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IFAS News

University of Florida

Eighth annual UF Bee College event returns March 6-7

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Entomology and Nematology, Environment, Families and Consumers

A bee on a sunflower.  Helianthus annuus, annuals, honey bees, insects, pollination.  UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s sweetest event for all things honey bee is set for March 6-7, University of Florida officials announced this week.

The University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory has organized and hosted the UF Bee College since 2008 for hobbyists, professionals and anyone interested in maintaining a healthy honey bee population. The event will be held at the UF Whitney Marine Laboratory in Marineland, Fla. (more …)

UF/IFAS partners with USDA to conduct grant workshop to support local foods

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

Farmers Market

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – UF/IFAS Extension is working with federal partners to offer a workshop in Miami in April to help interested parties write and submit federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion programs.

UF/IFAS is part of a national effort to train people in attaining these grants.

Workshops are being conducted across the nation, but the Florida workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., April 8 at the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department, 3071 SW 38th Ave., Miami. Pre-registration is not required but is strongly encouraged to ensure materials are available for all participants. Please register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/amsta-technical-assistance-program-tickets-15668841928.

With $30 million authorized annually through fiscal year 2018 by the 2014 Farm Bill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awards grants to develop new markets for farm and ranch operations serving local and regional markets. The Farmers Market Promotion Program supports farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer activities, while the Local Food Promotion Program supports enterprises that aggregate, store, distribute and process local and regional food.

(more …)

Sticking with a healthy heart plan

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

4H youth learning about My Plate, healthy eating, and physical fitness.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Remember that New Year’s resolution to diet and exercise?

You can increase your odds of sticking to your weight-control plan by surrounding yourself with supportive people, setting realistic goals and logging your activities, a University of Florida expert says.

February is American Heart Month, a good time to learn more about cardiovascular diseases and how to stick with a weight-loss program. One in six people who try to fight the fat actually stay with their plans over a sustained period, said Anne Mathews, a UF/IFAS assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and a registered dietician.

But there’s hope.

“Making any changes can be beneficial,” Mathews said. “Making changes can also be difficult. So if you’re thinking about making a change in your health behaviors, some of the things we know will help are to get help from a registered dietitian or a doctor, get help from the people around you ─ asking them to help keep you more active. Keep track of what you’re doing, such as how often you drink water and eat fruits and vegetables. Plan ahead and problem-solve any foreseen challenges such as a change in schedule. And recognize your successes.”

(more …)

UF/IFAS Extension working to help farmers and ranchers keep it all in the family with AgSave$ Program

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

BartonFamily2

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For Marianna farmer and rancher Ken Barton, the combination of business and family is more than just a balancing act – it is his livelihood.

Barton is 10 years away from retirement, and concerned about how he will hand over the reins of the family business he established in 1979 to his son and son-in-law.

“I think one of the things that kind of sticks out in my mind – what will I need to do to make sure that when I’m ready to retire – or simply have a smaller share and smaller responsibility – how do I leave that to my children without a huge tax burden on them or me?” Barton asked recently. He owns 260 acres and leases another 1,500 to grow row crops and raise cattle. “That’s my concern  ─ that we can transfer that farm and those assets to the next generation without hidden things – things that we’re not aware of that could cause us the most problems.”

Many Florida farming and ranching families face that same question, and that’s where the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Extension program, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Financial Services, are stepping up with a new take on the 6-year-old Florida Saves program. It’s called Agriculture Saves ─  or AgSave$ ─ and it is designed to help farmers and ranchers make that transition from one generation to the next. (more …)

Michael Gutter named new Associate Dean and State Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities

Topic(s): 4-H, Agriculture, Announcements, Departments, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Gutter

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Dean and Director for Extension Nick Place announced Tuesday that Professor Michael Gutter has been promoted to associate dean and state program leader for 4-H Youth Development, Families and Communities within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

CALS doctoral student earns $25,000 fellowship from Dannon Yogurt

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

Yogurt Grant - 012815 Ford_Amanda photo 2014

Amanda Ford

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences doctoral student has won a $25,000 fellowship to continue studying probiotics.

