Highlands County Youth Citrus Project Winners

Ernie NeffAwards

Highlands County
Christopher Garrison took home the Reserve Grand Champion award.

Rylan Turner’s tree was crowned Grand Champion of the Highlands County Youth Citrus Project, and Christopher Garrison’s tree garnered the Reserve Grand Champion award. Those two trees were sold in a live auction during the livestock auction night at the Highlands County Fair on Feb. 18. Lykes Bros. purchased the Grand Champion tree for $1,400 and Big T Tire bought the Reserve Grand Champion tree for $800.

The remaining trees grown for the project were placed up for sale through the silent auction process at the fair, with  minimum starting bids of $50. A number of other companies bought silent auction trees and provided add-ons.

The Highlands County Youth Citrus Project, which is run through the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension 4-H Program, teaches local students aged 8 to 18 how to successfully grow citrus in Florida. Forty-four citrus trees (Pixie Mandarin on rootstock X-639) were entered into the program this year. All of the trees were grown for the entirety of the project in a protective cover. They were all tested for HLB by the state of Florida and found to be negative before being displayed at the fair.

Registration for the 2021-2022 Highlands County Youth Citrus Project is underway through 5 p.m. on April 9. Young people interested can register here. They can also call Alexis Cooper at 863-402-6540 and speak with her about getting involved.

Source: Highlands County Citrus Growers Association

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