James Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund

jwatsonThis fund was established in honor of James Watson. A Jacksonville native, Watson found his calling in the field of agriculture. He held the position of County Agricultural Agent for Santa Rosa, Columbia, Lake and Duval counties for twenty four years until retirement in 1975. While serving as county agent, he was also the host of a daily, award-winning Jacksonville television program “Hi, Neighbor.” For 20 years, after which he had a second program “Down to Earth with Jim Watson” for another 14 years.

As a county agent, Watson frequently had to take positions that were controversial or unpopular, but he never hesitated to stand up for “his farmers.” He was deeply involved with 4-H Club activities, and his former 4-H Club members have reached various levels of service that range from state legislators to key positions of leadership in agriculture. Jim was a lifetime member of the Men’s Garden Club of Jacksonville.

In 1982, Watson was named to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. He has served in several professional societies as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, Director of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, Farm Bureau Director, and as President of the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents. A 1941 graduate of the University of Florida, Watson served in the South Pacific during World War II and received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Watson retired in 1998.

The James Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund has been awarded to the following recipients:

2013

Charles Brown, Gainesville, FL

Leah Cobb, Gainesville, FL

Andrea Johnson, Deland, FL

Victoria Turbyfill, Newberry, FL


2012

Bernard Flynn III, Atlantic Beach, FL

Adrienne Hidalgo, High Springs, FL

Andrea Johnson, Deland, FL


2011

Gina DeFalco, Palm Coast, FL

Adrienne Hidalgo, High Springs, FL


2010

Erika Larsen, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Robyn Moore, Gainesville, FL


2009

Valerie Anderson, Ormond Beach, FL

William Lester, Melbourne, FL