Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Regulatory Tour 2011

Wow. They call this work? That’s what I was thinking all last week when I was selected to participate in the Spring Regulatory Tour, a weeklong tour given by the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. There were about 24 of us mostly from Florida and Washington, D.C. The tour ‘is designed to give regulators a firsthand look at the agriculture industry’s challenges and a better understanding of how the decisions they make affect Florida agriculture.” -FFVA

Since it would take me a long time to go through what we did each and every day, I’ll provide lots of pictures and captions instead of a play-by-play. I can say that the days were long, we stood on our feet a lot, we had gorgeous hot weather, I learned a TON, I met a lot of great people, I am so thankful I got to be a part of this! Oh and our mode of transportation was a charter bus that jerked violently every time we slowed down. Started off funny, ended up extremely annoying. Good times.

Day 1

After the early departure from Tallahassee at 5:30 am, our “crew” of four from my work started our 6 hour ride to Ft. Myers. We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and had a nice welcome lunch followed by introductions and presentations to kick off the tour.

Our first official tour stop was the Old Collier Golf Club. This place was amazing!

1277_2-3-192 1277_2-3-193

{Tim Hiers, Superintendent} {Cute Tee Markers}

1277_2-3-194 1277_2-3-197

{Beautiful course} { Eek, snakeys!}

1277_2-3-198 1277_2-3-199

{Mock pesticide application demo}

1277_2-3-200 1277_2-3-201

{Pesticide storage} {Beautiful club house}

One thing I must mention, since eating is my thing, the food everywhere we went was UH-MAZING. We were spoiled and I was loving it! Oh and key lime pie was our usual dessert…heaven!

Day 2

Our second day we were up and at ‘em early. This was the case every day by the way…up at down and back pretty much at dusk/late afternoon.

First stop, Syngenta Flowers.

1277_2-3-202 1277_2-3-2031277_2-3-204 1277_2-3-205

{Very thankful for my A/C desk job…}


DSC_0158 DSC_0159DSC_0196 DSC_0161DSC_0177 DSC_0187 DSC_0184

Second stop, Six L’s Farm.

1277_2-3-154 DSC_0229

{Fresh tater!}

DSC_0227 DSC_0213

{Fresh mater}

Day 3

First stop, Barron Collier/Silver Strand


{Checkout the spiderweb on the right}

1277_2-3-156 1277_2-3-157

{Future harvester?} {Citrus flowers}

DSC_0252 DSC_0268DSC_0285 DSC_0289

Vanna White? ;)

DSC_0292 DSC_0296DSC_0306 DSC_0305

{Citrus diseases - Citrus Greening, Citrus Canker}

Second stop, Sugar Cane Growers Co-Op of Florida & Florida Crystals

DSC_0323 DSC_0336

{Massive tractor!}

DSC_0347 DSC_0356DSC_0357 DSC_0361DSC_0366 DSC_0371

{Rodenticides have been greatly reduced with the “Barn Owl Project”}

DSC_0368 DSC_0372

{Owl Pellet} {Leftovers?}


{Lake Okeechobee from Herbert Hoover Dike}


{Hotel in Clewiston, FL}

Day 4

First stop, King Ranch (sod farm).

DSC_0401 DSC_0405DSC_0419 1277_2-3-162DSC_0414

Hard workers I tell ya.

Second stop, Duda Farms where we got to see celery & radishes being harvested. This was one of my favorite tour stops of the trip. I was fascinated with the harvesting process.

1277_2-3-172 1277_2-3-163

{Crop duster} {Celery harvesting}

1277_2-3-166 1277_2-3-164 1277_2-3-167

{The smell was absolutely wonderful! Needed some dressing though:) }


1277_2-3-168 1277_2-3-169

{Fresh From Florida, folks!}

1277_2-3-171 1277_2-3-170DSC_0481 DSC_0492

{Mechanical harvesting}


Third stop, American Farms.

DSC_0553 1277_2-3-1781277_2-3-174 1277_2-3-1751277_2-3-176 1277_2-3-177DSC_0565 DSC_0523

We then headed to Naples, FL and checked into an awesome hotel, the Bay Front Inn. It was wonderful!


{View from hotel patio}

Day 5

On our fifth and final day, we headed to the Lee County Mosquito Control District/Lee County Hyacinth Control District.

What did we plan to do there? Well a helicopter ride of course! WOW! They took us to Beautiful Island via helicopter where we went to a baby mangrove forest for a pesticide application done via a helicopter flyover. It was just water, but we got drizzled as if we were some mosquitos!

1277_2-3-182 1277_2-3-180


1277_2-3-183 1277_2-3-184

{The view from here}

1277_2-3-185 DSC_0617

{Mangrove Forrest – mosquito breeding ground when under water}


{LCHCD for aquatic weed control}

And no, we did not get to go on the airboat:/

In the lab we got to see how larvicides are tested and developed

1277_2-3-187 1277_2-3-188

{Mosquito Larvae} {Adult Mosquitos}

1277_2-3-189 1277_2-3-190

{Recently remodeled applicator plane}

The planes fly at dusk at 300 foot altitude and the pilots wear night vision goggles when they’re applying the pesticides. Sounds safe. Sign me up!


We finished off the GREAT tour with a delicious fish fry of tilapia, salad, hushpuppies, cookies, sweet tea, cole slaw, THE WORKS. Yum!

What a trip!!

1 comment:

  1. Love the post! And Sarah is always willing to have fun with a camera! LOL I was recently in Fort Myers for a meeting of ag PR folks and met a lot of locals. We had a day out in the field seeing some farms as well so a lot of the scenes look familiar.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...