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4-H Youth Citrus Tree Project

4-H District VIII Citrus Tree Project

Central Florida 4-H members have been participating in the District VIII 4-H Citrus Tree Project for more than a decade. The citrus project has numerous objectives, one of which is to have an increased awareness of the Central Florida citrus industry. For the 2017-2018 citrus project over 70 youth from Lake, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia are growing Persian Lime trees. During this project youth will grow their trees, learn about citrus management practices, diseases, record keeping and marketing.

Unique Experiences

In support of the citrus industry and the youth citrus project The University of Florida Institute of Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center held a Citrus Youth Day. Youth rotated through classrooms in the research center where they learned from the top citrus researchers in Florida about microbiology, diseases, entomology and more. Seminole County had 8 youth attend the UF Citrus Youth Day.

Seminole County 4-H Members at Citrus Youth Day

In October youth attended a citrus grove tour with Bill Lennon in Lake County. Youth and parents took a two hour hayride tour around the 160+ acre grove of Hamlin Oranges and Pink Grapefruit. Youth viewed firsthand the recent fruit drop and tree damage from Hurricane Irma. Additionally, youth learned about the devastating Citrus Greening disease plaguing the industry and how to identify signs of the disease. 4-H members will take a second grove tour in December at Vo-LaSalle Farms in Volusia County.

 

 

Citrus Project Opportunities

This spring youth will compete in a citrus skill-a-thon, turn in their citrus record books, and write letters to potential buyers in preparation for the citrus auction in March. The capstone of the District VIII 4-H Citrus Tree Project includes a final judges of the trees, an awards ceremony recognizing youth for their skill-a-thon scores, record book scores, scholarship announcements and the tree auction. Last year over 20 youth auctioned off their trees and brought in over $2,700 from the auction. The 2016-2017 overall grand champion tree was grown by Seminole County 4-H member Steven Lommerse. Steven’s tree sold for $500 in the auction. Additionally, he received the 2017 John Jackson Citrus Scholarship.  

This year’s auction will be at the Lake County Extension office: 1951 Woodlea Rd, Tavares, FL 32778 on March 31, 2018. If you are interested in bidding on a tree, attending the auction or donating to this program please contact UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County 4-H Youth Development Agent, Chelsea Woodard. For more information on becoming in volved in 4-H as a member or volunteer please contact Chelsea Woodard at the UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County Office at 407-665-5571 or email cwoodard@seminolecountyfl.gov  

For more information about Seminole County 4-H please visit our website at http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/departments-services/leisure-services/extension-services/4-h-youth-development/

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