Alums in Action


Wedgworth Leadership Institute
Takes On Washington


Wedgworth was well represented among the Florida farmers, ranchers and growers at the agricultural fly-in at our nation's capital in late February.

Left to right: Toby Basore (Class V), Danny Johns (Class IX), John Hoblick (Class II), Stephen Basore (Class VI), John Barben (Class VIII), Eric Hopkins (Class V) and Ray Royce (Class VII).



Teena Borek (Class III) is featured in an article in Sunshine State News, about her quest to support legislation to legalize a mild form of medical marijuana in Florida. Teena, one of Florida's most accomplished small-farmers, also is a strong proponent of sustainable farming and volunteers for  SAFFFE (Save American Family Farms From Extinction). Read about her life journey and support for cannabinoids here.



Congratulations to John Hoblick (Class II), who was featured in a story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. John is the President/CEO of Florida Farm Bureau Federation, the Gainesville-based nonprofit organization that represents 147,000 agricultural members.

John starting out as a young farmer in the family fern business in DeLeon Springs and his interest in agriculture advocacy that started with his high school FFA continually kept him on top of the political and regulatory issues affecting agriculture. For his story, click here.





Ben, Pate and Eli, sons of Joe and Lisa Collins (Class VII) were featured on the front cover of January’s Heartland magazine. Joe is a vice president of Lykes Bros Inc. To see the entire magazine, click here.



Danny Raulerson
(Class VI), Chief of State Markets for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, was featured in an article in Highlands Today about the 13 farmers markets around Florida designed to help growers process, pack and ship their crops across the country and around the world. These markets set a new record last year, with gross sales of $888.8 million, up dramatically from the $703 million generated in 2012. See more at: http://highlandstoday.com/list/highlands-agri-leader-news/opportunity-knocks-at-state-farmers-markets-20140115/#sthash.6bE74uei.Mp8krHRZ.dpuf


Lauren Trad led the successful battle to allow hens in Jacksonville residential yards. Here Trad and her daughter Cassidy, 7, hold one of their four hens, a Rhode Island Red, in their coop. Lauren is the founder of Hens In Jax, a group who pushed to permit families to keep hens and
make the hens more comfortable with people. Lauren is married to Class VI’s Chris Trad, who is the nursery manager of Trads of Jacksonville. Read more at Jacksonville.com.




Todd Lawrence (Class II), General Manager of Farmers Cooperative, Inc., announces a partnership between his company and Bonnie Plants, which will entail distributing over 900 cabbage plants to third graders t
o take home to grow with their families. The distribution also will include a presentation, providing information about agriculture and where our food comes from. You can see more about it here.



 








Congratulations to the Regional Directors!
Clay Archey (Class VII), Jennifer Helms-Shelley (Class VIII), Lisa Ferguson Lochridge (Class VII), Stephen Basore (Class VI), Ila Levin Locke (Class VI), Ray Royce (Class VII), Amanda Taylor (Class VIII) and Todd Lawrence (Class II). Laurie Hurner (Class VII) is missing from the photo.











We are very appreciative of the WLI alumni who have step up and take on leadership roles that impact Dr. Carter in a very direct way. Laurie Hurner
(Class VII) just finished her term as chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication's Advisory Council and Mary Hartney (Class VIII) is stepping up in the vice chairman role. Thank you ladies for utilizing your leadership on behalf of UF’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication!








Congrats to "Fumigation Guru" Sean Brantley (Class VII). He's the vice president of Emory Brantley & Sons Termite and Pest Control and was featured not only on the cover of the August 2013 edition of Pest Pro--there's a great story on page 14, too!

 












Mark Wheeler (Class III) graces the cover of the August edition of Farmer and Rancher. Mark is not only a leader in the citrus industry, but is heavily involved in the community as well. Read all about Mark on
page 32 and 33!







Shane Platt
(Class II) and Kissimmee Park Properties LLC, in St. Cloud, were recently honored with the Florida Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award. The award is given in recognition of environmentally innovative farming practices of the state’s growers and ranchers. Congrats!

