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VOLUME 38 NUMBER 7 • PH. 813-737-NEWS (6397) • E-MAIL: FARMRANCHNEWS@AOL.COM • WWW.FARMAND R A N C H N E W S . C O M

Agriculture’s Most Trusted Source For News, Views and Advertising Since 1974

THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY FAIR’S 12th ANNUAL HARVEST QUEEN PAGEANT County Fair Seeks Harvest Awards Nominations Nominations are now being accepted for the Greater Hillsborough County Fair’s annual Harvest Awards to be presented Tuesday, October 11 at the Fairgrounds. Deadline for nominations is Thursday, September 15. The purposes of the awards are to “recognize individuals, organizations, corporations and other entities that have made significant or outstanding contributions to the fabric of Hillsborough County,” says Ken Anderson, president of the fair. Anderson said nominations also may be made for those representing industrial, commercial, educational, moral,

governmental and economical segments of the community. Nominations may be mailed to: Hillsborough County Fair, P.O. Box 100, Sydney, FL 33587 or on the website: www.hillsboroughcountyfair.com Josh Burgin, chairman of the Harvest Awards Committee, said that tickets to the 5:30-8:30 event are available on the website at $20 per person. Presentations will include the Farm Family of the Year, Urban Agriculturalist of the Year, Outstanding Public & Community Service, Agribusiness of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.

will be held October 8 at the Fairgrounds on Highway 60 and Sydney Washer Road. A Queen and Jr. Harvest Queen will be selected from Hillsborough County residents entering by the September 30th deadline. Please see Page 23 for rules and regulations.

Some of the previous recipients of the Harvest Awards have been Sam Astin, Jr., Nat and Alice Storms, the Parke, Aprile, Dickman, Kahelin families,the Bob Thomas Family, Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Wiggins, the St. Martin Family, the Elsberry Family, the Marshall Meyer Family, and the Cope Newbern Family. Individual recipients include Sandy Blackadar, Robert Morris, Roger D. Newton, George Todd, Sr., Sam Astin, Jr., Lane Wetherington, Joyce Givens, J. C. Tort, Chuck Smith, Chip Hinton, Oscar Lastinger, Jr., Johnnie Byrd, Gray Gordon, Marshall Platt, Lisa Hinton, Dennis Carlton, Trudy Carey, Dooley Haughtaling, Brenda Shamblin, Lance Ham and George Todd, Sr. Businesses and organizations awarded have included Tampa Bay

Wholesale Growers, Farm & Ranch News, Ruskin Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast REC, Florida State Fair Authority, Hinton Farms, Tomatoes of Ruskin, NRCS, Farm Credit, Gleaners of Hillsborough, and the Gro-Mor Company. The catered dinner will include top sirloin roast beef, southern fried chicken, scalloped potatoes, seasoned butter corn, garden salad and dinner rolls with butter; plus, iced tea, gourmet coffee, after dinner mints and assorted pies, cakes, cookies and brownies for dessert. For further information, call 737-FAIR (3247) or contact Josh Burgin at: josh. burgin@gmail.com , Kathy Curry at: katcurry@tampabay.rr.com or George Parker at: george@farmandranchnews.com,

Exclusive to Farm & Ranch News

A Personal Interview with Governor Rick Scott By Stephanie Farmer-Associate Publisher

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Farm & Ranch News was recently honored with a personal interview with Governor Rick Scott. After he finished a breakfast of Florida oranges and grapefruit, Governor Scott gave me a call on my cell phone. He came across very personable, relaxed and friendly,

yet with a deep passion: a passion to get Florida back on track while making some tough decisions. Here are excerpts from our conversation. Your inaugural event for the youth when you took time out of your day to

speak to the 4-H members during 4-H Day at the Capitol shows an active interest in Florida’s youth. What kind of job future do you foresee for Florida’s youth whether agricultural or urban? continued on page 23


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Miami Dade Extension and 4-H Dodge the Budget Bullet As Their Youth Exhibit True Leadership By Stephanie Farmer-Associate Publisher

