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April 2014




April 2014


Register Early! Economic and Environmentally Sound Beef Cattle Management Program, Hosted by Buck Island Ranch Register early! UF/IFAS South Florida Beef Forage Program invites you to attend “Management for Economically and Environmentally Sound Beef Cattle Production” on Friday, June 6th. The program is hosted by Buck Island Ranch at the MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center and will discuss and demonstrate management practices that are not only beneficial to ranch productivity but also benefit water quality and quantity on ranching operations.

Tentative Agenda 9:00 AM Opening Remarks and Introduction – Bridget Carlisle, Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS Polk Extension, Bartow 9:10 AM Beef Cattle Ranchers - Stewards of the Land Flint Johns, North Ranch Supervisor, Lykes Brothers, Inc., Okeechobee 9:30 AM Managing Nutrients for Soil Fertility – Les Baucum, Agronomic Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Regional Specialized Agent, LaBelle 9:50 AM Cattle Water Sources & Resource Management – Cliff Starling, Resource Conservationist, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, LaBelle

10:20 AM Managing Cattle for Wetland Protection – Betsey Boughton, Program Director, MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, Lake Placid 10:40 AM Integrated Pest Management: Use of Biological Control Measures – Christen Steele, Biology Masters Student, University of Central Florida and MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, Lake Placid

11:00 AM Producer Panel: Management in Practice Cliff Coddington, Manager, Longino Ranch, Inc., Sidell Flint Johns, North Ranch Supervisor, Lykes Brothers, Inc., Okeechobee Gene Lollis, Ranch Manager, Buck Island Ranch at the MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center, Lake Placid 11:40 AM Becoming a Florida Cow-Calf Water Quality BMP Program Participant

- Matt Warren, Field Staff, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Office of Ag Water Policy, Wauchula

12:10 PM Lunch – Sponsored, in part, by the UF/IFAS South Florida Beef-Forage Program 1:00 PM Ranch Tour 3:30 PM Evaluation Space is limited, so be sure to register early. Cost is $10 by June 2nd, 5pm, or $20 at the door. To register, go to or contact your local County Extension Agent or Bridget Carlisle at (863) 519-1048 or WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


April 2014






V O L . 7 • IS S U E 7


VOL. 7 • ISSUE 8

F eature S tory

Rob Krieger FFA Alumni

P a g e 3Butler 4 Robert Page


Cover Photo by: Melissa Nichols

UF/IFAS Beef Cattle Management

Page 3

Master Gardner

Page 10

Kathleen FFA Wins State Environmental and Natural Resources Science Contest for the First Time

Page 33

Meet The Minks

Fishing Hot Spots

Page 36

Page 14


Mr. Byrd - Mission Trip

Page 18

Page 40

Rocking Chair Chatter

Florida Swiss Chard

Page 41

Page 22

P.O. Box 9005 • Drawer HS0 3 Bartow, FL 33831 -9005 OFFICERS & B OARD OF DIRECTORS

President -JB Wynn

P resident C harles C lark (863)- 581-3255 ( 863) 528-8537 cclark@

Vice President McCullers V ice P resident- -David Dave Tomkow ((863) 863) 6528-1195 6 5-50 88 cattlemanslivetock@

Treasurer -Justin Bunch

S ecretary/ Treasurer J ustin B unch (863) -425-1121 ( 863) 4 25-1121 jbunch@ A l B ellotto - ( 863) 581-5515

Al Bellotto - (863) 581-5515

R ay C lark - ( 863) 6 83-819 6 rclark@ State Director -Ray Clark -(863) 683-8196

L .B . F landers, DV M - ( 863) 6 4 4 -5974

L.B.F ussell Flander, DVM 9- 84 (863) 644-5974 Dewey - ( 863) -3782 Mike F ussell ( 863) 69 8-8314 Dewey- Fussell - (863) 698-8314 fussell.flafarm@ David McC ullers - ( 863) 528-1195

Moby Persing - (863) 528-4379

Moby Persing - ( 863) 528-4 379

Mike Facente - (863) 697-9419

Ned W aters - ( 863) 69 8-1597 watersn@ Charles Clark- (863) 528-8537

J .B . W ynn - ( 863) 581-3255 jbwynn29 @ Dave Tomkan - (863)665-5088 A lternate - Mike Facente - ( 863) 697-9419 S tanding C ommittee C hairs: Membership - J .B . W ynn E vents - K evin F ussell ( 863) 4 12-5876

Sheriff’s Crime Report

Page 28

Kathleen FFA Wins State Nursery and Landscape Contest

Page 29

Naturally Amazing: Home Grown Easter Eggs

Page 42

A Closer Look Aphidiid Wasps (Aphidius)

Page 43

Marjorie W ood ( 863) 6 6 0 -4 137 onnie397@ E xtension - B ridget C arlisle ( 863) 519 -8677 bccarlis@ S heriff’s Dept. - S gt. Tommy Dixon

Page 45

Page 32


C attlewomen - P resident

Cool Pipes

Market Watch: Inspire Seeds 4

R odeo - F red W aters ( 863) 559 -780 8 watersf@ Website - Chris Nelson (863) 533-1020

April 2014




April 2014


Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt

Where does your food originate? Really, this is a serious question. Do you know where the food you just fed your family was grown/raised? It is my hope that you answer this question with a resounding YES! Unfortunately, it seems that research shows most of the general population, when posed this question, would answer no.

Editor-In-Chief Al Berry Editor Pasty Berry Office Manager Bob Hughens

First, lets define just exactly what is meant by “local” food. According to the Center for Public Issues Education (PIE), “When it comes to local, consumers’ definitions range from within 10 miles to within United States borders. But that doesn’t stop them from seeking locally grown produce.”

Sales Manager Danny Crampton

While I would LOVE everyone to purchase food that is grown in Florida, and especially to take note of what is grown in our county and those surrounding us, at the very least please ensure your food is produced in this country. Who wants imported food that may or may not be the same quality as food grown right here in the good old USA?

Sales Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Melissa Nichols

I often remind our readers to buy their food Fresh From Florida. I don’t think this message can be relayed enough. I urge you to check your labels. Keep your hard earned money right here in your town, county and state. Producing a safe, abundant food supply and the resources we use on a daily basis, those are the stories we bring to you. We hope you enjoy this issue of In The Field magazine. Until Next Month


The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. _ Numbers 6:25

Creative Director/Illustrator

Juan Alvarez Photography Karen Berry Al Berry Stephanie Humphrey Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Libby Hopkins Melissa Nichols Contributing Writers Woody Gore



April 2014

Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers..............................16 Alan’s Air Conditioning....................5 Andy Thornal Company..................9 Broke & Poor...................................31 Cattlemen’s Feed & Ranch Supplies................................16 Cattleman’s Livestock Auction.....21 Cecil Breeding Farm.......................13 Country Village...............................34 Darn Grills & Ranch Supply........39 Ellison RBM Inc...............................39 Everglades Farm Equipment........48 Exo Creative...................................35 Fancy Farms....................................23 Farm Bureau Ins Bill William.......31 Farm Credit.....................................35 Fla Dpt of Ag & Consumer Svcs..........................26 Fla Ag in the classroom.................12 Fla Cattlemen’s Foundation..........44 Florida Fence Post Company........15 Fran Haasch.......................................2 Fred’s Market Restaurant...............9 Grove Equipment Service.............15 Grove Equipment Service.............17 Grove Equipment Service............30 Gulf Coast Tractor.........................38 Harold’s Feed & Pet supply............11 Helena Chemical-Tampa...............21 International Market World.........20 Jason Grimes Contracting.............7 Key Plex............................................47 Kathleen FFA Alumni.......................44 Lightsey Cattle Co.........................39 Mosaic...............................................12 MST Sod..........................................34 Napa.................................................20 Pathway Biologic............................37 Polk County Cattlemen’s Association...................4 QLF Specialty Products...................7 Seedway............................................9 Southwestern Produce..................27 Stephanie Humphrey.....................42 Smolker, Bartlett, Schlosser, Loeb & Hind .................15 The Bug Man..................................39


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April 2014


Spring is upon us! The grass is green and the rain fall seems to be at predrought levels. We may be at the end of the 20-year dry spell. Besides the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, Florida has been experiencing a drought that has left the aquifer at lower than normal levels. This year will hopefully be the beginning of more rain fall meaning more forage for our cattle. April is the month for calving and for working calves. You are probably seeing new babies every time you visit your pasture or drive by a neighbors. Now is a good time to keep as many good replacement heifers as possible, as the market doesn’t look to be heading south any time soon. According to the USDA’s Cattle Inventory report, the inventory of replacement heifers across the US was up in early 2014 by over 90,000. The USDA estimates by the first of 2015, replacements will be up by a quarter-million or more. We are experiencing record feeder and calf prices due to the tight cattle supply and increase in the demand for beef exports. Where 300 lb. calves have been selling for around $2.60/lb. today, just five years ago were selling for $1.15/lb. It’s an important time to take care of your cattle as they are an investment, just like any other.

