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February 2017

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Kathleen Sr. FFA

Taking the “Bull” Out of Cyberbullying

Human cruelty is nothing new, and sadly, it’s not reserved for adults or those living in third world countries. That said, today’s students are facing a new kind of cruelty that many adults were spared…..cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as “bullying that takes place using electronic technology.” This technology includes equipment such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and communication tools, including messaging apps, social media, and text messages. Approximately 43 percent of students report cyberbullying during their lifetime, with adolescent girls being the most likely targets, while 15 percent of students admit to committing acts of cyberbullying. There have been extreme cases of cyberbullying that have driven young people to take their own lives to escape the taunting and ridicule. These extreme cases and staggering statistics are enough to strike fear in the hearts of many parents, teachers, administrators, and even FFA chapters. The Kathleen Sr. FFA officer team recognized the importance of educating others about cyberbullying and developed a plan to bring this cruelty to light in a fun and surprising way.

Weep. Panabaker, who is a victim of bullying in the past and present, shared her own personal story and how she continues to overcome the negative attacks. During the presentations and movie, the Kathleen Sr. FFA officers sold popcorn and drinks to students to raise money for a donation to the Megan Meier Foundation. Megan’s mother, Tina Meier, started the foundation in 2007 after her daughter tragically committed suicide as a result of cyberbullying. Another special guest in attendance was William Jameson, State President for the Florida FFA. The KHS officer team raised $150 to donate to this very worthy foundation. Through this donation the officer team hopes to show their support of ending cyberbullying. The Kathleen FFA chapter earnestly strives to “live to serve” by strengthening the ties between one another while shedding light on a serious, but seldom talked about form of human cruelty. Keitha Hall, Kathleen High School FFA advisor explains, “I am very impressed and proud of our chapter officers for recognizing an issue and taking positive action to bring awareness of it to their peers. This event required lots of planning and coordination, which they handled successfully as a team. On December 14, the Kathleen Sr. FFA officer team held Kathleen FFA members are definitely making a positive an event in the auditorium at Kathleen High School, for impact within their school and community.” the entire junior class, that addressed the issue of cyberbullying and the impact it can have on others. Members Stopbullying.gov is a website dedicated solely to eduof the junior class were given wristbands, which allowed cating parents, teachers, community members, teens, them admission into the cyberbullying presentation. To and children about bullying, the effects it can have, and begin the presentation, Deputy Baggett, Kathleen High how to prevent, respond, and report bullying. If you feel School Criminal Justice Teacher and former School Re- you or your child are a victim of cyberbullying there are source Officer, spoke to the junior class about bullying a few important steps you can take to protect yourself and ways to cope and prevent these unwanted attacks. or your child. First, don’t respond to the cyberbullying Following Deputy Baggett’s informative presentation, messages. Next, document the dates and times the the junior class viewed the 2011 Disney ™ movie Cyber- messages occurred by printing them or a screenshot. bully, staring Emily Osment and Kay Panabaker. Cyber- Then, block the person who is initiating the cyberbullybully tells the story of a teenage girl who is bullied by ing. Lastly, report cyberbullying to the proper social meclassmates through a social networking site. The junior dia or internet service providers, school administrator or class was then surprised by a visit from one of the stars teacher, and if necessary, contact law enforcement. For of the movie, Kay Panabaker, who also played in the more information about cyberbullying visit stopbullying. Disney Channel Original movies Life is Ruff, A Modern gov/cyberbullying. Twain Story: The Prince and the Pauper, and Read it and INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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CONTENTS

FEBRUARY 2017 VOL. 12 • ISSUE 4

Polk County Cattlemen’s Association

24 LUNA BERRY FARMS

What would grow on an old phosphate mine? What can we do to restore nature? From Phosphate to Blueberries PAGE 3 Cyber bullying

PAGE 30 Jack Payne

PAGE 10 Master Gardener

PAGE 31 Florida Loquat

PAGE 14 Fishing Hot Spots

PAGE 35 Allyson Polston

PAGE 16 Second Chances

PAGE 36 Business of Bees

PAGE 22 Rocking Chair Chatter

PAGE 40 Youth Fair Results

PAGE 26 Literary Time Machine

PAGE 42 PCSO

PAGE 28 Endangered Species

PAGE 45 A Closer Look

Hey Readers!

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

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

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P.O. Box 9005 • Drawer HS03 Bartow, FL. 33831-9005 President – Ray Clark 4484 Swindell Road Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 640-0719 rclark@tampabay.rr.com

J. B. Wynn PO Box 197 Alturas, FL 33820 (863) 581-3255 jbwynn29@gmail.com

Vice President – Carlton Taylor 9875 Hancock Road Lakeland, FL 33810 (863) 858-1771 L2brangus@aol.com

Alternate – Scott Shoupe 6130 Allen Lane Lakeland, FL 33811 (863) 581-7593 Scott_shoupe@hotmail. com

Secretary/Treasurer - Justin Standing Committee Bunch Chairs: PO Box 849 Highland City, FL 33846 Membership- J.B. Wynn (863) 425-1121 Events- Kevin Fussell jbunch@agriumretail.com Trade Show- Bridget Stice State Director – David McCullers 1000 Hwy 630 W Frostproof, FL 33843 (863) 635-3821 crookedlakeranch@verizon. net

Rodeo- Fred Waters PO Box 463 Alturas, FL 33820 (863) 559-7808

Website – Adam Norman 2115 West Pipkin Rd Donald Conroy Lakeland, FL 33811 3882 Lake Buffum Rd East (863) 944-9293 Fort Meade, FL 33841 Adamnorman1977@gmail. (863) 412-0790 com risingc@verizon.net Cattlewomen – President, Mike Facente Megan Atkinson 4465 Poyner Oaks Rd N. 3970 Gerber Dairy Rd Polk City, FL 33868 Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 697-9419 (863) 559-1228 Megamess007@yahoo. L.B. Flanders, DVM com 944 Wedgewood Lane Lakeland, FL 33813 Extension – Bridget Stice (863) 644-5974 PO Box 9005, Drawer HS03 Kevin Fussell Bartow, FL 33831 4523 Fussell Rd (863) 519-1048 Polk City, FL 33868 bccarlis@ufl.edu (863) 412-5876 Sheriff’s Dept. – Sgt. Paul Mike Fussell Wright 4520 Barush Rd 1891 Jim Keen Blvd. Bartow, FL 33830 Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 698-8314 (863) 557-1741 fussell.flafarm@gmail.com pw5281@polksheriff.org Moby Persing 3380 Sam Keen Rd Lake Wales, FL 33853 (863) 528-4567 Dave Tomkow 3305 US Highway 92 E Lakeland, FL 33801 (863) 665-5088 cattlemenslivestock@ earthlink.net

Warner University – Dalton Bush 17 Skidmore Rd. Winter Haven, FL 33880 (863) 585-9530 Dalton.bush@warner.edu

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STAFF Publisher/Photography Karen Berry Senior Managing Editor/ Associate Publisher Sarah Holt Editor-In-Chief Al Berry Editor Patsy Berry Sales Manager Danny Crampton Sales Al Berry Tina Richmond Danny Crampton Melissa Nichols Lisa Donini Creative Director/Illustrator Juan Alvarez

Letter from the Editor The Florida State Fair kicked off in fine fashion with the Fresh From Florida Breakfast held in the Ag Hall of Fame Building. Adam Putnam, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture was on hand to greet attendees, as was Attorney General Pam Bondi. Local farmers, ranchers and representatives from Florida’s agriculture community were also on hand for this annual breakfast featuring Fresh From Florida products. When you mention a fair to most people today, their first thoughts are of stomach churning rides and equally stomach churning food. In actuality, fairs have deep ties to farming, ranching and our country’s agriculture background. Fairs began as an opportunity for families to share livestock, crops, agricultural techniques and equipment. While fairs have grown to include all kinds of entertainment, you will still find the youth of our great nation, showing the hard work they have put in on numerous projects, as they learn, through 4-H and FFA, about responsibility and leadership to prepare them for their future, the future of our country. If you were in attendance at the Florida State Fair, I hope you had the opportunity to stop by the livestock area and watch our youth and the fruits of their endeavors. If not, mark it down for next year. It’s always a great time.

Sarah Holt PAGE

The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. - Numbers 6:25

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Photography Karen Berry Al Berry Stephanie Humphrey Staff Writers Al Berry Sandy Kaster James Frankowiak Sean Green Ginny Mink Libby Hopkins Nick Chapman Vanessa Caceres Contributing Writers Woody Gore Les McDowell John Dicks

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


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Well here we are in February already and so far, we’ve been blessed with a mild winter, although we could use a little more rain. Our grass is still green but not growing much with these cool nights. Maybe if we get through a few more weeks and we keep getting a shower every now and then, we will have a early spring and our grass will shoot out and get those cows and calves fat again. I’ve noticed a lot of hay being put out, along with liquid feed tanks being filled, trying to keep our cattle maintained during this season. Just keep praying for a mild winter. I just got back from a week at the Polk County Youth Fair. If you’ve never attended, you need to go next year. Hundreds of young 4-H and FFA members exhibiting their projects and many of them were auctioned off. I am proud to say, my youngest granddaughter, Kaydee Clark, showed the Grand Champion, County bred steer and the producer was the Grape Hammock Ranch. Some of you remember my other granddaughter, Maggie Clark, showed the Grand Champion Commercial Show steer last year, and the Grape Hammock Ranch was the producer. Also we have a open show where steers can come from anywhere in the U.S.A., and for the second year in a row Kegan Long, exhibited the grand champion steer. Just to mention the steer sale, it was a great sale. I also would like to thank several county cattle producers for getting together to buy Stephany Ruffs steer for a record price of $12.00 a pound. Again, I want to thank all the supporters of all the auctions that we had at the Fair, Plants ,Hogs and Steers. It was a successful Fair with our youth learning many life experiences. Thank you Polk County Youth Fair Board of Directors.

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Some other activities we have had lately include myself and some of our directors, along with Fred Waters, prepared a steak dinner with all the sides to Florida Humanities Council; thanks to the Greenwood family and Bud Greenwood for providing the facilities and a tour for this teacher workshop. Many of the teachers involved had never been on a Florida cattle ranch and were really excited about getting back to the classroom to tell their students about cattle operations and agriculture. Again, thank you to the Greenwood Family.

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By the time you read this we will have had our annual Ranch Rodeo and Trade Show. I hope all of you out there had a wonderful time and had a chance to try some of the great food our Cattlewomen prepared. As always, we have some great teams from our local ranches, with some great competitions. Always keep these cowboys and cowgirls in your prayers as they participate in these events. In closing, be sure to remember and pray for our new leaders in Washington. We are already seeing some big changes and I hope these changes will make America a better place. Also, remember our leaders in Tallahassee as they come together to work out many issues that we are having right here in our own state, and, if you have issues, contact your local leaders and let them hear your voice. Agriculture has to continue to have a big and loud voice in our government. Just a reminder, I think everyone has heard of the stray dog they found in the Homestead area with screw worms. Keep a close eye out for this problem with your cattle or any livestock and wildlife, also. We do not want this problem to get out hand. Running out of space, so if I’ve forgot something, I’ll try to get it into the March issue. Don’t forget the State Fair starts, the second week of February and we have many of our young people showing livestock there. Also, the Strawberry Festival starts March 2nd, we will have some of our young ranchers with cattle there. God Bless Us May our trails cross soon

Ray Clark

Polk County Cattlemen’s Association President

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• According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat an average of 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year. • Ancient Romans believed strawberries had medicinal powers. • There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries. • Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. • Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. • Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. • The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragraria in the rose family, along with apples and plums. • June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day

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Contain Yourself!