Kissimmee Park Properties’ goal has been to protect the ranch as both an economic source and as a sustainable wildlife habitat and ecological component to the region. The ranch has been under the same family ownership for 135 years and operates a 250 head cow-calf operation. The ranch has always operated in an environmentally and economically sound method to ensure the natural environment can be passed on to the family’s sixth generation of ranchers. Kissimmee Park Properties recognizes both the economic and ecological value of a well-run cattle operation – and represents Florida cattlemen well.

Shane will be recognized at the Florida Farm Bureau’s Convention at the Commissioner Ag Environmental Leadership Breakfast on October 25 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra.
 






Congratulations to Laurie Hurner (Class VII) on her new job as the UF/IFAS Citrus Extension Agent in Highlands County! We know she's going to do great things! Here's a fabulous article about Laurie.







Nancy McDonald
(Class III) received Florida Nursery Growers and Landscapers' most prestigious honor--the Wendell Butler Award at their annual meeting in June. Here is the link for the speech Nancy gave in receiving the Wendell E. Bell Award. Get your hankies out--it's a wonderful heart-felt speech from a great WLI alumni! CONGRATULATIONS NANCY!



 





Congratulations also to Jennifer Helms-Shelley (Class VIII) for receiving the 2013 FNGLA Young Nursery Professional award. WLI alumni will be well represented at the FNGLA's annual meeting!








Keith Wedgworth
(Class VII) was recently chosen as Agri-Industrial Man of the Year for his family’s continued tradition of giving back to the community, displaying the virtue of a strong work ethic, being a good land steward and stressing the importance of education. Congrats, Keith! He’s pictured above with his beautiful daughter Whitney Kay and wife Amanda.







Pines Elected to Leadership Post in
Voting Advocacy Organization

Elizabeth C. Pines, Class VII, is the First Vice President of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Florida, a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

She has been practicing immigration law for nearly 20 years and is the founding partner of Elizabeth C. Pines, PA, a boutique law firm dedicated to helping foreign nationals with immigration matters in the U.S. Pines is very involved in the state and local communities in which she lives. She sits on the board of the League of Women Voters of Florida and the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County. She has taken on leadership roles, as Chair of the Fair Districts Committee and the Executive Committee at the state level and she chairs the nominating committee and the Immigration Task Force for LWV of Miami-Dade County.

Pines remains active in her local school as a mentor to high school girls from the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. She has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1996 and formerly served on the South Florida Chapter board.

Pines received her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Miami in 1985 and earned an M.B.A. there in 1988. She received her Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 1994.






Sandy and Robin Stein
, Class VII, grace the cover of Nursery Management magazine! They own The Jungle Nursery in Homestead, Fla., and have tweaked and transformed their business into a surviving and thriving nursery. Read their article here and check out his quote at the end of the article. Speaking of WLI, he says, “I was the oldest person in the class when I went through, but outside of my family, this was the greatest experience of my life.”



Class V Alumni Wins Bid for Florida House


Republican Halsey Beshears defeated Democrat Robert Hill in the Florida House 7 race, claiming more than 60 percent of the vote. The two were battling the state’s largest House district in terms of land area.

He’s a Class V alumnus and the current CFO of Simpson Nurseries and president of Total Landscape Supply which serves customers across the southeast and mid-Atlantic states.

Beshears based his campaign on paring back regulations that impact his fellow farmers and small businesses. He said he wants to improve morale among state workers and has pledged to oppose the privatization of state prisons.

As he took in the results with his friends and family in Monticello, he said he was “blown away” and a “little bit taken aback” by the margin of victory.

“In all sincerity, it’s humbling,” he said.

"I'm not going to take anything away from his hard work and his success," Hill said, praising Beshears for keeping the tone positive.

"This is the way campaigns should be," Hill said.



The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) named Danny Kushmer (Class II) the 2012 president of the year and awarded his FPRA chapter, Dick Pope/Polk County, with the Financial Development Award for their diligent efforts in raising funds for chapter and community initiatives.

