The 1987 Winner: Dorothy Conner Shipes
Dorothy Conner Shipes was "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" for 1987. She was the third recipient of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. As a wife, mother of eight, businesswoman and civic leader, she has demonstrated true leadership in her family, in agriculture and in her community.
Shipes is a Lake County citrus grower and former Florida Citrus Commission member. President of Ocklawaha Nurseries, Inc., of Lake Jem, she has operated production groves and the nursery for most of her life. Although citrus is her primary interest, she also works to produce, promote and market ornamentals and vegetables.
Shipes’ concern for the citrus industry reaches far beyond the boundaries of her own business. She is the first woman director and vice president of Florida Citrus Mutual and the second woman appointed to the Florida Citrus Commission. After the 1983 and 1985 freezes that devastated Lake County citrus growers, Shipes was instrumental in mobilizing efforts to replant the area.
An adviser to the Citrus Foundation Experimental Farm, Shipes is a former director of the Florida Citrus Showcase and member of the Lake-Orange Counties Extension Advisory Council.
Other areas of her agricultural contributions include service as the past president and former director of the Lake County Farm Bureau. Her leadership led to the recognition of Lake County in 1986 as one of the outstanding county farm bureaus in the state.
Her dedication and service extend beyond agriculture. Shipes has been active in the Parent Teacher Association, Girl and Boy Scouts, the vestry at St. Edwards Episcopal Church in Lake Jem and the community garden club. She also has worked closely with Valencia Community College to promote continued education for women in agriculture.