Florida growers will have two opportunities in coming weeks to tell state legislators about the importance of the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee and the need for continued funding.
On Nov. 25, a legislative hearing will be at the center itself, 2685 SR 29 North, Immokalee, from 9-11 a.m., according to a University of Florida Extension email.
On Dec. 3, the hearing will be held in room AA-177, Nursing Building, Edison College, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on tnis meeting, including an agenda, visit Lee County Delegation.
Last week, a legislative delegation conducted a hearing in LaBelle and heard from industry leaders in support of funding for the research center.
The area served by the research center has $1 billion in annual farm-gate sales, provides 133,000 ag-related jobs and has $6.2 billion in ag-related sales annually, according to a University of Florida economic study.
The research center alone has a total budget of about $3.6 million and employs 86 people as of Nov. 1.