The Tallahassee-based Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame has released the names of its 2010 inductees, including several men known for their contributions to the state’s vegetable and citrus industries.
The organization plans to induct Dan McClure, who owned West Coast Tomato Inc., Palmetto, Fla.; Ben Hill Griffin III, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Ben Hill Griffin Inc., Frostproof, Fla.; Richard Alger, owner of Alger Farms Inc., Homestead, Fla.; and Rudy Hamrick, director of the Madison County Extension Office, Madison, Fla.
“The contributions of these individuals have left an incredible mark on Florida’s agriculture,” hall of fame president Reggie Brown, who is also executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, Maitland, said in a news release.
“Their tireless, unselfish efforts to promote and protect Florida's greatest industry will be recognized with the agricultural community's highest honor as they are inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame."
The organization called McClure, who died in 2006 after a battle with cancer, one of the state’s most successful tomato growers.
A former board member of the tomato exchange and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Maitland, the hall of fame called McClure, 80, “a man of incredible energy” who had farms throughout Florida as well in Georgia and California.
Griffin, a former board member and past president of Seald Sweet LLC and Florida Citrus Packers Inc., Lakeland, and chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, is being called “one of the giants of the Florida citrus industry.”
The son of a legendary Florida land baron, Griffin became one of the citrus industry’s “most influential people” and helped diversify the family’s agribusiness operations into cattle and sod, according to the release.
Alger, a former FFVA board member and president of the South Florida Tomato and Vegetable Growers Association and the Dade County Farm Bureau, is one of south Florida’s most successful agriculturists, according to the release. The Yale-educated sweet corn grower is known for his becoming an industry spokesman.
Hamrick, referred to as a major force in north Florida agriculture in the release, is credited with helping diversify the region’s tobacco growing industry into pork, poultry, cattle and peaches.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 9 during the Florida State Fair in Tampa.
Click here for more information on the nominees.