The Florida Farm Bureau Legislative Days also took place last month on the 17-18th in Tallahassee. They lobbied for these same issues along with the bill on agricultural industry certifications. Don’t forget to thank your representatives and senators for supporting Florida’s agriculture! Next on the calendar is Ag Literacy Day on April 29. This annual reading event is when folks from the Ag industry read to students in the classroom a book about agriculture. This year’s book is titled Florida Farms at School. Sign up to read to a class from kindergarten to fifth grade here: Fourth graders from around the county were treated to a day of Ag learning last month during Agri-Fest. Just two examples of Polk County people doing their part to make sure kids are raised with a better understanding of Ag.

JB Wynn JB Wynn Polk County Catlemen’s Association President

The Cattlemen’s Legislative Quarterly took place in Tallahassee last month on the 11-13th. Cattlemen throughout the state traveled to the Capitol and discussed the important topics facing our industry. One of the hot legislative bills up for debate this year is tax relief on agricultural equipment parts. Think about how much money you could save on a set of big new tires for a tractor. Another major issue is the green belt protection bill, which involves protecting the Greenbelt assessment on Ag lands for farmers who participate in dispersed water storage programs. Voting may have already happened by the printing of this letter, but if you haven’t reached out to your representative yet, now is the time. It sounds like the Cattlemen’s street party was a hit as usual.



A April pril 2014 2014



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A group of rhinos is called a crash. Anteaters prefer termites to ants. About one-third of all Americans flush the toilet while they’re still sitting on it. The toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans. A rhinoceros’ horn is made of compacted hair. A rat can last longer without water than a camel. A peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. A peanut is a member of the legume family. A mole can dig over 250 feet of tunnel in a single night. A kangaroo can’t jump unless its tail is touching the ground. Budweiser beer conditions the hair. For a minor burn use Colgate or Crest toothpaste. If you burn your tongue you should put sugar on it for relief. You can use Preparation H for puffy eyes and chigger bites. If you have heavy dandruff, just pour on vinegar. Coke Cola will remove acid buildup from your cars battery post. Bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week. Each day has a different color twist tie. Monday-Blue, Tuesday-Green, Thursday-Red, Friday-White, Saturday-Yellow.


April 2014



The Love of Lupines

By Debra Howell

Some of my favorite Florida wildflowers are also among the most rare. Lupines have been on the radar of Bok Tower Gardens Rare Plant Conservation Program for some time. You may recall my coverage of these rare beauties in a previous article titled “Embracing the Forgotten Forty-Percent”. The name of that piece came about in homage to that small group at Bok Tower with an acute desire to save the forgotten forty-percent—so named because imperiled plants comprise forty-percent of the statewide imperiled species. To the top of this list rises the extremely endangered Lupinus aridorum. These Bok professionals toil daily towards the end goal of being able to de-list these plants from the designation of imperiled flora. I cannot overstate the importance of their efforts, as Florida is host to more rare species than any continental state except California. You may ask how plants historically found in forty locations were reduced to only eight sites by 2008. The lupines, especially aridorurum, are losing ground to invasive exotics, traffic such as equine, cattle, off-road vehicles and pedestrians, as well as housing construction and road maintenance. Recently, I became enthusiastic about Lupinus diffuses when I found the recurrence of a colony I thought was killed by herbicide application several years ago. Although the original colony did not come back from the herbicide treatment, another colony has come up about a mile south of the previous colony. I was elated to see the lovely foliage and the new blooms which would be forthcoming, so I made plans to write about them when they bloomed. They began to bloom about the first week of March and I photographed them at that time, capturing a Skipper butterfly that had lit on the sky-blue blossom. Ceraunus Blue is also fond of Fabaceous plant blooms. These particular plants were covered with pollinators, some of which I had never seen. It is amazing the difference a few miles and the occurrence of a different plant can make in the varying types of butterflies in the area. So, I got some nice shots of lupine diffuses, which set me on the task of locating a blooming example of the very rare Lupinus aridorum. Fortunately, resulting from my ties to the Master Gardener organization, I was able to obtain information from Master Gardener, Cathy Butcher, and Rare Plant Conservation Program Specialist, Juliet Rynear, of Bok Tower Gardens. Both were readily capable of providing me with my photo “window of opportunity timeline” and a fairly exact forecast of when these plants would 10


April 2014

flower and where they could be found. Indeed, Juliet was on site at Mackay Gardens to work on the transplanted colony of the endangered aridorum lupines. In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, such as removing cold-damaged stems, monitoring this colony includes counting flowers, measuring the plants and seeking seedlings. These measurements will reveal whether this experiment is viable and working. From what I saw the day I took photos, there is reason to hope that this population will be sustainable. A recovery plan must be presented to biologists once a species has been declared endangered. This would mandate the establishment of new colonies within the historic range of the plant and protection of existing populations. Mackay Gardens is home to a new lupine colony. Eric Menges, of the Plant Ecology Lab at Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, stated in 2011 that these introduced populations are “an important project trying to reintroduce one of the rarest Florida scrub plants to an appropriate, protected and managed site.” Aridorum was placed on the Endangered Plant Federal Register on April 7, 1987. The lupine belongs to the expansive family of Fabaceae or pea. In addition to the highly endangered aridorum and the rare diffuses, the family contains over 300 species. Like grain legumes such as beans, hairy indigo, lentils and peas, the lupine is referred to as a nitrogen fixer, imparting extra nitrogen to the soil, also called “green manure.” They also produce a seed which is protein-rich. It blew my mind (an increasingly common event) to discover that lupine seeds may be fed successfully to lambs, calves, turkeys, swine and lactating dairy cows. In addition, they are grown as a grain legume and as forage in Poland, Germany, USSR and the Mediterranean regions and as a cash crop in Australia. The seeds of some lupines are thought to be superior to soybeans and possess health benefits such as being high fiber with antioxidants and amino acids. In certain locations, some cultivars are used as companion plants for vegetables and garden flower, advantageous for the nitrogen they impart to the soil. While lupine seeds may be cultivated for the above mentioned crop and forage uses, the lupines present in our Central Florida area are either rare or endanWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

gered. Lupines aridorum, the endangered one, is found only on the Winter Haven and Mount Dora ridges in Polk and Orange counties. Aridorum is recognizable during the bloom stage being the only upright Florida pink flowering lupine, having fleshpink petals with a maroon “eye-spot”. The Lupinus diffusus or sky-blue lupine is adorned with loads of beautiful blue flowers. If you desire to plant lupines and are successful finding seeds, you will need to first scarify (nick or scratch) the seeds and soak them in water overnight. In the flower garden, sow your prepared seeds in full sun to slight shade and lightly cover the seed with 1/8 inch of soil. Space plants about a foot to 14 inches apart. Keep the soil moist to encourage the lupine’s rapid growth habit. It must be noted that while some lupines are edible, others are toxic, so keep lupines away from pets and children. Once they begin to flower, you may deadhead the plant to prolong the bloom period. A recent educational program on volcanic activity in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest focused on Mount St. Helens and the re-generation of life in the impact area. The scientists involved were surprised to discover Prairie lupines as the premier plant to reappear within four miles of the blast zone. They were referred to as a pioneering species paving the way for life to follow. Consequently, gophers (the furry kind) were the first creatures to brave a comeback, dining on the lupines and turning the volcanic soil while creating burrows to shelter other creatures, thereby deeming the gopher as an umbrella species. All this came to pass because those hardy lupines survived a volcanic eruption of an extreme nature and burst up through the deposited ash. Truly, like a Phoenix, they had risen from the flames!



