolly

Agency Manager N. Jay Bryan

Agents Joseph W. Bullington

Agents Dawn A. Hines

Agent George L. Wadsworth, Jr.

6419 US Highway 27 S. Sebring, FL 33876 (863) 385-5141

1278 SE US Highway 31 Arcadia, FL 34266 (863) 494-3636

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




Hardee County

ffa Student of the month Paizley Whidden Avon Park High School



• C.A. Bryant Blacksmith Shop • Hart Cabin • Post Office • Train • and many other Hardee County remembrances: photographs, quilts, furniture, Clubs’ & Organizations’ artifacts


aizley Whidden is our FFA Student of the Month. She has been involved in the FFA since she was in the seventh grade and is currently the President of the Avon Park High School FFA Chapter. She has also served in the offices of Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Documentarian, and Secretary. Paizley has also been a member of the Parliamentary Procedure Team and Opening and Closing Team. She has been awarded the Green Hand Degree, the Discovery Degree, and was a member of the Courtesy Corp for the FFA State Conventions of 2007 and 2008. She has been involved in the Summer FFA Program, “FFA Outdoor Adventures,” for the past four years. Paizley was awarded the FFA Blue and Gold Jackets Standards Award as Outstanding Freshman for 2007-08. Paizley’s Supervised Agricultural Experience is a Citrus Tree Project. She has been participating in this project for the past four years. In 2009, she was awarded the Overall Grand Champion for her Citrus Project. She has also been awarded Grand Champion on her Citrus Science Project Board for the past two years. Paizley is heavily involved at Avon Park High School as she is Treasurer of the Senior Class, Vice President of National Honor Society, Student Council Parliamentarian and a member of the Yearbook staff and chorus. She was also selected to represent the school at Girl’s State this past summer. Paizley teaches dance at Centerstage Dance Studio in Avon Park and is very involved at her church, First Baptist Church of Avon Park. Paizley is the daughter of Jerry and Sherri Whidden of Avon Park.

10 x 20 Shed

8 x 12 Shed

$2,549 00 + tax

$1,599 00 + tax


Includes: 3” overhang, 45” entry door, 2 windows. Rated up to 146 mph wind. Exp: 12/31/10 (Coupon required for discount. Valid at the Avon Park lot only.)

No Farmers

InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042 All Entries must be received by December 15, 2010. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! DECEMBER 2010

Mention this ad and receive one free admission into the museum.*

2822 Museum Drive | Zolfo Springs, FL 33890 |

No Food HEY READERS, hidden somewhere in the magazine is a No Farmers, No Food logo. Hunt for the logo and once you find the hidden logo you will be eligible for a drawing to win a FREE InTheField® T-Shirt. Send us your business card or an index card with your name and telephone number, the page on which you found the logo and where on that page you located the logo to:


Museum founded in 1967

* Limited to one free admission per group or family



Christmas Open House Mon., Dec. 20 4:00-8:00pm

915 US 27 South, Avon Park FL





RENT TO OWN AVAILABLE~ NO CREDIT CHECK FREE Delivery and set up up to 30 mile radius with purchase of shed

Includes: Extra wide 61” entry door, does not include windows or vents. Exp: 12/31/10 (Coupon required for discount. Valid at the Avon Park lot only.)

DeSoto Machine Shop Triangle Spreader Manufacturing Co.


(800) 494-0335 (863) 494-0703 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

2692 N.E. Nat Ave. Arcadia, FL 34266 DECEMBER 2010



Let us count the ways you can

$$$$ SAVE $$$$ with us.

Beth Johnson did.

“I experienced considerable savings after Story by Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science Spicy, aromatic ginger root gives gingerbread and ginger ale their characteristic flavors. This root adds a delicious flavor in many Asian dishes, as well as other fruit and vegetable dishes. Eaten widely around the world, ginger is commonly consumed as a spice, candy, or medicine. Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of most grocery stores. In Florida, ginger root is harvested in late fall. The flesh can be yellow, white or red in color, depending upon the variety. It is covered with a brownish skin that may either be thick or thin, depending upon whether the plant was harvested when it was mature or young. Most of the world’s ginger comes from China, Brazil, Thailand and Central America. In the US, Hawaii is a commercial producer of ginger. Florida also produces a fair amount throughout the state and in many home container gardens.


Ginger has many beneficial effects in the body. It acts as an antioxidant, fighting off cell damage from free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory effects and inhibits formation of inflammatory compounds. As a medicinal root, ginger has been used for thousands of years for relief from nausea, indigestion, muscular aches and pains, loss of appetite, and motion sickness. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one ounce (28.35 g) of fresh ginger contains 19.56 calories, 0.49 g protein, 0.21 g fat, 4.28 g carbohydrate, and 0.47 g of dietary fiber. Ginger is a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6.

Good for the Gut

Research studies have shown that ginger is effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness. Ginger reduces dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sweating associated with motion sickness. Additionally, there is evidence that ginger is useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, even the most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum. Compared with anti-emetic medications, ginger has fewer side effects.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis report decreased swelling, reduction in their pain level, and improvement in mobility when using ginger supplements. Gingerols are antiinflammatory compounds found in ginger and are responsible for ginger’s distinctive taste. Recent research suggests that gingerols may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, as well as ovarian cancer cells in animals.




More than just a Garnish How to Select and Store

Whenever possible, choose fresh ginger over dried because it’s more flavorful and has higher levels of gingerol and anti-inflammatory compounds. Select fresh ginger root that is firm with smooth, unblemished skin and no soft spots. Mature ginger has a tough skin that requires peeling, while young ginger has a much thinner skin. Unpeeled ginger can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. Dried ginger powder is available in the spice section of most grocery stores, and can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place in a tightly sealed glass container. Diced, ready-to-use ginger is commonly found in glass jars near the produce section, and should be refrigerated once opened. Other forms of ginger including paste, crystallized, candied and pickled.

How to Enjoy

Ginger root can be enjoyed in numerous ways and in many ethnic cuisines and beverages. Ginger can be combined with olive oil and garlic for a salad dressing. Ginger can be fried or grilled and used as a seasoning. Other delicious ideas include: • Steep in tea or hot water for a stomach-soothing beverage • Grate and add to rice dishes or apple desserts • Toss grated ginger in healthy stir-fries or add to carrots or sweet potatoes • Finely chop and use in curry paste or sauce • Eat pickled ginger alongside sushi • Mix ginger extract with carbonated water and sugar for homemade ginger ale • Gingerbread muffins, cakes, and cookies Enjoy fresh Florida ginger. Easy to grow, with a distinctive, bright flavor, ginger can be enjoyed in many ways.


Mark Palmer Electric and Air Conditioning

repaired my ducts at very little cost to me. I highly recommend having your duct work tested.” 1. Blower Door/Duct Test. Call us for more information. 2. TAX CREDITS still available through 2010. 3. Progress Energy Incentives that include valuable savings to Progress Energy customers. 4. Planned Service (Cool and Heat) $79.95. 5. Install a Hot Water Heater Timer.

Happ y r r e y M a s Mark Palmer Electric N e and Air Conditioning w m t s Year! i r Ch A/C • ELECTRIC • SALES • SERVICE • COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL

863 402 0000

With this ad receive $10 off your next A/C or Electrical Service. Expires 3/1/2011. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE




Schooni’s Italian American 209 North Main Avenue Lake Placid, FL 33852-2607 (863) 465-5060 By Lindsey Sebring Are you still in search of that hometown restaurant? Well you’re in luck because Schooni’s in Lake Placid is what you have been looking for. With daily specials that are inspired by the owner, Michael Dean, better known as “Baby Dean,” you are sure to be impressed as I was. Schooni’s, with their family friendly atmosphere, has been in business for over 25 years. Michael bought the business five years ago and has taken it to a new level. He is always putting that homemade touch on everything and believes in substituting anything for anything. As I was sitting there enjoying all the wonderful meals that were being brought out to us I watched all the staff share their inviting smiles and attitudes with anyone that walked through the door. They treated everyone as family not as a guest. I was privileged to be able to try first hand some of the dishes that are a favorite here at Schooni’s. The lemon peppered Tilapia served with hush puppies, coleslaw and French fries couldn’t have been more moist or flavorful even if it was cooked in my own kitchen. Marinated in Italian dressing then grilled to perfection is the start of the Grilled Chicken Parme-




san dinner served with spaghetti noodles and garlic bread on the side. The Veggie Sampler, a sampler of greatness with cauliflower, zucchini, okra and mushrooms fried and served with marinara and ranch sauce for dipping, is a great start for an appetizer. Saving the best for last was one of the house specials the “Taco Pizza,” which starts with homemade pizza dough, marinara sauce, taco meat and mozzarella cheese and cooked to perfection, oh wait, then cheddar cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes were added to the top to make it the full taco experience. Baby Dean also offers catering for your holiday parties, weddings, graduation etc. No lunch or dinner is too small for that special touch that Schooni’s and Baby Dean can deliver. So if you are in the Lake Placid area and are up for some down to earth, family friendly homemade cooking, then stop into Schooni’s for the ultimate home cooked meal. No matter if you are looking for a pizza that makes you want to take one to go, a mouth watering juicy burger or the best of the Italian Guys, there is something for everyone. Do not forget Wednesday is $.25 wing night!

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




Business UpFront

The American Shed Company

Shed models clockwise, starting at the right: Suburban, Floridian, Pinewood, Greenhouse, Classic

Robby & Sherry Albritton, Owners Email: Cell: 863-528-7085 Office: 863-735-9226 Fax: 863-735-9228 159 State Road 64 East Zolfo Springs, FL 33890

By Kellie Duke


re you running out of space inside your home? Do you need extra storage? Would you like to declutter your home or garage? Ever thought about creating a man cave or a hobby room for someone special? Are you thinking of making a game room for your teenagers? Look no further than The American Shed Company in Avon Park. Fred Reimers, manager and owner of The American Shed Company in Avon Park wants to sell you a shed! Not just any shed I might add, but a shed manufactured by Robin Sheds, one of the best made sheds on the market today. Fred Reimers knew many years ago that he wanted to sell something that people really needed. He thought about how useful sheds can be and was determined to find a shed of quality workmanship to sell. He wanted to be confident that the shed he was selling would not only be able to stand the test of time, but the test of high wind. Fred went to various shed companies and found just what he was looking for in a shed through Robin Sheds. Robin Sheds is the oldest prefabricated portable building manufacturer in Florida. They have over 32 years of experience. Robin Sheds was started in Georgia, but now have expanded with a plant in Lake Wales. It is a family owned business and they strive to maintain a reputation for producing quality sheds. Fred said, “We can do just about anything with a shed. We can insulate the walls and roof, put an attic in it, and 14 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010

divide the walls anywhere in the shed. If you want an extra office inside the shed we can take care of that. We can add vents, fans, skylights, and raise the roof up to two feet higher than what is normally found in sheds. Shelves can be added, electrical outlets can be installed, 110 or 220, whatever you prefer. We can add windows or a sliding glass door or even a garage door.” The American Shed Company also sells shed greenhouses with full misting capabilities. When it comes to a solid floor, The American Shed Company provides it. Fred pointed out that his sheds sit on a tongue and groove wooden skid, made from a double 2x6 laminated and pressure treated board. The frame is made from kiln dried southern yellow pine, which, according to Fred, is 58 percent stronger than white pine. The American Shed Company can also accommodate customers who have a cement floor. “We can anchor the shed to an existing cement pad or anchor it to the ground with its own ¾ inch tongue and groove pressure treated plywood floor.” When thinking of how you want your shed to look on the outside, anything is possible. The American Shed Company can put vinyl siding or wood as the outside finish. They can put a stucco finish on to match your home. According to Fred, the stucco finish will never fade. The roofs are all aluminum and are a mill finish, not painted, which reflects 85 percent of the sun’s heat. You can also have a shingle roof or a metal roof if you prefer. The roof

panels are overlapped where they meet and they seal and screw them down with stainless steel crypton coated screws so they will not leak. Color choices for the metal roofs are terracotta and hunter green. The size of a shed is no problem either, as The American Shed Company has over 50 different sizes available. The company also provides a warranty on the shed and its workmanship. Do you need your shed to be moved? The American Shed Company provides a moving service for existing sheds. When shopping for a shed make sure to check out the quality sheds that are available at The American Shed Company of Avon Park. Rent to own is available with no credit check. Master card and visa are accepted for purchase of sheds. Also there is free delivery and set up for all sheds. The American Shed Company is located at 915 US 27 South, Avon Park (across from Winn Dixie). Please call Fred at 863-452-0450 for more information.

