Kelly Morgan Named New SWFREC Director

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Research

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By Jack Payne

I am pleased to announce that Kelly Morgan will be the next director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). He will assume leadership of the center on August 1. Under the current leadership of Calvin Arnold, who  is retiring, SWFREC has enjoyed a fresh infusion of faculty talent, vastly expanded facilities and a renewed engagement from producers. Indeed, the very first point Morgan made in laying out his vision for the future was to continue this momentum.

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Dr. Kelly Morgan

Morgan has been in Immokalee since 2004, but he’s been affiliated with UF since 1993, when he started at the Citrus Research and Education Center, or since the 1970s when he began studies toward the first of his three UF degrees.

Most recently, he ran the Extension agricultural best management practices (BMPs) program. Morgan knows BMPs, he knows producers, he knows FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), and he knows how centers run. That should reduce the slope of the learning curve that all new center directors experience.

It was a difficult decision, since we had two strong finalists. At the same time, I won’t spend any time second-guessing the choice, because I know that either candidate would have served IFAS, SWFREC and its stakeholders well.

Please join me in congratulating Kelly on his new leadership role.

Jack Payne is senior vice president of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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