Frank L. Holland (1895-1966)
State Plant Board
Innovative Mammoth Grove Project
Florida Orange Festival
Polk County Agricultural Extension Service
Florida Agricultural Research Institute
Florida Agricultural Council
Florida Citrus Commission
Better Fruit Committee
In 1895, Frank L. Holland was born in Union, West Virginia. He was the second son of Benjamin Franklin Holland and Fannie Virginia Spessard Holland. Three years earlier Frank’s brother Spessard was born. Both brothers would go on to have important careers in Florida agricultural and ultimately be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame. After graduating from Bartow High School, Frank Holland attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated in 1917 with a B.S.A. Holland enlisted in the army in the First World War and he served briefly, earning an honorable discharge later in the year.
Shortly after his return home he took a job with the State Plant Board, where he worked in the citrus canker eradication program. Later, he became the Chief Horticulturist and Grove Manager of the innovative Mammoth Grove project near Lake Wales. The project consisted of a 4,600 acre grove which was divided into five-acre plots that growers could purchase. The growers constructed an on-site packinghouse in order to process the fruit, and once the profits were realized, they were averaged and divided up amongst the growers. When Holland’s time with the project ended in 1926, it was still going strong, but a devastating freeze in 1934 and later a fire brought an end to the promising venture.
Holland was one of the organizers of the first Florida Orange Festival, based in Winter Haven, in 1923. The festival continued as the Florida Citrus Festival. Following his time with Mammoth Groves, Holland worked as a County Agent for the Polk County Agricultural Extension Service until 1933. After this, he became manager of the Florida Agricultural Research Institute. In this new capacity, Holland was responsible for the formation of first Florida Agricultural Council, which was designed to bring together all segments of the industry in order to take a unified approach to address pesticide-related problems. He served as first president of the council and later served as president of the Florida State Horticultural Society. Holland also worked with the Florida Citrus Commission in the establishment of the Better Fruit Committee in 1935, for which he served on an advisory council. Holland was much honored for his spirited and zealous work in the field of citrus. He died in 1966 and was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame one year later, in 1967.