Opinion: Play To Win

Paul Rusnak

It has often been said that the best defense is a good offense. While this age-old adage is mostly associated with sports themes or warfare strategy, the saying certainly has applicability on today’s farms. If it seems like Florida growers are constantly on the defensive fighting off pest and diseases, encroaching competition, increased regulations, and more, it’s because they are. However, the only way you all have been able to survive and succeed is because of your proactive nature. Advancements in technology, breakthroughs in science, and good old fashioned trial and error have been and are giving growers the tools to move down the field.

At the 2011 Florida Ag Expo in November, State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam praised industry professionals for doing their best work in challenging times. “We’re the strongest builder in this economy,” he said during his keynote address. He pointed out specific examples of how Florida ag has gone on the offensive to raise the bar on industry standards in areas such as water conservation, freeze protection, new market penetration (think blueberries and peaches), and variety innovation, which has yielded plenty of dining table staples, including the latest hit, the new UF/IFAS-bred Tasti-Lee tomato. 

The fore-mentioned home-grown accomplishments may have never materialized without the teaming of forward thinking, scientific minds with the gumption of growers.

Putting On A Show

The latest body of work from researchers and stakeholders will be front and center at the 2012 Florida Citrus Show. Scheduled for later this month in Ft. Pierce, the annual gathering presented by Florida Grower, UF/IFAS, and the Indian River Citrus League, showcases a program that defines the best in what collaborative efforts between the research community and growers can offer. The fruits of this ongoing labor have awarded citrus growers new life and spawned a renewed vigor and commitment to an industry that’s most valuable to the state’s well being. 

Institution Evolution

This month, Florida Grower shines the light on the land grant system. Land grant institutions, like UF/IFAS, have helped pave the way for American farmers to learn, grow, and prosper. The land grant system is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. “We have a proud history,” said Jack Payne, senior VP, UF/IFAS, at the Florida Ag Expo. “It’s the next 150 years that are going to be important.”

The current state of modern agriculture puts that figure in perspective. Just think about all the new ideas and opportunities that will emerge from what’s to be the future’s agriculture trailblazers. Score one for the home team. That ingenuity will come in handy as global food and energy demand put on the pressure.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Opinion: Play To Win

  1. I have ALWAYS believed in the preemptive strike. It has worked successfully for me in ALL walks of life. Whether it’s when I’m bidding on something at a auction, to handling insects BEFORE they handle me. As growers we MUST stay ahead of the game.

Featured Stories
cash money in hand
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Tall Spindle Axe featured
Stone Fruit
July 26, 2016
Take A Closer Look At The Tall Spindle Axe Training System
One of the more traditional three-dimensional canopies, Tall Spindle Axe data shows consistent early and sustained yields. Read More
Workers picking in a Florida strawberry field
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety Cause
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
Spanish speaking employees
Fruits
July 26, 2016
Popular Spanish-Speaking Fruit Summer Tour Returns
Second-annual tour designed to educate Spanish-speaking employees or farmworkers on fruit growing practices. Read More
Feature Im-Perfect-Wal-Mart-Fruit-Apples (Photo credit: Walmart)
Apples & Pears
July 26, 2016
Walmart Begins Selling So-Called ‘Ugly Fruit’
Cosmetically challenged apples are the company’s first foray into a global movement to cut food waste. Read More
Bee Sperm - Washington State University Cryo Lab (Photo credit: WSU)
Production
July 26, 2016
Importing Frozen Honeybee Sperm Is Key To Conservation
The Washington State University (WSU) bee program has worked with researchers from around the world to create more honeybee genetic repositories like the one at WSU. Read More
apple tree trellising washington state
GenNext Growers
July 26, 2016
Tour Dedicated To Next Generation Tree Fruit Growers In Washington
Newly formed Next Generation Tree Fruit Alliance to tour orchards, network. Read More
Photo courtesy of American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute
Farm Management
July 26, 2016
Mexico Has Potential For U.S. Sweet Potato Exports  
Assessment concluded that opportunities abound if Mexican buyers better understand grades, sizes, and quality of U.S. product. Read More
anti-GMO corn spoof via social media
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Study: GMO Ban Would Hurt Economy And Environment
Food prices and greenhouse gas emissions would rise, according to paper by Purdue University agricultural economist. Read More
GAA winner Pero 2015
Farm Management
July 25, 2016
Seven Reasons You Need To Attend The United Fresh Washington Conference
Education sessions and Capitol Hill visits will focus on key issues, such as labor, facing the fresh produce industry. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Stone Fruit
July 26, 2016
Take A Closer Look At The Tall Spindle A…
One of the more traditional three-dimensional canopies, Tall Spindle Axe data shows consistent early and sustained yields. Read More
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety …
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
Fruits
July 26, 2016
Popular Spanish-Speaking Fruit Summer To…
Second-annual tour designed to educate Spanish-speaking employees or farmworkers on fruit growing practices. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 26, 2016
Walmart Begins Selling So-Called ‘…
Cosmetically challenged apples are the company’s first foray into a global movement to cut food waste. Read More
Production
July 26, 2016
Importing Frozen Honeybee Sperm Is Key T…
The Washington State University (WSU) bee program has worked with researchers from around the world to create more honeybee genetic repositories like the one at WSU. Read More
GenNext Growers
July 26, 2016
Tour Dedicated To Next Generation Tree F…
Newly formed Next Generation Tree Fruit Alliance to tour orchards, network. Read More
Farm Management
July 26, 2016
Mexico Has Potential For U.S. Sweet Pota…
Assessment concluded that opportunities abound if Mexican buyers better understand grades, sizes, and quality of U.S. product. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Study: GMO Ban Would Hurt Economy And En…
Food prices and greenhouse gas emissions would rise, according to paper by Purdue University agricultural economist. Read More
Farm Management
July 25, 2016
Seven Reasons You Need To Attend The Uni…
Education sessions and Capitol Hill visits will focus on key issues, such as labor, facing the fresh produce industry. Read More
Tomatoes
July 25, 2016
New Research Uncovers Gene That May Be K…
Scientists identify a gene that encodes an enzyme which plays a pivotal role in controlling tomato softening. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Organic Insect Control Product Available…
The mycoinsecticide is EPA registered and controls a variety of insect pests. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
July 25, 2016
Citrus Achievement Award Winner: Adaptin…
Marty McKenna says hurdles like HLB forces growers to step up their game, which is a good thing. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 22, 2016
Marco Rubio Backs Bill To Save Florida C…
Senator co-sponsors measure that would provide growers with incentives to plant more trees. Read More
GenNext Growers
July 22, 2016
Farming’s Next Generation Seeking …
Several innovative resources are available to help first-time growers acquire the property they need. Read More
Farm Marketing
July 22, 2016
How To Book A Great Band For Your Festiv…
Want to add live music to your fall festivals? Here's a step-by-step guide on how to find the right band for the right price. Read More
Farm Marketing
July 22, 2016
How To Entice The Local Press To Cover Y…
Sometimes getting publicity for your business is easier than you think. All you need to do is figure out how Read More
Cucurbits
July 22, 2016
California Cantaloupe Growers To Celebra…
The Golden State’s cantaloupes are now in peak production from major areas in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]