With the pledge of renewed commitment from agricultural producers and local decision-makers to seek additional resources, UF/IFAS leadership will continue operation of the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee. Recently, it was announced the facility would take on a new role, losing its research and education center status.
The center will remain one of UF/IFAS’ research and education centers with faculty in residence conducting research in response to local agricultural and natural resources issues. “We were pleased with the response from growers who committed to helping UF/IFAS in building the center to a level of excellence that the community deserves,” said Jack Payne, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources.
UF/IFAS priorities for SWFREC include securing resources to expand faculty positions and hire a new center director.
The 320-acre Immokalee center has housed researchers who specialize in citrus and vegetable horticulture, among other topics, was established as a UF support facility in 1958 and became a UF/IFAS station in 1986.