Modern Day Operations
By the late 1970s, the farm operations had grown to 10,000 acres of sugarcane and the 3,000 head of cattle were relocated to the newly purchased 10,000 acres of ranch lands located in Osceola, Indian River and Highlands counties.
Ruth Springer Wedgworth’s work ethic was the hallmark of her career and the legacy she has left for the future generations. She kept an office at the farm and came to work virtually every day until her death in 1995 at the age of 92. During her career, she served on the Florida Citizen’s Commission on Education, the Governor’s Committee on Migrant Workers, a Trustee at Florida Southern College, Palm Beach County School Board as well as many other local groups and organizations. In 1975, her hard work and innovation was rewarded by being honored as the first woman named Belle Glade’s “Man of the Year.” Her recognition continued over the years, as she was named “Woman of the Year in Agriculture” by Progressive Farmer Magazine and “Woman of the Year in Florida Agriculture” in 1986, as well as the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. Then, in 1988, she was inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame. George followed in his mother’s footsteps, being inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1994 and has received numerous other honors including Sugar Man of the Year in 2005 and Palm Beach County Business Leader of the year in 2011.
Today, George’s youngest son Dennis manages the 20,000 acre farm and ranch lands and Wedgworth’s, Inc., Florida’s largest blended fertilizer company. Dennis was born and raised in Belle Glade, and he went on to earn a degree in engineering from Duke University in 1974 and earned his MBA from the University of Florida in 1977. He returned to the family businesses and worked to grow the company into the premier custom blended fertilizer company in the southeast United States.
Dennis has served as chairman and board member of the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association ffaa.org; board member of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida scgc.org; Florida Leadership & Education Foundation; University of Florida Institute of Food and Sciences Advisory Committee erec.ifas.ufl.edu, Florida Farm Bureau and Rotary Club. His understanding of the science behind farming coupled with his business acumen make him uniquely qualified to lead the cutting edge custom fertilizer business.
Keith Wedgworth, a fourth generation family member joined the company in 1999 after earning a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Food Resource Economics from the University of Florida. Katie W. Bryson, Dennis’ youngest daughter, is also a fourth generation family member that joined the company after graduating from the University of Florida in 2004. They have both demonstrated commitment to the family values of hard work and community service by taking leadership roles in different organizations both locally and throughout the state. They continue to carry on the Wedgworth family tradition of offering quality products and services to Florida’s agricultural producers.