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Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Leah Schwarting

McKay Archives hosts citrus celebration


Florida Southern College will play host to the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, who will moderate a panel discussion about the role citrus has played in Florida’s history on April 11 in Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.

The panel discussion comes in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Ponce De León’s landfall in Florida. The discussion is part of the statewide celebration, ‘Viva 500.’

Also on April 11, an exhibit titled ‘Then and Now’ will open in the McKay Archives Center. The exhibit will showcase different Florida agricultural products, as well as highlight the history of Florida agriculture.

The exhibit travels with the panel discussions and Putnam, the panel discussing different agricultural products in Florida at each location. FSC will represent the citrus industry.

webcitrus

Photos courtesy of LuAnn Mims
The Citrus section of ‘Then and Now.’



“The Florida Citrus Hall of fame is here at Florida Southern College, as well as a huge citrus archive that Professor Tom Mack has started, so we have a good relationship with the citrus people,” LuAnn Mims, college archivist, said. “And this travel exhibit is going to different facilities throughout the state to showcase various commodities, and Commissioner Putnam had asked that Florida Southern receive this to showcase citrus.”

“The Florida Citrus Hall of fame is here at Florida Southern College, as well as a huge citrus archive that Professor Tom Mack has started, so we have a good relationship with the citrus people,” LuAnn Mims, college archivist, said. “And this travel exhibit is going to different facilities throughout the state to showcase various commodities, and Commissioner Putnam had asked that Florida Southern receive this to showcase citrus.”

Eight of the panel members are actively involved in the citrus industry. The ninth is Dr. James Denham, professor of history at FSC.

“Well, obviously each of the panelists come at this from various aspects of their careers,” Denham said. “We’re going to be looking at the past, the present and the future.”

The different members of the panel each represent different aspects of the citrus industry.

Mims said that there is more to the citrus industry than many people think. “When you go get your orange juice, that had to have been grown in a grove. So you have your growers, you have your nursery men that provide the trees, then you have people that physically go out and pick the fruit,” Mims said. “So we have activity in the grove. Then that fruit is shipped to a processing plant, and it’s turned into juice there.”

Other aspects to the industry include research and development, as well as marketing and lobbyists.

“Citrus is very complex. It’s not just going to the store and getting your juice,” Mims said. “There’s all these things that are kind of in motion.”

It is hoped that the different panelists will offer a wide array of knowledge that guests can draw on for their question and get a more complete answer.

“You wouldn’t want to ask a marketing question of someone whose primary job is growing trees,” Mims said.

Each panelist will be able to discuss the citrus industry from the perspective of their field. Denham said that he would try to look back at the history.

“As a member of the panel I’m going to try to look back a little bit too on the history of agriculture and take a look at the development of agriculture,” Denham said.

The McKay Archives Center staff, along with help from Alpha Gamma Rho, will set up the exhibit to go with the panel discussion.

Mims said that the parts of the exhibit are “hands-on,” which she believes will be good for younger children.

“While it’s here, we’re trying to get as many school kids through here as possible as well,” Mims said.

The panel discussion will start at 7 p.m. on April 11. ‘Then and Now’ will open at 6 p.m. at the McKay Archives Center, remain at FSC until the end of April. The exhibit will be open during the regular operating hours of the McKay Archives Center.

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About the Author

I’ve moved around several times before attending college at FSC where, through my major, friends and some odd circumstances, I got involved with the communications department. Namely the newspaper. I have to say that I love writing for The Southern. It’s my chance to get out there and investigate what’s happening around campus. There’s nothing better than seeing something I’ve written informing the public through my articles, both in print and on the web.



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