Florida Master Gardener By Debra Howell, Florida Master Gardener UF/IFAS Extension Polk County

Perhaps the most convenient and versatile style of gardening is that which is not only moveable, but also easy to control the water and nutrients for. Plants not cultivated in the ground, but grown in pots, troughs, urns, etc., are referred to as container gardens. Indeed, the container garden has gained acclaim as a most popular form of gardening, whether crafted by the gardener or purchased prearranged for use in Central Florida yards. One thing that makes the container garden so sought after is that the pot becomes a little microcosm of design elements employed in your home landscape. These aspects are line, texture, color, proportion and form. According to the University of Florida IFAS publication, ENH 1095, Container Gardens for Outdoor Spaces, “container gardening literally elevates plants, bringing them closer to eye level, making them more prominent than a similar grouping of plants at ground level.” Containers are available in a broad range of textures, sizes, colors and shapes, causing you to be limited only by your imagination. One of my favorite containers was a farm hayrack outside an upstairs window which had been planted with trailing plants. You may now choose from containers made from numerous materials like terra cotta, wood, plastic, iron, bamboo, glass, ceramic, polyresin, stone or a stone-like material such as hypertufa. Hypertufa is an amalgam of Portland cement, perlite or vermiculite, water and sand. Hypertufa is a simple recipe that you may mix up yourself. This process enables you to create containers, which resemble stone, in many different shapes.

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The types of containers you select mandates how much water they will need. As an example, a porous clay pot loses

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about three times as much water as a plastic pot. Be certain to ensure proper drainage of your container gardens. Watering with a wand style nozzle will provide a stream, which is less invasive. Lack of drainage holes or overwatering will likely cause the plant to experience leaf drop and root rot. Avoid placing your potted plants beneath a downspout. A great use for collected rainwater is to water your container plants. If you do not have a rain barrel, use any large bucket, then dip the rainwater onto your plants. This provides the jolt they need to reward you with a perky look and, besides, the water is free. Once you have selected your pots, you need to be aware of three terms used in container gardening: thriller, filler and spiller. Unless you are planning to use just one specimen plant per container, you will need a thriller, filler and spiller. The focal point, or thriller, is the anchor plant around which perennials and annuals will be planted. The filler plants are those that will be used to “fill in” the area between the taller thriller and the spillers below. The fillers should be colorful and thick enough to fill in the area around the base of the thriller. The spillers are the plants that will spill their leaves and tendrils down the side of the container. The spillers soften the edges of the container and tie the other elements together. The thriller plant will become your background, while the filler and spiller will be the accent understory plants. In order of height, the thriller is the tallest, the fillers are of medium height and the spillers tumble down the container. It may be noted that the tallest plant conveys architectural structure and therefore, needs to be large enough to make a statement. Some appropriate plant selections for the role of thriller are canna cordyline, dracaena, banana and palms. These types are useful as they lend a tropical look. If you desire, you may add an unusual ornamental trellis at the back of the thriller plant. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


The list of filler plants is extensive, but some good choices are: impatiens, petunia, marigold, begonia, dusty miller, coleus, torenia, pansy, zinnia, pentas and blue daze. The spillers will be vining plants like ivy, verbena, sweet potato, trailing lantana, cascading peperomia, plectranthus, polka dot plant and waffle plant. These lists are not inclusive, as many other selections exist. The convenience of container gardens cannot be overstated, and you should “take advantage of the portability containers allow.” Not only can you move them about the yard at will, you may use them to select plants which you would like to utilize in your home landscape by placing your pots strategically to determine where those particular plants appear most dramatic. Additionally, containers may be moved according to the season, or to improve their condition or appearance before reinstating them to their original location. Some relevant hints for use of container gardens include employing groupings in odd numbers, same shaped pots in various sizes, same type of container, same dominant plant form, same accent color. Increase the drama of a small pot by placing it on a pedestal to bring it to eye level, place containers with bright colors in shady sites for enhanced visibility and avoid using too many non-plant components as they will dominate the container garden. Also, make sure

Now, as in your home landscape, use the “right plant, right place” rule. You may refer to the color wheel to obtain pleasing color combinations. Primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Secondary colors are orange, green and violet. Modern containers occur in a myriad of styles, shapes and sizes that are suitable for many uses. Use your beautiful container gardens to create focal points, add interest and frame the view of your Florida yards! If you have questions regarding your landscape, you may call your local Extension Service office for help find the answer. You can reach the UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Plant Clinic at 863-519-1041 or online at http://polkextension.com. The Plant Clinic is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mark your calendar! The Polk County Master Gardeners will be holding their 11th Annual GardenFest and Plant Sale on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Polk County Extension Service office located at 1702 Highway 17 South (Hwy. 17 is also known as Spessard Holland Parkway on Google Maps), Bartow, Florida. There will be “Know and Grow” gardening information, along with Florida-Friendly plants. For more information call 863519-1041 or go online at http://polkmastergardener.com. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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to use an inner pot if your outer container is constructed of wicker, wood or other perishable materials. And, remember the drain holes!


Save $2.00 on Adult & $1.00 on Youth General Admission Tickets at Publix

Artists Appearing on the

Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra

Drifters, Platters & Cornell Gunter’s Coasters

Thu. Mar. 2, 10:30 FREE

Thu. Mar. 2, 3:30

for KING & COUNTRY Thu. Mar. 2, 7:30 $25

Willie Nelson and Family

Fri. Mar. 3, 7:30 $35

Kane Brown

Wed. Mar. 8, 7:30 $25 & $30

Cab Calloway Orchestra Thu. Mar. 9, 10:30 FREE

Sat. Mar. 4, 7:30 $35

Jennifer Nettles

Mon. Mar. 6, 3:30 $15 & $20

Scotty McCreery

3 Doors Down

Sat. Mar. 4, 3:30 $25

The Bellamy Brothers

Sun. Mar. 5, 7:30 $45

Tracy Byrd

$15 & $20

Kip Moore

Fri. Mar. 3, 3:30 $40

Little Big Town

Wed. Mar. 8, 3:30 $15 & $20

March 2 –12, 2017 Plant City, FL

Soundstage:

Mon. Mar. 6, 7:30 $35

The Oak Ridge Boys Thu. Mar. 9, 3:30 $15 & $20

Brenda Lee

Tues. Mar. 7, 3:30 $15 & $20

Clare Bowen/Charles Esten Sun. Mar. 5, 3:30 $25

NEEDTOBREATHE Tues. Mar. 7, 7:30 $25 & $30

The Blues Brothers Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Thu. Mar. 9, 7:30 $35

Fri. Mar. 10, 3:30 $15 & $20

#berryfest17

Elle King

Fri. Mar. 10, 7:30 $20

Maddie & Tae

Sat. Mar. 11, 3:30 $25

Patti LaBelle

Sat. Mar. 11, 7:30 $40

Joe Nichols

Sun. Mar. 12, 3:30 $20

Rascal Flatts “RHYTHM & ROOTS” Tour Sun. Mar. 12, 7:30 $50

Visit FLstrawberryfestival.com or call 813-754-1996 and get your tickets today! While online, check out the Free Entertainment and Special Days for Discounts and full Schedule of Festival Events.

Free Grandstand

3:30 & 7:30pm Seating is on a first come, first seated basis. Concert dates and times are subject to change

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•Candyland Warehouse•Stingray Chevrolet•Mosaic•Alessi Bakery•AMSCOT•Astin Farms•DIRECTV•Verizon Wireless•Florida Blue • Wyndham Vacation Resorts•Netterfield’s Concessions•Local Ford Dealers•Global Frequency Technology•Images Everywhere! •Good Health Saunas•truwhip•Florida Dairy Farmers•O’Reilly Auto Parts•metroPCS•Vision Auto Glass•TECO•Nathan’s Famous ZTE USA•Uncommon USA•General RV Center•Smithfield •99.5 QYK

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Charity Events Benefiting the Florida FFA Foundation

SATURDAY • MARCH 25 I N AU G U R A L

FUTURE FARMER CLASSIC REGISTRATION - 8:00 AM SHOTGUN START - 8:30 AM

$125 PER INDIVIDUAL SHOOTER $450 PER TEAM OF FOUR SHOOTERS 50 Bird Tournament. Carts are $125 each. Limited Quantities Available.

and stick around for the 14TH AN N UAL

BEAST FEAST & AUCTION FOOD & SILENT AUCTION - 11:00 AM LIVE AUCTION - 1:30 PM

Wild Game Dinner to include Gator, Venison, Swamp Cabbage and more! Silent & Live Auctions include Hunting & Fishing Trips, Travel Packages and much more!

$75

ADULTS

$25

STUDENTS

Florida FFA Leadership Training Center • 5000 Firetower Road Haines City, Florida 33844

For more information, visit FloridaFFA.org • Sponsorship Opportunities are available. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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TAMPA BAY FISHING REPORT FEBRUARY 2017 Snook: So far we’ve had another fairly mild winter. The water temperatures have moved into the low 60s, and the fish should start eating, if it doesn’t get much lower. With warm weather looming ahead, snook fishing usually gets fairly productive, especially if you have the elusive, and often hard to find in the winter, scaled sardines (whitebait/ greenbacks). Hopefully, you can find them in the same places as the summertime. The top baits still include live greenbacks, shrimp, and small pinfish. Snook are not bashful about picking up dead bait lying on the bottom, so don’t forget to dead-stick a few cut baits while anchored. Artificial lures, especially the MirrODine and Top Dog Jr. from MirrOlure, works wonders on snook, trout and redfish. A slow twitching retrieve causes the bait to dart from side-to-side. Then, because it looks wounded, fish tend to chase and strike the lure. If you’ve spent any time fishing, you’ve certainly had this happen to you. You’re about to lift your lure, or bait, out of the water, after reeling in for another cast, and a fish suddenly strikes. Most of the time you miss the fish. That’s why I always tell folks to pause, or stop, their baits or lures momentarily, about five or ten feet from the boat. You will be amazed how may fish you’ll catch by doing this little maneuver. It’s a good habit to get into if you’re not already doing it. Redfish: These guys are notorious chasers, and the maneuver I mentioned above works great on reds. By now there seems to be plenty of fish roaming around. I haven’t found any big schools, but plenty of one’s, two’s and three’s scooting around the broken bottom grass flats, submerged oyster bars and mangrove shorelines. All are excellent starting points when looking for redfish. Docks, especially the older ones, seem to attract more redfish and sheepshead. Try skipping artificial’s or live shrimp around and under docks, twitch it a couple of times and if Mr. redfish is there he’ll grab it. Out on the grass flats, and around some of the larger oyster bars, try greenbacks broken in half, shrimp, cutup dollar size pins, and patience. It usually produces a couple of decent redfish.

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Capt. Woody Gore (www.captainwoodygore.com)

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Spotted Sea Trout: Good clean moving water and a popping cork with live shrimp or artificial DOA and Gulp Shrimp prove deadly in catching spotted sea trout. Also, soft plastics, especially curly and paddle tail jig bodies, work great when fished on a jig head. Be sure to slow crank the lure with a twitch/twitch action and bounced off the bottom, being prepared because the bite normally comes as the bait falls. This technique normally produces some nice trout. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Capt. Woody and Olive’s first Sheepshead

Snook

Captain Woody Gore is the area’s top outdoor fishing guide. Guiding and fishing the west central Florida areas for over fifty years; he offers world class fishing adventures and a lifetime of memories. Multi-boat Group Charters With years of organizational experience and access to the areas most experienced captains, Captain Woody can arrange and coordinate any outing or tournament. Just tell him what you need and it’s done.

Visit his website at: WWW.CAPTAINWOODYGORE.COM send an email to wgore@ix.netcom.com or give me a call at 813-477-3814

Redfish

Cobia: Tampa Bay certainly has its share of cobia. However, the average angler never catches them because they only see one by happenchance. Most anglers would rather target snook and redfish than go looking for cobia. Many cruise the flats, hang around markers, bridges, and swim up and down the bay. They are great angling adversaries and excellent table fare. So get off the snook kick and try cobia fishing. This time of year they hang around the power plants. Here’s all that’s needed, a large shrimp on a ¼ oz. jighead, free lined pinfish or a small chunk of crab normally does the trick. Sheepshead, Snapper, Grunts, Flounder: Fish are showing up around the bay, so try fishing markers, bridges, docks, seawalls, rock piles, oyster bars or practically any type of barnacle encrusted structure. Shrimp and fiddler crabs seem to be the bait of choice. If you have shrimp left after a previous trip, freeze them in plastic bag, then when you get to your favorite spot, chop up the frozen shrimp and use them for chum to get the bite going. Remember, be mindful of the current, you don’t want to push them off your favorite rock pile.

