Retired UF/IFAS cattle specialist is Agricultural Hall of Fame inductee

Ag Hall of Fame Alvin Warnick 011215

Alvin C. Warnick

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A retired University of Florida animal sciences professor who made his mark in cattle reproduction techniques is among six people who will be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame on Feb. 10.

Alvin C. Warnick is credited with changing the industry from harvesting animals to managing a cow herd to higher productivity and continues to be a great influence in both innovative worldwide research and practices.  He has lived and worked among Argentine, Brazilian and Ethiopian cattle ranchers to improve their industry.

Warnick, 94, joined UF’s animal science department in the fall of 1953 and was among the newly hired faculty providing leadership and guidance to the state’s cattle industry. He came to UF when the industry was emerging from eradication of fever tick and screw worms. His research helped solve those problems.

Warnick also trained generations of industry leaders, published more than 300 scientific papers and co-authored four books on beef cattle breeding.

As an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member, Warnick taught an estimated 3,500 undergraduate students in courses in reproductive physiology. He also worked with about 70 graduate students.

He helped organize the 40-year Interdisciplinary Reproductive Biology Group, a graduate seminars series that includes the colleges of medicine and veterinary medicine and UF/IFAS. One lecture has been named after him. Warnick is also one of three Florida beef cattle experts asked in the 1950s to serve as advisors to the large, productive “Deseret Ranches of Florida.”

Warnick was recognized for his work as a fellow in the American Society of Animal Science and by the College of Agriculture as Student Advisor of the Year. More recently, Warnick was recognized by the Utah State Agricultural Alumni with the Citation of Merit for a Distinguished Livestock Career and he was named as honorary director of the Florida Cattleman’s Association.

UF/IFAS Extension named the Beef Reproduction Management School after him. After a distinguished career as a reproductive physiologist, Warnick was named professor emeritus in 1990.

Warnick continues to educate the next generation of ranchers by showing them how to make simple, but fundamental changes in their beef cow management. He also remains active in the University City Kiwanis, the UF Retired Faculty and many other organizations.

The UF/IFAS veteran, a self-described philosopher, described his philosophy on retirement this way: “You should not retire until and unless you have something to occupy your mind and your body as well, it takes the two, two areas. So I’m a great believer in trying to continue staying active with your mind, in your field of endeavor or branching out in other areas and then also keeping your body in good shape so you can navigate and get where you need to go.”

Other hall of fame inductees are:

  • The late Peyton “Pat” Turner Wilson of Frostproof, a cattle rancher and citrus grower and president of the Latt Maxcy Corp. Wilson also owned the Crooked Lake Ranch for more than 30 years and served as a two-term president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.
  • Robert Blake Whisenant, 84, of Parrish, who invented the Earth Box, which reduces watering and fertilizer needs.
  • Edward, Ferdinand and Joseph Duda of Oviedo, who run Duda & Sons, a farming and estate business in Central Florida. The company was one of the first to minimize the use of pesticides and diversified agricultural commodities. The Duda farm established a celery breeding program considered the world’s largest.

The honorees will be inducted in a ceremony at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Feb. 10. A reception will start at 5:30 p.m., with dinner starting at 7 p.m. Go to http://floridaaghalloffame.org/annual-banquet-and-ceremony/ for more information.

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By Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Sources: Alvin C. Warnick, 352-376-6661

Ann Warnick, 828-258-3300 or 828-271-4494, bannjoy2@yahoo.com

Erin Gillespie, 850-617-7726, Erin.Gillespie@freshfromflorida.com