Florida Reveals Its Latest Woman of the Year in Agriculture

Florida Reveals Its Latest Woman of the Year in Agriculture

For some people, it’s plain to see the drive and passion in what they do for a living. This is certainly the case — and then some — when it comes to describing Dr. Martha Roberts, this year’s Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture.


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam made the official announcement that Roberts has been named the latest recipient of the longstanding award recognizing women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

Roberts dedicated 35 years of service to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), where she championed policy changes for the advancement of Florida’s agriculture industry, trade, and production practices.

Born in Oxford, MS, Roberts joined FDACS’ Division of Food Safety in 1968 as a Microbiologist/Chemist. She was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture in 1984, and was the first woman in the U.S. to hold this position. From 1991 to 2003, Roberts served as the Department’s Deputy Commissioner and played a pinnacle role in shaping agricultural policies to improve practices in each stage of production.

Beginning in 2003, Roberts served 13 years as Director of Industry Relations and then as Special Assistant for Government Affairs for UF/IFAS.

Throughout her career, Dr. Roberts served in leadership capacities for numerous organizations. In recognition for her lasting contributions to the agriculture industry, Roberts was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2003. She continues to support Florida agriculture as a scientific authority, industry counselor, and advocate.

The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award, now celebrating its 33rd year, will be presented to the recipient during the 2018 Florida State Fair in Tampa.

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Norma Webb says:

Congratulations to you, Martha Roberts, for your many years of service to Florida Agriculture. With your scientific knowledge and many talents you have been on the cutting edge of developing a modern face for Florida’s Agricultural industry.

Larry Barthle says:

Congrats. Martha

Teena Borek says:

Congratulations! Well deserved.

Bob Balaam says:

This is an outstanding honor for such an outstanding woman and champion of agriculture. Congratulations Martha!

Stephanie Ellis says:

Wonderful! Congrats Martha!

Carl Frost says:

This award should be reserved for private sector Florida women farmers who certainly need and deserve recognition in a male dominated industry. When Adam Putnam, who I greatly admire, hands this award to Dr. Roberts, a fine and accomplished woman in her own right, I see the administrative state giving itself a another pat on the back. Surely DACS, and our great state of Florida, already have several other mechanisms to highlight its own? Let’s dedicate this award to those women who work in our farm fields or to those who employ women who do.

Kerimaon says:

congrats Mrs Norma Webb, Please inform me how I can possible find a job in the agriculture sector . I have trying for three years after I graduate from University of Flroida , BSC in Applied Science with a GPA of 3.8