Danny assumed his role as the DP/PC chapter president last year and inspired his board of directors and members to make a difference in our community and profession. Under his leadership, the chapter hosted the inaugural A-C-T Carillon Classic 5k Run and Walk, which attracted more than 300 participants and raised funds for the chapter and the George W. Harris Jr. Youth Runaway and Crisis Shelter. Danny is known for his effective communication skills, creativity and ability to “think on his feet.”  He serves as the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s community affairs manager and is responsible for representing the district’s interests in local and state legislation, working specifically with elected officials in Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.



Brad Hester (Class II) has been selected for Florida Trend's Legal Elite for 2012 for his practice of real estate law. Selection is based on peer recommendation and represents only two percent of the 67,000 active Florida Bar members. To view the report, click here. Brad is an attorney with Frank A. Hamner, PA in Winter Park. Congrats Brad!








Richard W. Schwab (Class VI) wrote an editorial for the Gainesville Sun regarding the effects of possible new EPA guidelines on the cost of biofuel. To view the article, click here. Richard is a Florida Board Member of the American Loggers Council and procurement manager for MA Rigoni in Perry.







Class V’s Erin Freel received the Florida Cattlemen’s Association’s Outstanding Service Award at their annual meeting in Marco Island in late June. In presenting this prestigious award, president Don Quincey proclaimed that Freel has been “…a tremendous asset to me and the entire organization.” Congrats Erin!










Mark Wheeler Named Citrus Mutual President

The Florida Citrus Mutual board of directors elected James “Mark” Wheeler, Class III, as their new present for a one-year term. He is the chief financial officer of Wheeler Farms, Inc. headquartered in Lake Placid.

Wheeler also serves as a director of Wheeler Brothers, Inc. a family-held citrus contract-harvesting corporation and is president of the Hardee Livestock Market, Inc. in Wauchula, Florida. Additionally, Wheeler serves as president of the Boston Mining company, a citrus, real estate and cash investment organization.

With a long family history in agriculture, Wheeler is a member of the fourth generation to work in agriculture and third generation to work in citrus. As president of Florida Citrus Mutual he looks forward to continue its outreach efforts of and increase membership. A recent article in the Tampa Tribune highlights his professional and civic work, to view, click here.

Wheeler is very active in his community serving on the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank Board and Board Member of the Farm Credit of SW Florida. Wheeler is a member of the advisory board for Riverside National Bank of Highlands County and a board member of the newly formed Mason G. Smoak Foundation.

He was first elected to represent District 10 in 2005 and has served as Southern-Area Vice President. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Troy State University.



Congrats to Richard May (Class VII) for being a finalist for Florida Farm Bureau’s 2012 Achievement in Agriculture. Richard helps lead a 500-acre family farm, providing landscape plants to distributors and wholesale nurseries. To read his story about his farm’s success, click here to view the October issue of FloridAgriculture.


Jim Snively (Class VI) was featured in an article in the Tampa Tribune about his work with citrus research. Jim is a fourth-generation citrus grove owner and works a day job as vice-president of Southern Gardens Citrus in Clewiston. He also sits on the research management committee for the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, dedicated to eradicating citrus diseases.To read his story, click here.



Congrats to Ed Pines (Class IV), who was name one of four "Top Growers of Year" for Tropicana Products for the 2011-12 season. The award recognizes the best growers in the state from production, harvesting, land stewardship and industry dedication. For Ed, who is vice president and general manager of Pines Ranch, Inc., this is a very special accomplishment, as it reflects all the hard work, dedication and passion that he does on a daily basis. 

On October 7th, CBS’s Sunday Morning show featured Dr. James Thurber, who many of you will recall opened up our national seminar in Washington, D.C. Thurber was featured throughout the piece and spoke about many of the things he covers in his presentation to WLI classes.  Dr. Thurber is the first speaker we book for the DC seminar and he speaks highly of all the WLI classes that he’s met and interacted with—because of that, Dr. Carter thought this might be of interest to many of you!
Here’s the link to both the video and text of the segment.



Alumni Appointed to Soil and Water
Advisory Council


Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam appointed two alumni to guide Florida’s new streamlined Soil and Water Conservation Council: Nancy McDonald (Class III) and Eric Hjort (Class VII).

