Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame

George H. Wedgworth

George H. Wedgworth contributed greatly to the viability and growth of the vegetable and sugar industries in the Everglades Agricultural Area. He was instrumental in the formation and operation of the Florida Sugar Cane League and other trade and marketing associations relating to sugar, celery and sweet corn, serving as an officer or director of numerous organizations for many years. He played a prominent role in labor-related activities, advocating improved housing, education and health care for Florida's agricultural workers.

Wedgworth was born in Mississippi, but moved to Belle Glade at an early age. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in agricultural engineering.

As president of Wedgworth Farms, he became a leading celery and vegetable producer and he was a pioneer in developing the sugar industry in the Everglades area in the 1950s.

For more than 20 years, Wedgworth served as chairman of the Florida Sugar Cane League's Environmental Quality Committee, which dealt with water and air quality matters relating to agricultural production in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

Wedgworth Farms Inc. committed $1 million for facilities and endowments at the University of Florida's Everglades Research and Education Center in" Belle Glade. The laboratory is devoted to research and educational programs to improve agricultural production practices, conserve and protect soil and water resources and develop cost-efficient agricultural systems in Palm Beach, Martin, Hendry and Glades counties.

Among numerous honors, Wedgworth was named one of Florida's "Most Influential Men" by Florida Trend magazine and received the Distinguished Service to Florida Agriculture award from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. He was also named by Progressive Farmer magazine as the "Man of the Year In Service to Florida Agriculture" in 1970.

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