“It is our mission to produce the highest quality products, market them at competitve prices, provide superior customer service and maximize returns to Florida growers.”

For Fruit Sales & Pricing Please Contact:

Fran Becker V.P. Fruit Procurement

Office: (863) 494-0440 • Mobile: (863) 990-8582

Serving Highlands County and the Peace River Basin area since 1994. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE







OFFICE: 863-260-0007 CELL: 863-441-4023

Custom Homes • Remodels • Additions Interior / Exterior Painting • Storm / Water Damage Repair 401 E. INTERLAKE BLVD. LAKE PLACID, FLORIDA 33852


Landscaping Curbing 531-0256

Plants Palms Fruit Trees

Sebring Open Late Everyday, 7 Days a Week! SEBRING 1993 US 27 South

(Across from Lake Jackson)

LAKE PLACID 157 Saint Lucie St. (Closed Sunday)


Located in prime locations close to shopping centers, gas stations, highways, and more. AVON PARK & SEBRING (HIGHLANDS COUNTY) FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED • PARKING SPACE AVAILABLE ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED - (except telephone & internet) COMPLY WITH ALL STATE & MUNICIPALITY REQUIREMENTS We can take care and help you in all required State & Municipality inspections without extra charge to you. BILINGUAL STAFF AVAILABLE (Hablamos Español)

Fern & Fern Corp • 863-452-2565 •

WILD FLORIDA THE WAY IT WAS As Told by the Pioneer “Cow Hunters” Who Lived It by Nancy Dale

Order Signed Copies for Christmas! 863-214-8351

Please patronize these fine businesses in your area. To advertise in this section, please call Nick, 863-224-0180 16



Please patronize these fine businesses in your area. To advertise in this section, please call Nick, 863-224-0180 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE



Monday’s Sale - 12 noon (Bring Your Cattle Sunday 10am - 7pm or Sale Day)




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

Don’t Forget

by Kellie Duke The Highlands County Ag Venture Program was held on October 26 - 28 at the Highlands County Fairgrounds in Sebring. As usual it was a huge success. The Ag Venture program is provided to the community through donations and many volunteers. The children who attend and those who volunteer are forever changed and come to realize the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. Many do not realize the various agricultural commodities that are produced in Highlands County and the impact their production has on our economy until they go to Ag-Venture. This is the 11th year that Ag-Venture has been held here in Highlands County. It came about through dreams and many hours of hard work. Darlene Phypers and Danielle Daum of Lake Placid visited an Ag-Venture program in another county and felt the children of Highlands County could benefit from this experience. They came home and presented the idea to community leaders and right away gained the support of all. Since that time, thousands of students have participated in Ag Venture and have gained knowledge about agriculture that they will never forget. Another great Ag-Venture at Night was held on Tuesday night as part of the event. The Highlands County Cattlemen prepared a steak dinner and guided tours were provided to the 14 Ag-Venture stations. This proved to be a great time for the entire family. Ag Venture doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of hard work. Hard work that continues on after 11 years for Darlene and Danielle and the Board of Directors, which consist of Susie Bishop, Judy Bronson, Barbara Bullard, Christy Crews, Jody Gadsden, Donna Howerton, Laurie Howerton, Reese Martin, and Wendy Renfro. The work just doesn’t begin the week of Ag Venture, it starts much earlier. Darlene and Danielle actually meet with third grade teachers throughout Highlands County and provide educational materials to help the teachers get their students ready for the “Ag Venture Experience.” Materials and supplies are gathered throughout the year to provide a great set up for each station. Ag Venture 2010 provided a great agricultural experience for hundreds of third grade students. As the students arrived by bus, they were greeted by local FFA members and other community volunteers. Each student was given a cowboy hat in a certain color. This helped to set the mood for the experience, plus was a great way to keep track of the children and the groups they were in. The students were also given a bag to put their gathered items in. Students were divided up into two groups. Each group was able to see 7 of the 14 stations that were shown at Ag Venture. The stations included were Alligators, Beef, Bees, Caladiums, Citrus, Dairy, Farm Animals, Forestry, Grapes, Ornamental Horticulture, Poultry, Strawberries, Water and Soil Conservation and Vegetables. Some of the hands-on activities that the students got to participate in this year included making butter and beeswax candles, squeezing their own orange juice, and planting plants. Other valuable lessons included learning about the importance of honeybees, the various products that come from beef, the nutritional values of dairy products and eggs, and many others. After a great educational program geared around agricultural commodities, the students ate their lunches while being entertained by Raymond McIntyre and Mike Damboise. Raymond gave a brief history of the Florida Cracker Cowboy and demonstrated the proper way to use a whip, while Mike showed the students how to rope a cow and even allowed some of them to try their hand at it. The new agricultural building at the fairgrounds was used this year for this part of the event and proved to be a wonderful facility to accommodate all of the students. Volunteers, which include Ag Venture Board Members, local business men and women, retirees, community leaders, and the local FFA members, were also treated to a great meal, prepared by Ella Myers of Pat’s Barbeque in Lake Placid, and were able to participate in a drawing for prizes provided by local businesses as a way of saying “Thank you!” Ag Venture 2010 was another great year to show students and the community just how important agriculture is to all of us. Many thanks to Darlene Phypers and Danielle Daum for having a dream and working hard to make it come true for all. Another big thank you, as well, to the community for the donations and for the support of the local Ag Venture Board and volunteers. We will all be looking forward to Ag-Venture 2011.

Wednesday’s Sale - 12 noon

Tuesday, Dec. 28 12 noon

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year


here seems to be no time like the holiday season to stop and say a very special “Thank You” for your business this year. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service to each and every one of you. We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season with your family and friends. Don’t forget our Special Slaughter Cow & Bull Sale Tuesday, Dec. 28th. Historically, this has been a very good sale. Markets are closed for two weeks and the slaughter buyers are very active. So, if you have any cows or bulls you need to cull, keep this sale in mind. Thank you and please know we look forward to being of service to you in 2011 with all your marketing needs.

Carl & Libby

Special Slaughter Cow & Bull Sale The Market will be closed Monday, December 20th & 27th and Wednesday, December 22nd & 29th for the Christmas Holidays!

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

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

Certified Public Accountants

Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co. Sebring

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


Lake Placid

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white black c crappie top r appie bot tom Well guys and gals, it is that time of the year - if you get my drift! The crappie are on the move. Other names for crappie are papermouths, strawberry bass, speckled bass or specks (especially in Michigan and in the south), speckled perch, calico bass (throughout New England), sacau-lait (in southern Louisiana, pronounced ‘sack-o-lay’ and meaning “bag of milk) and Oswego bass. Crappie are a highly regarded game fish and are often considered to be among the best tasting freshwater fish. Therefore, fishing for crappie has become popular throughout much of North America. Crappie/Panfish anglers have been identified by the latest National Survey of Fishing by the Federal Fish and Wildlife agency as the largest freshwater fishing segment in America - 14.2 million. Representing 25 percent of the total freshwater market, these anglers spend an average of 27 days annually in pursuit of their favorite specie versus the next closest specie at 15 days. Prior to Crappie USA, the first and largest crappie tournament organization in the world and founder of the American Crappie Association, the first and largest association of crappie anglers, this market did not have any national promotional

efforts to drive sales of its products and services. The method of fishing varies, but among the most popular is called “Spider Fishing,” a method characterized by a fisherman in a boat with many long poles pointing away from the angler at various angles like the legs of a spider. Anglers who utilize the Spider Fishing method may choose

from among many popular types of bait. Because of their diverse diets, crappie may be caught in many ways, including casting light jigs, trolling with minnows or artificial lures, using small spinnerbaits, or using bobbers. Some of the most popular are plastic jigs with lead jig heads, crankbaits or live minnows. Many anglers also chum or dump live bait into the water to attract the fish hoping the fish will bite their bait. Crappie are also regularly targeted and caught during the spawning period by fly fishermen. Crappie are popular with ice-anglers, as they are active in winter and can be taken from frozen ponds and lakes in winter by fishing through holes in the ice. There are two species, the white crappie and the black crappie. Both are members of the sunfish family. The black




Continued on page 22

1092 Locke St. | Avon Park, FL 33825 |M INTHEFIELD AGAZINE DECEMBER 2010


crappie is very similar to the white crappie in size, shape, and habits, except that it is darker, with a pattern of black spots. It is usually identified by the seven or eight spines on its dorsal fin. The oldest recorded age of a crappie is fifteen years, although seven years is average. The black crappie tends to prefer clearer water than the white crappie does. Its diet, as an adult, also tends to be less dominated by other fish than that of the white crappie. Both species of crappie, as adults, feed predominantly on smaller species, including the young of their own. They have diverse diets which includes zooplankton, insects, and crustaceans. By day, crappie tend to be less active and like to concentrate around weed beds or submerged objects, such as logs and boulders. They generally tend to feed at dawn and dusk, moving then into open water or approaching the shore. But, during the full moon, they can be caught throughout the night. The breeding season varies by location, due to the species’ great range, breeding temperature is generally between 58 – 68 degrees (F) and spawning usually occurs between April and June. Spawning occurs in a nest built by the male, who guards the eggs and young. It is very prolific and can overpopulate its environment with negative consequences both for the crappie and for other fish species. That is why in Florida we are allowed to catch 25 each day, with a two-day possession limit (check any local limitations). There is no limit as to the amount you may have as long as they have been processed (cleaned) and frozen. They may also be transported across state lines once they have been processed and remain frozen. The first two weeks of October have been good night-time fishing because of the full moon and the cooler nights. That means that these famous fish are getting ready to do their thing. On this last full moon I saw quite a few lights on the lakes at night. Some of the lakes that are doing well are Walk-in-Water and Crooked. I have heard of some crappie being taken on Lake Kissimmee next to the grass line. Most of the fish are being taken in open water on Walk-in-Water and Crooked. Anglers are trolling white and black Beetle Spins and Hal Flies in green and yellow, chartreuse, pink and off-white. Some are just using a jig head with a minnow, or only a hook and minnow. They are being caught in and around seven to nine feet of water. Now you could just go out and drift, but another way is to go out and look for the other boats. Once you find these guys watch what they are doing and do the same thing. You can learn a lot by observation.

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Y o u can use the triple bay box type that fits over the rail. With this type you have two stainless bolts that go just under the rail with two wing nuts to hold it snug to the rail. You are not weakening the rail by drilling holes in it and they are easily removed when not needed. Then you have the triple bay flat. This model can be mounted on any flat service, such as a dock or the flat railing of a boat, or on top of the railing of a pontoon boat if the railing is too large or too small to use the triple bay box type. And then you have the single bay. You can put these on the rail like I have done here on my pontoon or stagger them on a dock or any flat service. Drill a one quarter inch hole and put approximately a two-inch stainless bolt up through the bottom. Slide the holder down on the bolt and then put the washer on. Use the wing nut to tighten it down. All of these rod holders come with 18-8 American made stainless hardware and they are guaranteed as long as you own it. This will be the last rod holder you will ever own! By the way, it is made of highdensity polyethylene (HDEP). It won’t break and will not discolor. To see additional pictures go to, or give us a call at 1-888-692-2208 and we will set you up with one of our dealers in your area. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk a little about fishing poles. Back in the Aug-Sept article we talked about “extension poles,” that extend in and out, ranging from an extended length of 8 to 20 feet. There are numerous brands, such as Wonderpole, B&M, etc. and some even come with guides for those who want to use a small reel. You can find these at most of your local tackle stores or we carry the Wonderpole at our online store, Folks, we are just getting into the speck fishing season, so get your gear all lined up and ready to go. I hope to see you all on the lake.

