Albra Hiram Whitmore (1902-1969)
Florida Citrus Independent Truckers Association
Florida Citrus Production Credit Association
U.S. Horticultural Research Station
Florida Council of Farmers Cooperative
Florida Agricultural Council
Florida Farm Bureau
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Albra Hiram “Al” Whitmore was born in Swanzey, New Hampshire, in 1902. The Whitmore family moved to Manatee County when he was young. Whitmore’s first job with the citrus industry was as a grove hand. He also worked for a time as a commercial fisherman. Whitmore attended Rollins College where he specialized in sales and public relations.
This specialty helped Whitmore organize the Florida Citrus Independent Truckers Association. From 1942 onward, Whitmore managed the Florida Citrus Production Credit Association, which grew to become one of the largest credit unions in the nation. Whitmore’s primary contributions to the citrus industry came in the area of finance. Whitmore worked to secure funds and facilities for research and extension organizations, including the U.S. Horticultural Research Station in Orlando and the Foundation Farms in Leesburg. The latter facility now bears his name.
Whitmore worked to raise funds for citrus disease research, helping to combat tristeza, cold damage and spreading decline, while supporting variety improvement and rootstocks. Whitmore was also an early leader in the Budwood certification and burrowing nematode programs. He also provided leadership with the Florida Council of Farmers Cooperative, the Florida Agricultural Council, the Florida Farm Bureau, and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.