By Ron Cave
In 1946, leaders with the University of Florida and the Indian River Citrus League ascertained the need for an event where growers, the trade organization and researchers might network and attend educational sessions presented by scientists. So began the first-ever Indian River Citrus Seminar, which would later become the Florida Grower Citrus Show.
In the 1960s, Florida’s citrus industry was in its full glory. Indian River grapefruit became a sought-after delicacy in Europe, East Asia and the United States. Over the next four decades, Florida became one of the world’s leaders in citrus production. It reached a pinnacle during the 2004 production year with 290 million boxes contributing $7 billion to the state’s economy.
In the mid-2000s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service’s Horticultural Research Laboratory moved to Fort Pierce, adjacent to the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (IRREC). USDA scientists joined the Florida Grower Citrus Show, and the number of educational sessions doubled.
The 2023 Florida Grower Citrus Show will take place on April 13 at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center and USDA facilities. New this year will be a tailgate-style trade show and vegetable production educational sessions. Florida ranks No. 1 in the nation in tomato, bell pepper, snap bean, watermelon and cucumber production.
Growers are invited to attend to learn about meaningful work conducted by UF/IFAS and USDA. In addition to educational talks, there will be exhibitors displaying their products and technologies. On behalf of the UF/IFAS and USDA scientific community, I thank AgNet Media for organizing the event and gaining show sponsors so that growers can attend at no cost.
Ron Cave is director of the UF/IFAS IRREC.
Share this Post