Robert L. Wynn, Jr., whose decades of leadership to keep California agriculture free from exotic pests and diseases, was recognized for those accomplishments by the state’s citrus industry in Visalia, Calif.

Wynn, the statewide coordinator of the Pierce’s Disease Control Program for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), was presented the Albert G. Salter Memorial Award by the California Citrus Quality Council (CCQC). The organization, funded by California citrus producers, is dedicated to safeguarding fair international trade practices related to pest, disease, and phytosanitary issues.

“We are very pleased to honor Bob Wynn for his extraordinary efforts to protect the California citrus sector from invasive exotic pests and diseases while serving with the CDFA since 1970,” said James Cranny, Jr., CCQC president.

“He has been a leading force in unifying state, federal, and local efforts to prevent and abate such pests as the Mediterranean and other fruit flies, glassy-winged sharpshooter, and our current problem, Asian citrus psyllid,” Cranney said. “Some of these pests could disrupt our fresh citrus exports.”

Wynn was appointed director of CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services in 1997. Three years later when the glassy-winged sharpshooter required coordination between citrus and grape producers to successfully control its movement to northern California, Wynn accepted a gubernatorial appointment to become the Statewide Coordinator for the Pierce’s Disease Program.

Today Wynn directs and manages these pest prevention efforts and is a liaison officer to county agricultural commissioner offices throughout California.

The Salter award is presented annually by CCQC to maintain the memory of Albert G. Salter, a pioneer in food safety efforts for Sunkist Growers in the early 1950s. Salter urged the formation of an industry-wide organization to focus on international trade standards for chemical residues and unfair trade practices.