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Florida Citrus Hall of Fame inductees chosen for 2019

The selection committee for the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame has announced three distinguished leaders — Tim Hurner, of Sebring, FL, Richard J. Kinney (deceased), formerly of Lakeland, FL, and Peter McClure, of Port St. Lucie, FL — who will be inducted into the Hall during the 57th Citrus Celebration Luncheon on Friday, March 8 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. cla

Hurner is a fourth-generation Florida citrus grower who has spent most of his life and career as an IFAS Extension citrus agent as well as a center director in Highlands County supporting citrus growers in the production and profitability of citrus. In 1990, he assisted growers in the formation of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association, which was designed to help growers keep up with local and regional issues and respond accordingly.

Throughout his extension career, he was known as the go-to person for answers, helping growers transition to new technology and conservation methods. As the 4-H Youth Agent for Highlands County, he grew the 4-H program to over 500 members in 4-H Clubs ranging from 4-H, to Home Economics, to 4-H Livestock, to 4-H Horse Clubs.

Hurner also taught at Florida Southern in Lakeland, mentoring many students who are now active in leadership roles in the citrus industry today. A Certified Crop Advisor, he received the National CCA Award in 2012, the International CCA Award in 2013 and was awarded a Lifetime CCA status in 2014 for his contributions and leadership of the Florida CCA Program.

Kinney will long be remembered as Florida's most passionate advocate for its fresh citrus industry. He started his career as an ag liaison for Rep. Andrew Ireland and later for former Governor and Senator Lawton Chiles. He went on to serve as executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers from 1983 until his retirement in 2012. During that time, he worked tirelessly to maintain export and domestic markets for fresh Florida citrus after the discovery of citrus canker, "walking the halls" of Tallahassee and Washington, DC, building the case for continued market access and ensuring that scientific research supported the cause.

He helped the industry through overseas export challenges, citrus greening, in-store juicing debates and discussions, Brix level studies, challenging industry consolidation discussions, import citrus dynamics, new packaging and carton size considerations and discussions. Kinney was one of the industry's foremost experts on trade regulations and pest interdiction, as well as a successful citrus grower. Uncompromising and unapologetic of his defense and advocacy for the fresh fruit packers, he was known as a "bulldog on a soapbox" and fought tirelessly for the betterment of Florida's fresh fruit citrus industry on numerous issues.

McClure is a fourth-generation citrus grower and is known as the godfather of the Citrus Research & Development Foundation, an organization he helped found to combat the devastating spread of HLB. He originally helped create one of the first ever grower-funded research organizations, the Florida Citrus Production Advisory Council, which evolved into the CRDF with over $200 million of sponsored, funded and completed research committed to HLB mitigation and control. It is the best positioned organization in the world to coordinate the required research and product development necessary to combat the disease.

A longtime production manager with both Becker Holdings and Evans Properties, McClure is currently the chief agriculture officer of Terviva in Ft. Pierce.

He is a recipient of the Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award, the Florida State Horticulture Society's Outstanding Commercial Horticulturist Award and the St. Lucie County Conservationist of the Year Award.

The Florida Citrus Hall of Fame honors distinguished leaders who have made significant contributions to the Florida citrus industry. The Citrus Hall of Fame display and Archive Center is located within the McKay Archive Building at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.