5 Questions With Miss Florida Citrus 2019

5 Questions With Miss Florida Citrus 2019

Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Michaela McLean

Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Michaela McLean already is quite familiar with the Sunshine State’s signature crop, but is ready to learn more and spread the word during her reign.
Photo by Frank Carnaggio Photography

The Florida citrus sector is proud of its history. Part of its deep-rooted legacy is the long-running Florida Citrus Queen/Miss Florida Citrus program. Its mission is based on being a champion and advocate for the state’s signature crop and its related businesses. Those among the long list of titleholders, which dates back to 1924, know the role entails more than just publicity and promotion. It requires a deeper understanding. That’s what makes Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Michaela McLean such a good fit for the crown.

McLean grew up surrounded by citrus — literally. Her father (Ben McLean III), uncle (Matt McLean), and grandfather (Benny McLean) all have made and are still making an impact on the state’s citrus community and beyond.


Michaela will be competing in the Miss Florida Pageant in June for a chance to vie for the title of Miss America. In the meantime, she was able to take time for a few questions.

1. What does the Miss Florida Citrus honor mean to you and your family?
“The title of Miss Florida Citrus is an incredible privilege. As an eighth-generation Floridian and a part of fourth-generation citrus growers, I competed for the title of Miss Florida Citrus to honor my family heritage in the citrus industry. I am so excited to travel with two of my favorite citrus growers — my dad and my grandpa — and showcase and highlight growers across the entire state of Florida during my year.”

Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Michaela McLean with her parents

Miss Florida Citrus 2019 Michaela McLean celebrates with her parents Ben and Annie McLean.
Photo by Brenda Eubanks Burnette

2. What do you hope to learn during your time as Miss Florida Citrus?
“My hope is to gain knowledge on citrus greening and spread more awareness to those outside of the industry. Moreover, I look forward to meeting citrus growers across the entire state and learn specific ways they are growing and marketing citrus.”

3. What is your pageant platform?
“My social impact is ‘Brave & Beautiful: Empowering Women to Live, Love, and Lead Courageously.’ Brave & Beautiful encourages women to develop healthy habits from the inside out while understanding the transformational significance of a purpose-driven life. The message equips women with the foundational principles to live on purpose, love without fear, and lead with a heart to serve others. One of the outlets of Brave & Beautiful is that it’s a conference for young women by young women. Brave & Beautiful launched conferences in multiple schools in Central Florida and has even made an impact internationally in Kenya as well as in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.”

4. Beyond your Miss Florida Citrus duties, what’s next for you?
“I’m graduating magna cum laude from the University of Alabama (in May) with a bachelor’s degree in Dance and a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a specialization in Sport and Entertainment Communication Management. My hope is to move to a big city and pursue a career in the performing arts or entertainment public relations. My dream is to perform on Broadway and work for ‘The Ellen Show’!”

5. What’s one thing about yourself that you’d like readers to know?
“At the age of one and half, I was featured on the first carton of Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice. In fact, you can still find me alongside my Uncle Matt, sisters, and cousins on the back of Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice carton and lemonade!”