At a glance: Florida agriculture by the numbers


Brittany Lee charts a winning course with Florida Blue Farms 

Brittany Lee sets a great example for young son Jeb. An award-winning leader in Florida’s blueberry industry, Lee will pass along her drive to work hard and make a difference, whether it’s in a farm field or in a boardroom.

“I hope what Jeb learns from me is that hard work and dedication can be truly rewarding,” she said. “That being able to point to a plentiful harvest is a real and tangible thing. It’s powerful to see the success that comes from a year’s worth of long hours and hard work.”

Career commitment seems to come naturally to Lee, the 35-year-old vice president and farm manager of family-owned Florida Blue Farms, which planted its first trees in 2010 on land just south of Waldo in eastern Alachua County.  


Navigating uncertainty: The labor outlook

Florida growers could face a serious labor shortage in the next few years, especially if federal agencies ramp up immigration enforcement. "But we have an opportunity for improving things within the Trump administration and in Congress, as we try to navigate the many obstacles facing our industry," said Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president, AmericanHort, co-chair of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, and chair of the National Council of Agricultural Employers' Immigration Committee.  

During FFVA’s 2017 Convention Issues Forum, "Navigating Uncertainty: The Ag Labor Outlook," Regelbrugge focused on policy, regulatory and legislative steps that could help fruit and vegetable producers address their workforce challenges.  He noted that about 75 percent of the 2 million to 2.5 million farmworkers in the U.S. are foreign-born, and one-third are U.S. citizens.