Florida says farewell to Doyle Conner

4:22 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida bids farewell to a great Floridian.

On Thursday, the casket of former Agriculture Commissioner Doyle Conner was transported to the Old Capitol in Tallahassee where people were able to pay their respects.

Conner was Florida's agriculture commissioner from 1961 to 1991. He is credited with modernizing the state Department of Agriculture, as well as the agriculture industry during his 30 years in office.

Florida's current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says Conner successfully led efforts to eradicate pests and disease that threatened the industry.

Putnam also calls Conner a mentor who always took time for young people.

"He always made time in his office to meet with 4H'ers and FFA students. He traveled to the county fairs and really asked them questions about their projects, made them feel good. He did the same thing inside the department. He really created a culture and a sense of family within the department that people wanted to be a part of, they were drawn to it."

Putnam says Florida's agriculture industry grew sevenfold during Conner's tenure as agriculture commissioner. He also became speaker of the Florida House at the age of 28, making him the youngest House speaker in the state's history.

Conner died Sunday at the age of 83, one day before his 84th birthday.

Dave Heller

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