Volusia County is recognized as the “Fern Capital of the World”. Unfortunately, it has suffered setbacks from both Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Irma (2017) due to the damaging high winds. Both hurricanes directly hit Volusia during the consecutive years and the industry infrastructure is still undergoing repairs.
In December, Volusia Magazine (PBS WDSC-TV. CH 15) aired a video segment from the Volusia County Commercial Horticulture educational program ‘Summer Foliage Forum’ to communicate to the local residents an industry update on the hurricane recovery. It also served to reaffirm the value of cut foliage industry, enlighten viewers on the disease pressure of the crop, discuss the impact automated weather forecasting (FAWN) and to present the research/tools the University of Florida has with cut foliage industry. The segment was also titled Summer Foliage Forum. Karen Stauderman, the UF/IFAS Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent narrated and planned the development of the 5.37 minute televised segment https://youtu.be/8LZM_i3lp70. It includes interview segments from David Register, CEO of FernTrust, Inc, a Volusia County cut foliage grower, UF/MREC research professor Dr. David Norman, and Rick Lusher, UF IT project manager of Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) https://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/.
The video segment aired on the Public Broadcasting station (PBS WDSC-TV CH 15) on December 9, 2018 on two occasions and is archived on the Volusia Magazine (PBS WDSC TV CH-19)web site. Check out the segment (17:05 – 22.39) on the video link! It is an example of how this hard working industry is not only recovering in Volusia County but thriving.