Page 1

Aug. 15 - Sept. 15, 2009

Polk’s AGRICULTURE Magazine


Kenny DeVane

His Call to Action

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4-H Student of the Month: Rudie Fox Blanche “Rudie” Fox

is an even-keeled sort of young lady. A lover of horses and a skilled trainer and rider, Rudie is the embodiment of good common sense, traditional Southern respectability and focused goal setting. Rudie has been a 4-H member in Polk County for eight years, and her major project area throughout those years has been Horse Science and Horsemanship. Rudie is known as a capable rider, able trainer, and patient teacher for other members in the project. She was a long-time member of the Thunderhooves 4-H Club, which meets in Bartow at the UF/IFAS Polk County Extension Office, and also joined the Boots n’ Spurs 4-H Club, which meets in south Lakeland. Rudie has also been an active participant in her clubs’ community service projects, and led efforts in the community to educate the general public about horses and general agriculture. On top of her many accolades as a 4-H member, Rudie maintained a high grade point average throughout her high school career, graduating from Mulberry

High School in June of this year with an average over 4.0. This included impressive performances in several Advanced Placement and honors courses. Rudie also held leadership roles in her school’s Future Farmers of America chapter, and was a member of both her Junior Varsity and Varsity volleyball teams. In the Fall of 2009 Rudie will begin her studies at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, on the path toward her goal of becoming a veterinarian. Young leaders often make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin between various organizations, clubs, and activities. Rudie has demonstrated longevity, faithfulness, and success to the organizations that have meant the most to her while excelling in her academics. The Polk County 4-H Program wishes her well in the exciting months and years to come. For more information about the 4-H Horse Program, or about 4-H in general, please contact the office at 863-519-8677, or email You may also click

1715 U.S. Highway 17 South Bartow, FL 33830 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Member Services 863.533.0561

OFFICERS Kenny Devane................................................ President Larry Black...............................................Vice President Vic Story.................................................. Past President Rob Teston.......................................................Treasurer Kyle Story.......................................................... Secretary


J.D. Alexander, Bo Bentley, Larry Black, Scott Blackburn, Marty Bowen, Bill Braswell, Charlie Counter, Kenny DeVane, Anne Dickinson, Wes Donley, Les Duson, Ellis Hunt, Jr., Gretchen Jahna, Jackie James, John Langford, Ed Lassiter, Jerry Mixon, Corby Myers, Will Putnam, Lindsay Raley, Kyle Story, Vic Story, John Strang, Rob Teston, Baxter Troutman, Kevin Updike, Scott Young, Andy Bennett

Heather Nedley, Executive Director 863.533.0561


Agency Manager: Jimmy Williams Bartow Office: 863.533.0561 Fax: 863.533.9241 1715 U.S. Hwy. 17 S. , Bartow, FL 33830

Career Agents: Jimmy Williams, James L. Moser, Jr., John Cavanaugh

Winter Haven Office: 863.299.3892 Fax: 863.291.8548 221 Avenue O SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880

Career Agents: Barry S. Walker & Beverlee J. Lewis


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:



InTheField® Magazine P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, FL 33563-0042 All Entries must be received by Sept. 3, 2008. Winner will be notified by phone. You Too Can Be A Winner - Enter Now! INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE AUGUST 2009

Haines City Office: 863.421.4545 Fax: 863.421.9638 705 Ingraham Avenue, Suite 10 Haines City, FL 33844

Career Agents: Rhonda J. Ambrose & June Hunt

Lakeland Office: 863.667.2001 Fax: 863.619.5953 2033 Edgewood Dr. • Suite 1

Career Agents: Freddy G. Ellis & Coradell D. Thompson

LAKE WALES phone line: 863.676.3187

From the Editor AUGUST VOL. 3 • ISSUE 12

August is here

and it is time for a brand new school year. Be extra careful around bus stops as the children embark on their future. If you aren’t a member of Farm Bureau, please consider joining the organization that works hard to be the Voice of Agriculture. You don’t have to be a farmer to join. The Farm Bureau works hard to protect your rights as a property owner and a member of the community. In addition, you will receive a number of benefits including low rates and substantial discounts on loans, personal, life and car insurance, merchandise, travel, theme park discounts and other services. Don’t forget that nominations for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture are being accepted until November 1. If you know someone who has made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture, submit an application. The form can be found at We are always on the lookout for new story ideas. Please let us know if you have someone or someplace in mind. We also invite you to share your thoughts with us. Remember, this is your agriculture magazine. As always, we would like to say thank you to our advertisers. You make it possible for us to continue to “Cover What is Growing.”


Aug. 15 - Sept. 15, 2009

Polk’s AGRICULTURE Magazine

Al Berry


Kenny DeVane

His Call to Action

Kenny DeVane Page 38-39


The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

Senior Managing Editor and Writer Sarah Holt

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Patsy Berry

6 Polk County Farm Bureau Letter

Office Manager

9 Farm Bureau Highlight

Brent Simmons

12 Fishing Hot Spots 15 Florida Citrus Mutual Update 20 CREC Highlight 26 Strut-N-Rut Outdoor Adventures

Have a great Labor Day. Until Next Month


Karen Berry

32 Rocking Chair Chatter 41 Cracker Horses

Bob Hughens

Sales Manager Sales

Tina Richmond Rhonda Wetherington Christa Patterson Melissa Corbett

Art Director Julie Bedford

Staff Writers

Al Berry Carol Weathersbee Sandy Kastor James Frankowiak Julie Bedford Kayla Lewis Nick Chapman Tracy Cox Rhonda Walker

Contributing Writers

44 Florida Lychee

Woody Gore Dave Galloway Geoffrey Denny Sean Green

48 Tales and Trails

Photography Karen Berry

In The Field® Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Polk County businesses, restaurants and other local venues. It is also distributed by U.S. mail to a target market, which includes members of Polk County Farm Bureau, Florida Citrus Mutual and Polk County Cattlemens Association. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to P.O. Box 5377, Plant City, Florida 335630042 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.





1715 U.S. Highway 17 • Bartow, FL 33830 • Phone (863) 533-0561

Summer Comes to an End... Summer is drawing to a close which means a busy fall is around the corner. Polk County Farm Bureau (PCFB) has had a lot on our plate with local issues this summer. During August some important PCFB initiatives will be presented to the Board of County Commissioner (BoCC) and planning commission. Draft land development code changes for Farm Labor Housing were rejected 4-3 by the planning commission in July. These text changes will go to the BoCC for a first reading on August 18, then a vote on September 2. This vote is the conclusion of a lengthy process that started in February 2008 with the appointment of the Farm Labor Housing Task Force. This committee has worked hard over the past 18 months to draft a fair and predictable alternative for farm labor housing in Polk County. The land development code, as drafted, would encourage a higher standard of development while giving the industry member predictability with the process. I hope our county commissioners recognize the hours of discussions and compromise this committee has put into this effort. We also have the adoption of the land development code for the scenic highway coming before the planning commission in August. This project started in January 2006 and has proven to be a great example of stakeholders participating in the process of county planning. We look forward to a positive outcome on this important issue. August is also our membership recruitment month. As you can tell from the local happenings mentioned here, Polk County Farm Bureau is actively protecting your private property rights. I hope that current members will encourage others to join and if you are not a member—you should be! Check out this issue of In the Field for a membership application. I encourage you to become a part of this local grassroots organization that protects and promotes the agriculture industry in Polk County. Sincerely,


F. Kenneth DeVane, Jr. , President

BOARD OF DIRECTORS J.D. Alexander, Bo Bentley, Larry Black, Scott Blackburn, Marty Bowen, Bill Braswell, Charlie Counter, Anne Dickinson, Kenny DeVane, Wes Donley, Les Duson, Ellis Hunt, Jr., Gretchen Jahna, Jackie James, John Langford, Ed Lassiter, Jerry Mixon, Corby Myers, Will Putnam, Lindsay Raley, Kyle Story, Vic Story, John Strang, Rob Teston, Baxter Troutman, Kevin Updike, Scott Young

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Farm Bureau By Tracy Cox

Farmers know that a caterpillar is not always a bug

and a goat is not always an animal, often it is a prized piece of farm machinery that helps them earn their livelihood. Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Beverlee Lewis, a city girl gone country, knows this as well and strives to educate her clients about what Farm Bureau membership can do for them to protect not only what they have worked hard for, but also their most important asset, themselves. “I love going out to my clients’ homes and talking with them about their insurance and their needs,” said Beverlee, who works out of the Winter Haven office. “I want them to understand what all of it means to them and for them.” She is proud to represent Farm Bureau Insurance and is quick tell you that you do not have to be a farmer to purchase insurance from her, you only need to join the Polk County Farm Bureau for a $48 annual membership fee to enjoy the many benefits, besides a full line of insurance products, offered to their members. “It is very exciting to be a part of Farm Bureau. We are a financially strong domestic insurance company in Florida,” Beverlee said. She got into the insurance business by answering a “Hey Mom” classified ad for part-time work answering the telephone for an insurance agent in Lakeland. For 17 years, she worked with State Farm Insurance, where her former boss encouraged her to become an insurance agent. “When I was ready to become an agent, Farm Bureau was looking,” said Beverlee. “I had a healthy respect for the Farm Bureau name and the Lord opened that door for me.” After joining the Lakeland office four years ago, she attended her first agents’ meeting and knew she was in the right place when they opened with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Bill Williams, the former Polk County agency manager and currently with the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau, asked Beverlee to join the Winter Haven office in 2007. The Polk County Farm Bureau, with a total of eight agents plus agency manager, Jimmy Williams, has three other offices in Haines City, Lakeland and Bartow. “I was fortunate to inherit a book of business in Winter Haven,” she said. “I would like to see more of my clients and meet

HIGHLIGHT some of them I haven’t met yet.” Raised as a city girl in Orlando, Beverlee moved to Polk County in 1974. She has learned much from her clients in the cattle, citrus, fruit and vegetable industries about farm life and agriculture. “It has been fun as clients ride me around their farms. I have learned a lot about fences, machinery, and animals,” she said. “I have also learned to not wear high heels and a skirt because I might be walking from the client’s house to the barn.” With a belief that you are never too old to learn and a desire to be more knowledgeable in the fields of life insurance and retirement planning, Beverlee is studying for her Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation given by the American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. The insurance business runs in her family with her oldest son, Steven, who is an insurance agent in Lakeland and a “chip off of the old block,” and her sister, Cathy, who is an insurance claims adjuster in Melbourne, Florida. If her computer is challenging her, she only has to call on her other son, Daniel, “the smartest computer tech around.” He has a daughter, Ashleigh, who will be a senior in high school this year. This doting grandmother can be found crawling around on the floor with “the light of her life,” her three-year-old grandson, Joey, playing trucks at her daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Dennis’ home in Deltona. When she is not playing trucks, you just might catch site of her rollerblading down the sidewalk with them pushing Joey in a stroller. Beverlee believes it is also important to give of herself to the community and is active with the Youth for Christ, a national organization with a Polk County chapter in Winter Haven, who encourages teens to form a strong relationship with Jesus. “It is a blessing to be part of that because they do wonderful things,” she said. “I work with the girls group.” With her personal mission to always be of assistance to others, whether it is in the community or as a part of the “voice of agriculture” in Florida, Beverlee can be contacted at (863) 299-3892 or via email at




John Brenneman recognized at Polk County Board of Commissioners Meeting On June 17 at the Polk County Board

of Commissioners meeting in Bartow, John Brenneman was recognized by the agriculture industry. Farm Bureau and the county appreciate the leadership of John Brenneman who has served Polk County as a UF/IFAS extension agent for 34 years, the last four as the director. John has been a true leader for extension services and the agriculture industry. In recognition of his leadership at the Polk County Extension Office and service to the citizens of Polk County the board of directors of Polk County Farm Bureau in conjunction with the Polk County Board of County Commissioners renamed the South Auditorium in the Polk County Agricultural Center in his honor. This room will be referred to as the John Brenneman Auditorium and there will be a plaque on the outside of the room that reads: “John Brenneman Auditorium, In recognition of an outstanding naturalist and public servant serving Polk County for 34 years as a University of Florida/IFAS Cooperative Extension Agent. June 17, 2009” Congressman Adam Putnam’s staff was in attendance to present John with a copy of the congressional record. Putnam read a statement of recognition about Brenneman on the floor on congress. A United States Flag was also flown over the capitol in

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honor of John on that same day. Sadly, John Brenneman passed away just days after this recognition. The industry and county is grateful we had the opportunity to thank him for his service to our community prior to his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brenneman family as they mourn the loss of such an amazing man.

