4-H Agriculture Camp

Hardee County 4-H Agriculture Camp

July 2017
Dillard Albritton (in blue) explaining about olive production.

In Hardee County, the agriculture industry generates over 73 percent of our job market. What is unique about the agriculture in Hardee County is that it heavily varies from where it was twenty years ago. It used to be that anywhere you went, you would see beef cattle production or citrus, there wasn’t much in between. What we wanted to show our 4-H members over this past week was how much we, as a community, have grown.

Day 1

We started our week off at the Industrial Development Authority’s test plot in Hardee County where we met with Dillard Albritton the farm manager. He showed us how the county is testing different varieties of crops from olive trees to pomegranates and even a new biofuel plant called pongamia.

Kevin Cundiff, the general manager of Florikan, answering 4-H member’s questions.

After lunch, we toured Florikan which is a relatively new fertilizer company in Hardee County. They engineer and manufacture fertilizer that is encapsulated, which we had never seen before. A fun fact about Florikan that our youth enjoyed was that they are working with NASA to help grow food in space!

Air potato beetle.

Day 2

Tuesday was all about getting into nature and how to utilize sustainable energy. First, we started off our morning by learning about solar cookers. We used Ziploc bags and foil to cook hot dogs for a snack. While our hotdogs were cooking, we went on a 2.5 mile hike to learn about different insects and animals that can be found in the wild.

Peace River Trail, Fort Meade.

That afternoon, we came back to the County Extension Office, where the camp participants along with our Ag Agent and County Extension Director, Jona Bosques got to catch mosquito fish and learn about why they are important to have in our ponds and water troughs in Florida.

Jona Bosques demonstrating how to catch the mosquito fish.
Darin Hughes explaining equipment used in the citrus industry.

Day 3

On Wednesday, we toured Krause Grove Services to learn about the citrus industry and how greening is affecting them. The 4-H members got to see the different equipment they use every day and learn about two different types of oranges (Valencia and Hamlin). We ended our tour with a bottle of Tropicana Orange juice which, just so happens, to get their oranges from some of the trees we visited that day.


Visiting the honeybees!

Wednesday afternoon was one of the 4-H member’s favorite activities of the whole week: Honeybees! Jona Bosques did a demonstration with the help of Matt Warren about the ins and outs of beekeeping and all of the work that the bees put into making honey. The 4-H members even had the chance to get up close to the bees. One of their favorite parts was being able to put a honeybee under the microscope to try to see if they could find any mites. While, they weren’t able to find any mites they thought it was neat to see all of the pollen that covered the bees.


4-H youth learned about the appropriate personal protective equipment for working with bees.



Day 4

Thursday was our last day for Ag Camp. We toured the UF/IFAS Research and Education Center in Ona, FL. First, we met with Dr. Brent Sellers who taught us about plant and weed science, along with invasive species. We learned why it is important to pay attention where we walk, so we do not transfer non-native plants.

Next, they learned about wildlife biology that shares their home range with cattle, such as feral swine, owls, coyotes, gopher turtles, etc. The youth were especially interested in the measures that are used

to track the different animals such as drones and GPS collars. From there they went to visit Wally, the cannulated steer. Wally and his microbe field rumen fluid

Wally, the cannulated steer, was not too sure what all of the excitement was about.

help UF researchers to determine the nutritional value of livestock feed. The 4-H members even had the opportunity to use the microscope to see the microbes in Wally’s rumen content.



After lunch, they learned about plants and what they need to survive in our environment. The kids also got to clone sweet potato plants and seed lettuce. They also got to see how the pond plants produce oxygen bubbles in the presence of light.

Kids got to meet the microbes that live inside Wally’s rumen.

Overall, this year’s agriculture camp was one of my favorites, I can’t wait until next year!



To learn more about 4-H Programming in Hardee County, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HardeeCounty4h


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Posted: July 21, 2017

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agribusiness, Agriculture, Camp, Crops, Farm Management, Invasive Species, Livestock, Natural Resources, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: 4-H, Agriculture


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March 8, 2022

During the time they require the brooder they do not need a run. Constant temperature and protection from drafts is the most critical part for their development at this point.

Donna Castro
February 18, 2022

Thank you for this! I am in the process of obtaining my first little backyard flock and am feeling a bit intimidated by this whole brooder issue. This really helped me feel more confident! I have a coop set up and ready, but also wanted to provide a run. Do these have to be connected? Can I train the birds to go into it and then back to the coop at night? Thank you for your help.

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December 14, 2020

Not that I am aware. Maybe watch weather pattern differences because these can affect the germination time.

December 13, 2020

any special requirements or things to be extra aware of in zone 9B-10, im right on the cusp?

November 10, 2020

Corto y conciso, francamente maravilloso el post. Mas que nada porque para mi, familiarizarse con los requerimientos particulares de cada animal es sin dudas lo mas esencial en la cría.

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Jose Zayas

March 29, 2019

Saludos: espero estar traduciendo todos mis "blogs" para el beneficio de todos! Gracias

Edson Silva
March 29, 2019

Me da gusto que este post este en espanol espero que sigan poniendo mas

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August 9, 2018

UF has also released flies to manage fire ants. Bottom line: there is nothing more effective right now than chemical control right now.

July 25, 2018

University of Texas are studying agricultural control of fire ants with a species of phorid flies. Is this something we are trying in Florida as well? Fire ant mounds are very difficult to control and they can easily take over a yard. I have tried several different product without any good results. I am trying some products by Amdro, Siege, and Extinguish next. If there were any better natural products available I would much rather use than spreading chemicals.

Braden Bills
March 9, 2018

I was thinking it would be fun to have a food plot for the local wildlife. It makes sense that a good location would be important! I'll be sure to find a place that deer have access to.

Carolyn Wyatt
August 10, 2017

Well done, Marissa.

Carolyn Wyatt
August 10, 2017

Great article, Marissa.

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July 21, 2017

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July 21, 2017

What a great article!

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