Larry Black, president of Florida’s Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), attended a recent meeting in Fort Pierce to discuss HLB research prioritization and funding. He joined officials with other agencies that fund HLB, including California’s Citrus Research Board (CRB) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Black says the agencies met “to look at ways we can be more efficient with our funding model” and to perhaps coordinate funding cycles. He calls the meeting “really a brainstorming session to see if there’s any way we can improve our process to fund the best projects around the country to solve HLB for the industry.”
As a result of the meeting, Black says, “I expect some very small steps, just some better communication among the funding agencies, between CRB, CRDF here in Florida, the USDA” and others. “I think we’ve reinvigorated the communication channel between the agencies.”
Black says no agency will give up its autonomy in selecting research projects that are most important to its region. “It’s clear that each of the funding agencies have separate and distinct directives,” he says. “Each funding agency will maintain their own distinct priorities because they’re very different short term, Florida versus California. So we need to be mindful of that.”
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