The Citrus Expo and Vegetable & Specialty Crop (VSC) Expo hosted their biggest crowd ever during the combined event held Aug. 14–15 at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Florida.
Kicking off Citrus Expo and VSC Expo was a general session addressing timely issues for all types of growers. Attendees gained knowledge on hemp, water issues and labor. Stay tuned for more information regarding the general session on CitrusIndustry.net and VSCNews.com in the coming weeks.
The citrus and VSC seminars, themed “Growing Stronger,” offered attendees a wealth of information on the latest research. Both programs granted multiple continuing education units toward the Florida restricted-use pesticide license and the Certified Crop Adviser designation.
Citrus Expo included a new hands-on session hosted by researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Growers packed the Davidson House to participate in 11 different demonstrations. They also had the opportunity to chat with several UF/IFAS experts.
Citrus Expo and VSC Expo also included a sold-out trade show of more than 200 exhibitors. The always popular John Deere gun safe giveaway, sponsored by Everglades Equipment Group, added excitement to the trade show floor. Miss Florida Michaela McLean drew the name of the lucky winner, Emily Matteson of Matco Enterprises, LLC. Based in Frostproof, Florida, Matco Enterprises is a commercial grower of oranges and bamboo.
Accepting the prize for Emily Matteson were her father, Byron Matteson of Matco and her uncle, Baxter Troutman of Labor Solutions.
At the end of the first day of the event, attendees and exhibitors gathered on the trade show floor to share food, drinks and fun. The party ended with the announcement of the Florida FFA Fundraiser Raffle winner. For the second time, Ed Lounds, owner of Hunter Scott Agricultural Sales, was the lucky winner of the BBQ bundle and pull-behind smoker, donated by Hays-LTI and AgNet Media. However, since it was his second time winning this prize by random draw, Lounds graciously donated it for auction to the crowd at the reception. After donating $1,600 to the FFA in the auction, Carl Watson of Dilley Citrus Nursery became the new winner of the prize package. Thanks to the auction, the FFA raised more money this year than ever before at Expo. AgNet Media truly appreciates the volunteer service and hard work of the Florida FFA officers who help keep the event running smoothly.
AgNet Media would like to thank the sponsors of the 2019 Citrus Expo and VSC Expo. The events cannot happen without them. AgNet Media also thanks UF/IFAS, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation and Florida’s regional citrus associations for their role in planning this year’s expanded citrus seminar program. Special thanks also go to Gene McAvoy, UF emeritus Extension agent, for his guidance and expertise in creating the VSC seminar program. And of course, without the support of the exhibitors, the Expo trade show would not be possible.
Mark your calendar for Aug. 12–13, 2020, when Citrus Expo and VSC Expo return to the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Florida.