News and Announcements

UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County to Offer First Time Homebuyer’s Class

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County to Offer First Time Homebuyer’s Class                              

Are you looking to purchase your first home?  Join UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County for the First Time Homebuyer’s class.

WHO:                    Anyone looking to purchase a home and has not owned a home for 3 years or more.       

WHAT:                 First Time Homebuyer’s Class                    

WHEN:                  Thursday’s 6:00pm-8:00pm, beginning February 21, 2019 and ending March 14, 2019.

WHERE:                UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County, 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto. 

Citrus County First Time Homebuyer’s class is being offered by UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County.  Participants who attend the entire program will receive a Certificate of Completion that is required for first time homebuyer assistance programs. 

The class is HUD approved and encompasses the entire home buying process including preparing your credit and finances, shopping for a home, home inspection, fair housing, available loan products, loan pre-approval, and closing.  

There is no charge to attend these sessions, and you must reserve a seat. Childcare is not available for the course. Pre-registration is required.  To register online:

For more information or to register, contact Sarah or Stephanie at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700.

Extension Service offers food safety training

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

You do not have to travel to Tampa or Orlando to get your ServSafe® Food Protection Manager’s Certification.  The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County is providing training to help food managers and staff keep food served to Florida’s consumers safer.   

This is a comprehensive training that provides the most up-to-date information and current regulations.  The ServSafe® Manager’s exam is given at the end of the training, which provides a National Certification that is good for five years.  Certification is required in Florida for food managers of all establishments licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and selected licenses of the Department of Health. 

The next class will be held on Friday, February 15, 2019.  Pre-registration of two weeks is required.  It will begin promptly at 8:30 am, and run approximately 8 hours, then participants will have a maximum of two hours to take the national certification exam.  There is no “test only” option.  Participants should bring valid picture identification with them, and a sack lunch. Training is held at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 3650 W Sovereign Path, Suite 1, Lecanto (from State Road 44, go south on County Road 491, turn west on Saunders Way, go one block, turn left onto Sovereign Path.  The Extension building is the first building on the right). 

To register online:

Cost for the course and exam is $110.  The purchase of the ServSafe® Manager Manual for $55 is highly recommended and is available in English or Spanish.  It is suggested that participants study the ServSafe® Manager 7th edition textbook prior to attending the class.  For more information, call Sarah at the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Citrus County office in Lecanto at 352-527-5700.

All programs and related activities sponsored for or assisted by, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are open to all persons with nondiscrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations.  For persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations, please contact our office at least five working days prior to the program so that proper consideration may be given to the request. Our phone number is (352) 527-5700. For the hearing impaired, please contact the Florida Relay Center Service at 1-800-955-8771.

“Citrus County Extension connects the public with the University of Florida/IFAS’ knowledge, research, and resources to address youth, family, community, and agricultural needs.”

Join the UF/IFAS Citrus County Extension for Pressure Canning Workshop

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

WHO:                    Anyone can participate in the workshop

WHAT:                 Pressure Canning with Low Acid Foods  

WHEN:                  Saturday, February 9, 2019 from: 9:00am to 12:30pm

WHERE:                Citrus County Canning Center, 3405 W. Southern Street, Lecanto, FL 34461

This hands-on class will teach the basics of canning fruits, tomatoes, and pickles (acid foods). Participants will take home a freshly canned jar they prepare during the workshop. (Your take-home jar will be very hot, so bring a box to carry it home in.) This is a hands-on food class, so please wear closed toed shoes and hair restraints. The cost for the workshop is $15.00 and pre-registration is required as class is limited to 16 participants.               

To register online:

For more information or to register, contact Stephanie at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700.

Citrus County Animal Services Receives National Maddie's Fund® Grant

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Citrus County Animal Services has just received its first grant from Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

On December 18, 2018 the Maddie's Fund Board of Directors approved Citrus County to receive the Innovation Grant application submitted by Citrus County Animal Services Director, Colleen Yarbrough Citrus and Citrus County Veterinarian, Dr. Meredith Montgomery for a Managed Admissions project, titled “Managed intake to reduce overcrowding in Citrus County”, in the amount of $5,000.00.

There are three managed admissions targeted areas the grant will be use for to mitigate intake and overcrowding at the shelter.

•             Establishing a delayed pediatric/nursing mother intake program- Encouraging owners interested in relinquishing nursing mothers with puppies and kittens to foster until all puppies and kittens reach 8 weeks old.

•             Foster for stray hold - Good Samaritans who have found stray, healthy dogs or cats will have the opportunity to temporarily foster these animals for the animals stray hold after initial intake exam (photos, physical exam, vaccination, ectoparasite control and deworming).

•             Owner “foster” for planned relinquishment 

The Innovation Grants are help to fund projects at shelters, independent rescue organizations, non-profit clinics and TNR groups across the country that advance lifesaving and ultimately guarantee a healthy home or habitat for all dogs and cats.

“This is one of the many national programs the shelter participates in throughout the year to enhance the shelter experience in Citrus County. The shelter also relies heavily on local volunteers and donations,” said Animal Services Director Colleen Yarbrough.

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $225.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter management leadership, shelter medicine education, and foster care across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl for ten years and continues to inspire them today.

Maddie's Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.

