IFAS News

University of Florida

Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame adds 4 new inductees on Feb. 9

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame is honoring four new inductees in Tampa on Feb. 9 who have ties to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honors men and women who have made lasting contributions to agriculture in this state and to the mentoring of youth, who represent the future of agriculture in Florida. All four inductees have played major and vital roles in mentoring young people through Extension, 4-H, at UF or on their ranch. The 2016 Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees are: (more …)

UF Cattlewomen take 2nd place in online scholarship program

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, Extension, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, Livestock

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen took second place in the recent College Aggies Online scholarship competition that recognizes outstanding use of social media and community involvement to promote agriculture.

Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen is a group of 51 students in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. For their honor, the UF group won $2,500.

The awards, announced Dec. 2, culminated the nationwide initiative that helps college students share agriculture’s story.

“After nine long weeks of advocating, and help from all the club members, we were thrilled to find out that all of our hard work paid off,” said Samantha Dailey, vice president of the UF Cattlewomen. “The $2,500 will allow our club to take advantage of more educational opportunities and help our members to become leaders in the beef industry.”

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UF/IFAS study: Feral swine can cost at least $2 million annually in cattle production

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

Piglet.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Feral swine cost the Florida cattle industry at least $2 million a year in lost cattle production, according to a new study led by a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher.

In fact, researchers believe they may have underestimated the amount of forage destroyed by feral swine, said Samantha Wisely, a UF/IFAS associate professor of wildlife ecology and conservation. Furthermore, researchers kept their cost estimates to lost forage and did not include the cost of restoring range, controlling invasive weeds that feral swine spread and other costs.

“We suspect that the cost is nearly an order of magnitude higher, and our next project will document that more precisely,” Wisely said. Nationwide, feral swine damage and control costs more than $1.5 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Florida Bull Test sale set for Jan. 16 at the UF/IFAS North Florida REC

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

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Marianna, Fla. – A Jan. 16, 2016 sale will conclude the annual Florida Bull Test at the UF/IFAS Northeast Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, Florida.

Only bulls meeting specific benchmarks are eligible for the sale. In addition, bulls are inspected for structural soundness and disposition and must pass a breeding soundness exam to qualify for the sale. Additional information, such as actual performance data, expected progeny differences (EPDs), and carcass ultrasound data is available for bull buyers to aid in the selection of excellent quality bulls to purchase.

Internet bidding will be available at the sale. Potential buyers will need to preregister on the Cattle in Motion, LLC website (http://www.cattleinmotion.com/ ) before the sale.

For more information on the Florida Bull Test, visit http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/florida-bull-test/, or call 850-526-1621. Catalogs for the sale are available by request.

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New UF/IFAS Extension publication can help owners protect horses from creeping indigo

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Environment, Extension, IFAS, Invasive Species, Livestock, Safety

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Recent news accounts of horses falling ill or dying after consuming the weed creeping indigo have raised concerns among horse owners. So, University of Florida experts have released a new publication to educate the public and help prevent future incidents.

It’s the latest in a series of educational efforts on creeping indigo led by faculty members with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said weed scientist Jason Ferrell, a UF/IFAS agronomy professor. For the past year, Ferrell and colleagues have been giving live presentations to horse owners and reaching out to veterinarians, Extension agents and fellow scientists with information.

“We want to heighten people’s sense of awareness, heighten their vigilance, teach them about good pasture management practices and improve their horses’ health,” Ferrell said.

The publication is available free at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag399. It provides color photos of creeping indigo, along with information on its toxic effects, preventive steps to discourage establishment of the plant, and herbicide recommendations for treating infested pastures. The publication is part of the UF/IFAS online Extension library known as the Electronic Data Information Source, or EDIS. (more …)

Ona White Angus Field Day set for Oct. 22

Topic(s): Announcements, IFAS, Livestock, RECs, Research, Weather

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Get ready to see the latest on a new breed of cattle, courtesy of research by scientists at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

UF/IFAS scientists and administrators will host the field day Oct. 22. Activities will start at 8 a.m. at the Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St. in Arcadia and finish after lunch at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona.

“This Field Day will highlight topics related to the impacts of heat stress on beef cow/calf production – an important subject for Florida beef producers,” said John Arthington, director of the Range Cattle REC.

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UF/IFAS helping homeowners across Florida deal with coyotes

Topic(s): Agriculture, Environment, Extension, IFAS, Invasive Species, Livestock

Coyotes are becoming a nuisance in some parts of Florida.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Coyotes were introduced in Florida in the 1920s for hunting and, today, they live in every county in the state and are becoming a nuisance in some areas.

Lisa Hickey, an Extension agent for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is hosting a workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, at the Anna Maria Public Library to help residents understand the precautions they can take to reduce coyote encounters. The library is located at 5701 Marina Drive on Holmes Beach (Manatee County). (more …)

Pioneering UF/IFAS cattle scientist recognized at World Dairy Expo

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida emeritus graduate research professor in the Department of Animal Sciences was recognized last week at the 2015 World Dairy Expo for his decades of work in cattle reproduction.

Virtus Nutrition honored several researchers, including William Thatcher, as the company launched the Fatty Acid Forum Legacy Series at the expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Virtus showcased the significance of dairy research and the scientists who pioneered numerous dairy cattle nutrition breakthroughs. Some of the scientists’ findings serve as resources for nutritionists and producers now and for future generations.

Thatcher, an active emeritus UF/IFAS faculty member, is considered one of the world’s leading experts in animal reproduction. He played a key role in establishing links between the intake of fatty acids by dairy cows and their effects on improving reproduction.

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History marker honors UF/IFAS Extension’s role in helping Florida’s farmers, ranchers, families

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, IFAS, Livestock
Extension agents have been helping farmers, ranchers and homemakers for 100 years in Florida. UF Smathers Library

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In the early 1900s, every farmer and rancher in Florida knew their county Extension agent by name: It was the person from the University of Florida who taught them the best and latest techniques, and homemakers how to can and preserve their food—a skill that actually saved lives during the lean years of the Great Depression and World War II.

On Wednesday, Extension’s 100 years of contributions to the well-being of Florida residents is being honored with the unveiling of an historical marker at the Pugh Hall Patio along Buckman Drive, across from Rolfs Hall.  The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m.  The Extension program falls under the umbrella of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

Groundbreaking is Sept. 10 for renovation of UF/IFAS Beef Teaching Unit

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

A sandhill crane in a cattle pasture at the UF's Beef Teaching Unit

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dignitaries, UF/IFAS faculty and other interested parties are scheduled to gather Thursday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the $3.6-million renovation of the UF/IFAS Beef Teaching Unit in Gainesville.

The ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. at the south entrance to the facility at 3301 SW 23rd Terrace, near Williston Road.

The 500 undergraduates and many graduate students who spend time during their degree programs in animal sciences will have much more room to learn about how cattle help America’s economic and nutrition needs, said Geoff Dahl, professor and chair of the UF/IFAS animal sciences department.

This year, the Legislature allotted $1 million toward the renovation of the Beef Teaching Unit. UF/IFAS plans to ask the Legislature for the rest of the $2.6 million during the 2016 session, Dahl said. The facilities for working cattle and student housing had fallen into disrepair, he said. The student housing at the unit was condemned about six years ago.

The old unit housed about 900 square feet of enclosed space for housing and an additional 3,000 square feet for animal work. After the renovation, there will be 5,000 square feet of multipurpose enclosed space and another 15,000 square feet for cattle pens and working area.

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