The annual Porterville Orange Belt Citrus Judging Contest will be aired on Youtube as a citrus judging practice for FFA teams that are gearing up for their California State Finals Contest at Fresno State.

The broadcast is scheduled to be placed on Youtube this week.

Due to the COVID virus this citrus judging practice has been modified from its regular competitive format of the past 4 years to serve primarily as a practice for students as well as a teaching tool for agriculture teachers in their statewide classes.

The annual Don Laux Memorial Citrus Contest held at the Porterville Fairgrounds is sponsored by local citrus growers and representatives of the citrus belt industry.

In 2020 more than 32 FFA Citrus Teams competed with Pioneer Valley FFA of Santa Maria taking home the A Team honors and Monache FFA capturing the B Team honors. The focus this year has taken on a new slant with a Youtube presentation of those same classes of citrus fruits, a pest and fruit damage identification class and citrus trees to be judged as a learning experience for students.

   The FFA Curricular Code will be followed in respect to the 8 citrus classes to be observed with ample time being provided to place each class as well as official placings and scoring for each class. Students will be viewing 2 classes of navel oranges, 2 classes of lemons, a class each of grapefruit and mandarins, a class of young citrus trees and a class of 20 citrus defects and pest damaged fruit for identification. In a regular competition, oral reasons would be given by students defending their placings on 3 of those classes.

      The following citrus industry volunteers’ that facilitated and produced this practice video are Geoff Galloway of Visalia Citrus Growers, Greg Galloway-  grower, Matt Watkins of Bee Sweet Citrus, Nate Laux-field rep and grower,     Roger Drummond- teacher and past state champion citrus judge, Steve Scarbrough-retired Pest Control Advisor, Bill Bennett- grower, Bob Mailand and Cindy Brown both retired Agriculture teachers. The sponsors of the cinematography for this year’s citrus judging practice event are Gary Laux and John Konda, both growers who are involved in supporting FFA and agriculture education.

The public is encouraged to watch this citrus experience on Youtube for their own knowledge of the Tulare County citrus industry and to have an understanding of what FFA students are doing and learning about in this time of virtual education.


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