John Woeste | 2022 CALS Alumni & Friends Award of Distinction

Dr. John Woeste:
Through my career, there were people who helped me along the way. It’s what motivates me today: to return some of what was given to me.

I was the Dean for Extension in IFAS from 1976 to 1995. Among other things, served as Chairman of the Share Council, and served as the faculty advisor for a fraternity working with students, and then involved in an academic programs through my involvement with Florida Rural Rehab.

My primary responsibility and mission was to bring the best science and information we had to the people of the state of Florida and opportunities for young people through the 4-H program.

It also was very supportive of the vocational agriculture program in schools to help the young people come to understand agriculture, natural resources, food and science.

Peter Chaires:
He’s long told us that enlightenment and education is the foundation of a successful Democratic Republic. It not only benefits the community, but it’s important and necessary for the development of the individual and he wants to help people achieve that in whatever way that he can.

For all of us that interact with him at Alpha Gamma Rho, he constantly finds new ways to engage. He wants to make a difference. He wants to plug in. And he has been actively involved in that with the students following their progress for more than 30 years.

He has a way of pulling people with diverse interests together to rally around a common purpose, and then holding everyone accountable for accomplishing that goal. From the student world to the business world, he is equally as successful.

Libby Putnam:
As I’ve been a student here I’ve begun to understand the legacy that he’s left here both as a former Dean of Extension and as a former advisor of Alpha Gamma Rho and how he’s touched many student’s lives and communities across the state through 4-H as well.

As a former 4-H-er I have such an appreciation for adults, advisors, and faculty who continue to instill lessons and opportunities for youth across our state.

For years, Dr. Woeste has been involved in the Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation in helping to provide hundreds of students with scholarship money to be able to further their career aspirations, and I was one of those students who was able to receive the Florida Rural Rehabilitation Corporation Scholarship.

I had a strong commitment and feeling of the importance of involving the people, the clientele we were serving, and helping them to envision the opportunities for change and improvement, and then working with them to accomplish them.

If it weren’t for Dr. Woeste’s contribution to the College of Agricultural and Life Science, then my college experience would look very different.

It all starts with people like Dr. Woeste, and it takes a strong commitment and a lot of people to fill that void. You can’t replace him. He’s one of a kind.



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Posted: September 19, 2022

Category: UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Award, Distinction

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