“Give Me a Call & Let’s Go Fishing”

813-477-3814

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Second Chances

There is an old saying, “If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at something, don’t waste it.” This statement has multiple meanings and it could be applied to giving old items a second chance at a new life. Charlene and Jim Agan love breathing new life into old pieces of wood and giving it a second chance. “Jim and I began working together 1987, which made us good partners together, and we have turned our love for the look of wood into items people could use,” Charlene said. The couple started a wood working/upcycling business called 2nd Hand Life. “Because of our working together in the construction field, we saw all the wood going back into landfills,” Charlene said. “That’s is how 2nd Hand Life started. Saving our landfills of wood that can be turned into items we can use.” 2nd Hand Life is unique in the fact that the business incorporates the historic art of wood working and the latest trend of upcycling. Wood working has been around since the dawn of time. According to the website Wagner Meters (www.wagnermeters.com), “Throughout ancient history, until our modern era, every civilization in the world has used wood to create useful, as well as, beautiful and decorative objects. We see examples of woodworking by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. Many other ancient cultures around the world also practiced woodworking, employing many different styles and techniques. Primitive weapons, used for defense and hunting, and simple tools for building shelters, have been used throughout the ages. Archaeologists discovered a wooden club and digging sticks at the Kalambo Falls, on the Kalambo River, on the border of Zambia and Tanzania. As man developed his woodworking skills, he became better able to kill animals for food, clear land with his axe to grow crops, and build boats, buildings, and furniture. Woodworking thus became an important process that led to the advancement of civilizations.”

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Upcycling became very popular in the 90’s and it’s a trend that is here to stay. Back in 2002, William McDonough and Michael Braungart released their book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, which brought the term “upcycling” into the public eye, and solidified its use in today’s culture. They were pioneers in the field of upcycling, encouraging that we should all strive to extend a products life. Today, that idea is interpreted as meaning we should create from

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what is being discarded whenever possible. According to Upcycle Magazine (www.upcyclemagazine. com), “Upcycling has become so popular because it increases awareness of environmental responsibility and a slow economy has led to a major increase in upcycling. Home owners are looking for ways to renovate with salvaged, and in some cases, free materials. The green mom on a budget may upcycle her old clothes into clothes for her children. This innovative spirit and environmental consciousness has led to upcycling in nearly all areas of life.” What makes 2nd Hand Life different from other wood working/upcycling business out there is that they go the extra mile to make sure their customers are pleased with their products. “We are different because we go that extra mile to make sure our customers are happy, not just now, but a year from now,” Charlene said. “All our clients know, if an item happens to break, even if they break it themselves, we will do our best to fix it.” This guarantee is why they are one of the popular vendors at the Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market. The couple became one of the vendors at the market after their family and friends thought they should sell their beautiful wood creations to the public. The couple loves being a part of the market because of their customers. “We love meeting all the great people at the market and now some have become very dear friends of ours,” Charlene said. “Plus the added bonus is, when meeting new people, you get to hear their stories, and sometimes those stories becomes our next inspiration for making a new item.” Charlene and Jim are also very supportive of shopping local and keeping things local. “This is very important to us and we’ve even made some products for other vendors to use at the market,” Charlene said. If you would like to learn more about the products offered by 2nd Hand Life, you can visit their Facebook page at www. facebook.com/2ndhandlife. If you would like to learn more about the Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market, you can visit their website at www.downtownfarmerscurbmarket.org. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


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JOIN!

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FLORIDA “Fresh From Florida” is a program administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is designed to connect distributors and retail buyers with Florida growers to increase sales of Florida products.

Visit FreshFromFlorida.com/Join or call 850-617-7399

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Smart Farmers & Country Home Owners Who borrowed from Farm Credit received a personal visit from a United States President! Farm Credit of Central Florida puts its profits in its Member/Borrowers’ pockets in the form of a patronage refund payment which can significantly lower the cost of funds to the member.

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Unusual Contest We all love to watch contests, everything from football to the strawberry shortcake-eating contest at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. There are hundreds of weird and unusual contests going on all over the world every day. Every year, young men in a Sudanese tribe take part in a fourmonth long eating contest. The goal is to eat as much as possible staying as still as possible (since moving burns calories). At the end of the four-month period, they’re carted out in front of their fellow villagers and judged on their roundness. I know a couple of people who could win this one hands down. Just park them in front of a TV with a barrel of nacho cheese and they could make history. One of the oddest competitions known to man is the World Worm Charming Championship that has been held in a small village in England since 1980. Contestants stake off a small plot of land and, for 30 minutes, coax as many earthworms out of the dirt as possible without digging for them or using drugs. They use vibrations, by inserting a stick in the ground, and rubing it with another stick. Some say they make “earthworm music,” and the worms come to the top. Whoever collects the most worms, wins. Grand prize is a fishing pole! Men are asked to test their strength in Finland every July by running through a 772-foot obstacle course while carrying their wife on their back. The winner wins his wife’s weight in beer. The rules are: You must be married to the woman you are carrying, and she must be over 17 years of age, and weight at least 108 pounds. Each time you drop her during the contest a 15-second fine is incurred. The sport originated as a joke in Finland, and is supposedly reminiscent of the past when men courted women by running into their village, picking them up, and carrying them off. According to the records, the first “World Toe Wrestling” competition started in 1976 in a pub in the UK. The locals kicked off this competition by having contestants lock their big toes together, and attempt to force their opponent’s foot to the ground. The organizers were so excited about this game they applied in 1997 to have it included in the Olympic games. Unfortunately the supporters of this competitive sport were turned down. Toe Wrestling doesn’t sound like much, but past participants will testify to the contrary, as they have broken toes and sprained ankles to prove it.

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About 85 years ago there were numerous endurance tests

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in the United States. Some of the marathon competitions included people walking, talking, running, dancing drinking, eating and even kissing. One of the most famous competitive events of all time was the “Bunion Derby.” It was the first, and last, transcontinental running race between Los Angeles and New York City. No wonder they called it the “Bunion Derby!” It started on March 4, 1928. By the end of the first day, 77 runners had dropped out. Only 80 left Oklahoma! By the time they got to Chicago only 65 remained in the race. Finally, on May 26,1928, 55 runners made it to the finish line in New York. The winner, had a 15-hour lead, and was Any Payne, a 20-year-old Cherokee farm boy from Oklahoma. His time was 573 hours, 4 minutes, and 34 seconds over 83 consecutive days. He won $25,000 and paid off the family farm debt. If you’re over 65 listed below are a few games you can play! 1 - Sag. You’re it. 2 - Pin the Toupee on the bald guy. 3 - 20 questions shouted into your good ear. 4 - Kick the bucket. 5 - Red Rover, Red Rover, the nurse says bend over. 6 - Hide and go pee. 7 - Spin the bottle of Mylanta. 8 - Musical recliners. Speaking of competitive senior citizens, have you seen the movie, Age of Champions? The movie is about five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the Senior Olympics. In the movie there’s a 100 year-old tennis champion, 86 year-old pole-vaulter, and a rough and tumble basketball team, known as the “Tigerettes,” made up of grandmothers who discover the power of the human spirit and triumph over the limitations of age. Adolph Hoffman, 88, wins the track and field events, and 90 year-old swimmers Bradford and John Tatum win the swimming competition. It’s a fact that brains of the elderly are slow because they know so much. The elderly have so much information in their brain that it takes longer for them to access it. The seniors’ brain is somewhat like a computer. A computer struggles when the hard drive gets full. Likewise, senior citizens brains take longer to access information because it has so much information stored over the years. Some doctor’s say the brain of the elderly does not get weak, it is slower because of all the information taken in over time, and they simply know more. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Mosaic proudly invests in programs that help our hometowns thrive. By providing essential crop nutrients to farmers, The Mosaic Company helps the world grow the food it needs. Across Florida, we focus on feeding communities, safeguarding wildlife, protecting natural resources and supporting education. We understand that the strength and vibrancy of our local communities are the seeds of our success. Visit mosaicco.com/florida to learn more about Mosaic’s efforts in your area. Let’s keep our communities growing, together. ®

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Luna Berry Farms

From Phosphate to Blueberries

When they purchased an old phosphate mine, they really had no idea what the land was good for, but they knew that they didn’t want the land to be developed, so Maryann and Andy set out to figure out just what they could do with the 120 acres on Kville Avenue in Aburndale. Plant it and it will grow, seemed like an unlikely event that the couple considered. What would grow on an old phosphate mine? What can we do to restore nature?

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Andy and his wife Maryann have always had respect for the farmers and ranchers, both had connections with the farm life and cattle growing up, and they wanted to turn this piece of land into something truly special, natural, and productive. In 2012 Andy began clearing and leveling the land. He knew whatever his plans were he was going to have to do a lot of site work. The 120 acres consisted of a 30 acre lake that was located in the center of the property. Andy focused his attention on clearing and sloping the land to drain back into the lake. Not long after he started this work a family friend suggested he plant blueberries on the land, and use the rest for cattle, the registered Angus herd of cattle Maryann owns. This seemed far-fetched since the future land use zoning

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was for future heavy industrial, who buys industrial land and farms it? The Wike’s do. The planting began in 2013 after hundreds of loads of mulch were brought in. To properly grow blueberries, the plant must have a well-draining environment, that is acidic and has a ph of 4.5 to 5.0, they also require a rich organic matter in the plant material, so a former phosphate mine turning into a blueberry farm isn’t too far-fetched after all. The first year after the clearing and planting, the plants were stripped of fruit so that they could concentrate on rooting and future production. The actual production of fruit began in 2014, so this will be the fourth year of harvesting blueberries on the farm. Each year the harvested amount of fruit has grown, from just a few thousand pounds of harvested blueberries and 10 thousand plants, to more than 40 thousand plants and over 250k lbs of fruit harvested last year. The staff at Luna Berry Farms has learned to use nature to take care of nature. Let’s start with pollinating. The farm rents bee hives from (Chris Sadler) Chris Sadler Honey Farm of WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Lakeland. Chris brings over boxes with hives in them, thousands of bees pollinate the entire farm over a few months period of time in late December to February. The birds of nature act as prey to the birds who would be problematic to the berries, and, for the most part, these birds survive only on the pests such as spiders, frogs etc. The spiders do a fabulous job killing off any aphids and scales that could potentially harm the plants and the lizards are very healthy from eating the spiders and bugs. Although the farm isn’t deemed organic, in the past two years of operation, they have not used pesticides or fungicides on the plants, and only used liquid nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and a few micro-nutrients. Their mission on the farm is not to disrupt nature, just to let it do its own thing, and doing this has proven to work magnificently. So far this year, the blooms of berries are truly breathtaking, as far as you can see from one end of the farm to the other is nothing but bees working, and white flowers blooming and the sweet smell of berries on the horizon. Luna Berry farms grows two varieties of blueberries, Emeralds and Jewels. Emerald and Jewel blueberries are both large varieties that are harvested for a four to six week window of time. The main difference is the taste. Emeralds are sweeter, whereas the Jewels are more tangy, but together they create an amazing combination of sweet and tangy. Luna Berry Farms is a wonderful place to visit with a family during the u-pick times. U-pick means you come out to the farm and pick your own berries and get a discounted rate from the price you would pay at the grocery store. You will be provided a bucket where you can collect your berries and come back to weigh out and pay.

