Florida Agriculture Hall of FameThe future of Florida agriculture depends on the vision and contributions of farm and ranch leaders. Their advocacy, research and mentorship efforts create an environment of agricultural excellence in Florida.

Each year, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame Foundation honor those who have served the agricultural community with distinction. Since 1980, 144 members have been inducted, and in 2016, four more honorees were added to that distinguished list of leaders: Thomas H. Braddock, Dr. Charles “Chip” F. Hinton, Dr. Joseph C. Joyce and Billy Kempfer.

Commissioner Putnam says the 2016 honorees set a high standard.

“Every new generation of agricultural leaders builds on the achievements of those who preceded them, and these four men have dedicated their lives to advancing Florida’s agriculture industry and mentoring our youth.”

Braddock, who manages a cattle and timber operation, first led the 4-H Youth Development program for the Duval County Extension office in 1957 and served as extension director until 1995. Through his $1.7 million donation to support 4-H and the University of Florida Department of Animal Sciences, Braddock continues to ensure a strong ag community.

Hinton guided many Florida ag advancements through as the executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. Through his initiatives, strawberry production in the state skyrocketed. He also helped establish the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm, the Wedgworth Leadership Institute and Farmers Feeding Florida.

Joyce retired after a notable career at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He was a faculty member, director of the Center for Natural Resources, and senior associate vice president and director of the IFAS Center for Leadership. He made significant contributions to Florida agriculture, including adding 800,000 square feet of research, teaching and extension space across the state.

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Kempfer, a partner in the Deer Park Ranch-Kempfer Cattle Company, is chair of the St. Johns River Water Management Agricultural Advisory Committee. He has also served as president of the St. Johns River Food Producers Association and president of the Brevard County and Florida Cattlemen’s Association. In these positions, he has led efforts to protect the environment and uphold landowners’ rights. He is a longtime advocate and supporter of 4-H, FFA, and IFAS programs as well.

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