The council provides input to the state department on legal matters relating to statewide soil and water conservation. Putman stated that the council “...will also allow for a more focused advisory body that is better suited to provide guidance relating to soil and water conservation issues throughout Florida.”

Eric is the general manager of Tater Farms in St. Augustine. Nancy owns NGM Productions, Inc. in Mt. Dora and is active in the Florida Farm Bureau and Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.


 







From left to right, David McDonald, Class VI; Nancy McDonald, Class III, Gale Trotter, Wes Wheeler, Class V; and Dottie Trotter in recognizing the McDonalds as the recipients of the Gene Trotter Award for excellence.













 





Ray Royce,
Class VII, pictured here with Dr. Hannah Carter,  received the Honorary Director Award.



























Congratulations to Billy Butterfield, Class VI, pictured here with Shane Platt, Class II. Billy received the Farm Credit Leadership Award!















Past president, Jeff Lee, Class VI, receiving recognition for serving as president from new president Stephen Basore, Class VI
















Mike Joyner
, Class I, left, receiving the Burl Long Leadership Award!









Photo courtesy of Ron O’Connor – Farm Credit

FNGLA & WLI news

< Halsey Beshears, FNGLA President and Class V member presenting Dr. Hannah Carter with the Friend of the Industry Award.

Photo provided by FNGLA

< Halsey Beshears (left) inducting Mike Marshall (center, Class V) as the FNGLA President Elect and Sandy Stein (right, Class VII) as the FNGLA Secretary.
Photo provided by FNGLA



Class V’s Erin Freel received the Florida Cattlemen’s Association’s Outstanding Service Award at their annual meeting in Marco Island in late June. In presenting this prestigious award, president Don Quincey proclaimed that Freel has been “…a tremendous asset to me and the entire organization.” Congrats Erin!





Mark Wheeler Named Citrus Mutual President

The Florida Citrus Mutual board of directors elected James “Mark” Wheeler, Class III, as their new present for a one-year term. He is the chief financial officer of Wheeler Farms, Inc. headquartered in Lake Placid.

Wheeler also serves as a director of Wheeler Brothers, Inc. a family-held citrus contract-harvesting corporation and is president of the Hardee Livestock Market, Inc. in Wauchula, Florida. Additionally, Wheeler serves as president of the Boston Mining company, a citrus, real estate and cash investment organization.

With a long family history in agriculture, Wheeler is a member of the fourth generation to work in agriculture and third generation to work in citrus. As president of Florida Citrus Mutual he looks forward to continue its outreach efforts of and increase membership.

Wheeler is very active in his community serving on the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank Board and Board Member of the Farm Credit of SW Florida. Wheeler is a member of the advisory board for Riverside National Bank of Highlands County and a board member of the newly formed Mason G. Smoak Foundation.

He was first elected to represent District 10 in 2005 and has served as Southern-Area Vice President. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Troy State University.

 


Lindsay Raley,
Class I alumni and president and chairman of the board of directors for the Dundee Citrus Growers Association, stars in a great video outlining the successes of the association, which has grown into one of the largest fresh fruit cooperatives in the Florida citrus industry. A consistent leader in volume, Dundee CGA harvests over 18 different commercial varieties of citrus from 10,000+ member acres located throughout Florida. To view the video, click here: http://vimeo.com/41040356



Wedgworth Takes on DC!
Eight alumni joined Florida Farm Bureau's recent "Field to the Hill" trip to Washington, DC. Pictured, left to right: David McDonald (Class VI), Adam Basford (Class VII), John Hoblick (Class II), Teena Borek (Class III), Billy Butterfield (Class VI), Brant Schirard (Class II), Rick Roth (Class II) and Katrien Markle (Class IV).

