Meet the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductees and learn about their contributions to the Florida citrus industry.

Formed in 1962, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame pays “tribute to those who have made outstanding contributions to the Florida citrus industry.” They recently announced the inductees for 2023. See excerpts from a Growing Produce article about the contributions of the new Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductees.

Details of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductees

Excerpts from the article:

Franklin Gilbert Bowen (1928-2022). He “was a leader, not only in his family’s operations but in the Florida citrus industry. His father worked as a grove caretaker and by the age of 12 he was working in the groves, grafting trees and other jobs. He and his brother eventually formed Bowen Brothers, Inc., initially operating as fruit brokers, later adding a harvesting and groves division, and becoming extremely successful. During his tenure there, Bowen guided the company through numerous obstacles including citrus canker, droughts, freezes, global trade issues, and more.

Bowen helped countless growers and others with their success in the industry, including funding research which brought low-volume microjet irrigation to Florida. Over the years, he participated in many research projects with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, dealing with budwood development for the ‘Rhode Red’ Valencia orange and working toward finding greening resistant citrus trees.”

Alfred Graham Smith (1862-1942). He “was born in Prattville, AL, during the Civil War. He was instrumental in the early growth of the citrus industry in Florida, primarily in what at that time was DeSoto County. He arrived as a station agent in 1886 with Florida Southern Railroad and acquired thousands of acres, including orange groves and much of what became downtown Wauchula. He was one of oldest growers and shippers of citrus in Florida and, in 1888, he was the first grower to ship citrus via railroad from Wauchula, building his first packinghouse there in 1896. He eventually had two packinghouses with 22 employees and continued to update and modernize the packinghouses the rest of his life.

He was one of the founding fathers of Wauchula and elected Wauchula Alderman upon its incorporation in 1902. He established the Bank of Wauchula in 1907 for citrus growers, serving as President and then on the board of directors for more than 20 years.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.