Amanda Ford, conducting research under the guidance of Wendy Dahl, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, was awarded the fellowship by the Dannon Company.

“Ford’s strong interest in yogurt and probiotics and commitment to advancing human health through scientific research distinguished her from a pool of well-qualified and talented candidates,” the Dannon Company said in a news release.

(more …)

UF/IFAS study: Fatherly involvement with teenage girls may lead to safer sexual protection in college

Topic(s): Families and Consumers, IFAS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. ─ To paraphrase an old TV show title, Perhaps “Father (does) Know Best.”

Female students who said their dads were “involved” in their lives as teens are more likely to use protection when having sex in college, a positive sign for fathers in an era of increasingly single-parent homes, according to new University of Florida research.

For her master’s thesis in the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Caroline Payne-Purvis analyzed responses from 748 college students in an introductory course at UF. About 60 percent were females, and 40 percent male.

Students answered 73 questions, which tried to find out, among other things, aspects of the participants’ adolescent years, their parents’ level of involvement when the students still lived at home, how often they now engage in sexual behaviors, including intercourse and their contraception use during various sexual behaviors.

Payne-Purvis found female students who said their father was “involved” in their lives as teens used condoms more frequently during intercourse.

(more …)

Bicyclists willing to ride up to 3 miles to catch bus, train, UF/IFAS study shows

Topic(s): Conservation, Environment, Families and Consumers, Green Living, IFAS, RECs, Research

Students commute on bicycles through campus.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – If three American metro areas are any indication, few people ride their bicycles to a bus or train station to commute to work, and those who do only travel an average of 1 to 2 miles. That suggests to a University of Florida researcher that American cities should make the 2-mile radius around transit hubs more bike-friendly.

Methods to do so could include installing bicycle lanes separated from vehicular traffic, adding off-street multipurpose paths for pedestrians and bicyclists and converting car lanes to bike-only lanes, said UF geomatics Associate Professor Henry Hochmair.

Hochmair reached his conclusions by studying data collected by transit agencies from passengers who rode trains and buses in three metro areas – Atlanta, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

From those who completed the survey, Hochmair analyzed trips from 157 people in Los Angeles, 66 in Atlanta and 99 in Minneapolis who rode their bikes to access transit – 2.3 percent, 0.3 percent, and 4.2 percent, respectively. In Hochmair’s data analysis, those who opted to ride a bike to a transit hub cycled an average of 1 to 2 miles in Atlanta and the Twin Cities and 3 miles in Los Angeles.

(more …)

UF/IFAS helping those in need eat healthy for the New Year

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

Fresh vegetables at the farmers market.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Karen Maxey, 69, grew up on a farm eating fresh fruits and vegetables and maintained that healthy diet throughout her life.  But in 2007, the economy took a toll on her personal and professional life; she lost her real estate business and her home, and then her marriage collapsed.  She went back to school and graduated with a business degree at age 65, only to find her job search was in vain.

And so, though no fault of her own, she wound up a recipient of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – known as SNAP – which supplies her with $64 a month for food.

“So many seniors are really suffering,” said Maxey, who was thrilled when she found out that at some Florida farmer’s markets, her benefits could be doubled, up to $20, to enable her eat healthy, Florida-grown foods under a program called Fresh Access Bucks.  Some markets even double that per shopper, per market day, allowing SNAP recipients to purchase $40 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally. (more …)

UF/IFAS Extension and Bok Tower Gardens are partnering to teach a new generation about plants, gardening and the environment

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Environment, Families and Consumers, IFAS, Lawn & Garden, Nutrition, Vegetables

Bok Tower

LAKE WALES, Fla. — Among the music of carillon bells, beneath a lush oak canopy, a new partnership is emerging between the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension and historic Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL.

The partnership between the state’s preeminent land-grant university and this historic garden will provide onsite demonstration gardens, education programs and conservation research, as well as outreach programs to help people better see, appreciate, and connect with plants. A new school and community gardens program has already begun operations to teach food gardening to students and residents. (more …)

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