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Exeter man named head of Citrus Research

Exeter man named head of Citrus Research

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exeter – A pioneer in pest management and longtime Exeter resident Jim Gorden will oversee some of the most important research being done in the field of citrus.

Gorden was recently elected as chair of the Citrus Research Board (CRB), the Visalia-based grower-funded and grower-directed program that enables the state’s citrus producers to sponsor and support needed research.

Gorden replaces Richard Bennett, who stepped down as chairman on Jan. 20. The position was temporarily filled by Vice-Chairman Dan Dreyer until a formal vote could take place on Feb. 8 in Riverside, Calif. Gorden will serve as CRB Board Chairman, until the September 2017 annual meeting. Gorden replaces Richard Bennett as chairman.

“We are very appreciative of Jim’s leadership and dedication to California citrus research and the entire citrus industry,” said Gary Schulz, CRB President. “Jim’s past experiences as CRB Chairman, long-time service on the CRB board and keen knowledge of the California citrus industry is a tremendous asset to our organization.”

Gorden is recognized as an international authority in both citrus IPM and citrus culture.When he moved to Exeter in the 1960s it was to take a position with the Rincon-Vitova Insectary. In 1968, he formed a partnership with Jim Stewart, called Pest Management Associates, that became the first independent pest management consulting company for citrus in the San Joaquin Valley. The company based its entire business on using and developing integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for its clients.

Pest Management Associates (PMA) was started at a time when IPM was a new and radical idea since pesticides were thought to be cheap, effective and easy to use. PMA taught its clients the use beneficial insects in conjunction with “soft” pesticides and the rare use of a broad spectrum pesticide when necessary.

In order to stay at the forefront of new information, PMA conducts their own research projects, and commonly participates in research with the University of California and chemical companies.

Gorden, as well as his company, have consulted on the Exeter High School Ag Farm citrus block on a volunteer basis. He is a founding member of the Association of Applied insect Ecologists and was its first secretary-treasurer and a past president. He has also been active with a number of organizations including: Southern Sierra Archeological Society – Founding Member; Sequoia Union Elementary School District; Central California Tristeza Eradication Board – Past Chairman; California Citrus Nursery Board; and the Citrus Research Board (to name a few).

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