April 2014


Print Ag Tag ad In the Field Mag Kids Calf.pdf



4:30 PM









Mosaic proudly welcomes the CF Industries phosphate team. We are celebrating a partnership that will strengthen Florida phosphate operations and help the world grow the food it needs. As we combine our expertise, deep experience and facilities, we can learn from each other to enhance operations, while growing careers for a combined workforce of nearly 4,000. Mosaic is committed to supporting the local communities where our employees live and work. Here’s to growing a bright future together. We help the world grow the food it needs.




April 2014




AApril pril 2014 2014



Tampa Bay Fishing Report April 2014

Mitch Paul Sudano & Keith Finn

Spring is here…so get the boat checked out, it’s time for another great summer of fishing on Tampa Bay. Through the winter fishing has been good and will continue to pick up as our water temperatures return to normal, the bait shows up on the flats and the winds begin subsiding. Remember a falling barometer usually means good fishing and be sure to check your tides, currents, winds and weather conditions. Fishing the bay for over 50 years I continually marvel at the excellent opportunities the area offers anglers. You’ll find many people fishing from the shore bridges, or piers while others might wade or fish from boats, kayaks, or canoes. You will find them just about anywhere there is accessible water. Fishing is a great pastime, not only does it give us the opportunity to catch a few fish, it also allows us to enjoy the wonders of our natural environment and marvel at the creations nature has afforded us. Fishing and catching fish is okay but sometimes just being on the water noticing the balance of nature can allow the release everyday burdens. So, when things begin building to a high level of stress. Step back, grab your fishing gear, and spend some time relaxing with nature. Greenbacks are at the Skyway, some markers and beginning to show up on the flats. Keep your eyes open as many species begin showing up in April. All the popular species like Snook, Redfish, Trout, Sheepshead, Mangrove Snapper, and Mackerel should be in full swing by this month. Snook (Season’s Open until June 1st) The ideal temperature range for snook is 70° – 82° and look for them around deep passes early then spreading out into shallower water as the day continues to warm. Live greenbacks always work, but so do artificial lures. Try a MirrOlure MirrODine, Top Dog Jr. and the 7M. Redfish (No closed season) Like snook the Redfish should become easier to catch when the temperatures reach their ideal range if 70° – 90°. They’ll cruise the outer flats on the deeper edges then travel into the mangroves as the tide gets higher. Watch for large schools of mullet as redfish are usually mixed in together. When chumming with live baits, try keeping the baits within casting distance to draw the fish to you. Remember, not 14


April 2014 2014

too much, if you over feed them they’ll get full and stop eating. Expect some good excitement when pitching soft plastics on high in coming tides or low water potholes on the outside grass flats. Spotted Sea Trout April produces some good catches on incoming or outgoing tides, using topwater popping plugs on an early morning grass flat. Pop the lure several times, let it rest until the rings are gone and do it again. If there are Trout in the area they’ll strike. When fishing topwater lures do not set the hook until you feel the fish. Trout’s ideal temperature range is 68° – 78° and usually keeps them active. As always live shrimp are the best bait for Trout. Suspend one under Popper cork with a medium split-shot about 8” above a 2/0 circle hook then find any good grass flat and catch all the trout you want this month. Remember, shrimp, greenbacks or small pinfish under a popping cork are all-time trout favorites. Mackerel, Sharks, Cobia, Kings and Tarpon With the onset of threadfins, the mackerel, sharks, cobia, kings and tarpon begin showing up. Cobia will cruise markers, especially those holding bait schools. Mackerel will be showing up all over the Bay again, feeding on bait schools and large kings and sharks will be feeding on the mackerel. Tarpon should begin to start showing up on the beaches and Skyway. “Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing” – 813-477-3814 Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Bradenton, and Sarasota areas for over fifty years, he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Single or Multi-boat Group Charters are all the same. With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to

or give him a call at 813-477-3814




April 2014




April 2014




April 2014


What is

Mr. Byrd

doing since he retired?

Mission Trip

Outdoor church service in front of the school.

By Melissa Nichols

People have been asking “What is Mr. Byrd doing since he retired?” I think many of them knew he couldn’t just sit home with his feet up and not stay busy, and he hasn’t. Mr. Byrd has been listening to what God has laid upon his heart and he is following the path that He has set out for him. What better way for a retired Ag teacher to give back than to go to a country that has food insecurities and teach them about agriculture? That is what he is doing. This summer David Byrd and his wife Shari, who was raised as a missionary kid, will be traveling to Victoria, Yoro, Honduras. This will be his third mission trip and second time going to this small town. Upon talking to Mr. Byrd about his trip he said, “Just as I rubbed off on Shari and taught her about agriculture, she has taught me about missions.” Together the two will be leading a group of approximately 18 teenagers, college students and other adults to this rural area. Mr. & Mrs. Byrd are working with Mercy and Grace Ministries, a non-denominational, non-profit organization. In the rural villages where they are going, most children only are able to receive an elementary education. This leaves the children looking for means to provide for themselves. It is the mission of Mercy and Grace to continue to support Mercy House, a facility that was started to help the economically disadvantaged residents of the community. They plan to help with three very important aspects, things we very much take for granted here in the United States. The mission is first to teach them 18


April 2014

agriculture, teaching them how to plant crops, when to plant crops, how to fertilize, using pesticides, and how to test the soil. This will include planting several acres of summer vegetables for the people of Victoria. In the winter, First Baptist Church of Franklin, NC will follow up with planting a winter garden. The second part of this mission is construction; they will work on the Mercy House, a facility that is being built to help the economically insecure residents in the town of Victoria, Yoro. The construction will consist of helping build an area that will serve as an Agricultural Teaching Facility to further educate the members of the community. The third part of the mission trip will be to provide shoes to the children in remote villages. Shoes are a luxury for many children in the mountainous area. Not having adequate shoes has created a health hazard for some of the children in the surrounding villages. Ricardo Venegas, Founder/Honduran Director of Operations has long term goals for the Mercy House. He plans to have a bible institute to train and educate local pastors. Ricardo also plans to utilize the vocational school to not only teach agriculture but also many other life skills needed to succeed. Ricardo hopes to one day have a bilingual Christian school for the children to attend at the Mercy House to increase the education level of the poor children in the area and also provide them two meals a day. His hope is the Mercy house will be a bridge to unify the society in the area in many different ways. Riccardo is grateful to the support of the community in helping with this mission. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Chlorinated water in the village of Agua Catal with Diane Keene, Terrill Gilley, and Ricardo Venegas

Dedication of the water treatment system with Ricardo Venegas

Lauren Cline, Shari Byrd, and the pastor’s wife of Agua Catal.

Main Street, Victoria, Yoro, Honduras

Giving out shoes with Shari Byrd WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Typical adobe house in small rural village How can you help? Here is where the Polk County agricultural community comes in. You can help Mr. Byrd and his mission in the following ways. First and foremost you volunteer your time and expertise to go with them (spots are limited contact Mr. Byrd or 863-838-8522.) Second, churches or businesses can sponsor someone who would like to go but can’t afford to, the cost of the trip is $1200 per person. Third, they are also collecting new tennis shoes, rubber boots and work boots size toddler to 9 in adults to give out to children in the villages. The final way you can get involved is by making a donation to help pay for supplies such as seed to plant, fertilizer, and concrete. Businesses and individuals that would like to donate money, shoes or sponsor a person going can write this off as a nonprofit donation. If you have ever wanted to make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate, here is your chance, contact Mr. Byrd today. The trip will be from July 25 to August 2, 2014.