Become a member of

Polk County Farm Bureau! Polk County Farm Bureau—the “Voice of Agriculture” represents its members on the local and state national level. A grassroots organization that gets the job done!

What does Farm Bureau do for the Industry? Water use, land use, taxation and pest and disease eradication measures are some of the issues Farm Bureau pursues on your behalf to make sure laws and regulations created take your best interests into consideration. Farm Bureau works as the ears and eyes on behalf of agriculturist across the county.

What are the benefits? Farm Bureau offers many of the products and services you use everyday such as long distance calling and insurance protection. You also receive discounts on tickets to Florida theme parks such as Anheuser-Busch’s Busch Gardens, Adventure Island and Sea World.

What is the cost? Active Member: Cost= $69.00 -Full Time Farmer -Part Time Farmer -Farm Employee -Agriculture related business -Lease land for agriculture production Associate Member: Cost= $54.00 -Supporter of Agriculture -Insurance obtained through Farm Bureau Insurance


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Name:___________________________________________________ Address:_________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Email:__________________________________ Phone:____________________ Fax:_____________________ County:__________________________________________________  Active $69  Associate $54 Membership: (refer to above details) **Your membership dues include a contribution to the local and state Political Action Committee (PAC). Please indicate if you chose to remove this supportive contribution from your dues payment.  County PAC— $5.00  State PAC— $1.00

Send your check made payable to Polk County Farm Bureau to the following address: 1715 Hwy 17 South, Bartow, FL 33830, Attention: Membership

Don’t Miss This Opportunity 4th Annual Citrus Spot Location Workshop

The Division of Forestry is in the fourth year of the new citrus spot location program designed to benefit grove managers. The program titled, Citrus Spot Location Program, is intended to aid grove managers by allowing certified citrus pile burns during high fire occurrence days.




The Division of Forestry’s Lakeland District will conduct a two hour workshop detailing the program at the Stuart Building in Bartow (1700 US Hwy 17 South) at 9:00 am August 26, 2009. In order to take advantage of this program you must attend the workshop. The workshop will also cover smoke management practices, recent changes in burning rules and regulations, and a discussion of owner/burner concerns. A site inspection for certifying the burn sites can be arranged after the meeting. The following is a review of the requirements of the Program: 1) An application, filled out completely for each grove. 2) Map of grove with Section, Township and Range supplied to D.O.F. on 8½ x 1l” paper (several maps can be used to cover larger areas) 3) All pre-approved burn sites must be interior grove and at least 400’ from any wooded areas and identified with Latitude and Longitude coordinates. 4) Once a year, attend a workshop on smoke management practices, burning rules and regulations, and the citrus spot burn program. The Division encourages your participation in the program. The benefit to you, the grove owner, is it provides you the opportunity to burn on days when you otherwise may not be able to obtain a burn authorization because of high fire weather conditions. Remember, you must attend this once a year workshop in order to qualify. Please feel free to call, should you have any questions. Please Respond to: Florida Division of Forestry, 5745 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, Florida 33813; (863) 648-3163

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By Captain Woody Gore

CATCH, RELEASE, EAT... It’s Up to You!

Fishing is strong throughout the southeast with people going fishing and catching fish and that’s a good thing. Enjoying the outdoors, especially a little fishing, is fun anytime, especially now when most of us would like a distraction from things going on in our own little worlds. Being near the water, waiting for a fish to bite, is an outstanding distraction from things that concern you. It’s like a magic potion that makes you feel a little better and it usually takes your mind off your problems at least for a while. Besides being a great way to put some of life’s tribulations on hold, it’s also a good way to put a tasty meal on the table. Folks fish for different reasons, some for the fun of catching, a few others for dinner, and many for both. Over the past decade the concept of catch and release has become very prominent throughout the fishing world. It’s a great idea because you’re actually recycling fish by putting them back alive. This recycling concept of catch and release simply means

you catch a fish, release them, and give someone else a chance to catch that fish… what a novel idea. And besides being a good idea, it’s evident that catch and release has improved our fisheries. Progressive fish management regulations, mostly slot limits and closed seasons, have created outstanding fisheries throughout the country. Conversely, there are always those who take everything to the extreme. Certain groups and anglers alike feel that every fish caught should be released. However, it’s important to remember that catch and release is an option. If you want to put em’ back, that’s great, if you want to keep a few for dinner, that’s also okay. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a few fish for the table but there’s no advantage to loading the freezer. Fish always taste better when they are fresh, but once they become freezer burned they are ruined. Prolonged freezer storage means they loose that wonderful fresh fish taste and usually wind up in the garbage. The fish are biting, so, if you want to put your catch back, good for you. But if you want to keep a few, don’t hesitate to enjoy a fresh fish dinner.


August should see more redfish action around the Tampa Bay area. This past month we could find lots of fish but getting them to bite with any consistency was something else. I’ve set on schools of 50 to100 fish and tossed everything in the boat at them only to have them ignore our offerings. Occasionally we’d catch one or two on a cut pinfish, but not with the action we’re used to seeing. With tons of bait around it is likely the fish are not that hungry, but at least they’re out there. The bay area notoriously produces good catches of redfish, you just need to find the ones ready to eat. Redfish will push into the mangrove lined shores and oyster bars on incoming tides. Live bait normally produces good catches along with cut baits. Early morning top-water artificial lures on the grass flats will offer some good visual excitement as well. Work both incoming and outgoing tides.


Snook fishing will continue strong this month with larger fish still on the beaches. Expect to see them bunching up near passes and




live shrimp or cut sardines on a ¼ oz. knocker rig works great. Just find a bridge, rock pile, dock or just about any structure and its fish-on.


Tampa Bay is loaded with mackerel and bluefish and fishing this month should be great. Just look for schools of threadfins, put out a chum bag and hold onto your rod and reel. I’m seeing mackerel catches up to five and six pounds and some of the biggest blues ever. This is some real excitement on light tackle, but you need to use wire leaders like 30# Tyger Leader and inexpensive long shank hooks. For some exciting top water action try tail hooking your bait and let it work against the current. This forces the bait to the top for some great top water strikes. If you’re interested in booking a trip, please call me at: 813-477-3814 or visit my website: CaptainWoodyGore.Com. Fishing Florida for over 50 years, I offer professionally guided fishing and teaching charters around Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Tarpon Springs. If you want to catch fish, have a memorable adventure or perhaps learn some new fishing tips give me a call. I specialize in group and multi-boat charters. Tell me what you need and leave the rest to me.

deeper holes. They often appear to have lockjaw but patience seems to pay off when looking for larger fish. Many report catching good fish with dead bait left on the bottom. Artificial lures usually produce some awesome action and if you’ve passed the learning curve you can have a great time tossing plastics to waiting snook.


Trout fishing can always be fun especially when you find some larger fish willing to eat. I’ve been getting into some good action in deeper water and around the fish attractors using free-lined greenbacks. Also check out the deep grass flats (3-4 feet) using a popping cork with greenbacks, small pinfish (the flats are full of them) or shrimp.


Markers and sandy flats equal Cobia. These fish frequent markers, especially those holding threadfins. They also cruise the flats following rays and manatees. When marker fishing, keep a chum bag out, you just never know what might show up.


• •

Tarpon fishing at the bridge has its good and bad days. Recently we’ve been seeing nice pods along the beach. Threadfins, crabs and larger sardines should do nicely. If you happen upon a daisy chaining pod, toss bait into the middle and hold on. There are also good reports along the upper bay bridges. Fish the light lines at night.


• •

• •

Grey Snapper are everywhere. Pieces of

The Taxpayer is someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination. The older you get your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either. Roy Parke of Plant City, Florida won the first Strawberry Growers “Hall of Fame” award in 1983. The most terrifying words in the English language are: “I am from the government and I’m here to help you.” Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. You should always drink upstream from the herd. Chrysippus, a Greek philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunk donkey attempt to eat figs. There are two theories to arguing with women, and neither one works. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.





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Florida Citrus Mutual Web site By Michael W. Sparks

With today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environ-

ment, the need for Florida citrus growers to stay up-to-date on the issues affecting their business has never been more important. In keeping with our theme of Focused, Committed, Making a Difference, Florida Citrus Mutual is committed to providing timely and pertinent information to our members. Updated continuously, the Florida Citrus Mutual Web site – – features information on research, labor and immigration, market data, trade updates, including those affecting the anti-dumping order, state and federal legislative activity and much more. Our blog, known as the “Daily Squeeze,” allows visitors to post comments or questions on news of the day or other important information that is posted. A highlight of Mutual’s Web site is the page dedicated to HLB or citrus greening. As our industry continues its fierce battle with this disease, we are focused on getting the latest HLB news out to the grower community. Another popular feature is the “Citrus Calendar.” We’ve made a real commitment to keeping the calendar as up to date as possible. Notices for industry conferences, meetings, seminars and other events are posted as soon as we get them. Just a few examples of the events posted right now are the Indian River Post Harvest Workshop on August 28, the Ag Labor Relations Forum in September and the Low Volume Technology Workshop Series throughout October. In addition to the abundance of public information, Mutual members have exclusive access to valuable materials such as the Triangle, Market News Bulletin and Citrus Summary through the website. While serves as the Florida citrus industry’s premier online resource, there are many other first-rate sites providing detailed information in their respective areas of expertise. The Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council’s site – – allows growers to monitor industry research efforts through a real time web reporting system that posts a project’s finances and determines what milestones have been met. The FCPRAC website also features a chat room for research discussion and publications to aid growers in their battle to stay informed. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) maintains http://citrusmh.ifas.ufl. edu/index.asp, a site devoted to updates on all issues related to mechanical harvesting including abscission chemicals, ro-

botics and grove design. The website also houses a database of publications related to mechanical harvesting. Another resource for the latest information on citrus greening, citrus canker and other pests and diseases is www. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry site brings growers industry updates, disease detection maps, regulations, quarantine information and more to assist in the continuing fight against these invasive pests and diseases. For information on a local level, growers can turn to their regional associations’ websites. The Gulf Citrus Growers Association –, Highlands County Citrus Growers Association –, Indian River Citrus League –, and Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association – all strive to keep their members informed. To compliment the consumer-based www.floridajuice. com, the Florida Department of Citrus recently developed – a site that provides information on the Department of Citrus and Florida Citrus Commission as well as economic, market and scientific research. I encourage growers to get savvier online. We all know one of the main keys to running a strong citrus operation is information. And with the tremendous technological advances over the past decade, it’s out there at the touch of a keystroke. You just have to look. Gone are the days when all the information you needed could be culled over morning coffee at your favorite greasy spoon. Please do not hesitate to contact Mutual if you would like to know more about getting online.




