Orange Juice and Taxes Cause State Citrus Department Director to Resign

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

The Ledger is reporting that Ken Keck, the Florida Department of Citrus executive director, will resign next week.

That's consistent with the citrus commission's August 3 agenda, which states the third item is to consider "terms of resignation of acting executive director," and the next item is to consider "designating new acting executive director" of the department.

The Ledger says Keck is "the victim of, in no particular order, declining orange juice sales, citrus greening, higher taxes and state Sen. J.D. Alexander."

Keck's been in the spot for five years, but it's been a tough time for citrus recently, orange juice in particular.

Hurricanes, freezing, and disease drove orange juice prices up, prompting Keck and the commission to impose higher taxes on the commodity several times.

In fairness to Keck's citrus, there have been recent problems with Florida's other crops, like tomatoes that are reportedly covered in chemicals and taste like cardboard.

There have been a few technological improvements to protect the state's $9 billion citrus industry, like mapping the sequence of orange genomes, but most of the practical applications are still in the future.

The Ledger also says that some politicking was occurring against Keck by State Sen.  Alexander, reportedly for not listening to growers before raising the taxes.

The new citrus director will likely be revealed on Wednesday.

Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.