IFAS News

University of Florida

Three UF Food-Safety Experts to Serve on 12-Member FDA Task Force

Topic(s): Families and Consumers, Food Safety, Safety
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Whether E. coli on spinach or Salmonella in peanut butter, it seems food-borne illness outbreaks are becoming all too familiar to the average shopper. On Jan. 29, when a national task force of 12 experts meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to improve America’s food safety – three of the experts will hail from the Gator Nation, with two from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“I think that this shows that the University of Florida, and IFAS in particular, has an enormous amount of the food safety expertise in the form of experienced staff and resources,” said Douglas Archer, a task force member and IFAS associate dean for research. “The three of us get to draw on that – to use that potential to begin to help solve some bigger problems.” (more …)

New Disease May Cost Florida’s Avocado Industry Millions, UF Experts Warn

Topic(s): Crops, Economics, Invasive Species, Pests, RECs
  • By:
    Tom Nordlie – (352) 273-3567
  • Sources:
    Jonathan Crane – jhcr@ufl.edu, (786) 255-5878
    Edward “Gilly” Evans – eaevans@ufl.edu, (305) 246-7001 x272

Edward Evans and Jonathan Crane examine avocados
View Photo

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s avocado industry, the nation’s second-largest, could lose millions of dollars if a new disease reaches the state’s southern tip, according to University of Florida experts.

Laurel wilt disease, caused by a fungus transmitted by the invasive redbay ambrosia beetle, kills avocado and several native trees including redbay, said Jonathan Crane, a professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and co-author of a paper estimating the disease’s financial impact. The paper is expected to be published later this year. (more …)

Florida’s Master Gardener Program Hits Milestone: 5 Million Volunteer Hours Served

Topic(s): Extension, Families and Consumers, Lawn & Garden
  • By:
    Mickie Anderson – (352) 273-3566
  • Source:
    Tom Wichman – twichman@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1831 x331

Tom Wichman
View Photo

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — While hitting its 30th anniversary mark this year, Florida’s Master Gardener program has another reason to party: Its volunteers recently reached a milestone, logging more than 5 million hours since the program began.

There are some 4,000 master gardeners in Florida, in 58 of the state’s 67 counties. (more …)

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