John Oscar “J.O.” Schlechter is a humble pioneer who has dedicated his life to the agricultural industry, his family, and most importantly his relationship with Jesus Christ.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 1958, J.O. began his life-long career as a farmer and bought Everglades Farm Equipment from his father in 1971, making it a fourth-generation business within the Schlechter family. His love and marriage to Eleanor has stood strong for 68 years, along with their proud four sons, eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
For many years, J.O has served on several boards aimed at supporting agriculture like the Sugarcane Growers Cooperative board for 10 years and the Pioneer Growers Cooperative board for 35 years, as well as the Florida Celery Exchange board for 10 years.
J.O. has dedicated his time to serving his community and making a meaningful difference in the lives around him. He served for 15 years on the Glades Day School board and coached multiple little league teams for 10 years or more. For over 50 years J.O. has been a deacon at The First Baptist Church of Belle Glade, while serving as a Sunday School Teacher and organizing a food pantry to feed the community.
J.O.’s lifetime of service and hard work has been recognized by many organizations. He was named Ag Man of The Year by the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce, while he and Eleanor were jointly honored with the Citizen of the Year award by the same organization, as well as the Farmer of The Year award from Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau. Through his lifetime of service and hard work, J.O. continues to make a profound impact on agriculture, his loved ones, and his community.