Feature14 | August 2010 Dr. Faisal Fakih – Farm Credit of Central Florida Member, Dr. Faisal Fakih, is an accomplished physician who is the Medical Director for Florida Pulmonary Consultants and Sleep Disorder Center in Winter Park. Inspired by his friend and fellow physician, Dr.John Arnold, Dr. Fakih bought a frozen out grove near Groveland, Florida in 1993. He immediately began to apply his healing touch to restoring the grove to a productive and profitable operation. He also acquired an adjacent parcel of land to expand his holdings to the current 120 acres. Dr. Fakih was introduced to agriculture at an early age by his parents. His father was born in a tiny village in Lebanon where his family grew food for their own needs and sold the remainder of their crop. The family moved to Barranquilla, Columbia in Central America, where Dr. Fakih was born, and where his father often told him stories of the family farm in Lebanon. Dr.Fakih earned his B.A. from the Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain, and then served his residency and fellowship at Tulane University in New Orleans. He moved to central Florida in 1979 and has never left. He sees parallels between medicine and raising citrus, “Taking care of trees is like treating patients in as much as both need certain nutrients, and you have to fight diseases.” Dr. Fakih firmly believes good planning and proper treatment is essential to grow a healthy and productive grove. “If you skimp on caretaking of your grove it will eventually cost you,” he said. Just as a doctor would consult medical journals to cure an illness in a patient, Dr. Fakih, read voraciously and gathered volumes of knowledge on the citrus industry before investing in his grove. He has even pioneered a creative method to help his trees survive some very harsh winters, escaping even sub-freezing temperatures for hours. “We have found the tall stand of red cedar trees lining my grove help protect our citrus trees from freezes,” said Dr. Fakih. Additionally, he has cleverly employed extended microjet irrigation to protect the trees’ canopies during freezing temperatures. “Dr. Fakih, has been a Farm Credit Member for approximately six years and he is a pleasure to work with,” said David McDonald, Dr. Fakih’s Loan Officer. Dr. Fakih move to central Florida in 1979. “My realtors, Julia Faye Rogers and Elaine Vick, recommended Farm Credit of Central Florida for financing,” he said. Julia Fay Rogers, owner of Julia Faye Rogers Realty, Inc., had this to say about recommending Farm Credit of Central Florida to her clients, “I have used Farm Credit in the past and have never hesitated in recommending them to any of my customers and friends. They have excellent programs, competitive rates and their stock/participation program is an extra bonus. Most important is the knowledge and desire of the staff to help each individual in their specific needs and following it through to the end. I cannot say enough “good things” about Farm Credit and was most happy, together with my right-hand associate Elaine Vick, to recommend it to Dr. Faisal Fakih. ”As a man who earns his living in avery stressful environment making daily life and death decisions, Dr. Fakih finds working in his grove relaxing and often invites friends out to his property to unwind. He is also a man with a positive outlook. “History has shown agriculture will find a way to survive. I believe eventually a cure for the various citrus diseases will be found,” he said.
Doctors in Agriculture – Dr. Faisal Fakih“Taking care of trees is like treating patients inas much as both need certain nutrients, and you have to fight diseases.”
Reprinted with permission