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Ben Hill Griffin III, supporter of UF/IFAS, higher education and communities, passes at 78

The name Ben Hill Griffin has resonated through the agriculture, citrus and higher education sectors of Florida for generations, and Ben Hill Griffin III carried that torch with commitment and leadership.

Griffin was known for his extraordinary generosity across the university system and in his hometown of Frostproof.  At age 21, he spent a year at the UF/IFAS Lake Alfred Experiment Station going through each department to get exposure to the various facets of the industry. While there, he worked under two Citrus Hall of Fame members, Dr. Robert Koo and Dr. Bill Grierson, learning from the best. The time spent at the experiment station became scientific bedrock to his future at the helm of Ben Hill Griffin,

Griffin went on to be inducted into both the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, in 2009.

His incomparable spirit of philanthropy through Ben Hill Griffin, Inc, supported multiple UF/IFAS programs statewide, including UF/IFAS Extension 4-H, professorships, the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), the UF/IFAS entomology & nematology and  animal science departments,  UF/IFAS’ College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), among many other projects.  As a leader in the Florida citrus and cattle industry, his support of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred and the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center expanded knowledge and best practices for growers and ranchers across the state.

Over the years, with discouraging challenges facing the citrus sector in particular, Ben Hill Griffin III provided leadership aimed at improving the industry for all. A pillar of the Florida agricultural industry, his support has meant a great deal to University of Florida/IFAS and the Florida agricultural community as a whole and provides a torch of inspiration for others.  To honor his memory and carry on his work to benefit Florida agriculture, consider a gift to the Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. Eminent Scholar Chair in Agricultural Economic Marketing.

Compiled by UF/IFAS Communications

 

 

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