Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Celebrates Two New Inductees
Recognizing the many individuals who have made an impression on Florida’s storied citrus industry is no easy task. But the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame is on a mission and has created a tradition to shine a light on those deserving. With that, the organization’s selection committee has announced two more distinguished leaders will be joining the Hall: L. Gene Albrigo and Marvin D. Kahn.
Both will be inducted during the 56th Citrus Celebration Luncheon, co-sponsored by Florida Citrus Mutual and the Florida Department of Citrus, scheduled for Friday, March 9, 2018 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.
Meet the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Class of 2018:
Albrigo has led a distinguished career for decades as a research scientist at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center at Lake Alfred (CREC). His work focused on understanding the interaction of citrus trees and fruit with pests, diseases, and environmental stresses and has been instrumental in a variety of areas, including protecting fruit from canker and most recently, understanding symptom development of greening.
He also created a grower friendly model to predict strength and dates of citrus tree flowering, resulting in the “Flower Bud Induction Advisory” reports and the development of increased flower induction through nutritional sprays.
As an educator, he led the development of the MS degree in citriculture and developed three Horticultural Sciences Department courses. He also developed the audio-video delivery of classes within the College of Agriculture, which became the standard for UF/IFAS-wide Distance Education delivery of classes, meetings, and conferences.
Albrigo has more than 130 published works and has published the book “Citrus Growing in Florida,” with Fred S. Davies, which covers all aspects of citrus production. An active member of many horticultural-related organizations, he was awarded Honorary Membership in the Florida State Horticultural Society for his almost 50 years of service to the organization. Although he retired in 2010, he continues to work on grant-funded research at CREC, commuting from his home in Daytona Beach and staying in Polk County three days a week.
Kahn is President of Kahn Grove Service and Kahn Citrus Management LLC in Sebring, which he helped build from 400 acres to managing more than 5,500 acres at its peak. He was a founding member and first president of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association. An innovative grower, caretaker, and marketer, Kahn has been a proactive agent for change in the citrus industry for more than five decades, serving in multiple leadership roles to ensure the protection of growers’ property rights.
He served on the Florida Citrus Commission for eight years and continued to work on the Long-Range Planning Committee for many years afterwards. An early practitioner of water management practices, he promptly invested in overhead sprinklers for his groves, followed by low-volume irrigation, and was part of a working group with the Southwest Florida Water Management District that ultimately developed the first Water Use Caution Area.
A founding member of the Highlands County 4-H Club Foundation, he helped raise funds to support the program and invested time hosting tours for Highlands County school children in his groves to give them a firsthand insight into the industry.
He has received numerous industry awards over the years. He also established the Florida Cracker Trail Association and the Florida Cracker Trail Ride to recreate a part of Florida’s history commemorating the tradition of the Florida cattlemen herding their cattle across the state from Ft. Pierce to Bradenton for shipment to Cuba.
To purchase tickets to the luncheon, visit FloridaCitrusHallofFame.com. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Executive Director Brenda Eubanks Burnette at 561-351-4314 or via email at [email protected].