Jamie Ross

Jamie Ross, Class VIII member and owner of Jamie Ross Garden and Landscape Design in Jacksonville, recently won five garden design awards at the prestigious Boston Flower and Garden Show for a rooftop garden design. She began her business five years ago and it’s grown into a full-fledged landscape design company. Read about her remarkable story in the Jacksonville Times Unionhttp://jacksonville.com/entertainment/home-and-garden/2012-05-21/story/jacksonville-womans-business-garden-landscape-design




Alum at FNGLA's Action Chapter Meeting
WLI alums met with Dr. Jack Payne, UF's Senior Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at a FNGLA Action Chapter meeting in May. Left to right:  David McDonald, Nancy McDonald, Jennifer Batson, Dr. Payne, Billy Butterfield, Halsey Beshears, Linda Adams and Brad Hester.

 



Eric Hopkins Receives Leadership Award
Class V’s Eric Hopkins has been named Leadership Palm Beach County's 2012 Leadership Excellence Award recipient in recognition of his vast volunteer contributions. Many of his colleagues and friends came to congratulate him at the award dinner in April including, left from right, Class V's Halsey Beshears, Kelly Hollis, Class V's Toby Basore, Eric, Ramsey Simmons and Class V's Francisco Pines. Congratulations Eric!


Class VII’s Charlie Wilson was featured in a recent article in the Tampa Tribune. The story covers his company, Sunridge Harvesting, his family, his relationships with area businesses and includes information about WLI. To view, click here.




Sean Brantley

Sean Brantley (Class VII), vice president at Emory Brantley & Sons in Pinellas Park, was appointed to the Pest Control Enforcement Advisory Council. The council consists of 11 members and advises Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs on pest control enforcement issues. Congratulations!


Rick Roth
Class II alumni Rick Roth attributes much of his and his farm’s success on his father, saying, “Dad taught me honesty, the value of hard work, and how to treat people.”

Rick and his farm were recently featured in a Southeast Farm Press article. Roth Farms is one of the most diversified farming operations in Florida producing sugar cane, radishes, lettuce and leafy vegetables, Chinese cabbage, parsley, sweet corn, green beans and rice, in addition to palm trees and other landscaping plants. The farm also includes a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art packinghouse. Rick continues his father's lifework, who began farming in the area in 1948.

To read the article, click
here
.

Bob Adair
Class II's Bob Adair was featured in the November, 2011 Farm Press article about the Florida Research Center’s activities and research of better ways to control the ever-growing list of citrus diseases. Currently at the top of the list is citrus greening disease or Huanglongbing (HLB). At the forefront of his current research activities is the investigation of new nutrient forms for use within a foliar fertilization program as a means to reduce tree stress and slow the disease progress that will hopefully increase the productive life span of symptomatic trees. HLB, a bacterial disease native to China, “undoubtedly poses the most serious threat that the Florida citrus industry has ever faced”, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bob is the executive director at the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability, Inc. (FLARES).



Carlton Ward
(Class VII) will begin a nearly 1,000-mile trek through the Florida peninsula to highlight the need for maintaining a habitat corridor through the area. He’ll join a biologist, a conservationist and a filmmaker to document their journey and share their story. Carlton is quoted in a story published by FloridaEnvironments.com, “I would like state leaders to keep Florida’s green infrastructure and agriculture production as a priority,” he said. “Just in those simple terms, this is important. This is our last chance to get it right.” To read the rest of the story, click here.



Mike Joyner,
Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture for Florida, visited the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication on February 17 and spoke about current and emerging issues affecting Florida agriculture. Joyner, a Wedgworth Leadership Institute Class I alumni, spoke of the challenges facing Florida agriculture, the top three being issues centered around nutrition, energy, and water. Joyner referred to issues centered around nutrition as being a “legacy issue.”

University of Florida and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) are taking action to address nutrition including a heavy dependence upon IFAS extension. Programs such as “Gardening for Grades” and “Fresh Fruit Thursdays” are strategies that IFAS, along with state and local governments, are implementing to ensure Florida leaves a lasting, positive “legacy.”

Among the issues presented by Joyner were also concerns about pests and diseases, issues all too familiar to Florida farmers, particularly with the devastation from citrus greening and canker. Joyner also spoke about issues concerning food safety, and immigration laws, highlighting Florida farmers’ need for immigrant labor during harvest seasons, saying, “There will always be a need for workers from outside of this country.”

