Hall of Famer Ellis on His Influencers and the Future

hall of famer jim ellis
hall of famer jim ellis

Jim Ellis, left, congratulated by John Veldhuis

Recent Florida Citrus Hall of Fame inductee Jim Ellis of Bartow credits “God, my parents, my family and the members of the Florida citrus industry” for his success. Ellis was inducted on March 10, along with Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks and the late T. Ralph Robinson, in ceremonies at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

“My passion is to see this industry continue as it has in the past,” says Ellis. “And the future for it is very bright. I think that we have just begun.”

The grower and former packinghouse manager concedes that the industry will be different in the future, with possibly fewer individuals, fewer fresh fruit packers and fewer juice processors. “But this industry will continue,” he says.

Ellis says Florida will continue to provide consumers with orange juice, and adds, “I think there will be a reviving of the Florida fresh fruit industry.” New fresh varieties will be seedless, colorful and sweet, he says.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large