R E C I P E S Strawberry-Lychee Shortcake Ingredients • • • • •

1 pint sliced, fresh strawberries 4 tablespoons sugar 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 can lychees or 2 cups fresh lychees 6 individual sponge shortcakes


In a small bowl, crush half of the strawberries. Add remaining strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. In a second small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, lychees and remaining sugar; blend well. Place shortcakes on serving plate and top each with cheese-lychee mixture. Spoon strawberries over filled shortcakes.

Lychee Cheesecake Blossom Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

8 sheets phyllo dough 1/4 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1 egg 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided 4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 30 ounces of lychees peeled, cut in halves, and juice reserved Fresh lychees and sliced kiwifruit, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 12 (2 1/2 inch) muffin cups. Layer 4 sheets of phyllo dough on waxed paper, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Repeat with remaining 4 sheets, forming seperate stack. Cut each stack in half lengthwise and then in thirds crosswise, to make a total of 12 squares. Gently fit each stacked square into prepared muffin cup, forming 4-petaled blossom. Process the cheese, egg, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and the vanilla in a food processor or blender until smooth. Divide evenly among cups. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully remove from muffin cups to cool. Bring reserved lychee juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally. Puree lychees in food processor or blender. Combine lychee puree, juice, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoon lemon juice. Refrigerate. To serve, spoon lychee sauce onto 12 dessert plates. Place cheesecake blossom on each plate. Top with fresh lychees and arrange kiwifruit in sauce to resemble leaves. By Bill Mee & Krystal Folino - Lychees Online
Are you a lychee enthusiast? Get your FREE Lychee Idea-Kit or browse hundreds of lychee recipes, photos, tips and articles on eating and growing lychees at the Lychees Online Web site http://www.lycheesonline. com

Do you know of a great recipe that we should feature in a future edition of Whipping Bowl? Submit your recipe to 16



PUTNAM PRAISED FOR SAFETY LEGISLATION Food safety legislation (HR 2749) passed in the U.S.

House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support (283 in support, 142 opposed), having recovered from a procedural stumble. As the measure was debated, congressmen on both sides of the aisle praised the leadership of Congressman Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) the author with U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) of key provisions that have been included in the bill. Speaking on the House floor Putnam noted that many incidents of food-borne illness have involved imported foods. “This bill takes an important step forward in setting the same standards for imported food that we place on domestically produced food,” Putnam said. (If you would like to view a video of Putnam’s floor speech during the debate on this measure, go to fl12putnam) As he introduced Putnam to speak on the House Floor U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said, “I want to recognize my colleagues Mr. Costa and Mr. Putnam for their bill the SAFE Feast Act, which I was an original cosponsor of, and which got rolled into this bill. It was a great help when they did that.” Following, Putnam’s speech, Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest serving member in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, praised Putnam “…particularly for seeing to it that foreigners now have to meet the same requirements that American (food producers) do.” The food safety measure incorporates key provisions Putnam has championed in bi-partisan food safety legislation he introduced earlier this year and in previous sessions of Congress. These provisions would make significant improvements such as identifying specific risks of food-borne contamination, giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated food and holding imported goods to the same safety and quality standards as American food products. In addition, this legislation gives FDA the authority to set commodity-specific standards for the safe production, harvesting and packaging of fruits and vegetables, including mandatory standards for high risk produce and voluntary Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) for all produce. Since 2001, Putnam has represented Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes most of Polk County and portions of Hillsborough and Osceola counties.




polk county



By Amy Palmer, Senior Business Development Manager, CFDC

To accomplish its mission of attracting innovative companies to one of the best business climates in the United States, the Central Florida Development Council offers the following services: • • • • • • •


Demographic and Marketing Reports Existing Business Retention and Expansion Assistance International Trade Assistance Permitting & Regulatory Assistance Referrals for Financing Site Locations including Certified Sites Workforce Development/ Training



he Polk County Farm Bureau has published statistics about agriculture and the economic impact agriculture has in Polk County. Working with different industries in Polk County, the Central Florida Development Council (CFDC), Polk County’s economic development agency, has come to comprehend the far reaching affect agriculture has on the many different industries in our community. The CFDC works with existing industries and recruits new industry to the area, many of these existing and new industries have close ties to agriculture and agribusiness, The CFDC assists companies to expand, create jobs, capital investment, and become more profitable. We are constantly striving to diversify the county’s economy and create high wage and high skill jobs in our community. The CFDC wants the ag industry to know about the direct and indirect impacts agriculture has had on economic development in our community. Without agriculture in Polk County, many of the industries that started, and continue to expand in our community, would never have gotten a foot hold to become the successes they are today. These industries include logistics and supply chain management, food processing, life sciences and medical services, and research, engineering, and technology. An example of an industry that got its start and has been perfected in agriculture is the logistics and supply chain industry. Central Florida has become the capital of logistics in the south east with many Fortune 500 companies operating distribution centers in Polk County, and as witnessed by CSX calling Winter Haven home for their new Integrated Logistics Center. To support this industry in the county, Polk State College (PSC) has created a model Supply Chain Management Institute that teaches the science of logistics, and USF Polytechnic is looking at teaching new and developing technology, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), that helps manage distribution centers. The logistics industry would not have gotten a strong foothold in Polk County had it not been for agriculture, and the CFDC is trying to capitalize on this industry. A company in Polk County that has made the jump from agriculture and supply chain management to technology is Franwell. Franwell is a


technology company that focuses on supply chain management and got its start by creating a software program that integrated financial and logistics systems for the fresh food industry. Their focus has been on first expires, first out and they accomplish this model through the use of RFID. Franwell has grown from providing this logistics service to the agricultural industry and now works with the cargo industry, pharmaceutical industry, and food industry. Another industry that has a strong presence in Polk County as a result of agriculture is the flavors and fragrance industry. Four of the biggest flavors and fragrance companies in the world have locations in Polk County – Treatt USA, Givaudan, Firmenich, and Kerry. These companies use local produce, especially citrus, to create oils and waterbased essences used by the flavor and fragrance industry. They gained their strength in Polk County in part by their employees who worked in the citrus industry. Many of the employees that came from the citrus industry in Polk County use their creativity and knowledge of chemistry and citrus products to make these flavors and fragrance companies

Polk County Employment Concentration

successful and world-renown. In addition to the logistics industry and the flavors and fragrance industry, the food processing industry also has a strong presence in Polk County, and is a result of our strong agricultural background. JBT FoodTech, formerly FMC Technologies, manufactures food processing equipment in Lakeland. Other companies that are major players in the food processing industry in our community include Pepperidge Farm, Coca-Cola North America, Publix Super Markets, Tampa Maid Shrimp, FTSI, Velda Farms, Colorado Boxed Beef, and Florida’s Natural among others. Our mission is to take what the community has in place and build upon it so we continue to evolve and maintain a globally competitive advantage. Promoting and targeting industries with high-wage and high-skill employment within defined sectors grows the average income of Polk County citizens and increases the overall financial health of the local economy. We seek out targeted industries across different business sectors to diversify the economy and provide economic stability by buffering the local economy during national or international economic downturns. We appreciate where our community has come from and realize the values and strength Polk County has as a result of the founders of our economy and will continue to build upon these values and strengths. For more information about the CFDC and their role in Polk County, visit their website at




Citrus Research and Education Center Highlight Margie Wendell, Senior Lab Technician By Kathy Snyder

It was the 1980s and working in citrus groves was still con-

sidered a man’s domain. According to an article in Florida Grower & Rancher (April, 1988), the contributions that women were making to agriculture were not fully recognized. The 1980s opened up more opportunities for women to become more involved with working in the field rather than within the four walls of a laboratory, these women were rarely involved in working with the soil or caring for the crops, fruit trees, etc. in the groves, but recorded field data as it was collected. Times were changing. Born in Georgia and raised in Polk City, from the age of 3, Margie Wendell grew up around citrus. “My father was the grove caretaker and our house was in the middle of the grove,” Margie remembers. Of course with her father as caretaker, the rest of the family would help with some of that care. “Daddy taught me how to drive a WWII Willy Jeep when I was 7,” Margie continued, “and I remember from the time I was 5, Daddy and I together would plant my flower garden each year.” Having a natural green thumb, Margie started her career working at Polk Nursery as their youngest supervisor working with ornamentals. After leaving Polk Nursery, Margie took a position at Cypress Gardens in the retail area. “I thought I’d be working in some type of horticulture, but didn’t think I’d be working in citrus.” In 1980, Margie applied for the Agricultural Technician III position, working with a research professor, Dr. Art Pieringer, from the University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center. Having a woman working in the grove with no one but men was Dr. Pieringer’s biggest worry. She told him to let her worry about that. “He was like a father in many ways,” Margie remembers fondly. Margie became the first woman that Dr. Pieringer hired to work the research field where hybrid collections were made for work with juice analysis. In addition to field work, Margie was in charge of the running of the greenhouses. “Back then, greenhouse trees were grown in tin cans and there was no running hot water,” Margie explained, “if we needed hot water, we heated it with a Bunsen burner.” Upon Dr. Pieringer’s retirement, Margie was placed temporarily with Dr. Carl Childers, a research entomologist, for two and a half years until a new faculty researcher was hired. In 1985, Dr. Fred Gmitter, Jr. joined CREC as an assistant research professor. “He inherited me,” Margie chuckled. She became his first technician. Margie had kept Dr. Pieringer’s research records, which included LB 8-9, a new hybrid started prior to Margie’s employment with Dr. Pieringer. LB 8-9 is currently awaiting its patent and release and will be known as Sugar Belle™. Margie turned all of those research records over to Dr. Gmitter. Dr. Gmitter wanted Margie trained in starch electrophoresis for the genetic work that would be taking place in his lab and sent her to Gainesville for training with Dr. Gloria Moore. She was also trained in tissue culture and budding and has made thousands of cross breeds over the years. In 1989, Dr. Gmitter bought the first computer for the lab that




was shared by eight people and one grad student, Kim Bowman (currently a Ph.D. with the USDA), prior to getting the computer, all records were recorded manually in journals and books. When asked what she liked most about her work she said, “I’m seeing the fruits of my labor after hanging out on a ladder for hours a day. I’m happy to see that they have sped up the process of new hybrid release and excited about all the new hybrids that are now being tested.” “After working with Dr. Gmitter for almost 24 years, we (the lab) are seeing some pretty good hybrids. We are not the only ones that are excited, the growers are very happy. We have new hybrid displays, where the growers get to come taste the fruit and rate it on a survey form, judging taste, color, seeds, size, ease of peel, etc.,” she stated. Today, Margie is a Senior Lab Technician and assists in the running of Dr. Gmitter’s lab. “I also test the fruit for poly or mono embryonic conditions, count the number of seeds to see how seeded the fruit is,” explains Margie, “Other things we also examine are how easy the fruit is to peel, the color inside and out, and the juice sacs if juice is melting all the way to granular, and we also rate the size of the fruit. “I’ve enjoyed working with Dr. Gmitter for all these years and can’t think of anyone else I would rather work for. When we started together, we were in the old main building,” recalls Margie. The main building is now currently home to several faculty offices, the Director’s Office, Human Resources, Financial Offices, Extension Personnel, etc. at CREC and has been remodeled and expanded to include the new plant pathology wing. “Margie is right to say that I ‘inherited’ her,” said Dr. Gmitter. “Post-docs, graduate students and visiting scientists have come and gone. If you were to ask any of them who was among the most memorable people from the CREC or our lab group, it is safe to say that each of them identify Margie. We have sometimes jokingly referred to her as ‘Ma,’ and that’s appropriate because she has taken care of all of us much like a mother. She has worked with me since I first arrived. She helped me learn the culture of CREC and how to get things done. I can always count on her for the best.” Margie and her husband, Tim, live in the Winter Haven/Auburndale area, raised two girls, and have been blessed with five grandchildren (two girls and three boys, ages 11 months to 8 years old).

