Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today recognized Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts as the 2017 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. Commissioner Putnam presented the award to Dr. Roberts at the annual Woman of the Year in Agriculture Luncheon held at the Florida State Fair. Since 1985, the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award has recognized women in all areas of the industry who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.
“Florida’s robust agriculture industry would not be as bright as it is today without the dedication and service of individuals such as Dr. Roberts,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “I’m honored to present Dr. Roberts with the 2017 Woman of the Year in Agriculture award.”
Dr. Roberts dedicated 35 years of service to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, beginning in 1968, where she championed policy changes for the advancement of Florida’s agriculture industry, trade and production practices. She was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture in 1984, and was the first woman in the United States to hold this position. Beginning in 2003, Dr. Roberts served 13 years as Director of Industry Relations and then as Special Assistant for Government Affairs for the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Throughout her career, Dr. Roberts served in leadership capacities for numerous organizations that aimed to shape and enhance the agriculture industry. Her contributions to Florida agriculture have been awarded by the FDA, USDA and industry associations, and in 2003, Dr. Roberts was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
The Woman of the Year in Agriculture award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority. More information about the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award and past award winners can be found here.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.