Happy children with new shoes INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

Distribution of shoes with Sara Myers and Victor Torres

Water pump to carry water to the village

Water treatment facility under construction April 2014




April 2014


Cattlemen’s Livestock Market



3305 Hwy 92 E • Lakeland, FL 33801

Weekly Beef Sale:

Tuesday 12:00 Noon Pairs and all Vet checked cattle will be sold at 3pm

NEW, USED and ABUSED! Cattle Receiving Schedule:


Mondays: 8am-9pm April thru October 8am-8pm November thru March Tuesdays: 7am- End of Sale

• Code Approved Windows • Roof Overs • Metal Roofing • Window Rooms • Shower Stalls For Competitive Prices, Let Cattlemen’s Livestock • Screen Rooms • Complete Line of Plumbing • Carports Auction Market handle your Livestock Merchandising • Trim Moulding • Awnings Watch our sales online at • Vanities • Wood Paneling Special Sales: • Kitchen Cabinets • Steps Replacement Heifer Sales, Direct Sales, Video Sales, • Alcoa® Vinyl Siding • Antiques Superior Livestock Representative All Breed Bull Sales, On Site Dispersal Sales • Stepping Stones/Pavers • Skirting (Includes Dairy, Beef and Equipment) • Doors (Interior & Exterior) ake We M w Windo s n Scree559-5091 (863)

Dave or Mike Tomkow

Dave Cell (863) 559-3266 or Mike Cell Office (863) 665-5088 or Home (352) 523-2081




2670 Hwy. 92 E Plant City, FL (Between Lakeland and Plant City)



21 21

Running A few months back I wrote about my Daughter, Karen, publisher of this magazine, Sarah Holt, associate publisher and senior manager editor getting involved in cycling. Well, Sarah has really jumped in big time in running. I asked her if she ever gets tired or hurts a lot. She said, “If I hurt I run faster. It will not be any less painful, but I’ll be done quicker.”

of running in compression shorts by males found a 62% reduction in viable sperm count. I wonder if they did a study on those tight headbands runners wear? Do you suppose if runners continue to wear all this compression gear that a whole new race of people will be formed that could have only been envisioned by science fiction writers?

She has tried to get me into shape by going to the gym and riding my bike. I told her I am already on the bike getting in at least 4 miles a day three days a week. As for the gym I told her I was “on top” of that, too! I hit it first thing every morning. What I didn’t tell her I named my john in the bathroom “Jim”! Yes sir buddy, I go the Jim first thing in the morning.

For those of you who stopped running maybe it’s time to start again. Here’s a way to tell if it’s the right time start. When you step on the scale and it says, “Come back when you’re alone.” When you come to the conclusion that, if God really wanted you to touch your toes each morning, He would have put them somewhere up around the knees. You analyze your body while looking in the mirror and decide what you should develop first is your sense of humor. When your children look through your wedding album and want to know who mom’s first husband was. And finally you try to do a few pushups and discover that certain body parts refuse to leave the floor.

To me running is an unnatural act, except from a dog and to the bathroom. In high school I ran track and lettered in the 440-yard dash. I tried the mile run one time. About half way through the last lap the guy in front of me, second to last was making fun of me. He said, “Hey buddy, how does it feel to be last?” I replied, “Do you really want to know?” And I dropped out of the race. It is well documented that for every mile you jog, you add one minute to your life. The way I figure it at age 84, I can spend additional five months in a nursing home at the cost of $5,000.00 a month. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.” I noticed a heavy-set lady jogging around Walden Lake a few months ago. She was there every evening huffing and puffing. Recently I noticed she had lost a lot of weight. In passing I said the usual “how’s it going!” She replied, “Great.” Then I asked, “Why did you start running to begin with.” She said, “ I was over 300 pounds and my thighs kept rubbing together and setting my pantyhose on fire.” There are so many runners these days that I figure it’s a good market for business. I think I will set up a stand to sell t-shirts somewhere around Walden Lake. For my first batch I will have four different shirts for men and women. On the back they will read: “Beep! Beep”, “Kiss me, I’m a Jogger”, “The thrill of Victory, The Agony of Da Feet,” and the last one, which most likely will be the big seller will read: “In Case of Emergency, Call…” Back when I ran I always had on my Jeans, or, “Dungarees” as we called them. Now days you’re not in style if you don’t have on a pair of “compression shorts” and top to match. Shell out some big bucks and get in style! After reading a report from Harvard researchers on compression shorts for men, you runners should think twice before hitting the trail in those shorts. These trained scientists came up with interesting findings in their yearlong study. One hard fact 22


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Now it’s time to take “Participant Race” intelligence quiz! FIRST QUESTION: You are a participant in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in now? If you answered that you are first, then you are wrong. If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are in second place. SECOND QUESTION: If you overtake the last person, then you are…? If you answered that you are second to last, then you are…WRONG AGAIN. Tell me, sunshine, how can you overtake the last person in the race? I know all of my readers are not runners, so here’s quiz for you. No pencil or paper! You must do this quiz in your head. Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000 now add 20… now add another 1,000 and add 10 more. What is the correct score? Did you say 5000? If you did you’re wrong. It is actually 4100. If you don’t believe it check it with a calculator. Try this one: Mary’s father has five daughters: Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono and ???? What is the name of the fifth daughter? Did you say “Nunu”? Of course it isn’t! Her name is MARY! Read the question again. Here is the bonus round. OK here’s a chance to redeem yourself. A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the clerk and the purchase is done. Next a blind man comes into the shop to buy a pair of sunglasses; how does he indicate what he wants? This is easy. He opens his mouth and asks for them. In closing I have to be honest, I admire all runners. They have conditioned their mind and body that will give them a longer life and a healthy lifestyle. And remember, life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in attractive and preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways with a bottle of Chardonnay in one hand, and chocolate in other. Body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride! WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

Since 1974 and still learning.

Thank You! As our favorite season comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to thank those who have supported our industry, this season and every season, for the last 39 years. This season has been another memorable addition to the Farm’s history.

Carl and Dee Dee Grooms 813.478.3486 | WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


April 2014


Robert Butler Photos courtesy of the Robert Butler family

Florida FFA Alumni By Melissa Nichols

The Florida FFA Alumni is a vital and active part of the Agriculture Education program throughout the state of Florida. It is a group of hardworking individuals devoted to making FFA bigger, better, and brighter than ever before. These members are from all walks of life, as some previously served as FFA Chapter officers and members, while others are former Ag teachers, some never wore the beloved blue jacket, but they are united with a love for the program. This love for the program and overall love for the youth involved in agriculture is what empowers the Alumni to succeed, so they can help these young people reach their ultimate potential. The board of directors values the importance of agriculture in our community, Agriculture Education in our schools, and the youth as a whole. The Florida FFA Alumni has a mission to help programs be successful, reward the ones that are, and assist the ones who need assistance. If you are a part of a FFA Alumni in Polk County, you are already a member of the Florida FFA Alumni. If you have ever wanted to get involved but didn’t know exactly what Alumni to join, you can join as an “at large member.” The Florida FFA Alumni is the perfect fit for everyone interested in getting involved in a great program. There are ample opportunities throughout the year to get involved. On July 3 the Florida FFA Alumni will host their annual public meeting at the Florida FFA State Convention at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL. In August, the Alumni will hold their annual retreat, 24


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which is a two day event held at the Leadership Training Center in Haines City. At this retreat, they have several workshops to inspire, encourage, and develop bigger, better programs, as well as chances to meet and get to know other Alumni chapter members. There are several fundraising events that the Alumni participate in. One of the largest events is the sale of Robert Butler Prints. Mr. Robert Butler had a long standing relationship with Polk County FFA Chapters. He was commissioned in 1994 to complete a series of paintings that were to represent Florida’s Agriculture Heritage, 1000 prints of each painting were produced. This series took several years to complete and is still known to be one of the most successful series that Robert Butler ever completed. Mr. Butler had a devoted relationship with FFA as a whole. He felt teaching kids agriculture was vital to survival and one of the most important programs offered in schools. His love for nature and agriculture is obvious in his paintings. Robert Butler has tirelessly given to local fundraisers over the years. He was widely known in Polk County as one of the “Highwaymen” painters, who made a living traveling and painting wildlife portraits that captured the true essence of Florida. Mr. Butler and his wife Dorothy raised nine children in Polk County Florida. Robert Butler was a down-to-earth person who worked very hard, loved what he did, and inspired people everywhere he went. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

In the summer of 2013 Mr. David Coile, District VIII FFA Alumni Director, became aware of large collection of 30 different Butler prints that were available for purchase by the State FFA Alumni. When Mr. Butler was contacted, he was pleased that the FFA could once again help in promoting his work. The Alumni was granted permission from Mr. Butler to sell these prints. Included in this collection are the matching numbered and signed “Cracker cowboy series,” which consists of five prints that are selling for $200 on their website. In honor of Robert Butler always wanting to set the prices of his prints where the everyday person could afford them, prints start at $15 and go up to $45. It is with great sorrow that in the process of completing this story, Mr. Robert Butler passed away. The Florida FFA Alumni and FFA programs will forever be grateful for the dedication of Mr. Robert Butler. He will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him as well as those who will continue to proudly display his fine artwork. You can view and purchase prints by going online to today or contacting Mr. David Coile at 863-640-4518. Each year the Florida FFA Alumni supports the youth of Polk County by providing scholarships opportunities to help members attend National Convention, Florida Outdoor Adventures, or Florida Leadership Adventures. If you want to see the youth of today become the leaders of tomorrow, don’t stand on the sidelines and watch, get involved and join today! If you are interested in joining a local Alumni chapter, contact the school FFA advisor of your choice and they can assist you in getting involved or contact Mr. Coile who can tell you of the various schools who have existing Alumni affiliates.



