Professor emeritus named to Agricultural Hall of Fame


Dr. Paul Nicoletti

Dr. Paul Nicoletti

Dr. Paul Nicoletti, a professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named to the 2013 Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.

A 1956 graduate of the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Nicoletti began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Missouri, with later duties in Wisconsin, New York, Mississippi and Florida. Most of his career was spent with the USDA and later, the UF veterinary college, where he taught infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health and food safety for 25 years and influenced many veterinary students to consider careers in agriculture and public health. Nicoletti also served as an epizootiologist in Tehran, Iran, from 1968-1972 with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

While with the USDA, Nicoletti made a lasting contribution to Florida agriculture by improving the procedures used to control brucellosis, an important disease that affects both livestock and humans. An internationally renowned authority on this disease, Nicoletti’s efforts led to the eventual eradication of the disease in Florida.

He retired from the UF veterinary college in 2003, after having amassed several important honors and awards for his achievement. Among those were being named Veterinarian of the Year by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association in 1994 and being presented with the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003. He received the Meyer-Steele Gold Head Cane Award, the highest honor the organization gives,  from the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society in 2010.

The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors men and women for their lasting contributions to Florida agriculture and for mentoring youth. Previous inductees have come from all walks of life including agricultural teachers, researchers, farmers, ranchers and government. Their lives and achievements are commemorated in a display on permanent exhibit in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation building at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. A total of 136 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Nicoletti and three others selected as inductees will be honored during a banquet to be held Feb. 12, 2013.

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