Olin Thomas “Tom” Stoutamire was born July 20, 1933, in Blue Creek, Florida. The oldest of five children, Tom grew up in rural Liberty County and graduated from Liberty County High School in 1951. Afterward, he attended the University of Florida, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education. Olin is shown here on the left with John Hoblick, President Florida Farm Bureau Federation presenting the award.
In December 1955, he married June Bowen, three days before being sent to Korea with the U.S. Army. When he returned a year and a half later, he and June moved to Sebring, where he began teaching agriculture at Sebring High School. Tom spent 13 years as the agriculture teacher at Sebring High. He also managed 50 acres of orange groves, 27 of which he owned. He later managed 100 head of cattle on 200 acres.
In 1970, he and June felt the need to move back to his home, to the Tallahassee area; Tom accepted a job as an Area Agricultural Education Supervisor with the Florida Department of Education. In this position, Tom supervised and supported the agriculture education programs, conducted regional level FFA activities – including Area Leadership Schools and district and area leadership contests – supported the Area I state officer, and assisted with forestry camps and contests. In 1992, Tom retired from the Department of Education. Tom spent much of his retirement days travelling the country with June, until her death in 2002.
Tom has served as a member of many civic organizations, including the Sebring Jaycees, where he served as president twice; the Highlands County Education Association; and the Florida Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, where he served as treasurer and president. Tom has received several prestigious awards during his years of service in agricultural education. He received the Florida Citrus Mutual Annual Award twice, the Honorary State FFA Degree, and the Sebring Jaycee Outstanding Young Farmer Award.
Tom and June have two sons: Tommy and Scott. Tommy and two of his children have become agricultural educators, as well. Tom spends his time sharing memories with his four grandchildren and working in the yard.