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Andy is passsionate about educating consumers on the Fresh from Florida initiative that is critical to our states agribusinesses. Andy said. “Whatever you are buying, oranges , peaches, strawberries, blueberries, buy Fresh from Florida, and if your grocer doesn’t have any, ask for it, read labels. Packaged in Florida does not mean it is grown here or grown under the same guidelines and regulations. This year they are changing things up a bit, along with having the u-pick dates, and the farm workers who will pick daily for the packing house, Noble Foods, who packs for them, they will also have a concessions stand available at the farm with blueberry cobbler, cakes and milkshakes. They are currently constructing a bridge to go over part of the lake to allow visitors a chance to feed the fish and maybe even a cane pole to entertain the fisherman in the family. The blueberry farm is expanding all the way over to the parkway where the cows have been for the last few years. Luna Berry Farms is one of the largest family operated blueberry farms in Polk County, with the entire family being involved in the operation in one way or another. Andy and Maryann both work for Fleetwing Corporation in Polk County, Andy is the CEO of the specialty oil, lubricant and petroleum products company. The farm has a manager, Andres Pascual, who takes care of the everyday operations, as well as, harvesting operations. Harold Langley, who is a friend of Andy and Maryann, also helps with everything at the farm that needs to be done. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Last year, due to encroachment, Luna Berry Farms did something unprecedented, they gave away blueberries, 75,000 of pounds of blueberries. When a grocery store is able to get

fruit that is cheaper from another state or country, they often choose to bring in the cheaper product, leaving the local farmers with what is left of their crop left to be wasted. The owners of Luna Berry Farms decided to use the free blueberries campaign to educate consumers about buying “Fresh From Florida” and supporting the local farmer, even if it means paying 10 cents more.


Ornamental Gardening in Florida By Ginny Mink Two years strong traveling on this Literary Time Machine. That’s amazing! We trust that you have begun this New Year with guts and gusto. And, that you are raring to join us on the next part of our voyage through a nearly one hundred year old book. We can only hope and pray that we are doing Mr. Charles Torrey Simpson justice by relaying the wisdom he revealed in the mid-1920s. Having left our chapter on aquatic plants, it makes sense to delve into another area of relatively sensitive ornamentals: native ferns. Mr. Simpson dives right in and first brings our attention to Acrostichum. He writes that they are, “Tropical ferns of large size inhabiting the fresh and brackish swamps of the southern part of Florida.”¹ Then he decides to break them down into subspecies and continues his description, “A. excelsum sometimes reaches a height of twelve feet or more and is a striking object. A. aureum is somewhat smaller but is a magnificent plant. The leaves are irregularly pinnate and the black spores completely cover the backs of all or part of the pinnae.”¹ The idea that there are 12 foot tall ferns is intriguing. We are more accustomed to the small ones that curl up when you touch them. So, we needed to get a better understanding of something so “striking.” It would appear that the name has been changed to Acrostichum danaeifolium and that they are better known as the Giant Leather Fern.² The pictures we found made us think of something akin to a Jurassic Park plant. Seriously, giant ferns! But, moving on from our fantasy imagery, we discover a much more dainty plant, the Adiantum, or Maidenhair fern. Simpson describes it this way, “A. tenerum is an exquisitely delicate fern that grows in lime sinks in Central and Lower Florida. A. capillus-veneris is beautiful and is occasionally found in the upper part of the state.”¹ The care with which Mr. Simpson chooses his descriptors makes us appreciate how deeply he loved the native plants of our state.

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This love is further illuminated in his next plant explanation.

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He writes, “Asplenium serratum is an elegant fern in wet places in hammocks in the peninsular part of the state with long, entire leaves which form a crown. A. myriophyllum and A. biscayneanum are marvelously beautiful and delicate…”¹ His words fascinated us so immensely, that we had to search for the fern he was obviously enamored with. Unfortunately, those efforts proved fruitless. However, we did discover that one of them is referred to as the Limestone Spleenwort. That struck us as pretty funny. Skipping right along we landed at the Lygodium palmatum or climbing fern. Mr. Simpson elaborates, “This rare and beautiful plant grows down into northern Florida and is sometimes cultivated.”¹ A little research revealed that what Mr. Simpson calls “rare” is actually on endangered and threatened lists in several states. And, in truth, the images we saw make it one of the most unique ferns we’ve ever seen. That’s why we included a picture in this article for your inspection and enjoyment. A sad truth, though, that a rare plant of the 1920s is an endangered one of today. But, he doesn’t waste time on predictions in these descriptors, just facts. So, he moves on and eventually arrives at Osmunda spectabilis, which he says is pretty much the same as Old world O. regalis. And this, he adds, suggests that, “…taken together they probably have the widest distribution of any plant on earth.”¹ That implies this is a particularly hardy fern. Interesting news on that topic though, is the fact that genetic studies proved the spectabilis and regalis are actually different varieties of the Osmunda genus.³ No doubt Mr. Simpson would find that information quite interesting. And that leads us to P. aureum or Serpent fern. He says it, “…is found living on the palmettos of South Florida and is a striking plant. It has been placed in the genus Phlebodium but Bailey retains it in Polypodium.”¹ We love it when he presents a potential argument. And, he did not disappoint because when we found it on the Atlas of Florida Plants it was listed as Phlebodium aureum within the family Polypodiaceae. And, its common name is Golden Polypody.⁴ Looks to us like no one won that classification argument. WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


He concludes this section by writing, “The above is a long list yet I believe every species in it and many others are worthy of cultivation by plant lovers and especially those interested in our native vegetation. I see no reason why gardens may not be made by those who have the ground and means that contain nothing but our wild things.”¹ We don’t see why that can’t happen either. So, consider doing some research on the plants native to your specific part of the state and then help preserve their existence by adding such “wild things” to your own gardens. We can all do our part to prevent endangerment of those things initially intended to reside here. Resources: ¹ Simpson, Charles T. (1926). Ornamental Gardening in Florida. Published by the Author; Little River, FL. Printed by J.J. Little and Ives Company, New York. (p. 122-124). ²Atlas of Florida Plants. Acrostichum danaeifolium. http://florida. plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2191 ³USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilits (Willd.) A. Gray royal fern. https://plants. usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=OSRES ⁴Atlas of Florida Plants. Phlebodium aureum. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=3613 Photo Credits: James St. John- Acrostichum danaeifolium (giant leather fern) (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA) 6- https://flic.kr/p/ChLkiS Kerry Wixted- Climbing Fern- https://flic.kr/p/6u77ND Forest and Kim Starr. Starr-110330-3606-Phlebodium_aureumfrond-Garden_of_Eden_Keanae-Maui. https://flic.kr/p/EdhaMH

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Buccaneers Don’t Just Have Swords: The Endangered Buccaneer Palm By Ginny Mink With Gasparilla still nipping at our heels, and football season having come to a close, it seemed appropriate to introduce you to the endangered, Buccaneer Palm. Believe it or not, Buccaneers don’t just have swords, some have fronds. The Buccaneer palm’s scientific name is Pseudophoenix sargentii. Some people call this a Cherry Palm or the Sargent’s Cherry Palm. It’s native to Cuba, the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize and South Florida.¹ Buccaneer palm trees are each very unique in their appearances. They come in a variety of colors. Some are light green, blue green, plain green, and some are even completely silver. Their signature swollen trunks come in varying shapes as well.² The Buccaneer palm is the most rare of Florida’s 12 native palms. Most landscaping nurseries won’t even attempt to grow it because it takes a long time to mature, frequently only adding one frond a year. That means it takes about 10 years to even look like anything of value.³ Most people simply don’t have the patience to wait for these trees to fully mature. Due to the Buccaneer palm’s slow growth, many people are completely unaware of its existence. Add to that the fact that it is sensitive to cold, and it’s easy to see why it is not as well publicized as it should be. After all, it is a striking native Florida palm. But, those things that keep it less noticed are the same things that make it a great landscaping option.² These palms don’t usually exceed 10 feet in height when used in landscaping. However, in some of the few existing natural stands, there are those that reach 25 feet tall. The fronds remind palm experts of those associated with the diminutive blue-green traveler’s palm. This is especially true when the Buccaneer palm is still young. Its fronds spread out to create a fan-shaped appearance.² Some people feel that the Buccaneer palm is particularly easy to recognize. They suggest that the light brown rings against the background of its light green trunk are a dead giveaway. And, these same individuals suggest that the fronds are distinct as well. According to Robin Robinson’s piece, “Leathery, pinnate fronds that are dark green on the top and silver underneath are standouts in the lush landscape.”³ While the Buccaneer palm prefers alkaline soils, it can certainly tolerate salt water. Ensuring that the soil is moist, but well drained, is key. And, planting them in full to partial shade will help guarantee their growth.¹ If you were to try to purchase one, you might find a six foot specimen for well over $200. It’s a lot cheaper to learn to grow these yourself. Patience is the biggest requirement.

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One cool thing about the Buccaneer palm is its ability to be a selfcleaning palm. This happens as it matures, but it can save you a lot of tree maintenance if you choose to add one to your landscaping designs. Self-cleaning, when it comes to palm trees, just means that it will drop its own limbs as they get old or die off. Some palms will just let them hang.²

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Understanding how to recognize these endangered palms and even how to plant them, as a means of rescue, is key to their existence. However, one has to wonder why these trees have become endangered. Research says they don’t have any known pest issues. So, what is causing their demise? Our research led us to the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension of Lee County. They write, “Buccaneer palm, Pseudophoenix sargentii, is an endangered Florida native, once found in abundance in the upper Florida Keys. Wild collecting and development have greatly reduced its numbers…”⁴ So, we are back to humanity being the issue with our native plant and animal species. If people are the problem, as with so many environmental things, they should be the answer, too. Therefore, it seemed prudent to offer our readers a more definitive method for assisting the preservation of these neat looking palms. You can readily germinate the seeds from these palms. They flower year round and attract bees with their white inflorescence. The seeds are found within the fruit, which ripen to a bright red. There is one seed per thin fleshed drupe (or berry).⁴ Gather some fruit. Remove the outer covering, or pulp, and then let them dry for about a week. Next, soak the dried seeds in water for two days. Take your soaked seeds, and plant them. Be sure not to bury them deeper than half an inch. They take six to eight weeks to germinate. That’s when the real patience necessary kicks in. They don’t produce more than one or two fronds a year. Mature ones have between eight and twelve fronds on their crowns. By the way, another notable trait is that, “the broad frond bases wrap around each other to form a bulging crownshaft.”⁴ If your heart is to make a difference in the environment, to protect the plants and animals God has entrusted to our care, the Buccaneer palm could use your help. There are very few natural stands left in Florida. Find out where you can get seeds and then do what you can to add them to your landscaping plans. Resources: ¹Real Palm Trees: The Rare and Endangered- Buccaneer Palm Tree. http://realpalmtrees.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-rare-and-endangered-buccaneer-palm.html ²South-Florida-Plant-Guide: Buccaneer Palm. http://www.south-florida-plant-guide.com/buccaneer-palm.html ³Robinson, R. (2009). Keys News: Stately buccaneer palm requires patience to grow. http://keysnews.com/node/11967 ⁴University of Florida: IFAS Extension Lee County. Pseudophoenix sargentii. http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/Buccaneer_palm. pdf Photo Credits: Treeworld Wholesale- Pseudophoenix Sargentii (Buccaneer Palm- with red fruit)- https://flic.kr/p/KXZpUr Treeworld Wholesale- Pseudophoenix Sargentii (Buccaneer Palm- in pots)- https://flic.kr/p/L2TrGN WWW. INIT FIELD MM AGAZINE.COM WWW. NHE THE FIELD AGAZINE.COM


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Credible Messenger For Science By Jack Payne

There isn’t a shortcut to trust. Like the proverb says, it takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. So Dr. Natalia Peres got busy working on putting in the years as soon as she got to the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma more than a decade ago. Al Herndon managed a strawberry farm in Floral City at the time. Before a weather station was installed, Herndon’s information source was a daily call to Peres on his flip phone. By Herndon’s account, it took some time for Peres to really figure out what the growers’ problems were. After enough phone calls with weather information, and listening to what Herndon was seeing in his fields, though, she earned his trust.

Herndon told her it wouldn’t work. Trying something new is risky, so he needed to trust Peres. Because she’d earned that trust, he agreed to nine rows where he’d follow reduced fungicide spraying instructions from Peres’s strawberry advisory system. It worked. Herndon remained skeptical. Could be those nine rows benefited from the more heavily treated rows around them. So he went to five acres. And he saw the same results.

PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS

Peres has published in academic journals about the success. We’ve done news releases touting the huge financial savings That made her a credible messenger for science. That’s for growers. Herndon summed it what every University of Florida FLORIDIANS’ TRUST IN SCIENCE up by simply saying, “The hell of Institute of Food and Agriculit is, it works!” 68.1 tural Sciences faculty member 63.2 should aspire to. Herndon, who’s now retired from the farm, but continues to serve It takes years to build trust, and it as a consultant, still won’t be then a few weeks to measure it. spoon-fed science. Every year The UF/IFAS Center for Public he and Peres argue about the Issues Education put in those advisory system. But then she weeks this past fall with a surtakes that input, goes back to 30.5 vey. It’s important work because the lab, and makes her system 26.9 when our scientists build trust even better. Knowing she’ll liswith the public, they increase ten and respond gives her – and trust in science itself. science’s search for constant im6.3 4.9 provements -- that much more We start with more than twocredibility thirds of the public already on SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SCIENTISTS CONTRIBUTE TO board. The survey found that 68 SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THE WELL-BEING OF SOCIETY Peres exemplifies the impact percent of respondents agreed THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT of combining excellence in the or strongly agreed with the STRONGLY DISAGREE OR DISAGREE NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE STRONGLY AGREE OR AGREE lab with trust-building out in the statement, “Scientists contribute field. to the well-being of society.” Slightly more than 63 percent of respondents agree that “Scientific research should be supported by the federal government.”

In the PIE Center survey, 25 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that “Americans believe too much in science and not enough in their own feelings.”

The glass is about two-thirds full, but we have much work to do outside the lab to ensure that our work has the impact we all hope for.

Trust is a feeling, a belief. We’re not going to flip that 25 percent with more detailed data. Scientists give people reason to believe by calling them on flip phones, walking their rows, and demonstrating before their eyes that scientific solutions serve them.

For Peres, trust was absolutely essential for her to get her science out of the lab. She wanted to develop a model for determining when to spray for certain diseases. To Herndon, what Peres meant was that he was, quote, “not supposed to spray unless her little computer told me to.”

It’s as labor-intensive as agriculture itself. But that’s why trust takes years to build.

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Jack Payne is the senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. jackpayne@ufl.edu • @JackPayneIFAS

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Loquat Florida

By Sandy Kaster, M.S. Clinical Medicines, B.S. Nutrition Science Also known as the Japanese plum, the loquat is popular for its delicious fruit, as well as, being an attractive shade tree with beautiful fragrant white flowers. Native to China, the loquat is popular in the Asian countries, as well as, in Europe. This fruit is a cousin of apples and pears. Loquats thrive in Florida’s sunny, warm climate, and are tolerant of drought, but easily damaged by frost. The flowers bloom in fall and the fruit is harvested in the early spring, usually in February through April. Florida is the largest producer of loquat in the United States. Sweet and juicy, loquats taste like a mixture of peach, citrus, and mango. The fruits are ripe and at their sweetest when soft and deep yellow-gold in color. They range from oval to round to pear-shaped, two to five centimeters long and average 30 to 40 grams. The peel is edible and smooth, similar to that of a peach. Inside the flesh there are one to ten dark brown seeds. Loquats are delicious eaten out-of-hand.

Nutrition Loquats are low in calories and a great source of many vitamins and minerals. One cup of fresh cubed loquat contains 70 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of protein, and 0.3 grams of fat. It also contains 46% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, 11% for potassium and manganese, 7% for vitamin B6, 5% for magnesium and folate. Plentiful amounts of other nutrients also occur in loquat, including phosphorus, copper, calcium, iron, vitamin C, thiamin, and riboflavin.

Vitamin A Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that has several important functions in the body. In the form of retinoids, vitamin A is famous for its role in healthy skin. Topical retinoids are used to help treat the skin lesions associated with severe acne and psoriasis. Vitamin A is also used in some facial creams to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A is essential for good vision. Often an early sign of vitamin A deficiency is poor night vision. Research shows that people who eat more foods with vitamin A are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Those who consumed high levels of vitamin A though their diets also had a lower risk of developing cataracts. Additionally vitamin A is needed to help cells reproduce normally, maintain healthy immune system function, bone formation, and wound healing.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine, a water soluble vitamin. Pyridoxine has a variety of important functions in the body. It is needed to make antibodies which help fight infec-

Magnesium Magnesium is an important mineral for every organ in the body, particularly the heart, muscles, and kidneys. It activates enzymes and helps regulate levels of other vitamins and minerals in the body such as vitamin D, calcium, copper, zinc, and potassium. Magnesium also is required for healthy teeth and bones. Consuming plenty of magnesium through fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains in the diet is associated with lower blood pressure. It may also help prevent migraine headaches and shorten the duration of a migraine. For the heart, magnesium is especially important. Magnesium helps maintain a normal heart rhythm and a high dietary intake of this mineral is associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

Selection and care Choose fruit that are golden in color and slightly soft. Loquats are delicate and bruise easily, so they should be handled carefully. They are best eaten shortly after harvest, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to several days. Slightly under-ripe fruit make excellent jelly due to its tartness.

Preparation and Use Fresh loquats are delicious eaten out-of-hand. The peel is entirely edible. Simply rinse under water, pinch off the blossom end, squeeze out the brown pit, and eat. In addition to being made into jams and preserves, they can be frozen or canned for longer storage. Other ways to enjoy loquats include: • Chop and mix with other fruit into a salad • Cook the flesh and puree into a dessert topping • Chop and add to pie crust for loquat pie • Dice and use in quick breads and muffins and cobbler • Chop into small pieces and use to top cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt • Puree, mix with sugar and cream for fresh loquat ice cream

Selected References http://nassau.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/fruit/loquat.html http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/trees-andshrubs/trees/loquat.html http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/FCS/FlaFoodFare/Loquat.pdf https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/loquat.html INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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tion. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function, keep blood sugar in normal ranges, and break down the protein you eat in your diet into usable source of energy. Pyridoxine is also needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells to all the tissues in your body. Low levels of vitamin B6 can cause anemia.


Amy Carpenter Amy Carpenter was presented a resolution by Chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, Ellis Hunt, for 35 years of service to the state of Florida citrus industry. Carpenter would like to thank the Florida citrus growers for the opportunity to serve them and promote the healthy, delicious products they grow. “I am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing friends and organizations through the years. To have the chance to work promoting our delicious, healthy Florida fresh fruits, orange and grapefruit juices, has been a sincere pleasure. I have seen the industry go through so much and continue to be strong. Thank you Florida citrus growers! I plan to continue serving our state.”

Ellis Hunt presents Amy Carpenter, accompanied by her sons Casey and Ben, with the resolution.

Strawberry tart you stole my

Heart!

H AVE A BERRY H APPY VALENTI N ES!

Stop by our produce stand and pick up some delicious strawberries. We’re sure they’ll make any occasion Berry Special!

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NEW STAND LOCATION: Southeast corner of 5212 Drane Field Rd. and County Line Rd. 813.478.3486 or 813.754.4852 | FancyFarms.com

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70

Seventy Years of Something GREAT! By Allyson Polston

This year families and friends joined together to celebrate 70 years at the Polk County Youth Fair. The fair brings together old and new generations, different traditions, and what we all love… AGRICULTURE! Whether you showed a commercial/registered beef breeding project, a market animal, or even baked a cake, you had the opportunity to be a part of something great. This year I was able to watch the commercial beef breeding show, the registered beef breeding show, the market steer show, walk around the plant room and the Stuart Building. Everybody should be very proud of what they accomplished this year! My favorite part of the week was getting to see all the kids making memories along with making an impact on the industry. For my article this month I thought it would be cool to walk around and talk to some of the different exhibitors at the fair. The first exhibitor I was able to talk to competed in the Whip Popping Contest, along with showing his registered Brangus cattle in the Brangus show. Elijah Lasseter is twelve years old and has been showing at the youth fair for four years. His favorite event at the fair is whip popping. He began whip popping at the age of eight. One goal Elijah has is to continue to get better and keep competing at the fair. It has been an honor to know the Lasseter family and seeing Elijah grow, as not only a showman, but a cattleman too. The next two girls I got to talk to were inseparable! Miss Kylee McMullen and Miss Payge Dupre are two girls I love dearly! Kylee is twelve years old, she has been showing for three years and Payge is eleven years old and she has been showing for four years. Kylee competed in the registered Brahman show. This year she not only won Supreme Grand Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion in Brahman influence cattle, but she also won Intermediate Showmanship. When I asked her what her favorite part of the PCYF was, she said meeting new people and making new memories. This year was Payge’s first year raising and showing a market steer project at the PCYF. Her steers name is Takota. The idea of the name came from her grandmoth-

As I was walking around the barn I saw this little eight year old girl brushing her Brangus cow off while letting its calf nurse. I just knew I needed to have a conversation with her. Kyleigh Criswell is eight years old and this year was her first year exhibiting cattle at PCYF. This year she learned a lot, but mostly how to set her cattle up in the ring and to make sure the animal stays square. Kyleigh told me she has also learned to “not to give up, and always try again.” Now how can you not love that? She is so knowledgeable about her cattle already, she was even telling me about her breeding program. Kyleigh is very excited about the rest of show season and for next year! As I talked to all the exhibitors, I decided to talk to Mr. Justin Sharpless, who is a professor at Warner University, but also one who showed at the PCYF throughout his high school years. Sharpless was also a part of the Federation and was a Florida State Officer for FFA. He hopes that everyone who has competed, or will compete, at the Polk County Youth Fair, will take away an appreciation for the agriculture industry and how we, as an industry, are producing food. When he teaches classes at the college, he teaches on agricultural issues in the U.S. and also the issues with the government that deal with the agriculture industry. People need to know more about the agriculture industry we are a part of and Justin Sharpless is one that is making that happen with his career and with the love he has for the industry. Thank you to all the supporters and congratulations to everyone who competed at the 70th Annual Polk County Youth Fair. INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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er and means the name means “friend.” Her steer this year was a homegrown calf. She place second in her class and won Intermediate Showmanship. Payge said raising a steer is harder than a pig but she loved every minute of it. She learned new responsibilities and how he needed to be a thousand pounds at final weigh in. Payge is already excited about next year and is already planning for her next steer project.


The Business Of Bees And Hope That They Don’t Buzz Off! by John Dicks Over the years there has been quite the buzz about the declining bee population. Zoom in a bit and the picture begins to appear more bleak than at first blush. The bee population throughout the United States has been on a downward track for nearly 70 years. The actual numbers are alarming. In 1947, some six million bee colonies zipped around America. Today, the estimate is that there are only 2.5 million. That nearly 60% drop has caught the attention of scientists and beekeepers alike . Within the hives, the bee colonies are also struggling. Beekeepers lose an estimated 30-40% of their bees each year. Of course new ones are born, too, and even more are bought and delivered to the hive from breeders through delivery by the likes of FedEx. Nonetheless, this bee colony collapse disorder, as it is referred to, combined with the annual loss within the hive itself, is alarming. The business of bees is a critical one for any farming community. It’s estimated that worldwide there are more than 90 crops dependent on the hard work of the buzzing pollinators. Keeping the hives full of healthy and happy bees has been an enterprise tended to by beekeepers for centuries. The technical term for a beekeeper is an apiarist. No, I didn’t know that either, but I learned it while donning a protective suit and spending several hours watching and learning from a local apiarist as he was checking his hives. It’s a fascinating business, which produces more income from renting hives to farmers than from selling local raw honey. Interesting in that unlike the bee colonies themselves, the business of beekeeping is actually thriving. In Florida alone the ranks of apiarists have swelled since the year 2006 when there was an estimated 600 beekeepers in our state compared to over 4,100 today. Fortunately, both the demand for pollination of crops and the sales of local raw honey are strong enough to sustain the apiarist’s business. However, that overall net decline in bee colonies has people concerned since the obvious point is noted that without bees, blueberries, strawberries, citrus and any number of the countless crops that depend on their pollination would be in serious jeopardy.

giant threat to our food production. It’s estimated that more than one third of humans across the planet depend on pollinated crops. The biggest worker of that group is the honeybee, which carries the weight for 80 percent of all pollination. Their economic value is enormous. Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U. S. economy in terms of agriculture and crop production. So significant are bees to farming, food and our lives that Florida is taking steps as a leader to their sustainability. Thanks to collective funding from the Florida Legislature, IFAS (UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) and the private sector through various beekeeper groups, the University of Florida is preparing to build a state of the art laboratory and research facility dedicated to the study of bees. The mission of the new project will be to investigate, study and create new beekeeping techniques and solutions to stop that referenced bee colony collapse disorder. If all goes well, the new facility will soon be started this year and in operation sometime in 2018. The industry has been working towards this goal of the lab and research center for several years and finally achieved success with the last session of the Florida Legislature after having hit roadblocks along the ways. Gaining public awareness and support led to fruition through publicity and, as you would suspect, the use of social media. Take a look, for example, at the numerous posts found at Facebook.com/BuildtheBeeLab. Enthusiastic supporters are lobbying to gain further support for their project by advocating for a honeybee pollinator Florida license plate. This would provide additional ongoing financial support. The hope is, of course, that with science on our side, and the continued excellent efforts towards sustainability by beekeepers, the demise of bees will begin to buzz off!

