BARTOW, Fla., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today officials from the citrus industry praised Florida Governor Rick Scott for citrus research investments included in his "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget."
Governor Scott has recommended more than $12 million for the citrus industry. The critical funding will provide $4 million for short-term research projects to aid in citrus greening, $2 million for construction of a laboratory and two new greenhouses in Chiefland, and more than $6 million for the Citrus Health Response and Management Area programs.
According to Marty McKenna, chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, "The Governor's announcement comes at a perfect time for our industry. Florida citrus continues to be a vital element of the state's economy. We have been a pillar of Sunshine State prosperity for generations, and today the Governor sent a clear message. He is investing in the future – not just the future of Florida citrus but the future of Florida."
Florida Department of Citrus officials expressed optimism at the clear parallels between the Governor's citrus research proposal and the agenda advanced by the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Adam Putnam.
"As our industry faces unprecedented challenges, our best hope is a coherent, unified response. Having everyone in Tallahassee on the same page is a huge step. We will continue to work throughout the state to utilize all available resources in the most strategic way possible. This is a good day for Florida citrus," said Doug Ackerman, executive director of the FDOC.
The FDOC is governed by the Florida Citrus Commission, a nine-member board appointed by the Governor to represent citrus growers, processors and packers. FDOC activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels. The industry is one of the state's major employers and provides billions of dollars in annual economic impact statewide and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida's schools, roads and health care services.
SOURCE Florida Department of Citrus