FROM OUR DIRECTOR’S DESK, DR. RONALD D. 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, or what would later become the Florida 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: 290 million boxes contributing $7 billion to the state’s economy.
In the mid-2000s, the United States 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 Citrus Show, and the number of educational sessions doubled.
The 2023 Florida Citrus Show will take place on April 13 at the UF/IFAS-IRREC and USDA facilities. New this year will be a tailgate-style trade show and vegetable production educational sessions. Florida ranks #1 in the nation to produce tomatoes, bell peppers, snap beans, watermelon, and cucumbers.
We invite the growers and the public to come learn about meaningful work conducted by UF/IFAS and USDA. In addition to educational talks, there will be exhibitors and vendors displaying their products and technologies. On behalf of the UF/IFAS and USDA scientific community, I thank AgNetMedia for organizing the event and gaining show sponsors so that our local growers can attend at no cost.
Please remember our growers when you visit the grocery store or produce stand. You directly benefit their hard work and livelihoods by selecting Florida-grown produce. You can learn more about the Florida Citrus Show here: Florida Citrus Show – Florida Grower