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Fresh From Florida: Nurturing Success. Growing the Future.

B&W Quality Growers Richard and Steven Burgoon Fresh From Florida Members since 2001. “For five generations and over 140 years our family has specialized in growing premium quality fresh and flavorful watercress and baby leaf specialties.” “We are proud members of Fresh From Florida and salute their ongoing efforts to help Florida’s farmers bring fresh and healthy foods to the Americas and beyond.”

For more information on member benefits visit or call (850) 617-7399. 26 26


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Perfectly Fresh. Perfectly Priced. VEGETABLE SALE

Fri. & Sat. April 18th & 19th • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fri. & Sat. May 16th & 17th • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Call in your order today, or just drop by and see us!

Southwestern Produce Company 1510 W. Sydney Rd. Plant City, FL

(813) 754-1500 or (813)757-0096

Fresh from the Farm to your Freezer!


Fordhooks............................ $22 Baby Butter Beans ............... $15 Edamame Beans(soy).......... $15 Green Beans ....................... $15 Pole Beans .......................... $15 Speckled Butter Beans ......... $15 Blackeye Peas ..................... $15 Butter Peas .......................... $15 Conk Peas ........................... $22 Crowder Peas...................... $15 Green Peas ......................... $15 Pinkeye Peas....................... $15 Sugar Snap Peas ................. $15 Zipper Peas ......................... $15 White Corn .......................... $14 Yellow Corn ........................ $14 Cream White Corn 4# ......... $ 6 Cream Yellow Corn 4# ....... $ 6 Collard Greens.................... $14 Mustard Greens .................. $14 Turnip Greens ..................... $14 Spinach ............................... $14

Cut Okra ............................. $14 Breaded Okra ..................... $14 Whole Okra......................... $14 Sliced Yellow Squash .......... $14 Sliced Zucchini .................... $14 Sweet Potato Chunks........... $15 Brussel Sprouts ................... $15 Baby Carrots........................ $15 Chopped Broccoli ................ $ 6 Broccoli ............................... $15 Cauliflower ......................... $15 Mixed Vegetables ............... $15 Soup Blend.......................... $15 Blueberries 5# .................... $15 Blackberries 5#................... $15 Raspberries 5# ................... $15 Whole Strawberries 5#........$15 Cranberries 5# ................... $15 Mango Chunks 5# .............. $15 Pineapple Chunks 5# ......... $15 Dark Sweet Cherries 5#...... $18 Rhubarb 5# ........................ $15 Green Peanuts ................... $15

Call in your order, go on-line or just drop by and see us. Walk-ins are always welcome!



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Secure Agriculture Property to Prevent Theft by Sheriff Grady Judd

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Agriculture deputies travel the entire county responding to various calls for service – loose cattle, trespassing, burglaries to sheds and barns, and thefts. Many times, property owners have done everything possible to protect their valuables. But unfortunately, some items are left in plain sight. Theft is often a crime of opportunity, and it is important to remember, the key to stopping crimes of opportunity is removing the opportunity. In a recent trip around the county, PCSO deputies found several examples of how easily property is assessable to criminals. Fruit containers left unsecured in plain view can easily be stacked onto a truck and hauled away. Fruit ladders are a high demand item and are left in groves frequently. Taking a few precautions against crime may take a little extra time, but the extra time may save money in the long run. Below are a few tips the PCSO Ag Unit suggests: · Mark your property with a unique sequence of numbers or letters. Record all items on an inventory sheet including serial numbers and detailed information for quick and accurate identification should your property be taken. There are advanced options for etching property which can go unnoticed by those unfamiliar with the method. And thieves who are familiar must work to “destroy” evidence of the etching. When a PCSO deputy visits a local second-hand metal dealer looking for potential stolen property, this etching may be the key to locating your property. Contact a PCSO Ag deputy to discuss this etching method. · Establish property perimeters with fencing and ensure all fencing and gates are in good condition and locked. Check each gate and all fence lines frequently. Never assume that because you have property in a remote location no one will find it. · Lock equipment and/or chemicals inside a barn or shed each night, preferably near your home, removing it from plain sight and away from remote pump sheds. Ensure storage sheds have 28


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secured doors and windows. · Never park machinery within easy access to the road where it is vulnerable to theft and vandalism. · Remove rotors, distributor caps or batteries from motorized equipment left outside for long periods of time. · Do not leave tools or other equipment in the back of a pickup truck. Instead secure them inside the pickup truck or in locked toolboxes – park the truck in an enclosed garage or other secured building. · Keep storage areas neat and well-organized to keep track of equipment and discourage potential thieves. Keep an inventory of equipment. · Install audible alarms on outbuildings to prevent illegal entry or theft. · Secure gas pumps, gas tanks, storage bins, and grain elevators with strong locks, sturdy padlocks with hardened steel hasps, or dead bolts with a one-inch throw. · When planting new trees, take the time to place a painted color band on each tree. This will assist in locating stolen trees. Don’t leave trees-to-be-planted at the site overnight. · Always report suspicious activity immediately to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. And join the Polk County Sheriff’s Office “Agricultural Watch” Program. This program was developed as a means to identify ownership of agriculture properties in Polk County. The program consists of a “No Trespassing by Order of the Sheriff” sign listing the property/business owner’s name and a code number. The code number displayed provides deputies on patrol instant access to owner information and agent agreements.

The PCSO Agricultural Unit can be reached at




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April 2014


Market Watch: Inspire Seeds by: Libby Hopkins

Going to a farmer’s market can be a very educational experience. First you learn about the different local businesses that make up your community. Secondly when you make a purchase from one of the vendors at the market, you are giving back to your community by keeping the local economy going. Finally, you actually learn something very valuable…sustainability. Most produce vendors at farmer’s markets grow their own produce. It doesn’t come to the market from another state. It comes from a farmer who lives within 20-30 miles of the market. This is the thing I love most about the different markets I visit each month. I know where my food is coming from and who grows it. The Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market is a wonderful place to learn about sustainability and how your food is grown. Inspire Seeds is one of the vendors at the market and they love to share their knowledge with their customers. Shane Kennedy and Jared Craig are the owners and they are both first generation Lakeland natives and first generation farmers. They also have a passion for their community. “Our goal at Inspire Seeds is to cultivate a better world to usher in a brighter tomorrow,” Kennedy said. “Everything that we are doing is geared to enhancing relationships; enhancing the relationships between each other and our relationship with the planet.” The gentlemen want to bring democracy back to food production and they have a two pronged approach to accomplishing this journey. First, they want to encourage and support people in their efforts to grow whatever they can wherever they live. “That’s why we offer local plants, organic seeds and growing advice to those in our community,” Kennedy said. The second part of the prong approach involves their farming efforts. “We put into practice a no-till or ‘lasagna gardening’ at our farm,” Kennedy said. “It’s a simple method where you lay a layer of card board, then a layer of composted material, castings and the like and mulch the top with dead leaves or hay.” They use this method because it is effective, simple and non-chemical. The crown jewel of their farm is their aquaponics project. It’s a holistic system where fish and plants co-exist together in a closed type system. The plants consume the fish water as food and the fish rely on the plants as the filtration system. Bacteria convert the fish waste



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in the water to usable nutrients for the plants. “Our vision for the future of agriculture is one where large-scale, monoculture farming is replaced by sustainable technologies like aquaponics,” Kennedy said. “Aquaponics and the like can be used to produce bountiful and healthy harvests on a regular basis.” Kennedy and Craig feel this would free up farm land that is currently being used for large-scale monoculture, where chemical fertilizers and pesticides are being used on a large scale. “This land could be converted into a mosaic of biodiverse, local, organic farms serving their localities, making all kinds of specialties available to their communities. “This would enhance and build a healthier relationship between people and the planet,” Kennedy said. The men love being a part of the Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb market. They love the fact that they are part of group of vendors who believe in supporting all things local. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with the same people on a regular basis,” Kennedy said. “We can hear how their gardens are growing from our seeds and give them advice on how they can optimize their garden organically.” Kennedy and Craig believe farming and sharing their knowledge of farming is their calling in life and they are thankful every day they get to do what they love. “I believe that cultivation is what we are here to do,” Kennedy said. “I am fulfilled in what we are doing because it marries my two primary passions; people and the planet.” Inspire Seeds has a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months. They will be planting a couple of acres of the Seminole Pumpkin and the Florida Cranberry that will be ready for harvest in the fall. “Our goal with these ‘off the beaten path’ crops is to bring them into the main stream,” Kennedy said. “These crops are tailor-made for sustainable agriculture in our state.” They will also be at the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot in Orlando as part of the park’s Fresh from Florida Weekend. For more information on Inspire Seeds and the products they offer, you can visit their website at www.inspireseeds. com. The Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market is located at 200 N. Kentucky Ave. For more information on the farmer’s market, you can visit them on the web at www.downtownfarmerscurbmarket. org.