Simply put, without bees, we’d be facing a

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John Dicks is both a lawyer and a farmer. He and his family own a blueberry farm and have agricultural lands which they lease for cattle operations, as John says, “to someone who knows and handles cattle much better than I do!” John is both a Gator, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, and a Seminole, with his Law Degree from Florida State University. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Plant City, where he served nine years as City Commissioner, including three years as Mayor.

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Cattle • Truck Farming • Citrus • Game Hunting

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

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s e p i c e R

Courtesy of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Florida Strawberry Mascarpone Panini

Chef Justin Timineri

DIRECTIONS Heat a panini press or griddle over medium heat. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone on top of each of the 8 bread slices. Add an even layer of fresh sliced strawberries to 4 of the bread slices. Use the other 4 slices of bread to top the sandwiches. Brush the sandwiches with butter and grill or press until golden, about 5 minutes.

INGREDIENTS 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin 8 slices fresh bread (1/2 inch thick) 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese confectioners’ sugar for dusting 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

q

Transfer the panini to a cutting board and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.

Single Serve Fruity Pizza

q

Ingredients 1 (9-inch) whole-wheat pita bread 1 orange, peeled and sectioned 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, sliced 1/4 cup cantaloupe, sliced 1/4 cup fresh blueberries 1 ounce light cream cheese 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

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Combine cream cheese and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until well blended. Spread cheese over pita. Decorate with fruit by creating a fun face or pattern.

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2017 Youth Fair Results

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Erista Albritto Shooting Sports 4-H Chili Cook-Off People’s Choice 1st Place Tevin Ashwood Lake Wales Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer-European 2 yr old Reserve Champion Commercial Heifer Sr. Showmanship 1st Place Genevieve Bajsa George Jenkins Sr. FFA Market Steer Carcass Contest Grand Champion Alyssa Balliet Orange Blossoms 4-H Table Setting-Best Informal Outdoor Int. Winner Storytelling Int. Division 1st Place Mackenzie Barber All Stars 4-H Archery Recurve Sr. 1st Place Josh Bastin Treasures of Life 4-H Poultry and Egg Judging Sr. 1st Place Tyler Bazemore Ft. Meade Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer-Brahman 3 yr old Grand Champion TC Bearden Ft. Meade Community 4-H Foods-Whipping Cream Pound Cake Tricolor Caleb Bedsole Kathleen Middle FFA Goat Tying-Int. 1st Place Aralyn Behr Polk County Sea Stars 4-H Photography-Color Strawberry b/w Field Tricolor Conner Belisle Winter Haven Christian FFA Chili Cook-Off Judges’ Choice 1st Place Jessie Bennett Hog Wild 4-H Commercial Heifer-Brahman Yearling Grand Champion Commercial Heifer-Brahman Overall Grand Champion Keith Bennett Hog Wild 4-H Livestock Judging Jr. 1st Place Rilee Bennett Lucky A’s 4-H Market Hog Jr. Showmanship Winner Zachary Bennett Hog Wild 4-H Purebred Beef-Angus Bull Grand Champion Purebred Beef-English Breed Male Grand Champion Dacoda Bews McLaughlin Middle FFA Hog Barn-Herdsman Award Int. Winner Jesse Bibby Bartow Sr. FFA Horticulture Peaches Tricolor Jillian Bibby Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Horticulture Peaches Tricolor Jayden Black Amigos 4-H Jr. Illustrated Talk 1st Place Breeding Goat-Pygmy Grand Champion Julia Black Polk Centennial 4-H Jr. Demonstration 1st Place Johnny Blackwelder Ridge Community Sr. FFA Foods-Coconut Pound Cake Tricolor Home Furnishings-Salute to Veterans Basket Tricolor Gift Basket-Truck Accessory Basket Tricolor Horticulture Vegetables Tricolor Jacob Blankenship Orange Blossoms 4-H Horticulture Blueberry Reserve Champion Paige Blankenship Rowdy Ropers 4-H Commercial Heifer Herdsman Award-Team Winner Horse-Key Hole Jr. 1st Place Horse-Barrels Jr. 1st Place Josh Boston Treasures of Life 4-H Poultry and Egg Judging Sr. 1st Place Hunter Boykin Haines City Sr. FFA Livestock Judging Team Sr. 1st Place Macy Bozeman Amigos 4-H

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Commercial Heifer-European 3 yr old Grand Champion Breeding Goat-Pygmy Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Romagnola Bull Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Continental Breed Male Reserve Champion Kade Bradburry Haines City Sr. FFA Livestock Judging Team Sr. 1st Place Lauren Branam Southern Variety 4-H Purebred Beef-Hereford Bull Grand Champion Preston Brannon Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Breeding Goat-Dairy Reserve Champion Jordan Brantley New Horizons 4-H Food Preservation-Pickled Green Beans Tricolor Table Setting-Best Formal Jr. Winner Rebecca Briggs Frostproof Sr. FFA Scrap-Off-Sr. 1st Place Leah Brown Frostproof Middle FFA Chili Cook-Off Best Decorated Booth 1st Place Reanna Brown Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef-Zebu Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Blair Buchanon Kathleen Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Angus Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef-English Breed Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef Showmanship-Sr. 1st Place Kiley Buck Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Stakes Int. 1st Place Horse-Poles Int. 1st Place Horse-Barrels Int. 1st Place Iris Busby Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Speed Showmanship Sr. 1st Place Horse-Key Hole Sr. 1st Place Horse-Stakes Sr. 1st Place Patience Byer-Evered Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef-Zebu Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Brett C Frostproof FFA Poultry and Egg Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Madison Carlton Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Market Hog Int. Showmanship Winner Shelby Carlton Kathleen Sr. FFA Horticulture Judging-Sr. Team 1st Place Gage Caro Lake Wales Sr. FFA Market Steer Carcass Contest Reserve Champion Laney Cash Lucky A’s 4-H Breeding Goat-Boer Grand Champion Gabriel Chandley Lucky A’s 4-H Purebred Beef-Simmental Female Reserve Champion Peyton Chandley Lucky A’s 4-H Photography-Multiple Flowers Tricolor Market Steer Commercial Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Simmental Female Grand Champion Timothy Chauncey Mulberry Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer Herdsman Award-Ind Winner Market Steer Herdsman Award Winner Benji Chenowith Home Grown 4-H Archery Sighted Long or Recurve Int. 1st Place Kaydee Clark Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Market Steer Commercial Grand Champion Samantha Clemens Crystal Lake Middle FFA Horticulture Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Zachary Clements Auburndale Sr. FFA Poultry-Turkey Champion Ean Clemons Frostproof FFA Poultry and Egg Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Anna Conroy Clovers on the Ridge Horse Judging-Jr. 1st Place Horse-Geldings 7 and up 1st Place Aaron Courtney McLaughlin Middle FFA Rabbit Show Grand Champion Annabelle Crandall Southern Variety 4-H Scrap-Off-Junior 1st Place PJ Pant Sew-Off Jr. 1st Place Horse-Jr. Quiz1st Place

Peyton Creel Crystal Lake Middle FFA Horticulture Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Ema Crumbly Frostproof Sr. FFA Table Setting-Best Formal Sr. Winner Paige Davis New Horizons 4-H Table Setting-Best Formal Int Winner Home Furnishings-Table Centerpiece Tricolor Gift Basket-Tailgaiting Basket Tricolor Summer Davis Ridge Community Sr. FFA Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Todd Delaney Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Misty DeVane Frostproof FFA Commercial Heifer-European 3 yr old Reserve Champion Cameron Dicks Lucky A’s 4-H Clothing-Pink Pillowcase Dress Tricolor Clothing-Reversible Dress Tricolor Foods-Braided Bread Tricolor Pillow Sew-Off Int. Team 1st Place Brynna Dierker Country Ridge 4-H Foods-Honey Bread Tricolor Home Furnishings-Red/White Candle Tricolor Gift Basket-Breakfast Basket Tricolor Int. Demonstration 1st Place Jack Dierker Country Ridge 4-H Foods-Flax and Sesame Seed Bread Tricolor Home Furnishings-Bird House w/ Greenery Tricolor Horticulture Peaches Reserve Champion Horticulture Vegetables (x2) Tricolor Leah Dunham Crop and Carrot 4-H Horse-Int. Quiz 1st Place Horse-Western Showmanship Int. 1st Place Hunter Dupre Kathleen FFA Market Steer Eagle Award Winner Payge Dupre Lake Gibson Middle FFA Commercial Heifer Int. Showmanship 1st Place Market Steer Showmanship-Int 1st Place Purebred Beef-Brahman Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Brahman Breed Female Reserve Champion Reagan Durden Winter Haven Adventurers 4-H Table Setting-Most Creative Jr. Winner Elizabeth Durrance Lucky A’s 4-H Storytelling Jr. Division 1st Place Katherine Durrance Lucky A’s 4-H Table Setting-Best Informal Indoor Jr. Winner Bailey Dykes Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Brooke Dykes Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Sarah Edington Southern Variety 4-H Horse-Musical Flags Sr. 1st Place Colton Elder Lake Wales Sr. FFA Breeding Goat-Sr. Showmanship 1st Place Alyssa Eldridge Ft. Meade Community 4-H Foods-Microwave Peanut Brittle Tricolor Home Furnishings-Quilt Tricolor Home Furnishings-Halloween Table Runner Tricolor Pillow Sew-Off Int. Team 1st Place Chili Cook-Off People’s Choice 1st Place Joseph Esposito Winter Haven Adventurers 4-H Woodworking Bracelet Tricolor Ray Everett Haines City Sr. FFA Livestock Judging Team Sr. 1st Place Jaden Ewing Frostproof Sr. FFA Cake Auction Winner Josh F Frostproof FFA Poultry and Egg Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Alice Farmer Still Squealin’ 4-H Hog Barn-Eagle Award Winner Olivia Foreman Polk Centennial 4-H Decorative Food Centerpiece Int. 1st Place Trace Foreman Bartow Sr. FFA Horticulture Blueberry Grand Champion WWW.INTHEFIELDMAGAZINE.COM


