New Peace River Executive Discusses Citrus Issues

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Research, Water

Greening
Greening

Steve Smith

Steve Smith became executive director of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) in early March. He discusses some of the issues the association will address.

“Obviously the research is a major focus right now with greening. That’s at the top of everybody’s list, trying to find some solutions.”

Water issues historically have been a major focus for the association and will continue to be. “There’s been a lot of good work done through the association on water issues, working with the Southwest Florida Water Management District,” Smith says. “They put some BMPs (best management practices) in place, and some of those creeks and water bodies that were on the impaired list have actually been delisted recently, so a lot of good programs there. And the water district has some programs in place like FARMS (Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems) that they’re going to continue with and give the growers some tools to work with.” FARMS is a cost-share reimbursement program to reduce groundwater withdrawals through BMPs.

Smith came to PRVCGA from Babcock Ranch Management, where he was vice president and general manager. He previously worked as an Alico citrus division manager and as Alico president in 2010. He served on the Florida Citrus Commission from 2004 to 2010. Smith succeeds LeAnna Himrod as PRVCGA executive director. Himrod resigned to take a job with the Florida Department of Citrus.

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About the Author
Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large