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After a decade, Miss Florida Citrus again representing crop

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For eight decades starting in the 1920s, the Florida citrus industry crowned a queen each year to represent the crop as a world ambassador. The pageant was abandoned in 2004 but was revived this year.

The first Miss Florida Citrus in a decade is Summer Foley, 18, of Ormond Beach, FL, and a freshman at Boston Conservatory. Foley does a lot more than wear a crown — since March she's been educating consumers and spreading the word about the Florida citrus industry far and wide.

With Florida citrus season ramping up, our Maggie Giuffrida sat down with Foley for a look at the new structure of the program.

Seald Sweet rolls out impressive new trade show booth with nod to history

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Seald Sweet International started over a century ago as a cooperative of Florida citrus growers. Things have changed quite a bit since then. Now, with Belgian partner Univeg, the Vero Beach, FL-based company has become an international gateway for citrus, grapes, pears, figs, stone fruit, mangoes and pineapples.

To celebrate its heritage, Seald Sweet unveiled an eye-catching new trade show booth at PMA Fresh Summit that will represent the company moving forward. The design blends modern functionality with the appearance of an old-school wooden citrus crate that would do the company's forebears proud as Florida citrus season begins.

Mayda Sotomayor, chief executive officer, talked with our Maggie Giuffrida about the impressive new display.

Kid chef Haile Thomas helps Wholesum Harvest shine

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Wholesum Family Farms is one of North America’s fastest-growing organic producers, with farming and greenhouse operations in the United States and Mexico. Miguel Crisantes Gatzionis, a Greek immigrant, planted his first crop in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1930. More than 80 years later, his son and grandsons have led the company to the top of the organic field.

That story held great appeal for 14-year-old chef Haile V. Thomas, who got interested in cooking and healthy eating when her father was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes when she was 8-years-old. Her dad made a full recovery thanks to the family's change in eating habits, and at age 10 Haile started working to engage, educate and inspire youth and families to embrace healthy habits.

Haile was one of eight young chefs featured on season one of "Rachael vs. Guy Kids-Cook-Off" on Food Network. She is also a Jr. Chef Advisor for Hyatt Hotels' "For Kids, By Kids" menu and a contributing writer for several magazines, sharing healthy recipes and encouraging readers to explore new plant-based recipes.

Here Haile and Wholesum's Ricardo Crisantes talk with Maggie Giuffrida about Haile's inspiration — and share some of her delicious dishes.

Mary B features Peri & Sons Sweetie Sweet onions

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Mary Blackmon, founder of Farm Star Living, a national lifestyle brand promoting the farm to everything movement, headed into the kitchen with Peri & Sons Sweetie Sweet onions to demonstrate how to make two appetizers that are perfect for Thanksgiving — or any gathering: Sweetie’s Onion Dip and Sweetie’s Caramelized Onion Filos.

BBC Technologies revolutionizing packing and filling

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New Zealand-based BBC Technologies is revolutionizing packing and filling with an assortment of new machines introduced to the U.S. market in the past year.

At the top of that list is the Curo-16, a high-speed small fruit filling machine that can sort out soft and bad product and still fill 240 clamshells a minute — a huge increase over competing models.

"We provide turnkey solutions that offer traceability — one throat to choke, one person to call for solutions — and orders are pouring in," said BBC’s Chip Manuel.

Our Maggie Giuffrida found out more.