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CALS Alumni & Friends Awards

Click here to nominate an individual for the CALS Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction or the CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon Award. Nominations are due Dec.1.

Nominated individuals who meet eligibility criteria will be invited to complete an application for the Award of Distinction or Horizon Award. Individuals may also self-nominate by completing an application for the Award of Distinction or Horizon Award. Applications are due Feb. 1.

All applicants will be notified of their selection status in April 2017.

Award of Distinction

The CALS Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction is presented to UF/CALS alumni or friends in recognition of their outstanding contributions to UF, IFAS, CALS and the agricultural, natural resource, life science and related industries and professions.

Horizon Award

The CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon Award is presented to a UF/CALS alumnus who has completed his or her most recent UF degree within the last 10 years (since 2007). The award recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding contributions and potential as a leader in the agricultural, natural resource, life science and related industries and professions.

CALS Alumni and Friends Scholarship

The CALS Alumni and Friends Scholarship supports outstanding CALS undergraduate students who are involved in college, departmental or major activities. Selection is made from the the CALS Undergraduate Scholarship Application. The annual TailGATOR silent auction as well as individual donations support this scholarship endowment.

Awards Recipients Listing

  • 2017 Award Recipients
    • 2017 Award of Distinction

      Michael Minton
      BSA '79 Food and Resource Economics

      Throughout his lengthy and distinguished legal career, Michael Minton has never forgotten his UF roots and has made a personal commitment to give back to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the University of Florida.

      A triple Gator, Michael grew up in Fort Pierce working in the family citrus and cattle businesses. While at UF he naturally gravitated to IFAS/CALS and studied under Prof. Jim Wershow who peaked his interest in a career and profession as an attorney representing Florida agriculture clients.

      Today, Michael is the past-President of Dean Mead and serves as the firm’s Chair of the Agribusiness Industry and Solar Team. He represents family businesses with an emphasis on generationally-owned agricultural businesses. He also served as a Governing Board member of the South Florida Water Management District.

      His contributions to the University of Florida include significant gifts to the UF/IFAS Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law. Michael’s volunteer efforts range from providing legal advice to the Treasure Coast Agricultural Research Foundation, Inc. and guest lecturing in agricultural law classes at UF to service on the University of Florida Foundation Board of Directors. He is also past chair of the Law Center Association, Inc. (UF Law School Bd. of Trustees) and serves on the Food and Resource Economics Advisory Council.

      2017 Horizon Award

      Yael Spektor
      bsa '07, MS '09 Food Science and Human Nutrition

      Juan david castro-Anzola
      BSA ' 04, MAB '06

      Scholarships make a huge difference in the lives of College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students. We are honored tonight to recognize two of the youngest CALS scholarship endowment donors with the 2017 CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon Award.

      Juan David Castro-Anzola grew up in Bogotå, Colombia. After spending one year living in Toronto, Canada studying English, he moved to the US in 2000 to pursue higher education. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Food and Resource Economics, Juan represented the department on a quiz bowl team that won the annual North American Academic Quiz Bowl competition. He also represented FRE on a championship-winning National AgriMarketing Association team.

      Juan has worked for Prudential Agricultural Investments, a business unit of Prudential Financial, since 2006. In 2017, he began his current role as director of Prudential Agricultural Investments for the Eastern Region.

      Yael Spektor grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay and moved to the Unites States in 2003 to pursue higher education. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Food Science and Human Nutrition. During her time at UF, she was actively involved in her department by being treasurer and FL Section IFT Ambassador of the FSHN club. She was also team leader of IFT’s product development competition and member of the College Bowl team.

      Yael worked for The Father’s Table in Sanford for five years before joining The Coca-Cola Company in 2015 as product developer for juices. She is very involved with the Florida Section of the Institute of Food Technologists, an organization strongly connected with the University of Florida Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. After graduation, she became the Chair of the FL Section IFT where she created student sponsorships for industry meetings and implemented 2 travel/research grants, awarding over $7,000 in scholarships. Later as Supplier’s Night chair for FL IFT, she helped raise over $20,000 in funds for scholarships for the FSHN department. She received the FL Section IFT Outstanding Volunteer recognition in 2014.

