Category Archives: Featured

09 Apr
Post Irma: Ranchers May Face Longer Term Repercussions

Ranchers facing post-Irma challenges, but recovery may take awhile for stressed cattle. By Cheryl Rogers Hurricane Irma caused some immediate damage to Polk County area farms and ranches, where owners and caretakers initially were kept busy repairing fences, damaged roofs, and culverts.  But, in the long term, the most serious effects may have been to

09 Apr
Mules vs. Horses

What Side Are You Riding With? by TERESA SCHIFFER Mules versus horses, which is the better beast? There are folks on either side of the argument that can make a passionate case for each. Let’s take a look at some of the attributes of mules so you can decide where you land in this debate.

09 Apr
Home is Where the Heart Is

Raising Goats and Chickens on AM Acres by MARY TOOTHMAN When Maria and Tony Iannucci began to look for property and the lifestyle change that would come with it, they knew they’d found it at the five-acre Lake Wales site now known as AM Acres. “We wanted out of the zero-lot-line environment and found the

09 Apr
Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Citrus Genome

Researchers are Working Together to Remodel the Citrus Genome in Hopes of Fighting HLB by ERIKA ALDRICH If you’re a scientist associated with the citrus industry, your efforts are likely geared towards finding a workable solution to huánglóngbìng (HLB), otherwise known as citrus greening.  If your research also happens to have applications in other areas

14 Mar
Road to Recovery for Groves

Congress Finally Passes Bill to Help Florida Farmers in Wake of Irma by REPRESENTATIVE TOM ROONEY When Florida citrus growers looked ahead to their crop projections last year, the future looked bright.  This was going to be the year – the year citrus production would finally rebound from citrus greening.  But in September, disaster struck Florida’s Heartland.

14 Mar
Lake Wales High School Horse Judging Team Heads to State

There is No Horsing Around When it Comes to This Group of Dedicated Students By Teresa Schiffer In an age of social media obsession and digital absorption, sometimes it seems that all the kids do is play with their gadgets.  A dedicated group of young people at Lake Wales High School is breaking that stereotype

14 Mar
Polk County FFA Members Are MAD

How Local Members Are Making A Difference in Central Florida by THE POLK COUNTY FFA FEDERATION OFFICERS Hi there, we are the Polk County FFA Federation officer team!  We have the opportunity to work with students across Polk County through chapter programs, the Polk County Youth Fair, and at leadership conferences.   This year as

14 Mar
Fair Survival 101

Friendships can be Formed, Lessons Learned and Time Management Skills Developed with Fair Experiences by MARY TOOTHMAN To fair visitors, it may be all about the yummy food, petting animals, and viewing the neat displays.  However, behind the scenes, fair days and showing animals can be a lot of work and a way for youth

16 Feb
Polk County Youth Fair

If you have never been to the Polk County Youth Fair, or any youth fair in our region, you’re missing a one-of-a-kind experience. It is a must-do for any person— from the young to young-at-heart. Kids and youth from all around gather under one roof to show their livestock, crafts, plants, and more. Here’s your

16 Feb
Citrus Report: Halfway Through the Citrus Season

Growers are hoping the forecast will stay on its steady course by ERIKA ALDRICH If the latest USDA Citrus forecast is any indication, the Florida citrus industry continues to be adversely affected by long-term challenges—citrus greening—and recent disasters—Hurricane Irma.  With four months’ worth of citrus forecasts in the history books, it’s easy to see the