Dr. Louis William Ziegler (1907-1976)
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Auburndale Citrus Growers Association
Holly Hills Fruit Production Company
Florida Citrus Production Managers Association
University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida Professor of Fruit Crops
Citrus Growing in Florida
Born on May 17, 1907 in Buffalo, New York, Louis William Ziegler moved with his family to Orange County, Florida, during World War I. Ziegler graduated from Orlando High School in 1925 with the intention of going to college to become a certified public accountant. A friend encouraged him to apply for a horticultural scholarship offered by the University of Florida. With his family’s history of farming in mind, Zeigler applied and was surprised to learn that he had won the scholarship.
Ziegler earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Entomology and Plant Pathology in 1930. His first job in the citrus industry involved working with the Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations, where he served as an assistant entomologist. He spent seven years there researching insects that were hazardous to citrus. In 1931 he opened “Crypt Laboratories,” which raised ladybug beetles to be sold to citrus growers. In 1937 he joined the Auburndale Citrus Growers Association, where he served as a citrus production consultant. Two years later he became the production manager of Holly Hill Fruit Production Company. In this time he also became one of the founding members of the Florida Citrus Production Managers Association, where he served as the organization’s secretary until 1947.
In 1947 he left Holly Hill to become a professor at the University of Florida in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He taught classes on citrus growing, citrus production, and grove management. He also created courses on citrus growing for the general public. While he taught, Zeigler was also a student, completing his master’s degree in Botany in 1951 and his doctorate in Horticulture in 1958. Later, in 1958, he was made a Professor of Fruit Crops at the University of Florida, a position he held until his retirement. During his time at the university, Ziegler taught over 2,700 students from around the world. He later assembled his lecture notes from his citrus classes, publishing his book Citrus Growing in Florida, with H. S. Wolfe, which is still considered the standard industry text.
In 1970, Dr. Ziegler and Florida Southern College Citrus Institute professor Raymond Lyles were honored by the citrus industry for their immeasurable impact on students in the field. At the event, most of the 300 people attending were Zeigler’s former students. In 1975, Dr. Ziegler retired from the University of Florida. He was inducted in the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1977, one year after his death.