A University of Florida Extension agent for almost four decades whose work focused on citrus is being inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame.
John Jackson was an Extension agent for the university’s Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences in Central Florida for 38 years, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. While there, Jackson encouraged citrus growers to use reclaimed water for irrigation and established the Mid Florida Citrus Foundation.
He started two weather alert systems — Weather Watch and Florida Automated Weather Network — alerting growers to freeze and other weather events, assisting them in crop protection efforts, according to the release.
Jackson also founded the Florida 4-H Citrus Project and revitalized the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.
He initiated grower meetings in the citrus industry and promoted the use of technology in farming, according to the release.
“It’s an honor to recognize the outstanding leadership and contributions of those hard at work improving Florida’s second largest industry,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in the release. “Their undeniable commitment exemplifies the excellence of Florida agriculture.”
Hugh Fred Dietrich III, a rancher, educator and auctioneer; and Robbie Roberson, a nursery operator and founding member of the Florida Foliage Association, are the two other inductees into the hall of fame this year.
Inductees will be honored at a Feb. 11 banquet.