TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2016) -- Tickets are on sale for the 37th annual Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet on Feb. 9, which will honor four inductees who have made invaluable contributions to Florida agriculture.
The banquet, which each year celebrates the accomplishments of industry leaders who have served in research, education and business, is held in the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Tickets are $60 per person, and tables of eight are available. Tickets may be purchased online at http://floridaaghalloffame2016.eventbrite.com[floridaaghalloffame2016.eventbrite.com] or by calling 813-230-1918.
“Once again we’ll recognize the tireless efforts of individuals who have worked to promote and protect Florida’s greatest industry. This is the agricultural community’s highest honor,” Reggie Brown, president of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. “Their unselfish contributions have made Florida agriculture stronger.”
The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet reception starts at 5:30 p.m., and the dinner and program begin at 7 p.m. Online ticket sales close Feb. 5.
The Hall of Fame also is accepting nominations for next year. Nomination forms with detailed instructions may be downloaded and printed from the Florida Ag Hall of Fame website[floridaaghalloffame.org]. Click on “Nominate” at the top. Forms and supporting materials must be postmarked no later than Sept. 1, 2016.
This year’s inductees bring the total to 156 who have been honored. They are:
Thomas H. Braddock
A native of Duval County, Braddock attended the University of Florida where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture. His research on interval feeding and other similar studies have assisted cattlemen in Florida and other states in holding down production costs.
Braddock served the Duval County Extension office from 1957 to 1995, including a stint as extension director. He hosted a local television show called “Hi Neighbor” from 1975 to 1991, providing a forum for information about critical agricultural issues.
Braddock and his wife, Mary, have made a significant investment in youth to ensure a healthy agricultural interest for future generations. The Thomas H. Braddock Jr. Trust Agreement pledged $1.7 million to the University of Florida Foundation to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Animal Sciences, and to support the Florida 4-H Leadership Program and the Duval County 4-H program.
Braddock remains active in the Florida agricultural community, managing his cattle and timber operation.
Dr. Charles F. “Chip” Hinton
Born in Nashua, N.H, Hinton grew up in Pensacola. He attended the University of Florida, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and a doctorate in poultry products.
Through his strong leadership on numerous committees and councils, including research, labor, environment and outreach, Hinton’s guidance has led to many advances across Florida agriculture. As executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Hinton worked with growers and UF to develop new varieties. As a result, strawberry production skyrocketed. Hinton also worked with Hillsborough County officials, growers and the nursery industry to establish the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm.
Hinton has mentored countless youth in 4-H and FFA and the students he recruits every year for the University of Florida. He also worked with Dr. Gene Trotter at UF/IFAS to help establish the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
As a consultant for the Florida Association of Food Banks, Hinton formed a partnership with growers to provide fresh produce to the hungry. Farmers Feeding Florida distributed 1 million pounds of fruit and vegetables in its first year. By the fifth year, that number had increased to 22 million pounds.
On a local level, Hinton has helped to shape public policy in Hillsborough County through involvement on numerous boards and advisory committees. He and his wife, Jemy, live in Brandon and have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Dr. Joseph C. Joyce
Joyce was born in Jacksonville. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Alabama, and later earned his doctorate from the University of Florida in forest resources and conservation. He joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1972. The highlight of his career with the Corps was leading a successful effort to manage the invasive water hyacinth in Florida waters. Those programs are still in effect today.
Joyce joined UF/IFAS as director of the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants in 1983. He also has served UF/IFAS as the director of the Center for Natural Resources, interim dean for research, and interim vice president of agriculture and natural resources. He served as the senior associate vice president for 20-plus years, and was the director of the Center for Leadership until his retirement. Joyce also served in the Army Reserves for more than 28 years, retiring at the rank of brigadier general.
Among Joyce’s significant contributions to Florida agriculture are oversight of IFAS fiscal/budget operations, personnel administration, information technology, and facilities planning, operations and management.
He and his wife, Pam, live in Gainesville. They have two sons and five grandsons.
Kempfer was born in Melbourne and graduated from Polk State College with an associate’s degree in animal science. He is partner with his brother and family on Deer Park Ranch-Kempfer Cattle Co. in Brevard and Osceola counties. The ranch is a diversified operation with commercial beef cattle, purebred Brahman and Angus cattle, timber management, a sod company, and wildlife management with Florida’s oldest hunting lease to the same club dating back to 1931.
Kempfer has served on the St. Johns River Water Management Agricultural Advisory Committee since its inception – now as chairman -- and has supported causes that have been beneficial to producers in the district. As president of the St. Johns River Food Producers Association, he represented landowners when the government was establishing new policies regulating agriculture production and water use. As president of the Brevard County and Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Kempfer led the fight for private property rights and environmental issues. Using his mediation skills and diplomacy, Kempfer garnered the respect of ranchers and legislators alike.
Kempfer has provided exceptional leadership and mentoring for more than four decades to countless youth pursuing agricultural interests through 4-H, FFA and IFAS programs. This is evident through his advocacy of IFAS and his commitment to the Animal Science Department. Kempfer allows Deer Park Ranch to serve as a learning laboratory for IFAS youth, extension agents, specialists and faculty.
He and his wife of 49 years, Becky, raised four children on the ranch and now have nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Their three sons and grandchildren are active in the ranching operations.
For more information about this year’s Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honorees and previous inductees, visit FloridaAgHallofFame.org[floridaaghalloffame.org].