Commissioner Putnam Announces 2016 Agriculture Hall of Fame Honorees

Randall Weiseman Cattle, Citrus, Field Crops, Florida, Forestry, Fruits, General, Industry News Release, Livestock, Specialty Crops, Vegetables, Water

From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

FDACSTALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced today four honorees who will be inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame for 2016. These individuals have made outstanding contributions to Florida’s agriculture industry and mentored future leaders in this field. The induction ceremony will be held on Feb. 9, 2016, and more information is available at

“Every new generation of agricultural leaders builds on the achievements of those who preceded them, and these three men have dedicated their lives to advancing Florida’s agriculture industry and mentoring our youth,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.

The honorees are:

Thomas H. Braddock was born in Duval County, Florida. He currently manages his cattle and timber operation while remaining active in the Florida agricultural community.

Braddock attended the University of Florida where he earned a B.A. and M.S. in Agriculture. While in the graduate program, Braddock began to study methods to reduce winter maintenance costs for beef cattle. He conducted a 12-week research project called “Interval Feeding of Ruminants” using cattle and sheep. Interval feeding was adopted by many cattlemen and helped reduce operational costs. Braddock’s research and other similar studies have reduced production costs not only in Florida, but also in other states.

Braddock first led the 4-H Youth Development program for the Duval County Extension office in 1957. He eventually became the Extension Director and held this position until his retirement in 1995. During his career with the Extension Service, he hosted a local television show called, “Hi, Neighbor” from 1975 to 1991. The program featured guest interviews and demonstrations mainly on agriculture, natural resources, family life, leadership, citizenship and youth development.

Braddock is passionate about mentoring the next generation of agricultural leaders. He and his wife, Mary, created an endowment program. The Thomas H. Braddock, Jr. Trust Agreement pledged $1,700,000 to the University of Florida Foundation to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Animal Sciences, to support the Florida 4-H Leadership Program and to support the Duval County 4-H program. This unselfish investment in our youth is helping to ensure a healthy agricultural interest for future generations throughout the state.

Dr. Joseph C. Joyce was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Alabama, and later obtained his Ph.D from the University of Florida in Forest Resources and Conservation. He began his career in 1972 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The highlight of his career with the Corps was leading a successful effort to more effectively manage the invasive water hyacinth in waters of Florida.

In 1983, Dr. Joyce joined the UF/IFAS faculty as the Director of the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. He also served UF/IFAS as the Director of the Center for Natural Resources, as Interim Dean for Research, and Interim Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more than 20 years, he served as the Senior Associate Vice President, and he will serve as Director of the IFAS Center for Leadership until his retirement later this year. Dr. Joyce also served in the Army Reserve for over 28 years and retired at the rank of Brigadier General.

Among Dr. Joyce’s significant contributions to Florida agriculture, he oversaw IFAS fiscal/budget operations, personnel administration, information technology, and facilities planning, operations and management. During his tenure as Associate Vice President, IFAS closed and/or consolidated nine locations and added a net of more than 800,000 square feet of new, state-of-the art research, teaching and extension space across the state to serve the needs of Florida agriculture.

Billy Kempfer was born in Melbourne, Florida and graduated from Polk State College with an A.S. in Animal Science. He is partner with his brother and family on Deer Park Ranch-Kempfer Cattle Company located in Brevard and Osceola counties. The ranch is a diversified operation with commercial beef cattle along with Purebred Brahman and Angus cattle, timber management, a sod company and wildlife management with Florida’s oldest hunting lease to the same club dating back to 1931.

Kempfer serves as Chairman of the St. Johns River Water Management Agricultural Advisory Committee. He has served on the committee since its inception and has helped support causes that have been beneficial to agricultural producers in the St. Johns Water Management District. Kempfer served as President of the St. Johns River Food Producers Association, which represents landowners to governmental agencies when the government is establishing new policies regulating agriculture production and water use. As a leader and President of the Brevard County and Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Kempfer led the fight for private property rights and environmental issues. Using his mediation skills and outstanding diplomacy, Kempfer garnered the respect of ranchers and legislators alike.

Kempfer has provided exceptional leadership and mentoring for more than four decades to countless youth pursuing agricultural interests through 4-H, FFA and IFAS programs. This is evident through his advocacy of UF/IFAS and his commitment to the Animal Science Department. Kempfer allows Deer Park Ranch to serve as a learning laboratory for IFAS youth, extension agents, specialists and faculty.

Dr. Charles “Chip” F. Hinton was born in Nashua, New Hampshire and grew up in Pensacola. He attended the University of Florida, obtaining a B.S. and M.S. in Agriculture and a Ph.D. in Poultry Products. Later, while on sabbatical at North Carolina State University, he completed an ABD (all but dissertation) for a Doctor of Education in Education Administration.

Through his strong leadership on numerous committees and councils for all segments of agriculture, including research, labor, environment and outreach, Dr. Hinton’s guidance led to many advances across Florida agriculture.

As Executive Director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Dr. Hinton recognized the need for better varieties and worked with growers and the University of Florida in a public/private partnership to develop new varieties, such as Sweet Charlie, Festival and Radiance. As a result, strawberry production skyrocketed. In the late 1980’s about 5,000 acres of strawberries were grown per season generating approximately $50 million. As the new varieties came on line, the Florida strawberry industry expanded to over 10,000 acres with a value of more than $300 million.

Dr. Hinton worked with Hillsborough County officials, strawberry and tomato growers and the nursery industry to establish the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm. He has mentored countless youngsters in 4-H and FFA. He is committed to the future of Florida agriculture and worked with Dr. Gene Trotter at UF/IFAS to establish the Wedgworth Leadership Institute.

Dr. Hinton formed a partnership between Florida Association of Food Banks and Florida fruit and vegetable growers to provide fresh produce to those in need in our state and nation. The program, called “Farmers Feeding Florida,” distributed 1 million pounds of fruit and vegetables in its first year.