      Juan and Yael met in college in 2004, married in 2013 and in early 2017 welcomed their baby boy, Matias. In 2014, the financially savvy couple took advantage of matching gift programs through their employers to establish the Ofelia Anzola Memorial Scholarship in honor of Juan David’s mother. Beyond their financial contributions, both Juan and Yael love getting back on campus to give back to their respective academic departments through volunteering.

  • Award of Distinction Recipients
    • Award of Distinction recipients

      Year Name Hometown
      2017 Michael Minton, BSA '79 Fort Pierce
      2016 Bill Gunter, BSA '56 Tallahassee
      2015 Henry P. Davis, BSA '50 Perry
        Jesse Godbold, BSE '63 Green Cove Springs
      2014 Ernest A. Sellers, BSA '59 Live Oak
        Roger L. West, BSA '68, MS '70 Gainesville
      2013 Arland Andreasen, Jr., BSA '74, MAG '82 Marianna
      Arlen N. Jumper, BSA '53, MAG '58 Ft. McCoy
      2012 Richard Barber, BSA '61 Ocala
      Wayne H. Smith, BSA '60 Melrose
      2011 Chuck Allison, BSA '78, MS '81 Orlando
      Don Quincey Chiefland
      2010 Victor "Frankie" Hall, Jr., BSA '79 Gainesville
      John "Jack" Vogel, BSF '69 San Antonio
      Paul K. Willis, BSA '83 Tifton, GA
      2009 Donald T. Bennink Bell
      Carrol Wayne Hawkins, BSA '60 Orlando
      H. Ed Jowers, BSA '64, MS '78 Marianna
      2008 Sherwood "Buddy" Johnson, BA '66, MA '68 Fort Pierce
      2007 Kathleen R. Eubanks, BS '75, MAG '81 Micanopy
      The Hon. Oma "Rick" Minton, Jr., BSA '72, MAMRD '73 Fort Pierce
      2006 *William "Pat" Cockrell, BSA '68
      Louis E. "Woody" Larson, Jr., BSA '73 Okeechobee
      2005 W. Bernard "Bernie" Lester, BSA '61, MSA '62 Labelle
      Frank "Sonny" Williamson, Jr., BSA '50 Okeechobee
      2004 Martha Rhodes Roberts Tallahassee
      Eleanor M. Green, BSA '00 Millican, TX
      2003 Neal Palmer "Pal" Brooks, BSA '61 Homestead
      Gale A. Buchanan, BSA '59, MSA '62 Adel, GA
      2002 *The Hon. Doyle E. Conner, Sr., BSA '52  
      Hugh M. English, BSA '58 Labelle
      2001 Reginald "Reggie" Brown, BSA '69, MSA '73 Oviedo
      *Sidney P. Marshall, BS '38
      2000 The Hon. Bert J. Harris, Jr., BSA '43 Lake Placid
      *Fred Y. Montsdeoca, BSPEH '51
      1999 Louis E. "Red" Larson Okeechobee
      Carl B. Loop, Jr., BSA '49 Jacksonville
      1998 *B. E. "Barney" Greene, Jr., BSA '47  
      John Clover "Jack" Norris, BSA '56 Palm City
      Norman Todd, BSA '54 Labelle
      1997 Charles "Chip" Hinton, III, BSA '69, MSA '71, Ph.D. '72 Brandon
      Larry K. Jackson, MSA '63, Ph.D. '72 Auburndale
      *Richard F. Kelly, BSA '60, M.Ed. '63


