100 Years of Citrus Research a Reason to Celebrate
Who doesn’t love a birthday party, especially one marking 100 years? I joined about about 600 folks last week to celebrate the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center’s (CREC) centennial celebration. The day was an opportunity to reflect on all the good work scientists have done on behalf of citrus growers in Florida and around the globe over the past 100 years at its location in Lake Alfred.
While there is a lot of history to celebrate at CREC, there’s plenty of work going on now and in the future as scientists there seek solutions to the citrus industry’s most pressing problems including HLB. After an informative morning program and a fantastic lunch prepared by Florida Citrus Mutual and their own Master Chef Rusty Wiygul, the Center opened its doors and let attendees explore the grounds, groves, and labs there.
The following is a little bit of what was seen and heard at CREC 100.
“We are at a moment in citrus history where we face an existential threat [HLB] to the industry. And, that’s why it’s also important to look at this day of centennial celebration as the beginning of a second century of progress.” — Jack Payne, Senior VP of UF/IFAS
“If the 500 years of Florida citrus history tell us anything, it’s that while natural disasters, diseases, economic downturns, and other calamities may put citrus on the ropes for a time, citrus and citrus people always prevail.” — Kent Fuchs, President of the University of Florida