Gulf Citrus Growers Association

Gulf Citrus Growers Association Closes Doors

Daniel CooperGulf

Gulf Citrus Growers Association

Wayne Simmons, president of the Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA), sent the following letter to the group’s membership on May 6 to announce the association will be ceasing operations:

“For nearly 40 years, the Gulf Citrus Growers Association has represented the citrus growers of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties with professional integrity, dedication and effectiveness. So it is with heartfelt sadness that the time has come to announce that the GCGA board of directors has taken action to close the doors of the association, effective May 13, 2024.

“This action was not taken without due diligence! Just as the devasting citrus greening bacterial disease has brought unprecedented financial challenges to your operation, and in spite of our staff and leadership’s efforts to keep the association effective and financially viable, the board felt it necessary to take this unfortunate but necessary action.

“We can all be proud that the Gulf Citrus Growers Association members and leaders served the needs and concerns of the region’s citrus growers since its beginning in 1985. Thank you, Ron Hamel, our first executive vice president, who served faithfully for 30 years. Through your support and through the willingness of grower leaders to give of their time and talents, our organization definitely met and exceeded its mission and goals for nearly four decades.

“We are pleased to report that GCGA’s former executive vice president, Steve Smith, and Administrative Assistant Bernadette Rashford have both found excellent employment opportunities within Florida agriculture. The GCGA board of directors thanks them both for their outstanding service and dedication to the region’s citrus growers.

“Hopefully, in the future, as our industry recovers from the financial challenges inflicted by HLB, and/or a cure for the disease is found, the Gulf Citrus Growers Association will stand ready to once again be the voice of the Gulf citrus growers here in Southwest Florida.”

Source: GCGA

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