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Record Group Number: 000200
Series/Collection Number: .S 1917
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Title, Dates: Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner office files, 1988-1989.
Amount: 1.75 cubic ft.
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Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by subject.
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Biographical/Historical:       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 1988 and 1990, as mandated by the State Constitution in Article IV, Section 4 and Florida Statute 570, included supervision of eleven divisions: Plant Industry, Animal Industry, Administration, Dairy Industry, Chemistry, Inspection, Citrus and Vegetable Inspection, Standards, Forestry, Consumer Services and Marketing. In addition, the Commissioner was the liaison on agricultural matters between Florida and other states, the Federal government, and foreign nations. The Commissioner also sat on the Executive Cabinet.
Summary:   This series consists of the office files of Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner, which contains correspondence, intineraries, clippings, speeches,  minutes, and memoranda documenting the Commissioner's office's activities from 1988 and 1989. Information provided by the series includes Conner's public appearances, constituent concerns, conference planning, and interagency meetings. The series also documents the public's response to Doyle Conner's last year in office, including the press and constituent correspondence.
Finding Aids: Folder listing available.
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Subject Access Fields: Conner, Doyle, 1928-
Agriculture Florida
Reports. aat
Letters. aat
Clippings. aat
Minutes. aat
Added Entries