Flashback – 30th FFVA convention draws industry praise

From The Harvester, October 1973

New officers were elected during the 10th annual FFVA convention held at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood last month.

Buford W. Council handed the presidential gavel over to newly elected FFVA President L.A. Masters during ceremonies at the annual banquet. Masters told the audience that he was flattered and honored and would do his best to carry on the weighty responsibilities of the president.

Retiring FFVA President Council was named Vice President and Joffre C. David was renamed Secretary-Treasurer.

Four new district directors were named: John I. Whitworth, Pompano Beach; Cola B. Streetman, Vero Beach; O.D. (Buddy) Huff, McIntosh; and Dan P. McClure, Bradenton.

Serving as hold-over district directors are: Richard T. Alger, Homestead; W.D. Barbieux, Leesburg; J.W. Beardsley, Clewiston; John W. Evans, Oviedo; Kenneth W. Griffin, Elkton; L.J. Nobles Jr., Immokalee; Billy Rogers, South Bay; and Vance V. Vogel, Gibsonton.

Many individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture were honored for their achievements during the convention.

During the opening luncheon, three researchers were given individual recognition for work they had done during the year. Leon W. Miller, chairman of FFVA’s Research Committee, presented awards to: Donald T. Burgis, for his work on recommendations on herbicides for vegetables in the sand lands of Florida and for work in tomato breeding; Dr. William A. Simanton for ecological surveys and forecasts of citrus pesticide processes; and to Dr. Thurmond T. Hatton Jr., for his efforts in the field of avocado and mango ripeness and storage.

Highlighting the annual banquet was the presentation of FFVA’s coveted Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented annually to the individual who has done the most for Florida agriculture over a period of years.

J. Abney Cox, former FFVA president and current president of United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, presented this year’s award to M.F. “Bing” Miller, field representative, Fruit and Vegetable Division, USDA. Cox praised Miller for his consistent attitude of service to the growers of the state without regard for his personal welfare. Nearly 1,000 persons were on hand to watch the presentation.

“We need to encourage youth to get into or stay in agriculture,” was a recurring theme during the convention, with many conversations focusing on the topic.  The association has long been aware of the need to encourage youth in agriculture and as early as 1956 was helping to encourage young college-bound students to major in agriculture, or in the case of farm youngsters, to complete their formal education in the agricultural college. Since money, or lack of it, was often the problem, FFVA established the Nathan Mayo Agricultural Loan Fund at the University of Florida in 1956. Through June of this year, 601 loans have been made totaling nearly $90,000.

According to a university official, the total enrollment for the College of Agriculture increased more than 20 percent from fall of 1972 to fall of 1973. This is encouraging, and efforts should be made to continue this trend. An America without qualified agriculturalists can easily become an America without food.

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