Robert Whisenant

Robert "Bob" Billingsly Whisenant, 1997 Inductee

Robert "Bob" Billingsly Whisenant, 1997 Inductee

The late Robert “Bob” Billingsly Whisenant was born in Cuba in 1903 and came to Florida in 1914 and attended the University of Florida where he majored in civil engineering and then took a job as an engineer with the East Coast Railroad. Drawing on his background as an engineer, Whisenant put sub-irrigation in many fields and was known as the “father” of low-density or wide-row farming, more commonly known as the “Whisenant system.” Whisenant designed floodgates for use next to saltwater, was the first to practice seepage irrigation in tomato fields, designed and built the water wheel setting machine and developed the basket-tie method of tying tomatoes. He was the director of the Bradenton Production Credit Association and an inductee into the Manatee County Agriculture Hall of Fame.

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