Linda Parks, Dick Shore selected for Manatee Agricultural Hall of Fame

MANATEE -- The owner of a local farm supply store known for her work with children, and a pioneering Manatee County fruit and vegetable broker have been selected as the two newest members of the Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Linda Parks, who owns Come See Come Sav at 505 301 Blvd. E., with her husband Jim, and the late Richard "Dick" Shore, father of Manatee County Clerk of Courts Chips Shore, will be inducted into the hall of fame on Nov. 20 at the Palmetto Womens Club.

They will be the 93rd and 94th persons inducted into the hall. Parks is the ninth woman selected for the honor.

"I don't have any words. It's great, it's wonderful!" she said Friday of her selection. "I do really enjoy working with the youth. I have had a great time with them."

Betty Glassburn, a member of the hall of fame selection committee, said Parks is known by the agriculture community "as some

one who can not only sell you animal feed but tell you why you should be feeding this feed and for how long or what kind of fertilizer to use and how often."

She is also known for her work with the Manatee County 4-H Club in Elwood Park and county wide.

Linda and Jim Parks started the 4-H Exchange Club where the youth planned a trip for the year, learned about a budget and raised money for the trip.

Linda Parks was inducted into the 4-H State Hall of Fame in 2002.

She is a member of the Manatee County Cattlewoman's Association, serving as an officer on the local and state boards. She served on the National Beef Cook-Off Competition Committee.

She is an active member of Farm Bureau.

Jim Parks was previously inducted into the hall as agriculturist of the year.

Dick Shore came to Manatee County from Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1920, after serving in France and Germany with the U.S. Army during World War I.

As a broker, he visited farmers and arranged to sell their produce.

"It means an awful lot to me," Chips Shore said of his father's recognition.

Dick Shore died in 1967 at age 69.

"Nothing gets sold without a broker. Without brokers, tomatoes wouldn't have been sold," Chips Shore said Friday. "He was one of those people who never signed a contract. Everything was done on a handshake and he never lost a penny that way."

In the early 1950s Dick Shore worked on the problem of getting tomatoes from Cuban farms to the United States.

"To solve the problem he pioneered the use of ethylene gas to control the ripening process during shipping. This method was successfully implemented at the new Harllee-Gargiulo Packing Plant in Ellenton," according to the selection committee.

Shore owned farm land in Parrish with the Whisenant Family under Whisenant-Shores Farms, now known as Whisenant-Shore Inc. They were one of the first to raise and sell hybrid tomato varieties and cherry tomatoes. Dick Shore sold his shares of the farm to the Whisenant Family in the 1960s.

Dick Shore was one of the founders of Manatee Memorial Hospital.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.