Dr. Wayne Smith’s contributions to Florida agriculture encompass his lifelong devotion to education and research and forestry passion. Smith, a native of Marianna, Florida, and graduate of the University of Florida, returned to his alma mater in 1964, advancing through the academic ranks as a professor, director, and finally, professor emeritus. In retirement, he served as interim dean for UF/IFAS Research and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He proved to be a groundbreaking educator, researcher, and administrator.
Smith played a crucial role in developing and implementing the first Best Management Practices (BMPs) for silviculture. BMPs soon spread across Florida’s agricultural industry and changed the face of agriculture. His research in fertilization led to practices that increased pine forest productivity by up to 300%. And his pioneering work in bioenergy made Florida a leader and earned accolades from the U.S. Department of Energy. Smith’s work has been recognized around the globe, including an audience with royalty. He has been a consultant for the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and has been called upon to testify before Congress as a staunch supporter of agriculture.