CEO Sounding Board - Agriculture
What is your outlook for 2011?
"At the federal level, the AgJOBS bill is something our entire industry is very interested in. (HR 2414 would allow 2 million farmworkers to enter the U.S. as guest workers and eventually become legal residents.) The current law is not workable for a lot of growers — we need a guest worker program that's equitable and workable. Statewide and here in Hillsborough County, the thing I'm worried about is water. The one thing we don't want to see is reductions in the amount of water for freeze protection."
Raymon J. Land
Raymon J. Land Watermelon Sales
Branford (Suwannee County)
"I'm very, very optimistic about 2011. Every aspect looks promising at this point. My wife is in real estate, and the only thing that's stabilized there is agricultural land."
"Fresh produce sales are trending down, I would guesstimate 10%, while the frozen and canned produce are trending up. We're doing everything we can to encourage promotion of fresh vegetables, and we are trying to get the supermarkets to run more promotions and displays and specials. But by and large, the economy needs to recover so that people can go to the store and have a little money to spend."