Florida citrus family exits the industry, auctions 3,000 acres of groves

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



VERO BEACH, Fla., March 7, 2014 -- The Kennedy Family, owners of Kennedy Groves and United Indian River Packers in Vero Beach, announced they will sell their citrus holdings in order to concentrate on the family's other businesses. The Florida-based companies have been farming, packing and marketing Indian River Citrus for over 100 years.

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"With the upcoming retirement of my father, Kenneth P. Kennedy, and the hands-on and management intensive nature of the farming industry, the family has decided to divest ourselves of our citrus related assets,” said Thomas "T.P." Kennedy, vice president of the companies, in a press release.

John Alexander Kennedy came to what is now Indian River County in 1909, purchased a 40-acre tract of good grove land, and planted the family's first grove. After his death in 1930, his sons, Thomas and Purnell, carried on and expanded the business, adding a retail and mail order operation that was later sold to Hale Groves.  Eventually, Ken and T.P. Kennedy expanded the Indian River and St. Lucie County farming operations to over 3,000 acres of groves and a modern packinghouse. 

The Kennedy family has hired Murray Wise Associates, a national auction firm specializing in agricultural properties, to auction their citrus assets on April 16th at the Tradition Town Hall at Tradition, St. Lucie County, Fla.  The auction will include 2,900 acres of groves, irrigated farmland, and the 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art citrus packinghouse located in Vero Beach, Florida.

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