Reed Fussell Bartow Sr. FFA Horticulture Citrus Reserve Champion Dustina Garcia Country Ridge 4-H Horticulture Citrus Tricolor Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Dane Garner Southern Variety 4-H Archery Instinctive Compound Int. 1st Place Lauryn Garner Kathleen Sr. FFA Rabbit Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Shelby Garrett Frostproof Middle FFA Chili Cook-Off Best Decorated Booth 1st Place Bryce Gary Lake Wales Sr. FFA Market Hog Sr. Showmanship Winner Alli Gebhardt Rowdy Ropers 4-H Commercial Heifer Herdsman Award-Team Winner Breeding Goat-Eagle Award Winner Paige Gebhardt Rowdy Ropers 4-H Commercial Heifer Herdsman Award-Team Winner Caitlyn Glisson Bartow Sr. FFA Cake Auction Winner Tristen Griner Frostproof FFA Breeding Goat-Dairy Grand Champion Lacretia Groce Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Egg and Spoon Int. 1st Place Matthew Hadden Frostproof FFA Commerical Hen Champion Maggie Hamm Bullseye 4-H Archery Instinctive Long or Recurve-Int. 1st Place Philip Hamm Bullseye 4-H Archery Instinctive Long or Recurve-Jr 1st Place Megan Handley Polk Centennial 4-H Foods-Citrus Variety Tricolor Home Furnishings-Pine Cone Christmas Tree Tricolor Amber Hanna Kathleen Sr. FFA Rabbit Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Katie Harwell Kathleen Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer-Brahman 2 yr old Grand Champion Market Steer Open Reserve Champion Kimberly Harwell Lake Gibson Middle FFA Commercial Heifer-European 2 yr old Grand Champion Commercial Heifer-European Overall Reserve Champion Lily Harwell Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Commercial Heifer-European Yearling Grand Champion Commercial Heifer-European Overall Grand Champion Commercial Heifer Jr. Showmanship 1st Place McKenzie Hayes Frostproof Sr. FFA Table Setting-Best Informal Indoor Sr. Winner Cake Auction Winner Haley Henson Polk County Sea Stars 4-H Rabbit Showmanship Int. 1st Place Kally Henson Polk County Sea Stars 4-H Rabbit Judging Int. 1st Place Layla Henson Polk County Sea Stars 4-H Rabbit Showmanship Jr. 1st Place Wesley Hielsher Bartow Sr. FFA Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Katy-Grace Hixenbaugh Lucky A’s 4-H Table Setting-Judges’ Choice Jr. Winner Jorae Hobbs Winter Haven Sr. FFA Poultry-Male Bantam Grand Champion Anya Hockenberry Home Grown 4-H Food Preservation-Plum Butter Tricolor Table Setting-Best Holiday Sr. Winner Madison Holland Shooting Sports 4-H Chili Cook-Off People’s Choice 1st Place McKenzie Hollie Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Jr. Record Book 1st Place

Horse-Poles Jr. 1st Place Hailey McDaniel Haines City Sr. FFA Livestock Judging Team Sr. 1st Place Leanna McDuffie George Jenkins Sr. FFA Breeding Goat-Boer Reserve Champion Janae McGrath Lake Gibson Middle FFA Rabbit Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Katrina McIntire Lake Gibson Sr. FFA Horticulture Ornamentals Grand Champion Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Abigail McMahon Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Jr. Grooming and Conditioning 1st Place Horse-English Walk/Trot Jr. 1st Place Horse-Western Walk/Trot Jr. 1st Place Kylee McMullen Lake Gibson Middle FFA Purebred Beef-Brahman Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Brahman Breed Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef Showmanship-Int. 1st Place Macey Merritt Bartow Middle FFA Commercial Heifer-Brahman Yearling Reserve Champion Allison Mershon Lakeland Sr. FFA Market Hog Reserve Champion Kaleb Mesmer Lake Gibson Middle FFA Rabbit Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Jessica Niederkorn Lake Gibson Middle FFA Rabbit Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Julia Norman Lakeland Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Brahman Bull Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-English Breed Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Shorthorn Female Grand Champion Alyssa North Clovers on the Ridge 4-H Dog Show-Int. Highpoint Winner Ashlin Oakes Country Ridge 4-H Archery Sighted Compound Int. 1st Place Hannah Ogburn Lucky A’s 4-H Home Furnishings-Patriotic Clothes Pin Wreath Tricolor Table Setting-Best Holiday Jr. Winner Poultry-Jr. Showmanship 1st Place Egg Show-Best Dozen White Eggs Winner Breeding Goat-Jr. Herdsman Award Winner Ashton Owen Bartow Sr. FFA Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Abigail Parmer Bartow Middle FFA Horticulture Vegetables Tricolor Anna Parmer Top Notch 4-H Poultry and Egg Judging Jr. 1st Place Rabbit Judging Jr. 1st Place Horticulture Vegetables (x2) Tricolor Horticulture Judging-Jr 1st Place Jasmine Perry Polk Centennial 4-H Rabbit Show Reserve Champion Makenzie Peters Country Ridge 4-H Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Shelby Petersen Haines City Sr. FFA Poultry-Female Large Fowl Champion Boot Scootin’ 4-H Purebred Beef-Zebu Bull Reserve Champion Riley Phillips Bartow Middle FFA Horse-Int. Grooming and Conditioning 1st Place Horse Judging-Int. 1st Place Horse-Speed Showmanship Int. 1st Place Horse-Costume Int. 1st Place Cassidy Polston Polk City 4-H Purebred Beef-Brangus Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Brangus Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Brangus Bull Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Brangus Bull Reserve Champion continued on Pg. 44 INTHEFIELD MAGAZINE

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Horse-Speed Showmanship Jr. 1st Place Horse-Egg and Spoon Jr. 1st Place Horse-Stakes Jr. 1st Place Justin Holmes Auburndale Sr. FFA Poultry-Male Large Fowl Champion Paige Horstman Winter Haven Christian FFA Chili Cook-Off Judges’ Choice 1st Place Weslee Howell Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Purebred Beef-Angus Bull Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-English Breed Male Reserve Champion Goat Tying-Jr. 1st Place Kenny Hughes Straight Arrows 4-H Archery Instinctive Recurve Sr. 1st Place Erin Jenkins Frostproof FFA Purebred Beef-Hereford Female Reserve Champion Abbegail Jernigan Home Grown 4-H Pillow Sew-Off Jr. Team 1st Place Justin Keene Winter Haven Christian FFA Cake Auction Winner Madyson Kiem Kathleen Sr. FFA Rabbit Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Andrew Kingham Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse Judging-Sr. 1st Place Ellie Kingham Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Int. Record Book 1st Place Horse-Hollow Log Int. 1st Place Horse-Musical Flags Int. 1st Place Horse-Key Hole Int. 1st Place Megan Kling Boot Scootin’ 4-H Gift Basket-Picnic Basket Tricolor Bailey Lightsey Farm Fresh 4-H Goat Tying-Sr. 1st Place Faith Lightsey Clovers on the Ridge Dog Show-Jr. Highpoint Winner Hannah Lightsey Farm Fresh 4-H Livestock Judging-Sr. 1st Place Hattie Lightsey Farm Fresh 4-H Livestock Judging-Int. 1st Place Lisa Liontas Lake Gibson Middle FFA Livestock Judging Team Jr. 1st Place Kendall Locke Lake Gibson Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Angus Female Reserve Champion Kagen Long Farm Fresh 4-H Market Steer Open Grand Champion Lily Manibusan Independent 4-H Horse-English Showmanship Int. 1st Place Horse-English Pleasure Int. 1st Place Horse-Western Pleasure Int. 1st Place Horse-Western Horsemanship Int. 1st Place Horse-Trail Int. 1st Place Cody Martinez Lake Wales Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer-Brahman 2 yr old Reserve Champion Market Steer Showmanship-Sr. 1st Place Collin Mason Winter Haven Christian FFA Cake Auction Winner Chasey McCrimmon Top Notch 4-H Purebred Beef-Brahman Bull Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Brahman Breed Male Reserve Champion Purebred Beef Showmanship-Sr. 1st Place Katelyn McCullough Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-English Showmanshp Jr. 1st Place Horse-English Pleasure Jr. 1st Place Horse-English Equitation Jr. 1st Place Horse-Western Pleasure Jr. 1st Place Horse-Western Horsemanship Jr. 1st Place Horse-Trail Jr. 1st Place Horse-Hollow Log Jr. 1st Place


By Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff

Two Great Outdoor Charity Events Coming Up! Whether it’s shooting clays or driving Jeeps, PCSO has you covered this spring, with two great outdoor events that will raise money for Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc., a non-profit organization created to assist family members of agency members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and which also helped fund the Polk County Sheriff's Office Law Enforcement Memorial. The memorial, which was dedicated on January 18, 2011, honors those members of the Polk County Sheriff's Office who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and freedom. Jeepin’ With Judd: The third annual "Jeepin' with Sheriff Judd" Jeep charity event will be held Friday through Sunday, February 17-19, 2017, at Clear Springs Ranch off of Cox Road in Bartow. The public is invited to join Sheriff Judd, PCSO members, and our many gracious sponsors and vendors at this charity event - all proceeds raised will go to Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc.

event attracted over 360 shooters, and over 500 people were in attendance. Several sponsorship levels are available, with some levels including media recognition. We encourage you to sign up early so that we can properly recognize you in all our materials, including our brochures. Sponsors are also able to set up tables at the event and add items such as company literature to the gift bags given out at the event. Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc. will use 100% of all proceeds from this event to further their mission to support activities and charities that benefit the community associated with and identified through the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. By participating in this event, you are positively impacting our community in a real way! WHEN: Saturday March 18, 2017. Registration starts at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, and shooting starts at 8:00 a.m.

This year a 2012 Jeep Wrangler was donated to the charity by Kelley GMC in Bartow and will be raffled for just $20 a ticket. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold! The drawing will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2017. Visit our website www.jeepinwithjudd. com, and like us on Facebook!

COST: $250.00 per individual shooter, or select a team package starting at $1,000 per team.

Spectators are free and the whole family is welcome to attend! There will be bounce houses and activities for the kids, food and merchandise vendors, and great raffle prizes, including the 2012 Jeep Wrangler! We will have overnight camping again this year, for $20.00 per night.

• Breakfast • Lunch • Gift bag • 1 Raffle Ticket • 50 rounds of Ammo • T-Shirt • Hat

Last year, there were 1,039 Jeeps at this event, and over 3,500 people in attendance; 170 volunteers donated their time, helping raise $95,000 for Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc. WHEN: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 17-19, 2017 COST: Pre-registration is $60.00, which covers everyone in your Jeep, trail rides, and access to the obstacle course. The deadline for pre-registration is February 8, 2017. After February 8th, registration cost is $80.00. All participants will be required to complete a waiver prior to access to the course and rides. Spectators are free - everyone is welcome to attend!

There are multiple packages for participants to choose from. Every registered shooter in attendance will receive –

You will also be able to purchase additional merchandise, raffle tickets, or rent a golf cart on the day of the event. For more information, please visit our website www.bustinclays.org, or email us at contact@bustinclays.org, or call us at 863-298-4990.

