Women have played a crucial role in the history of agriculture in Florida. Not only did they raise the children, maintain the home, care for the sick and injured, and provide grounding for the family, they toiled alongside their husband in the fields and pastures. They were the epitome of perseverance, strength, resolve, and dignity.
Since 1985, woman who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture have been honored with the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award. This award, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority, is presented to the recipient during the Florida State Fair in Tampa.
Recipients of the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award have come from all parts of the industry including cattle, vegetables, timber, citrus, row crops, equine, horticulture, tropical fruits, sugar cane, dairy, agricultural journalism, and agricultural education and outreach.
In 2001 the award program was enhanced to help heighten awareness about the women who have helped make Florida agriculture into the important industry that it is today. Since then, a documentary video about each new recipient has been shown during the award ceremony, and a booklet outlining her contributions to agriculture distributed to those in attendance.
Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award Recipients
|2011||Sarah K. Childs||Lake Placid|
|2009||Marcia Lightsey||Lake Wales|
|2008||Patsy Nathe||Dade City|
|2004||Martina "Teena" Borek||Homestead|
|2003||Jennie Lee Zipperer||Fort Myers|
|2002||Annette Barnett Land||Branford|
|1999||Vina Jean Banks||Balm|
|1998||Nancy Gurnett Hardy||Winter Haven|
|1997||Gertrude "Trudy" Carey||Hillsborough County|
|1996||Norma Stokes||Highlands County|
|1995||Louve "Vee" Frierson Platt||Clewiston|
|1994||Anne Wardlaw Dickinson||Frostproof|
|1993||Sarah W. Bailey||St. Johns County|
|1992||Carol C. Murphy||Volusia County|
|1991||Ruth M. Tucker||Brevard County|
|1990||Jeanette Barthle||Pasco County|
|1989||Belle Jeffords||Alachua County|
|1988||Carolyn Reed Kempfer||Osceola-Brevard|
|1987||Dorothy Conner Shipes||Lake County|
|1986||Ruth Wedgworth||Belle Glade|
|1985||Jo Ann Smith||Marion County|