By Tacy Callies
Citrus Expo is well known for being a gathering place for industry leaders of all types — growers, researchers and other professionals. They come together at this popular annual event to get educated, network with peers and conduct business.
Supporting young people who are interested in agriculture — and in citrus, particularly — is becoming increasingly vital as the industry ages and consolidates. This year, a new resource will be launched at Citrus Expo that is designed to attract youth to the citrus industry. The FMC Citrus Ag Production Scholarship (FMC CAPS) is a joint program between FMC and AgNet Media.
To help ensure the future of Florida citrus, five FMC CAPS worth $5,000 each will be awarded annually to current and incoming citrus and horticulture sciences students at the University of Florida and Florida Southern College.
FMC will officially debut the scholarship program at Citrus Expo. The company will make a brief presentation during the citrus seminar program. At the trade show, FMC representatives will be on hand in the company’s booth (#319) to answer any questions. Informational brochures will be available in the Citrus Expo registration area and in the FMC and AgNet Media booths.
“We’re excited to officially launch the FMC Citrus Ag Production Scholarship program at this year’s Citrus Expo,” says Norman Barclift, North America marketing director for FMC. “It’s the perfect place to roll out this initiative with our program partner, AgNet Media, which shares our passion for and commitment to the Florida citrus industry.”
Scholarship application information is available on the Citrus Industry website. Interested students can get details and apply at CitrusIndustry.net/CAPS.
While Citrus Expo caters to established citrus industry leaders, there are always a few up-and-coming agriculturists in attendance each year. This includes the Florida FFA state officers who volunteer at the event annually to assist with trade show setup and teardown. Citrus Expo gives these young leaders the opportunity to meet and mingle with industry professionals who could end up being their future employers.
Participation in the annual FFA fundraiser has been a long-standing tradition at Citrus Expo. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a high-value prize. All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to Florida FFA. The fundraiser is a great way for AgNet Media (owner of Citrus Expo) to thank the FFA officers for their volunteer service. What’s more, it’s a terrific way for citrus industry members to show their support for the next generation of Florida agriculturists.
Seasoned citrus growers looking for hands-on opportunities and one-on-one time with researchers will find what they need at Citrus Expo.
On Thursday afternoon, Aug. 15, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) will be hosting 11 hands-on activities that attendees can engage in. Growers will have the chance to get their hands dirty searching for soil and root nematodes, identifying pests and fungal diseases, learning fungicide application methods, measuring soil pH and much more.
Along with the hands-on activities, UF/IFAS will also have a “Meet the Specialist” session taking place at the same time. Researchers will be available to speak with growers one-on-one. This is the perfect opportunity for citrus growers to ask production-related questions, as well as to interact with the experts on a personal level rather than in a large meeting-room setting.
As always, growers attending the Citrus Expo seminar sessions will have the opportunity to earn continuing education units toward the Florida restricted-use pesticide license and the Certified Crop Adviser designation. See the complete Citrus Expo schedule — including seminar times, topics and speakers.