Sacrifice today for a better tomorrow

THE THOUGHT in the headline, and the timeless wisdom behind it, came to mind a few weeks ago when I first heard about the vote on the matter of reauthorizing the Florida citrus research order. That’s the order that, in a nutshell, established the Lake Alfred-based Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) as the lead organization in the fight against the citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing, or HLB).

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Feb. 16 that, by a landslide margin, Florida’s citrus growers had voted to keep the research order in force and continue the assessment that pays for the foundation’s work.

The citrus order referendum was required by Florida statute and was conducted by the Department of Agriculture. When the vote was over, more than 87 percent of the citrus growers favored the order’s reauthorization.

By way of review, the CRDF — online at — was empowered by the state to serve as the advisory council for the research order. e foundation was created to conduct disease and production research to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus industry.

The mission of the CRDF is to “advance disease and production research and product development activities to insure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers through innovation.”

HLB has been devastating to the citrus industry in Florida and throughout the world. Presently, no chemical treatment or resistant plant is available that will control the disease, but the work to find a solution goes on — and now can continue into the foreseeable future. The credit is due, in no small measure, to forward-looking growers who believe in the work of the CRDF — growers who are willing to sacrifice dollars today to ensure a thriving citrus industry for Florida’s tomorrow.



BIO: Charles Counter started in the agriculture business in 1986. He is the Director of Field Operations for the Haines City Citrus Growers Association, managing over 7,000 acres of ag land in Florida. Established in 1909, the HCCGA provides for Complete Grove Development and Management, is a Member of Florida’s Natural, and operates as Caretaker and Packer of Citrus, as well as Organic & Conventional Peaches and Blueberries. To contact Charles, call (863) 557-0510 or email

Posted March 14, 2016

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