Joyner concluded by stating that teamwork, such as that shown in addressing nutrition issues, was essential to positive progress towards solutions. “We have to think about how we [IFAS, Florida Department of Agriculture] can work closer together.”


Eric Hopkins Receives Leadership Award
Class V’s Eric Hopkins was recently named Leadership Palm Beach County's 2012 Leadership Excellence Award recipient and will be honored at a dinner April 19. This is a prestigious award in the Palm Beach community and acknowledges Eric’s vast volunteer contributions. All of the Wedgworth community is invited to the awards dinner. 


 
 

Sean Brantley (Class VII), vice president at Emory Brantley & Sons in Pinellas Park, was appointed to the Pest Control Enforcement Advisory Council. The council consists of 11 members and advises Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs on pest control enforcement issues. Congratulations!


Carlton Ward
(Class VII) will begin a nearly 1,000-mile trek through the Florida peninsula to highlight the need for maintaining a habitat corridor through the area. He’ll join a biologist, a conservationist and a filmmaker to document their journey and share their story. Carlton is quoted in a story published by FloridaEnvironments.com, “I would like state leaders to keep Florida’s green infrastructure and agriculture production as a priority,” he said. “Just in those simple terms, this is important. This is our last chance to get it right.” To read the rest of the story, click here.

Florida ag leaders briefed the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee in early October on E-coli testing, citrus packing procedures, fertilizer best management practices and large-scale farming.

Among the speakers was Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association board member Rick Roth (and Class II alumni), who emphasized the importance of agricultural research, incentive-based regulations and preserving the ability of agriculture to compete in the marketplace. To hear Roth's and other speakers' statements, click here.


  
Dave Dymond (Class VI) of H&H Sod Company in Kenansville, Florida, has been appointed president of Turfgrass Producers International. His appointment was announced during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting on July 20th at their summer convention in Reno, NV. Dymond served a three-year term on the association’s board in 2000-3 and served a second term between 2006 to 2009. Dymond has also served as vice president and president of the Florida Sod Growers Cooperative and has been active on their board since 1998. 




 

Eric Hjort (Class VII) has been elected secretary/treasurer of the Florida Sod Growers Cooperative Board of Directors.


The Agriculture Institute of Florida has produced a video highlighting the diversity and productivity of Florida's farmers as well as the challenges the industry faces. Developed by Erin Freel (Class V), the video tells the proud story of Florida’s agricultural family, and combines their rich heritage, dedication to innovation and excellence, and a long tradition of respecting and caring for the land. Watch the video here.

 

TKM Bengard Farms Awarded “Grower Achievement Award” winner

 

The Basores
From left to right: Tom Jr., Michael, Stephen, Toby, Kevin, and Brian Basore


Charles AllisonCharles E. Allison (Class IV) will be recognized with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction at the 15th annual TailGATOR on Sept. 17 (before the UF/Tennessee game) at the O’Connell Center.

Addison will receive CALS Horizon Award and Award of Distinction in recognition for his service to the UF, IFAS, CALS, and the agriculture, natural resource, life science and related industries and professions.

“Allison is an example of what we would like all our alumni to be, active and involved in their industries, communities and UF/IFAS and who place service to these entities at the forefront of their leadership efforts,” said Hannah Carter, Ph.D., director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Allison earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food and resource economics in 1978 and 1981, respectively. He has worked for Prudential Financial since 1990, currently serving as managing director for agricultural investments. He has been a member of the Food and Resource Economics Advisory Board since its inception.

“The perspective and experience he brings to the FRE Department allows it to shape its education and research priorities to meet the needs of the agricultural industry,” said Carter.

Allison owns and operates farms in Umatilla, Fla.; Lake City, Fla.; and Valley Center, Calif., producing blueberries, avocados and other agricultural commodities.

Eduardo Pines (Class IV) is a star! Ed is featured in new Tropicana ads for a campaign soon to hit the Tampa Bay area celebrating Florida’s orange growers. The campaign’s tagline is “Tropicana, supporting Florida Orange Growers for over 60 years.” Ed joins alum Dave Crumbly (Class V) who is featured in Florida’s Natural juice commercials.