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Bronson Announces Nation’s First Regulation Banning Additives In Honey


Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services

Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced that his department has instituted the first regulation in the nation – and perhaps the world – prohibiting any additives, chemicals or adulterants in honey that is produced, processed or sold in Florida. The regulation, which took effect July 14, provides the first-ever “Standard of Identity” for honey. “We want to assure consumers that the product that they are buying is pure,” Bronson said. “Too often in the past, honey has been cut with water or sugar, and sometimes even contaminated with insecticides or antibiotics. In the future, when you’re paying for honey in this state, pure honey is what you will get.” State Rep. Alan Hays, of Umatilla, has been a major advocate of the new regulation, which is supported by Florida’s honey industry, and joined Bronson at a press conference to unveil the new rule. “I am pleased that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is leading the way for all America in establishing this standard by which all honey may now be measured,” Hays said. “Commissioner Bronson and the leaders of the honey industry – beekeepers and honey processors – are to be applauded for their leadership in protecting not only the health of Floridians but also in protecting this industry which is so vital to the production of food products for all mankind.” Under terms of the new regulation, honey containing anything other than the “natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honeybees” is considered an adulterated or mislabeled product. Such products are subject to a “stop sale” order in which a manufacturer, processor or merchant would be served with an order prohibiting the product’s sale. Repeat offenders would face fines of up to $500 per violation. Florida is the fourth-leading honey producing state in the country with cash receipts to beekeepers of more than $15 million in 2008 and an industry that has an economic impact estimated at $40 million a year. It employs more than 500 Floridians. As a result of a flood of adulterated honey from overseas into Florida in 2006, a petition was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later that year, by five major honey producers and processors, asking the federal agency to establish a U.S. standard of identity for honey. Two years later, the FDA responded that due to other pressing matters, it would be unable to review the petition. At that point, the industry asked Bronson’s department if it would consider developing a standard of identity for the product, and this announcement is the culmination of that effort. Bronson noted that despite efforts in various quarters, international governing bodies have, to date, been unable to establish an international definition of or standard of identity for honey, making it likely that Florida’s regulation governing honey may be the first of its kind anywhere.




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Strut-N-Rut Outdoor Adventures The joy of shooting her first deer overwhelmed her. She screamed, “I can’t believe it! I

just shot an eight-point buck!” And for a moment, her pain was gone. Madison suffers from Familial Dystonia. Dystonia is a neurological disorder that affects the entire body, causing involuntary muscle movements that can be very painful. She had always wanted to go deer hunting, but an outdoor adventure like that seemed impossible given her circumstances. Little did she know, dreams like these are made possible every day by Strut-NRut Outdoor Adventures. Madison was treated like a star on the day of her adventure. The Strut-N-Rut staff and the staff of the hunting lodge came to meet her and hear her story. She also received gifts of a camouflage shirt, hat and Bible. Strut-N-Rut has been helping children and adults like Madison fulfill their outdoor adventure dreams since July of 2007. Sonny Hancock, a former business owner in the construction industry, and his partner Phillip Sandlin, founded the organization after a life changing experience with an old friend. Both men, who are husbands and fathers, have since devoted their lives to fulfilling the wishes of those less fortunate. Years earlier, Sonny was reunited with a childhood friend, J.W. Shreves. J.W. told Sonny he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Shocked and saddened, Sonny wanted make the most of J.W.’s final days. They started fishing, hunting and playing on a softball team together. One day J.W. shared his desire to go turkey hunting with Sonny. Soon after, Sonny took him to harvest his first turkey. It was a big gobbler that seemingly waited there in the clearing for J.W. Just two short weeks after his turkey adventure, J.W. passed away. He was a loving father to three wonderful children. His bravery is the foundation behind Strut-N-Rut Outdoor Adventures. “It put a burden on my heart, my son’s heart and my husbands heart,” said Tammy Sandlin, wife of Phillip Sandlin. She and her husband knew they had to continue making dreams come true for other sufferers of physical and mental illness. Tammy helps to organize adventures and raise money for the organization. She recalls how J.W.’s courageousness continues to empower her. “J.W. never accepted pity or believed in giving up. He never complained or asked ‘why me’,” Tammy said. “J.W. was determined to live life to the fullest despite his cancer. His legacy lives on, and we continue to love and care for others as J.W. would’ve wanted us too.” Philip shares her sentiment. “This is for my brother and all the love [he] had for the great outdoors. Until we meet again, we will go on showing people how the great outdoors can make a difference in their life just as it did for him and me,” he said. More than a dozen volunteers and several Mossey Oak pro staff members make up Strut-N-Rut Outdoor Adventures. Their mission is similar to that of Make a Wish Foundation, only many of the recipients are not suffering from a terminal illness, rather a debilitating condition. Strut-N-Rut puts together a variety of outdoor adventures. They arrange everything from fishing trips, deer hunting trips, equine activities, duck hunting trips and more. Tammy is currently scheduling a trip to Sea World for a recipient to swim with the dolphins. “We try to show people, kids and adults, that are wheelchair bound or disabled in some way, that there is life outside of the doctors office,” Tammy said. The Strut-N-Rut staff is also highly mobile. They bring the adventure to the recipient. This is a benefit for many people who may not be able to travel long distances. Countless hours go into planning the perfect local adventure for each recipient. “Our motto is “one adventure at a time,” Tammy said. “This is so the staff can give each participant our full attention.” The biggest challenge for Tammy and her staff is collecting donations. She has been fortunate to receive the support of sponsors like Wrangler, Daisy, M&D Outfitters and more, but with each adventure, comes specific needs. “It’s been rough going out and trying to raise money right now,” Tammy said. “My dream would be to someday have land donated that we could put cabins on.” Despite hard economic times, Tammy and the Strut-N-Rut staff remain positive. “We have great people like Cowboys Restaurant in Okeechobee, who feed us, and Mossey Oak, who wrapped our equipment trailer,” she said. “These people make it possible for us to go on.” If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation or learning more about Strut-N-Rut Outdoor Adventures (a 501-C3 organization), please contact Tammy Sandlin at (407) 957-6767, or visit their Web site at










Premier Milk (PMI) is raising the bar on quality standards in the milk industry By Georgia Brown

Lately the recalls and stories of food contamina-

tion have eroded consumer confidence in the quality of food products on our shelves. But good companies are working daily to produce the best possible food for our tables. Premier Milk, Inc., a new dairy cooperative based in Ocala, is one that has distinguished itself by exceeding the standards of milk production. Premier Milk began delivering milk that is well above the state’s standards of quality to processors last month. Founded by a small group of dairy producers who own and operate farms in Florida and Georgia, members of Premier Milk all share the same commitment to produce milk of the highest quality. “To be a member of PMI, dairy producers are required to perform better than the state’s regulatory limits on factors that give bottled milk its Grade A status,” said Tom Pittman, Premier Milk’s general manager. “We are raising the bar on quality standards in order to delivery higher quality milk to the market. Our members understand that milk quality is 100 percent our responsibility,” said Premier’s president and member producer David Sumrall. They also believe that high quality milk can be produced without the rBST hormone. “In recent years, producers of bottled milk have been moving away from using milk from cows that have been injected with the hormone rBST, which essentially causes the cow to eat more and produce a higher volume of milk,” said Pittman. Throughout the Southeast, the market has demanded that the hormone not be used according to Pittman “Good dairy management, keeping cows comfortable and with access to free choice quality forage will produce almost as much milk,” he said. Pittman grew up on a dairy farm near Au Clair, Wisconsin and has lived in Ocala for four years. He has been in the dairy industry his entire life. As Dairy Procurement Manager at Wells’ Dairy in Iowa, he learned the importance of raw milk quality, from the farm and throughout the processing plant. Wells’ Dairy took pride in producing high quality dairy products that usually lasted a week to 10 days past the code date stamped on the bottle according to Pittman. Milk quality is regulated by two factors, somatic cell counts and standard plate counts. “If the cow is kept clean and everything is done properly on the farm, most dairies can easily produce milk that exceeds the state’s standards,” said Pittman. “Somatic cell counts are generally an indicator of the health of the cow, the lower the count, the healthier the cow. Our members believe in holding that cell count below 400,000,” said Pittman. The state regulation limit is 750,000.” Standard plate counts, which measure bacteria in milk, should be kept below 100,000 according to regulations. Members of Premier Milk’s dairies keep standard plate




Premier Milk counts of 25,000 or less, well below what is required. Additionally, their dairy producers are dedicated to following the guidelines of the National Animal Well-Being Initiative, a producer-led coalition designed to protect consumer trust by demonstrating a commitment to animal well being. “It’s been known for years that comfortable conditions on the farm and an animal’s well being are the keys to producing more milk. When we have hot days, it’s important to keep them out of the sun, clean and comfortable. Dairies use fans and misting water to blow over the cows to help keep them cool. They provide mixed rations with good nutrition and protein levels, letting them eat what they want and come up to drink water when they want,” said Pittman. “If you treat cows well, they are going to perform for you,” he added. Premier Milk’s founding dairy producers are located in Hernando, Gilcrest and Suwannee Counties in Florida and Appling County in Georgia. “We are starting with 2,400 total cows on four farms,” said Pittman. Milk from the coop’s Florida dairies is processed at M & B Products in Tampa, a company well known for small individually packaged milk, the kind used in schools and hospitals. Other Premier Milk can be found in the grocery stores bottled by T.G. Lee Farms of Orlando, Velda Farms of Winter Haven and the Pet Dairy in Georgia, a division of Dean Foods. Some of the responsibility for preserving the taste and quality of milk rests on consumers. If we don’t get that bottle of milk home promptly or allow it to get warm, its shelf life will be shorter. “Ultimately milk should be kept at 40 degrees or less, ideally at 36 degrees,” said Pittman. Milk that is delivered to the store and isn’t refrigerated immediately will suffer in taste and shelf life. “Our producers provide a higher quality of milk, something consumers deserve. Dairy products are good for you at any age, young or old, in whatever form you prefer, milk yogurt or cheese.” For more information visit: Calcium is an important part of a balanced diet at all ages. The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends three to four servings of dairy, or certain nuts and leafy vegetable greens, to maintain a healthy daily intake of calcium. Children 1-3 years: 500 mg. per day 4-8 years: 800 mg. per day 9-13 years: 1300 mg. per day Adults 19 to 50 years: 1000 mg. per day 51 and over: 1200 mg. per day

Average servings of foods high in calcium is listed below: 8 ounces of milk = 300 mg. of calcium 2 ounces of Swiss cheese = 530mg. of calcium 6 ounces of yogurt = 300mg. of calcium 6 ounces of cooked turnip greens = 220mg. of calcium 6 ounces of almonds = 210mg. of calcium