Goethe State Forest in Preparations to Conduct a 4,500 Acre Prescribed Burn

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The Florida Forest Service plans to conduct a 4,500-acre prescribed burn Thursday, January 10, 2019 on Goethe State Forest, pending appropriate weather conditions.  This prescribed burn will be conducted utilizing aerial ignition by a Florida Forest Service helicopter crew as well as ground crews.  Florida Department of Environmental Protection crews will also assist with the prescribed burn.

The burn area will be south of Gasline Road, between CR 336 and US 19.  The Yellow Trail, Ten Mile Rd, Glass Rd, Old Rock Rd, and Dixon Rd will be affected. Signs will be in place at US 19 and CR 336, CR 337 and CR 336, and SR 40 and CR 336. Drivers should use caution as smoky conditions will impact portions of these roads. Residents of Morriston, Romeo, Dunnellon, and a portion of Inglis may also be affected by smoke.

All hunters and trail users should avoid the area through the weekend as smoke may be present for several days.

The Florida Forest Service reminds citizens and landowners that the benefits of prescribed fire in Florida are plentiful, and include: 

•             Improved forage for wildlife and livestock.

•             Return nutrients to the soil.

•             Control of certain plant diseases.

•             Reduction of dry and flammable plant material build-up.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about the Florida Forest Service, go to

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

Salvation Army Cold Weather Shelter to Open

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The National Weather Service, Tampa Bay, Ruskin Office, has forecasted a low overnight of 33 degrees for Citrus County, Wednesday night, January 9, 2019. The Salvation Army will have their Cold Weather Shelter open Wednesday, January 9, 2019.  The shelter is open 7pm to 7am and is located at The Salvation Army, 712 S. School Avenue, Lecanto, FL 34461. 

Remember, someone seeking cold weather shelter can go to any Citrus County Bus Stop at the last pickup time, and the driver will drop off the person at The Salvation Army at no cost. The person will be picked up at The Salvation Army the following morning and taken back to the same area.

If you have any questions, please contact The Salvation Army directly at 352-513-4960.

First Recycled Art Contest “Trash to Treasures” Announced for Middle School and High School Students

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

The University of Florida-Citrus County Extension Service is proud to debut a new contest open to all Citrus County middle and high school students. Participating students can showcase their environmental awareness by transforming trash into art for awards and prizes.

The Trash to Treasure contest was created, through a collaborative effort, by the University of Florida Extension Services, Citrus County government, the Culture of Clean initiative, and Keep Citrus County Beautiful, to raise awareness about the environment and encourage the practice of recycling and up cycling.

Entries to the contest will be on display for public viewing at the Inverness Government Center lobby, 110 N. Apopka Ave, Inverness from April 8, 2019 to April 25, 2019 during the hours of 8am through 5pm. The student’s art will be judged on artistic ability and environmental relevance. When viewing artwork, the public is encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice award.  This award, along with first, second, and third prizes will be presented to students in two categories, middle school and high school. Art will be on display and winners announced at the Earth Day event held at the Citrus County Extension offices, 3650 W. Sovereign Path, Lecanto on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Awards will be distributed at 11:00 am during the Earth Day festivities.

Cash prizes will be generously donated by local businesses, nonprofits and individuals.  If you would like to become a prize sponsor, contact Stephanie at 352-527-5710 or by email at Donors will be recognized at the Earth Day event.

Applications to participate must be turned in no later than March 9, 2019  to reserve space for the artist. Applications can be found on the website:  and also at the Extension office.  For more information, please call: 325-527-5710.

Work to begin at Eugene Martin Park in Dunnellon

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Citrus County Parks and Recreation would like to inform residents that work will begin Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at Eugene Martin Park in Dunnellon to remove and replace one of the existing playground structures in the park. The park will not be closed to the public, but the area where the work is being done will be roped off for safety. The work is planned to continue through the close of business on January 18, 2019. For more information call: 352-527-7540.

Citrus County Code Review and Appeals Board to Hold Meeting

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Citrus County Code Review and Appeals Board (CRAB) will hold a public meeting on February 5, 2019 at 9:00am at the Lecanto Government Building, Room 166, 3600 W. Sovereign Path, Lecanto.

This is the annual meeting of the Code Review and Appeals Board and agenda items include:

* Swearing in newly appointed CRAB member, Daniel Grannan

* Approval of the last CRAB meeting minutes.

* Open discussion.

The public is invited to attend. For more information call, 352-527-5332.

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative Presents Check to Board of County Commissioners

Category: Press Releases       Posted By: Denise Gallagher       Year: 2019

Withlacoochee check.jpg cropped.jpg

L to R; Benny Pike, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. Construction Superintendent; Steve Bowler, Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. Engineering Supervisor; Jeff Kinnard, Chairman, Citrus County Board of Commissioners

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc. representatives; Steve Bowler, Engineering Supervisor and Benny Pike, Construction Superintendent, presented BOCC Chairman Jeff Kinnard with a check on December 18, 2018, authorized by the Cooperative’s Board of Trustees, for the County’s pro-rata share of a capital credit refund in the amount of $34,402.09 for the year 2017.

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Inc., one of the largest non-profit electric utilities in the United States, is a non-profit, member-owned electric utility which returns capital credits to members annually.


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