CLEWISTON — The people of U.S. Sugar were saddened to learn of the recent passing of sugar industry pioneer, Joe Marlin Hilliard. Hilliard and his family have a long and storied relationship with the company as independent growers, business partners, and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.
“Joe Marlin was an innovator in Florida sugarcane farming, an entrepreneur, a rancher who greatly improved his family’s holdings, a shrewd business partner and a close personal friend,” said Robert H. Buker, Jr., President and CEO.
Buker said that Hilliard’s investment in research, technological innovation and hands-on collaboration with the University of Florida—IFAS (Immokalee Research and Education Center) helped lead to the expansion of sugarcane production on sandy soils and the mechanization of the Florida sugarcane harvest. Hilliard was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2017.
“Joe Marlin Hilliard was an industry pioneer who made great strides for area agriculture—particularly in beef cattle ranching, sugarcane harvesting and citrus production. More importantly, he was a great friend who leaves an amazing legacy in Hilliard Ranch,” Buker said.
He will be deeply missed.