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Good fishing & God bless, Capt Dick Another way to find out where to fish and what to use is to stop in at your local tackle shop, like Bridgemaster Fishing Products in Lake Wales. They are also known as “The Fisherman’s Candy Store.” They are always glad to help you with product and information. They have everything you need in the way of tackle, bait, and maps. Stop in and tell them that I sent you. If you are in the Lakeland area, stop in at Phillips Bait and Tackle. This is another great store to get your supplies. They have everything from snacks to tackle to live bait. Just tell Stacey I sent you. Okay now let’s talk about the kind of equipment that you will need. As mentioned above, Spider Fishing is the method of choice for the majority of serious crappie anglers. If you have a pontoon boat you will need rod holders like these, which I just happen to manufacture. How about that! You have three ways to mount them.




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h t i a F s ’ r e A Farm

D i st r i ct 6 Up date From the Desk o f Andy Neuho fer The Young Farmer and Rancher program is for those who are interested in and/or engaged in the field of agriculture. Its purpose is to develop leadership and communication skills for young people between the ages of 18 to 35. Involvement can include participation in the Outstanding YFR contest, the Excellence in Agriculture contest and the Discussion Meet. Another avenue includes the Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Group, which is a two year program. To begin, one should join his or her local county farm bureau and become involved in the program on a local level. Currently, the Highlands County Farm Bureau president, Marty Wohl, has appointed Doug Miller to preside as chairman for their YFR committee. Discussions are taking place to plan an introductory supper meeting some time after the first of the year. Such a meeting was held in Arcadia this past August with over 20 prospects from four counties attending. In November, we held another meeting in Manatee County with about 20 prospects attending. There is interest in learning about the program. Desoto Charlotte County Farm Bureau President Jim Selph has appointed J. Ryals and Elissa Allen as co-chairs for their YFR committee. The project they completed in November was a third grade poster contest in both counties. Students and teachers at Memorial Elementary and Nocatee Elementary in Desoto County participated. Students and teachers at East Elementary in Punta Gorda were involved, too. Their assignment was to draw their version of a Florida family farm. Teachers were given facts 24



and pictures pertaining to Florida agriculture. Many of the posters were quite good. There was one winner per school. The winning student in Punta Gorda received four tickets for a cruise on Charlotte Harbor. The winning students in Arcadia received either four tickets to canoe on the Peace River or fresh citrus juice compliments of Joshua Citrus. The teachers who had the winning students in their class received a $50 gift card to purchase school supplies as they deemed necessary. A special thanks goes to the teachers, students and the administration in the participating schools. Also, thank you to the Desoto Charlotte County Farm Bureau, Canoe Outpost, Joshua Citrus and King Fisher Cruise Lines for their sponsorships. Last, I would be remiss if I did not thank Elissa and J. for their efforts. They contacted school personnel, acquired and delivered the material and acquired the sponsorships. Elissa went a step or two further to produce a CD with farm facts and pictures as well as making sure everything was completed on time. This is a good example of getting a program started in your county. Think about what you could do to promote agriculture and influence policy makers at home. The time and effort is minimal compared to the benefits received. Andy Neuhofer Field Representative District 6 352.318.2506

By Kayley Cobb

“8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste,and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Luke 2:8-20 The Christmas Story cannot be told any better than it has been told for thousands of years in the best selling book of all time - The Bible! Imagine for a moment what it must have been like to be a Shepherd on that glorious day and have an angel of the Lord come to you with this great news of our Savior Jesus Christ being born. Just as the Shepherds did way back then, we should spread the good news of salvation through Jesus. As you share Christ’s love with others, just know you will be blessed! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!




10 20 By Karen Bowers

Hardee County Ag-Fest

The Hardee County Farm Bureau Ag-Fest 2010 was held Friday, November 4 at the Cattlemen’s Arena in Wauchula. Fourth grade students from Wauchula Elementary, North Wauchula Elementary, Hilltop, Zolfo Springs Elementary, and Bowling Green Elementary were bused to the Hardee County Ag-Fest. As each student got off the bus, they were given a glass of fresh orange juice. Then, they proceeded in groups to visit stations that wereset up in and around the Cattlemen’s Arena to learn about different parts of agriculture. The stations included how to plant an orange tree, how to bale hay, the purpose of horse shoes, water conservation, plants and trees native to Florida, different types of machinery used in agriculture, and live animals, including a Brahman bull, cows, goats, cats, rabbits, and horses. The students also learned about the many by-products of oranges, bees, and cattle. Basically, the kids got a chance to see and learn about agriculture and why agriculture is so important to all of us. David Royal, President of the Hardee County Farm Bureau, has helped put Hardee County Farm Bureau Ag-Fest together since 1993. The purpose of this event is to educate kids about agriculture through hands on experiences. He states that fourth grade is the best age to target so that they will remember something they learned at Ag-Fest and go home and share the experience with their family. David also goes on to state that you never know what might spark a child’s interest. He explains to the fourth grade students that agriculture is everything that you will see here today and that without agriculture, you don’t eat. The following businesses and individuals participated in the Hardee County Ag-Fest: 4-H Animal Rescue, Alan Jay Automotives, Bar Crescent D, Bar Crescent S, Buckhorn Nursery, C.F. Industries, Cantu Apiaries, Citrus Solutions, Crews Wildlife Mgt, FDOC, Fields Equipment, Grass Valley Ranch, 26



Hardee County Cattlewomen’s Association, Hardee Livestock Market, Heartland Growers Supply, Himrod Nursery, University of Florida/IFAS, Johnson Harvesting & ATP, Krause Grove Services, Mike McIntyre, Mosaic, Orange Enterprises, PRVCGA, Rocking S, Senniger Irrigation, Soil Conservation, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and The Anderson’s. Larrett Smith, whose family owns Bar Crescent D Ranch in Ona, states that this years Ag-Fest was the biggest they have ever had in Hardee County. Larrett, who is 11 years old, helps his family with their station to teach fourth grade students about commercial cattle ranching. Sarah Idsardi, who is a fourth grade teacher at Wauchula Elementary, had 19 students in her group. Sarah states that these kids get a chance to see things

when they come to Ag-Fest that they otherwise would not get a chance to see. She also states the Hardee County Ag-Fest definitely keeps students engaged. All of the teachers are given bags filled with all kinds of information about agriculture to take back to the classroom. David Royal explains that the teachers will use the information and items in the bags to continue to teach students about agriculture. This year, Hardee County Farm Bureau did something a little different in preparing for Ag-Fest when they created Gold, Silver, and Bronze levels of sponsorship for the community to support the event. Hardee County Farm Bureau would like to thank all of the following sponsors: GOLD - ATP Agri-Services, Inc., Citrus Solutions LLC, D&S Cattle Co. Inc., Fields Equipment, George Wadsworth Jr. Farm Bureau Agent, Hardee Ranch Supply, Jay Bryan Farm Bureau, Johnson Harvesting, The Anderson’s, Ullrich’s Pitcher Pump. SILVER - Alan Jay Automotive Network, Buckhorn Nursery, Hardee Livestock Market, Krause Grove Service, Inc., Orange Enterprises Inc., Wauchula State Bank, Senninger Irrigation Inc. BRONZE - BMH Ranch LLC, Florida Fertilizer Co. Inc., JLC Farms, Inc., Central Pump & Irrigation, Inc., Peace River Electric Cooperative, Inc., Rocking S Ranch. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE



FFA Spotlight on

Lake Placid Middle School Lake Placid Middle School was, for the second time, among the 32 Florida’s Finest FFA Chapters recognized in the National Chapter Awards Program sponsored by John Deere and Ford Motor Company. The award was presented during the 83rd Annual FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, IN during the week of Oct. 2023, 2010. The award is based on a comprehensive Chapter Program of Activities in Community Development, Chapter Development and Student Development. Each division has five quality standards that include activities like leadership, scholarship, chapter recruitment, finance, public relations, citizenship and agricultural awareness. The award winners attended a special dinner on October 20 and on October 21 each chapter received a plaque recognizing their accomplishments. The 2009-2010 chapter Officers, Chelsey Turner and Shelby Hill, attended the National FFA Convention to receive the award on stage and on national television broadcast live by RFD. Lake Placid Middle School FFA has 40 members this year who will be striving to keep up the program of excellence. There are approximately 300 Chapters in Florida with more than 15,000 members and the National Organization has over 7,300 Chapters with over 500,000 members. Membership counts for LPMS, Florida and the National Organization are at all time highs. The 2010 - 2011 FFA Officer Team for Lake Placid Middle School is: President - Clay Sapp, Vice President - Sydnee Crow, Secretary - Katie Weekley, Treasurer- Tiffanie Cummins, Reporter – J T Tate, Sentinel – C J Wilson, Chaplain – Loretta Hill, Historian Cheyenne Slade, Parliamentarian - Kyle Dolak, and Student Advisor - Courtney Sapp. Chapter Advisor Mrs. Cheryl Humphrey has taught Agriscience at Lake Placid Middle since January of 2004 and served as the FFA Advisor for that time. She is very proud of the chapter and has hopes this year will be even better than ever.




On September 30, 2010, the chapter hosted their annual Open House with about 75 people attending for a Mexican style dinner of enchiladas and chili, an FFA meeting and tours of the greenhouse. The Officers presented Official FFA Opening Ceremonies for the first time as a team at that event, then followed up with the competition for OCC at the Peace Ridge Federation Meeting and Contest that was held at Sebring High School on October 2. They will be competing again in December at the Sub-district contest at South Florida Community College. The LPMS FFA chapter has a strong focus on Career Development Events, and as a result spends a considerable amount of time and money traveling to contests such as Forestry, Citrus Evaluation, Tool ID, Prepared and Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Horse Evaluation, Livestock Evaluation, Vegetable ID and Evaluation, and Ornamental Horticulture Demonstration. On October 14, Lake Placid Middle FFA participated with two teams in the District 11 Forestry Contest. They had practiced after school to learn how to identify trees, diseases and tools. The teams placed first and second in the District competition. All the teams have a rigorous practice schedule to prepare for each event including staying after school several days a week before each contest. Last year all that practice paid off for the Livestock Evaluation team who placed ninth in the State FFA contest. All the travel expenses are paid for by funds raised by the students in the FFA chapter. Agriculture students at Lake Placid Middle work hard to keep the school greenhouse clean and full of beautiful plants. Local growers such as Happiness Farms, Del Ray Plants, Windmill Farms, and Bates Caladiums donate plants, Caladium bulbs, and soil for use in the school program. The plants are then sold at the school plant sales throughout the year to raise money for the chapter. Another way the chapter raises money is by selling snacks after school.

