Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

Latimer H. Turner

The late Latimer H. Turner played an important role in shaping Florida's cattle industry. As president of the Sarasota Livestock Association in the late 1950s, Turner worked with state and federal officials to devise strategies and to raise funds to eliminate the screwworm, which plagued Florida cattle.

A native of Manatee County and graduate of the University of Florida, Turner was co-owner and president of Hi Hat Ranch, a 150,000-acre cattle and citrus operation in eastern Sarasota County.

He founded and twice served as president of the Florida Agricultural Tax Council, which helped draft the Greenbelt Law and lobbied for its passage and preservation. The law provides for the tax assessment of farmland on the basis of its productivity, rather than its development potential, which has enabled many farmers and ranchers to remain in business despite encroaching development.

Turner was a member of the board of directors Cattlemen's Association for 28 years and served as organization's 16th president. As chairman of the of the Florida the tax committee of the National Cattlemen's Association, Turner was instrumental in getting the inheritance tax law changed so that productive farms and ranches would not have to be sold to pay estate taxes following the owner's death.

Turner was often called upon by local, state and federal officials to serve on boards and committees dealing with land use, tax and agricultural issues. He also served on the board of directors of several banks and was active in civic and charitable organizations.

He was recognized by Progressive Farmer magazine as "Man of the Year In Service to Florida Agriculture" in 1972. He was also honored by the Jaycees, the Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents and the Sarasota Kiwanis Club, among others.

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