By Brevyn Foreman

Kathleen FFA Wins State Environmental and Natural Resources Science Contest for the First Time This year Kathleen FFA members decided to take on a new contest. On Tuesday, January 21, 2014 the State Environmental Science and Natural Resources Contest for FFA was held at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center in Apopka. In order to participate at the state level students had to take a preliminary exam with the top ten teams advancing to the contest. Kathleen FFA team members consisted of Lexi Sanchez, Brevyn Foreman, Cody Clark, and Joseph Julian. The first step in being able to compete was qualifying. The qualifying test was issued in December with results being announced in early January. This didn’t give students much time to prepare as the Environmental Science contest is extremely challenging and demanding. The contest asks students to demonstrate knowledge of wildlife/invasive species; perform both a habitat analysis, a soil and land analysis; write a press release; and take another written exam. Students also had to research a given current environmental issue, prepare a written report, and then give an eight minute group presentation. The students spent many afternoons and weekends working diligently at honing their skills and developing their group project. They walked land pits, practiced writing press releases, looked at numerous habitats, learned how to test water samples and analyze them, and practiced identifying wild animals from polar bears to quail. After hours of competing and demonstrating all their gained knowledge, the team held their breaths as they anxiously awaited the results. The final results announced that Kathleen had won the contest! The students were overjoyed with winning but knew that their work and studying was not over as they had earned the privilege of representing Florida at the national contest in October in Louisville, Kentucky. Joseph Julian said,” I know we are going to have to work very hard, but I’m honored to represent my chapter and state at the national level.” We wish the team the best of luck as they prepare to compete. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

By Cody Clark

Kathleen FFA Wins State Nursery and Landscape Contest On Saturday March 8, 2014 Florida FFA hosted the annual State Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event (CDE) at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research Center in Apopka. Twenty-four high school teams from across the state came to compete in the event. The Kathleen FFA team was made up of Lexi Sanchez, Breanna Langley, Cody Clark and Charity Bowe, who are all members of Kathleen’s Academy of Natural Resources. The Nursery contest is challenging, requiring students to excel in many areas including plant identification, a written exam on nursery practices, tool identification, pests and disease identification and handling a customer complaint. The students prepared for the event through their Horticulture class and by after school practices. Students reviewed power points, looked at live samples, and completed previous practicum activities all in preparation for the big day. Charity Bowe, a senior on the team, said “The trips to Home Depot and other local nurseries, definitely helped us prepare for the identification part of the contest.” After three hours of competition, the team headed back to Lakeland. Though they felt good about their performance, they were unsure of the outcome. The contest results were announced later that afternoon, and not only was Kathleen FFA declared the State Champions, team member Lexi Sanchez was the high individual in the whole contest. The students were excited to say the least. The team will represent Florida in the National FFA Nursery and Landscape CDE in Louisville, Kentucky this coming October. Breanna Langley said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to compete in the national contest. I know we’re going to have to invest a lot of time, but I think it will be worth it.” Through the Horticulture class students are able to sit for their industry certification exam as a Horticulture Professional through Florida’s Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). The students in Kathleen’s Academy of Natural Resources had a 100% pass rate last year on the exam; included in that number is state high individual Lexi Sanchez. Good luck to these students as they prepare to represent Florida at the national contest. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Imogene Yarborough (Second From Left) was recognized for her • Agriculture • Operating numerous contributions to Florida agriculture and for being the deed restrictions dealing with landscape issues; pruning practices; • Youth Steer Projects Expenses first female recipient of the Farm Credit/Florida Cattlemen’s Asproblem• plants such as invasive, non-native plants; pesticide and ferResidential Livestock sociation Outstanding Rancher &• Leadership Award. Celebrattilization plant nutritional mulch application; Property Equipment ing herpractices; accomplishments are L-R• deficiencies; Rick Dantzler, Executive Diandrector irrigation including frequency and of applithesystem Farm Service Agency in Florida, Rontiming O’Connor, • ofHunting & issues • Crop Insurance cations. Other frequent areas of interest cited by communities particiDirector of Marketing & Governmental Affairs for Farm Credit Recreational pating in the FFL Community Association Outreach Program have of Central Florida, and Wes Williamson, President of The FloriProperties included stormwater pond best management practices, dealing with da Cattlemen’s Association. erosion caused by stormwater runoff and questions involving reclaimed water. Evaluations and recommendations are based on science-based research from UF/IFAS. In addition to site evaluations, the Community Association Outreach Program offers onsite presentations about the FFL principles.O F C E N T R A L F L O R I D A


The FFL Community Association Outreach Program is a free resource for HOAs and other community associations to provide for guidance in instituting sustainable landscape practices, reviewing landscaperelated covenants and working with landscape maintenance contractors. FFL has had several success stories with communities that adopted FFL practices from which they were able to see reduced water consumption and water utility and maintenance costs. Contact me at the Hillsborough County Extension Service, 813-744-5519 x 54142, if these services would benefit your homeowner or condominium association. For more information on environmental horticulture topics, contact your local County Extension Service. Additional information on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ can be accessed at http:/ /, and The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Community Association Outreach Program is sponsored by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Hillsborough and Polk Boards of County Commissioners and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

we’re creative. (So You don’t have to be) web design

• graphic design • social media • content development • branding

online marketing


WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM W W W. I N T H E F I E L D M A G A Z I N E . C O M 3.7.14 in the field.indd 1

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H.C. Dairy Farm Time By Ginny Mink

Milk is a staple at the Mink house. The kids would drink it breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and right before bed if I’d let them. Certainly they don’t get that indulgence (milk’s expensive in case you hadn’t noticed). Anyway, when I let the oldest of the three know that we’d be visiting a dairy farm this month I think he was more concerned with the udders than anything else. I know that might sound weird to you but if you think about having four nipples, it’s a little bit peculiar. So, when LeAnn Carey talked about teats, my ten year old giggled. “She said teats,” he chuckled. LeAnn is married to the son of a dairy farmer. Her in-laws own H.C. Dairy on Walker Road in Lakeland and she graciously provided us with a tour of the facility (after getting permission from Mike and Freda, or course). We pulled in, having passed the place the first time, and Jaidyn (the ten-year old) commented about the amount of cows he saw in the pastures. “That’s a lot of cows,” he said. Then we told Hazel (the two-year old) that she’d be getting to see cows. Immediately she asked, “Will they moo?” I told her I didn’t know (I’d never been to a dairy farm either). Quickly she added, “That will scare me! It’ll be loud!” We had to laugh, she was already building herself up to chicken out of the experience. As much as I’d like for her to be gungho about exploration, she really is a bit reserved (though she’ll talk your ear off). LeAnn and her two children, Jaylene and Jacob, met us there. Hazel was thrilled to see them as we all go to the same church and she thought it was going to be play time. I think she was a little disappointed when we moved towards the first building. LeAnn explained that the two giant silver canisters held the milk while awaiting the arrival of the trucks. Hazel was informed that the metal containers had milk in them and that they were cold. She walked over and touched one and affirmed the coldness therein, “It’s cold,” she nodded. However, she turned up her nose at the “unique smell” of the milk awaiting the baby calves. LeAnn explained that it was milk that wouldn’t be sold as it was from cows that were on medications but that it was perfectly fine for the calves whom were being bottle fed. We left the containment facility and moved on to the area in which the wee-ones were kept. They were each in their own individual “barns” and some of them were absolutely adorable (others had faces only a mother could love). The farm was replete with cats and LeAnn told us that they were there for the purpose of controlling the rodent population (which was to be expected). However, Hazel was far more interested in the cats than the cows (it was kind of irritating actually). Hazel approached the calves with a bit of apprehension and squealed when a sticky tongue connected with her hand. Zeke (the baby) actually cried about the cow that was enjoying licking his feet (we laughed).



