Rite of spring: Regulators see Florida farms up close

05/15/2012 12:46:00 AM
Lisa Lochridge

“It was impressive to see the vast amount of vegetables being grown and how all of the strategies play a role in their success,” another commented. “The pest issues were very valuable to have an insight into [production] difficulties.”

Another wrote, “I have a different and better view of this industry now… what a fine opportunity this is.”

Some said that the tour changed their understanding of the regulatory environment that specialty crop producers face.

“Learning about the economic issues they have to deal with and how the decisions we make as regulatory agents affect individuals at the small-scale level” was helpful, added another participant.

Besides getting a good dose of sunshine and eating some really fine down-home Florida cuisine, each one took back to his or her respective job a better understanding of the difficulties and concerns of farmers.

The event is organized each year by Dan Botts, FFVA’s vice president of Industry Resources.

A special thanks to the sponsors: the Sugar Cane Growers Co-op of Florida, the Lee County Mosquito Control District, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association, Agricultural Environmental Seminars, Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Tomato Exchange and the Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Lisa Lochridge is the director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland. She can be reached at (321) 214-5206 or lisalochridge@ffva.com.

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