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.

Previous PostNext Post

Related Posts


Do you know a Florida agriculture giant?

Nominate Someone Today!


What We Do

The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made lasting contributions to agriculture in this state and to mentoring of our youth, who represent the future of agriculture in Florida.

Thank You

The video profiles of the inductees from 1980 through 2017 were produced by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. More information is available at:

Sort by Year Below

On Facebook

Social Widgets powered by