DPI Diary: A Summary of the Week’s Activities at FDACS-DPI — Feb. 15, 2013
February 15, 2013
Let’s go to the Fair!
The Florida State Fair continues through February 18.
Hundreds of fair-goers visited the Ag Hall of Fame building and our DPI displays, featuring insects and arachnids (including our office tarantula, Twiggy). Nearby, the FDACS “Florida Agriculture: Then and Now” traveling exhibit, part of the Viva Florida 500 celebration, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida. It showcases the growth, expansion and diversification of Florida agriculture over the last 500 years.
Hall of Famers . . .
Tuesday, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam hosted the Florida Ag Hall of Fame. Inducted into the Hall of Fame were:
- Former Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson
- Daniel Botts of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association,
- The late Dr. Eugene Trotter, founder of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources and
- Dr. Paul Nicoletti, a veterinarian and epidemiologist who spent the bulk of his career with the USDA and the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Bees Bound for California . . .
Florida beekeepers were loading hives onto trucks bound for California, where almond growers are facing a critical shortage of bees for pollination of their trees. The pollination process will take about four weeks. Around March 15, the bees will return to Florida to pollinate crops here, then move northward with the warmer weather. Our Florida bees travel as far north as Maine, pollinating crops. Florida is home to the nation’s fifth largest apiary industry.
Junior Detectives Needed …
Members of the FDACS-DPI team working to eradicate the giant African land snail (GALS) from Miami-Dade County outlined the program to about 100 Miami-Dade teachers who serve as science leaders for their elementary schools. The science leaders will return to their schools and, if their principals approve, will promote the Junior Detective Program to their students.
Finally, these Brief but Important Items . . .
- Our 2013 blog series, “Five Hundred Years of Florida Flora Firsts,” featured a history of the sugar industry in the state. Spanish colonial governor Menendez introduced sugarcane into Florida in 1565.
- Visit the “Don’t Pack a Pest Travelers Program booth at the Miami International Boat Show, which opened this week.
- A billboard promoting the “Don’t Pack a Pest” program faces northbound lanes of I-75 near Ocala. Look for others around the state, reminding international travelers to declare agricultural items in luggage. The program has also placed signs at major international airports in the U.S. and Jamaica and videos on American Airlines flights.