Industry’s Best

Industry’s Best

Meet the 2020 Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees

The Citrus Hall of Fame has announced its latest round of inductees to add to the long list of distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Florida citrus industry. The Citrus Hall of Fame was started in 1962 to pay homage to the great contributors of Florida citrus. It has continued year after year in its mission to “recognize those distinguished leaders that have made significant contributions to the industry and to preserve and share the rich heritage of Florida citrus.” It’s currently located in the Sarah D. and L. Kirk McKay, Jr. Archives Center building at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida.

This year’s inductees have made great strides for the Florida citrus industry, from research and working in groves to expansion of the industry and leadership in numerous organizations committed to the success of Florida citrus. Explore the commitment and contributions to the Florida citrus industry of this year’s three inductees into the Citrus Hall of Fame.

2020 Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees

Frank E. Gardner 

Frank E. Garner packed his bags in 1940 and headed south to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture Subtropical Fruit Station in Orlando. He worked there for 29 years doing research in important areas like citrus nutrition, diseases, breeding, and rootstocks. Under his direction, citrus research activities were expanded, such as his work establishing the Citrus Research Foundation Farm and its wide variety of material for propagation, and his work establishing large-scale systematic trials on citrus rootstock

He was also invested in many other areas of Florida agriculture. He served as the president of the Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS) where he earned an honorary lifetime membership. He was a member of an array of honor societies and national scientific societies. He brought his vast knowledge to bear as a speaker at grower functions and wrote many papers concerning topics like fertilization, breeding and rootstocks, and more.

John M. Kennedy, Sr. 

John M. Kennedy, Sr., was the vice president and director of Golden Gem Growers, one of the biggest citrus cooperatives in the country, managing the organization’s 17,000 aces of citrus and representing over 400 growers.  He dedicated 44 years to the co-op before retiring in 1996. 

Kennedy was also deeply involved—both as a leader and as a participant—in many different citrus organizations, committees, and task forces in the Florida citrus industry, such as Florida Citrus Mutual, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, the Florida State Horticultural Society, the Production Manager’s Association, and the Farm Bureau.

In addition, he also found time to be involved in community-minded organizations, such as the Kiwanis Club, his area Elks Lodge, his local PTA, the Boy Scouts of America, the Lake County Boys Ranch and more.

Karick A. Price, Sr.

Karick A. Price, Sr., started out in the Florida citrus industry as an owner and director of T&G Harvesting Company, which bought, sold, and harvested citrus. He became president of T&G Groves in 1962. Under his direction, the operation expanded to more than 2,000 acres of citrus groves spread over St. Lucie and Lake counties, and he was named as the Farmer of the Year in 1968. 

Price served in numerous addition capacities for the Florida citrus industry, such as serving as director of the Indian River Grapefruit Committee as appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, serving on the Florida Citrus Commission for 10 years, and chairing the Public Relations and Institutional Committees, where he was instrumental in highlighting the 100 percent Florida orange juice concept and The Florida Sunshine Tree symbol to effectively brand Florida orange juice.

Price was invested in many other areas of the Florida citrus industry as well. He was a member and director of the Citrus Associates of the New York Cotton Exchange, trading the second contract for the FCOJ, which concerns frozen orange juice trading, in 1966. He chaired the Pool Drafting Committee in the 1970s, and worked on the marketing order to implement The FCOJ Pooling Act of Florida, which would have managed surplus products during bumper year juice citrus harvests. He also served as director of Citrus Central Inc, as a director of Golden Gem Growers, as a director and vice president of Inland Fruit Company, and as president of the Lake-Lucie Groves.

The Induction Ceremony

Each year the Citrus Hall of Fame holds a banquet to honor the year’s inductees into the Hall of Fame. The 57th Citrus Celebration Luncheon will be held March 6th at the Citrus Hall Of Fame at the Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. It is co-sponsored by Florida Citrus Mutual and The Florida Department of Citrus. 

The inductees will be officially inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, joining scores of others who dedicated their careers to the Florida citrus industry. The families of the inductees will be on hand to accept the honor for the inductees, and they will also be present at a Florida Citrus Processors’ Association’s OJ “Meet & Greet.” There, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Tree, which lists the names of all the inductees into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, will be unveiled with the latest inductees’ names. 

An educational citrus exhibit is also part of the day’s activities and will be available for viewing through March 2020; tours of the Citrus Archives will also be available to ticket holders. Tickets to the event can be purchased by contacting Florida Citrus Mutual at (863) 682-1111 or by visiting the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame website at FloridaCitrusHallofFame.com. Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward an educational outreach program that aims to help share the history of the Florida citrus industry and continue the mission of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.