– Four new members to be inducted into Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford has announced the names of the four new members to be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Florida State Fair in February.
George H. Wedgworth, Elton L. Hinton, Dr. J. Wayne Reitz, and Latimer H. Turner will be honored for their lifelong contributions to Florida agriculture during a reception and banquet at the fair on February 15, 1994.
The new members will join 56 others already in the Hall. Wedgworth, FFVA past president (1965-1967) joins three other FFVA past presidents in the Hall of Fame. They are Andrew Duda, Jr. (1953-1955), Vance Vogel (1975-1977) and Peter S. Harlee (1977-1979).
Those inducted into the Hall of Fame were each nominated by an agricultural group or association. The Hall of Fame qualification committee then screened all nominees to select this year’s inductees. Commissioner Crawford, commenting on the nominations, said, “The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame serves as an enduring tribute to those who have devoted their lives to improving agriculture, their community and state. These individuals certainly qualify for the state’s highest agricultural honor.”
George H. Wedgworth is president of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida and president of Wedgworth Farms. He is a pioneer in the development of Florida’s sugar and vegetable industries in the Everglades Agricultural Area. Wedgworth was instrumental in the formation and operation of the Florida Sugar Cane League and other trade and marketing associations relating to sugar, celery and sweet corn, serving as an officer or director of numerous organizations for many years. He also played a prominent role in labor-related activities, advocating for improved housing, education and health care for Florida’s agricultural workers.
Elton L. Hinton, a retired educator, was a leader and innovator in vocational agricultural education, as well as a producer and promoter of Florida’s strawberry industry. A founding member of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Hinton was a leader during his career in numerous civic and professional organizations at the local, state and national level.
Dr. Wayne Reitz was an agricultural economist who served as provost for agriculture and president of the University of Florida during a period of dramatic changes in the 1950s and ‘60s. He also worked for the United Growers and Shippers Association in Orlando, where he helped organize the Florida Agricultural Council.
Latimer H. Turner, who is being honored posthumously, was a prominent Sarasota cattleman and civic leader who worked at the local, state and national levels on agricultural tax and land-use issues.