Webb Joins Seedway

James Webb has joined Seedway as vegetable product and market development manager for the company’s Southeast product-development program. Based in Lakeland, Fla., Webb will be coordinating efforts with breeder-producers to test and identify superior varieties for introduction into Seedway’s product line. Additionally, Webb will identify and develop new markets and support salespeople and customers with technical information and cultural recommendations. He earned a master’s degree in horticultural sciences from the University of Florida and brings with him 10 years of agricultural experience, including teaching, research and sales.

Horizon Offers Toro Dingo in Texas

Horizon has partnered with The Toro Company to offer the Toro Dingo to its customers in Texas. The distributor will be offering both wheeled and tracked models from the compact utility loader series.

FFVA Honors Ag Industry Leaders

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association has recognized several individuals who have contributed to the state’s fruit and vegetable industry.

Frank Johns Jr. received the FFVA’s Distinguished Service Award. Johns is a fourth-generation farmer who has worked in the agriculture industry for 35 years. In 1976, he and his wife, Polly, founded Tater Farms in the Hastings area. He has served 14 years with the Hastings Drainage District, six years with the National Potato Promotion Board, and 14 years with FFVA as a member of the board of directors. He was also a member of FFVA’s executive committee for 11 of those years and a chairman from 2002 to 2004.

The Researcher of the Year Award was given to Ronald P. Muraro, a professor and extension farm management economist at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Stationed at the Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center, Muraro has served for more than 35 years in agricultural extension and research. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his papers and presentations in agricultural economic and management problems. Among Muraro’s accomplishments and contributions is his work showing the total costs and returns for rehabilitating citrus groves damaged in the major freezes in the 1980s.

Legislator of the Year awards went to Florida state Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, and Rep. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring. Rep. Grimsley was chairperson of the House Agribusiness Committee and Sen. Baker was the Senate sponsor of many of the major bills that the agricultural industry supported during the 2008 legislative session. Those bills included SB 1578, the Bert Harris/Private Property Rights Bill; SB 1946, the over-width farm implements bill; SB 2054, the surveyor’s trespass bill; and SB 2246, the ag enclaves/densities bill.

The Merchandiser of the Year Award‡went to The Fresh Market, Inc. of Greensboro, N.C. The company was founded in 1982 when Ray Berry and his wife, Beverly, opened a small store dedicated to providing quality foods in a friendly atmosphere. Today it operates 80 stores in 18 states. With a growing national market, The Fresh Market continues to focus on customer service and its mission to keep the specialty neighborhood grocer feeling.

Tiger-Sul Expands Production

Westport, Conn.-based H.J. Baker & Bro., Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Tiger-Sul Products, have opened a new facility in Stockton, Calif., for the production of sulphur-based fertilizers. This is the company’s third production facility in North America. A fourth facility has also recently been opened in Umbogintwini, South Africa. By licensing its technology to Chemical Initiatives, the company will now be able to supply the African continent with sulphur-based fertilizers. H.J. Baker & Bro., Inc. has provided ingredients to the fertilizer and sulphur industries since 1850.

US Agriseeds Trials Inform Dealers, Growers

US Agriseeds hosted their second annual trial event in Gilroy, Calif., during August and September. Dealers and growers from different regions of the world attended to learn about the company’s newest products. The trials featured hot and sweet peppers, cucumbers, squashes, tomatoes and eggplants. US Agriseeds has established markets in Mexico and the Middle East, but the Gilroy trial grounds are part of an effort to develop the company’s domestic presence. As a part of this year’s event, product trainings were provided to all attendees, including the company’s exclusive U.S. dealers Ochoa Seed Co., Gowan Seed Co., Seedway, Keithly-Williams Seeds and Champion Seed Co. The next Gilroy trials will be held in August 2009.

IAC and Toyota Tundra Team Up

Toyota’s full-sized Tundra pickup truck has been named official truck of the Inter-national Agri-Center, home of World Ag Expo and California Antique Farm Equipment Show. Toyota’s World Ag Expo display, from February 10–12, 2009, will feature a complete lineup of 2009 Toyota trucks and SUVs, including the Tacoma and off-road-capable FJ Cruiser. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ride and drive the Tundra. Toyota’s 2009 Sequoia SUV also will be available to test drive. Toyota’s multiyear partnership with IAC allows the Tundra to become a feature at the California Antique Farm Equipment Show, along with the many other events hosted at the center.

Free Information from AgriCharts

AgriCharts, the agricultural division of Barchart.com, Inc., that provides Web site services, market data and technology to agribusinesses, is providing a free service to farmers and other agricultural market participants for markets, news and weather.‡AgriCharts AgPlus Delayed is a Web-based service that provides a range of features for monitoring the agricultural markets and making decisions.‡AgPlus is also a source for agricultural news, reports and weather. To register, visit www.agricharts.com, go to Quote Products and select AgPlus Delayed.

Research Specialist Joins FBS

Floratine BioSciences has named Harold Dou, Ph.D., as director of product quality and biology. Dr. Dou will work in the company’s manufacturing facility in Visalia, Calif., where he will be responsible for product quality and formulation and biological testing of new products. He has extensive experience in the development of innovative agrichemical products, particularly within the fruits and vegetables industry. He has worked as a research and development manager at BASF and Glico USA, and he was a research specialist with the Florida Department of Citrus and the University of Florida and at UC Davis. While there he focused on the areas of formulation development and biological testing, leading to the development of emulsified products.