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IFAS News

University of Florida

“The Meat We Eat” a popular course that improves attitudes

Topic(s): Extension, Families and Consumers, Food Safety, IFAS, Livestock, Nutrition

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some people are changing their attitudes about the meat industry after taking the popular online course, “The Meat We Eat.”

The course, intended to give the consumer a more educated view of the meat industry, started up again April 20, and so far, about 5,000 people are registered. Chad Carr, a UF/IFAS animal sciences associate professor and meat Extension specialist, hopes that number rises above last year’s enrollment of 20,000 – students from around the world.

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6 UF/IFAS faculty named as Research Foundation professors

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Biofuels, Citrus, Crops, Economics, Environment, Food Safety, Forestry, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Livestock, New Technology, RECs, Research

Robert Fletcher photographed for the 2011 FAES Awards.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler JonesRESEARCHFOUNDATION - Danyluk 041015Jim Jones (left), Bin Gao (seated), and Pratap Pullammanappallil.  Innovation Awards Portrait.  UF/IFAS File Photo.Zhenli He. Associate Professor, Soil and Water Science.Jose SantosRESEARCHFOUNDATION - Peter 041015
Pictured top (left to right) Robert Fletcher, Michelle Danyluk and Bin Gao; second row (left to right) Zhenli He, Jose Eduardo Santos and Gary Peter.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Six University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty members, who are trying to solve global issues like food safety and environmental sustainability, have been named as UF Research Foundation Professors for 2015-18.

The recognition goes to faculty who demonstrate a distinguished record of research and a strong research agenda that’s likely to continue to distinguish them in their fields.

“When I look at the breadth of research exemplified by these talented scientists, I am reminded of the complexity and breadth of the IFAS mission, and how fortunate we are to have people of such high caliber working in a university that places such a high value on research and invests so heavily in the research enterprise,” said Doug Archer, UF/IFAS associate dean of research.

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UF/IFAS Extension agents and master gardeners to participate in Florida Agriculture Literacy Day

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Extension, Families and Consumers, Livestock

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — UF/IFAS Extension agents and master gardeners will participate in the 12th annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day on April 21, when they will read a non-fiction book about Florida’s livestock and poultry industry to elementary school students all over the state.

Florida Agriculture Literacy Day features farmers, ranchers, UF/IFAS Extension agents, master gardeners, teachers and students in Future Farmers of America and agriculture industry representatives reading to students about the importance of agriculture.

“IFAS has been very involved in the Ag Literacy Day, and a good reason for that is a lot of these county offices require them to go into classrooms,” said Lisa Gaskalla, executive director of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc. “It’s an easy, free way for them to get into elementary classrooms in their county and establish relationships with those teachers and students and let them know what Extension is and how it can help them.”

This year’s book, “Drive Through Florida: Livestock and Poultry,” is about an animated truck that takes students on a tour of Florida’s beef, dairy, poultry, swine, equine, sheep and goat industries. The book gives students a better understanding of the breadth of resources available in this state.

UF/IFAS has participated in Florida Agriculture Literacy day every year since it began in 2004 and about one-fourth of all of the readers are UF/IFAS Extension staff or master gardeners, Gaskalla said.

Florida Agriculture Literacy Day is organized by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization that educates Florida teachers and students about the source of food, fiber and fuel by using lessons, materials, grant programs and other projects.

For more information please visit: http://faitc.org/aglitday/.

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By Rachel LaVigna, 352-294-3302, rlavigna@ifas.ufl.edu

Source: Lisa Gaskalla, 352-846-1391, gaskalla@ufl.edu

 

UF/IFAS beef cattle specialist receives national Extension award

Topic(s): Extension, Honors and Appointments, Livestock

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences beef cattle specialist has received the Southern Section Extension Award given by the American Society of Animal Science.

Matt Hersom, an associate professor in animal sciences and an Extension beef cattle faculty member won the award Feb. 2 in Atlanta, Georgia. The award was given in collaboration with the award sponsor, Boehringer Ingelheim, Vetmedica Division.

To be eligible for the award, scientists must be southern region Extension specialists and make an outstanding and noteworthy contribution in animal science in beef cattle, swine, sheep, horses, goats, 4-H livestock or meats. The nomination was based on Hersom’s Extension accomplishments.

“I think what this award represents to me is acknowledgement from my peers of the quality of the Extension programs we’re doing here in the state of Florida,” Hersom said. “I think the great thing about Extension is that I won the award, but I don’t do my Extension programs by myself. I’ve had some great mentors, some great people and great specialists here in the department and county faculty throughout the state of Florida that have helped me along the way.”

Hersom has been a part of the American Society of Animal Science since he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Iowa State University in 1995. He also earned a master’s degree in animal nutrition from Iowa State, with a focus on beef cattle grazing systems, and a doctorate in animal nutrition from Oklahoma State University. There, he focused on the effect of grazing systems on feedlot performance.

From day-to-day, Hersom fields calls from county faculty and producers and researches the effects of feeding strategies on beef cattle production. His UF/IFAS appointment is 60 percent Extension and 40percent research, but how much time he spends in each area depends on the week and the day, Hersom said.

