TALLAHASSEE – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced four honorees who will be inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame for 2014. These individuals have made outstanding contributions to Florida’s agriculture industry and mentored future leaders in this field.
“These individuals have made incredible contributions to agriculture in our state and beyond,” Commissioner Putnam said. “The changes and improvements they have made will help ensure the strength of Florida’s $100 billion agriculture for generations to come. I am pleased to announce the awards for these outstanding gentlemen.”
The honorees are:
- Scottie Butler, Gainesville, former general counsel, Florida Farm Bureau Federation. Scottie Butler has spent more than 40 years advocating for Florida’s farmers and ranchers. He retired as general counsel from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation in September 2013, after more than four decades of service. He understood the importance of developing relationships to bring together associations, coalitions and government agencies to move key issues forward. In addition to his expertise, he strongly believed in helping raise up the next generation of agriculture leaders and has mentored several of today’s industry leaders.
- Bruce Christmas Sr., Cottondale, former Director of the Poultry Evaluation Center at the University of Florida. Bruce Christmas is a fifth generation farmer from Jackson County and a former Orange County Extension Agent. He has been recognized by many organizations for his leadership and his volunteer service to youth and was previously chosen “National Volunteer of the Year” for the National Agriculture Alumni and Development Association.
- Dr. Elver “Doc” Hodges, Wauchula, retired Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida. Dr. Hodges’ contributions to the livestock industry in Florida are enormous. His research as an agronomist identified problems and found solutions to enrich low-quality Florida soils, which revolutionized peninsular Florida beef production. He served with the University of Florida Range Cattle Research and Education Center and with the USAID International Program in Malawi. In addition, he was involved with his local 4-H program for many years.
- Dallas Townsend, retired Director of the University of Florida Hendry County Extension Office. Dallas Townsend served 39 years as an extension agent in Southwest Florida and was instrumental in working with IFAS and the agriculture industry to bring more research capacity to the area through the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. His involvement with youth and 4-H is legendary, coaching more than a dozen 4-H teams and thousands of 4-H youth.
The award winners will be honored on Feb. 11, 2014 at the Ag Hall of Fame Dinner. For tickets, or more information about the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, go to http://floridaaghalloffame.org/2013/10/2014.
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