Mrs. Humphrey and chapter officers and members sell candy, beef jerky, and Gatorade after school each day. The chapter sells Southern Heritage Meats for Thanksgiving and has an annual barbeque in the spring. Everyone’s favorite fundraiser is the after school Halloween Lock-In sponsored by LPMS FFA each year that includes a haunted house, costume contest and lots of games and snacks for students to enjoy. The chapter participates in many community service activities including a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon during FFA Week, a Military Appreciation Breakfast in May, serving as AgVenture volunteers and visiting the Lake Placid and Lake Country Elementary Schools each year for Agriculture Literacy Day. The chapter placed fifth in the state last year for the Food for America Award based on these events and the activities related to informing younger students about agriculture. In May each year, the LPMS FFA holds their annual awards banquet for members, their families and special guests. All the food at the banquet is prepared by the members and volunteers and served by LPMS Ag students. In June members who have met minimum qualifications in contest participation, fundrais-

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by Justin Fields

Cesar Calderon, USDA APHIS PPQ,

Cesar Calderon, USDA APHIS PPQ,

CBS is just one more set of initials we are all getting familiar with in the citrus industry. If you have anything to do with citrus, you probably have heard of Citrus Black Spot by now. This is our newest in a long line, and ever growing, list of issues which must be dealt with. Some less resilient industries, and people for that matter, may have given up by now, but we are standing firm. Our loyal researchers are hard at work preparing recommendations for the sake of our livelihood. It has been roughly eight months since the first confirmed find of CBS in Collier County. As was initially feared, it was not completely isolated and was subsequently found in Hendry County shortly afterward. The good news at this point is the relatively small area of all confirmed findings so far. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your grove is magically immune and become complacent. The fact has been established, CBS is here and, if we have learned anything from past experiences, we should understand it is here to stay. So you’re wondering, “How is this news good?” The good news is that this gives the rest of us more time to learn about and begin implementing new preventative strategies. First of all, what is Citrus Black Spot? It is a fungal disease which is spread mainly by airborne spores. Unfortunately, at this point there are no known resistant cultivars. Late maturing varieties,




Florida Division of Plant Industry Archive, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,


primarily Valencia, are highly susceptible. Visual symptoms can be seen on leaves but it is primarily identified on matured or maturing fruit. These visual identifiers can be expressed in four ways, the most common being Hard spot, second False Melanose, third Cracked spot and finally Early Virulent spot, also known as Freckled spot. Hard spot is usually considered the first and most predominate of the identifiers. It presents as small gray colored lesions which will appear sunken into the rind of the fruit and haloed in a dark red or black color. False Melanose, which can appear while the fruit is still green, will be numerous, very small, raised lesions. The lesions will be tan or brown in color and will most likely turn to Hard spot as the fruit continues to mature. Cracked spot will, as the name portrays, be identifiable by the cracks in the dark brown lesions over a large surface area. Cracked spot appears to be caused by interaction with rust mite. Early Virulent spot, or Freckled spot, is actually caused by other lesions forming together. They will be red in color and irregularly shaped due to convergence. Freckled spot can even occur on post-harvested fruit. So what do we do now? Well, as stated before, don’t become complacent on the subject. Don’t wait until your neighbor finds it,

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or the USDA comes around to check your area. The University of Florida IFAS extension has an ever growing amount of information on the subject. As always, they also have recommendations for preventative measures, most of which seem, at this time, to be easily incorporated into the canker sprays we are already implementing. Although there may be an extra chemical added here and there, at least there are no new application procedures we are facing. Grove floor management is an area of focus in which we may see more development. The primary source of infectious spores comes from decaying leaves under the canopy. Currently, there is research being done to determine the best and most applicable practices for floor management. At this time, there is no discussion of a large scale eradication attempt such as was undertaken with Citrus Canker. Prevention and maintenance is the goal. We have not even gotten through an entire season as of yet with this disease, so there will likely be many updates coming our way. The best practice will be to stay on top of all the recommendations and decide the most efficient way to implement new strategies into your operation. One sure piece of advice at this point is the same being echoed for both HLB and Canker, that is, keep the trees healthy. A healthy tree is by far much more resilient to attacks from pests and diseases. And, when a healthy tree does contract a disease, it takes it that much longer to lose production and, quite possibly, not lose anything at all. One thing is for sure. We are all facing challenging times. But, if there is one thing any multi-generational citrus grower can attest to is that we have always been able to stand the tests that have been thrown our way.




Johnny Georges’

TREE T-PEE An Invention Whose Time Has Come By Jim Frankowiak


ohnny Georges literally grew up in the citrus in- that I saw, and that came to me very clearly in 2002 dustry. He and his father, the late Rick Georges, while I was replacing a shower head with a low-flow came up with an idea in 1984 that was chuckled model. The replacement unit’s packaging compared at. That didn’t get in the way of the Georges its water volume with that of the unit I was replacsince they first heard those laughs back in 1970 when ing. The water savings with the new low-flow model Georges senior invented the micro jet irrigation sys- were significant. That gave me the idea to apply that tem. Rick had the last laugh then, however, since his same principal with the Tree T-Pee to young trees.” system revolutionized irrigation for the citrus indus- And there are other benefits, as well. The initial product, just like the ones made totry. The Georges invented the Tree T-Pee initially as day, was produced from recycled materials, an ima frost protection device, but Johnny saw the poten- mediate benefit to the environment even before they get into the field. With the introtial benefits of water conservaduction of the Geor-Jet and its action early on. Before invention “Frost protection was ceptance as the norm for the citrus of the Tree T-Pee, citrus growers used the “banking” process to the goal at that time, industry, Johnny felt there was a but for me water way to blend micro-irrigation and protect trees from freeze damage. “If a freeze was forecast, conservation was the the Tree T-Pee, saving water along growers would protect their potential benefit that the way. The water shower head replacement incident showed him trees by shoveling dirt along the I saw...” —Johnny the way. He altered the original base of the trunk,” said Johnny. design of the Tree T-Pee and made “Once the threat of freezing went away, they would return to the grove and re- the base seven-inches larger so it was able to accommodate micro-irrigation and not only protect trees move the banked dirt.” It was at one of these times when Johnny, then against freezing, but allowing the Tree T-Pee to stay a high school student, and a number of his friends in place continually, thereby saving vast quantities were banking 8,000 citrus trees. His dad had the of water. That also meant the need for less liquid young men measure the height of the banking and fertilizer since the area being sprayed was focused at then he came up with an average height that was the base of the tree and not subject to diffusion by used to develop the first Tree T-Pee. “Frost protec- winds. The 14-inch tall Tree T-Pee is cone-shaped and tion was the goal at that time,” said Johnny, “but for me water conservation was the potential benefit positioned around the base of young trees. In addi32






“We highly recommend the Tree-T-Pee. It works great for us with cold protection, keeps fuel costs low and increases plant growth by at least 30 percent.” Ben Norris, 3N Groves

tion to being used by the citrus industry, peach, pecan, jatropha and olive tree growers are using them as well. While the Tree T-Pee was undergoing refinement, the citrus industry was moving from northern areas of central Florida to the south. The Georges family made the move as well, relocating from Winter Haven to Arcadia in 1988. Johnny and his 14-year-old son John Wesley, known by all as Wesley, continue to reside in Arcadia, which is also home to Johnny’s company, GSI Supply, Inc., a pump station building and installation operation that serves growers from Polk County south, including both coasts, as well as the south central portion of the state. “We install the systems that permit growers to use micro-irrigation for their groves and crops. I guess you might say I was born into irrigation and have lived it all of my life.” Though the need for and importance of water conservation was not top of mind when Tree T-Pee was first introduced or even modified by Johnny less than a decade ago, it has become so and a critical consideration for agriculture. And, when we discuss conservation and Tree T-Pee we are talking major savings not only in water, but liquid fertilizer and 34



fuel, as well. Additionally, the product has a very long life. “Many of our first Tree T-Pees are still in use in the field,” said Johnny who speaks of a 20year life expectancy for the product. Johnny is conservative when he talks about savings, but the best reports and Tree T-Pee’s best salespeople are the growers and farmers who use them and speak from their individual experiences. “Instead of using 10,000 gallons of water per tree per year without the Tree T-Pee, we are now using only 800 gallons per year per tree with Tree T-Pee.” Multiplying those savings by the number of young trees in groves leads to some staggering potential water savings. Freeze protection, the original goal for and driving force behind the invention of the Tree T-Pee, continues to be a major benefit for growers. During the freezes in Florida this past January, temperatures dropped to below 20 degrees in some areas. “The trees with the Tree T-Pee had 40-plus degree temperatures at their base with steam from the 72-degree water engulfing the canopy of the young trees.” But there are added benefits for those who use the Tree T-Pee. In addition to freeze protection and water saving, there are significant fuel (gas, diesel

or electric) savings. “If you are pumping less water, law abiding and not be satisfied with anything less you are using less fuel and when you consider the than the best,” he said. “Living up to their expectacost of fuel needed for pumping 800 gallons in a year tions in whatever I did for them made me the person for one tree, compared to the cost of fuel to pump I am today and helped me to work hard and look 10,000 gallons, that’s a significant savings and that’s for ways to improve. I’m happy that through Tree T-Pee I am able to pay them back in a small way by just for one tree,” said Georges. Georges cites the example of a 1,750-acre south- helping them save money and thereby keeping them west Florida citrus grove where without Tree T-Pee competitive in a time when costs keep rising. They they had to water for six hours and used 15.8 million are also able to save the natural resources that are so gallon of water, while with the product installed, critical to their future and ours.” Georges is currently in discussions with water they only had to water for about an hour and used 2.6 million gallons. “That represents a saving of management district officials considering a costsharing program with more 13 million gallons who purchase of water every time they “The Tree-T-Pee is perfect for bet- growers and install Tree T-Pee due water,” said Georges. ter fertilizer use, freeze protection, to its proven ability to And there’s more. fuel saving, and water conser- save significant amounts New trees can be brought into production vation. It keeps everything right of water. Owner of the a full year faster because there on the tree. Good manage- patent, trademark and the concentrated mois- ment practice...economically it molds for the Tree T-Pee, ture and heat produced he is also in preliminary truly is a smart choice!” conversations with a maby the Tree T-Pee proMarlon Pendergrass, Peace River Groves jor irrigation company to motes up to a 30 percent license/sell the product increase in new growth. “That figure is mine, but I like to be conservative. through that company’s existing sales and distribuA study by the University of Florida estimated 37 tion network When not working with farmers and growers percent. It’s like a little greenhouse out in the field.” It has been said that the overall power of the Tree and their irrigation system needs, Johnny and WesT-Pee enables growers, especially grower/managers ley enjoy participating in activities at Pine Level of large acreage operations, the potential for signifi- United Methodist Church in Arcadia or hunting for cant direct and indirect savings, as well the maximi- deer or turkey on the weekend. zation of production. Once again, it looks like a member of the GeorgGeorges is quick to share credit for his invention. es family will have the last laugh and the world will “I owe a great deal to the growers and farmers that be a better place. I have worked for throughout my life. Each of them For more information about the Tree T-Pee, visit instilled in me the need to work hard, be honest and or call 863-491-9834. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE



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

A Growing Legacy By Ron Lambert

What I would like to bring to your attention is what can be done with the trees during your lifetime. Many people are of the opinion that trees grow so slowly they think, “I’ll never get any good from that tree, so why plant it?” Included with this article is living proof that proves otherwise. In January 1968, I had just gotten my driver’s license and remember going down to the Charlie Creek marsh with my Mother to cut a couple of swamp cabbages. On the way out of the woods, we passed by a few small bald cypress trees. As they were completely dormant, I chopped around four or five of them about broomstick size. I brought them back to our home and planted them on a ditch bank. Today, 42 years later these trees are huge. Two of them were damaged by hurricane Charlie and had to be removed. I cut those trees into flooring and will be able to use them for a nice floor someday. I will also be able to show my grandkids a beautiful floor, and be able to say, I actually planted the tree that grew this lumber. I share these photos and memories with each of you to show what occurred in less than five decades. The second photo shows me next to a longleaf pine that was planted in January of 2005. The level that I am holding my hand is approximately the height that it was when planted. Today those trees are almost 20 feet tall. This grove of trees The term for what I am writing represent an effort to reestablish a small about is a visual legacy that really requires very little time and expenditure. stand of long leaf pines in an area I call the woods. These trees were planted The scope of this project is limited only about the same time as grandchildren by the space available to use for this were born and they will know as soon as purpose. 36 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2010 I set out this month to focus on a topic which is quite important to me. I am sure that most of you have wondered, what will people remember about me after I’ve gone on? How can I leave something that my grandchildren and their children will remember me by?

they can understand that these trees were planted for each of you. Take care of them and add to them. Use them to mark and remember special events in your own life. A tree or a forest is not a permanent monument, but it is something special to look at and to remember the ongoing progress. For any of you reading this who might be interested in planting trees for your children or grandchildren to enjoy, I simply say, get started! You will see these trees grow no matter what type you choose. Record the planting date and the variety. You’ll be glad you did.


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y SAFETY a d i l o H

Thank You... To Highlands County Farm Bureau’s Heritage Sponsors.