The decision is not final, but things are looking up for Miami Dade Extension and 4-H. In July Farm & Ranch News began following their proposed budget then sent out an alert to those on our email loop that their 4-H was facing closure with severe cuts to their extension proposed. Supporters wrote and called, including Commissioner Adam Putnam. Then in August the mayor of Miami Dade County decided to restore 100% of their funding back into their proposed budget. We sent out another email and updated our website, keeping in mind that the final vote is September 22nd and lots can still happen. But, the real story is about the Miami Dade 4-H members and their leadership skills. I met these youth, when I went to Miami for the Extension Open House International Mall event and was truly impressed. When things looked bleak, the older 4-H members who had “graduated” from 4-H and moved onto college and current members who remembered 2009 went into action. They visited and called their commissioners and taught newer members how to contact and talk to their government officials about Extension and 4-H. They participated together in the “open house” for Extension and 4-H at the Extension Office and at the International Mall during “tax free weekend”, which was a great idea for exposing the general public to Extension. These college students could have easily said, “I’ve graduated and moved on from 4-H.” But, they didn’t, because what mattered to them was keeping 4-H strong in their County for future generations. That’s true leadership. So, the real story about this budget issue-is that green knows how to be seen in Miami Dade and that knowledge is being passed down from generation to generation! And when Sept. 22nd rolls around the 4-H members young and old told me they will be at the final vote proudly supporting Extension & 4-H. If you would like to be on the Farm & Ranch News email loop go to www.farmandranchnews.com and click on the “Subscribe Free” link and/or join our Twitter link.

Ardee Coolidge, former 4-H member and now college student at Patrick Henry Colleg, with Barbara McAdam and Bryane Senor with the National Park Service were also at the Extension event.

Emily Freeman visited Commissioner Suarez about the proposed budget cuts and explained the importance of Extension and 4-H. He was so impressed; he asked her if she would like to be part of the Youth Commission Administration to help give Commissioners insight from a youth’s perspective!

Miami Dade is a County with stark contrasts, from farmers’ fields

to the big city of Miami, making Extension a necessity due to such economic and social diversity.

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New Source of Pigs for Florida Shows For several years Mike Reffit has wanted to get in the show pig business, but he wanted to wait until his kids had completed the show pig project. Last show season his son finished with his last events being the State Fair and Pasco County Fair respectively. This past spring, Mike formed a partnership with Cory Nelson, a pig farmer in Nebraska whose quality pigs he had known for some time. They have partnered together under Cory’s 3 N Farms. Raising show pigs is nothing new to Cory. He has been doing this since the early 90’s with his pigs being shown at events from “California to Pennsylvania and Texas to Minnesota.” Shows range from local fairs in Nebraska to the World Pork Expo and National Barrow Show. Now, after partnering with Mike they have been purchasing top end gilts and sows and they are expanding their top quality show pigs into Florida.

You have three ways to buy and one easy way to receive these piglets from Mike. You may purchase them online at showpig.com on Sept. 29th or October 22nd; as a private treaty with satisfaction guaranteed upon delivery or at the live auction in Bainbridge, Georgia on October 29th. The first week of November Mike will roll into Central Florida where you can arrange pickup. It’s that easy! Give Mike a call at 813714-9405. See our ad above.

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“Old, Lame, Half-Blind” A n d named “Buzzard” on top of everything else! And expensive, too. In 1806 $5,500 for a washed out, run down, lame, oneeyed, 20- year old stallion, even one who had been a champion, just seemed crazy

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to most experienced folks. The fact that Buzzard’s championships had been in England may have seemed exotic to the American western frontier of Kentucky but could the horse produce anything worth while in the Bluegrass? A young Lexington lawyer, interested in getting into breeding Thoroughbreds, thought so. With four others, Henry Clay paid this enormous sum intending to improve his young herd. Clay was the manager of what is believed to be the first syndicated stallion in the United States. How he convinced four other horsemen to participate in this venture that the experienced breeders of the time thought absurd may be a testament to his persuasive skills. But I guess Clay, and the others, saw something in this old horse that others just did not see. Perhaps they were just willing to take a risk on a stallion that still seemed to have a little spark. Buzzard lived only two more years, but his blood is foundational to the great Thoroughbred farms of the Bluegrass. Maybe you too will remember Jesus’ parable of the fig tree in Luke 13: 6-9. Give the old thing one more year. Let me work with it, prune it, fertilize it. Maybe it will respond and bear fruit. But give it one

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more chance. I was in Cave City, Kentucky where my big brother ‘Bubba’ (Chris Steward) introduced me to Magaline who runs an interesting store just down Broadway Street from his dentist office. He told me that every now and then he sees someone who brags about doing business with Magaline. You have to understand that Magaline has just about everything in her store, from clothes, to glass bottles, to dinner ware, linens, dolls, canes (sassafras wood, though she may have the candy too), and on and on. Her store is right next to the bank. In fact, two banks, it is the only place I’ve ever seen that has two banks on the side by side. Bubba has had visitors stop in and tell about buying her $2.00 bills. She has them under a green glass on her counter and sells this novelty for $5.00 each. Of course, when she gets low, she sends next door for a new supply, at par. Kentucky folks understand the old principle of “buy low and sell high.” That reminds me of one of my great grandfather’s brothers who kept a store at Uno, Kentucky, just up the road from Bear Wallow. My great grandfather Mage Russell (real name Conrad Waldron Russell– but that is another story) had eight, brothers one of which was called Dod. Uncle Dod’s real name, I’m dying if I’m lying, was Rasmus Tasmus Leroy. You can see why they called him Dod. One afternoon a well dressed fellow came in the store. Uncle Dod didn’t know that this sharp looking gentleman was actually a Yankee con man who had

been working his way down the country. News was slower in those days and this fellow had started in Chicago and come down through Decatur, Illinois, across to Bloomington, Indiana (not to be confused with Bloomington, Illinois), Cincinnati, and Lexington where he got a little off the beaten track trying to head to Bowling Green. Easy enough to do since both 31W (to Bowling Green) and 31E (to Glasgow through Uno) had a Wigwam Motel in those days. So they hadn’t heard a thing about him in Uno. He came in, looked around a little, chatted with the boys playing checkers by the wood stove, and finally bought a nickel Coke which he passed around. He didn’t take a drink himself after he saw James Peabody spit a little ambeer from his dip of snuff after he had sipped. He finally got up and leaned on the counter to talk to Uncle Dod. After the usual thises and thatses, he asked Uncle Dod if he might just change a $30.00 bill for him. Uncle Dod asked to see it and then said well sure, “Would you want that in two $15’s or all in $6’s?”

Until next time, may the Good Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.

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the davis report By Roy Davis- Associate Editor

Admittedly, this project has been a long time coming. Yes, it should have been done in less than half the time. I can find many other critical comments to make about our water conservation project at Tampa Wholesale Nursery on South McIntosh Road, but the fact is that we have made this thing finally happen. When I use the pronoun “we”, I do not simply mean Steve and me. Nor do I mean “my family and I. It is a collective “we”, as in “we the people”. And now it is up to all who have been involved to make this thing work in the best interests of all of the people of Hillsborough County. I can safely say “all the people of Florida”. In 1992, environmental concerns, along with world market conditions caused Treasure Isle Shrimp Company, along with Ocean Products Company and Land Products Company, to cease to package food products at their processing plant in Dover on Hwy. 574. One of the factors in this demise was the fact that they were not able to afford the cost of cleaning their wastewater to a degree that it could be discharged into the county drainage system, ultimately to flow into Lake Thonotosassa. There was discussion at the time that Tampa Wholesale Nursery might be able to utilize this treated wastewater

Industry, Agriculture, and Government Join Together to Conserve Water for irrigation of our production nursery plants. Nothing came of these discussions. The plant closed, taking along with it about 450 full time jobs, along with a significant payroll. The processing plant and land were purchased by the current owners in 1994.They were aware that a very large market existed for processed seafood products around the world. Now known as Tampa Bay Fisheries, this Dover plant processes and markets more than one and one half million pounds of seafood products every week of the year. The chances are good that when you see packaged seafood at your local supermarket, it was packaged right here by Tampa Bay Fisheries. The plant now employs over 500 workers, but their production is more than double what it was prior to 1992. One might wonder just how the wastewater problem was solved. The answer is really quite simple. If you spend enough money on a problem, and you have good, competent, dedicated folks working toward an answer, you very likely will solve the problem. That is just what happened here. The good folks at Tampa Bay Fisheries teamed up with South Florida Water Management Department (SFWMD), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS—University of Florida), and Hillsborough County Extension Service (also IFAS), to form a sort of coalition to work through this problem. Make no mistake here, these governmental agencies chipped in a lot of technical help, along with a little money, but it was the determination of the staff at Tampa Bay Fisheries that saw

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the project through to it’s completion. Did I mention Tampa Wholesale Nursery? Well, I should mention the fact that Steve Davis was right in the middle of this mix of government and industry all the way through the project. Steve insisted that we end up with a project that would not bankrupt Tampa Wholesale Nursery, and would not strangle us with regulations. Along the way I heard it said that our nursery had to have this water to continue to exist. That is not true. Our “Consumptive Water Use Permit” has been in place for 30 years now, and we are not in jeopardy of losing it. We can continue to pump water from ground wells far into the future. We undertook to be part of this project because it is the right thing to do. Any farmer would be proud to be a part of re-using “once-used” water rather than pumping new water from deep wells if he is given the opportunity. The only difference here was Tampa Wholesale Nursery was presented the opportunity.

Dr. Tom Yeager and Laura Miller (IFAS) worked the scientific part of the project, while many dedicated employees of the state agencies worked us through the regulatory problems. All the while, the “doers” at Tampa Bay Fisheries have spent over one and one-half million dollars of their money to clean this water to the level that our nursery plants can grow with it. We believe this to be the very first time that Agriculture, Industry, and Government have come together to create a project that will benefit our environment in this way. I expect this to be a guide to show us how we can all work together to solve common problems.

(Editor’s Note: This column (written by Steve Davis, manager of Tampa Wholesale Nursery) was first published in the May 2005 edition of Farm & Ranch News. The issues and results are just as true today as they were then).

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Scenes from Florida 4-H Congress Photos by Stephanie Farmer-Youth Ag Editor

This year’s 5 day Florida 4-H Congress was full of events from talent shows and competitions to volunteering and education at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.

4-H Congress ends with a banquet, scholarship awards and lots of laughter and smiles.

Anthony Pipitone-Palm Beach Cty, Kelly Turner-Lee Cty, Abigail Lucero-Lake Cty, Kaley Carter-Duval Cty. learning nano technology in a UF research lab.

Learning new things like participating in shooting sports with archery, air rifle and shotgun. Lake County 4-H member Karah Bradley competing in the Animal Science Category

Taylor Henderson – Suwanee Cty in fashion, while Ashley Goodale plays the harp in the talent portion of the Fashion Revue and Share the Fun Event.

Duval County 4-H members dressed up for spirit night.

Verti-Gro Opens Western Sales Office VERTI-GRO, INC. will soon expand their distribution to the Western U.S. Colorado Springs, Colorado will become the western regional sales office. Mike Reppe, formerly sales representative for North Carolina Verti-Gro will become the Sales manager as of Sept. 1. Curt Carpenter will remain the Warehouse Manager for the Rocky Mountain region and West, according to Tim Carpenter, President of Verti-Gro, Inc. in Summerfield, Florida.

Mike Reppe will expand the residential line of products for the home gardening market as well as for schools and other institutions such as CSA’s, (Community Supported Agriculture), community gardens, greenhouses, nursing homes, prisons and small training farms. VERTI-GRO manufactures insulated stackable pots for vertical growing of strawberries and vegetables in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Atlanta, Geor-

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gia. VERTI-GRO also has manufacturing facilities in France, South Africa and Puerto Rico. Jose Torres will become the Educational and Institutional Sales Manager for Puerto Rico. In Wisconsin and Minnesota Better Gardens LLC in St. Croix, Wisconsin will become a major stocking and distribution center for Verti-Gro products in September 2011.

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Hillsborough County Jr. Florida Cattlemen Members Elected to State Positions By Michelle Grimmer

Members of the Hillsborough County chapter of Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association recently attended the Annual JFCA Cattle Show on August 5th & 6th. In addition to the cattle show, the JFCA held its Annual General Meeting and other competitions such as Livestock Judging and Beef Consumer Representative. Chrissy Grimmer was elected by her peers as the 2011-2012 President of the Junior Florida Cattlemen’s Association. Chrissy is a Plant City High School graduate who is attending Hillsborough Community College working on an AA degree in Vet Sciences. After earning her associates degree, she will transfer to the University of Florida. She aspires to be a mixedpractice veterinarian. Robbie Dry was named Beef Consumer Representative. Robbie is a Durant graduate who is attending Santa Fe College to attain a degree in Political Science. Anna Conrad

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was named Jr. Beef Consumer Representative. Anna is currently the President of the Tomlin Middle FFA Chapter.

Left to right Anna Conrad, Jr. Beef Consumer Representative, Chrissy Grimmer, President of the Jr. Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and Robbie Dry, Beef Consumer Representative

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Don’t Let Downgrade Deter You from Investing •

Just when you thought you could take a break from financial drama, following the resolution of the debt ceiling issue, here comes Act 2: the downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating. As a citizen, you may be feeling frustrated. And as an investor, you might be getting worried. But is this concern really justified? Certainly, it was news when Standard and Poors (S&P) lowered the U.S. long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+. This was, after all, the first time that the U.S. has lost its AAA status since its initial publication 70 years ago. Furthermore, S&P put a negative outlook on the rating, which means that further downgrades are possible. But despite these developments, there’s no reason to think that the sky is falling in on the investment world. Consider the following:

“Downgrade” doesn’t mean default. Rating agencies such as S&P

assign ratings to bonds to help investors measure credit risk — the chance that they won’t receive timely payments. The downgrade to AA+ just means that investors would be slightly less likely to receive future payments than if the bond had an AAA rating. This is far different from a default, which would result in investors not receiving current payments. U.S. credit rating is still high quality. S&P didn’t change the U.S. government’s short-term credit rating, which applies to debt maturing in less than one year. Furthermore, even the long-term rating of AA+ is still considered high quality. Also, keep in mind that two other major rating agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, both affirmed their AAA rating on the U.S., although Moody’s has a negative outlook on its rating. Downgrade was not a surprise. Because the downgrade had been

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rumored for weeks, the financial markets may have already “priced in” some of the impact. While it’s possible that interest rates may rise, it’s also important to note that similar downgrades of other countries’ debt in the past have not resulted in significant rate jumps. As for the stock market — which was already volatile, partially due to the debt ceiling issue — the negative reaction we’ve seen to the downgrade will likely be short-term.

This downgrade should not be as calamitous as we’ve been led to believe. Corporate profits, always a key driver of stock prices, are still strong, and with the market correction we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, many quality stocks now appear to be more attractively priced — which means it may actually be a good time to look for investment opportunities that make sense for you, rather than head to the “sidelines.”

By Tim Shuff, CFP Investment Representative/ see ad below

In any case, you never want to overreact to any one piece of news. If you were to make big changes to your investment strategy, you’d likely incur fees and expenses — and, even more importantly, your portfolio might no longer be positioned to meet your long-term goals. You’re much better off by sticking with a strategy that’s based on your individual needs, risk tolerance and time horizon. This can be challenging, especially in light of the screaming headlines. But remember, although past performance isn’t indicative of future results, the U.S. financial markets have seen plenty of traumas in the past, and have always survived — and, usually, eventually prospered. As a smart, disciplined investor, you can do the same. This article was written by Edward Jones and submitted by Tim Shuff, CFP, your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

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Lay’s Western Wear and Feed Celebrates National Day of the Cowboy

Beverly Lay with 4 year old whip popping Champ Luke Waters

By Stephanie Farmer- Associate Publisher

Good music, food and lots of cowboy whips popping the air marked this year’s National Day of the Cowboy at Lay’s Western Wear and Feed in Lakeland. Lay’s has a reputation for being more than a store. They encourage youth and events like this that all families can be a part of.

Larry, Riley and Lori Albritton are all grins after winning Jr. Whip Popping Contest.

Former State FFA officer Michelle Perez displays her whip popping skills

Former State FFA officer Nicole Liles with “Hunter”, the Lay’s Western Wear & Feed dog.

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Alvin and Brice Futch with Beverly Lay and Sharon Maxwell at the book display. Alvin is a former FFA State officer and received his American Degree many years ago. Today, he writes true stories about Florida’s cracker cowboys.

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Exclusive to Farm & Ranch News

A Personal Interview with Governor Rick Scott By Stephanie Farmer-Associate Publisher

Governor Scott: I foresee jobs for both ag and urban youth. Already Florida’s economy is turning around with unemployment decreasing in our State from 12% to 10. 6%. Florida will be the State for job placement. People love our weather, no personal income tax, thriving ag community and our geographical location with the Panama Canal encourages more shipping to Florida leading to more jobs. Florida’s agriculture and urban community is tightly woven with the University system. UF and FAMU’s research feeds into Extension offices around the State who then put the research into the hands of the people, whether agriculture, urban or governmental. There is some concern that you plan to change Florida’s universi-

ties and model them after Texas universities with an emphasis on teaching rather than research. Teaching without research is like reading a book or fixing a door without a screwdriver. Research is the “hands on” portion of teaching. A teaching-only emphasis would also hurt the often #1 economic generator in Florida, agriculture that depends upon research. Research helps the student apply what they are learning to the benefit not only of their educational growth but also in helping others. What is your opinion on this topic? Governor Scott: I do not believe in splitting research and teaching. Our economy is totally dependent on new research and development, in fact there is a new research lab being built in Miami. But, I want to make sure our students get the best value for their education. When I interview the trustees I am giving them what Governor Perry of Texas proposed, but I am also looking at what is working in other states too. I do understand the great return research brings.

I realize jobs are a big push for your administration for good reason.  NOAA has just recently released its marine aquaculture policies, which are a starting point for opening U.S. waters to commercial scale marine aquaculture (in the EEZ, state waters are still controlled by the individual states). Both Mote Marine Labs and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at FAU have been doing extensive research and development work in marine aquaculture What is your opinion on this new opportunity for business and jobs? Governor Scott: My focus for Florida is that everyone has an opportunity for education and jobs. As long as this does not put our environment at risk I am all for it. In Florida, if you own a mobile home or trailer on acreage, you cannot get homeowners insurance; even from companies that sell farm-type insurance. The only good news for people with mobile homes on acreage is that Citizens Insurance will insure youthank you. Because people cannot get a loan without insurance and if these people lose Citizens, they will lose their farm or home thus adding to the growing foreclosure crisis in Florida. According to the USDA over 90% of all Florida farms are considered small farmers. In fact former Commissioner of Ag Charles Bronson said in a speech, “Small farms represent the fastest growing sector, increasing (between 2002 and 2007) at a rate nearly twice that of larger farms”. I don’t know how many who own acreage live in mobile homes, but many do. I realize we cannot have an insurance company that stays in the red, but what do you foresee as the future of Citizens, especially for people like this? Governor Scott: Former Commissioner Bronson was correct, small farms are very important to our economy and we have to make sure they are taken care of. But, Citizens needs to be the insurance of last resort. Right now as far as insurance my focus is upon attracting more insurance companies to Florida, but also that they do not bring premiums that are too high for Floridians to pay. (Gov. Scott assured me he would keep this issue in mind too). Due to budget constraints just like all

