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IFAS News

University of Florida

UF/IFAS program highly successful in keeping phosphorus out of the Everglades

Topic(s): Agriculture, Aquaculture, Conservation, Crops, Environment, IFAS, Livestock, RECs

Wide angle scenic of Everglades National Park near Homestead, Florida.  Parks and recreation, Florida, river of grass.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A 20-year plan to dramatically reduce phosphorus levels of agricultural water entering the Florida Everglades is working, thanks to proper implementation of best management practices by growers, training by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and cooperation with state and federal agencies.

“It is a partnership that has worked,” said Samira Daroub, a professor of soil and water science at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade. “It is one of the success stories in the area and also in the country.” (more …)

Two UF/IFAS animal sciences faculty members each earn $450K cattle research grants

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Environment, IFAS, Livestock, RECs, Research

Cliff Lamb.  Professor and coordinator, Animal Science Programs.  UF/IFAS Photographer Tyler Jones.

Geoffrey E. Dahl (Geoff), Professor and Chair, Ph.D. UF/IFAS Photo: Sally Lanigan.

Please see caption below

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Geoff Dahl wants to know why heat makes cows less prone to produce milk, even when they are not lactating.

Dahl, a UF/IFAS animal sciences professor, has won a $450,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study how to reduce mammary cell growth so he and his colleagues can develop strategies to limit the negative impact of heat stress on cows that are late in pregnancy and not producing milk, the so-called “dry cows.”

Dahl was one of two UF/IFAS animal sciences faculty members to win $450,000 NIFA grants last week. Cliff Lamb, a professor at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida, will study the differences in fetal development of Bos Indicus cows compared to Bos Taurus cows.

Heat stress causes cows to eat less and reduces milk during lactation, Dahl said. But it also decreases mammary growth late in a cow’s pregnancy, when cows normally do not produce milk as they prepare for the next lactation.

“That depression of mammary growth translates to less milk throughout the next lactation, and thus reduced efficiency and profitability for dairy producers,” said Dahl, who’s also chair of the Department of Animal Sciences.

(more …)

UF/IFAS researchers use pigs to root out problem weeds

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Environment, Green Living, IFAS, Livestock, Research, Vegetables
Professor of Agronomy and Weed Science Greg MacDonald with his pigs.

See caption below

CITRA, Fla. — Sometimes, the old-fashioned ways are the best ways.

Back before chemical pesticides and herbicides, farmers had to come up with ways to kill the weeds that took over their fields. One method used “back in the day” was letting pigs loose in fields that were not being used for crops for a season and allowing the pigs to do what they do naturally: dig up the roots of weeds and  fertilize the land.

In the last year, Greg MacDonald, a weed science researcher with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, decided to give the method a try to combat nutsedge, a weed that looks like grass and is so resilient it can sprout up through plastic row-crop coverings and even the plastic lining of above-ground pools. (more …)

Ona White Angus herd up for public auction to be held at UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Economics, IFAS, Livestock, RECs, Research

Ona White Angus 070615

Ona White Angus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Ona White Angus herd will be sold through a public auction at the University of Florida Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona this fall or early winter.

The Ona White Angus was developed over two decades of cross-breeding various phenotypes at the Range Cattle REC, said Center Director John Arthington.

(more …)

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

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

MEATWEEAT for web 042215

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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.

(more …)

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.

(more …)

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

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

AGLITERACY 032315

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

Hersom EXTENSION AWARD 021815

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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

Ag Hall of Fame Alvin Warnick 011215

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.

(more …)

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