Since 1948, the Citrus Center has been honored to serve the citrus industry of Texas through research and education. We have established fruitful partnerships with citrus growers, industry leaders, agricultural companies and fellow scientists in the Texas A & M University System, the University of Texas System, State and Federal agencies. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities in the next 66 years and beyond with excitement.
Thank you for visiting our web site which we hope you will find informative and enjoyable.
The Citrus Center serves the citrus industry of Texas by conducting basic and applied research and delivering innovative solutions which enable the citrus industry to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace. The Citrus Center fosters scientific excellence and capacity building by incorporating undergraduate and graduate student training into its research programs to develop highly-skilled professionals.
The Citrus Center originated in the mid-1940's when a group of local citizens and citrus growers approached the then Texas College of Arts & Industries, Kingsville, with the idea of establishing a research and training facility specializing in citriculture for the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1947 the original campus site and research farm was purchased with funds contributed by the citrus industry and other community institutions. Buildings were acquired from the deactivated Harlingen Air Base and by 1948 the Center was in operation. In the 1960's with the help of the Jones-Collier foundation the 200 acre South Research Farm was added.
The A&I Development Foundation property in Hidalgo County consists of two parcels of land, 36 and 26 acres. These lie adjacent to and are integrated with the operation of the South Research Farm. The properties were purchased in February 1974 and March 1977 respectively. Purchase of the property was facilitated by low interest loans from the Valley Agricultural Research and Development Corporation whose purpose in making the loans was to enhance the research resources of the Citrus Center. The loans were paid to maturity with income generated by the Citrus Center from the management and cultivation of orchards on the property.
From 1984 until 2004, a 40-acre farm north of Mission was leased to the Center by the Looney family. This has been replaced by a 50-acre farm in Monte Alto leased from Rio Farms Inc.