IT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO this month that I filed for Central Florida Media Group’s federal ID number. That’s the number the government assigns to each incorporated business, and with it the tiny media company was on its way … but who could have known for sure to where and how far? In the weeks that followed, CFMG would apply for and be accepted into the USF / Polytechnic Small Business Incubator program, and with it have access to faculty, students, and staff. The incubator would be our home for the next two years until USF / Poly split and the incubator was shut down.
As I look back upon our time at the incubator, one of the greatest assets was the access to the students; young minds who were eager to learn more about the publishing business as well as our unique niche audiences, and those students proved to be more than capable of bringing knowledge of their own to the CFMG table. We continue to foster internship relationships as much as possible, having hosted bright minds from USF, Southeastern, Polk State College, Lake Region High School, and my alma mater, the University of Central Florida. You see, it all started with young folks for this small business; we helped them learn while they helped us learn.
CFMG’s offices are now right on the park in downtown Winter Haven, and we’ve expanded far beyond me, my desk, and a phone. We currently employ several very talented team members, and we have gathered together a host of incredible correspondents. Through the short five years, we’ve increased our production to seven magazine titles. We also proudly support a host of content, media, and publicity clients for whom CFMG conducts marketing services.
This edition of Central Florida Ag News, the AgriYouth Edition, is always one of my favorites. It gives us a chance to reconnect with young folks, and it also falls near the anniversary that we got the Central Florida Media Group ball rolling. Special thanks to those students who have been engaged here; our staff and correspondents; our readers and advertisers, without whom we wouldn’t have made past year one; Polk County Farm Bureau, for its continued collaboration and endorsement of Central Florida Ag News; my supportive family; and the good Lord above for His continued blessings.
NELSON KIRKLAND, Publisher
Central Florida Ag News