Agriculture Press Release

December 15, 1998

Nancy Hardy Named Woman of The Year in Agriculture

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that Nancy Gurnett Hardy has been selected to receive the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award for 1998.

Hardy, of Winter Haven, is the 15th recipient of the award, which recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

"For more than 30 years, Nancy Hardy has helped keep the public and the industry informed about the Florida citrus industry and the significance of agriculture to Floridas economy," Crawford said. "She is a dedicated and trusted reporter among growers, shippers, processors and others involved in the citrus industry."

A native Floridian, Hardy worked with her father, John D. "Jack" Gurnett, in reporting on the citrus industry for his own newsletter and other trade publications until his death in 1968. She then took over operation of the weekly newsletter, "The Florida Citrus Reporter," as well as reporting on the citrus industry in "The Produce News," and later for "Citrus Industry Magazine."

Hardy has covered good times and bad times in the citrus industry, including the impact of issues concerning production, processing and marketing, while maintaining the confidence and respect of all segments of the industry.

Gordon Hochberg, editor of The Produce News, once noted that Hardy "has to balance her goal of writing every story fairly, accurately and evenhandedly with her unabashed love of the Florida citrus industry and her desire to see it healthy and prosperous. This is a tough act to balance, but balance it she always does. She is too conscientious, too tough, too professional to do otherwise."

In addition to her reporting activities, Hardy has been on the board of directors of the Florida Citrus Showcase for 15 years. She also speaks frequently about the citrus industry to various civic organizations and schools.

Among numerous awards, Hardy has been honored for her reporting by the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Southern College Citrus Institute, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association.

The "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair.

Crawford is scheduled to present the award to Hardy on February 4, during the opening-day luncheon at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Tickets for the event are available by calling the fairgrounds at 800-345-3247.

Previous winners of the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award include:

1997: Gertrude "Trudy" Carey of Hillsborough County, manager of family beef and cattle businesses and promoter of the beef industry.

1996: Norma Stokes of Highlands County, a cattlewoman and effective communicator for the cattle industry and Florida agriculture.

1995: Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt of Clewiston, sugar cane grower and supporter of Glades farmers, and Patricia Robbins of Miami, executive director of Farm Share Inc., a non-profit food recovery and distribution organization.

1994: Anne Wardlaw Dickinson of Frostproof, an educator and promoter of Florida agriculture involved in citrus and cattle production.

1993: Sarah W. Bailey of St. Johns County, a cattlewoman active in agricultural and environmental issues.

1992: Carol C. Murphy, owner and operator of a foliage-production business in Volusia County.

1991: Ruth M. Tucker, Brevard County cattlewoman.

1990: Jeanette Barthle, Pasco County cattlewoman.

1989: Belle Jeffords, owner and operator of a cattle and farming operation in Alachua County.

1988: Carolyn Reed Kempfer, owner and operator of the 30,000-acre Deer Park Ranch in Osceola and Brevard counties.

1987: Dorothy Conner Shipes, a Lake County citrus grower and former Florida Citrus Commission member.

1986: Ruth Wedgworth, a businesswoman, farmer, and civic leader from Belle Glade.

1985: Jo Ann Smith, former assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Marion County rancher.


For more information:

Richard Gunnels
Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

Return to Agriculture News and Press Releases