The 1992 Winner: Carol C. Murphy
Carol C. Murphy was "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" for 1992. She was the eighth recipient of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. Murphy’s courage to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and make good on her dream to create and sustain a foliage operation is an inspiration to all. She has built a business in Florida agriculture with a never-say-no attitude.
Murphy left Fort Lauderdale to pursue the wide-open pastoral spaces of western Volusia County and begin her adventure with agriculture. She packed everything she owned to move to a locality where she knew no one and pursue a new way of life. In 1978, Murphy purchased vacant land in DeLeon Springs that she parlayed into a 70-acre farm, with approximately one-sixth of it set aside for ornamental greens. As the sole proprietor and president of Fancy Foliage, Inc., she has personally developed the ornamental greens that include leatherleaf, tree fern and sprengeri.
Murphy not only has persevered through the daily activities of a labor-intensive operation, but she has weathered the freeze-plagued decade of the 1980s. She single-handedly protected her ornamentals from the 1989 Christmas freeze by running her irrigation pumps for 71 continuous hours.
When Murphy isn’t at home in her fernery, she likely is devoting her time to agriculture organizations. She is active in the Florida Fern Growers Association, the Putnam-Volusia Extension cut Foliage Advisory Committee, the Central Florida Fern Cooperative and the Florida Farm Bureau.