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Record Group Number: 000200
Series/Collection Number: .S 1909
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Title, Dates: Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner Program Specialists' general correspondence files, 1976-1989.
Amount: 3 cubic ft.
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Organization/Arrangement: Unarranged.
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Biographical/Historical:     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. 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.

Summary:     This series of correspondence, reports, speeches, and  memoranda relate to Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner's reelection activities.  The records served as subject files for the Department's Program Specialist, who assisted the Commissioner with issues related to the Commissioner's office.  The records document Conner's fundraising dinners and the various meetings and conferences that he attended while he campaigned for reelection.  The majority of the correspondence includes courtesy letters to his constituents.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available. 0
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Subject Access Fields: Conner, Doyle, 1928-
Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Agriculture Florida
Campaigns, Political.
Letters. aat
Speeches. aat
Reports. aat
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