“My favorite part about being an Extension specialist is being able to get out and interact with our clientele,” Hersom said. “My wife tells me ‘I can always tell when you come back from an Extension program because you’re in a good mood.’ I get a lot of job satisfaction out of delivering information and interacting with county faculty and clientele. I get the pleasure of working with different people form UF/IFAS employees to the farmer who has 10 cows to the manager of a 10,000-cow operation.”

Hersom also leads the Florida Beef Cattle Short Course program, the longest-running beef cattle short course program in the country and works with the Beef Quality Assurance program, an educational program for producers, teaching best management practices for animal production to make products safe, wholesome and nutritious. He has been working as an Extension specialist with UF/IFAS since January 2004.

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Cutline: Matt Hersom, an associate professor in animal sciences and an Extension beef cattle faculty member, has won the Southern Section Extension Award given by the American Society of Animal Science.

Credit: UF/IFAS file photo.

By Rachel LaVigna, 352-294-3302, rlavigna@ifas.ufl.edu

Source: Matt Hersom, 352-392-2390, hersom@ufl.edu

 

 

Retired UF/IFAS cattle specialist is Agricultural Hall of Fame inductee

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

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Alvin C. Warnick

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A retired University of Florida animal sciences professor who made his mark in cattle reproduction techniques is among six people who will be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame on Feb. 10.

Alvin C. Warnick is credited with changing the industry from harvesting animals to managing a cow herd to higher productivity and continues to be a great influence in both innovative worldwide research and practices.  He has lived and worked among Argentine, Brazilian and Ethiopian cattle ranchers to improve their industry.

Warnick, 94, joined UF’s animal science department in the fall of 1953 and was among the newly hired faculty providing leadership and guidance to the state’s cattle industry. He came to UF when the industry was emerging from eradication of fever tick and screw worms. His research helped solve those problems.

Warnick also trained generations of industry leaders, published more than 300 scientific papers and co-authored four books on beef cattle breeding.

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Range Cattle Research and Education Center dedicates new education building

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

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Cattlemen, Extension agents and other stakeholders soon can attend educational events at a new University of Florida facility dedicated to teaching how to manage the state’s grazing lands.

Officials dedicated and opened the Grazinglands Education Building Nov. 20 at UF’s Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona. At the same time, they recognized major donors and highlighted their “Campaign for Ona.”

About 6 million acres in Florida are used for grazing, said Range Cattle REC Director John Arthington.

The Grazinglands Education Building was made possible by more than $380,000 in private donations, state and federal money, Arthington said. The initial gift, a $150,000 grant awarded by the Mosaic Company Foundation, started the building’s construction. Most of the remaining funds came from the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation, said Arthington, an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member.

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Family Day at the Dairy Farm canceled for Oct. 25

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Livestock, Nutrition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ongoing weather issues have forced the University of Florida to cancel its Family Day at the Dairy Farm open house, which was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25.

“We’re very sorry to have to cancel, but heavy rainfall in late September and early October created wet conditions in the pasture that serves as our visitor parking area,” said Jerry Wasdin, one of the event organizers. “We’re concerned that the ground will not dry out in time to provide reliable parking at the event, and cars might get stuck in the mud.”

Organizers have ruled out the possibility of rescheduling the event for a later date in 2014, Wasdin said. Possibilities for a 2015 open house will be discussed in the weeks to come.

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North Florida REC to unveil new cattle fence and gates at Beef/Forage Day

Topic(s): Announcements, Livestock, RECs

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — North Florida ranchers are being prodded to attend this year’s annual Beef and Forage Day at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna on Friday, Oct. 3.

All things bull and cow, along with what to feed them, will be discussed.  In addition, REC leaders will be showing off a new $275,000 cattle fence and gate. The Florida Cattlemen’s Association helped secure the project’s funding from state legislators.

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UF/FAS and Florida A&M announce innovative farmer awards

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Livestock

Gainesville, Fla. ─ The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida A&M University’s Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Focus Team are pleased to announce the three winners of the Innovative Farmer Award for this year’s conference.

The Innovative Farmer Award recognizes farmers and ranchers who are innovative leaders and excel in making their farming systems more profitable over the long term, using farming practices that enhance natural resources, leading or participating in activities that support viable communities and providing outreach and/or education about sustainable agriculture ideas and practices to others.

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UF/IFAS team wins national horse-judging contest

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

 

2014 Team and TA after contest

Cutline: Left to right: Joel McQuagge (Advisor), Leigh Ann Skurupey (Coach), Logan Perry, Chelsea Lopez, Kaley Garner, Alexandra Leepack, Cheyanne Niedringhaus, Linsey Clark, Taylor Murphy, Maegan Hackett, Rachel Benfield, Matthew McQuagge, Kathryn Sheppard (Assistant Coach), Ashley Coxen (Assistant Coach).

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida student team has won another national title, this time in horse judging.

A team took home first prize in the 2014 Spring Horse Judging Contest on April 15 at North Central Texas College in Gainesville, Texas. The team of Linsey Clark, Rachel Benfield, Taylor Murphy, Matt McQuagge and Logan Perry names cq beat 27 other teams from land-grant universities across the U.S.

Although UF has had a successful horse-judging program for more than 20 years, this is the first time a UF team has been ranked first overall, said Leigh Ann Skurupey, UF’s horse-judging team coach.

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