PRECISION FARMING IN THE EYES OF A SMALL FLORIDA CITRUS GROWER
This opportunity to share with you is a wonderful blessing for me. I appreciate all of the hard work each of you offer in efforts to elevate our farming community to new levels of profitability and most importantly, sustainability. The work of each of you will be the cornerstone of the forthcoming generations of farmers here in Florida. Your work is paramount to creating within our farming culture an undeniable and necessary competitive advantage for us in comparison to the worldwide farming community. Many of these developing countries have at their disposal countless resources and very limited, if not nearly absent, government regulation and, thus, their cost of food production is an obvious challenge for us. I expect that technology will be our saving grace. Today I wear several hats for our industry but I am a citrus grower at heart. My family has been involved in growing citrus for four generations. We have always been committed to being environmentally friendly, always committed to being the most efficient grower possible, and always looking for new technologies to benefit our family business as well as our industry as a whole. Serving my industry has been the backbone of a lifestyle I am proud of every day. Its no secret, I think the words out...our citrus industry is currently faced with many challenges. Greening, canker, labor, water the list could go on. I suspect much as it has been for citrus growers of past years and as it will be for them in future generations, challenges abound. Therell be no shortage of opportunity for folks with your skill sets. I am optimistic for our future and not just because I have a family to provide for or because of the dozens of employees who depend on me to aid them in providing for their families. My optimism is not seated in emotion or blind hope, but because we have smart, dedicated people working to solve our challenges. And importantly, because we have committed as an industry to solving our problems and overcoming our challenges, we choose to envision a bright future for Florida citrus and Florida agriculture as a whole. Sure, predictably, there are those who choose to have a glass that is half-full, or quite honestly, fully empty. There has always been some reason for domestic agriculture to fold up shop, close the doors, and cede to the increasing global competition. I choose, as I hope you have and always will, to discount the naysayers and allow their disbelief to stoke the fire of creativity and hope within each of us. In my humble opinion, we will, as past generations have proven, utilize every resource, both intellectual and financial, to not just speak hope, but create it.
Albritton Jr., B. (2009). PRECISION FARMING IN THE EYES OF A SMALL FLORIDA CITRUS GROWER. Acta Hortic. 824, 17-20