A Florida citrus industry veteran is taking the helm at the California Citrus Research Board. Sabrina Hill has more.
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Ken Keck will join the California Citrus Research Board as its new president on June 1. Keck’s citrus experience includes fighting the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing disease in Florida. He also served as general counsel and Executive Director of the Florida Department of Citrus from 2006-2012. Before that, he served in a number of positions connecting the citrus industry and legislators. Keck replaces Ted Batkin, who has served as the research board’s president since 1993 and is now retiring. California citrus growers continue to invest in needed research to aid the state’s more than $2 billion citrus industry and battle threats such as the Asian citrus psyllid and the disease it spreads.
Keck brings deep industry knowledge — including experience in fighting the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing in Florida — having served as general counsel and executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus from 2006-2012. Prior to that, he served as the organization’s director of government affairs and general counsel from 2002-2006, and director of legislative and regulatory affairs with Florida Citrus Mutual from 1999-2002. Having served in these roles, Keck has deep-rooted expertise representing citrus growers in a governmental, legal and regulatory framework.
Keck holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Stetson University, and a juris doctorate degree in law from Widener University School of Law.
The Florida Citrus Department is a state agency charged with promoting Florida citrus products and is financed largely through a tax paid by growers on the annual citrus harvest.
The Citrus Research Board administers the Citrus Research Program, a grower-funded and directed program established in 1968 under the California Marketing Act as the mechanism enabling the state’s citrus producers to sponsor and support needed research.