November 27, 2014

Up Front, the Publisher's Column

Around the state

Andrew P. Corty | 8/28/2014

Every time we conduct readership research, subscribers say that Florida Trend’s "Around the State" section is their favorite part of the magazine.

Each month, the eight ATS sections summarize important news -- starting with a statewide roundup and then going through the state area by area, wrapping up with an international section that we added last year.

Typically, we run an article about a significant event in each region, followed by shorter items on executives, their companies and economic development activity.

We added an international section to ATS because foreign trade and international tourism play such a large role here. This month’s international report focuses on the impact foreign buyers are having on Florida real estate; one-quarter of the foreigners who buy homes in the U.S. buy them in Florida, with Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando attracting the most interest.

 

I drive across Florida on a regular basis, but I find that there’s still so much I don’t know about our state.

Florida's Heartland

This month, we continue Trend’s series of community portraits with a look into the massive “Heartland” region, where agriculture dominates.

Tourists who come here seek out fun beyond the state’s theme parks. They enjoy internationally renowned sports car races at Sebring and attend all- American festivals and rodeos.

A large number of agribusinesses and manufacturing companies call the Heartland home. Agricultural products include oranges, lettuce, sugar, cattle, flowers and phosphate. Manufacturers make IT tools, light aircraft and roofing materials, among other products.

With huge open tracts of land and many thousands of acres owned by corporations such as Lykes, Duda and U. S. Sugar, the Heartland has great opportunities for logistic centers, moving goods from south Florida ports to points north.

While the area is pushing for continued economic development, leaders there also are careful not to disturb the area’s natural beauty. One good example of this balance is Mosaic’s Streamsong development, a golf nirvana in southern Polk County. It’s the best of both worlds — a sophisticated golf playground with hotel, dining and spa amid thousands of beautiful, open acres.

 

Also in the September 2014 issue, Florida Trend peers into Florida’s sprawling defense industry. You’ll read about the 106,000- acre Avon Park bombing range and see a long listing of the major military bases in Florida.

As is frequently the case, defense spending is leading to innovation in other fields. Smart defense contractors are pushing their expertise into other fields as they broaden their customer base amid defense spending cuts. The simulation industry, centered around Orlando, is pushing into health care.

In a future issue, we will write about drones and their future in diverse fields such as agriculture and public safety.

 

I’m happy to announce that we have lured Amy Martinez back to Florida to write for Florida Trend. The FSU grad had worked for the Palm Beach Post and the Miami Herald before journeying to Seattle, where she covered Amazon for the Seattle Times’ business desk. We’re glad she and her family are back in Florida — and they are as well. Amy says she missed the Florida sunshine during her almost eight years in Seattle.

 

 

Florida Trend’s 2015 planning calendar is available here. It also appears on pages 46 and 47 in the September 2014 issue.

— Andy Corty
Publisher
[acorty@floridatrend.com]

 

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