Commissioner Adam H. Putnam


Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

Dr. J. Wanye Reitz

Dr. J. Wayne Reitz was an agricultural economist, teacher, university administrator and international consultant during his long and distinguished career.

Born in Kansas, Reitz was educated at Colorado State University, the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin, where he received his Ph.D.

He was a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Florida for 10 years before working for the United Growers and Shippers Association in Orlando. While with the association, Reitz helped organize the Florida Agricultural Council, which continues today to review and support agricultural programs at UFo After returning to UF as provost for agriculture, Reitz consolidated the functions of teaching, research and extension at the department level within the College of Agriculture, making the programs more e~fective for students, agricultural producers and other citizens.

In 1955, Reitz was selected as the fifth president of the University of Florida. During his 12-year term as president, UF was the first state university to integrate. Reitz also managed the campus during a period of unprecedented growth in student enrollment and the physical plant. The student union building was later named after Reitz, reflecting his commitment to the interests of students.

Reitz continued his activities on behalf of students as Director of University Programs in the U.S. Office of Education. He later served as an international consultant and as Director of International Studies and Programs at UF During his career, Reitz has served on numerous national and international committees dealing with agriculture and education.

Among his awards, he was named "Man of the Year In Service to Florida Agriculture" by Progressive Farmer magazine, received the "outstanding citizen" award from the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Cross of Balboa by the Republic of Panama.


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