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The faces of those babies were so sweet and their big brown eyes seemed to hold so much depth, it’s like there’s more in there than ohI’m-here-to-make-milk-for-you. There was a sweetness about some of them that made me want to reach out to them, but I was holding the camera so I refrained. We moved a little further onto the property and came to the area that houses the show-animals. Talk about huge cows! LeAnn pointed out the pure-bred Holsteins and Jerseys and we wheeled Zeke up to the fence. This one cow was fascinated by him and when another one noticed him and attempted to come check out the new arrival the first one head-butted her. Just goes to show that even cows are jealous over my handsome baby, Zeke! Next we got to check out the feeding area which Hazel said was, “Yuck!” though it wasn’t as yuck as the big pile of poop that was a result of keeping things clean. The repulsion on her face was quite a sight I assure you. Then we went to see the cows get milked. Since this farm is somewhere in the range of 100 years old, it’s interesting that they haven’t gotten all new-fangled with automated stuff, not that there were people on little stools hand-milking, but I guess there are higher-tech ways to do things. The noise of the milking machines starting up was a bit hard on Hazel (though Zeke didn’t react at all). I found the process quite amazing, watching the milk go up the tubes; yeah, it was pretty cool! Prior to leaving, we walked back out to see the babies, including the one baby boy who will soon be sold off; he was adorable and made for some cute pictures. As we walked back to the car though we suddenly heard Hazel wailing! “What’s wrong?” I asked Jaidyn. He rolled his eyes and said matter-of-factly, “She stepped in poop.” It was the end of her world apparently; though she’d been walking in patties the whole time we’d been there. I guess it was the extra squish of this one going up the side of her shoe that set her off. She cried all the way to the car (I’m still chuckling). We cleaned her shoes off, said our goodbyes and used lots of handsanitizer. Then, as I strapped her into her car-seat she said, “My cup is empty…can you put some milk in it from here?” LeAnn and I cracked up and then LeAnn explained just how different that milk would be from the 1% sitting in our refrigerator. I don’t think she got it though because she was still thrusting her cup LeAnn’s way as I shut the door. Overall it was a pretty great time and I hope to go back so that we can show Hazel the difference in the milk, the cream and stuff. LeAnn told her it’d be like syrup. She knows what that means since she had pancakes and bacon with milk for breakfast this morning. I wonder if I should take her to a pig farm and show her where the bacon comes from? If you’ve got any suggestions for places to take the Mink children, feel free to contact me:




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April 2014






Cattle • Truck Farming • Citrus • Game Hunting

1401 Sam Keen Road Lake, Wales, FL 33853 863.692.1013 We Support Agriculture.

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April 2014 2014



Submitted by Department of A Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Chef Justin Timineri

Blueberry Biscuit Cookies DIRECTIONS 1.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix, blueber-

INGREDIENTS 2 cups biscuit mix 1 cup blueberries 1 cup pecans, chopped 2 tablespoons low-fat milk 1/2 cup honey, divided

ries, pecans and milk. Mix well and add enough of the honey to make the mixture stiff like cookie dough. Place dough by tablespoonful onto a greased baking

3. sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and drizzle remaining honey on

4. each cookie. Bake an additional 5 minutes and serve immediately.


Blueberry Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1/4 cup onion, minced 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1/4 cup ketchup 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 3 tablespoons light

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1. Heat oil in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño, stirring until wilted, about 3 minutes.

brown sugar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 2 cups fresh blueberries kosher salt to taste freshly ground pepper to taste

2. Add the ketchup, vinegar, sugar,

mustard and Tabasco and bring to a simmer. Add the blueberries and simmer over low heat, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. Purée the sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pass through a strainer and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. WWW.IN INTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM WWW.

a d i r o l F

Swiss Chard A Rainbow of Colors and Nutrients By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science Swiss chard is a beautiful, leafy green vegetable with brightly colored stalks that can be red, yellow, orange, or white. The large, wide, deep green leaves can be flat or curly, depending on variety. Also referred to as rainbow chard because of its colorful stalks, this popular Mediterranean vegetable is also extraordinarily nutritious. Chard is a member of the chenopod family along with beets, spinach and quinoa. Like the other members in the family, chard is slightly sweet, salty, and pungent with bitter notes. Swiss chard is available throughout the year in many grocery stores, but its peak season in Florida is between November and April.


Swiss chard is a nutrition superstar and stands out for its rich concentration of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Chard is considered an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, choline, vitamin B2, calcium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and protein, and a good source of pantothenic acid, zinc, and many B vitamins. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a one cup serving of chopped, boiled chard (175 g) contains 35 calories, 3.3 g protein, 0.14 g fat, 7.2 g carbohydrate, and 3.7 g of dietary fiber. One cup of boiled chard also provides a whopping 636% of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin K, 60% for vitamin A, 42% for vitamin C, 38% for magnesium, 32% for copper, 29% for manganese, 7% for potassium, and plentiful amounts of iron, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc!

Vitamin K: For blood and bone health A mere one cup (boiled) of this zesty vegetable provides over 600% of your daily requirement for vitamin K, an essential vitamin for bone and blood health. Vitamin K plays a major role in proper blood clotting in the body. It also helps your body transport calcium and metabolizes the mineral into your skeleton. Several research studies have found that vitamin K boosts bone mineral density and reduces fracture rates in people with osteoporosis. As a result, the Institute of Medicine increased its daily recommendation of vitamin K. Eating chard just a few times a week will help you maintain healthy levels of vitamin K and healthy bones.

Vitamins A and C: Fight Free Radicals Fresh Florida chard is high in both vitamins A and C, providing roughly half of your entire day’s requirement in a one cup serving. These vitamins are also considered antioxidants that help prevent cell damage from free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause damage to cells and are involved in cholesterol accumulation in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease. These harmful compounds also play a role in nerve and blood vessel damage in those with diabetes. In addition to their protective effects against free radical damage, vitamin A is also required for good eye function and vitamin C plays a role in strong immunity. Vitamin C is also important for healthy blood circulation and wound healing, and helps the body absorb more iron, which is also plentiful in chard.

How to Select and Store

Choose chard with leaves that are vivid green and fresh looking that are free of yellowing, browning, or wilting. The stalk should look firm and crisp, without blemishes or bruising. Chard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days when wrapped tightly in a plastic bag. Do not wash until immediately before use. If you have more chard than you can use right away, you can blanch the leaves and freeze for up to several months.

How to Enjoy

When ready to use, rinse chard well under running water and remove any part of the leaves that have holes or yellowing. The stems of the white variety can be eaten, but the colored stalks may be too tough. Chard is delicious boiled for several minutes, which brings out its sweeter flavor. Several other ways to enjoy this vegetable include: • Toss cooked chard with pasta, olive oil, and garlic. • Add boiled chard to omelets and frittatas • Use cooked chard as a substitute for spinach, such as in lasagna or other casseroles. • Use fresh leaves as a decorative and edible plate liner for a fruit or vegetable salad. • Boil leaves in a stew or soup. Fresh Florida chard is at its peak season and flavor this month. Try this super nutritious and delicious vegetable today.




April 2014


Naturally Amazing Activities

By Sean Green

Home Grown Easter Eggs 1 2 3

Plants have been used for more than just food for longer than history has been able to record it. It has not been that long that we have had Easter egg dye kits to use to decorate Easter eggs. Plants could dye not only clothing for early civilization, but also things like Easter eggs, and the best part is it can be done with stuff you can find

around the house or in the yard. Anything that has color in it can be used for a dye and I encourage you to experiment. There are some suggestions listed below, but you should definitely not limit your dyes to the list.

