GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Hugh English, a key figure in the citrus industry known for his many contributions to the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has been honored as the 2016 UF/IFAS Champion.
English was recognized Dec. 1 at the Gulf Citrus Growers Association luncheon in Fort Myers, Florida. The UF/IFAS Champion Award honors those who strengthen the organization’s ability to excel in teaching, research and Extension, said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources.
“Hugh is a giant of the citrus industry and a great friend to UF/IFAS,” Payne said.
English helped launch southwest Florida’s fledgling citrus industry. He started his career as a citrus grove manager at A. Duda & Sons in 1965, and through his work, English began many citrus research and Extension demonstrations in the Duda groves. He retired in 2001 as a corporate vice president, according to UF/IFAS Advancement.
Among the many reasons UF/IFAS honored English is that, while serving on the South Florida Ag Council, he helped build legislative support to construct and staff the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. He is also a longtime member of the UF/IFAS SHARE Council – a group of volunteers whose mission is to generate private support for UF/IFAS.
“There has to be a collaboration between growers and scientists,” English said of his efforts to help UF/IFAS research. “That’s probably the most important part of the research. First you have to recognize the problem, then you have to solve it.”
“I think one of the best things about UF/IFAS is they put the research together because they utilize not only what they do, but they utilize work that growers do,” said English. “And they disseminate that information to everybody.”
English, a UF/IFAS animal sciences student who was active in the Block and Bridle Club, graduated from UF in 1958.
English was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2008.
See a video of the award presentation at http://bit.ly/2gZIOIF
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