My mother never made it to college,

but she sure was smart. She had what a lot of people lack today, common sense. She was also a great teacher, too. Bless her heart she taught me logic. I would ask why, and she would say, “Because I said so, that’s why.” She taught me stamina. “You’ll sit there ‘til you finish eating everything on your plate.” She taught me to pray. “You had better pray that will come out of the carpet.” She knew a lot about the weather. I remember one time she stuck her head in the door of my room and said, “Son, it looks like a tornado swept through here.” I never heard her say anything negative about anybody. All of my sisters and father agreed many years ago that she was the best cook in the world. She could take leftovers and create a new meal that we all would savor. Yes, mom was a real southern lady. Speaking of the south, I read an article the other day by the Southern Tourism Bureau addressing northerners visiting the south. It stressed the “do’s and don’ts” when south of the Mason Dixon line. Don’t order toast at Cracker Barrel! Everyone will instantly know that you’re from Michigan. Eat your biscuits like God intended, and never put sugar on your grits. Never fake a southern accent. This could incite a riot. Never order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It is just dinner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Just order off the menu, and let them cook something they know. If you confuse them, the may kick you out. Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because we don’t want to sound like a Yankee. We don’t care if you don’t understand what we are saying. All Southerners understand what we are saying, and that’s all that matters. Never ridicule our Southern manners. We say “sir” and “ma’am,” hold doors open for others, and offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected out of civilized people. Behave yourself around your sweet little grey-haired grandmother or she’ll kick some manners in your rear like ours did. Notherner’s have their way of saying things, too. Like “Cripes.” “For Cripes Sakes.” “Holy Moly!” Now who is “Holy Moly?” And last but not least, do not come down here and try to tell us how to cook barbeque. If you do, they’ll tell my neighbor, Mark Poppell, and he’ll give you a whuppin! Mark is an interesting person, and the best cook in our neighborhood. He is full of wisdom. He said to me the other day, “Al, I am sure glad I



am a man.” I asked why he would make a statement like that. “Well now, there are many reasons,” he said. We have one wallet and one pair of shoes, the same color all year long. You can buy a three pack of underwear for about ten-bucks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. A wedding dress is $2000, and a Tux rental is $150. You can do your nails with a pocketknife and Christmas shopping can be accomplished for 25 relatives, on December 24, in one hour. Let’s close out remembering words we seldom hear anymore. “Percolator.” A fun word to say, but replaced with “Coffee Maker.” Remember “Picture Show?” Now it’s a “Movie.” When was the last time you head the phrase “in a family way?” It’s hard to imagine that the word “pregnant” was once considered a little to graphic. Then we had all that talk about the stork visiting, or “being in a family way,” or simply “expecting.” Did you ever wait at the street for you daddy to come home so you could ride on the “running board” up to the house? When did we quit calling them “emergency brakes?” Some where along the way we started using the term “parking brake!” Frankly, the name “emergency brake” sounds more exciting. Remember, “store bought” or, a “storebought bag of candy?” I think maybe at one time there was a telethon that wiped out lumbago. I never hear anyone complaining of that anymore. Maybe that’s what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore. I leave you with my exhaustive review of information on the final word on nutrition and health. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us. Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than we do. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than us. Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans. Germans drink beer and eat tons of sausage and fats and suffer a much lower heart attack rate than us. MY CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you. But don’t worry the Government is trying to correct this problem.

The Central Florida Livestock Agents’ Group will hold the Florida Equine Institute And Allied Trade Show on September 17 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala, FL. Topics to be covered include: • •

• • • •

Weed ID/Control and Herbicide Selection – Jason Ferrell, PhD, UF/IFAS Extension Weed Specialist, Assistant Professor, Agronomy Department, University of Florida These Ain’t Your Fathers Parasites: Dewormer resistance and new strategies for parasite control – Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD, DEVPC, Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia Riding with Rhythm – Clint Depew, Phd, Extension Equine Specialist, Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, Louisiana State University Recommendations for effective parasite control in horses – Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD, DEVPC Defining Rhythm: Increasing Expectations, Imporving Responsiveness – Clint Depew, PhD The “Unwanted” Horse in the US: An Overview of the Issue – Amanda House, DVM, DACVIM, UF/IFAS Equine Extension Veterinarian, Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

Each paid participant registration will be entered in a drawing to win a $400 gift certificate good at Tack Shack of Ocala, Inc. or Tack Shack Too. The drawing will be held at the conclusion of the program. You do not need to be present to win. Registration includes admission to all seminars, trade show, a printed copy of the speakers papers, refreshment breaks, a catered lunch and entry to the trade show. The Central Florida Livestock Agents’ Group is an organization made up of seven County Extension Agents, representing 10 counties in Central Florida. This annual event focuses on the equine production industry as it relates to sport (including racing and performance) and recreational horses. This University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service program is designed to provide Florida Horsemen and Horsewomen with current equine management information and a “working” Trade Show.


A Special F R O M


Thank You UF TEAM FINDS to Our 2008-2009 Sponsors




Farm Bureau Insurance, Polk County Agents Monsanto Clear Springs Land Co.


Aglime Sales E. R. Jahna Industries , Inc. Farm Credit of Central Florida Growers Fertilizer Corp. H2A USA Haines City Citrus Growers Assoc. McKenna Brothers, Inc. Myers Grove Raley Groves Riverside National Bank Smith Brothers Oil Co., Inc.

For information on becoming a sponsor contact Heather Nedley at the PCFB office, 863-533-0561. Support Polk Agriculture!




Alcoma Caretaking, LLC Alico, Inc. Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. Bentley Brothers Bunting, Tripp & Ingley, CPA Chemical Containers Chevrolet Center, Inc Curly Tails BBQ Devane Harvesting Dundee Citrus Growers Assoc. Dunson Harvesting Fields Equipment Co. Fleetwing Corp. Florida’s Natural Growers Gapway Groves Growers Services Co., Inc. Highland Oil Co. Prudential Agriculture Investments Putnam Groves Sorensen & Schade Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Story Citrus Service Suntrust

Are You Involved with Agriculture in Polk County? Then you should be a member of Polk County Farm Bureau... Protecting and promoting Polk agriculture since 1942

• Farm Bureau protects your interests in areas such as taxes, property rights and local regulations. In the last two years, we have spearheaded efforts on behalf of the industry with the scenic highway and farm labor housing. • We organize Agri-Fest, an annual event educating over 5,700 fourth graders about the agriculture industry. • We host events and tours to build relationships with the media and elected officials to educate them about the industry and our issues.

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Join today, call (863) 533-0561 or visit our Web site at •


Most would identify the tree by its often troublesome,

spiky “gumballs,” but what many call the sweetgum tree also goes by another name, thanks to its distinctive, reptilian bark - the alligator tree. So it may be fitting that researchers from the University of Florida, home of the Gators, have found that bacteria growing in its wood may improve the process of making the fuel that might help solve the nation’s energy crisis. Cellulosic ethanol fuel is derived from plant material often thrown away as trash. Typically, the processes use genetically engineered bacteria or tricky chemical reactions to break down complex compounds in plant cell walls to produce simple sugar molecules that can be fermented into fuel-grade alcohol. A February report by the Sandia National Laboratories predicted that cellulosic ethanol could replace 30 percent of the nation’s gasoline by 2030 if the price can be brought down. A big part of reducing the price is making production more efficient. Much of the inefficiency in cellulosic ethanol production lies in the fact that it must be given a head start by cooking the plant material with heat and acids to break down some of the components in the plant cell walls. As the team from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reported in the July issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a strain of the wood-decaying Paenibacillus sp. bacteria named JDR-2 has a knack for breaking down and digesting one of these components, hemicelluloses. That knack could help modify preprocessing steps for costeffective production of ethanol. “The acids, the heating, all of these steps you have to take beforehand are expensive, require a lot of work and, let’s face it, no one wants to work with sulfuric acid on that scale if you don’t have to,” said James Preston, the team leader and a professor in UF’s microbiology and cell science department. “By engineering the bacteria already being used to produce ethanol to also process hemicelluloses the way this Paenibacillus does, you should be able to significantly simplify the process.” Preston came across the bacteria a few years ago, as he was using decaying sweetgum trees to grow shiitake mushrooms on his tree farm in Micanopy, FL. After studying the unusually uniform composition of the decaying wood, he and his colleagues went on to study the genetics of one of the bacteria digesting that wood. The team has now mapped JDR-2’s genome, and Preston expects that, within the year, they will transfer genes behind JDR2’s abilities to bacteria used to produce ethanol. This would be followed by the design of processes for the cost-effective production of ethanol from wood, agricultural residues and other potential energy crops.




Top Ten Mosquito Prevention Tips 1) Get rid of mosquito-breeding containers. Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns, pet dishes, birdbaths, boats/canoes or livestock troughs. 2) Prevent your swimming pool from becoming a breeding ground. If you aren’t using your swimming pool, put a cover over it. Make sure the cover doesn’t sag and hold pools of rainwater, which can also provide a breeding ground. Another option is to stock the pool with fish, which will eat the mosquito larvae and prevent them from hatching off. 3) If you have bromeliad plants in your yard, regularly rinse them out with a garden hose. Mosquito larvae need water to grow and evolve, and bromeliads are an excellent host. The average bromeliad can be expected to produce around a hundred mosquitoes per year. That may not seem like much, but if you have ten or twenty plants in your yard, that’s several thousand mosquitoes! 4) Protect your children from mosquitoes, especially at night. Hot, sweaty children playing outdoors at night are like a glowing beacon to mosquitoes. Protect your children by ensuring they cover exposed skin, and wear an insect repellent containing DEET. Please read the label before using this product and avoid direct application to the face. 5) Keep your rain gutters cleaned out. Rain gutters can get clogged with leaves and debris, which impede the flow of water. Not only

is that bad for your roof, it creates an ideal habitat for mosquito larvae, which need water to grow into adults. 6) Take special precautions at dusk. Dusk is a mosquito’s favorite time to fly and bite. A good onshore breeze will keep the mosquitoes at bay, but if you haven’t got one, a portable fan will do the trick. Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers, and air currents moving past you will keep the mosquitoes moving too. Remember also to wear long sleeves and insect repellent containing DEET. Please read the label before using the product and avoid direct application to the face. 7) Take special precautions in high mosquito areas. Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes. Also use insect repellent containing DEET on any exposed skin. Please read the label before using the product and avoid direct application to the face 8) Be extra careful when a warning is in effect. If there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect, stay inside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are more active. 9) Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.” Check your screens periodically to make sure there are no holes and replace worn-out screens. 10) Watch out for puddles in your yard. Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.


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In Biblical Times

By Carol C. Weathersbee

Imagine yourself in the midst of the most glorious garden ever envisioned, admiring the flora and

fauna all around you. Your natural senses percolate as your eyes behold ribbons of vines and a plethora of lush, green trees. You bask in the warmth of the sun and feel the soil beneath your feet. You pause a moment, and realize your nose is delighting in the aroma of earthy fragrances and your ears are entertained by the sound of a rippling river watering the garden. You smile as your hands feel the coolness of the fruit you’ve plucked from a vine and your mouth waters as you taste the sweetness of the fresh fruit. This must have been what it was like when life began in the Garden of Eden. With the exception of one tree, God generously gave Adam the whole garden, to watch over it, care for it and to eat and enjoy all that the land offered. (Genesis 2:1517) There was no need to plow the fields, combat insects and pests, install irrigation and fertilizing systems, or even pull weeds. Carefully and thoughtfully, God laid the foundation and provided everything. The sunshine and the river’s water nourished the plant life, and the vegetation produced food for Adam and Eve to eat. Upon Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God cursed the ground and told Adam he would have to labor and sweat while working the land to make it as fruitful as God intended. (Genesis 3:17 NLT) This is only one of the many consequences that came from their disobedience. And so began the first days of farming land and struggling against it’s adverse natural elements. In comparison, the many stages of farming in ancient biblical days are similar to the ways of farming today. Plowing the land was necessary to prepare it for sowing or planting the seeds. Strong animals, such as donkeys and oxen, were used to pull the plows. Two like animals were joined with a plow often made from a metal blade and a large shaped branch. Working two different animals under the same plow was not suggested because of the difference in size and strength of each type of animal, which would hinder the farmer from plowing an even field. (Deuteronomy 22:10) Planting the seed was done by hand. Farmers would carry a large bag of seed slung across their shoulders and walk the land, throwing handfuls of seed onto the ground. Without the use of today’s farm machinery, it was unattainable to create perfectly neat rows in which seeds could be carefully planted. So no matter how skillful the farmer, the seeds often fell in areas where they could not take root. Some wound up scattered on the footpaths, or strewn amongst the rocks and thorns, and sometimes the birds ate many of the seeds before they had the chance to sprout. So, farmers tossed an abundance of seeds ensuring the growth of bountiful crops. (Mark 4:38) A watchtower built of stones was at the heart of many farms and vineyards to help keep a careful watch over the crops. The family members worked the fields by day while the father slept at the base of the watchtower. By night, the family members slept while the father sat perched at the top of the tower protecting the crops and farm animals from thieves and natural predators such as foxes. (Isaiah 21:56) Much like today, crops varied from region to region and there were environmental conditions to contend with. Wheat and barley were grown for making bread, which was considered a staple food item. Wheat made a softer and more palatable dough, but required good soil and sufficient water. Barley was not as tasty, but withstood poor soil quality and drought. Learning the cycles of rainy and dry seasons and experimenting with the different crops, helped man determine when it was the right time for planting and/or harvesting the various types of crops. Livestock was also common among biblical farmers. Sheep and goats were raised for their milk and meat as well as for their wool and hair. Both types of animals were known for surviving in marginal weather conditions and neither required shelter. Goat hair together with camel hair was woven to create tents for shelter. The two types of animal hair not only protected families from the heat of the sun, but also kept




