His introduction to the analytical and fertilizer worlds began with the Guyana sugar industry in the mid 1970s. He was employed as a lab technician responsible for chemical analysis of soil, plant tissue, limestone, fertilizers, sugar and molasses. There he learnt the classical wet chemistry and from this knowledge he is able to use today in providing accurate analytical data.


His dedication earned him a scholarship from the sugar industry to pursue a course of study in tropical agriculture in Trinidad. He returned to the sugar corporation to share his new-found knowledge and was given the responsibility for weed control on one of the plantations. Upon completion of his contractual obligations, he joined his wife in Trinidad where he was employment at The University of the West Indies. There he was involved with fertilizer field trials for the enhancement of tropical grasses as a feedstock material to be used in livestock production. This stint at the University further enhanced his repertoire of analytical skills and knowledge of fertilizers.


This individual migrated to Tampa in 1989, where he joined Thornton Laboratories. His knowledge and analytical skills allowed him to accept more responsibilities, and in the ensuing years, he advanced from Fertilizer section leader, to Assistant Technical Director.


His involvement with the Methods committee of the AFPC has earned him the respect of his peers in the Phosphate analytical arena and he is currently an industry liaison to the Lab Services and Magruder committees of the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials.


His involvement and service with the US fertilizer industry has allowed him to be a representative to the International Method Harmonization Work group.


He was nominated to be chairman of the Technical Advisory Group representing the United States at the ISO -Fertilizers and Soil Conditioners Technical Committee #134. This group is comprised of representatives from 23 countries, and is tasked with the responsibility of developing new standards for fertilizers and soil conditioners.




Hugh B. Rodrigues


Hugh attributes his success to the support of his wife of 33 years. Along with Steve Fickett, he is a co-owner of Thornton Laboratories.