The 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.
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