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1

A Tale of Two Orange Groves

Did you know that Florida’s oranges make their way into 80 percent of the orange juice consumed in the United States? The state of Florida is second only to the nations of Brazil in world citrus production. This abundance of oranges explains why orange juice is America’s unofficial breakfast drink. Because orange juice is rich in nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium, and needs no sweeteners, it is among the healthier, more natural beverage choices. Another state that dominates citrus production is California, which produces 80 percent of the nation’s lemons. While Florida has California beat when it comes to orange production, citrus is one of California’s most important crops.

2

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus planted the first oranges in 1493 in St. Augustine. Orange groves emerged along the coast where access to water made transportation possible. The interior of Florida was largely occupied by the Seminole, a Native American tribe, but by the 1840s, a series of brutal wars had driven away the Seminole, opening Florida up to two rising industries of the era, cattle and cotton.

3

scurvy

a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, the flood of immigrants and migrants sought the fruit. While Wolfskill had regional success in his San Gabriel Valley orchards, it was not until the arrival of the navel orange in 1870 that California’s citrus industry took off. This variety came from Brazil, demonstrating that the international exchange of food was far from over. Because it was seedless and larger than other varieties currently available, it quickly became popular.

4

grafting

This occurs when the shoot or bud of one plant is united with an established plant by putting navel orange buds on existing trees’ stems or roots. This effectively changed the orange-growing industry and made citrus the reason many came to seek their fortune in agriculture. Like Florida’s growers, those in California quickly came together in 1893 to form the Southern California Fruit exchange (known today as the Sunkist Growers).

5

Building Professional Skills: Using the Web Wisely

Like all industries, agriscience has its professional standards. One of the most useful tools for those in any profession is the Internet, but it needs to be used appropriately. Just as it is an endless resource for information, there is also a lot of misinformation and opinion out there. Part of any professional use of the Internet is distinguishing an appropriate source from those of lesser quality. Using weak sources can undermine the validity of an entire presentation or project, so it is really important to spend the few minutes it takes to make sure a source is reliable.

6

So what makes a source reliable?

So what makes a source reliable? There are a couple ways to tell if a source is valid. One of the simplest is to look at the ending of a website’s URL, or web address. If a website ends in .gov, .mil, or .edu, it is a good source. Those in agriscience will be particularly interested in .gov sites, particularly those belonging to the USDA or state agriculture departments since these agencies track all kinds of trends in agriculture. While many people think that a website ending in .org also makes for a reliable source, this is not always the case. Unlike .gov, which is reserved only for government agencies, .mil for the American military, or .edu, which belongs to colleges and universities, .org is not regulated by the government, so anyone building a website can choose a web address ending in .org. There are many great websites with this ending that house excellent resources and information; it is a popular choice among nonprofit organizations. However, it is a not a guarantee that the information is reliable. Similarly, there are excellent .com sites, but many that have dubious credibility as well.