Citrus Expo’s Expanded Program Exceeds Expectations

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Citrus Expo’s broadened program brought new faces and additional learning opportunities to Florida’s leading agricultural event. Held in North Fort Myers, Florida, on Aug. 15–16, Expo attracted its largest and most diverse audience ever of growers, industry professionals and vendors.

The event included a sold-out trade show of nearly 200 exhibitors and an educational program themed “Planting Tomorrow’s Profits.”

Kicking off Citrus Expo was a new general session addressing timely issues for all types of growers. Attendees gained knowledge on the farm bill, crop insurance, proposed ag labor legislation, food safety, water issues and more.

Citrus seminars, as well as a newly added vegetable and specialty crop program, offered growers a wealth of information on the latest research. Attendance for the first vegetable and specialty crop sessions at Citrus Expo was so strong that more chairs needed to be added to the building! With the addition of the general session this year, the citrus program ran later than usual. However, this did not deter growers from attending the full program. Both the citrus and the vegetable and specialty crop programs granted multiple continuing education units toward the Florida restricted-use pesticide license and the Certified Crop Adviser designation.

The always popular John Deere gun safe giveaway, sponsored by Everglades Equipment Group, added excitement to the trade show floor. This year’s winner was Jimmy Carter of JK Carter Groves. More action could be found outside of the trade show hall, where growers could test drive Michelin equipment.

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 FFA Fundraiser Raffle winners. Eric Hjort of Tater Farms won a smoker from Hays LTI, and Miles Armstrong won the OK Corral Gun Club’s weekend package. More than $3,600 was raised to support the future of Florida agriculture. Citrus Expo truly appreciates the volunteer service and hard work of the Florida FFA officers who help keep the event running smoothly.

Citrus Expo also thanks the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Citrus Research and Development Foundation and Florida’s regional citrus associations for their role in planning this year’s expanded seminar programs. Citrus Expo also thanks Gene McAvoy, county Extension director and regional vegetable/horticulture Extension agent IV, for his guidance and expertise in creating the new vegetables and specialty crops seminars. And of course, without the support of Citrus Expo’s sponsors and exhibitors, the event would not be possible.

Mark your calendar for Aug. 14–15, when Citrus Expo 2019 returns to the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers, Florida.

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