Hugh Fred Dietrich III has been actively engaged in Florida’s agricultural industry in a variety of capacities throughout his life: a lifelong cattle rancher, an agricultural educator and an auctioneer.
The family-owned Flying D Ranch is known for its champion cattle, herd management and land stewardship. Dietrich showed Registered Polled Santa Gertrudis cattle for the first time as a 4-H club member at the age of 12. He continues to do so 60 years later. He was a pioneer in the use of artificial insemination for herd management. The ranch’s management plan promotes soil, water, wildlife and forest conservation.
Thirty years as a Vocational Agriculture/Animal Science instructor in Orange County, FL, provided a multitude of opportunities to influence multiple generations and to help students achieve significant milestones of their own. Dietrich has been instrumental in serving as a mentor to numerous former students and colleagues in the agricultural education profession.
Dietrich has also served as an award-winning auctioneer/ring man at thousands of auctions, including youth livestock events. He has judged livestock shows such as the North American International in Louisville, KY; the Fort Worth Stock Show and state, regional and county fairs across the Southeast.
Dietrich has a long history of leadership and service in agricultural organizations. He has been active in the Orange County Cattlemen’s Association as a past president and longtime board member. He also served as a director with the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, receiving their Rancher Leadership Award and being honored as an Honorary State Director for a lifetime of service to the organization. He is also a past president and longtime board member of the Orange County Farm Bureau.
Dietrich has previously been inducted into the Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Hall of Fame, the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame, the Florida FFA Hall of Fame and the Florida Auctioneer Hall of Fame. He has also received the National Agricultural Education Association’s Outstanding Educator Award as well as its Lifetime Achievement Award.