Newly Named Miss Florida Citrus Casana Fink Immerses Herself in Advocacy
by MICHELE K. TRICE
Casana Fink was just named Miss Florida Citrus 2023 in February, and already the position has blossomed into a passion for the Florida citrus industry and the growers throughout the state.
“This has been a really wonderful past month,” Fink says.
Fink is a native of Ocala and a graduate of the University of Florida. She has competed in the Miss America organization since she was 14.
“While I do not have a background in the citrus industry, I had a good knowledge of it before winning because of how good the past Miss Florida Citrus representatives have been,” she says.
The Miss Florida Citrus winner each year promotes and educates people around the state about the citrus industry and its importance to the state.
Fink emphasizes that this role is more than a spokesperson, saying it has been inspirational to meet people who were in the citrus industry at its peak and are still in it now, for the love of the industry.
“Citrus is and has been the heart of Florida,” Fink says. She expresses her delight in meeting the growers who are working hard to make sure it stays that way.
“Growing up in Florida, I don’t think I fully comprehended what Florida used to be with the citrus industry,” she says. Her travels this last month have lit a fire to get the citrus industry back to its peak.
“I have a lot of goals and already have a lot planned,” she says. She wants to get out into the community, meet the growers, tour the groves, and meet with lobbyists and legislators in Tallahassee.
She has scheduled a tour with UF “because I know they are some of the most dedicated researchers in the industry.” Fink says she wants to be a “jack of all trades,” learning as much as possible about the citrus industry, immersing herself in the community, and educating others on how crucial the citrus industry is to Florida.
Fink’s degree from UF is in telecommunications, and after graduation, she studied at the Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design in London where she received a fashion certification, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has started her own e-commerce brand, The Unverified, and is a children’s book author.
In 2013, she founded the nonprofit Give to Live-Donate Life. The organization’s representatives travel to spread awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
Fink was living in New York City when Covid hit and moved home to Florida. “I don’t ever want to leave now,” she says. “I want to meet all of the hard workers in the citrus industry.”
The Miss Florida Citrus pageant and Miss Florida pageant are both part of the Miss America organization.
Fink will compete in the Miss Florida pageant on June 24 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
“I want the industry and the public to know that Miss Florida Citrus is more than a ceremonial position or a girl with a crown and sash,” Fink says. “It’s someone who wants to represent the community tirelessly and is willing to do whatever the citrus industry is needing. Our job is to work hard to make the growers feel represented and promote how citrus is the heart of Florida.”