  • Horizon Award Recipients
    • Horizon Award Recipients

      Year Name Hometown
      2017 Juan Castro-Anzola, BSA '04, MAB '06 Orlando
        Yael Spektor, BSA '07, MS '09 Orlando
      2016 Ashley Hughes, BSA '06, MS '08 Saint Cloud
      2015 Keri Milligan Sidle, BSA '10 Plymouth, MN
      2014 D. Flint Johns, BSA '04, MAB '06 Okeechobee
        Luis F. Martinez, BSA '05, MS '07 Jacksonville
      2013 Kelly Padgett Mosley, BSA '04 Green Cove Springs
      Crystal Snodgrass, BSA '03, MS '05 Palmetto
      2012 James T. DeValerio, BSF '81, MS '10 Starke
      Brian Estevez, BSA '04, MS '07 Live Oak
      2011 Cindy Sanders, BSA '91, MS '05 Micanopy
      Jim Spratt, BSA '01 Tallahassee
      2010 Bridget Carlisle, BSA '95, MAG '05 Highland City
      Gillian Folkes Dagan, BSA '00, Ph.D. '04 Gainesville
      2009 Sharon Spann Spratt, BSA '00, MS '02 Tallahassee
      2008 Emily Eckhardt Eubanks, BSA '01, MS '04 Micanopy
      2007 E. James Stice, BSA '97 Highland City
      2006 Erin Freel, BSA '96 Weirsdale
      2005 Anita Arvind Dhople, BSA '92, MD '96 Melbourne
      *Mason G. Smoak, BSA '97
      2003 The Hon. Adam H. Putnam, BS '95 Bartow


  • CALS Alumni and Friends Scholarship Recipients
    • CALS Alumni and Friends Winners

      Year Name
      2016 Jonathan Heavner, BSA '17 Agricultural Education and Communication
      2015 Alexandra Lemus, BSA '15 Animal Sciences
      2014 Weier Liu, BSA '15 Biology
        Meagan Lamothe, BSA '15 Food Science and Human Nutrition
      2013 Kendra Harmon, BSA '14 Food Science & Human Nutrition
      2012 Daniel Leckie, BSA '13 Agricultural Education & Communication
      Katelyn Malin, BSA '13 Animal Sciences
      2011 Christine Johns, BSA '12 Horticultural Science
      Alexandra Rozin, BSA '12 Soil & Water Science
      2010 Sarahlynne Guerrero, BSA '11 Entomology & Nematology
      2009 Benjamin Anderson, BSA '10 Entomology & Nematology
      Zachary Hirsch, BSA '10 Microbiology & Cell Science
      Christopher Marth, BSA '11 Microbiology & Cell Science
      2008 Kristin Harrison, BSA '10 Animal Sciences
      2007 Alexander King, AA '09 Biology
      2006 Jamie Eisenberg, BSA '07 Family, Youth & Community Sciences
      2005 Matthew Fournier, BSA '07 Microbiology & Cell Science
      2004 Jason Beutke, BSA '07 Food & Resource Economics
      2003 Elizabeth Raburn, BSA '04, MS '05 Agricultural Education & Communication
      2002 Joshua Brown, BSA '03 Agricultural Education & Communication
      2001 Kyle Hudson, BSA '02 Agricultural Education & Communication
      2000 Christina (Fulford) Bosse, BSA '01 Plant Sciences
      1999 Ralph Yoder, BSA '01 Food & Resource Economics
      1998 John Eubanks, BSA '00 Agricultural Operations Management
      Amanda (McKoy) Huber, BSA '92 Agronomy, MAG '02 Agricultural Education & Communication
      Ronald Pearl, BSA '96, MAB '00 Food & Resource Economics
      1997 William Farmer, BSA '98 Animal Sciences

  • NAADA Awards Recipients
    • NAADA Awards Recipients

      The National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association provides education and support for professionals, volunteers and student leaders who are dedicated to expanding the human resources and financial support for land-grant colleges of agricultural sciences and related programs.

      Volunteer Service Award

      Year Name Hometown
      2010 Charles "Chip" Hinton, III Brandon
      2006 Roger Scarborough Gainesville
      2004 K. Scott Emerson Bell
      2002 Kevin Huesman Lake City
      2000 George Pickhardt Venice
      1998 Bruce Christmas, Sr. Cottondale

      Jane Longley-Cook Volunteer Service Award

      Year Name Hometown
      2006 Kevin Huesman Lake City

      Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist Award

      Year Name Hometown
      2017 Wayne Smith Melrose
      2010 Joel and Shirley Wahlberg Houston, TX

      Professional Achievement Award

      Year Name Hometown
      2000 Paul Willis Tifton, GA

      NAADA Founders Distinguished Service Award

      Year Name Hometown
      2008 Paul Willis Tifton, GA



Richard Barber, BSA ’61, was recognized with the CALS Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction

Keri Milligan Sidle, BSA '10, was recognized with the CALS Alumni and Friends Horizon Award at the 2015 UF/IFAS Dinner of Distinction.