Citrus Strong – Citrus Mutual – Citrus Matters

Taylor HillmanCitrus, General

Oranges on branch
California Citrus Mutual (CCM) will hold its annual Citrus Showcase this Thursday, March 5 at the Visalia Convention Center.  The Citrus Showcase is the single largest educational forum for the California citrus industry, offering attendees a comprehensive overview of top industry issues in 6 different workshops, a thought-provoking luncheon session, and trade show featuring over 100 exhibitors.

One workshop will focus exclusively on the power of public awareness in fostering a sustainable and profitable future for California citrus.
Citrus growers are battling against the dangerous citrus pest Asian citrus psyllid and devastating plant disease Huanglongbing. To win this fight and protect California citrus, the industry must have the support of the general public and backyard citrus growers.

During the 10:00 a.m. workshop “Citrus Strong – Citrus Matters” CCM, in partnership with Bayer CropScience, will announce #CitrusMatters, a new year-long campaign geared at raising public awareness about the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing.  Steve Olson, Marketing Manager for Bayer CropScience will share how the campaign will utilize a new website and social media to educate California homeowners about the important role they play in saving California citrus from a disease that is crippling production in Florida, Texas, Mexico, and Brazil.

“A partnership for communication between the industry and the homeowner is vital to our joint success,” says CCM President Joel Nelsen. “Citrus growers currently fund $1 million annually for existing public outreach efforts because we know the importance of protecting backyard trees in order to save the commercial industry.   #CitrusMatters will complement existing efforts and go a long way in reaching the millions of backyard citrus growers in California.”

During the luncheon program, Bayer CropScience will make an exciting, surprise announcement to the industry about their commitment to working toward real solutions to stop the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing before it’s too late.

Also speaking at the “Citrus Strong – Citrus Matters” workshop is Sharlene Garcia, Account Manager for AdFarm. Sharlene will present a status report on citrus strong, CCM’s innovative digital media campaign all about the citrus industry’s iconic history as California’s oldest permanent crop, and the efforts of today’s growers to ensure its sustainability into the future.

 “Too often we have allowed others to define this great industry as pollutants, uncaring, and abusers of the environment,” says Nelsen. “Citrus Strong is a long-term commitment by CCM to push back on the innuendo and false perceptions disseminated by those challenging the viability of the family farmer within our industry.”
The messaging, tactics, and the results to-date will all be part of Sharlene’s presentation.
Citrus Strong and Citrus Matters – two programs creating stronger ties between the industry, general public, and those in the public policy arena.

The Citrus Showcase is brought to you by California Citrus Mutual, with programming assistance provided by the Citrus Research Board. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

 Click here to view the Citrus Showcase schedule. Workshop speakers will be available for interviews in the designated media room in San Joaquin, Room A at the Visalia Convention Center.