California Citrus Research to Get $1 Million Boost

California Citrus Research to Get $1 Million Boost

The Citrus Research Board and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources have established a $1 million endowment to fund the Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center. The endowed researcher will provide a UC Cooperative Extension scientist a dedicated source of funds to support scholarly activities focused on the long-term sustainability of the citrus industry.

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“I wish to thank the Citrus Research Board (CRB) for establishing the Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection at LREC endowment,” said UC ANR VP Glenda Humiston. “This gift, coupled with the $500,000 match from the UC Office of the President, will help to ensure the long-term success of exemplary research focused on the California citrus industry.”

UC President Janet Napolitano provided half the funds for the endowed researcher; the CRB donated the other half.

“We are gratified that President Napolitano has selected the CRB for this prestigious match program,” said CRB Chairman Dan Dreyer. “It will be invaluable in helping us to pursue critical research that will yield beneficial findings to support the sustainability of the California citrus industry.”

The new endowment supports the UC Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP), which distributes pathogen-tested, true-to-type citrus budwood to nurseries, farmers, and the public to propagate citrus trees for commercial and personal use. The CCPP maintains blocks of trees that serve as the primary source of budwood for all important fruit and rootstock varieties for California’s citrus industry and researchers.

The CCPP is a cooperative program between UC ANR, CRB, the California Citrus Nursery Board, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. CCPP director Georgios Vidalakis, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in plant pathology at UC Riverside, shared his appreciation for the efforts that led to the creation of the new endowed researcher position.

“My thanks to the citrus growers for their decades-long support, especially the members of the CCPP committee of the CRB for their vision, and UC’s Greg Gibbs for coordinating all of the efforts,” he said.

Vidalakis also praised Lindcove Director Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell “for making the case to our growers about the importance of this endowment and for making plans to house the UC ANR endowment at the LREC.”

A selection committee will award the endowment to a distinguished UC ANR academic. An annual payout will be used to provide salary, graduate student, and/or program support. The researcher will be named for a five-year term. At the end of that period, the appointment will be reviewed and either renewed or taken back to a selection committee to choose another UC ANR academic.