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Agriculture Press Release

December 11, 2001

Barbara Carlton named "Woman of the Year in Agriculture"

TALLAHASSEE -- Think back to the popular 1960s television show "The Big Valley." Ranch matriarch Victoria Barkley, played by legendary actress Miss Barbara Stanwyck, rides her horse in from the range, manages the family ranch, raises successful children and, all the while, conducts herself as a prim, proper and charming lady. If you thought that could only happen in Hollywood, think again.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced that another "Barbara," Mrs. Barbara Carlton, has been selected to receive the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award for 2001.

"The name Carlton is legendary in Floridaís agricultural history," Bronson said. "Barbara has carried on the proud tradition of her family name, and is certainly one of the hardest-working women in agriculture."

After her husbandís untimely death, Mrs. Carlton assumed the monumental task of operating a 17,000-acre ranch and citrus operation. A native of Florida, Barbara has always been active on the Mabry Carlton Ranch, and is a pillar of support for youth programs like 4-H, FFA and the Sarasota County Fair. She is an outstanding spokesperson for Floridaís cattle industry and still finds time to be a dedicated mother and grandmother. Again, the stuff Hollywood producers write about.

"Barbara displayed her strength and resolve during some of the worst times," Bronson said. "When cattle and citrus prices were depressed, against all odds, she resisted efforts to divide and urbanize the family ranch and is now recognized as nothing short of a miracle worker."

The "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority. Bronson is scheduled to present the award to Carlton on February 7 during the opening-day luncheon the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Tickets for the event are available by calling the fairgrounds at 1-800-345-3247.

Carlton is the 18th recipient of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. For more information about the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award, as well as biographies and photos of the winners, vist

Previous winners of the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award are:
2000: Helen Houck, of Perry
1999: Vina Jean Banks, of Balm
1998: Nancy Gurnett Hardy, of Winter Haven
1997: Gertrude "Trudy" Carey, of Hillsborough County
1996: Norma Stokes, of Highlands County
1995: Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt, of Clewiston, and Patricia Robbins, of Miami
1994: Anne Wardlaw Dickinson, of Frostproof
1993: Sarah W. Bailey, of St. Johns County
1992: Carol C. Murphy, of Volusia County
1991: Ruth M. Tucker, of Brevard County
1990: Jeanette Barthle, of Pasco County
1989: Belle Jeffords, of Alachua County
1988: Carolyn Reed Kempfer, of Osceola-Brevard counties
1987: Dorothy Conner Shipes, of Lake County
1986: Ruth Wedgworth, of Belle Glade
1985: Jo Ann Smith, of Marion County


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