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Born in Starke, Florida on 17 December 1928, Doyle Conner's service in Florida government began in 1950 when he was elected to Florida's House of Representatives. At that time, Conner was a sophomore at the University of Florida working towards his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. Before completion of his degree, Conner was re-elected for a second term to the House of Representatives. In 1956, Conner was named Speaker of the House, the youngest person to ever serve in that capacity. He was first elected Commissioner of Agriculture in 1960, and was re-elected commissioner for the next seven elections. Conner retired from that office in 1990. The Office of Commissioner of Agriculture began with the 1868 state constitution, which created the governor-appointed Commissioner of Immigration, charged with -- among other duties -- overseeing Florida's agriculture. The 1885 state constitution replaced that office with the Commissioner of Agriculture, and made it an elected cabinet post. In 1923, Nathan Mayo became Commissioner, and served for 37 years, becoming Florida's longest-serving office holder. Mayo died in office on 14 April 1960. At the next election, Conner was elected Commissioner, and served for thirty years. During that time, the Agricultural Department became Florida's largest department. Beginning in 1960, several state governmental boards, such as the State Plant Board and the State Livestock Board, were abolished and their duties transferred to the Dept. of Agriculture. With the 1969 Executive Re-organization Act, the Division of Consumer Services was transferred to the department, which was now known as the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The duties of the Commissioner Agriculture between 1962 and 1990, as mandated by the State Constitution in Article IV, Section 4 and Florida Statute 570, included supervision of nine divisions: Plant Industry, Animal Industry, Administration, Dairy Industry, Chemistry, Inspection, Citrus and Vegetable Inspection, Standards, and Marketing. In 1969, two more divisions were added: Consumer Services and Forestry. In addition, the Commissioner was the liaison on agricultural matters between the state and other states, the Federal government, and foreign nations. The Commissioner also sat on the Executive Cabinet.
This series consists of the administrative and official correspondence of the Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner created between 1962 and 1985. These records document the actions, decisions, and duties of the office, as well as provide information on the various divisions of the Agricultural Department. Other topics covered by the series include Conner's political campaigns, executive cabinet affairs, state farmer's markets, consumer protection, ecological emergencies, pest infestations such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, and major agricultural issues such as pollution, pesticides, industry regulations, the environment, conservation, and commerce. Missing from the series is the year 1983.
Folder listing available. #
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Commissioner Conner's correspondence from 1987 to 1993, stored on microfilm, can be found in series 1480.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Conner, Doyle, 1928-
Florida Forest Service. Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Florida. Division of Animal Industry. Florida. Division of Consumer Services. Florida. Division of Dairy Industry.
Forest products industry Agriculture and politics Environmental policy Florida Political campaigns. Animal industry Florida Dairy products industry Florida Pesticides Florida
Clippings. aat Speeches. aat Photographs. aat Press releases. aat Reports. aat
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