By: Johnny Cone

The Winter Holidays are a great time of year, a time to celebrate, to worship, and to spend time with friends and family. But as dog owners we must recognize that the holiday season is a time of additional hazards for our dogs. Christmas decorations, holiday foods, houseguests and even visiting dogs can all mean hidden dangers for our pets. So take a little time to ensure that your dog has a safe and happy holiday season. Holiday decorations are full of potential dangers for your dog. Holiday lights and decorations often run on electricity. That means power cords. Even if your dog is not in the habit of chewing existing power cords in your house, new decorations can be an attractant. It is something new in their environment. New smells, sights, and possibly sounds are more than enough to stir the dog’s curiosity. Every year there are reports of dogs that are killed chewing on power cords on holiday decorations. Additionally, at times homes are burned and destroyed because of electrical fires started by a dog chewing on a cord. Plastics, small parts to decorations, ornaments and toys create potential choking hazards, as well as the potential of becoming lodged in the intestinal tract causing an obstruction. Many dogs for some unknown reason are attracted to the tinsel used to decorate Christmas trees. They tend to eat it like spaghetti. Tinsel can potentially poison the dog as well as cut the stomach linings and intestinal tract. Food is a huge part of Christmas and New Years celebrations. Roast turkeys, prime rib, casseroles, and deserts, something to tempt everyone’s appetite, including our dogs. But those heavily seasoned dishes will likely not agree with a dog’s stomach. Foods loaded with spice, sugars and fat can easily cause pancreas, intestinal and kidney issues. Additionally some of our favorite foods are actually poisonous to our dogs. Some fruits, nuts, and other foods contain chemicals and compounds that are dangerous to dogs. Foods to be especially wary of are dark chocolates, grapes, raisins, onions macadamia nuts, caffeine, and alcohol all potentially very dangerous, even to the point of causing death. So avoid feeding the dog from the table and ask guests not to feed your dogs. Be especially wary of your dog helping himself. Food left in the kitchen and food in the garbage are irresistible to dogs. So keep an eye out here as well. House guests also create another potential hazard, both to your dog and your guests. No matter how well socialized your dog may be, a house full of guests is cause to be extra careful. Dogs are masters at reading people. Some of your guests may not be comfortable around animals. Your dogs will sense that and may feed off the tension that creates. Trust is a two way street. This is especially true with dogs. They are comfortable and trust humans that trust them. A fearful person will keep your dog on edge and potentially bring out the worst in behavior. Special care needs to be taken with guests that are children. Children that have not spent time around dogs will often not understand how to interact properly with dogs. They will often play too rough, pulling ears, tails and the like. So care must be taken. Many dogs will not be as tolerant or back away from children the way they might with adults. Your dog may stand his ground with a child that is rude, overly rough or that does not respect the dog’s space. So keep an extra sharp eye out. Remember, your dog will not treat strangers like family. They are intruders. If everyone acts friendly and properly, so will your dog. But fearful and rude actions




No Farmers No Food

can cause an aggressive reaction from your dog. At times guests may ask to bring their dog to visit for the holidays. This can be a hazard for a couple of reasons. Dogs traveling from other areas can expose your dog to diseases not common in your area. They can also bring parasites with them. From minor ailments and pests such as fleas, ticks, and kennel cough to more serious issues such as parvo and para influenza. So make sure that your dog is fully immunized and on flea and tick preventative prior to dog guests arriving. Then you have the same social issues you have with human guests. Your dog may not be thrilled with a visiting dog. But as long as both are well socialized everything should be fine. However, if the visiting dog is not socialized, acts rudely, and does not respect your dog’s space and belongings, there is a potential for problems. So care must be taken to make sure your dog and guest dogs act properly towards one another. If there is doubt that the dogs will get along, it is a good idea to keep them separated and rotate free time. Neither dog will be thrilled with this arrangement. But for the safety of everyone, it is sometimes the best idea. A dog fight is the last thing you want to deal with a house full of guests. Christmas and New Years can be a time filled with family, fun and memories. It can be a time your dog enjoys as well. If you take the proper steps, your guests will likely enjoy spending time with your dogs. But take some time and some planning to make sure your dog stays safe, healthy and no problems arise.

Reindeer like to eat bananas.

Camel’s milk does not curdle.

A flea expert is a pullicologist.

The top knot that quails have is called a hmuh.

A full grown bear can run as fast as a horse.

Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

A Giraffe has the same number of bones in its neck as a man.

A Koala Bear sleeps 22 hours of every day.

On average, it takes 660 days from conception for an elephant to give birth.

To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs. It will let you go instantly.

A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second!

When you walk down a steep hill, the pressure on your knees is equal to three times your body weight.

Every second, Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate.

In Spain, it is common to pour chocolate milk on cereal for breakfast.

The United Kingdom eats more cans of baked beans than the rest of the world combined.

Bamboo plants can grow up to 36 inches in a day.

A person swallows approximately 295 times while eating dinner.

In the early 1960’s, Porsche commercially manufactured farm tractors.

$203 million is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.

Please support these businesses! INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE




Florida Honey and Ginger Glazed Carrots Ingredients

3 pounds carrots, cut into thick round discs 3 tablespoons wildflower honey 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled, finely chopped


In a kettle, cover carrots with salted water by 2 inches and boil, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. While carrots are cooking, cook honey, margarine, and gingerroot over moderate heat, stirring, until margarine is melted. Drain carrots well and in a bowl toss with honey glaze and salt and pepper to taste.

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Yield: 6 servings

Orange Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Ginger


1 lemon 1 roasting chicken, about 5 pounds 1 lemon, zested then lemon cut into quarters 1 orange, zested then orange cut into quarters 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and grated kosher salt to taste freshly ground black pepper to taste 5 tablespoons margarine, melted, or olive oil 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 /2 cup fresh orange juice 3 tablespoons wildflower honey orange sections for garnish preparation


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the lemon into quarters. Rub the outside of the chicken with one of the lemon quarters, and then discard. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange zests and 1 tablespoon of the grated ginger. Rub this mixture evenly in the cavity. Put the lemon and orange quarters inside the bird (discard after cooking). Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. In the now-empty small bowl, combine the melted margarine or olive oil, lemon and orange juices, honey, and the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Mix well. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, basting with the citrus juice mixture at least 4 times during cooking, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve the chicken. Garnish with orange sections.

Yield: 4 servings Recipes courtesy of FL Department of Agriculture 40






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Dear In the Field Readers, It is my great pleasure to share with you the experiences God has given me over the last several months while serving as the 2010-2011 Florida FFA State Secretary. As of today, my team and I have presented two of the four leadership conferences that are scheduled for this year. The first, Chapter’s President’s Conference, or “CPC,” was held this past September in Daytona. The second, Chapter Officer Leadership Training, or “COLT,” was actually presented five different days at the end of September and beginning of October. The theme title for our conference was “BUST A MOVE,” emphasizing our goal to empower Florida FFA members to be able to take their chapter’s developed visions (which were made at CPC) and put them into action! My presentation partner, Area IV Vice President Michelle Perez from the Mulberry FFA Chapter, and I prepared our module with the focus being on incorporating diversity into FFA chapters through planned chapter activities. We taught FFA members how to create, embrace, and honor diversity. Check out the opening video we created for our module at by searching for our module’s title: “Diversity: Mix It Up!” My team and I began our tour in the panhandle, presenting the conference in Marianna, FL, for the Area I FFA members. We traveled that day to Lake City, and presented COLT for Area II the following day. That weekend, the State Officer team was invited to Manatee County’s Vocational Education Rally to speak to all the middle school students involved in available vocational programs. We finished our COLT conferences that week at the Leadership Training Center in Haines City, presenting to Areas III & IV and Areas V & VI. A final day was added to our schedule of conference dates for all chapters unable to register for their Area’s date. A record breaking 2,000 FFA members attended the COLT conference! After COLT, I was able to visit a few FFA chapters and coordinate two officer workshops before experiencing the highlight of my year thus far: The 83rd National FFA Convention! My team and I, along with a few other delegates for Florida, flew to Indianapolis, Indiana, in October. Most of the week was spent conducting delegate work, attending committee meetings and hearings as well as the convention sessions. I was privileged with the opportunity to serve as one of the six committee chairs in the entire delegate body. Besides chairing the committee meetings for our issue (Increasing Student Voice at the National Level), I got the chance to read our committee’s report on stage during one of the convention sessions. This session was broadcasted live on RFDTV, and to my delight, my grandparents were able to watch me on television! The next few months include preparing our third conference, the Middle School Conference, and helping with the State Career Development Events and competitions. I am also in the process of getting ready for the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers in January, which will be a once in a life time opportunity to go to Argentina! Thank you all for your support, and I look forward to sharing more blessings from this year with you next time. Until then, God Bless you! Sincerely, Valerie McKee Florida FFA State Secretary


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Ella Myers of Lake Placid Ella Myers from Lake Placid is our “Down Home Cook for December.” Ella had a very busy October as she is the “Official Volunteer Cook for the Ag-Venture Volunteers.” Ella’s Chicken Pockets are loved by all the Ag-Venture volunteers and are requested every year. Ella and her husband Pat have been cooking for Ag-Venture since the second year it opened. Ella is married to Pat Myers and together they own Pat’s Barbeque in Lake Placid. Ella was born in Hollywood, Florida, and went to school in Okeechobee. She is a cosmetologist by trade and a caterer. Ella and Pat are proud of their agricultural background as they were raised around citrus and cattle. Pat worked for Lykes Brothers for over 20 years before opening “Pat’s Barbecue.” Chicken Pockets

Ingredients 1 8 oz. cream cheese 2T margarine or butter, softened 2c cooked chicken seasoned with McCormick original chicken seasoning 1T chopped chives salt and pepper to taste 2 T milk (as needed for moistness) 1can Pillsbury crescent rolls Pam spray (for tops of rolls) 1/2c seasoned croutons (crushed in processor) 44



Heat oven to 350 mix cream cheese and butter until smooth, add chives, salt, pepper, milk and mix well. Add chicken and coat well. Separate dough into 4 rectangles each to form 7 X 4 firmly pressing perforation to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup mixture to middle and bring corners up to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet and spray tops with Pam and smooth with fingers to seal and sprinkle with croutons. Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Dates for the 2nd Annual Arcadia Days Festival have been announced by Larry Sheridan of Red Parrot Events, promoter. It will be held again in DeSoto Park, next to the Peace River Campground on NW Hwy 70. Dates are Saturday, January 8th from 10am-10pm and Sunday, January 9th from 10am-8pm. “There will be a lot of unique items offered by our vendors again this year’ said Sheridan. ‘Plus we will have some cutting edge games including a NASCAR racing simulator.” A mechanical bull, the popular water bubbles, carnival games galore, a treasure hunt, many varieties of food and lots more will give the kids plenty to keep them busy. Five live bands on two stages playing country music have been added to the already full slate of attractions.There will be music most of the day with the main concert starting late in the afternoon each day. Lineups will be announced soon. The Disc-Connected K9 World Champion Frisbee Dogs will return showing off their high flying acrobatics,having played to packed houses last year. They are truly a professional, experienced act that has performed over 7,500 shows! They’ve performed at NFL, Nascar, MLB and NBA events, among others. Saturday features a Pirate Contest for children as well as a separate event for dogs. Dogs are welcome at both the frisbee dogs shows and the Pirate Contest. Area children are invited to dress up and come out Saturday afternoon and compete for one of the many prizes up for grabs. “Sunday we open up the Pasta Court,” Sheridan said. This is a Spaghetti Cook Off open to all area restaurants and organizations. Anyone interested in joining the competition can do so online by downloading the Spaghetti Cook Off application. Judging will be by a blind taste test. Samples of each restaurant’s offering will be available two hours before the judging begins. Come out and see how your favorite Italian restaurant compares! Jack Minish from Fort Myers NBC’s Trash or Treasure will be on hand Sunday also to appraise any items you have in your house that you feel may have some value. He’ll tell you if it’s worthless or not! You might be sitting on a goldmine! Fossil hunts along the Peace River will be guided by the Southwest Florida Fossil Club both mornings.“There will be plenty of Door Prizes to go around with every paid admission automatically entered in the drawings,” said Sheridan. Adult admission is $6 for one day and $10 for a two day pass. Children 5-12 are $3 each day or $5 for both days,. 4 and under are FREE! There will be 20,000 free childrens’ passes available at area stores. Go to for more information, vendor applications and directions. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE



n a m Wo

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Nicki Smith By Rhonda Glisson

