This week, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced Madeline Mellinger as the 2022 Woman of the Year in Agriculture.
“It’s an honor to announce Madeline Mellinger as this year’s Woman of the Year in Agriculture,” said Fried. “Madeline has dedicated 50 years to Florida’s agriculture industry and is an innovator in the field of integrated pest management. As a business owner, scientist, and mentor, she has contributed greatly to the development of Florida’s next generation of growers and our agricultural industry as a whole. We are thrilled to be able to celebrate her with this award.”
In 1972, Madeline Mellinger founded Glades Crop Care, Inc. and remains its CEO today. Glades Corp Care is an independent agricultural consulting and contract research firm that provides integrated pest management and crop counseling services to more than 65,000 acres of plants and over 60 varieties of fresh vegetable crops, citrus, rice, and sugarcane.
Mellinger’s work has changed the way farmers in Florida approach pest control. Her work showed producers that they could shift from calendar-based pesticide application to need-based, which saved farmers money and reduced negative agricultural environmental impact.
Mellinger has also dedicated her time throughout the years to serving on a number of IFAS-related advisory boards, including the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center, a vice president search committee and co-chaired the UF/IFAS Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, she and her husband, Dr. Charles Mellinger, were vital in the establishment of the Doctor of Plant Medicine Program at the University of Florida to educate Florida’s future agricultural innovators. Madeline has been repeatedly recognized for her service, including being named a Friend of IFAS in 2014 and was one of Florida Trend’s Living Legends for 2018-2020.
She is known among her peers for her work as a mentor to women seeking to become leaders in the agricultural industry and the establishment of the Foundation of Environmental Agriculture Education which funds scholarships for students who major in crop production or related fields.
For more than 30 years, women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture have been honored with the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award. This award is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority and is presented during the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Recipients of the “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” award have come from all corners of Florida’s diverse agricultural industry, including cattle, vegetables, timber, citrus, row crops, equine, horticulture, tropical fruits, sugar cane, dairy, agricultural journalism, and agricultural education and outreach
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