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Agriculture Press Release

October 10, 2002

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame to induct four in 2003

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation today announced the agricultural leaders who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in February 2003.

They are: Arlen Jumper of Fort McCoy, a longtime supporter of industry and university cooperative research projects and industry leader in citrus, turfgrasses and seed production; the late Richard "Dick" Minton Sr. of Fort Pierce, a pioneer in the citrus and fertilizer industries, founder of Pioneer Ag Chem Inc., and past president of Seald Sweet Growers; Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts of Tallahassee, Deputy Commissioner for Food Safety with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and former Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture; and Dr. Kenneth D. Tefertiller of Gainesville, professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Food and Resource Economics and former vice president of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

"Florida agriculture owes an immense debt of gratitude to these outstanding leaders," Bronson said. "Their dedicated service in the areas of research, education, business and government helped make Florida agriculture into the remarkable industry that is known and admired around the world."

They will be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame during the 25th annual awards celebration February 11, 2003, during the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Ninety-six people have been inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame; these four inductees will bring the total to 100.

"The contributions of these individuals have left an indelible mark on Florida agriculture," said Reggie Brown, president of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. "Their tireless, unselfish efforts to promote and protect Florida’s greatest industry will be recognized

with the agricultural community’s highest honor as they are inducted into the 2003 Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame."

Tickets to the event will be available in early 2003. For ticket information, contact Chuck Smith at (813) 628-4551.

Arlen Jumper

One of Arlen Jumper’s football coaches at the University of Florida once said that Jumper played above his physical abilities in order to excel. That same dedication to excellence has defined his career in Florida agriculture for more than 40 years.

Arlen Neil "Ole Jump" Jumper was born in Waco, Texas, on October 16, 1931. Successful at both academics and athletics from an early age, his accomplishments in football earned him the athletic scholarships that provided his college education, including a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Florida.

In the 1950s, Jumper interrupted his education to serve in the U.S. Navy for three years: two as an engineering officer on a minesweeper and one as an instructor in naval mine warfare. Returning to the University of Florida, he earned a master’s degree in agriculture, including studies in citrus, horticulture and animal science.

His employment career began in 1958 with the Park Williams Fruit Company in Leesburg, where he took over management of 1,000 acres of mature citrus groves that had been damaged in the freeze of 1957, and converted the production programs to high fertility and chemical pest control methods. As the director of agricultural research and assistant manager for Libby, McNeil & Libby, he managed the production program of 6,000 acres of citrus in Lake, Orange, Polk, and Marion counties.

From 1963 to 1981, Jumper served as general manager for the Ocala Manufacturing Ice and Packing Company, where he evaluated, selected, and managed property in Palm Beach County; managed 40,000 acres of timberland in Marion and Alachua counties; and developed numerous subdivisions in Marion and Levy counties.

For two years in the mid 1980s he was project coordinator for the Miami-based Edward J. Gerrits, Inc., where his responsibilities included obtaining financing, permitting, developing, sales, maintenance, and evaluation of proposed investment projects. For the last 14 years, Jumper has owned and managed the Jones Turf Grass Farm in McCoy, which produces all the major Florida turf grass varieties.

He has held many positions in Florida’s agricultural industry, including director of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, president of the Florida Peach Growers Association, and director of the Florida Sod Growers Co-op.

Jumper’s contributions to Florida agriculture are considerable, and include being involved with the University of Florida’s agricultural research for more than 40 years.  While with Libby, McNeil & Libby he cooperated with many agencies on research such as citrus cold-hardiness trials; testing of commercial peach varieties; and pollination research in Orlando tangelos. As president and director of Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Jumper oversaw the distribution of new varieties of seed and stock developed by university researchers, including citrus, tomatoes and peaches.

In 1971 Jumper was appointed to the Florida Citrus Commission by Governor Ruben Askew and was reappointed by Askew and then by Governor Bob Graham. His 10-year tenure on the commission was highlighted by two terms as chairman in which he was active in the development of Florida’s foreign citrus trade with Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and European markets.

Jumper’s many honors include being named Outstanding Citrus Grower by the University of Florida Citrus Society in 1972. He was featured in a story and on the cover of Florida Citrus magazine in 1981 and in 1982 was nominated for the Florida Farm Bureau’s Man of the Year.

For many years, Jumper has attended the First Baptist Church in Ocala, where he has

served as Sunday School Teacher, Decipleship Training Instructor, and member of the Building Committee. At home, Jumper and his wife, Celete, enjoy spending every possible moment with their three daughters and five grandchildren.

Richard Minton

Oma Richard "Dick" Minton Sr. was born July 20, 1925, in Hastings, to a pioneering agricultural family that had farmed potatoes in that area for three generations. The family moved to Vero Beach in 1933 and later to Fort Pierce. Minton bought his first citrus grove at the age of 17 when the Indian River region was still in its agricultural infancy, and was active throughout his life to help develop Indian River citrus into the premier product it is today.

He continued to acquire and develop groves, and in 1963 built what was, at the time, the most modern citrus packing house in the world. Located on Kings Highway in Fort Pierce, the family-operated Minton Sun has grown to become a vertically integrated company, handling both fresh and processed citrus.

During Minton’s distinguished career, he was a member of a number of community and industry organizations and a leader of many of them. He was on the board of directors and vice chairman of the Florida National Bank. He was president of the Fort Pierce Jaycees and also served as president of the St. Lucie County Board of Realtors. He was active in the First United Methodist Church of Fort Pierce. And he was also a leader in Florida’s Soil and Water Conservation Program, which has been vital to to the development of agriculture throughout the state.