The pastures lining the drive to Southern Accent Farm in Okeechobee are dotted with healthy Brangus cattle grazing on the lush rich pastures. Nicki Smith and her husband, Allen, found this place quite by accident. They started breeding Brangus cattle in Myakka City and were looking for a larger piece of property. The beautiful 824 acres, now known as Southern Accent Farm, was perfect. After eight years of ownership, they not only breed Brangus cattle, they also run a commercial cow calf operation. Nicki and Allen are stewards of the land in many ways. They have 96 solar panels on the roof of their barn. They were recognized in 2008 with the CARES award (County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship program) from the Florida Farm Bureau for their outstanding efforts in Best Management Practices and were presented with the Environmental Stewardship Award for the state of Florida at the 2010 Florida Cattlemen’s Convention. One of Nicki’s passions has been her work with the Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation District, where she was appointed to the Board. She talks with passion about their causes, one of which is the Pest Management Resistance Program. It assists the small farmer by renting out equipment for $10 a day. The equipment uses less water and chemicals. The 12’ wide wiper is equipped with a steel roller covered with a carpet type material





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that is saturated to ensure maximum chemical transfer to weeds and prevents drops to pasture grasses. The small Mist Blower Photoparticles allows the use of safer chemicals with longer lasting residuals. In addition, Okeechobee SWCD is assisting in the release of TSA Beetles in Okeechobee County, concentrating on areas where infestations are the greatest. Nicki and Allen are members of the Cattlemen’s Association. Nicki is on the board of the Cattlewomen’s Association and is a past president. They are always there to support their organizations, whether to help with the fundraisers or to bring in new members. They both look forward to the rodeo in Okeechobee and assist with it any way they can. Nicki beams when she talks about Allen and his grass farming. She points out the star and jigg grass and a piece of equipment that he designed to assist in their farming. She talks of his research and vision of improving the land and the genetics of the cattle. Allen is away frequently with his work as a consultant for nuclear energy power plants. So Nicki is out in the pasture looking for the new babies, calling some of the cattle by name and all with a smile on her face. She is actively involved in numerous organizations and will assist friends any way she can. When asked about free time, Nicki laughs and says, “Well, I don’t watch much TV, if any.” When she does have a free moment she enjoys ranch sorting and team penning. She is loath to leave her animals. Horses are her life and she says if there ever comes a time that she can’t ride she will always keep them around, if for nothing else other than to smell them.

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Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced that a peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata, has been found in a trap in a guava tree in MiamiDade County. The fly was found by a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector during routine surveillance activities earlier this month. This is the first Florida find for this species of fruit fly. “This is a disturbing find because of the extreme risks associated with exotic fruit fly infestations,” Bronson said. “However, it is a clear indication that our fruit fly detection and monitoring program is working well, and fortunately, we have developed effective emergency response plans that in most cases allow us to quickly eradicate these dangerous pests. The state, along with our federal partner, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is pouring all available resources into this find in Miami-Dade County.” The peach fruit fly is considered one of the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests due to its potential economic harm. It attacks many different fruits, vegetables and nuts, including mango, guava, citrus, eggplant, tomato, apple, peach, melon, loquat, almond and fig. The fruit flies lay their eggs in the fruits and vegetables. In a few days, the eggs hatch and maggots render the fruits or vegetables inedible. The department, along with its federal counterpart, has launched an intensified trapping program in an 81-square-mile area surrounding the fruit fly find. If any more flies are found, trapping will continue, and an insecticide may be applied to telephone poles along with a substance that attracts the flies. The public will be notified 24 hours prior to the application of any insecticides or other treatment activities. Should this be

necessary, additional outreach activities will be conducted to provide all relevant information. Agricultural officials are attempting to determine the source of the fruit that carried this fly into Florida. Report any information on the possible origin of this fly to the USDA’s anti-smuggling hotline at 1-800-877-3835. This marks the third exotic fruit fly find in Florida this year. In June, Mediterranean fruit flies were trapped in Palm Beach County, and a full-scale, threemonth eradication program was conducted, one of the shortest in U.S. history. In August, two Oriental fruit flies were found in a trap in Pinellas County, where trapping continues and no additional flies have been found. This year alone, about $7 million has been spent on the Palm Beach and Pinellas County programs. “What these multiple incursions of exotic fruit flies into Florida are telling us is that even with our successful statewide fruit fly detection and monitoring efforts and preventive sterile fly release program, harmful pests and diseases are still being brought into the state by the traveling public,” Bronson said. “We must continue to raise public awareness about the risks associated with moving agricultural products without proper certification. We’re asking the public to refrain from bringing any plant material in from another country to reduce the incidence of invasive pests.” State and federal agencies will work with local governments to keep the public involved and to provide updated information. More information can be found at the department’s website at, including maps of the detection area and detailed information on the peach fruit fly. Residents can also call the department’s toll-free help number at 1-888-397-1517.

COMMON NAME: Peach Fruit Fly SCIENTIFIC NAME: Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) ORDER AND FAMILY: Diptera, Tephritidae DESCRIPTION: The adult fly is approximately 6 mm long and reddish-brown with yellowish thoracic markings. The transparent wings have a small brown spot on each tip. The white eggs are 1.1 mm long and 0.2 mm wide. The larva of the peach fruit fly is a creamy-white, legless maggot which grows to a length of seven to 10 mm within the fruit. The larva doubles over and jumps about when disturbed. The pupa is encased in a dark-brown cylindrical puparium about 5.0 mm long.




Peach Fruit Fly image by Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,

Pest Alert: Exotic Fruit Fly Found in Miami-Dade County

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In 1968 I was well into my radio career with WPLA in Plant City. Thinking back I could not remember anything that happened that year in the news, so I decided to do some research to find some of the notable events. After doing my research I know now why I could not remember anything. Nothing really happened of interest other than President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection. I do remember that 1968 was the year of the new look of long hair for men. Now those same men are looking for hair. In that year we all wanted to be smooth like Marlon Brando and beautiful like Liz Taylor. Today we are trying not to look like them. Remember how cool it was to go into a “hip joint” and swing? At this stage in life some of us are receiving a new hip joint. We all wanted a new BMW, and now we hope for a BM. It was the Rolling Stones then, now its kidney stones. Most of the kids that started college this year were born in 1992. It’s hard to believe, but those kids are all too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up. They can’t believe we had TV’s with no remote or cable. They have always cooked their popcorn in a microwave, and they never heard “I’d walk a mile for Camel” or “De plane, Boss, De plane.” They could care less who shot J.R., and have no idea who J.R. is! I am entitled to Medicare, so what? There are some things I know that have changed since 1968. The stairs are getting steeper, groceries are heavier. People are getting inconsiderate, now they speak in whispers most of the time. If you asked them to speak up they just keep repeating themselves with the same silent message. I overheard an elderly couple at the Sawmill Restaurant in Blairsville, Georgia a few months back talking about how fast everyone drives. The white haired lady said, “You’re risking you life and limb if you pull onto the highway. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out




awfully fast the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.” The other lady took a sip of her coffee and said, “I know what you mean! I also think people my own age are so much older than I am. The other day I ran into an old high school friend, and she had aged so much that she didn’t even recognize me.” Did you read in the paper a few months back where a Judge in a court right here in Florida set an “Atheist Holy Day?” An atheist created a case against Easter and Passover Holy Days. The man hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews in observance of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before the judge. After listening to a lengthy presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, Case Dismissed!” The lawyer immediately stood up and objected to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and other days. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays!” The judge spoke loudly from his chair, “But you do, sir. Your client, counsel, must be ignorant.” The layer spoke up, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.” The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned…” Let me relate a story that was e-mailed to me by my friend Bob Linteau, a gentleman I worked with at the Paso Fino Horse Association when it was headquartered in downtown Plant City. One day a man hopped in taxi in Atlanta and said he wanted to go to the airport. After a few blocks the taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. His driver, he said, just smiled and waved at the guy. I asked him why was he so friendly to the guy when he almost wrecked his cab. At this point my taxi driver taught me what I call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take if personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people. He said life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. He said the bottom line is to love the people who treat you right, and pray for the ones who don’t. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it. As I paid my fare and stepped out of the cab, he said, “Have a blessed garbage-free day.” Man, what a great outlook on life. In closing here is a short story from a new friend that I met across the mountain on Prospector’s Ridge in Blairsville, Georgia. He claims this is the way he gets inner peace when things get tough. He says the way to this peace is to finish all the things you have started. He said the other day he looked around the house to see the things he had started and had not finished. So this was the perfect to exercise his routine. He said, “I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bottle of Balleys, butle of wum…the mainder of a bot Prozic and Valum scriptins. The res of the chesecke, and a box of choclets. You haf no idr how bludy guod I feel rite now. Plase snare dhis wid dem yu fee ar in ned ov lennr pace…….”


nd Annual

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Brenda’s Beliefs By Brenda Valentine

Everyone has things they believe in. This is a short list of some of my personal beliefs. I don’t expect everyone to agree with or share my viewpoints but hopefully some will cause you to ponder your own principles. 1. I believe that if God had not intended for us to eat animals he wouldn’t have made them out of meat. 2. I believe it takes a few humbling missed shots to fully appreciate the hits. 3. I believe that common sense and woodsmanship are the deadliest weapons any hunter can possess. 4. I believe the satisfaction of the hunt cannot be measured by the score of an animal. 5. I believe that starting a young hunter with small game and allowing them to climb the hunting ladder slowly will keep them interested longer than if they start at the top. 6. I believe that killing one monster buck or long beard makes you a lucky hunter…not an expert. 7. I believe that I get a few animals I really don’t deserve and that I deserve some I don’t get and in the end it all averages out. 8. I believe that anyone who claims to make perfect heart shot every time is a liar. 9. I believe that every person, whether they choose to hunt or not, needs know where food really comes from. 10. I don’t believe everything I see on hunting shows!! 11. I believe the most limiting factor most women face in the outdoors is themselves. 12. I believe that not one buck, bull, or gobbler I’ve ever shot was concerned if I had internal or external plumbing. 13. I believe that everyone has a gift and those that use it and share it are the happiest. 14. I believe it is a shame to depend on the world wide web for all our information and answers while allowing the wealth of experience and wisdom of our elders go untapped. 15. I believe that laughter feeds the soul, loosens your hide …. And usually the bladder. 16. I believe most of us women have wasted way too much time and effort fixing our faces because that’s not what men look at anyway. 17. I believe it is only common sense that if your butt is twice as big as your feet you are supposed to sit twice as much as you stand. 18.I believe that any woman who has changed a dirty diaper before breakfast should not question her ability to field dress a deer. 19. I believe the two things I can never learn to tolerate are; rude people and anything with a crank rope. 20. I believe it is by Grand Design that eyesight blurs at about the same age for men and women. 21. I believe in being as nice to folks as they’ll let me ....whether they deserve it or not! 22. I believe the source of common sense must be dirt since folks raised on dirt generally have much more of it than those raised on concrete.




