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Ted Schrader

Winter Haven Citrus Growers Association

Chartered in 1909, Winter Haven was touted as having the “largest citrus packinghouse in the world” by 1931. It consisted of 93,000 square feet of floor space. This label was registered in 1924.

Ted Schrader is President of the Winter Haven Citrus Growers Association.

Like his uncle, Herman Schrader, he lives and works just outside of Tampa.


They say that when it comes to family citrus traditions, it’s hard to find one as old as yours.
My grandfather started out as a fruit buyer at a local packinghouse in Brooksville. As a kid, my dad used to row his boat from the dock of his home across the lake to the school that is now Saint Leo University.

That’s going back to the 1890s.
Right. In fact, my uncle Herman still lives in the house on Lake Jovita that my grandfather bought in 1922.

So it’s you and Uncle Herman carrying on the tradition?
Yes, we operate Lake Jovita Farm and Grove Services, Inc. for the local groves that remain here. Herman is citrus manager, and I manage the company’s marketing and planning.

How have things changed in your lifetimes?
We hoed the trees by hand, pruned them by hand, it’s just how we did everything. It’s so much quicker now.

Is the challenge about making the leap to new technology?
No, it’s keeping up with the fact that things change so quickly. But our family’s ability to adapt is what’s helped us succeed in this industry.

Plant epidemics must be tough.
Greening and canker are new threats to the groves, something growers weren’t accustomed to dealing with. My uncle and I work with the University of Florida to find farming techniques that are both eco-friendly and economical for maintaining the health of the citrus trees.

So it’s more than luck.
You have to be able to keep up, and you have to be able to change. Herman always says that our family has been very lucky to do what we do. He’s been doing it all his life. And to be honest, he’ll probably do it until the very end.


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