The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) named Madeline Mellinger the 2022 Woman of the Year in Agriculture.
Mellinger founded Glades Crop Care, Inc. in 1972 and is still the company’s chief operating officer. Glades Crop Care provides integrated pest management and crop counseling services to more than 65,000 acres of plants and more than 60 varieties of fresh vegetable crops, citrus, rice and sugarcane.
Her work has changed the way farmers in Florida approach pest control. It showed producers that they could shift from calendar-based pesticide application to need-based, which saved farmers money and reduced negative agricultural environmental impact.
Mellinger has served on a number of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) advisory boards, including for the Everglades Research and Education Center. She served on a UF/IFAS vice president search committee and co-chaired the UF/IFAS strategic planning committee.
She and her husband, Charles Mellinger, were instrumental in the establishment of the Doctor of Plant Medicine Program at the University of Florida. She was named a Friend of IFAS in 2014 and was one of Florida Trend’s Living Legends for 2018–2020.
Mellinger is known as a mentor to women seeking leadership in the agricultural industry. She is also known for her work on the establishment of the Foundation for Environmental Agriculture Education, which funds scholarships for students who major in crop production or related fields.
“Madeline has dedicated 50 years to Florida’s agriculture industry and is an innovator in the field of integrated pest management,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “As a business owner, scientist and mentor, she has contributed greatly to the development of Florida’s next generation of growers and our agricultural industry as a whole.”
The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by FDACS in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority. It is presented during the Florida State Fair in Tampa.
Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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