A tropical fruit grower, an agricultural development pioneer, a champion quarter horse breeder, the "father" of low-density farming, and a dairy farmer have been selected for induction into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame this winter.
The Florida agricultural community's highest award is being bestowed on:
• William "Bill" Henry Krome of Homestead.
• J. R. "Jack" Spratt (deceased) formerly of LaBelle.
• Raymon F. Tucker of Bunnell.
• Robert "Bob" Billingsly Whisenant (deceased) formerly of Parrish.
• Stephen "Steve" Monroe Yoder (deceased), formerly of Altha.
"Each of these distinguished individuals has devoted his life to promoting Florida agriculture," said Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame Federation President Chip Hinton. "Their struggles and achievements have earned them a place of honor beside the 69 people already inducted into the Ag Hall of Fame."
The induction ceremonies will be Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Florida State Expo Park (formerly known as the Florida State Fairgrounds) in Tampa. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a reception and the banquet and ceremony starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person. For tickets or more information, please call Chuck Smith at 813-628 4551.
Krome is a life-long grower of avocados and other tropical fruits who has been a strong advocate of research and interstate trade for local fruits. He served for decades as a director of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.
Spratt was a southwest Florida agricultural pioneer whose accomplishments spanned all aspects of Florida agriculture from citrus groves to cattle ranches, forestry projects, mining operations, natural resources, vegetable production and other land uses.
Tucker, a fifth-generation Floridian, is a breeder of champion quarter horses and a cattleman. He is credited with popularizing quarter horse racing in the Southeast.
Whisenant founded Whisenant Farms in Manatee County. He was also a civil engineer and was responsible for many technical and agricultural production innovations.
Yoder operated a row crop, vegetable, melon, tomato, cow-calf and and dairy operation in the Florida Panhandle. As president of the American Soybean Association in 1993, he was credited with seeing the ASA through the most difficult year in the organization's history.