Labor joins disease research funding as key issues on the agenda at the 2012 Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs, Fla., June 13-15.

Labor tops concerns for upcoming Florida citrus meetingOrganizers say preregistrations for the eighth-annual event remain strong, with up to 650 signed up in late May, said Andrew Meadows, director of communications for show sponsor Florida Citrus Mutual, Lakeland.

“It will be three days of a little bit of business, networking and some family fun,” Meadows said. “It has become everything we wanted it to become when we started it eight years ago.”

During June 14 sessions, Mike Sparks, citrus mutual’s executive vice president and chief executive officer, plans to provide an update of the labor situation at the federal and state levels.

Meadows said the issue remains timely and mechanical harvesting, which could reduce dependence on manual labor, is also on the agenda.

A representative of the Florida Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc., Lake Alfred, plans to provide an update on research funding.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is the June 14 keynote luncheon speaker and Governor Rick Scott plans to meet with citrus leaders during a June 13 luncheon.