More than a decade ago, growers Tony DiMare and Jay Taylor attended a fruit and vegetable tour and expo in Mexico. They realized Florida needed a similar type of event.
As members of the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) Advisory Council, both growers worked with the center to form the first Florida Ag Expo. The event launched in 2006 after the GCREC opened in 2005. The Florida Ag Expo began as a way for the center to showcase its fruit and vegetable research.
The first Florida Ag Expo had over 800 attendees. A highlight of the event was the presentation of a migrant farmworker house prototype commissioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the GCREC grounds. The prototype has several advantages, particularly in Florida. Some of the attributes include withstanding Category 4 hurricane winds, 50 percent greater efficiency than standard mobile homes, and it can be built quickly for less than $100 per square foot.
Over the last decade, the Florida Ag Expo has evolved and changed as Florida’s agricultural landscape has shifted. The state’s fruit and vegetable growers rely on the event to keep them updated on the latest research and products.
Now, Florida Ag Expo is gearing up for its best year yet as AgNet Media, Inc. takes over management of the event.
AgNet Media, Inc. has deep roots in Florida agriculture. Serving Florida’s farmers for 35 years, AgNet Media provides several media outlets to keep growers informed, including Southeast AgNet Radio Network, Citrus Industry magazine, Vegetable and Specialty Crop News magazine, Citrus Expo and now Florida Ag Expo.
Florida Ag Expo is a partnership between AgNet Media, Inc. and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It also includes the Florida Tomato Committee, Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association.