Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame
William H. Stuart Sr.
William H. Stuart Sr., who died in 1992, was a farmer by profession and an incorrigible optimist by nature. Throughout his life he demonstrated his love of the land by dedicating his time, talent and treasure in experimenting and encouraging others in citrus production, cattle breeding and the use of soil amendments and fertilizers to enhance native and improved pastures.
Stuart introduced Brahman hybrid vigor in commercial cattle in 1927, when he saw a need for improved cattle quality and disposition. This led to a purebred herd using the first performance testing program in Brahman cattle. He was always an innovator and a pioneer for progress in performance testing, research and marketing of cattle.
Through years of hard work, meticulous record keeping and attention to detail, the W.H. stuart Ranch gained an international reputation as a breeder of performance-tested championship Brahman cattle.
When he needed dolomite, stuart prospected and discovered a deposit which began production in 1936. He joined with others to sell high-calcium lime to growers throughout the state and he got into fertilizer blending to ensure quality and precise analyses.
Stuart cooperated with at least six universities in research on native grasses and various other aspects of beef cattle production.
A native of Polk County, stuart was educated at Erskine College in South Carolina, where he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Stuart was the founding president of the Polk County Cattlemen's Association and served in numerous other cattle organizations. He was one of the original directors of Bartow Memorial Hospital, a founding member of the Bartow Rotary Club and an Elder of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bartow.