Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced today the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees for 2019. The induction ceremony will be held at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 12, 2019. More information is available at FloridaAgHallofFame.org.
“Agriculture is Florida’s oldest industry, and it continues to support our state’s economy thanks to the leaders who continue to grow, streamline and modernize the industry,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “I am honored to name the newest members of the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame to honor their outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.”
The honorees are:
Don Bennink has spent a distinguished career revolutionizing the dairy industry by spearheading innovative genetic research and practices. The hallmark of Bennik’s career is his research in animal genetics and reproduction, which led to the development of his own system of genetic selection and genomic testing. A native of western New York, Bennik moved to Bell in 1980 where he established North Florida Holsteins. Bennik became a regarded advocate for improving the Holstein breed, and in 2001, he began using tunnel-ventilation barns to make cows more comfortable and productive. Recognizing the value of partnerships between universities and veterinary students, North Florida Holsteins has become a field laboratory for the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Ohio State University’s well-respected international student internship programs. Bennink has earned numerous awards and honors, including the World Dairy Expo’s Dairyman of the Year.