Bob Adair

Bob Adair,
Class II, was recently appointed to serve on the Fertilizer Technical Council by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. As the citrus industry representative for the 13-member council, Bob will advise the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services regarding the administration and enforcement of laws and rules pertaining to licensing, inspection and regulation of the fertilizer industry. Bob is the executive director of the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability, a research organization dedicated to developing new technologies for agricultural production systems that are economically profitable to the farmer and avoid resource depletion and damage to ecosystems.



Joe CollinsJoe Collins
, Class VII, was featured in an article in Highlands Today. Joe is vice president of Lykes Bros. Ranch Division and manages the 337,000-acre ranch including the oversight of production of the new alternative biofuel grasses, timber, eucalyptus and sugar cane. He is also chairman of the board of directors for the South Florida Water Management District.

Joe’s passions include water quality and conservation, saying, "We should not just wait for a drought to think about water conservation… We are very fortunate here in the center of the state. We have outstanding water resources, and we need to keep them that way."

To read the story, click
here.

Candidates Forum @ the Landscape Show  
WLI Well Represented at the Candidates Forum
at the FNGLA Landscape Show



Karen Pate, Class VII, was recently named 2011’s Conservation Educator of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation. Karen is executive director of Crystal Springs Preserve, a 520-acre wildlife sanctuary and spring located in Pasco County, where she oversees every aspect of the facility, including educating 40,000 students a year about Florida’s natural world.
 
In giving the award, the Florida Wildlife Federation said, “As we struggle to inculcate a sense of stewardship to younger generations, it is only by the work of people like Karen that we will have a chance of success.” 


Sandy Stein
Sandy Stein, Class VII, was featured in a recent Miami Herald article entitled "South Florida’s nursery industry: Alive and growing.” He’s the owner of The Jungle Nursery in Homestead and spoke about the challenges of being competitive in an ever-changing market.
 
“We’re having to re-create ourselves endlessly,” Stein said. He had to spend about $60,000 to build a high-tech mist house to more cheaply produce the best quality plants.
 
He’s also patented a unique pot that features inspirational, funny or congratulatory messages on reversible bands. In developing the new product, Stein has had to think about things a farmer never would: how to package and present the item, color schemes and prototypes.
 
To read the story, click here
.

Sylvia GordonSylvia Gordon, Class V, has recently been awarded the Wendell Butler Award, Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association's (FNGLA) most prestigious award. This award recognizes an individual who serves FNGLA and the industry by providing leadership, service, and contributions, showing a sincere interest in the advancement of the association and the industry. 







Brad Hester
Appearing in the May issue of OrlandoStyle magazine is none other than Brad Hester of Class II.  He claims it's "another shameless plug for the WLI and Florida ag, in a magazine devoted to anything but that.  I think that is pretty darn funny – my little inside joke to myself."

We think it's a great testament to his work in bringing agriculture to the forefront of Floridians' minds. To read the article, click
here.




Halsey Beshears


 
Halsey Beshears, Class V, is the President-Elect of FNGLA and will become president during FNGLA’s annual meeting in June.




 

Joe Collins

Class VII member Joe Collins is now Chairman of the South Florida Water Management District. Joe, who was appointed to the district by former Governor Charlie Crist, is Vice President of Lykes Brothers, a farm and ranching operation that owns more than 300,000 acres north of Lake Okeechobee. He will chair a governing board that is expected to have five new members appointed by Governor Rick Scott.




Mark Stowers
Mark Stowers, Class II, has joined HM Clause and will head up R&D with a primary role in managing the global plant-breeding activities. Mark will be based in Davis, California but will lead a team of researchers in more than 12 countries. Mark joins Matthew Johnston (Class II) and Bob Conrad (Class IV) as members of the HM Clause management team.




Florida Cattle RanchingClass VII's Carlton Ward continues to showcase his photography, this time at UF's Florida Museum exhibit entitled 


Ward is an eighth-generation Floridian with a strong connection to ranching, and his photographs appear in both exhibits."The exhibit focuses on Florida ranch lands and culture and the environment it protects," Carlton, said. "It's an unseen and tremendously important part of Florida." For more info, click
here.


