Gov. Wayne Mixson
An Alabama native, Wayne Mixson is a lifelong farmer. His leadership ability was recognized early and as president of his local county Farm Bureau, he worked tirelessly to get telephones installed in the rural area and to eradicate hog cholera from Florida. After serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, Mixson graduated with honors from the University of Florida. His agricultural leadership won him the job of Director of Organization for Florida Farm Bureau and as Director of Field Services for the Southern Region for the American Farm Bureau, the nationls largest general farm association.
Mixson's career as a statesman began with his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1967. As chairman of the House Agriculture Committee for 8 years, and one of the few full-time farmers in the House of Representatives, he passed hundreds of measures affecting every segment of agriculture during the 11 years he served in the House. As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee, he helped finance agricultural programs. Among the major legislation he sponsored was the bill establishing the Veterinarian College at the University of Florida.
Mixson served as Lt. Governor under Governor Bob Graham from 1979 through 1986. Following Graham's resignation upon his election to the U.S. Senate, Mixson served briefly as Florida's governor in 1987.
For his agricultural contributions, Mixson has been honored with special awards from nearly every agricultural organization in Florida, including being named the IIMan of the Year in Florida Agriculturell by Progres'sive Farmer in 1974 and being selected asa University of Florida Distinguished Alumnus in 1984. He served as chairman for a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences campaign that raised $42 million from 1989 to 1993. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the: Florida Tax Revision Commission, Florida PRIDE, Florida Democratic Party Platform Committee; and, co-chairman of Florida No Casinos, Inc.
He has served on the Florida Property Rights Commission and on the University of Florida Leadership Gifts Committee. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to serve as a Special Ambassador to Equador and he is a founder of the Florida Association of Voluntary Agencies for Caribbean Action.