Dr. Barnette Ellis Greene Jr. (1922-2013)
American Fruit Growers
Edsall Grove Services
Florida Production Managers Association
Indian River Citrus League
Indian River County Farm Bureau
Indian River Processors
Drainage in Flatwood Area
University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center
Indian River Research Center
Meterological & Satellite Data
Barnette Ellis Greene was born on September 30, 1922, in Orlando, Florida. Green graduated from Orlando High School in 1940 and entered the University of Florida to pursue a degree in Agriculture. During his time at the University of Florida, Barnette Greene was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and the ROTC Scabbard and Blade. Greene joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. Greene was a B-29 pilot during World War Two and flew fifteen missions over the Pacific as well as several supply-drop missions to POWs in China. Second Lieutenant Barnette Greene was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to the University of Florida to finish his degree. Greene graduated from the University of Florida in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and accepted an assistant production manager position at American Fruit Growers in Vero Beach, Florida. In 1949, Greene left American Fruit Growers to work as vice president for Edsall Grove Services. Greene bought his first twenty acre grapefruit grove in 1952 and started his first citrus tree nursery in 1955. Greene officially left Edsall Grove Services in 1960 to expand his own grove and nursery business. Before Greene retired, the business controlled over three-thousand acres of citrus groves and several packing houses that produced over 3.1 million cartons of citrus annually, and Greene’s nursery produced over two-hundred fifty thousand trees per year.
Barnette Greene initiated the production of high quality fresh fruit for the citrus market in Japan and was among the first to establish grower managed drainage districts and reservoirs, into which most of their rain water was pumped for use in freeze protection and irrigation, in the Indian River area. Greene’s ingenuity, persistence, and leadership aided in solving drainage problems in poorly-drained flatwoods areas along the east coast of Florida. Largely due to these innovations citrus production continued to thrive and expand. A strong advocate of agricultural research, extension, and teaching, Greene worked with the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center and the Indian River Research Center to test new products and ensure that the products were environmentally safe. Greene’s contributions to the research centers resulted in the expansion of the centers’ teaching and extension programs. Greene was one of the first citrus growers to use meteorological and satellite data to schedule irrigations and determine pest control strategies in order to improve efficiency and production levels.
Greene has been a member of the Florida State Horticultural Society since 1948, the Florida Production Managers’ Association since 1950, the Indian River Citrus League since 1954, and the Indian River County Farm Bureau since 1956. In 1975, Greene was an organizing officer of the Indian River Processors and, in 1977, he enticed Ocean Spray to buy out the processing plant that he and a number of other grapefruit growers owned. Greene served as the only citrus grower on Ocean Spray’s Board of Directors from 1978 to 1991. Greene also served as a charter contributor to the Indian River Community College Agricultural Endowment Fund, the University of Florida’s Share Council and Executive Board. He also served on the Florida Southern College President’s Council.
Barnette Ellis Greene was honored as Distinguished Share Investor for the University of Florida Share Council in 1989. In 1990, Greene received the University of Florida’s 4-H award for outstanding service and support of the citrus industry, the UFAAF Award of Distinction in 1998, and the Honor Society of Agriculture Gamma Sigma Delta Award of Merit in 2000. Barnette Ellis Greene was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1995 and inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 2001.