A Conversation With SWFREC’s Director

Josh McGillAll In For Citrus Podcast

Editor’s note: The September All In For Citrus podcast was recorded prior to Hurricane Ian’s impact on Florida.

During the September All In For Citrus Podcast, Michael Burton discussed his recent move to Florida to become the new center director of the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). Burton provided details on his background and shared his research priorities for the center. He said citrus research and fighting HLB are key among those priorities.

Michael Burton

Burton comes to Florida from Missouri State University, where he was a research agronomist with administrative duties. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of weed ecology at NC State University before being promoted to associate professor and moving on to Missouri State University.

Before his land-grant experience, Burton received a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePauw University in Indiana, then went to The Ohio State University, where he received two master’s degrees: one in public policy and the other in crop nutrition and seed physiology. He then received his doctorate in agronomy from the University of Nebraska, where he studied weed ecology.

Burton brings a farmer’s perspective to the job. In Missouri, he owned and operated a farm growing strawberries, sweet corn and pumpkins. He said that experience gives him insights on what’s important to growers, and it helps direct his approach to agricultural research.

Hear more about Burton’s background and what he has planned at SWFREC in the September episode of the All In For Citrus podcast. The podcast is a joint project of UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

About the Author

Frank Giles


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