IFAS News

University of Florida

UF/IFAS professor receives USDA grant to help small food businesses

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Departments, Extension, Families and Consumers, Food Safety, IFAS, Uncategorized
Soohyoun Ahn. Assistant Professor. Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Soohyoun Ahn. Assistant Professor. Food Science and Human Nutrition.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor has been awarded part of a $4.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue her food safety outreach programs.

The grant, through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), will be used for safety education, training and technical assistance projects for producers who are impacted by the new food safety guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The grants, made available through NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program, will assist owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers, food hubs, farmers markets and others.

“Providing food safety training for small farm owners and food processors is critically important to the health of consumers,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Outreach, training and technical support are essential to the successful implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.”

Soohyoun Ahn, an assistant professor in food safety in the UF/IFAS food science and nutrition department, will receive $163,284 to continue her programs that help Floridians enter the food business. Ahn, who also has a UF/IFAS Extension appointment, is leading the food entrepreneurship extension program as the coordinator, and has delivered food safety education throughout the state to those who want to sell products at farmers markets, or who want to open their own food businesses in Florida.

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UF/IFAS CALS professors receive funding for innovative teaching projects

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Recognized for their excellence both inside and outside of the classroom, faculty within the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) are known for providing unique learning opportunities for their students. Now, five UF/IFAS CALS faculty have received national recognition for their engaging course designs.

Innovative Teaching Awards given by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Board of Agriculture Assembly, Academic Programs Section (APS) will aid the faculty members in expanding creative learning experiences for their students. Each year, APS funds five proposals submitted by professors around the country to support learning opportunities and collaborative partnerships across at least two academic institutions. Since the award’s inception in 2014, UF faculty have been part of two winning proposals each year. Out of the five awards this year, UF/IFAS faculty within CALS won three.

“Collaboration is one of the core values of CALS, and we are proud to represent UF in partnerships with other collegiate institutions around the country,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “One of our top priorities as a college is to promote excellence in teaching and by encouraging our faculty to collaborate creatively with others, we improve the learning experience for our students.”

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UF/IFAS West Florida research center to donate fresh produce to needy families during Farm to City Week

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Extension, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Nutrition, RECs

A fall food spread including a turkey and several varieties of squash on a lakeside table. Food safety, outdoor dining. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

JAY, Fla. – Come November, 800 pre-qualified families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties will line up to get free, healthy, locally-grown food for Thanksgiving dinner.

For the sixth year, the University of Florida IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center will join forces with Feeding the Gulf Coast to feed local families during National Farm to City Week, Nov. 21 to 25.

Farm to City Week is a national effort to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation for agriculture. The week of Thanksgiving, meals will be distributed to 400 pre-qualified families in Santa Rosa County and 400 families in Escambia County.

“We are proud, as members of the community, to continue a tradition of feeding needy families for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Wes Wood, center director of the UF/IFAS West Florida REC. “Plus, we get to include other students in harvesting the produce, which helps them learn about farming.”

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Longtime UF/IFAS administrator retires after outstanding career in research, outreach

Topic(s): Announcements, Extension, IFAS, RECs, Research

Christine T. Waddill (Chris), Professor and Center Director, Ph.D., Everglades REC - Belle Glade.

Chris Waddill

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Her career at UF/IFAS spanned 20 years, starting as Dean for UF/IFAS Extension and later working as director of three research and education centers. Now, Chris Waddill is ready to retire.

On Oct. 31, Waddill officially leaves the Tropical Research and Education Center, a facility she ran for six years. Now, she’s joining her husband, Van, another retired UF/IFAS administrator, at their home on Duck Key.

She left quite a mark on TREC. As Waddill leaves, the REC is hiring new faculty, including an agricultural engineer and two breeders.

“We are so pleased to have five of the seven new faculty hired at TREC,” she said. “These faculty will help South Florida agricultural interests remain competitive by seeking out new crops and improving existing crops that can thrive in our unique ecosystem. This is the first time in about 30 years that we will have breeders who can improve our tropical crops but most importantly, seek improved crops for our growers.”

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With Halloween candy, it’s a matter of moderation, UF/IFAS expert says

Topic(s): Uncategorized

A parent and two children sort through Halloween candy.

Please see caption below story.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A little candy goes a long way, especially during and after Halloween, says a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences nutrition expert.

As with any sugary food, consuming too much Halloween candy is not good for you, said Karla Shelnutt, a UF/IFAS associate professor in family, youth and community sciences and a statewide nutrition Extension specialist.

“It’s OK to eat some candy in moderation,” said Shelnutt. “I don’t think kids should be eating more than one to two pieces of candy a day.”

When the kids return home from trick-or-treating and they spread their sweets on a table, let them have a piece of candy, even two, she said. But then, parents should space out the rest of the candy over days or even a week or two. Candy also should not replace healthier snacks, such as fruit, Shelnutt said. It’s also important that parents explain to their children why they shouldn’t eat a bunch of candy at once, she said.

