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October 6, 2004 - Oranges: Pulp Fiction of Family Farmers?

Hurricanes are just the most recent blow to Florida's family-run citrus farmers.

According to Terence McElroy, spokesman for Florida agriculture commissioner, the agriculture department had documented $2.1 billion to $2.2 billion in structural and crop damage from hurricanes Charley and Frances.

"I don't think there's any question that there will be some citrus growers, particularly those in advancing years who don't have an heir, a successor, in the family business, who will choose not to [continue farming,]" McElroy said.

While Florida produces nearly 80% of the nation's citrus, family farms have been blown away by rapid consolidation by multinationals, which now control nearly half of both the annual citrus crop and processing facilities.

So how are family farms planning to survive? And how will this affect your morning glass of OJ?

Join us this week with host host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network, as we explore the challenges, opportunities, motives and rewards of staying small and local (and possibly organic) in Florida.

This Week's Guests:
  • Matt McLean — Uncle Matt's Organic
  • Rose Koenig — Farmer
  • Marty Mesh — Exec. Director, Florida Organic Growers
For more information:
  • Visit the site of the Florida Organic Growers
  • Find out about Uncle Matt's Organic
  • Read the article by Rose


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