Carl Edgar Beeman
(right) Carl Beeman and wife accept the honor.
During his long and distinguished career in agricultural education, Carl Beeman was a gifted teacher and an inspirational leader on the local, national, and international scenes. The contributions he made to the development of agriscience education and the FFA have been significant and long-lasting, and the people he mentored along the way are the leaders of today. Carl Edgar Beeman was born on June 26, 1935 in Martin, Mississippi, where he grew up on a farm. After studying agriculture throughout high school, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Mississippi State University in 1957. Carl went on to earn his master’s degree from ississippi State in 1961 and the PhD from Cornell University in 1967, both in agricultural education. Later that same year Dr. Beeman joined the faculty of the University of Florida’s College of Education in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.
Eight years later Dr. Beeman was promoted to department chair and helped guide the transition of agricultural education from the College of Education to IFAS. Under Carl’s leadership, undergraduate enrollment grew 48% and graduate enrollment more than doubled, while department morale and optimism for the future grew. He also assumed prominent roles in state and national organizations, serving as president of the Florida Association of Vocational and Adult Teacher Educators from 1975 to 2000 and president of the American Association of Teacher Educators in Agriculture in 1984. His excellence in these posts and many others led to terms as president of the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association in 1986-87 and president of the Florida Vocational Association in 1989 and 1990. Carl specialized in the development of curriculum materials, and he shared this passion internationally in his travels to Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Africa, and elsewhere in the world. Dr. Beeman served as Chief Marshall of the University of Florida commencement ceremonies for more than 25 years. His service to FFA in particular has also been exemplary. Carl has filled a number of offices including terms on the state and national board of directors. He was instrumental in helping to establish the Florida FFA Foundation and the Leadership Training Center.
Carl’s achievements have been recognized many times over the years. In 1973 he received the FFA Honorary State Farmer Degree, followed in 1982 by the American Farmer Degree. In 1987 he earned the Southern Region Outstanding Service Award from the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, and in 1989 Dr. Beeman was bestowed with the University of Florida President’s Medallion for Distinguished Service. Since his retirement in 2001 he has enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family. He and his wife Ruth have two daughters, four grandchildren and one great grandson, and divide their time between Gainesville and Franklin, North Carolina.
Carl Beeman was inducted into the Florida FFA Hall of Fame September 13, 2008.