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of Florida’s other departments, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is undergoing changes. What do you feel is the core mission of DACS? Governor Scott: I believe in the mission as stated on the Florida Department of Agriculture website, that their mission is to safeguard the public and support Florida’s agricultural economy by: Ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food and other consumer products through inspection and testing programs; Protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices and providing consumer information; Assisting Florida’s farmers and agricultural industries with the production and promotion of agricultural products; and Conserving and protecting the state’s agricultural and natural resources by reducing wildfires, promoting environmentally safe agricultural practices, and managing public lands.” Agriculture is very important to Florida’s economy and I know that Commissioner Putnam is doing a great job. Elections and such events are important no matter what shoes you wear in life. What are your thoughts as to the upcoming Republican National Convention coming to Florida? Governor Scott: This is an exciting topic to talk about. Over 15,000 journalists are expected to cover this event and a lot of people will be attending as well. This event will not only boost our economy but is also a way to promote our State. Many people first come and visit our state before moving here or their business. Any immigration legislation has a big impact on agriculture. I was wondering what your opinion was on immigration reform as well as your thoughts on developing a guest worker program? Governor Scott: The Federal government needs to do its job. They need to secure our borders and develop a national immigrant work visa program so they can work here legally and it not be against the law for them to be in our State. I just ask that whatever law is developed that it not only asks if they are legal or not but also whatever law develops that it be fair. We at Farm & Ranch News thank Governor Scott for this interview.

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Show and Tell Time by Plant City Church By Justin Parker/ Church on the Rock/ Plant City, FL

to the left is Pastor Jeff Howell

I have been on several foreign mission trips with various churches and organizations. I have been all over the United States, Germany, Haiti, and now Guatemala and I can tell you from experience there is usually a format to these sort of things. Mission trips are a structured thing and usually have the agenda of telling as many people about Jesus as you can and try to rack as many salvations as possible before going back to your church. But the trip I took to Antigua in July of this year was different. We arrived in Guatemala City on July 23rd and headed to Antigua where we would be staying. We spent a day seeing the city and meeting the people of Iglesia Del Camino with whom we would be working. Our liaison, Obed, showed us

around town and told of the work we would be doing. We would be going to two police stations within the city and cleaning bathrooms. That’s right, scrubbing the toilets and showers of a third world countries police station. Now let me give you a little back story here, officers of the Policia Nacional Civil are on 8-day rotations and live at their headquarters which can be hundreds of miles from where they live. They eat, sleep, and bathe at this facility, which was disgusting when we saw that their toilets were broken and filthy and their showers full of mold. We set to work bleaching, pressure washing, painting and repairing. By the end of the 4th day we had repaired and repainted two stations facilities, a total of about 12 bathroom stalls and 6 showers. The last of work on the trip was spent sharing my defensive tactics training which I learned in the Police Academy right here in Ybor city. I was privileged to train 30 officers from various divisions to take the training back to their agencies, which they thoroughly appreciated. Since officers not only have to pay for their own ammo in Guatemala, but also their own training and it is required to receive promotions. So first they witnessed us cleaning their bathrooms, repairing their toilets and buying them shower heads. Then they saw us offering free training to bet-

ter their position and preparedness. Finally, after all that we sat down with them and conveyed our message. “We came and did all of this for you of our own volition, not because it benefits us in anyway with God.” In Ephesians 2:8-9 the Bible says, ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.’ Our mission was not to score spiritual points, but love on the people of Guatemala for no other reason than to

show them that God loves them. So, in past trips I had traveled all over to tell people God loved them; this time I went just to show them that He loved them. Their response was that they wanted to know why, and when I told them it was God’s love, and I have this book called the Bible that told them all about it, they all wanted one. In fact we ran out of Bibles. Luckily we have another group heading out soon from Church on the Rock in Plant City to take them more!

