One-On-One With Miss Florida Citrus 2018
The esteemed Florida Citrus Queen/Miss Florida Citrus Pageant has a long history, sporting origins dating back to 1924. The latest in a long line of industry advocates was crowned recently. LaBelle native Megan Price was announced the big winner during a Miss America preliminary gala held at the Theatre Winter Haven in March. Price is a student at Florida Southern College and is working on a double major — Bachelor of Science in Sports Communication and Marketing and Broadcast Journalism. She aspires to work as a sports broadcaster for a major sports agency.
For her win, Price received a $1,000 scholarship, a bevy of other prizes, and will now represent the Florida citrus industry at various trade shows and events throughout the coming year. In addition, Price is set to compete in the Miss Florida Pageant, scheduled for late June in Lakeland. The winner there will then go on to compete in the Miss America pageant.
Before her dance card completely filled up, I had a chance to ask the new Miss Florida Citrus a few questions.
What inspired you to enter the Miss Florida Citrus Pageant?
Price: I grew up in the small, agriculturally inclined town of LaBelle. Throughout those years, many of the citrus companies were very involved in the youth of our community and sponsored sports teams, 4-H programs, and even any pageant endeavors that I presented them. I viewed the Miss Florida Citrus pageant as a way to give back to those people who helped shape me into the young woman that I am today.
What does the honor mean to you?
Price: Florida’s citrus industry is one of the most important to the growth and well-being of our economy. It is such an honor to get to spend a year alongside and learning from the men and women who make Florida’s citrus industry thrive. A bonus to that is I have the great opportunity of representing this industry at the Miss Florida pageant.
Can you tell us more about your pageant platform choice?
Price: My platform is titled, “Organ Donation: Be A Lifesaver.” This came to fruition through the loss of my best friend’s little brother. His name was Zac, and he was like a younger brother to me. Unfortunately, in August 2013, he contracted a brain-eating amoeba while knee boarding in a ditch, and 16 days later passed away. His family made the decision to donate his organs. I vividly remember his mom saying, “Even though Zac isn’t with us anymore, we want him to live on through someone else.” While they were going through the hardest moment of their lives having to bury their baby at just 12 years old, they were selfless enough to think about others. When I began competing in the Miss America Organization and found out about the platform aspect of the competition, I instantly knew that mine would be organ donation. It is a way to pay tribute to Zac as well as bring awareness and educate people on the many reasons why they should choose to be an organ donor and give the gift of life when they have lived theirs to the fullest.
What do you hope to learn during your time as Miss Florida Citrus?
Price: The Florida citrus industry is going through a tough year since Hurricane Irma did a considerable amount of damage to the state’s crops. Citrus growers are like doctors for trees and also have to deal with issues like greening. This year, I hope to gain more knowledge about the business side of this industry as well as more about the growth process of citrus fruits and then take that knowledge and share it with those in my community so they might appreciate their next glass of orange juice or lemon in their sweet tea a little more.
What does the future hold for you?
Price: You might just see me on ESPN someday!