Gene Trotter Receives International Ag Leadership Award

Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 ext 281

Eugene Trotter, 352-392-1038
Bill Pope, 979-845-2008

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GAINESVILLE, FLA.—Eugene Trotter, a professor and director of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida, received the Outstanding Leader Award during the recent annual meeting of the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leaders in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Trotter received a plaque for “vision and dedicated service spanning a quarter of a century in two states, and preparing talented young leaders for the challenging years ahead.” It was presented to him by Bill Pope, executive secretary of the association that includes members in 40 states and many foreign countries.

“Each year, our international association honors the director who has made the greatest contribution to leadership development,” Pope said. “Of the 34 directors that are in charge of our state and national programs, Eugene Trotter was the unanimous choice by his colleagues.”

Pope said the Florida program has become a model for other states. Trotter is the only director in the association’s 38-year history to have been in charge of leadership programs in two states, Michigan and Florida.

Before joining the faculty of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in 1990, Trotter was director of the Agricultural Leadership Program at Michigan State University for 11 years. Because of his success in building a strong program in Michigan, Trotter was invited to start the Florida Leadership Program for Agriculture and Natural Resources at UF.

Born and raised in Kansas, Ill., Trotter received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, his master’s degree in horticulture from the same institution, and his doctoral degree in agricultural education and agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In February 2002, the name of the UF program was changed to the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources in honor of George Wedgworth, a prominent grower and Florida agricultural leader in Belle Glade, Fla. Wedgworth contributed to the program’s endowment that now exceeds $3 million.

“Administered by UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the program develops leadership capabilities in people ages 25-45 who will become involved in agricultural and natural resource policy formation,” Trotter said. “Charter class members began their experience in 1992; since then, five classes and more than 145 leaders have completed the 22-month program, which comprises 11 seminars in Florida and Washington, D.C., as well as other countries.”

The Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources helps participants understand current and projected political, social, economic and cultural issues facing decision-makers at local, state, national and international levels. Participants gain an understanding of people from all segments of society; study the social, economic and political systems in which people function; and use the framework to analyze issues related to agriculture, natural resources and rural communities.



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Posted: November 18, 2003

Category: UF/IFAS

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