Robert C. Adair, Jr.

Robert C. Adair, Jr. is the Executive Director and President for the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability, Inc. (FlaRes) which was established in December 2003. FlaRes is a private, nonprofit agricultural research and education organization that is a leader in developing and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Mr. Adair has an extensive background in agricultural research and sustainable agriculture as well as experience in citrus production, biochemistry and farming.

Mr. Adair’s research topics include bio-control strategies for the Citrus Root Weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus, foliar fertilizers, and the use of natural based bio-stimulants such as seaweed extracts, alpha-keto acids, humates, and fermentation products to increase plant vigor, pest resistance and crop yields. An ongoing project under his supervision is the evaluation of foliar fertilization as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for citrus. This project seeks to determine if nutrients applied foliarly can reduce the amount of agricultural nutrients entering Florida’s coastal water bodies while maintaining economic profitability for the grower. Mr. Adair has developed and demonstrated a Sustainable Citrus Program for citrus that reduces agricultural inputs. This program has reduced agricultural inputs while assuring an environmentally safe agricultural program without compromising crop production or profitability.

Currently, Mr. Adair is the Citrus Coordinator for over 1,100 acres of citrus groves using the Sustainable Citrus Program (SCP) at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife's Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida. His research projects have been funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, citrus grower’s checkoff grants, and from the private industry sector. Mr. Adair has published numerous scientific papers, developed a low-rate herbicide program and fact sheet, a non-toxic spray program for citrus, and is a frequent speaker at grower meetings for Florida’s citrus industry.

Mr. Adair received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Miami. He worked as a chemist for seven years at the University of Miami Medical School and the Miami VA Hospital Research Service. He then pursued graduate studies in Fisheries Management at Oklahoma State University. While in Oklahoma, he developed and managed a 600-acre family farm raising registered Black Angus cattle using sustainable agricultural practices. Concurrently, he was the owner and manager of Phoenix Construction Company, which specialized in energy conservation and passive solar design. In recognition of his agricultural accomplishments, Mr. Adair became a member of the Kerr Center’s Board of Trustees in 1985.

Since returning to Florida in 1986, Mr. Adair has worked to see the Kerr Center/subsequently the Florida Research Center become a leader in the Sustainable Agriculture movement. He is a graduate of Class II of the Florida Leadership Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources, an avid saltwater sportsman and skin diver. He and his wife, Diane, live in Vero Beach in a home located in a small, family- operated citrus grove.