Minton contributed to Florida’s agricultural industry in many ways. In addition to developing a successful family citrus operation, he served as president and chairman of the Florida Citrus Production Manager’s Association; president and chairman of the board of the Seald Sweet Growers; director of Plymouth Citrus Producers Coop; president and chairman of the board of directors of Florigold Growers; member and director of the executive committee of the Indain River Citrus League; and director of the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association.

His contributions reached well beyond the citrus industry. He was a leader in soil and water conservation efforts as an active member of the Florida Association of Conservation Districts; president of the Florida Soil and Water Conservation District; and chairman of the Fort Pierce Farms Drainage District. He served as president and chairman of the board of the Florida State Horticultural Society, a large scientific/educational organization of all horticultural groups in Florida. He was also president of the Florida Agricultural Council, an organization which has helped generate millions of dollars in state funds for agricultural research, education, and protection programs.

Minton earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1968 from the University of Florida, and of all the activities with which he was connected, the ones he cherished most were those involved with the university and its Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He was one of 10 people who started the SHARE (Special Help for Agricultural Research and Education) program, which has raised more than $75 million to support the statewide programs of the university. He was a leader in the DARE (Developing Agricultural Resources Effectively) program. And he was chairman of the building committee for the Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Citrus Hall at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

Among the many honors he received were the 1986 Outstanding Conservationist of the Year award, presented by the St. Lucie Soil and Conservation District; the Florida Citrus Packers

Outstanding Service Award, 1972-1974; and an Appreciation for Dedicated Service to Florida Agriculture from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Minton passed away on October 19, 1996. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Longino Minton, and four children.

Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts

During her 34-year career with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts has contributed to Florida’s agriculture industry as a scientific authority, industry counselor, strategist, and partner in the endeavors of Florida producers. In her current capacity as deputy commissioner, Dr. Roberts’ responsibilities include food safety, pesticides, fertilizers, seeds, agricultural water policy, soil and water conservation, animal feeds, aquaculture and the dairy and animal industries.

Dr. Roberts was born in Oxford, Mississippi, on August 11, 1939. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology summa cum laud from North Georgia College in 1960 and a master’s degree in 1961 from the University of Georgia, where she also earned a doctorate in microbiology in 1965.

She began her career with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a microbiologist/chemist in the Food Laboratory in 1968-1970 and as assistant chief from 1970-1972. She became chief of the Food Laboratory as well as assistant commissioner of agriculture in1984 and remained in those positions until 1991 when she was appointed deputy commissioner of food safety.

She has participated in and been appointed to federal advisory groups, dozens of committees, workshops and associations, providing technical or strategic input to, among others, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She served as president of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (comprised of all states, FDA and USDA). She was instrumental in organizing the Conference for Food Protection, a national body to set food safety standards for all states. Her accomplishments are many and varied, and have included making possible federal support of critical pest eradication programs and being instrumental in gaining cooperation and Environmental Protection Agency approval to use chemicals necessary to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly during the 1997-1998 infestation.

By serving as a prominent authority on food safety issues, Dr. Roberts enables producers, packers and processors to minimize food contamination and ensure the highest quality products for consumers. As a member of the Institute of Food Technologists’ Science Advisory Board, she provided extensive input regarding the group’s scientific review and analysis of issues in food safety, food processing and human health.

She also spearheaded the formation of the Suwannee River Basin Nutrient Management Working Group, a 26-member public-private partnership formed to assess nutrient loadings to the Suwannee River Watershed and effect reductions via voluntary, incentive-based programs.

Dr. Roberts directed development and implementation of the Commissioner of Agriculture’s Ag-Environmental Leadership Awards Program, now in its ninth year, that annually recognizes practices used by Florida’s growers and ranchers to protect wildlife, manage pesticides and nutrients, protect water quality, and conserve soil and water. In 1996, she envisioned the creation of the Office of Agricultural Water Policy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and today it remains the only water policy office housed within a state

Outstanding Service Award, 1972-1974; and an Appreciation for Dedicated Service to Florida Agriculture from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Minton passed away on October 19, 1996. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Longino Minton, and four children.

Dr. Kenneth Tefertiller

Dr. Kenneth Ray Tefertiller is an agricultural economist, teacher, university administrator and international consultant who has worked during the past three decades to strengthen Florida’s dynamic and diverse agricultural and natural resource industries.

As vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources and chief executive officer of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), Dr. Tefertiller provided leadership to expand and enhance statewide teaching, research, and extension programs that benefitted not only the agricultural and natural resources industry, but all of Florida’s citizens. Under his leadership, UF/IFAS became a national model for its work with agriculture and natural resource industries, rural families, and youth. Approaches were developed that strengthened Florida’s agricultural competitiveness through expanded programs in production technology, marketing, biotechnology, low energy technology, and water quality. Dr. Tefertiller’s goal was to enhance Florida’s agriculture nationally and internationally, and he achieved it through strong research and far-reaching educational initiatives.

Dr. Tefertiller was born in Noble, Oklahoma, on May 2, 1930. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science in 1952 and a master’s degree in agricultural economics in 1957 from Oklahoma State University. In 1959 he earned a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.

His university career began after serving in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954, where he attained the rank of major. From 1955-1965, he held positions as instructor at Oklahoma State University, graduate fellow at the University of Illinois, and associate professor and chairman of the Production Economics Section in the Department of Agricultural Economics Sociology at Texas A&M University.

In 1965 he joined the University of Florida as professor and chairman of the Department of Food and Resource Economics and held the title of director of the Center for Community and Rural Development from 1972-1973. In 1973 he became UF vice president for agricultural affairs and in 1976 director of Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations and Florida Cooperative Extension Service, both positions lasting until 1988.

Outstanding Service Award, 1972-1974; and an Appreciation for Dedicated Service to Florida Agriculture from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Minton passed away on October 19, 1996. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Ann Longino Minton, and four children.


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