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Ron Muraro was an icon in the citrus economics field. He was the product of Groveland where he grew up and went to school. Just another one of the many stories of a boy from Groveland that became a valuable part of the citrus industry. Ron was one of those quiet guys that preferred to produce economic studies, production costs, economic support for numerous researchers, collect financial data, etc. rather than be in the limelight. Of course he made numerous presentations to share his "numbers". Ron's work could be found in every citrus "office" in the state (and probably many other places citrus is grown). His annual cost of production were used by everyone to examine where dollars were going. For me, Ron was a partner in providing growers with as much data as possible after the freezes, and certainly economic considerations were at the top of the list. I must have passed out thousands of his budgets examining the cash flow situations with replanting. From a personal standpoint my favorite Ron Muraro contribution was his Excel sheet that allowed me to provide the value of a citrus tree. It was detailed enough with present values and depreciation and other economic terms to satisfy a banker or the IRS, while simple enough for the rest of us to understand. I believe Ron was the only economist that IRS accepted with no questions, his numbers were solid and above reproach.
Ron was always swamped with requests; researchers needing an economic component to a project, extension agents looking for numbers to help growers (and aid in our dreaded annual Report of Accomplishments), financial institutions looking for guidelines, regulatory agencies needing economic impact data, FDOC wanting data on production costs, stock brokers looking for an edge, etc. Ron was the numbers man that contributed to many segments of the industry. Sadly he was not able to enjoy a long retirement. Thanks Ron Muraro for providing the numbers, for always listening to our requests and for making the effort to provide whatever he could. Another friend that will be missed.
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