I am in Ruskin Florida working for the company Ag Reserves Inc. with Deseret Farms of Ruskin. They have around 680 acres of Citrus consisting of two varieties of juice oranges, Valencia and Hamlin. The majority of my time has been spent caring for these trees. The citrus industry is being plagued by a disease called Greening. It is spread through psyllids feeding on the leaves and it affects the overall development of the tree. The tree loses 30% of its root system, the leaves are smaller and yellow colored, the fruit is small, discolored, and low in pound solids and sugars. There is no cure for this disease so I've been experimenting with different fertilizers and heat treatment to try to push the disease back into the roots. That would allow the tree to grow unhindered for a few years before the disease migrates back into the leaves. Along with that I've learned how to operate a backhoe, tractor, and fertilizer spreader.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.