From the Editor’s Desk: Speaking of agriliving …

Artists recognized for their depictions of ag

Celeste Jo Walls

THERE’S NO DOUBT about it. There’s just something special about the Southern lifestyle we’re able to enjoy here in Florida. It’s unlike any other place in the South. I’d venture to say it’s unlike any other place in the world, but, of course, as a Florida native and a girl in love with her home, I’m a little biased. Where else can you get sunshine, agriculture, the beach, and a sea of theme parks right within arm’s reach? But more than the lifestyle that is completely unique to Florida, there’s something about the ag life in our region that’s a little bit sweeter than anywhere else.

Recently, some talented photographers were recognized for their ability to capture small fragments of the ag life we enjoy. Jamie Lisbon, a Lakeland resident pursuing his Associate in Arts degree at Polk State College, won first place in the theme category at the 2015 Florida Strawberry Festival Photography Contest. His photo, a half-eaten strawberry in an alley, captures the remnants of a moment we’re able to enjoy a lot here in our area: Taking a bite out of a fresh-picked red gem!

Another photo that recently grabbed my eye was one of the winners of the UF/IFAS PIE Center Photo Contest. Paula Schumaker, winner of the Natural Resources category and a Port Charlotte resident, shared the story of how she captured this photo during a UF/IFAS Master Gardener field trip. The little critter was one of three that had made camp in a peach tree. This raccoon is a simple reminder of the safe haven that our groves, ranches, farms, and orchards provide for Florida wildlife.

Because of the lifestyle that our growers and ranchers lead, and the stewardship that they practice on the land daily, we are able to enjoy a Southern lifestyle full of delicious food and natural surroundings. Congrats to these winners, and thanks for helping to capture beautiful depictions of the lifestyle we are privileged to have!



Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Ag News. She may be reached by e-mail at

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