them dry in the rain. When the woven goat and camel hair gets wet, it expands thus creating a tighter weave and preventing the tents from leaking. Goats milk and goats cheese were often traded for grains and other produce. It could be said that farming became the first profession of man. And though much has changed over the years, farmers today still work hard at toiling their land, raising their livestock and protecting their farms. Have you ever wondered just how much easier life would have been had man not disobeyed his Creator? The consequences of our defiance should teach us to fully appreciate what God created: the imagination, the ingenuity and the intelligence He used to create every living thing. Though we defied the laws of the land, God still cares and provides for his people. In Matthew 7:25‐26, Jesus assures us, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” (NLT) It should be noted that the author of this article is a layperson and not a theologian. Much of what is shared herein has been learned through research and bible studies. If you would like the opportunity to transport yourself back in time and relive the cultures and customs of biblical times, plan a trip to Explorations In Antiquity (EIA) located in LaGrange, Georgia. EIA is dedicated to sharing the message of Christ through their living museum that recreates the life and times of ancient biblical history. To learn more about EIA or to plan a visit for individual or group travel call 706-885-0363 or visit You are in for a treat!

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Cracker Horses Florida’s Heritage Horse

By Georgia Brown; Photos by Robin Hardee

In 2008 the state legislature made it official: the Cracker Horse is Florida’s “Heritage Horse.” Florida Cracker Horses are small saddle horses of Spanish ancestry that were the only available transportation for early settlers. Soon they became the foundation of America’s early cattle industry. Their smooth ride, strength, stamina and cow herding instincts made them the perfect mount for America’s first cowboys. Although not strictly a gaited horse, many display an ambling gait that is similar to a rack, as well as a ground-covering walk and trot. Considered a rare breed today—the association has about 1,000 registered horses in Florida—the story of the Cracker Horse is closely intertwined with the history of the state. Before Florida was settled by families from Georgia and other southern states, it was a wild, primitive region that offered almost overwhelming hardships. But homesteaders found horses and cattle running free, and with persistence, they carved out a living by farming and raising cattle.

Before Florida was settled by families from Georgia and other southern states, it was a wild, primitive region that offered almost overwhelming hardships. But homesteaders found horses and cattle running free, and with persistence, they carved out a living by farming and raising cattle.

Early History

The ancestors of today’s Cracker horse arrived with early Spanish explorers, including Ponce de Leon, Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando De Soto in the 1500s. After the Spanish left, their cattle and horses adapted to the environment and survived in the wild. By the 1700s the Spanish horses had evolved into a resilient and sometimes gaited horse used by used the Indians and early homesteaders to herd cattle. Pioneer farmers used the horses to plow fields, pull wagons to town and take the family to church on Sundays. In the primitive scrub lands of Florida they became essential to the state’s early settlers. In the 1700s, cattle ranchers exported cattle to Cuba and other Caribbean islands. During the Civil War they supplied beef to soldiers on both sides. Their name came from America’s first cowboys, who were called “Crackers” for the way they cracked their whips in the air as they herded their cattle across unfenced grasslands to shipping ports at Manatee, Punta Rassa and Tampa on the West Coast. Spanish cattle roamed free on Florida’s open range, grazing along rivers, in palmetto scrub and dense stands of trees. The cowboys or “cow hunters” as they thought of themselves, spent long days in the saddle rounding up stragglers. As the cattle industry grew over the years, the cattlemen chose horses bred for endurance, strong herding instincts and comfortable, ground-covering gaits. Between 1868 and 1878, Florida shipped 1.6 million head of cattle from its ports. Many of the state’s oldest and largest businesses began as cattle ranching operations during this time—and all of them depended on the versatile Cracker horse. Cracker Horses-Continued on page 47




A Closer Look- The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium)

The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium)

The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium) is part of a larger family of nearly 400 species worldwide. Members of the Cheiracanthium family are documented beneficial predators providing a valuable service to Florida’s Agriculture Industry. Spiders are an important component to any successful agriculture

formula, without them, we would be reliant on chemical solutions at an expensive and dangerous magnitude. In Florida, we have only a handful of medically significant species, the widow spider (Latrodectus) being the most dangerous. Conversation about dangerous Florida spiders inevitably includes reference to the recurrent misconception that the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) is prevalent in Florida. L. reclusa has yet to establish a population in Florida and there have only been a handful of confirmed specimens over the past one hundred years, all of which were introduced by travelers or cargo. A more likely candidate to blame for the frequent misdiagnosis of skin legions for spider bites is the Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium). The Yellow Sac Spider (Cheiracanthium) is part of a larger family of nearly 400 species worldwide. Members of the Cheiracanthium family are documented beneficial predators providing a valuable service to Florida’s Agriculture Industry. Eggs are laid in June and July in small silk tubular “sacs,” hence the name Sac Spider. The female will enclose herself in the protective sac with the eggs and remain with her brood until after their first molt. Cheiracanthium do not build a nest to capture their prey, but rather, are nocturnal hunters that roam about at night in search of food much like the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) that most Floridians are used to seeing at night. Each day the Yellow Sac Spider builds a new retreat for their diurnal rest. Of the variety of Cheiracanthium in Florida, there are only two that are of medical significance, these are Cheiracanthium mildei and Cheiracanthium inclusum. Both can be found all year in Florida and adults are most prominent from April to November. Spiderlings and immature adult spiders will comprise the bulk of the Cheiracanthium population beginning this month. C. mildei is a species introduced from Europe during the 1940’s and is reported to have reduced the population of citrus black fly in Florida 52-66 percent according to a 2005 study. C. mildei is more aggressive than its native counterpart and has been observed biting without provocation. This species is most often found in manmade structures and lays eggs almost exclusively indoors, often in the corners of walls where the ceiling meets but can occasionally be found under rocks near the home. The young spiderlings will remain in their protective sac during the day and venture out cautiously at night for hunting. C. inclusum is our native species and is by far the most studied. Its prey includes a large variety of insects and spiders, often much larger than itself. Its bite is more




destructive than that of C. mildei, with fangs that can easily penetrate human skin. Unlike its introduced cousin C. inclusum is usually found outside and consequently most bites are incurred in the field or in the garden during the warm humid months of summertime. Although both species are capable of delivering a necrotic wound, typically the bites of Yellow Sac Spiders are not deadly. Their venom does contains a cytotoxin (cell killing) similar to that of the brown recluse, however, studies have not reproduced significant necrotic damage in either species and the small necrotic wound that could be reproduced healed much faster than that of the wound caused by the brown recluse. There is enough evidence to warrant caution rather than eradication of this species. Although it does have the potential to inflict a serious wound, we can say the same for other more common and venomous spiders such as the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) and even for the toxins commonly used in pest control. The Yellow Sac Spider remains one of the most beneficial species in agriculture, especially significant for the citrus crops. Household control of C. mildei can be done with a vacuum cleaner. Because we know Cheiracanthium is a nocturnal species, they can very easily be eliminated by vacuuming them up during the daytime when they are at rest in their retreat sac. Disosal of the vacuum bag will be necessary to prevent re-infestation. In the field, C. inclusum can be managed with gloves to prevent bites where they would be most likely to occur. Sticky traps can be set to capture the spiders when they hunt nocturnally. Though doing so would result in an increase of crop pests as the population of this natural predator declines. Cheiracanthium only mate once in a lifetime, therefore, attractant pheromones are less likely to be effective as they are in other species. Field observations have concluded that the female Cheiracanthium are attracted to sticky traps that contain the parapheromone trimedlure, a powerful lure for the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), a common food source of Cheiracanthium in Florida citrus crop fields.


Foundation is showing their support of the local agriculture industry by making a contribution to the Polk County 4-H Foundation and Polk County FFA Foundation. Two checks for $1,800 each were presented toward these foundation’s youth programs and scholarships. Both foundations support local youth leadership training and camp scholarships among other programs. Both groups have groomed current leaders in the agriculture industry, promoting leadership development and training. “The 4-H and FFA Foundations appreciate the support of the chamber. This contribution means more students will get to attend 4-H camp, 4-H Congress and regional or state-wide contests for FFA,” said Heather Nedley, Executive Director of Polk County Farm Bureau and a Chamber member. This generous contribution was made as a result of Polk County’s Taste of Agriculture event earlier this year. The annual Bartow Chamber event salutes the agriculture industry and attracts more than 450 people from around the county. The 2009 event included a raffle, of which proceeds benefited the foundations. For more information about the Polk County Taste of Agriculture, contact the Bartow Chamber at 863-533-7125. Attached Photo: (L to R) Heather Nedley, PCFB Executive Director, David Byrd, Polk County FFA Foundation, John Small, Polk County School Board, Rita West, Polk County 4-H Foundation and Jeff Clark, Bartow Chamber of Commerce.


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Florida Lychees

Lychee: An Exotic Treat Grown in Florida By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicine, B.S. Nutrition Science

The lychee, or litchi, fruit, is a member of the soapberry family that grows in subtropical regions. The majority of the world’s lychee production is from China, India, Taiwan Vietnam, and Thailand. A small percentage is also grown in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America. In the United States, Florida is the main producer of lychees, followed by Hawaii and California. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for fresh lychee, partly due to the increasing Asian and Hispanic populations and health-conscious consumers. The fruit is covered by a reddish, leathery rind that is easily removed, inside, the edible white flesh is sweet and fragrant and the center contains a single glossy brown seed that is inedible. The texture is juicy and pliable, similar to that of a grape.

development of bone and connective tissue, production of melanin (pigment) in hair and skin, and the elimination of free radicals. It also aids in proper functioning of the thyroid gland and preservation of the myelin sheath that surrounds all nerves.

Nutritional Profile

How to Select and Store

The lychee is considered a very good source of vitamin C and a good source of copper, phosphorus, and potassium. The fruit is naturally low in calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, a 100g portion of lychee (approximately 10 fruits) contains 66 calories, 1.0 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 16.5 g carbohydrate, and 1.3 g of dietary fiber. It also provides 119% of the Daily Recommended Value (%DV) for vitamin C, 7% for copper, 5% for potassium, and plentiful amounts of other valuable nutrients.

