Call for Positions Test
260 Citrus Horticulture CE Specialist Lindcove Research and Extension Center
- Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell - Main Contact
- CE Specialist Citrus Horticulture Position Description (docx), uploaded 05/18/2012 by Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.
From the Subtropical Workgroup perspective, this is an incredible opportunity to piggyback on industry money to bring a Specialist in Citrus Horticulture right in the middle of the geographic center of the citrus industry. This where the current and future issues of the industry lie, dealing with water/air/soil quality, regualtions, labor, disease and economic pressure to maintain a viable industry in this State. This is worthy of putting ANR resources into this postion especially with the contribution from industry. As Chair of the Subropical Workgroup, I support this position.
This is the heart of the industry and this person would have access to some of the world's top citrus producers. The citrus industry also provides excellent financial support for research. This Specialist would be a great resource to fruit Farm Advisors statewide. A special area of research would be exploring and developing production systems for under-utilized citrus species and varieties.
This position will have sustained support form the citrus industry through their research board, and the UC through the position's location at Lindcove field Station. It is also in the center of the industry itself.
The Citrus Research Board funds a number of UC scientists and entire programs such as the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. Projects funded include the areas of disease detection, pest management, rootstock and scion breeding and evaluation, and post harvest treatments. An obvious gap exists in the CRB portfolio, and that is basic citrus horticulture. Changes have emerged in the citrus industry including planting more mandarin varieties and less sweet oranges, how to effectively deal with invasive pests such as ACP and HLB. Water issues are a growing concern especially with nitrate migration and retention, decreased availability, and food safety issues. The industry desparately needs a specialist devoted to assisting the industry in how to successfully grow citrus despite these new challenges. The university has ample plant pathologists and entomologists but lacks a scientist to advise on the basics of how to grow a productive citrus tree. The industry has looked to the university in the past for answers; we hope the university recognizes our plea for assistance and considers hiring a citrus horticultural specialist.
The citrus industry is in dire need of a Citrus Horticulture Specialist. California Citrus Mutual supports filling this position. California supplies 80 to 90 percent of all the fresh market citrus produced in the United States. Eighty percent of California's $2 billion citrus industry is comprised of family farmers located in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The Lindcove Research and Extension Center is located in the heart of that production region. California citrus growers currently support, through assessments, the California Citrus Research Board, California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee, California Citrus Quality Council, California Citrus Advisory Committee and the Citrus Clonal Protection Program. Additionally, sixty percent of the industry funds the educational and advocacy effects of California Citrus Mutual through their voluntary membership. Each of these entities has a specific roll in the sustainability of a thriving California/U.S. citrus industry. However, it is not within the scope of these entity’s responsibilities to provide a Citrus Specialist. There are tremendous technological and regulatory changes currently taking place in the citrus industry. The Citrus Horticulture Specialist is essential to bridging the gap between research and the practical implementation of improved technology and cultural practices that will help assure a sustainable citrus industry, regulatory compliance, and economically viable family farms. Citrus Mutual respectfully requests that the university approve the hiring of a Citrus Horticulture Specialist.
Compared to other sophisticated citrus countries such as Australia, S. Africa, Spain, and Brazil, California is beginning to lag behind in providing its growers with the best information to have a prompt effect on their bottom line. Part of this problem is the lack of adequate staff to take on the daunting challenge of wading through the vast amount of information on citriculture available today. There is a great need for a specialist in Citrus Horticulture in Tulare County, that contributes over $1 bil to the sate's economy. Lindcove has vast amounts of citriculture for a horticulturist to utilize. Without filling this need, our industry will continue to fall behind in educating growers regarding citrus cultivars. Other countires have teams of people dedicated to this task.
With the great possible changes to our citrus industry, it only makes sense to fill in staffing needs at Lincove. There is great demand of a dedicated person to pull together the horticultural issues, product release, compliance effects, etc.
Given the critical importance of California in supplying such a large percentage of all the fresh citrus shipped in the world, its importance in generating foreign cash payments to help with the trade deficit, its critically increased importance in light of the continued evaporation and probable impending demise of the Florida industry, and the new threats from insect and disease pressure, the funding of a single position like this shouldn't even be questioned. The question should be *how many* of these highly qualified individuals we should apply to the task of maintaining the health of the industry and the pursuit of innovative new varieties.
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