The Barbers were long-time contributors to youth programs and the University of Florida. Fred began his own collegiate studies at UF with the help of a 4-H scholarship and graduated from UF in 1933 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural & Life Sciences. He never forgot the financial support that helped him get there.
Fred was quoted as saying, “My wife and I both came from extremely modest circumstances and are conservative in nature, so we wanted to see our resources used wisely to help young people in the future achieve a better life and more meaningful careers.”
Fred worked from 1951-1965 providing tech help as an extension specialist in Libya and Brazil for the U.S. Agency for International Development. They bought a 760-acre farm near Baker, FL in 1951 and got into tree farming in 1954. Fred was named Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year in 1975 by the Florida Forestry Association and Tree Farmer of the Year by both the Southern Forest Institute and American Forest Institute in 1976, when he also received the Florida Green Belt Award. In 1987, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Farm Bureau and the Friend of Extension Award from Florida’s County Extension Agents in 1992.
In 1979, Fred and Mabel sold the farm and retired to Crestview, FL. Mabel passed away in 1986 and Fred passed in 1997.
This fund supports scholarships for students in the School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences.