Hurricane Matthew Gives Florida Citrus Industry a Pass

By | October 11th, 2016|Agriculture, Community|

Hurricane Matthew threatened the state of Florida with category 3 and 4 hurricane-level winds during the first week of October, adding salt to the Florida citrus industry wound that is citrus greening. The storm had the potential to cause devastation on a grand scale to the state’s citizens and infrastructure.  Florida’s citrus industry feared the [...]

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Safety and Downed Power Lines After a Storm

By | October 8th, 2016|Agriculture, Community|

Thankfully Hurricane Matthew didn’t bring the level of devastation it was capable of, but it did leave many people without power. It’s a good time to review safety around the downed power lines and electrical wires that are likely all over the east coast of Florida. Following hurricane protocol, you hopefully unplugged any electrical equipment [...]

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Honey Bees and Veterans: A Winning Combination

By | June 25th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

The importance of honey bees as pollinators of our country’s food supplies cannot be understated. A special program in Louisiana will see honey bees getting a leg up from another group important to our country: military veterans. A partnership between a USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) lab and the Louisiana Armed Forces Foundation (LaAFF) will soon be teaching the art of beekeeping to interested veterans. […]

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Florida School Gardens Growing Ag in the Classroom

By | May 2nd, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

According to the statistics, school gardens are NOT too cool for school, as a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) review counts about 1,300 school gardens growing in The Sunshine State alone. A recent study by Karla Shelnutt, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension nutrition specialist and Associate Professor in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and Kohrine Counts, a dietetics intern and master’s student at UF/IFAS,  showed that Florida’s school gardens are helping to put ag in the classroom and fresh produce into the students’ diets. As an added bonus, school gardens have a whole host of additional benefits for all those involved. […]

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Celebrating Lovely Trees on Arbor Day

By | April 29th, 2016|Agriculture, Community|

“I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree…” So goes the first two lines of poet Joyce Kilmer’s 1914 poem “Trees,” an homage that could be the official verse of Arbor Day. Originally set aside to encourage the planting of trees in the 1800s—a practice that is as old as civilization itself, according to the history of Arbor Day by the National Arbor Day Foundation—Arbor Day is now a day to celebrate, advocate and educate; and yes, still a day to plant trees. […]

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Five Tips for Going Green That Will Save You Green

By | April 4th, 2016|Community, Education|

You’d have to have been living under a rock the past few years not to understand that the Earth needs our help. From Global Climate Change and greenhouse gases to plastics in the ocean and animal species on the brink of extinction, we should all be ‘going green’ and changing our ways, or we will face some pretty dire consequences down the road. […]

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Help Pollinators and Ag With a Window Box

By | March 28th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

It’s no secret that pollinators are of vital importance to the country’s agriculture industry, and most people have heard that many pollinators—such as honeybees and Monarch butterflies—are in trouble. Similarly, those pollinators that aren’t experiencing troubles like reduced numbers or documented colony collapses are needed to take up the slack of those that are in dire straits. […]

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The Value of Ag Events Like the Polk County Youth Fair

By | January 25th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

The Polk County Youth Fair wrapped up its latest annual ag event at the end of January. Youth from all over the county had the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labors, representing weeks and months of hard work. From dog showmanship and archery to showing hand-raised livestock and displaying horse handling skills, there’s something for everyone. However, taking home ribbons is just part of the attraction of such ag events; the Polk County Youth Fair, or PCYF, is about so much more than winning. […]

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How Farm Living = Healthier Living

By | January 9th, 2016|Agriculture, Community, Education|

Farms and ranches grow and raise the products of healthy living—fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats and dairy—but the statistics show that farm living is a healthy thing as well. Here’s a look at the ways and means behind the healthfulness of a farm lifestyle. […]

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Thank the Ag Industry for Making the Season Bright

By | December 24th, 2015|Agriculture, Community|

The ag industry’s fruits of labor are all around us, and the holidays are a good time to appreciate how blessed we are to live in a nation with such a healthy and beneficial agriculture industry. Our holidays are truly made bright by the hard-working men and women in the ag industry. See how the ag industry affects your holiday celebrations. […]

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