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UF/IFAS CALS students, faculty host Stop Hunger Now on Nov. 4 to feed international communities in need

Topic(s): CALS, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Nutrition

2015 CALS Stop Hunger Now food packing event at the Straughn Center on Thursday, November 19th.

Please see caption below.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 800 million people globally do not receive the necessary amount of food to survive, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. While the number of undernourished individuals decreases each year, this number shows that nearly one out of every nine people on earth continue to suffer from food insecurity.

This is why the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) has continued its partnership with Stop Hunger Now to package meals for families in need. This is the fourth year of the collaboration, and the event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Straughn Center on UF’s campus, 2142 Shealy Drive.

“Last year, we raised enough funds to purchase and package more than 20,000 meals to send abroad, and this year our goal is 25,000,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “Service is a core value of CALS, and our students are especially committed to the fight against hunger and food insecurity.”

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UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC celebrates 75 years

Topic(s): Announcements, Economics, Environment, Extension, IFAS, Livestock, RECs

2015 Range Cattle Research and Education Center Field Day in Ona, Florida on Thursday, April 9th.

Please see caption below story.

ONA, Fla. — Ranchers, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty and friends will gather Oct. 27 at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center to celebrate the facility’s 75th anniversary of providing the best science for the cattle industry.

Among the scheduled speakers during the day’s festivities are Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources; John Arthington, director of the Range Cattle REC; Ned Waters, president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association; Erik Jacobsen of Deseret Cattle and Citrus; and Jim Strickland of Strickland Ranch.

Payne sees the Range Cattle REC as a facility that provides top-notch research data to ranchers in Florida and beyond.

“The Range Cattle REC has a long history of meeting the needs of Florida’s beef industry,” Payne said. “Our faculty in Ona study weeds, forage and ways ranchers can produce the best cattle for the market.”

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UF/IFAS Extension offers ‘hands on, holistic’ approach to science of cattle reproduction

Topic(s): Agriculture, Extension, IFAS, Livestock

White Cow at the Ona cattle ranch.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The goal of any cow-calf operation is fairly straightforward: produce more cattle more efficiently. However, the science of animal reproduction — which includes nutrition, genetics and other health indicators — can be a little less clear-cut.

To help those in the cattle industry better understand reproductive science and incorporate new techniques into their businesses, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension offers annual reproductive management schools for south, central and northeast Florida, said Bridget Stice, agriculture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Polk County.

Stice is the chair of the South Florida Beef-Forage Group’s reproductive school, which will be held Nov. 15 to 17 at Longino Ranch in Sidell, Florida.

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Cattle Enhancement Board Meeting

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, IFAS, Livestock

NOTICE OF A MEETING OF THE CATTLE ENHANCEMENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2016 – 3:00 PM

TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Cattle Enhancement Board, will be held on Monday, October 31, 2016 at 3:00 pm EDT.  This will be a telephone conference.  Please dial 1-866-365-4406, then enter the participant code 8464557# when prompted.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting is asked to advise the Board at least 72 hours in advance by contacting Ms. Goldie King by phone at 352-392-1971 or by email at kingo@ufl.edu.

UF/IFAS researchers head to Cuba for scientific exchange to benefit Florida agriculture

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Economics, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Extension, IFAS, Invasive Species, Pests, Research

Bill Messina, agricultural economist with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, surveyes a map of Cuban farming areas, Tuesday 3/24, that could compete with Florida producers if and when the United States trade embargo against Cuba is lifted. During the past four years, he has led a team of UF researchers working with the University of Havana to study the economic impact of lifting the embargo.   Photography by, Thomas Wright  UF/IFAS

Please see caption below story.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is sending an inter-departmental team of scientists to Cuba as part of a grant that is believed to be the first federally-funded project for scientific field research in Cuba.

The project’s principal investigator (PI), associate professor Damian Adams; project co-PIs assistant professor Jiri Hulcr and postdoctoral associates Paloma Carton de Grammont and José Soto, and other UF/IFAS research scientists and graduate students from the School of Forest Resources & Conservation, the Entomology and Nematology Department, the Food and Resource Economics Department, and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering will travel to Cuba for this research, funded by a $228,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The project team is traveling to Cuba to fulfill several missions:

  • Conduct research to identify wood-boring pest species in Cuba that could pose high-risk threats to U.S. agriculture and forests.
  • Train Cuban scientists on state-of-the-art methods to accurately identify these wood-boring pests in Cuba in an effort to reduce the possibility of transmission of these pests to Florida agriculture and forests.
  • Understand how Cuba’s plant protection programs and policies impact pest movement, particularly to the United States.
  • Estimate the potential economic impact of a pest invasion from Cuba to the United States.

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