Agriculture Press Release

February 12, 1999

Crawford Appoints Panel to Combat Canker

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced the appointment of a 14-member task force to explore both strategic options and possible funding sources to combat the citrus canker outbreak in Florida.

The statewide panel, composed of representatives of the citrus industry, government and the University of Floridas Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, will be asked to make recommendations to the Florida Legislature and Congress on how best to eradicate current outbreaks and how to prevent future infestations from occurring in Florida.

"Weve asked leaders in the industry, government and the academic world to get together and come up with the best solutions they can to combat this problem," Crawford said.

Citrus canker is a bacterial disease that infects citrus trees, resulting in the appearance of lesions on fruit and leaves, and triggering premature fruit drop. It is not harmful to humans or animals. It is not indigenous to Florida - meaning that outbreaks are caused by the introduction of diseased plant material carried by an international traveler or in the cargo of an international shipment.

In 1995, canker was detected on a citrus tree on a residential lot within a mile of Miami International Airport, and that outbreak has spread throughout much of Dade County. Agriculture officials have cut nearly 100,000 trees in Dade and neighboring Broward in an ongoing eradication program.

What are believed to be isolated outbreaks have been detected in Manatee and Hendry Counties, and officials are currently working on eradicating diseased trees in those locations.

Crawford said the task force will be asked to come up with recommendations on procedures that can be put into place to rid Florida of canker and on the critical question of how best to fund those plans.

The task force is expected to hold its first meeting later this month.

Members of the panel and their professional affiliations are below.

Florida Citrus Canker Technical Advisory Task Force

Executive Committee

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
Mr. Craig Meyer
Plaza Level 10, The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0810
850/488-3022 / FAX: 850/922-4936

Florida Citrus Industry:
Mr. Andy LaVigne
Florida Citrus Mutual
Post Office Box 89
Lakeland, Florida 33802
941/682-1111 / FAX: 941/682-1074

Mr. Mike Shannon
State Health Plant Director
7022 Northwest 10th Place
Gainesville, Florida 32605-3147
352/331-3990 / FAX: 352/331-0804



Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
Mr. Richard Gaskalla / Ms. Connie Riherd (Alternate)
Division of Plant Industry
P. O. Box 147100
Gainesville, Florida 32614-7100
352/372-3505 / FAX: 352/955-2300

USDA/Ag Research Service:
Dr. Tim Gottwald
Research Plant Pathologist
USDA Ag Research Service
2120 Camden Road
Orlando, Florida 32803-1419
407/897-7347 / FAX: 407/897-7309

Dr. Harold Browning, Professor & Center Director
Dr. Pete Timmer, Professor of Plant Pathology (Alternate)
Entomology and Nematology
700 Experiment Station Road
Lake Alfred, Florida 33850-2299
941/956-1151 /FAX: 941/956-4631

Dade County Agriculture Industry:
Dr. Jonathan Crane
Tropical Research Education Center
18905 Southwest 280th Street
Homestead, Florida 33031
305/246-6340 / FAX: 305/246-7003

Mr. Mike Hunt (Alternate)
Brooks Tropicals
18400 Southwest 256th Street
Homestead, Florida 33031
800/327-4833 ext. 629 / FAX: 305/242-7398

Florida Citrus Mutual:
Mr. Gregory A. Carlton
Southern Garden Citrus
HC 61, Box 16
Clewiston, Florida 33440
941/902-2809 / FAX:941/983-6574

Mr. J.Brantley Schirard, Jr. (Alternate)
Schirard Citrus, Inc
P. O. Box 2667
Fort Pierce, Florida 34954
561/466-0112 / FAX: 561/466-2850

Florida Citrus Packers:
Mr. G. Ellis Hunt, Jr.
Hunt Brothers Cooperative
P. O. Box 631
Lake Wales, Florida 33859
941/676-9471 / FAX: 941/676-8362

Mr. John A. Scotto (Alternate)
Tuxedo Fruit Company
P. O. Box 1017
Ft. Pierce, Florida 34954
561/464-0300 / FAX: 561/489-3008

Florida Citrus Processors Assn:
Mr. Hugh English
A. Duda & Sons, Inc./Citrus Belle
P. O. Box 788
LaBelle, Florida 33975-0788
941/675-0545 / FAX: 941/675-3869

Gulf Citrus Growers Association:
Mr. Calvin Lloyd
Cooperative Producers, Inc.
P. O. Box 3147
Immokalee, Florida 34143
941/369-2169 / FAX: 941/369-8427

Mr. Tom Jones (Alternate)
Barron Collier Company
1320 North 15th Street
Immokalee, Florida 34142
941/658-6060 / FAX: 941/657-2337

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association:
Mr. John Barben
Barben Groves, Inc.
P. O. Box 789
Avon Park, Florida 33825
941/453-3659 / FAX: 941/453-0182

Mr. Edward Smoak (Alternate)
Smoak Groves
1025 CR 17 North
Lake Placid, Florida 33852
941/465-2561 / FAX: 941/465-7301

Indian River Citrus League:
Mr. George F. Hamner, Jr.
Indian River Exchange Packers
7355 Southwest 9th Street
Vero Beach, Florida 32968
561/562-2252 / FAX: 561/569-7484

Mr. Daniel R. Richey (Alternate)
Indian River Citrus League
P. O. Box 1148
Vero Beach, Florida 32961
561/562-4155 / FAX: 561/569-2249

Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association:
Mr. Tony Bowen
B&J Citrus Groves, Inc.
4020 69th Street, East
Palmetto, Florida 34221
941/722-0388 / FAX: 941/723-1811

Mr. Michael (Mike) Edwards (Alt.)
Manatee River Groves, Inc.
P. O. Box 9829
Bradenton, Florida 34206-9829
941/746-2175 / FAX: 941/749-2812

For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

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