University of Florida Hosts Citrus Photography Contest

photographyIn an effort to showcase the region’s citrus industry heritage, a local University of Florida (UF) research professor is hosting a digital photography contest.

Rhuanito “Johnny” Ferrarezi is an assistant professor at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC) near Fort Pierce. Ferrarezi leads the center’s citrus horticulture research program, including the innovative citrus under protective screen experiments, which take place in 14-foot-high screen houses.

Ferrarezi said he would like to promote the citrus industry’s prominence in the region and restore its promise as he and his peers work hard to develop an effective management plan that will bring back the crop’s superior economic viability. In recent years, citrus production has fallen to 10 percent of what it once was because a disease called citrus greening that kills trees is unresolved.

“The Indian River District is recognized worldwide as the premier grapefruit production region, and we want to remember this and celebrate the fruit’s high quality as we work to resolve a devastating disease,” said Ferrarezi. “The winning images will be professionally printed, framed and mounted on available wall space in the center hallways and in the Ferrarezi Citrus Horticulture Laboratory,” he said.

Citing a tradition of photography in the area’s citrus groves, the contest winners will be recognized with awards that name local agricultural workers who are also accomplished photographers: the late Alto “Bud” Adams Jr., who owned Adams Ranch in west St. Lucie County; the late Robert “Bob” Bullock, a member of the Citrus Hall of Fame; and Velma Spencer, a longtime UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center administrator and professional photographer.

Entering a digital image for consideration is free. The deadline for entry is March 31, 2018. For a complete set of contest rules, visit the following website:

For more information, contact Robin Koestoyo, UF/IFAS IRREC public relations specialist at or 772-577-7366.

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