Florida Man Sentenced for Killing Panther in Georgia

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that David Adams, 60, formerly of Newnan, Georgia, was sentenced today in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, after pleading guilty to the unlawful take of a Florida panther, a species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

“Today’s sentencing affirms our commitment to investigate violations of the federal wildlife laws intended to protect our Nation’s most imperiled species,” said Luis J. Santiago, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Southeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.

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Adams was sentenced to two years probation, with a special condition of probation that he may not hunt or obtain a hunting license anywhere in the United States during the period of probation. In addition, he was sentenced to pay a fine of $2,000. According to court documents and other information presented in court, on November 16, 2008, Adams shot and killed a cougar known as a Florida panther while deer hunting in Troup County, Ga. At the time of the shooting, Adams knew he was shooting at a species of cougar, for which there was no open hunting season in the State of Georgia. The bullet fired from Adams’ gun entered the Florida panther in the rear portion of the rib cage by the right hindquarters just below the spine and lodged in the inside of the panther’s right front shoulder.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the “take” of an endangered species. As defined within the Endangered Species Act, “take” means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct. The maximum penalties for criminal violations of the Endangered Species Act can result in imprisonment of up to one year, and/or up to $100,000 in fines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have worked for years to bring the Florida panther back from the edge of extinction. The population has been growing since its low point of less than 30 panthers in the wild in the late 1980s, to more than 100 to 160 adults today. Genetic testing showed this panther was an offspring of panther FP137 (South Florida).

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Commissioner Adam Putnam Participates in Wakulla County’s Oyster Relay By Stephanie Farmer-Associate Publisher Oysters are an important part of Florida’s economy. In fact, 10% of all oysters harvested in the U.S. come from Florida waters with 90% coming from Franklin County. You could say Franklin County is to oysters that Plant City is to strawberries. Unknown to many is that the oyster industry in Florida is a type Picture 1- The harvesters use tongs or by hand (when done in the lower parts of Florida), which of aquaculture equating into millions of are like big rakes. Commissioner Putnam looks on from the white boat in background. dollars. This industry benefits thousands of Floridians with jobs from the harvester and his family to the employees in the processing houses and shippers. The oyster industry is steeped in tradition, passed down from family member

to family member and is a way of life met with not dirt on the boots like row croppers or cattlemen, but salt. Recently, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) put together an oyster relay in Wakulla County, which is next to Franklin where oysters are also harvested. About 20 boats participated in this 14day event relocating live oysters from an area without good water quality to better or off of tidal bars into deeper water to prevent stunted growth. DACS has been helping the industry with oyster relays like this one since about the 1950’s.

Picture 3- Harvesters check in with DACS who make sure the bushels are filled right, give them a receipt and then tell them where to dump. At this relay, harvesters received about $2.25 per bushel. They are allowed to harvest 35 bushels a day.

Picture 2- They are then dumped into bushel baskets, as seen here, with Commissioner Putnam giving it a try while Representative Steve Southerland and Senator Bill Montford look on.

2011- 2012 Florida 4-H State Officers

Picture 4- The oysters are then dumped in the approved site. Since they are filter feeders they will be ready for harvest within 14 days. After unloading their bushels, they head back to the original site to fill up their baskets again, working about 4 hours each day.

The Florida State 4-H officers are: Beau Nistler (Sgt. at Arms), Zach Quinn (Reporter), Elizabeth Evans (Secretary), Rachel Wise (President), Christy Connell (Vice President), Brittany Avant (Treasurer), and Kaitlyn Pace (Historian). Kelsey Varn (Parliamentarian) was not able to attend the banquet because she broke her ankle the night prior to the event.

Commissioner Putnam explained that this process is a way of taking an unmarketable natural resource and making it a marketable one. Also, in these tough economic times it is a win/ win situation as the $50,000 grant allows people to have work while protecting the environment, protecting the resources and providing good food in restaurants as a well.

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FRNEWS V38 Issue 8