Dye Material: (anything with color gathered) Flowers Grass Onions Beets Berries

Weeds Roots Cabbage Spinach Carrots

• Let the eggs sit out to reach room temperature (so they don’t break when you boil)


Scissors Small Rubber Bands Old Stockings


(anything with a cool pattern gathered the day you do your eggs)

Leaves Parsley Weeds


Rosemary Fern

• Place your Dye Material, 3 tablespoons of salt, and water in a small pot to cover the eggs. • Wet the egg (so your Pattern material sticks to it) • Place the Pattern material on the wet egg • Wrap the stocking around the egg tightly to hold the pattern against the egg • Wrap a rubber band around the stocking (like a hair tie) to keep it tight. • Place the eggs in the pot and hard boil the eggs on low heat. Once boiled, cool the eggs with running water. Remove the stocking and pattern material to see the pattern. The same thing can be done with the coloring kit if you want the nature patterns but not the earth colors for dye.

813-767-4703 301 South Collins Street, Suite 101, Plant City, Florida 33563

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P o rtrait P h o tograp h er Spe c ializ ing in H igh Sc hool Se niors


April 2014


A Closer Look

By Sean Green

Aphidiid Wasps (Aphidius)

Photo by Lyle Buss, University of Florida

Springtime debuts the greatest drama one could attend. For many, the show is just outside the door. What joy! To have a collection of plants, herbs, vegetables, and spices that attract a variety of insects. My collection is somewhat a science experiment and excludes the use of any chemical control methods, barring undisclosed GM sources of plants or seeds. For the past few years, one of the most persistent pests have been the small but devastating oleander aphid (Aphis nerii). Once it arrives, a host of other insects follow, including a small braconid wasp that is the hero of this story. Wasps in the genus Aphidius comprise several species of native parasitic wasps that are known to parasitize a large variety of aphids. A closer look at these tiny wasps will illustrate why they are a popular addition to greenhouse operations and a welcome guest in outdoor gardens. Aphidiid wasps are native parasitic wasps that only attack aphids. Commonly used in greenhouses and outdoor crops, these wasps are known for their ability to locate aphids even when aphid populations are low. The surprising part of this bit is that the success in finding the aphids appears to be a collaborative effort between the plant and the wasp. Researchers at the University of California Davis conducted a study that concluded certain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) are produced in some plants and activated by a surface wound to the plant, such as aphid infestation. One of the characteristics of VOC’s as a compound is its low boiling point, resulting in quick vaporization and the mass release of molecules that serve as a long range means of communication between the plant and the insect, directing the aphids natural enemy (Aphidiid wasps ) to its rescue. It’s not just the plant that benefits from this call to arms; the wasp arrives to find a crowd of potential hosts for her eggs and is furthermore treated to a buffet of honeydew produced by her soon to be victims. The real drama begins to unfold as more insects join the mix. Aphids are usually found at the tips of the plant where the stalk is tender, they are herded there like cows by the ants that farm them for their honeydew. The ants also offer protection to the aphids by attacking natural enemies and in some cases, actually build protective shelters for the aphids. The Aphidiid wasps react to the presence of ants as if they know that the ants are not only protecting their honWWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM

eydew source, but the aphids that produce it and will back off from parasitizing the aphids when they see an ant. The aphids likewise recognize their wasp enemy and in a panic, release their own alarm pheromone which results in a “follow the leader” plunge to the ground in an attempt to escape the wasp. Those that do not escape are doomed to become the nursery for a wasps egg. The Aphidiid wasp punctures the aphid with her ovipositor to lay a single egg inside. The grub hatches from the egg within two days and begins feeding on the aphid from the inside, killing the aphid within a week. As the grub matures, the aphid’s body mummifies, turns dark, and swells with the growth of the wasp. A week later, the developed wasp chews an exit hole in the top of the aphids corpse to emerge as an adult. In addition to the mortality rate caused by direct parasitism, reproduction of the parasitized aphids stops completely within five days of attack. Adults will generally live for two weeks to reproduce, but can lay up to 300 eggs in that time period to produce an exponential reduction in the aphid population. Although under ideal conditions, Aphidiid wasps can offer an effective solution for aphid control, the natural order of the world around us does not guarantee prolonged success for any species. For the Aphidiid wasps to remain effective, temperatures must remain close to 60°F just for mobility and at least 65°F for ideal reproductive rates. Aphids have a greater range, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F before reproductive rates are affected. Aphidiid wasps are opportunistic feeders, they will not stick around to protect your crops or plant all the time, once the aphid population diminishes, the Aphidiid wasps will have no food source and look elsewhere to find one, thus beginning a new cycle of rising aphid population, plants sounding the alarm, and wasps racing to the rescue. It’s these fantastic characteristics of nature and the great outdoors that keeps me excited about agriculture and entomology. Wether you tend towards creationism or evolution to explain such characteristics, one thing is clear, the drama of nature is indeed the greatest show on earth. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

April 2014




April 2014



The future viability of the Florida pomegranate has been given a big boost with new research underway as the result of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant that will bring more conclusive information as the study is completed in two years. The scope of that research, formation of a pomegranate growers’ cooperative and other topics of importance were all discussed at the Florida Pomegranate Association’s Grower’s Meeting held last month at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) at Wimauma. The research is being led by the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation and it includes blackberries as well as pomegranates. The grant of approximately $183,000 is being administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) with the work being done under the auspices of the GCREC. “This research project is a great example of multiple collaborators working together toward a common goal,” said the foundation’s executive director Sonia Tighe. “It is a very broad project in that it will not only look at breeding the varieties of pomegranates and blackberries that could succeed in Florida, but it will also examine the disease pressures that are hampering the growth of the industry. And, it is going to focus on insects, as well as looking at an economic model in terms of profitability scenarios and also do some consumer tasting panels so that we know how to better meet consumer demand. So it is a multi-faceted project.” The natural and economic threats to Florida’s commodities give high importance to the viability of alternative crops. Tighe noted the development of viable alternative crops is very important to Florida’s agricultural industry “in terms of bringing some balance to the risks growers face when they have crops such as citrus.” That balance is more important than ever now that citrus greening has had a devastating effect on overall Florida production and many individual producers have already switched crops or are currently exploring that option. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from the GCREC faculty that will conduct the research and their planned studies. They included Dr. Zhanao Deng, who will be involved in breeding; agricultural economist Dr. Zhengfei Guan; Dr. Hugh Smith, an entomologist and plant pathologist Dr. Gary Vallad. WWW. WWW.IN INTTHE HEFFIELD IELDM MAGAZINE.COM AGAZINE.COM

The researchers stressed the importance of grower engagement and participation in all studies and each in attendance was given a survey to help begin the varied research initiatives. Research updates will be provided via website postings and continued engagement with growers. Anyone with pomegranate trees is encouraged to complete a survey. Survey forms may be secured by emailing: flpomegranate@ Horticultural Scientist Dr. Jeffrey Williamson shared the findings of his work into the use of the plant growth regulator hydrogen cyanamide with blueberries and potential possibilities for its use with pomegranates. His presentation included both advantages and disadvantages and the need for added study to properly ascertain suitability. He stressed the regulator is a restricted use pesticide not yet labeled for use with pomegranates, but has been beneficial with crops grown in India and California. “We need controlled experiments in Florida to determine the effectiveness of hydrogen cyanamide and other compounds which may promote uniform bloom and vegetative growth,” he said. Dr. John VanSickle of the University of Florida Food and Resource Economics Department introduced the critical steps required in the potential development of a Florida pomegranate grower’s cooperative. A cooperative is a business owned and controlled by the people who use its services. They finance and operate the business or service for their mutual benefit. By working together, they can reach an objective that would be unattainable were they to act alone. “The industry here in Florida faces an uncertain future without development of markets for their products,” said VanSickle. “It will be a few years before a critical volume of pomegranates will be produced that will make a processing option viable. Growers have the time to develop a cooperative in the right way. I believe there are opportunities for Florida pomegranate growers, but they cannot expect their marketing opportunities to develop independently of their efforts,” he said. Additional information about the Florida Pomegranate Association, including its Annual Meeting and Conference, which is slated for October 10, 2014 at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, is available by emailing: or by calling 863/604-3778. You may also visit: extension/pomegranates/ IN INTTHE HEFFIELD IELD M MAGAZINE AGAZINE

AApril pril 2014 2014

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April 2014



Get $500 off a new tractor!





You’re Invited to our Drive Green Challenge starting 3pm-7pm. A special event for all! Test and compare equipment and see the John Deere difference. Meet the staff and see the Everglades difference.


Leesburg New Port Richey Largo

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Fort Pierce



Belle Glade

Offer valid on May 20th, 2014 only. See dealer for complete details





In The Field magazine Polk County edition  
In The Field magazine Polk County edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Polk County in Florida