University of Florida

Food, sustainability and climate change experts to speak in Gainesville April 2-3

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Departments, Environment, Green Living, IFAS, Research, Weather

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida will host a climate symposium April 2-3 that will feature leading authorities on food, sustainability and climate change.

Registration has closed for the event, but members of the media are welcome to attend. It is being held at the Reitz Student Union on campus. The last two sessions on April 3, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., are open to anyone, regardless of registration. For more information, please see agenda here: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/landgrant/agenda.pdf.

Called Sustaining Economics and Natural Resources in a Changing World: Key Role of Land-Grant Universities, the symposium will address the impact land-grant institutions and their research have had on food security and agricultural production; infrastructure and transportation; energy; sustainable development and resource policies.

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4-H reaches goal of 500 youth traveling to Tallahassee

Topic(s): 4-H


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This year, Florida reached a milestone, marking the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival on Florida’s east coast.

To commemorate that anniversary, more than 500 Florida 4‐H youth will arrive in Tallahassee for its annual 4-H Day at the Capitol event on March 14.  The UF-based organization will welcome an additional 250 parent and adult participants.

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Free soil testing at UF/IFAS soils open house Saturday, March 16 on campus

Topic(s): Announcements, Extension, IFAS, Landscaping, Lawn & Garden, Vegetables


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the weather warming up, it’s time to get out and garden – but plants need optimum soil conditions to reach their full potential, and that’s where the University of Florida Extension Landscape and Vegetable Garden Soils Open House can help.

The event happens 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at the UF Extension Soil Testing Laboratory on the UF main campus in Gainesville. Visitors can bring in soil samples for free pH testing at the lab and get advice on a wide range of gardening and landscaping topics. There will also be free refreshments and hourly drawings for door prizes.

“We encourage residents to bring us their questions and concerns,” said Rao Mylavarapu, a professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and one of the event organizers. “We’ll have experts from numerous fields available to help.”

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UF/IFAS Family Day at the Dairy Farm offers education, fun

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Economics, Environment, Extension, Families and Consumers, Food Safety, IFAS, Livestock, New Technology, Pollution, Research


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Milk may be sold in supermarkets, but it comes from cows – that’s the lesson being offered this Saturday at Family Day at the Dairy Farm, a free open-house event at the University of Florida’s dairy farm in Hague, 20 minutes northwest of Gainesville.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., dairy researchers and Extension specialists with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will showcase the farm’s operations and explain how their work helps commercial dairy producers. For directions, see http://tinyurl.com/d3a5626.

Visitors can watch cows being fed and milked, learn about cattle nutrition and health-care practices, pet live calves, tour barns, sample dairy products and make their own butter.

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Webinar series makes communication ‘Easy as PIE’

Topic(s): Announcements

PIE Center Logo-01

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Center for Public Issues Education (PIE Center) is now hosting a monthly webinar series called “Easy as PIE.”

The series provides opportunities to learn about critical agriculture and natural resource issues in an interactive online environment. Speakers include experts and practitioners who share their relevant research, practical experiences and research-based recommendations.

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Huge, aggressive mosquito may be abundant in Florida this summer, UF/IFAS expert warns

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Extension, Families and Consumers, Household Pests, IFAS

UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador

Cutline at bottom. Click here for high-res image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — If mosquitoes were motorcycles, the species known as Psorophora ciliata would be a Harley-Davidson – big, bold, made in America and likely to be abundant in Florida this summer.

Just how abundant is a matter of speculation, but University of Florida entomologist Phil Kaufman says last year the state had a bumper crop of the huge, biting insects, which are sometimes called gallinippers. He said there may be a repeat on the way.

“I wouldn’t be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year,” said Kaufman, an associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “When we hit the rainy cycle we may see that again.”

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UF/IFAS Extension joins Alliance for Innovation network

Topic(s): Announcements, Extension

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences has agreed to join a network of local governments dedicated to innovation, UF/IFAS Extension Dean Nick Place announced Monday.

UF/IFAS Extension is joining the Alliance for Innovation, a group of local government officials who’ve joined forces to share information and work together in hopes of building stronger communities.

UF/IFAS officials say the move means all IFAS county Extension faculty will have access to emerging trends through alliance publications, case studies, innovation awards and white papers, networking groups, professional development, member forums, conferences, and other professional development.

As part of the agreement, UF/IFAS officials will provide the Alliance with one white paper for year to be distributed through the Alliance network, as well as one topical article each year for the group’s monthly “Transformations” newsletter. Extension faculty will receive membership discounts for conferences, meetings, products and seminars, according to the agreement outlining the partnership.

According to the Alliance for Innovation website, the organization is an “international network of progressive governments and partners” committed to transforming local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovations:

“We seek out innovative practices, challenge existing business models, exchange knowledge, and provide products and services that help our members perform at their best.  Together with our partners, the International City/County Management Association and Arizona State University, we promote excellence in local government and build a community of practice in local government innovation.”

The organization’s website can be found at: http://transformgov.org/en/home



Writer: Mickie Anderson, 352-273-3566, mickiea@ufl.edu

Source: Nick Place, 352-392-1761, nplace@ufl.edu


UF/IFAS associate professor wins 2013 Postdoc Mentoring Award

Topic(s): Announcements, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Kevin Folta

Caption at bottom. Click here for high resolution image.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kevin Folta, a University of Florida associate professor and interim chair of the horticultural sciences department, is a recipient of the 2013 Postdoc Mentoring Award.

Folta, a member of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, recently received the award from UF’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, a unit that provides programs, services and support.

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