Bob Adair
Class II's Bob Adair was featured in an NPR article about better ways to control the ever-growing list of citrus diseases. Currently at the top of the list is greening disease. He is the executive director at the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability, Inc (FLARES), works to innovate profitable and ecological strategies to sustain food and fiber production. To read the NPR article, click
here.  

 




Mike JoynerMike Joyner,
Class I, has been chosen as Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Assistant Commissioner/Chief of Staff. Joyner has more than 25 years experience building partnerships between the private and public sectors to advance common-sense business, natural resource and environmental policies. He joins the department from the private sector after having previously served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Environmental Protection and stints at the Florida Farm Bureau and Florida Forestry Association.


Dave Dymond

The Orlando Sentinel recently published an op-ed article written by David A. Dymond (Class VI) regarding the cost and environmental virtues of natural turf vs artificial for stadiums. To view the article, click
here. David is the general manager of H&H Sod Co. and a member of the Florida Sod Growers Cooperative board.





Range, Furrow, and Grove Images of Fla AgCarlton Ward, Jr. (Class VII) had his gorgeous photography featured in an amazing exhibit entitled “Range, Furrow, and Grove: Images of Florida Agriculture,” which blended historical photographs with contemporary images of Florida ranching and agriculture. The photography revealed past and present methods and approaches of representing the management of Florida’s natural environment. Carlton is an eighth generation rancher and environmental photojournalist. 
 




Tracy Duda Chapman
(Class III) was featured in Florida Trend's "Must Know Floridian" series as being one of the most powerful women in an operating position in Florida agriculture. Tracy is general counsel and corporate vice president of A. Duda & Sons. She also served on the state’s Environmental Regulation Commission during Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration.







Billy ButterfieldBilly Butterfield, FCHP, FCLC (Class VI) received the FNGLA 2010 Outstanding Division Member because of his contributions to the advancement of landscaping through divisional activities or related service. Billy works for Ameriscapes Landscape Management in Orlando.
 
 
 
Bob Adair (Class II) received the 2010 Florida State Horticultural Society's Best Paper Award for Citrus. His paper, "Demonstration of a Sustainable Approach to Citriculture within a National Wildlife Refuge in the Indian River Area," also was selected for the President's Industry Award at the society's annual meeting. He is the executive director of the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability in Vero Beach, and is chairman of the Indian River Agricultural Advisory Committee and Soil and Water onservation District board.

 

 


Congrats to Class II's Brad Hester who is featured in February's Florida Law Journal's cover story. Hester outlines his ag background as a cattle farmer and how his love of agriculture spurred his pursuit of a law degree. Hester believes that a strong Florida agriculture market nurtures a healthy economy. To read the article, click here

 
Rick Roth
Class II alumni Rick Roth attributes much of his and his farm’s success on his father, saying, “Dad taught me honesty, the value of hard work, and how to treat people.”

Rick and his farm were recently featured in a Southeast Farm Press article. Roth Farms is one of the most diversified farming operations in Florida producing sugar cane, radishes, lettuce and leafy vegetables, Chinese cabbage, parsley, sweet corn, green beans and rice, in addition to palm trees and other landscaping plants. The farm also includes a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art packinghouse. Rick continues his father's lifework, who began farming in the area in 1948.

 
Bob Adair
Class II's Bob Adair was featured in the November, 2011 Farm Press article about the Florida Research Center’s activities and research of better ways to control the ever-growing list of citrus diseases. Currently at the top of the list is citrus greening disease or Huanglongbing (HLB). At the forefront of his current research activities is the investigation of new nutrient forms for use within a foliar fertilization program as a means to reduce tree stress and slow the disease progress that will hopefully increase the productive life span of symptomatic trees. HLB, a bacterial disease native to China, “undoubtedly poses the most serious threat that the Florida citrus industry has ever faced”, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bob is the executive director at the Florida Research Center for Agricultural Sustainability, Inc. (FLARES).