Citrus hall of fame to induct newest honorees
The Florida Citrus Hall of Fame plans to honor its latest round of inductees March 7 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla.
Stephen Caruso, a leading fruit processor, Robert Pittman Jr., a pioneering citrus researcher and nurseryman, and Robert Prevatt, a citrus educator, are the inductees.
Formerly of Apopka, Fla., the deceased Pitman is known for his role in lobbying for the establishment of the Florida Agricultural Tax Law, known as the “Greenbelt Law,” which helped saved growers millions of dollars in property taxes.
Pitman also worked with citrus varieties which included developing and patenting the mandarin-type orange known as the ponkan and was a pioneer citrus nurseryman and also served as president of the Florida Citrus Research Foundation.
A forerunner in experimenting with using irrigation as freeze protection, Pitman worked with University of Florida scientists to develop what became an important method of frost protection for the citrus industry, according to a news release.
Prevatt was a professor of horticulture and citrus at Florida Southern College for nearly 30 years.
He was lauded for his passion for teaching that inspired, challenged and motivated hundreds of students to invest their time and efforts in the Florida citrus industry.