I a

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Cary Mercer

Farm Bureau HIGHLIGHT By Tracy Cox

Cary Mercer knows from firstindustry. A strong advocate and hand experience what it feels like as member of the Board of Directors a youngster to have a strong yearning of the Desoto County 4-H in your heart to feel the soil between Foundation, he helped start the your fingers and a desire to nurture Susie Brewer 4-H Scholarship Fund things to grow. He bought his first with Clyde Hollingsworth, Robert tractor as a seventh grader and Symons, and Rick George in 1983. contracted discing and chopping Remembering Mrs. Brewer, jobs. At 22, he purchased his first a former school principal now citrus grove, the beginning of Mercer deceased, “She would tear your Groves in Arcadia approximately rear-end up in a heartbeat. But, she 40 years ago. Last year, a local vet believed in the 4-H and worked hard brought six orphaned fawns to him with the kids in public speaking,” to raise on fresh goat’s milk until said Cary, a third generation Cary, Charlie & Nicole Mercer they were big enough to leave and Arcadian. “I think it was a great forage on their own. thing in honoring Mrs. Brewer. She was alive when we He is a man who also knows where to give thanks, did this and was very proud of us for doing this for to his Lord and his beloved father, Charlie Mercer, her.” now 91-years-old. He convinced the Desoto County Fair Association “I wouldn’t have what I have today if it wasn’t to allow 4-H members to show steers in the Youth for my church and God. He has been mighty good to Livestock Show as a fundraiser for the scholarship fund. me,” said Cary, a member of the Pine Level United The Hollingsworth, Symons, and Mercer families, Methodist Church, where he is the scholarship fund along with others, donate steers to the kids to raise and chairman and a member of the finance committee. sell at the fair’s livestock auction, with a percentage About his father, of the proceeds for who just gave up driving the participants and a tractor for him about the remainder to the a year ago, “There is scholarship fund. nothing I wouldn’t do for The Arcadia him,” he said lovingly. community, individuals “He has been a very, very and companies alike, good father.” donate goods and A father himself of services to the cause. two daughters, Ashley Drs. Mark Davis and Grimaldi and Nicole Mike McNulty give Mercer, raising citrus free veterinarian care to trees and baby deer the 4-H steers. Smith’s are not the only things Ranch & Garden, Inc. Cary believes need to be and Bryan Farm Supply, nurtured, just like him Inc. donate the feed to in his youth, he believes fatten them up. Cary young people need to furnishes the kids with have opportunities to a show box, grooming fulfill their heart’s desire shoot, and helps to break to be in the agriculture the steers. 54



“People and businesses from all around town give donations to the scholarship fund,” said Cary. “We have buyers at the livestock auction who donate the steers back to us and we re-sell them at the end of the fair.” Each year, one to two $500 scholarships are awarded from the interest earnings of the fund, now $225,000, of which the by-laws require the principal balance to be preserved. The criteria to apply for a scholarship, the rules can be found at or by calling the Desoto County Extension office at (863) 993-4846, include residency in Desoto County and to be a member of the 4-H club for all four years in high school. The board prefers that the students plan to pursue an agriculture degree, but do not require it. Nicole, Cary and his wife of 40-years, Kaye’s, youngest daughter, is pursuing a career as a citrus grower, too. She purchased a grove with her father two years ago. Although she currently resides in Tampa

and works with the State’s Attorney office, her dream is to return, build a home in Arcadia, and be in the citrus business. “She is very interested in the groves and tries to come home on the weekends to work in them,” he said. “She’s learning.” Ashley, their oldest daughter, is a teacher at Christ the King Catholic School in Tampa and the busy mother of two teenage sons, Andy and Alexander. “The boys are great hunters and are active in baseball,” said their proud grandfather. “They are the fifth generation of us in Arcadia.” A citrus grower all of his life, Cary is also a partner in Orange Blossom Harvesting, Inc. He is a charter member of the Desoto County Farm Bureau and is active in the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association. “Once you’re a farmer, you are always one,” he said.

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Naturally Amazing Activities PINECONE DREAM CATCHER By Sean Green


November is traditionally the month that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us have heard the story of the harvest celebration shared by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in 1621. Although there is little historic evidence that this celebration is directly linked to our modern celebration of Thanksgiving, the spirit of giving and sharing that took place during that celebration is remembered in our Thanksgiving celebration. Those of us that, like the Native American, value and cherish the earth’s abundance, dream of a good harvest each and every year and are humbly thankful when the harvest is abundant. This month, we will create a Dream Catcher with pinecone scales and an old CD that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

• •

Drill a hole in a used CD, about a quarter inch from the edge of the CD. String twine through the hole you drilled and tie a knot in it. (For hanging the Dreamcatcher). On the opposite side of the first hole, drill three or four additional holes a quarter inch from the edge (for feathers). String twine or leather strips through these holes tying a not on the top so it will not slip through the hole. Add beads to the leather strips, tie a knot at the bottom so the beads will not fall off, and glue feathers into the bottom bead. Pull the Pine Scales off the Pinecone, and organize them by size and color. Starting with a pine scale on each side of the top hole, glue the pine scales to the CD so the wide end is facing toward the edge of the CD. Continue until you have a row of pine scales bordering the outer edge of the CD. Create a flower pattern by overlapping additional rows of pine scales on to the CD so the wide part of the scale is centered between two seeds in the row above it and slightly overlapping. For more decorative Dreamcathers you can alternate gluing pine scales and other objects such as seed or nut shells, sea shells, or even small rocks.




• • • •

Old CD PineCones (different sizes, different colors) *scorched cones can be beautiful Glue Twine and/or leather strips Nuts (variety of colors and sizes) Feathers

in theAgricultural Industry By Roger Weinstock I have been getting more and more requests from the Agricultural industry for technology solutions from a large spectrum of the industry. The feed store that needed to find a way to streamline inventory and knowing what was on hand. Customers expressed frustration about calling for a product only to be put on hold so someone could run to the warehouse and determine if the requested product was on hand. Long checkout lanes slowed down by hand written sales slips and calculator usage compounded the problem. The solution was to install a POS (Point of Sales) system. The checkout stations were computerized with automatic credit card readers, charge authorization was obtained online. It also made for quick and easy inventory lookups without putting the customer on hold. Remote printers were installed in the warehouse to print pick tickets to accelerate customer service and allow for quick turnaround. The system allows the owner to quickly spot sales trends and adjust inventory accordingly. Interesting enough the iPad 3G is getting rapidly accepted and integrated by growers. While checking on the various crops the farmer can make instant adjustments to the pick schedule. Dry soil or infestations can be quickly documented and transmitted to the office for corrective action or changes to the watering schedule. Email systems are being deployed and some of my larger growers rely more and more on Microsoft Exchange for scheduling and communications needs. Rather than having roving trucks circulate the groves looking for full tubs to carry back to the waiting trailer instant messaging is used to communicate between the foreman and the driver. This “just in time” approach saves manpower and valuable resources and allows fewer drivers in the field. The first question I usually get asked is the “How expensive will this be” question. Well, that is a “depends” answer. There are many factors involved in getting to the right answer. First and foremost: Are you new to technology or do you have some sort of foundation in place that we can build on? If you are currently running your operation with paper and pen and depending on the size of the operation it can get costly. Unfortunately it is the wrong question to ask. How much time will this save me? or, what is my ROI? are much more important questions to ask. Let’s assume that we are starting from scratch and the proposed solution carries a $ 30,000 price tag, we need to determine how much money we can save in our day to day operation. If the answer is that we can do the same with one less truck and save the pay for the driver, the gas for the truck as well as the insurance and maintenance it becomes a no-brainer.

How long is this solution good for? Definitely not forever, it becomes outdated, it needs upgrading and it needs replacing. A good rule of thumb is three years and anything after that is gravy. Many factors come into play when determining the longevity of a solution such as business growth and diversification. Ongoing maintenance is another factor, just as you change the oil in your car at regular intervals, computer systems need maintenance, too. Agriculture is a somewhat hostile environment for delicate electronics equipment. It needs frequent cleaning and maintenance. One of the key recommendations I always make is not to be short sighted with a solution. Any change in the core technology needs to be justified and integrated into the long range planning. Ask yourself, How does this new gimmick fit into my long range goals and needs? Don’t implement something that does not fit into the strategic planning just because it worked for Joe. You and Joe are different, that’s the reason you buy different shoes. So how should you go about determining what solution is right for you? Asking the kid next door that is computer savvy will most certainly lead to frustration and wasted money. The same goes for just picking a computer “specialist” from the yellow pages. Look for someone with experience in your industry, ask your peers, especially the larger ones, who they use. If the guy or gal sits across from you and has no idea what the brix content means or what a combine is, chances are you’re talking to the wrong person. Stay away from people that answer every second question with “Let me ask my engineers and get back to you.” The last thing you want is a disconnect between your sales person and the engineers. They are the ones to have to make it work for you. Ask for and call references. Most of all make sure you are comfortable with the person you’re dealing with.




Young Farmers & Ranchers Andrew Fells I am proud to say that I am a fourth generation agriculturalist and Floridian. I was born and raised in Highlands County and am a proud graduate of Sebring High School, graduating in May of 2005. After high school I first attended Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, only to find that my love of agriculture couldn’t be overshadowed and a degree in agriculture was something that I truly desired. I left Florida Gulf Coast University after one year and began my quest to the University of Florida by completing my associate of arts degree through South Florida Community College. I can happily say that the University of Florida is my true Alma Mater. I graduated from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida in May of 2009 with a degree in Agricultural Operations Management. Shortly after graduating from the University of Florida I was hired by a lifelong friend to help him manage his farm and ranch supply company in Sebring, Glisson’s Animal Supply. I worked for Craig Cannady, the owner of Glisson’s Animal Supply, part-time while attending high school and South Florida Community College and he offered me a management position before graduating from college. My deep appreciation for agriculture stems far beyond the scope of my everyday job, it is a lifestyle for me. Though agriculture is an important aspect of my life, I would have to admit that my family and God come first. I have always been a family oriented kind of person which will explain my acknowledgement of my wonderful family and everything they have ever done to support me. I am proud to say that in October of 2009 I took the first step of beginning my own family and married one of my best friends, Julie. I am happy to say that she supports my dedication to Florida’s agricultural industry and supports my desire to give back to that industry through our personal lives and through the public. Since I can remember my life has been rooted in Florida’s agricultural industry. My background in agriculture began long before I was born. My family began farming in south Avon Park, off what is now Highway 27, in the mid 1920’s. In the mid 1930’s we switched gears from vegetable farming to citrus production. It was at this point that my family put down some solid roots in Highlands County, and my great-Grandfather established Saxon Groves, Inc. in Avon Park. I spent countless hours as a young boy working my families’ groves. My brother and I would generally spend our Christmas and summer breaks working irrigations lines, changing micro-jet heads, or pulling weeds




in the groves. When we were not in the groves, Dad would have us dragging manure in the pastures with the tractor, spraying Soda Apples, or mowing. I remember complaining about it then, but what I would give to have those days back. This heritage means even more to me today, being an active member in my family’s’ company. Saxon Groves is still alive and well today, some 80 years later. We have expanded our company’s scope over the years and during the 1980’s developed Reflections on Silver Lake, a mobile home community across from South Florida Community College. My involvement in Florida’s agricultural industry really got a good start during my years at Sebring High School. While attending high school I was extremely involved in the Sebring Senior FFA Chapter, serving two terms as President, competing nationally with our exceptional Sales and Service team, and raising numerous calves for the Highlands County Fair. I owe a great deal of respect, appreciation, and experience in agriculture to my advisor and the National FFA Organization. My devotion to Florida’s agricultural industry continued to grow while attending the University of Florida in Gainesville. I was given the distinct honor of serving as Ambassador to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences during my last two years at UF. This gave me the opportunity to reach out to high school students across the state, share the importance of agriculture and encourage them to enter into the agricultural industry after receiving a bachelor’s degree. This was an excellent leadership opportunity for me that lead to many great friends and a greater amount of admiration for our industry. The entire time I am writing this I continue going back to a portion of the FFA Creed that read, “…I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.” This quote is something that has always stuck in my head since hearing it. A life in the agricultural industry in not always the easiest to survive, but the fruit of your hard work and dedication gives you the greatest feeling of accomplishment. I cannot imagine a life without agriculture and owe a lot to this industry for making me the man I am today. I know that no matter where my life may lead me, agriculture will always be a large part of my life. There is a great deal more to agriculture than simply growing citrus trees and raising cattle. Florida’s agricultural industry is in desperate need of leaders, someone who will support our traditions. I intend on spending the rest of my life giving back to agriculture everything it has given me.

James D. Webb, Jr. Senior Vice President Financial Advisor

611 US Hwy 27 South Sebring, FL 33870 direct 863 451 4035 fax 863 382 2212 toll free 800 962 2548

AgCalendar What’s going on InTheField?