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Bustin’ Clays: On March 18, 2017, Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc. will be holding its 9th Annual “Bustin’ Clays with Sheriff Grady Judd” fundraising event at Tenoroc Sporting Clays in Lakeland. Last year’s

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continued from Pg. 41 Purebred Beef-Brahman Breed Male Grand Champion Amy Powell Bartow Sr. FFA Foods-Christmas Cookies Tricolor Horticulture Blueberry Tricolor Desirae Pring Lake Gibson Middle FFA Rabbit Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Emma Putnam Polk Centennial 4-H Table Setting-Best Informal Indoor Int. Winner Taylor Raulerson Hog Wild 4-H Archery Instinctive Compound Jr. 1st Place Harlie Raybourn Kathleen Middle FFA Commercial Heifer-European Yearling Reserve Champion Imani Reed Winter Haven Christian FFA Chili Cook-Off Judges’ Choice 1st Place Hunter Riner Southern Variety 4-H Archery Sighted Compound Jr. 1st Place Magan Ritter Hog Wild 4-H Horticulture Citrus Grand Champion Wesley Ritter Kathleen Sr. FFA Commercial Heifer-Brahman 3 yr old Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Romagnola Bull Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Continental Breed Male Grand Champion Kiersten Robbins Bartow Sr. FFA Foods-Red Velvet Cake Tricolor Foods-Coconut Cupcakes Tricolor Educational Exhibity-Chicken Breeds Tricolor Cake Auction Winner Lexie Rodden Independent 4-H Rabbit Judging Sr. 1st Place Maegan Rodden Independent 4-H Rabbit Showmanship Sr. 1st Place Jeffery Roland Lake Gibson Sr. FFA Metal Tractor Tricolor Savannah Rosales Westwood Middle FFA Commercial Heifer Eagle Award Winner Purebred Beef-Maine Anjou Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef-Continental Breed Female Reserve Champion Purebred Beef Herdsman Award Winner Brianna Rowell Ft. Meade Sr. FFA Food Preservation-Farmer’s Almanac Harvest Relish Tricolor Gift Basket-Wishing I Was Fishing Tricolor Cake Auction Winner Savanna Salm Mulberry Middle FFA Table Setting-Best Holiday Int. Winner Molly Sanson Jean O’Dell Learning Center FFA Whip Popping-Most Spirited Award 1st Place Skyler Schultz Bartow Sr. FFA Gift Basket-Grill Master Basket Tricolor Philip Shaske Polk City 4-H Poultry-Int. Showmanship 1st Place Poultry and Egg Judging Int. 1st Place Horticulture Judging-Int. 1st Place Raelan Sherrouse Amigos 4-H Breeding Goat-Jr. Showmanship 1st Place Rebekah Sikes New Horizons 4-H Home Furnishings-Peace on Earth Tricolor Home Furnishings-Painted Bible Tricolor

Table Setting-Judges’ Choice Winner Alyssa Simmons Crop and Carrot 4-H Horse-Western Showmanship Jr. 1st Place Gracie Sitek New Horizons 4-H Scrap-Off-Int. 1st Place Ellie Smith Lucky A’s 4-H Table Setting-Judges’ Choice Int. Winner Konner Smith Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Nathan Smith Kathleen Middle FFA Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Tomi Kate Snively Southern Variety 4-H Table Setting-Most Creative Int. Winner Kyndal Sowell Top Notch 4-H Hog Barn-Herdsman Award Jr. Winner Megan Spencer Crystal Lake Middle FFA Horticulture Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Margaret-Mary Stray Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Alyssa Sweat Dundee Ridge Academy FFA Purebred Beef Herdsman Team Award Winner Maribel Tarango Ft. Meade Community 4-H Clothing-Child and Doll Blue Dress Tricolor Cake AuctionWinner Cake Auction Winner Horse-Egg and Spoon Sr. 1st Place Home Furnishings-Patchwork Bear Tricolor Horticulture Judging-Sr. 1st Place Robert Tate Pure Country 4-H Horticulture Vegetables Tricolor Horse-English Equitation Int. 1st Place Rachelle Taylor Bartow Middle FFA Breeding Goat-Int. Herdsman Award Winner Mollie Tew Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Horticulture Division-Premier Award Winner Horticulture Peaches Grand Champion Horticulture Ornamentals Reserve Champion Horticulture Ornamentals Tricolor Alexander Thomas Home Grown 4-H Int. Illustrated Talk 1st Place Erika Thomas Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Costume Jr. 1st Place Horse-Musical Flags Jr. 1st Place Haleigh Thomas George Jenkins Sr. FFA Breeding Goat-Sr. Herdsman Award Winner Lillian Thomas Home Grown 4-H Photography-Fairy Views Tricolor Jlynn Torres Home Grown 4-H Pillow Sew-Off Jr. Team 1st Place Emily Tregler All Paws In 4-H Dog Show-Sr. Highpoint Winner Brett True Frostproof FFA Poultry and Egg Judging Sr. Team 1st Place Sarah True Frostproof Middle FFA Chili Cook-Off Best Decorated Booth 1st Place Tyson True Frostproof FFA Poultry and Egg Judging Jr. Team 1st Place

Elizabeth Tucker Polk Centennial 4-H Table Setting-Best Informal Outdoor Jr. Winner Hannah Turcios Lakeland Sr. FFA Market Hog Grand Champion Emily Turner Lake Wales Sr. FFA Table Setting-Most Creative Sr. Winner Storytelling Sr. Division 1st Place Horse-Sr. Grooming and Conditioning 1st Place Horse-Mares 7 and up 1st Place Horse-Poles Sr. 1st Place Horse-Barrels Sr. 1st Place Hannah Venable Rockin’ Riders 4-H Horse-Sr. Record Book 1st Place Grayson Waldman Bullseye 4-H Whip Popping Sr. 1st Place Archery Sighted Compound Sr. 1st Place Josiah Waldman Bullseye 4-H Whip Popping Int. 1st Place Mariah Waldman Bullseye 4-H Whip Popping Jr. 1st Place Archery Sighted Long or Recurve Jr. 1st Place Delaney Walker Lake Gibson Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Charloais Female Grand Champion Theresa Walker Lake Gibson Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Charloais Female Reserve Champion Tristen Walling George Jenkins Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Maine Anjou Female Grand Champion Purebred Beef-Continental Breed Female Grand Champion Kathleen Wann All Stars 4-H Poultry-Sr. Showmanship 1st Place Brooke Weaver Lake Gibson Middle FFA Livestock Judging Team Jr. 1st Place McKenzie Webb New Horizons 4-H Purebred Beef-Zebu Bull Grand Champion Jessica Wells Southern Variety 4-H Archery Instinctive Compound Sr. 1st Place Patrick Wentworth Mulberry Sr. FFA Hog Barn-Herdsman Award Sr. Winner Arnold Westby Haines City Sr. FF A Poultry-Female Bantam Champion Poultry Grand Champion Leslie White Bartow Sr. FFA Table Setting-Best Informal Outdoor Sr. Winner Cake Auction Winner Sr. Illustrated Talk 1st Place Jamar Wiggins Crystal Lake Middle FFA Horticulture Judging Jr. Team 1st Place Stephanie Williams Southern Variety 4-H Breeding Goat-Int. Showmanship 1st Place Riley Williamson Lakeland Sr. FFA Purebred Beef-Hereford Female Grand Champion William Witt Lucky A’s 4-H Home Furnishings-Refinished Table Tricolor Alex Young Ft. Meade Community 4-H Food Preservation-Fiery Peach Salsa Tricolor Foods-Painted Desert Chili in a Jar Tricolor Egg Show-Best Dozen Brown Eggs Winner

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

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February 2017

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A Closer Look A Closer Look

by Sean Green

The Recluse Spider (Loxosceles) Spiders are a terrifying insect for many people in the United States. Ironically, at any given moment, we are surrounded by far more spiders than we are aware of, sometimes hundreds. I enjoy demonstrating this fact when I assist park rangers in leading night hikes. It’s not only in the wilderness that we are surrounded by spiders, there are indeed some spider species that have adapted specifically to urban environments. The good news is that there are very few spiders that present any real danger of death by envenomation to humans or pets. Although all spiders are venomous, their venom is an adaptation used to subdue and digest its prey, which is typically insects. We are simply not on the menu. This, however, does not reduce our cultural fear of spiders. There is one spider in particular that often insights legendary tales of horrifying necrotic wounds. With any discussion of spider bites, invariably the recluse spider will be mentioned as the bandit that nearly killed a family member, friend, or even narrator of the story. Like any legend, truth is at least partially obscured by myth. The recluse spider is a popular villain in stories of Florida spiders. The terror these spiders incite may not be entirely justified. In Florida we have only a handful of medically significant spiders, four of which are members of the Widow family (Latrodectus). Contrary to popular misconception, the recluse spider (Loxosceles) is not common in Florida. In fact, it is a very rare occurrence to find a persistent breeding population of this species in our state. A population of recluse spiders was found in Hillsborough County, Florida in December. A closer look at this recent population will enable entomologists a tremendous opportunity to study the species, it’s distribution, and behavioral characteristics to augment the body of knowledge specific to Florida occurrences of recluse spiders. Historic records of the recluse spider (Loxosceles) in Florida demonstrate a disconnect between exaggerated medical reports of recluse bites and verified records of recluse populations. One such document, dating from 1904, illustrates that Loxosceles have been verified in only 10 of Florida’s 67 counties in a 100 year period. Furthermore, various circulars published by the Department of Agriculture confirm there are eleven species of recluse spiders native to the United States, but none are native to Florida. The most widespread species is the Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa), and its natural range excludes Florida with the possible exception of a small portion of the western tip of the panhandle region. For the most part, historic evidence of verified occurrences of Loxosceles have been specimens that were inadvertently transported out of their endemic range in the course of travel or interstate commerce and arrived in cargo boxes, under vehicles, on ships, or in luggage. The abundance of authoritative documentation of this species is consistent in maintaining that persistent populations of recluse do not exist in Florida. I have cultivated awareness of this species, parroting the published research with every discussion that lead to a learning opportunity and through various education and natural history programs that I have been involved with. Last month began a very exciting opportunity to take a closer look at Loxosceles, and work with two of Florida’s leading authorities to confirm and study what appears to be a persistent and established population of recluse in Hillsborough County. In December, I was contacted by an associate of mine that found a population of spiders that he suspected were Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa). Based on existing published documentation, I assured him that they were probably not recluse spiders and more likely a male Southern house spider (Kukulcania hibernalis) but I agreed to visit and take a look at his spiders. Upon examination I was forced to reconsider my certainty that persistent recluse populations do not exist in Florida. These spiders had all the characteristics of a recluse; solid cream color, characteristic violin pattern on the thorax, six eyes in three groups of two,

I am only an amateur entomologist; for a find this significant, I wanted confirmation from a professional, so I contacted the local Extension Office for Hillsborough County, hoping to bring the live specimens to a staff entomologist, but was told there was no staff entomologist at the local office and was encouraged to contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. I contacted Dr. Leroy Whilby, Bureau Chief - Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology, and was ultimately introduced to Dr.GB Edwards, and Dr. Ian Stocks to look at the specimens we collected. I could not have asked for better authorities to confirm our suspicions. Dr. Ian Stocks is the divisions current spider identifier for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Dr.GB Edwards is a 31 year veteran of arachnology and Curator of Arachhnida and Myriapoda for the Florida State Collection of Arthropods. Dr. Stocks and I made arrangements to meet in Gainesville with the live specimens. Upon initial inspection, Dr. Stocks could hardly contain his excitement, agreeing that the spiders definitely appeared to be recluse. We shared a few stories about our shared passion for spiders and Dr Stocks expressed his excitement in seeing live specimens. Dr. Stocks explained that live specimens provide more opportunity for study than specimens preserved in alcohol, and that a DNA assessment may be possible if more specimens from this population could be captured. Dr Stocks emphasized the importance of documenting persistent populations and offered me the opportunity to co-author further documentation of the population. Dr.GB Edwards contacted me soon after examining the specimens and reported that he was 95% sure the spiders are the Mediterranean recluse (Loxosceles reufescens ). The male specimen was one instar away from being mature enough for a 100% positive identification, but will rear the spiders for further study. According to Dr Edwards, this species of recluse is the one most often found in Florida, typically brought in through commerce, into warehouses, and shipped into other places such as stores, laboratories, or factories. Fortunately, this species does not disperse well and populations are often limited to the building in which they were introduced. The important thing to consider with any discovery of recluse populations in Florida is, as a species, they simply do not do well in Florida’s tropical climate and are virtually nonexistent in the wild. Loxosceles have become a cosmopolitan species in Florida and when found, are typically restricted to the building where they were introduced. Caution should be exercised when receiving and storing any product received from states with endemic populations. Though they have a bad reputation, they are actually less aggressive than most spiders, and only bite when accidently trapped against the skin. Their very reclusive nature lends them the name “recluse.” The severity of the recluse spider bite is largely exaggerated by the media and could be a story in and of itself. More often than not, the horrific photos of recluse spider bites are misdiagnosis and necrotic wounds caused by a number of more likely sources. Fortunately, the work of professionals such as Dr. Ian Stocks and Dr.GB Edwards provide a closer look at these spiders and with more research and understanding, we may find we have less to fear than we thought.

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no tibial spines. Against every fiber in my body, I had to admit, these spiders definitely appeared to be recluse spiders. This was a great find because we had a large female that appeared gravid (pregnant) and a nearly mature male. I looked at the location they were found in and collected first instar spiderlings as well, evidence that suggests a thriving and persistent population, rather than a few spiders that hitched a ride.


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FOR SALE KITCHEN CABINETS & VANITIES

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In The Field magazine Polk edition  

Agriculture magazine covering Polk County in Florida

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