Florida Ag Hall of Fame Reveals Class of 2020 Trio

Florida’s farming industry is widely diverse as it is deeply rooted. That is reflected in the latest class of individuals named for induction into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.

State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation have announced three more industry leaders that will join the Hall’s illustrious ranks.

The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame 2020 honorees are:

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John L. Jackson

Jackson’s professional career spanned more than five decades serving Florida’s agricultural industry, including 38 years as a county Extension agent for UF/IFAS in Central Florida. He founded two weather alert systems to inform producers of the latest forecasts and assist them with protection efforts during freeze and other weather events, Weather Watch and the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN). He also was instrumental in encouraging citrus producers to use reclaimed water for irrigation and establishing the Mid-Florida Citrus Foundation as the research arm of the effort.

John Jackson, Florida Ag Hall of Famer

John Jackson

Jackson’s other noteworthy accomplishments include the establishment of an annual equipment operator’s school now known as Farm Safety Day; the Central Florida 4-H Citrus Project, which over a 20-year period engaged more than two thousand middle and high school students in agriculture; successful revitalization of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame; and other innovations such as the initiation of grower meetings for citrus producers and the promotion of integrating technology into agricultural operations.

Hugh Fred Dietrich III

Dietrich has been actively engaged in Florida’s agricultural industry in a variety of capacities throughout his life as a lifelong cattle rancher, an agricultural educator, and an auctioneer. The family-owned Flying D Ranch is known for its champion cattle, herd management, and land stewardship. Thirty years as a Vocational Agriculture/Animal Science instructor in Orange County, FL, has provided a multitude of opportunities to influence multiple generations and to help students achieve significant milestones of their own. Dietrich also served as an auctioneer/ring man at thousands of auctions, including youth livestock events.

Hugh Fred Dietrich, Florida Ag Hall of Famer

Hugh Fred Dietrich III

Dietrich is no stranger to accolades as he is a member of Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Hall of Fame, the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame, the Florida FFA Hall of Fame, and the Florida Auctioneer Hall of Fame. He also has received the National Agricultural Education Association’s Outstanding Educator Award as well as its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert “Robbie” Roberson

Roberson has owned and managed successful nursery operations for the ornamental plant industry for more than 40 years. He was a founding member of the Florida Foliage Association and later an active leader with the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA). He played a pivotal role in the creation of the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, including leading efforts to secure more than $14 million in funding for the consolidation of research centers throughout the region into one state of the art facility.

Robbie Roberson, Florida Ag Hall of Famer

Robert “Robbie” Roberson

Roberson is a previous inductee into the FNGLA Hall of Fame. He was a founding chair of the Apopka Foliage Festival and is engaged in several other community efforts. He also is well known for his advocacy work for the agricultural industry on the local, state, and national levels and has served in leadership roles in the Florida Farm Bureau Federation as well as Farm Credit of Central Florida.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 11, 2020.