• 12/1-3/10 – Florida Cattlemen’s Association Year End Quarterly Meeting, Bradenton • 12/1/10 – Everything You Need to Know for Spring in Your Landscape, Spring Hill Drive Library, Spring Hill • 12/2/10 – Bed Bugs Training, Lee County Extension Office, Fort Myers • 12/2/10 – The Lowdown on Lawn Irrigation, Palmetto • 12/2 - 3/10 – Florida Earth Agriculture Module, IFAS/EREC, Belle Glade • 12/3/10 – Pesticide Education and Certification, Orange County Extension, Orlando • 12/4/10 – Holiday Plant Care – Use, Reuse and Recycle, Orange County Extension Education Center, Orlando • 12/4 – 5/10 - Calusa Agility Dog Show, Turner Agri-Civic Center, Arcadia • 12/10 – 11/10 – Hardee County Preview Show, Hardee County Fairgrounds Cattlemen’s Arena, Wauchula • 12/26 – 31/10 – Bussin Rally, Turner Agri-Civic Center, Arcadia • 12/28/10 – Special Slaughter Cow and Bull Sale, Arcadia




A Closer Look: Scorpionfly (Panorpa nuptialis)

A Closer Look: Scorpionfly

By Sean Green

Typically emerging in late October to early November is a fascinating insect commonly known as the Scorpionfly. If looks could kill, this would be a pretty dangerous insect. The biology of this harmless insect is responsible for its common name and the reluctance many of us have to take a closer look. The Scorpionfly is of the insect order Mecoptera, a primitive insect with diverse characteristics. Some have compound eyes while others have simple eyes. Their antenna is thin and long and their four wings long and narrow. Most have a slender bodies and long slender legs. Their beak like mouth parts are designed for chewing on vegetation or dead insects but are not known to have any economic impact on agriculture. The males have a large reproductive organ on the tip of their abdomens that is not capable of stinging but when curled over their back, resemble the dangerous tail of a scorpion. Fossil records of Mecoptera date back to the early Permian period when the earth’s land masses were united (about 270 million years ago). This important insect order is thought to be the foundation from which Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies), and Diptera (Flies) evolved. Recent DNA evidence adds fleas to the evolutionary lineage of Mecoptera. Most Mecoptera thrive in cool, moist forests throughout the world. Although Mecoptera are no longer as prevalent or diverse as they were in prehistoric environments, we can still find some species in local ecosystems that remain protected. As of 2008 there are eleven described and one undescribed species of Mecoptera in Florida, seven of which are Panorpidae (Scorpionflies), the largest and arguably most fascinating species of the Mecoptera family. Documented distribution of Panorpidae is limited. The impact of human activity is an obvious factor in the reduction of suitable habitats, however, there are other factors to consider. Panorpidae do not seem to tolerate the warmer temperatures south of Manatee County. The pattern of observed and documented species seems to favor northern Florida where cooler temperatures are more common. Sadly, there are not many naturalists collecting and studying Panorpidae, so our distribution information may be skewed by collector bias. Consequently, our understanding of the insect is similarly limited. The Black Scorpionfly (Panorpa lugubris) is the most widespread species in Florida, specimens have been found in 15 counties ranging from the panhandle to as far south as Pinellas County. Most of the specimens of other species have been collected from northern counties but this does not necessarily mean the other species are limited to the northern counties. Gainesville is home to one of our nation’s finest colleges for entomology, University of Florida (UF), there are higher populations of naturalists and entomologist in the northern counties surrounding UF to participate in collection activities and therefore more recorded instances of specimens. Our only endemic species is the Florida Scorpionfly (Panorpa floridana). Apparently it is quite rare. The only five specimens that exist were collected from Alachua and Clay Counties.

Panorpidae are a species that have a complete metamorphosis characterized by four distinct stages. Water sources are critical factors in the Panorpidae life cycle. The female deposits eggs in damp environments from which the eggs swell with absorbed water. In species that tolerate hotter conditions, the eggs may depend on absorbed water levels to survive months beyond normal hatch periods enabling larvae, the second stage, to emerge when the dry season has passed. The larvae for most species resemble caterpillar, they have short clawed true legs, as well as abdominal prolegs and suction disks or in some species a set of hooks on their mid abdomen. Unlike butterflies, the larvae do not spin a cocoon to pupate, instead, they nuzzle into the soil or soft decaying wood feeding on dead insects or vegetation until they pupate. There is little resemblance of the larvae to the adult, depending on the species, larvae will have distinct characteristics. Some resemble a caterpillar with clearly defined heads and downward pointing mouthparts, others look like a grub. Many have compound eyes similar to that of a fly, while others have simple eyes or no eyes at all. When pupation is complete, adults emerge and are largely omnivorous, feeding on dead or dying insects as well as nectar and pollen. Males will attract females for mating with bold displays of wing and body movement and many species offer the female a nuptial meal to win her approval. Competition for mating rights is fierce for Panorpidae, if a nuptial meal is not accepted, some species will impersonate a female to trick competing males into giving up their nuptial meal. Keep your eyes open for this fascinating and harmless species, and if you are lucky enough to capture one, contact your extension office to document the find.

We preserve the best of nature, to produce the best from nature. Enriching farmland is our labor and our love. We provide American farmers with nutrients to grow the food we need. But our work doesn’t stop there. After mining the natural phosphate needed to make our products, we reclaim the land for recreational and environmental uses. We bring more to your table, all while feeding the world responsibly. A better Florida and a better world

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Conservation Incentive: Longleaf Pine Initiative Funding Available to Private Landowners Longleaf pine forests once covered millions of acres throughout the Southeastern United States. Today, only a few thousand acres of this vital habitat remains. To help sustain, enhance and restore longleaf pine forests, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White announced the availability of $400,000 to help private landowners in Florida restore and manage longleaf pine. “The longleaf pine is one of our key native species, providing a home to hundreds of plant and animal species, as well as being a tremendous economic resource,”



White said. “Restoring and expanding this species is only made possible through voluntary partnerships with conservationminded landowners who share our goal of healthy forests.” Longleaf pine habitat can contain as many as 300 different species of groundcover plants per acre, and approximately 60 percent of the amphibian and reptile species found in the Southeast. Additionally, this forested habitat is home to at least 122 endangered or threatened plant and animal species including the fox squirrel, northern bobwhite, red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise. “We’ve taken great steps toward conserving longleaf pine forests in Florida,” said Jeffrey Woods, acting state conservationist for Florida. “Through this initiative, and the great works of our landowners, we will be able to enhance and protect more of this essential habitat.” The Longleaf Pine Initiative will incorporate, through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), both technical and financial assistance to help landowners in Florida to improve habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest and Tribal land. Although WHIP has a continuous signup, landowners have until January 7, 2011 to apply for FY2011 funding for the Longleaf Pine Initiative. Nine states are included in the Longleaf Pine Initiative: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Approved participants will receive financial assistance for implementing conservation practices including planting longleaf pine, installing firebreaks, conducting prescribed burning and controlling invasive plants.


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• 2007 HARLEY DAVIDSON • Dyna Glide Streetbob, cobalt blue, only 368 miles, EXCELLENT condition. Extras added!!! Ready to ride. $11,000 Serious Inquiries Only! (813)659-3402 1984 KUBOTA B6200

2 wd, w/4 ft. Finish Mower $3,750.00. 863-698-2967

1983 KUBOBTA B6100HSE -2wd tractor • $3,500 Call 863-967-0651

3600 FORD DIESEL TRACTOR Only 80 hours, ready to work! Call Jim 863-608-0630

NEW HOLLAND REPOS TN60A 2WD 2007 models w/front brooms and box blades. Never used, sold new $31,270.Sell $27,000, balance of warranty. 813-623-3673 WANTED-PARTS OR TRACTOR For Massey Ferguson 235 diesel. Call Clifford 863-984-2858 or cell 963-660-0731 BEAUTIFUL CABIN #19442 A real tempter in mountain setting on 1.14 acres. A charming air comes with this metalroofed 3BR/3+BA fully furnished cabin in ideal condition with a wonderful view. Marble foyer, large rooms and loft. $385,900. Call and ask For Jane Baer with Jane Baer Realty. 1-800-820-7829. BUSH HOG AUGER $1,275.00 863-781-7868

BUSH HOG 6” Mower $550.00 (863) 781-78682000 LULL 644B 42’-Reach forklift 3,952 hours. $29,469 Call 863-698-4114

HOMEMADE WIRE ROLLER $150.00 863-781-7868

1984 KUBOTA B6200 2 wd, w/4 ft. Finish Mower $3,000 • 863-698-2967

2 FREE DOG HOUSES 863-781-7868

HOMOSASSA LOT One acre lot, high & dry, approx. 100 yds. From the Mason Creek River. Fishing & Boating Heaven! 813-503-9033 WANTED UTILITY/POWER POLES Call Robert 863-735-0808 or 863-445-0358 (cell) ANGUS FREEZER BEEF $2.75/lb. cut and wrapped. Whole, Half or Quarter. Cash, Mastercard or Visa 863-206-2828 2004 MASSEY FERGUSON 461-2-55 pto hp, 2 wheel drive, shuttle shift, hydrolic remotes. $10,500. Call 813-752-8722 SURPLUS WINDOWS Starting at $55.00 Call Ted 813-752-3378 1952 JOHN DEERE TRACTOR M MODEL Runs Good! $1,985 O.B.O. Jim 863-858-2226 POLLINATION SERVICES Strong bees when you want them.We also have honey and skin care products made with honey and ingredients from the hive. Cantu Apiaries, 863-735-1679 ALL -PRO FLATBED TRAILER 7X20 with beavertail and ramps. Tandem 7,000 pd axels $2,500 Call Hank 863-559-8718 PORTABLE BULK FEEDERS Excellent Condition!!! Call 863-528-4356 KIOTI DK45S TRACTOR With front end loader. 45hp cab, AC, Synchro Shuttle, 4x4, R4 tires. Asking $19,000 863-443-1862 Ask for Darren. LOOKING FOR REALESTATE We can help today! Call today and ask for C.D. “Chip” Boring GRI, CRS, Broker/Owner 863-385-0077 CALL “THE LAND LADY” Acreage, lakefront ranches, “mini” farms. Mary Adsit, Realtor 863-285-7118 2 DIESEL TANKS WITH WHEELS $450.00 for both or $275.00 each 863-781-7868 LARGE DIESEL TANK $375.00 863-781-7868

DEER FEEDER $200.00 863-781-7868

NEW STEELE MOBILE HOME TUBS. $125.00 54” X 30” Call us today. 813-752-3378 ask for Ted. _ ACRES ARCADIA—48.6+ SR 72 frontage and Kings Highway. Pasture, fenced, native trees, oak trees, house circa early 1900’s. Easy drive to Pt. Charlotte or Sarasota. $225,000 Call Coldwell Banker Gamiotea Realty at 863-494-3600 HORSE HAY Grown in Hardee County, Year Round Supply. Average Protein 15%; TDN 60% $6.00/square bales; $40.00/round bales 863-781-7844 **Lake Placid Christian School Students: Have Your Parent(s) Sign Here:_________________ and please return to Mr. G.


Merry Christmas

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens

Merry Christmas From CF


Please join CF Industries in supporting The Heartland Chorale and Symphony presentation of “Treasures of Christmas.” Plan now to attend one of two spectacular presentations. Dates, times and locations are listed below.

The Heartland Chorale and Symphony “Treasures of Christmas” December 2 – 7:00 p.m. Hardee County Agri-Civic Center Tickets are available at

CF Industries proudly supports Hardee County, our Phosphate Operations home for more than 30 years!

Hardee County Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade “A Christmas Caroling Celebration” December 4 - 6:00 p.m. The Heartland Chorale and Symphony “Treasures of Christmas” December 5 - 4:00 p.m. South Florida Community College Auditorium, Avon Park Tickets are available at Friday Night Live! “Hometown Holidays” Main Street Wauchula December 17 - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Phosphate Operations “Helping Farmers Feed a Hungry World” 6209 N. County Road 663 • Bowling Green, Florida 33834 • 863-375-4321 •

In The Field Magazine Heartland  

The Heartland's Agriculture Magazine December Issue

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