In Florida, agriculture has been an overall bright spot in a dismal economic picture in recent years. While tourism and construction ebbed downward, state and local authorities could count on tax revenues from the ag sector. Each segment of agriculture is an important part of this overall picture.
Because of the critical role all of agriculture plays, Florida Grower — in conjunction with the Highlands County Farm Bureau — is launching the All Florida Ag Show. The event will be held April 25-26 at the Highlands County Fair Convention Center in Sebring. The event will include education programs as well as a tradeshow and exhibit area.
“The All Florida Ag Show is an important event to support as it provides a unique opportunity to anyone that has interest in Florida’s agriculture to meet under one roof and learn about new opportunities, as well as common challenges that our industry faces today and in the future,” says Scott Kirouac, president of Highlands County Farm Bureau.
“We are excited about this year’s event and the future growth potential of a show that will cross the spectrum of agricultural pursuits in the state,” says Frank Giles, editor of Florida Grower magazine. “This event will provide growers with a prime opportunity to network and learn what fellow Floridians are doing in agriculture.”
Get On Top Of Emerging Trends
The All Florida Ag Show will keep the pulse of emerging trends in Florida. One area that many people are following closely is the emergence of alternative energy to help reduce dependence on foreign oil. But to feed the ethanol giant, biomass must be grown and collected.
Frankie Hall, Florida Farm Bureau, will moderate a panel of some of the state’s leading authorities on alternative energy. He says anyone interested in the future of renewable energy doesn’t want to miss this discussion.
“The future potential of farm produced renewable energy will be covered by our panel,” he says. “We will focus on cellulosic ethanol production and those crops that have potential for Florida. We also will visit with the attendees on crops that have a potential for drop-in fuels that are being looked at by the Navy and Air Force to be used as jet fuel.”
Growers have always been interested in what the next great crop option will be. With Florida’s climate and proximity to major markets, it is well suited for the production of alternative crops. This is particularly true of producers of more traditional crops like citrus who are seeking to find uses for land idled by disease.
While not quite as alternative anymore, blueberries continue to grow in acres. Bill Braswell is the president of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association and will provide an overview of the state of the industry and what the association has planned to keep consumption growing as more acres come online.
Bill Roe’s family has long been in the citrus growing and packing business, but they also have begun growing and packing blueberries in Winter Haven. Roe will provide his top considerations for planting berries in Florida.