IN OUR MOST RECENT BLOGGING, we introduced the two locations for our Safety Solutions & Supply offices and training facilities — Mulberry, Fla., and Gonzales, La. — and we stated the practical reason for these city selections. Companies involved in mining, manufacturing, construction, and oil and gas extraction are here and there in significant numbers, and these are the kinds of companies that can benefit greatly from our occupational safety and health expertise and training services.
The article last time focused on Gonzales. This time, we want to feature Mulberry, the location for our company headquarters at 314 E. Canal St. (State Road 60 East).
A LITTLE ABOUT MULBERRY
Mulberry is located in west-central Polk County, which is right in the heart of Central Florida. Among the smallest of Polk’s 17 municipalities, Mulberry has an estimated 2018 population of 4,028. The city lays claim to being the home of the Badcock Home Furniture company, which was founded in 1904. The company operates more than 320 furniture stores in eight states across the southeastern United States and has approximately 1,200 employees.
More so than its ties to Badcock, Mulberry is more closely associated with phosphate and phosphate mining — the process of collecting a key component of agricultural fertilizer. The industry dates back to the first hard rock deposits found near Hawthorne in Alachua County (in north central Florida) in 1883, according to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. In fact, when phosphate mining moved south with the discovery of more prevalent deposits in Central Florida, Mulberry became so tightly knit with the industry that it became known as “The Phosphate Capital of the World.”
According to The Diggings website, Polk County has 85 records of mineral deposits — led by phosphorus, uranium, and aluminum — listed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Florida currently contains the largest known deposits of phosphate in the United States.
Mulberry is located within Bone Valley, a region of Central Florida encompassing portions of Hardee, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Polk counties, and where phosphate still is being mined. This area became known as Bone Valley because of the bones and fossilized remains of prehistoric animals — remains that are common to phosphate deposits. At the Mulberry Phosphate Museum, there’s an outstanding collection of fossilized remains, area memorabilia, and educational exhibits on the phosphate industry.
The leading business name in phosphate mining in Florida is The Mosaic Company, a Fortune 500 company based in Plymouth, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb. Mosaic mines two key crop nutrients, phosphate and potash, and produces specialty products MicroEssentials, K-Mag and Pegasus. It’s the largest U.S. producer of potash and phosphate fertilizer and the largest phosphate company in the world. In Florida, Mosaic currently is mining phosphate rock on more than 70,000 of the 380,000 acres it owns in Manatee, Hillsborough, Polk, and Hardee counties.
By median earnings, mining is among the highest-paying industries in Polk County. The others are quarrying, oil and gas extraction; utilities; and professional, scientific, and technological services.
For information about Safety Solutions & Supply, please visit our website at https://solutionsinsafety.com/, or call us toll free at 1-866-537-2262.
Article sources: TheDiggings.com; StatisticalAtlas.com; DataUSA; Badcock Home Furniture; Wikipedia; the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute; Population.us; and the Mulberry Phosphate Museum.