Robert “Robbie” Roberson has owned and managed successful nursery operations for the ornamental plant industry for more than 40 years. His contributions to the agricultural industry go far beyond his own enterprises, however.
Roberson was a founding member of the Florida Foliage Association, serving as its Foundation’s president for three years. When the organization assimilated into what is now known as the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) in 1993, he became an active member of FNGLA’s local Action Chapter. He received its most prestigious honor, the Gene Batson Award, and was later inducted into the FNGLA Hall of Fame.
Roberson is well known for his advocacy work for the agricultural industry on local, state and national levels. For example, he played a pivotal role in the creation of the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC) in Apopka, including leading efforts to secure more than $14 million in funding for the consolidation of research centers throughout the region into one state of the art facility. He continues his involvement with the MREC Advisory Committee, previously having served as its chair.
Roberson has also served on the national Council for Agriculture, Research, Extension and Training, including two years as the chair of its Southern Region; as a longtime member and past president of the Florida Agriculture Council; as the agricultural representative on the Orange County Planning and Zoning Board; and as the chair of the Orange County Commission’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. Additionally, he has held leadership positions on the boards of the Orange County Farm Bureau and Fam Credit of Central Florida. He continues to serve on the FNGLA Political Action Committee.
Roberson was a founding chair of the Apopka Foliage Festival and is engaged in several other community efforts as well.