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Anita Simpson

Umatilla Citrus Growers Association

“Umatilla” means “Land of Many Waters”—an appropriate name for a region with 40 freshwater lakes within a two-mile radius. This label was in use around 1930.

Anita Simpson is President of the Simpson Fruit Company, a part of the Umatilla Citrus Growers Association.

The oranges she grows on her late husband’s family's land in the Mount Dora area go into Florida’s Natural®.


Did you ever dream you’d be running your husband’s citrus operation?
No! When Jim passed away in 2001, I knew very little about running a grove company. But anything I did know was because of Jim. After 34 years as a farmer’s wife, it’s hard not to pick up a lot about it.

So it was a bit of a crash course?
I relied heavily on Jim’s employees. Especially Chris Troesch, Jim’s foreman, who worked with him in the groves for over 29 years. He patiently taught me things like how to find rust mites on a piece of fruit, and what an Apopka weevil looks like. I can now test fruit for maturity, and even start the water pump if needed.

Have you actually done that?
No, I haven’t needed to yet. But I could.

Sounds like one big happy family.
Yes, beyond my two children and four grandkids, the Troesches are like extended family to me. Chris’s wife, Suzann, has run our company’s offices for over 39 years.

So you get where moms are coming from.
I understand the decisions that mothers must make to keep their families happy and healthy. I’m confident in the fact that when moms buy orange juice made from Florida oranges, they know it’s made with the best fruit in the world.
Oranges from California or Brazil may look pretty—but they just don’t taste as good.


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