From: Icicle Networks
Published October 6, 2004 12:00 AM

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 percent 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 the morning glass of orange juice?


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 featured guests include Matt McLean of Uncle Matt's Organic; Rose Koenig, a farmer; and Marty Mesh, executive director of Florida Organic Growers.

The Beyond Organic show broadcasts every Wednesday at 10 a.m. (PST). For more information and to tune in, visit Beyond Organic. You can also listen at Icicle Networks and Wisdom Media.

Source: Icicle Networks

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