In April, 2014, I met Drew Dyess and a friend for a photo shoot in a citrus grove. Drew, who works for Plant Food Systems, wanted some good photographs to use in his work. This would be one of those rare opportunities where you can get great images of citrus people working in the grove. I met Drew and his friend after work one afternoon. His friend helped us out by serving as our lighting director, and Drew carried on about his work while we shot away. The results turned out great–be sure to check out the gallery below!

To go along with the photography, I decided to start a new section to the blog to feature great portraits of people in citrus, along with a brief interview about who they are, why they do what they do, and get their impressions on the future of the industry.

So, here’s Drew!

What’s your name and where are you from originally?

Drew Dyess; LaBelle, FL

What organization(s) do you work with?

Plant Food Systems

How do people contact you if they want to reach you?

They can reach me on my cell at 863-234-6685. My email is [email protected]

What’s your role in the industry and what products or services do you provide?

Sales Representative; K-Phite & liquid fertilizers

What’s the biggest challenge you encounter in your work?

Blight, greening, canker, etc. We have many diseases that will keep us on our toes for many years.

What are a couple of the biggest opportunities and obstacles you see the industry has to tackle to ensure it’s long-term viability?

The industry must have an excellent marketing strategy. We do not want to be known for producing fruit laden with disease or antibiotics. Our focus should be on nutrition and disease and pest management.

Where do you see big payoffs in investment by the industry in its future?

Growers who spend money keeping their trees healthy and maintain a strong reset program will reap future benefits of higher juice prices and fresh fruit prices. This is primarily resulting from supply and demand. We have lost a lot of acreage over the years due to canker and greening eradication.

(Click on any image to view the photo gallery.)

Who are your influences and inspirations?

My pastor, Greg Heinsch, influences me to live a life that honors God. The president of our company, Paul Fabry, inspires me to learn as much as I can about citrus and to treat our customers with utmost respect.

If you could make one completely revolutionary change in the industry, what would that be and what would be its significance?

I would create a handheld device to analyze precise components in spray tanks and display levels of phytotoxicity, nutrient compatibility & optimal rates for specific varieties, root stocks, soil series, etc.

• Aperture:ƒ/18• Camera:NIKON D800• Taken:April 5, 2014• Focal length:16mm• ISO:1250• Location:27° 58.51296′ 0″ N 81° 53.69293′ 0″ W• Shutter speed:1/100s