FFAA For Fertile Minds: Follow The Leader

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John Quincy Adams, our sixth President, noted: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” In its 79 years of existence, Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association has been blessed with many great leaders who have inspired others in our field. For the past 12 years, FFAA has honored one of its leaders with the association’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Nominations are being accepted through May 13 for FFAA’s next Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Nominations must include a description of the individual’s contributions to the Florida agrichemical industries and FFAA. Please include contact information for the honoree and send the nomination by email to me at mhartney@ffaa.org.

The most recent honoree, Conrad Hardie, a 45-year fertilizer industry leader, received the accolades of his peers during FFAA’s Annual Meeting at The Breakers, Palm Beach. A 5th generation Floridian and lifelong Ft. Pierce resident, Hardie found his calling in Florida’s fertilizer industry after graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Agriculture in 1963. Over the next 45 years, Hardie’s career would see him meet challenges head-on with integrity and honesty, whether it was dealing with a union organization effort or the devastation of a fertilizer blend plant fire. He never forgot his hands-on experiences, from his start pulling soil samples as a sales assistant with W.R. Grace & Co., to the grittier aspects of being a plant manager with Florida and Caribbean territories. He rose to the ranks of President of Lykes Agri Sales, President of Nitram Inc., and his peers elected him to the FFAA Board of Directors for more than 20 years and to the Board of the Fertilizer Industry Roundtable for more than a decade. He was Chairman of the FFAA Board from 1999-2000.

After Lykes Agri Sales was bought by Helena Chemical Co., Hardie served as General Manager of Fertilizer Operations for Helena until his retirement in June 2008. His service to the industry was greatly valued and he was well-deserving of FFAA’s highest award.

Previous FFAA Lifetime Achievement Award winners are:

1999: Edgar Davis, Wauchula
2000: Champ Tunno, Haines City
2001: Perry Sparkman, Orlando (Deceased)
2002: W. B. “Hap” Carson, Plant City
2003: Ed H. Sullivan, Fort Pierce
2004: George C. Lanier, Jr., Winter Haven
2005: Don Webb, Crystal River
2006: Lanny Johnson, Ocala
2007: Jim Bellar, Winter Haven
2008: William L. “Bill” Traylor, Jr., Orlando
2009: Ray L. Bassett, Babson Park

Service to FFAA and our industry is the defining characteristic of these honorees. If you know a leader who is worthy of this honor, please nominate him or her before May 13. We owe a debt of gratitude to these self-less leaders and this is just one way to say, “Thank You!”

Please note: FFAA has moved to Lakeland. Please copy the following information into your contact list for FFAA. Our new address, phone and fax numbers are: FFAA, 302 S. Massachusetts Ave., Suite 119, Lakeland, FL 33801; O: 863-686-4827; F: 863-682-8626. Emails and cell phone numbers remain the same for FFAA President Mary Hartney and FFAA Executive Assistant Amy Pappas.

Mary Hartney is the president/executive director of the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association.

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