Vitamin C: For a Healthy Immune System

With only 66 calories per ten fruits, one serving of lychee more than meets your daily vitamin C requirement! This vitamin is important for a strong immune system, cancer prevention, healthy blood circulation and wound healing. Vitamin C acts as a potent antioxidant in the body, neutralizing harmful free radicals and preventing its damaging effects in cells. By fighting cell and tissue damage, Vitamin C protects against cancer and other diseases, such as the common cold. This vitamin also enhances iron absorption from other foods, which reduces the risk of anemia. Additionally it aids in the development and maintenance of healthy capillaries, gums, and skin, as well as strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C also has anti-inflammatory properties that make them helpful for protecting against conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, where inflammation plays a big role.

Copper: For Iron Absorbtion & More

Copper plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes throughout the body. This mineral is involved in iron utilization,




Potassium: For Blood Pressure

Lychees are high in potassium, a mineral, which promotes healthy heart functioning and protects against high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate fluids and mineral balance, aids in muscle contraction, and helps transmit nerve impulses. People with low potassium levels are more prone to muscle cramps. Fortunately vegetables and fruits, such as lychees, are a rich source of potassium. Select fruit with a light reddish to brownish color, free of blemishes and soft spots. Avoid those with skin that is overly dry, dark, or fermenting. Refrigerate fresh lychees in an open container for up to one week. They may also be frozen whole, with the skin on, in an airtight plastic zipper bag. Canned lychees, found in Asian markets and some grocery stores, are whole fruits packed in syrup, and a convenient way to enjoy the fruit year-round.

How to Enjoy

Because of its mild sweet flavor and juiciness, lychees are delicious eaten out-of-hand. Peeled and pitted lychees can be used in many ways, including: • Added to fruit salads and desserts • Stuffed with cottage cheese or whipped cream • Tossed in salads or stir-fries • Sliced as a relish for ham or chicken • Pureed for use in sorbet or ice cream Savor delicious Florida lychee as much as you can during its short harvest season. With its luscious texture and sweet taste, it’s a nutritious summer treat to savor.

Selected References

Photo above taken by Barry Fitzgerald, USDA

Florida FFA Hall of Fame to Induct Five in 2009 The Florida FFA Association is pleased to announce

the 2009 FFA Hall of Fame Inductees. The 2009 inductees are Marion Bishop, Bill Gunter, Richard Kelly, Joe Kirkland, and C. M. Lawrence. “Florida FFA owes an immense debt of gratitude to these outstanding leaders,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles H. Bronson. “Their dedicated service in agriculture education helped make FFA the outstanding student organization recognized throughout the state.” They will be inducted into the Florida FFA Hall of Fame during the third annual awards celebration October 3, 2009, at the Florida FFA Leadership Training Center in Haines City. “These individuals are responsible for the tradition of excellence that our FFA members have come to expect,” said Caitlyn Prichard, president of the Florida FFA Association. “This year our theme is ‘in motion.’ Through the tireless and unselfish efforts of individuals such as these, Florida FFA has set ‘in motion’ an outstanding program for Florida’s agriculture education students for many years to come.” The Florida FFA Hall of Fame began in 2007 to pay tribute to those outstanding individuals who have helped make the Florida FFA Association the premier youth leadership organization in the state. Because of the support of these individuals, Florida FFA has become home to more than 15,000 FFA members in more than 300 FFA chapters across the state. FFA members are engaged in a wide range of agricultural education activities, leading to more than 300 professional career opportunities in the agricultural industry. Tickets to the event will be available from the Florida FFA Foundation. For ticket information, contact Gary Bartley at (863) 439-7332.


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Cracker Horses-Continued from page 41


The breed carries the characteristics of 16th century horses in Spain: North African Barb, Sorraia, Garraro pony, Spanish Jennet, Andalusian and other horses introduced to the Americas and the Caribbean. Their genetic base is generally the same as the Spanish Mustang, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso and Criolla. “What distinguishes them is that they are light muscled and slightly narrower than most horses, which makes them able to go long distances with little effort,” said James Levy Jr., Executive Director of the Florida Cracker Horse Association. Cracker horses are gaining recognition as trail and pleasure horses. They are also used for reining, team roping, team penning, pulling wagons and as working cow horses. A Cracker Horse has also been in the news competing in the sport of polocrosse. (See article in the May issue of Marion County In The Field.)

Near Extinction

When Western breeds of cattle were introduced to Florida during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, a screwworm outbreak occurred. Treatments included roping and penning. As a result, cattlemen turned to the larger Quarter Horse and the tough little Cracker horses fell out of favor. But a handful of ranchers always kept a few Cracker horses for their own enjoyment. Strains became known by the names of these families: Ayers, Harvey, Bronson, Matchett, Partin and Whaley. In 1989 a few horsemen realized how scarce they were becoming and formed the Florida Cracker Horse Association to preserve the breed. They identified 130 “foundation horses” of known ancestry and by 2000 added 285 descendants.

Tampa Bay History Center

photographs, artifacts and films in a traveling exhibition called “Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition.” It will be at the Tampa Bay History Center from September 10 to December 19, 2009. In January it will travel to the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada. The popular exhibit was put together by the Florida Folklife Program with national grants and funding from several other sources including the Florida Cattleman’s Association and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Several of the original supporters of the Cracker Horse are in the films, including Iris Wall. “The reason I love them so much is that they are so versatile. You can work cattle, take them on the trail and nothing bothers them. They have a good walk and a gentle nature. You don’t have to doctor them much. They are perfect for the Florida climate.” Wall was 2006 Florida Agriculture Woman of the Year.

Proven Trail Horse

In 2008, Carlton Dudley, a retired firefighter whose family donated the land and homestead buildings for the Dudley Farm State Park, decided to show people the breed’s abilities as a trail horse. He and Billy Ray Hunter rode their Cracker horses along the De Soto Trail from Tampa Bay to Tallahassee. In 10 days, they rode 281 miles covering an average of 35 miles per day. “I think the ride gave people more knowledge of the Cracker horse. The Cracker horse is what made the Cracker cattle industry in Florida and we hope more people will want to ride them,” said Dudley. “Now that it’s the official “heritage horse,” we hope there will be more interest in owning Cracker horses and preserving them for the future,” said Levy.

The colorful history of cattle ranching is told in pioneer




By Will Irby

I woke to the rain ending abruptly, the water pearling up

in heavy beads along the eave of the upper story. It dripped then, drop from drop down from the peeling paint to the banana leaves in that nook between the chimney and screened back porch. The staccato thud of each drop rose with the blue mist until overcome by the clickety-clack of the first streetcar out on the avenue that morning. This was Tampa, April 1946. The streetcars would not run any more after August of that year. I didn’t know that then. I didn’t know that was ending, too. My grandmother came to my room festooned in the style of spring, even if out of fashion. She laid out a suit too small, or nearly so. It was the best I had and it would do. The tie she liked. This one, not that one, which had been my father’s before the war. I was reminded then how important it was that my shoes be shined, how significant the straightness in the part of my hair. Even a young gentleman’s attention to such detail, she said, was as admirable as brave deeds. One’s appearance, insofar as one was neat and orderly and made the best of what one had was by her reckoning an outward manifestation of the soul within. That was how we now lived in the afterglow of the life her own father had made. This was as he had left things, only much later. So she fanned faithfully at the last glowing family ember of it all while I dressed that morning. I knotted my tie thinking her ignorance – this ignoring of the decay about us – to be more her bliss than folly. Out my window the dense shade of old oaks obscured the new cracks in our foundation, the paint peeled, and the roof shingles buckled above. Yet we lived as my grandmother dreamed. But it was true as she said, “We must look our best with what we have, or lose all. We must be seen.” There was a man we would see that day. Not just any old man, but a writer. This man, she said, would see my folio and something may come of it. A very important prospect she kept saying. Very important indeed. With the money I had saved lifeguarding at the city pool, I’d bought a six-year-old Speed Graphic camera with a large flash




attachment, a camera most common and prized of all “press” cameras at the time. Grandmother had already shown and sold my work to other men, men with traction in business downtown, the chiefs of police and fire, legislators, military men, as well as men who made their money trafficking bootleg liquor or running racquets. Money and politics still mingled more by habit than gain in Grandmother’s salon, spilling out into the walled garden behind the house where deals got made over whiskey and cigars. I had done their portraits, many of these men my grandmother ushered before the lush velvet drape we’d drug down to the parlor from an upstairs room at the dark end of the hall. Some of these men would become men of means far greater than ever my great grandfather was. Some went to prison. Some did both. The photographs I took reflect their best days, and were taken in a place that had known its best days. The man we would see that day would become famous. He wasn’t yet, but his editor was one who had made others famous. He had already said this writer would become famous, and the editor was famous for his spot-on predictions at the most famous publishing house in New York. The meeting had been arranged. We took the streetcar to Ybor City where a small, popular restaurant served dark Cuban coffee and sweet rolls ladled with a sugary icing and sprinkled with crushed nuts. He was lonely. I would see this in his eyes at once. So was I. I don’t think he noticed. It was strangely transparent, too, the aptitude in him. I knew at once that behind the furrows of his brow was a great talent. He was a frail, thin man, flush with remembrances – recollections horded up like heirlooms he would some day produce and make glorious from that hidden heart behind that heavy tweed jacket. I can’t quite say how I knew this, but I did. She was a sweet liar, my Grandmother. As for her, she did not know this man as well as she had said. I could see that in his dark eyes, too. Perhaps she sensed his skepticism as we came near. But she raised her bosom and lifted

her wonderful red hair with great regal bearing. It didn’t matter that she was not all she might have been, she strutted who she was. In refuge and revenge she lived as well as she could and prided herself in me and pushed me forward. We came to where he sat waiting in a darkened corner at a table brooding. Or else the atmosphere of the room was brooding about him, this rail-thin man in tweed with dark eyes. He stood, mustachioed and gaunt in his thick, ill-fitting suit. He waited until her hand was extended before he offered his. We were introduced. “Yes, yes,” was all he said without quite looking at me. My grandmother talked incessantly, even before we sat. Neither he nor I had inclination or opportunity to interject. She ordered coffee and sweet rolls without slowing pace in her promotions. Her effervescence was effortless. There was no heavy lifting for her in this, nothing to unwrap or bind up in her bold fascination about a possible collaboration between this author and me. She sat, her fingers spread wide, one hand with painted nails over the other on the table like a fan of Tarot cards. There would be good fortune for this man who looked like death. I felt it so, but I felt none of that waft my way as he leafed hazily through my folio while I slyly examined the newspaper package beside his chair. I knew what was in that package. I knew it as certainly as he saw my work, black and white. When she would let him talk, he said in a slow, drawn, elongated affirmation, “Well, yes. Yes.” And that was all he said, as if nothing more need be said. And of course, yes was nothing less than she required. So, after it had rained again for the last time that morning and we stood on the wet pavement, he said finally, “Yes.” Then, with a slight bow went back up the street taking his long shadow with him. Back in the streetcar, the echo of his final yes reverberated in the space between my grandmother and me. She sat with her purse on her knees smiling back toward the future as we returned to the past. His slow, syrupy yesssssss was drawling behind us as the sprinklers came on in dazzling sunlit sprays over the already wet lawns along the avenue. Yes was: No. Yes that morning meant everything my grandmother wanted to hear. It meant nothing, exactly as he meant to say. At seventeen, I already knew that his yes was little more than sugar disappearing in hot coffee that he’d leave as an empty cup. It was like that. So distant did that day become that in the last of her years, my grandmother spoke of this proposed collaboration as if it had actually occurred. She would introduce me over again to her eldest friends and speak of “the book” as an object that could well be taken from a shelf in her small library next to the parlor – the furniture there long covered with bed sheets, mottled by the stains of insect larvae and brittle flecks of dead fern. If only she had been able and not by then so frail, she would have gone there that moment to the library to show the beautiful, leather-bound book with gold leaf and open it to my exquisite photographs illustrating his excellent prose. So it had come to that. And it lingered until the summer’s eve when a dazzling moon rested its gentle rays upon her window’s ledge. She died in the gauzy dark where jeweled shadows reflected the massive posts of her bed: a Yes forming – fixed then, firm and crisp as starched lace upon her aged, lifeless lips. Yes was what she wanted.

