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Florida agriculture reflects on its past

This column first appeared in the Fort Myers News-Press on Aug. 6.

Every year at this time, Florida agriculture reflects on its past and identifies a few of the remarkable men and women of our community for special recognition. We submit the names and accomplishments of those who have contributed their time, talents and resources for the benefit of the agricultural community and the people of Florida to the nominating committee of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Without all these people, Florida agriculture would not be the bulwark of the state’s economy, nor would it be the standard for excellence recognized throughout the world.

Once the nominees are chosen, we gather to celebrate each of them individually and to watch as they are inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame before their families, friends and colleagues. Each year, we watch the profiles of the year’s inductees, the records of their work and the obstacles they fought to overcome, reflecting on the fruits of their labors, not just on their farm or ranch but for agriculture and for Florida.

These men and women, with the support of their families and their businesses, have worked hard to grow and harvest their crops, develop scientific knowledge and grow the economy of Florida, spending time and resources that could have gone to other people and other causes.