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Record Group Number: 000200
Series/Collection Number: .S 1941
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Title, Dates: Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner Legislative Trail Ride photographs, 1969-1989.
Amount: .50 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
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 Department 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.

    Throughout the the 1970s and 1980s, Doyle Conner organized horse trail rides across North Florida, and invited state legislators and the press to participate. The events served as a chance for Conner and others in the department to lobby legislators on various agricultural issues. In addition, Conner used the events as campaign publicity events, enabling him to meet voters and give speeches at schools, parades, and other public areas. 

Summary:   This series consists of photographs maintained by Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner to document his Legislative Trail Rides between 1969 and 1989. Most of the photographs are undated, but many of the images are from the 1969, 1976, and 1978 trail rides. The photographs document the various activities on these rides, including staged speeches, meeting voters and families at churches, schools, and other public areas, camping, parades, beauty pageants, and social gatherings. The photographs also document the towns and public places that the riders traveled through, including St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Black Creek, and Clay County.

Finding Aids: Folder listing available. 0
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Associated Materials: Series S1839, Jack Shoemaker's Adminstrative Support Files, 1970-1983, contains related material on the Legislative Trail Rides.
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Conner, Doyle, 1928-
Florida Highway Patrol.
Agriculture Florida
Cattle Florida.
Livestock.
Political campaigns.
Campaigns, Political.
Church buildings Florida
Outdoor recreation Florida
Photographs. aat
Slides. aat
Saint Augustine (Fla.)
Clay County (Fla.)
Green Cove Springs (Fla.)
Black Creek (Fla.)
Added Entries