Multi-county citrus Extension agent Steve Futch is set to retire from the University of Florida on June 30. He will become a contract scientist with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) on July 1. CRDF Chief Operating Officer Rick Dantzler announced the decision to retain Futch at a CRDF meeting in May.
Dantzler said Futch will “help us out on special assignments.” One possible assignment is working with the organization’s Select Committee on Plant Improvement “to make sure that we’re getting all we can out of the plant breeding efforts that we’re funding,” Dantzler said.
Other contract scientists working for the organization are Jim Graham and Jim Syvertsen, both retired University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers. Dantzler said the organization does not currently have a research director, but probably will in the future. He said using the contract scientists “has been a less expensive way for us to get the job done.”
CRDF has been operating for approximately 10 years to fund research projects aimed at helping the citrus industry solve or manage serious citrus problems, especially HLB. Scientists have made strides in coping with HLB through improved nutrition and other management practices, but has been stymied in the search for a cure.
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