Marcia Lightsey of Lake Wales, Florida named Promoter of the Year Lindsey John, Florida CattleWomen President, of

Bradenton, Jan Dillard, Florida CattleWomen President-Elect, of Dade City, and Marcia Lightsey, Florida CattleWomen Past President, of Lake Wales, have returned from attending the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference of the American National CattleWomen, Inc., National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board, and Cattle-Fax held in Denver, Colorado July 14 – 18. Jan, Marcia, and Lindsey attended the ANCW’s Education Workshops targeting the state presidents and president elects/vice presidents, but open to all. Highlights included “The Latest in Blogging and Social Networking,” with Amanda Nolz, BEEF Daily Editor and 2006 National Beef Ambassador. The 2009 National Beef Ambassadors, Bradley Copenhaver, VA, Sharon Byrne, PA and Jessica Sampson, CA, demonstrated three easy beef recipes for cattlewomen to take home and use in their demonstrations. The mystique of ranching was explored by a cattlewoman with a bed and breakfast, another hosts Europeans on Harleys by the hundreds while another brings the ranch to the children and the other cattlewoman has the children visit her ranch. Tuesday evening friendships were made and renewed at the traditional Ice Cream Social. The ANCW Outstanding Promoter of the Year Award was presented to Marcia Lightsey. Marcia’s involvement in the development of Florida CattleWomen activities, including cooking demonstrations at the Southern Women’s Shows, earned her this award. “We are so pleased that ANCW recognized the significance of Marcia’s contribution to the promotion of BEEF with this award.” “Luncheon at the Brown Palace,” sponsored by Cactus Feeders, Cargill, and Running W Ranch was a fundraiser for the ANCW Foundation. The featured storyteller and entertainer was the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Betsy Moreland, Homer, Louisiana is president of the ANCW Foundation. The National Beef Ambassador Program, National Beef CookOff, Beef Promotion, Consumer Education, Legislation committee meetings plus the administrative committees provided other educational and leadership opportunities. Sheron Berry, Westcliffe, CO state president conducted the meeting of the ANCW State President’s Council. State Presidents evaluated the national organization. Another sponsor during the week was Y-Tex Corporation. Marcia Callaway, Hogansville, GA, Chair of the ANCW Board of Directors, conducted the business meeting sponsored by AgriLabs, with over 80 members and guests in attendance. The meeting with the new board structure allowed attendees to develop policies, share ideas, and return home full of enthusiasm for the future of both American National CattleWomen and the cattle industry. Kristy Lage, Arthur, NE, American National CattleWomen, Inc. president for 2009 presided at the executive committee meeting and heard reports on the plans for the National Beef Cook-Off, to be held in Sonoma, CA, Sept. 21 – 23 and the National Beef Ambassador Program contest, to be held in Fort Smith, AR, October 9 – 11. The American National CattleWomen is a nationwide membership organization representing over 1800 members involved in cattle production and related agri-business. For information on joining, please contact Lindsey John, (941) 737-2928 or, or contact ANCW directly at 9110 E. Nichols Ave, Suite 302; Centennial, CO 80112. (303) 694-0313; email For activities, opportunities, and information visit our Web site




“If we don’t get involved

with the politics of our country, we farmers are going to be left on the sidelines. Farming has changed dramatically over the last few years, and we’re in a political struggle to survive as farmers.”





Kenny DeVane

For the last two years, Kenny DeVane has been at the

helm of the Polk County Farm Bureau, serving as president. His strong faith in God, love for his family and agriculture has helped him continue a tradition of the Farm Bureau’s active involvement in political issues concerning farmers and property owners. “If we don’t get involved with the politics of our country, we farmers are going to be left on the sidelines,” said Kenny. “Farming has changed dramatically over the last few years, and we’re in a political struggle to survive as farmers.” These reasons, and others, led Kenny to join the Farm Bureau. He served on the board as a director over eight years before accepting the position as president. “I believe in what they try to do as far as protecting farmers and property owners’ rights, and they work hard at it,” Kenny admits. “It’s one of the best organizations I’ve been a part of.” Kenny’s term as president will end this October. “I felt like if I was going to serve, I needed to serve as well as I could. I don’t regret the time I spent with it. I feel like every bit of that time was needed, and I’m sure the next president will deal with it in the same way. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been very rewarding.” The Polk County Farm Bureau faced several issues during the last two years, but a few of the main ones were the Scenic Highway and Farm Labor Housing. Farm Bureau also played a key role in the local group Polk Citizens for Good Government during his tenure. “Our involvement in these issues is the reason why we need to be at the table when decisions are being made. We need to be communicating with our county commissioners and staff and educating them about agriculture.” He believes educating the public about the importance of agriculture is critical in today’s climate as we become less of an agrarian society. “The average homeowner and housewife think that food just comes from the grocery store. They don’t take into consideration that there’s a farmer somewhere that grew that crop or raised that steer or hog.” This includes putting the spotlight on agriculture and what it offers to today’s youth as well. “That’s why we support Ag in the Classroom as heavily as we do.” Ag in the Classroom is an annual program where Polk County’s fourth graders get exposure to several facets of agribusiness, and get to enjoy many hands-on activities in an attempt to educate and inform the next generation of agriculture’s importance. Kenny also believes there needs to be a shift in the national attitude back to buying American made goods, especially where agriculture is concerned. “It irritates me tremendously to go into the local supermarket and look at citrus that was grown in another country.” He also relayed a story of going to the store to buy items for a salad, and saw the cucumbers were listed as having come from a South American country, in the midst of a local harvest by Polk County farmers, including a friend. He asked the stock boy to confirm the origin of growth, and he came back and said they

were indeed grown outside of the United States. Kenny handed him the cucumbers back and said he would do without them in his salad until he could find a store that sold the locally grown product. “He looked at me like I was a fool, and maybe I am, but I think that’s part of what is wrong with our country today. We’ve allowed things like this to take place, and people don’t care where it comes from. There are farmers in Mexico and other countries that use pesticides that we can’t use. They don’t have the same tracking that is required in our country to insure a safe and quality product.” He commented on the strides made in food safety in the United States. He recently toured a citrus packing facility and was amazed at the changes he has witnessed right here in Polk County. He believes these changes are good for the consumer and the industry, but American farmers are being held at an unfair disadvantage. As a citrus harvester, he knows first hand about some of these changes. “We have tracking numbers when we pick a load of fruit as a harvester. I have to put a number on that ticket that identifies the grower and caretaker, along with other information, so they can trace that load of fruit back if they need to. We are setting these regulations on ourselves that makes it more expensive and more difficult for us, then we allow product to come in from other countries with virtually no records. All they (buyers and consumer) are looking at is price.” Kenny believes if these trends continue, America will lose its status as the best farmers in the world. “There’ll be some other farmer in another country supplying our food source, and I don’t want to see that happen. It’s one of the few things we as a nation have left. We have fed the world for ages.” And again, that’s where the Farm Bureau can step in. “The Polk County Farm Bureau is probably one of the most politically involved counties in the state. We have as great a board of directors as I feel like we could have.” In fact, Kenny is quick to spread the credit for Polk County’s success to everyone involved. He said the mix among board members includes citrus growers, cattle ranchers, vegetable farmers, nursery men, blueberry growers, aquaculturalists, veterinarians and an attorney. “Most are very dedicated to serving on the board. I’ve been really proud of what our board has been able to accomplish.” He also gives much of the credit of their effectiveness to the executive director at the Polk County office. “Heather Nedley does a super, super job of keeping all of us focused in the right direction. She’s very knowledgeable and hard working, and we’re really fortunate to have her in Polk County. She makes the job of serving as president very easy.” Kenny has enjoyed being able to network with other industry members and county presidents around Florida during his presidency. During his term he represented Polk County Farm Bureau in Tallahassee and Washington, DC, along with other state-wide industry meetings. Continued on next page




Kenny DeVane-Continued from previous page When asked what he felt the Farm Bureau’s greatest accomplishment has been the last few years, he states it’s one of respect. “I think gaining the respect of the county manager, the board of county commissioners, some of the planning commissioners and even some state representatives has been one of the most important things that I’ve seen take place in the last few years with our board. I feel that getting to know the elected officials and getting to the point where they respect folks in the Farm Bureau, and will at least listen to us, that’s been the greatest accomplishment the Polk County Farm Bureau has made.” He believes there is now open communication with many officials that hasn’t been there in years past. “As long as you know somebody is putting forth some effort, especially an elected official, to me that says a lot.” And with the push and impact they have had, it seems that many are listening to the Farm Bureau and their views. What will the future hold for the Polk County Farm Bureau? Kenny believes it will depend on several factors, including finances. “We need to figure out new ways to generate revenue to continue to address local issues that affect the industry. These issues cost a lot of money.” He referenced the example of the Scenic Highway initiative, which has been nearly a four year project. “Private property rights issues like this require professionals to assist Farm Bureau through the process. These issues can be costly, but our involvement is the underlying reason Farm Bureau exists and why farmers should be a member of this local grassroots organization. We need to find a way to expand our sources of revenue and fundraisers if we’re going to continue to fight local issues of this magnitude.” After his term as president, Kenny will be able to devote more time back to DeVane

Harvesting. He admits his business has changed drastically since he started in 1971, and he has been able to adapt, but the future holds many challenges for all. “I’m not losing sleep over it, I’ll take it as it comes. The good Lord has always provided us a good living and there’s no reason to doubt that’s going to change.” He believes he’s been blessed with his 38 year marriage to Sandy, and their being able to raise three sons and provide them with college educations. Now they’re enjoying a new generation of five grandchildren (with two on the way), and seeing them raised to know God and the goodness of this earth. “I wouldn’t trade what I have today with the wealthiest man in the United States.”

67th Annual Polk County Farm Bureau Membership Meeting Polk County Manager Michael Herr

will be the guest speaker at the 67th annual Polk County Farm Bureau membership meeting. The meeting is open to all PCFB members and scheduled for Thursday, October 1st in Bartow at the W.H. Stuart Center. “The annual meeting is a time to reflect on what we have accomplished over the past year, recognize industry leaders and provide our members with information,” said Kenny DeVane, PCFB president. “We are looking forward to hearing from the County Manager. Mike Herr has had an open-door policy with the industry and we appreciate his effort to effectively communicate with the industry on local issue.” Mike Herr has been the county manager since 2003. During Mike’s tenure as County Manager, Polk, a 2007 “All-America County” has made great progress in meeting the challenges of growth – improving infrastructure, by addressing much-needed parks, roads, improving water/wastewater capacity and more. Additionally, the County has implemented several award-winning programs and innovative initiatives. A Texas Cattle Company catered dinner will be served at 6:30 pm. Active members pay $5 each for two dinners. Associate members and others pay $15 each. The annual membership meeting will begin at 7 pm where new officers and directors will be elected.

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In addition, PCFB will recognize the outstanding ag teacher and program for 2009 along with the Youth Speech Contest winner and 2009 scholarship recipients. Printed invitations will be mailed to all active PCFB members. Special thanks to the 2009 Annual Meeting sponsor, Riverside Bank. For more information about this annual event or other PCFB programs contact Heather Nedley or Mandie Byrd in the Bartow office at 863-533-0561 or email,

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Kenny DeVane Aug. 15 - Sept. 15, 2009 Follow us: ® AUGUST 2009 1 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE AUGUST 2009 2 AUGUST 2009 3 INTHEFI...

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