More Than Men of Citrus


Two Things Each You Might NOT Know About the 2013 Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees

COLONEL FRANCIS L. DANCY

During the Civil War, he was Adjutant General of the Confederacy, serving in Florida and Northern Virginia. The defeat of the South and the prohibition of former Confederate officers from holding elective office during Reconstruction made Dancy focus his efforts on being a planter. He published an article in 1870 entitled “Orange Culture in Florida,” and the major instruction guides to citrus growing composed in the next decade elaborated on his insights.

Having surveyed much of the St. John’s River basin, he noted where wild oranges thrived naturally, and counseled the siting of orchards on these wild groves, often using old rootstocks for grafting. He codified in the 1840s the new orthodoxy concerning how to locate and set up orchards.

DR. PAUL L. HARDING

During his career, he published approximately 138 papers, running the gamut of aspects of citrus from the nutritional value of the fruit to the importance of grove conditions, the impact of pesticide sprays on fruit quality, cold storage, flavor profiles, rind disorders, decay control, fruit thinning, refrigeration, fruit respiration, and even the importance of arrival conditions to the fruit.

Dr. Harding even had the distinction of publishing two papers related to fruit respiration in the prestigious journal Science, which is a particularly significant accomplishment for a horticulturist.

HOMER E. HOOKS

At the 1960 Democratic National Convention held in Los Angeles, he had free Florida orange juice available to anyone who wanted it, angering the Sunkist growers in the state. While he was backstage there, he met Frank Sinatra, who was on the program, and had what he called “a great conversation – he was a regular guy.”

He insisted that Florida create a citrus exhibit at the New York World’s Fair because he thought it was good publicity for Florida and that citrus should be visible at the World’s Fair.

J. BRANTLEY SCHIRARD

Brantley was a founding member of the Citrus Club at the University of Florida.

He’s a conservationist at heart, and received the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture’s Environmental Achievement Award for his Grassy Island Development, as well as a conservation award for Colorado’s first-ever habitat preservation easement on a Colorado ranch property he owns with his brothers.

DR. MATTHEW K. VELDHUIS

Under Dr. Veldhuis’ direction, over 240 technical publications and patents were issued on various phases of fruit and vegetable and research between 1944 and 1972.

He was good friends with Senator Spessard Holland, who was extremely instrumental in helping to obtain the funds used to build the U.S. Citrus and Subtropical Products laboratory at Winter Haven in 1957.

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Did you know the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and Florida Southern College have partnered to create an extensive archive of citrus crate labels? Go to http://www.floridacitrushalloffame.com/ to explore the archives.

CREDIT

story by BRENDA EUBANKS BURNETTE