June 2, 2017
A Homestead nursery operator has received a prestigious honor for his business success and his contributions to the community. Earlier this month a panel of judges selected Mark Wilson as Florida’s top farmer for 2017.
Officially titled the, the award recognizes Wilson for his innovative practices as a nursery grower, as a community leader and as a visionary.
Wilson has produced exotic foliage plants for more than 30 years after immigrating to Florida from Jamaica. His advocacy and passion for ornamental horticulture began after he and a family member started a wholesale nursery,, in 1985.
The nursery afforded him the opportunity to apply his MBA in management and planning to grow a unique and exotic plant enterprise. The nursery serves an array of customers, shipping tropical foliage worldwide to garden centers, interior landscapers, theme parks and resort complexes.
Wilson’s pioneering conservation techniques include air blast technology that reduces nutrient output used for plants from 100 gallons per acre to 20 gallons per acre. Overall water use within the nursery is reduced through drip irrigation and container saucers.
Wilson is an avid supporter of youth education and has served in multiple leadership roles in his local community to help promote agriculture. A past-president of Dade County Farm Bureau, he is a longstanding state board member of the Florida Farm Bureau. He also served as president of the Florida Foliage Association in 1990. He is the founding board member of AgroTech Academy and contributes to the economic development of Miami-Dade County by serving on the advisory committee of South Dade: More To Explore and has served on the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida.
Florida Farm Bureau Federation coordinates the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Florida Farmer of the Year competition annually.