Florida Citrus Community Loses Legend

Lifetime Of LeadershipThe Florida citrus industry has lost a friend and a leader in the passing of E. Stanley (Stan) Carter at age 74. A native of Indian River County, Carter was a life-long citrus grower and advocate. Both his grandparents and parents were pioneers in the Indian River citrus industry.

Before his passing, Carter served as citrus grove division manager for McArthur Farms for 23 years. Though he had many interests, he was a citrus grower at his core and a cheerleader for orange juice and grapefruit, which he referred to as “the world’s finest.”

Carter was very active in various state citrus organizations, most notably the Indian River Citrus League where he served on the board from 2004-2012 (president in 2006 and chairman 2007-2009). He served on the Florida Citrus Commission from 2007-2011. He was a member of the Florida Production Managers Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Farm Bureau, and Jaycees.

His council was valued throughout the state. He severed on the advisory board of the St. Lucie County Extension Service and on the advisory board of the Indian River Citrus Research and Education Center.

His achievements were many, but he will be remembered by many for his role in helping to create Florida’s BMPs program to preserve the state’s waters. Carter was recognized for these efforts with the 2002 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award. He represented agriculture as a calming voice during the heated debate over water in the late 1990s.

Carter was instrumental in building the template that would become Florida’s BMP program, which is today administrated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He often said: “I am not an environmental activist; I am an active environmentalist.”

“Stan was one of the most thoughtful, industry-first people that I’ve ever met,” says Doug Bournique, executive vice president of the Indian River Citrus League. “He provided industry leadership on the BMPs program that eventually went statewide. A true leader, and he will be missed by all.”

“Stan Carter was unselfishly devoted to the Indian River citrus industry,” says Brian Boman, an ag engineer from UF/IFAS. “He will be missed for years to come.  I spent many hours with him during the development of the Indian River citrus BMPs. Amid all the turmoil and accusations surrounding the issues with the Indian River and Lagoon at the time, he was the voice of reason. He stressed that growers should embrace the BMPs not because they had to, but because it was the right thing to do. He was a wise and humble giant of the industry.”

Other awards and recognitions include: Legend Of The River award; Florida Sustainable Environmental Leadership Award; Florida Agriculture Commissioner’s Ag-Environmental Leadership Award; and St. Lucie County Conservation Award.

Carter is survived by his wife Joyce Carole; son Matthew Carter and granddaughters Samantha and Hope Marie Carter; brother Marvin Carter and wife Ruth; sister Joye Brooks and husband Dennis.

Carter’s funeral service will be held Dec. 28, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Christ Church in Vero Beach.

If you would like to share memories or thoughts on Stan Carter’s life and service to the citrus industry, please share them in the reader comments section below.

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6 comments on “Florida Citrus Community Loses Legend

  1. The citrus industry and I lost a friend, mentor and great person. I will miss our times on the golf course and the contageous laugh that Stan brought with him. We’re crying but the angels are laughing.

  2. When I first moved out of grove care operations into fruit procurement my old friend Jack Murphy introduced me to Stan. The stories those two told of old times was both humorous and amazing as to how things “Used to be”. Stan was a legend and will not be forgotten. RIP old buddy and may God Bless your family in this time of need.

  3. Yes, Stan will be missed. The relatively little time we shared together as cooperators in field trials and seeking legislative relief regarding windbreaks was sufficient to learn why he is one of the good guys. Stan always seemed genuinely friendly with a wonderful sense of humor and calmness. I always sensed in Stan his interest in learning and observed his low-key but effective leadership style while a group of us was in Tallahassee. Stan’s passing reminds me of a line from a famous poem: “Do no ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for the.” He took seriously his role in guarding our industry ands seemed to enjoy it, if not draw strength from that role. However, at the end of the day, I just liked Stan.
    Bill Castle, professor emeritus, UF/CREC, Lake Alfred

  4. Stan was a giant in many terms, but in his faith, first. Outside of his constant encouragement, two specific times with Stan will stay with me forever. The first, when I was first elected to Chair the Florida Citrus Commission (Stan served with me), I made this comment to Stan “This is going to be a huge task to accomplish, a little daunting quite honestly”, and here is what Stan said to me, “just put one foot in front of the other and keep looking forward, and I’ll be shoulder to shoulder with you all the way”. In that moment I knew of his character and friendship. Second, right after Stan became aware of his cancer, Ralph called me and let me know. I immediately called Stan, prayed with him, and in typical Stan fashion, he drew his strength from Christ, and was so upbeat it was amazing. When I hung up the phone with him, I thought to myself, I called to love on Stan, and he blessed me in an unbelievable way. That was a clear picture of the magnitude of his faith. That was just Stan, and I for one will miss my brother. I’m thankful that God allowed my path to intersect with his. He is celebrating Christmas at the throne of Christ. Joyce Carole, we love you, and if a need ever comes up that we can help with, we are a phone call away! God blessed Stan Carter and all of us through him!!!!

  5. I met Stan in the early 80’s on Merritt Island and became one of his many, many friends when he moved back to Vero Beach and worked for McArthur Farms. He indeed loved our citrus industry and was a valuable voice of wisdom for many years. May he rest in peace.

  6. Stan Carter took the recomendation of our friend Lou Forget, to give me a chance at doing a “round of spray”, that round lasted for about 10 years. After that most of my opportunities in citrus came on Stan’s recomendations. He had such calmness and confidence about him, as a leader in our field ,he accomplished many things without ever raising his voice.—maybe just a sermon or two. We all know he’s still having morning cofee and selling some fruit. He will be missed.

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