The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association presented its Researcher of the Year Award to Dr. Richard Raid, professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade.
The award is given to deserving individuals who have dedicated themselves and their work to improving Florida agriculture. Raid is a highly regarded researcher whose work in the integrated control of plant diseases in sugarcane, vegetable and herb crops has been critical to the well-being and future of Florida agriculture. The presentation was made at FFVA’s 76th annual convention in Palm Beach.
Raid’s research has focused on a variety of crops of economic importance in South Florida. For many of the specialty crops grown in the Everglades Agricultural Area, Raid is the only UF pathologist familiar with those crops and the diseases that affect them.
“Dr. Raid demonstrates a seeming inexhaustible capacity for working with area growers and helping them to solve the unique disease challenges that they face,” said UF/IFAS County Extension Director Gene McAvoy and Dr. Gregg Nuessly, director of the Everglades center, in their nomination letter. “His contributions have contributed enormously to the well-being and economic success of EAA and South Florida farmers and have undoubtedly saved them from multiple millions of dollars of losses each year.”
The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association is a full-service organization serving Florida’s grower-shipper community for 75 years. FFVA represents a broad range of crops: vegetables, citrus, tropical fruit, berries, sod, sugar cane, tree crops and more. Its mission is to enhance the business and competitive environment for producing and marketing fruits, vegetables and other crops.