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WASHINGTON – USDA is announcing that the Citrus Disease Subcommittee is meeting Dec. 9-10 in Lake Alfred, Fl., to consider and make recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2015 research agenda, budget, and annual priorities for the Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program. This will be the second meeting of the subcommittee since its inception earlier this year.

“USDA knows the citrus industry and the thousands of jobs that depend on it are facing incredible challenges right now, and we are committed to helping the industry tackle and overcome citrus greening and other destructive diseases,” said Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The subcommittee plays an important role in helping USDA identify and support promising research resulting in solutions.”

The meeting will be held at the Citrus Research & Education Center (CREC), University of Florida, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850. The public meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Dec. 9 and close to the general public at 4 p.m. for the subcommittee to discuss pending business for the remainder of the day. The public is invited back when the meeting re-convenes at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 and concludes formal proceedings at 5:30 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 11, there will be an optional tour of the CREC facility from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.

The meeting is open to the public except during the time indicated on Dec. 9 but those interested in attending must register by contacting Shirley Morgan-Jordan at Shirley.Morgan@ars.usda.gov or calling (202) 720-3684. A public comment period will be available at the end of each meeting or interested individuals may provide written comment for the public record if it is postmarked by December 26, 2014.

The Citrus Disease Subcommittee (a permanent subcommittee of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board) and the Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program were both established in the Agricultural Act of 2014 to advance the research and extension capabilities related to citrus diseases. The Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program is run by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

For more information on these citrus disease efforts please visit: http://nareeeab.ree.usda.gov/ or http://1.usa.gov/1qD8SYw.

Today’s announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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