Thomas H. Braddock was born in Duval County, Florida. He currently manages his cattle and timber operation while remaining active in the Florida agricultural community.
Braddock attended the University of Florida where he earned a B.A. and M.S. in Agriculture. While in the graduate program, Braddock began to study methods to reduce winter maintenance costs for beef cattle. He conducted a twelve week research project called “Interval Feeding of Ruminants” using cattle and sheep. Interval feeding was adopted by many cattlemen and helped reduce operational costs. Braddock’s research and other similar studies have assisted cattlemen, not only in Florida but in other states as well, in holding down the increased cost of production.
Braddock was hired to lead the 4-H Youth Development program for the Duval County Extension office in 1957, eventually becoming Extension Director, a position he held until his retirement in 1995. During his career with the Extension Service, he also hosted a local television show called, “Hi Neighbor” from 1975 to 1991. The program featured guest interviews and demonstrations mainly on agriculture, natural resources, family life, leadership, citizenship and youth development. Priority was giving to food production systems, freeze and hurricane warnings and minimizing damage to plant, animals and homes, as well as, food safety. This public forum program provided a vehicle for the flow of information regarding critical agricultural issues.
Mentoring the next generation of agricultural leaders is a passion and way of life for Braddock. As a testament of his commitment to our youth, Braddock and his wife, Mary, created an endowment program. The Thomas H. Braddock, Jr. Trust Agreement pledged $1,700,000 to the University of Florida Foundation to be used to establish an endowed chair in the Department of Animal Sciences, to support the Florida 4-H Leadership Program and to support the Duval County 4-H program. This unselfish investment in our youth is helping to ensure a healthy agricultural interest for future generations throughout the state.
Braddock has held many leadership positions in various agricultural organizations and has been recognized for his significant contribution to agriculture and his community. Tom and his wife, Mary live in Fernandina Beach and have one daughter.