IFAS News

University of Florida

UF CALS students earn top honors at annual banquet

Topic(s): CALS, Honors and Appointments

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Students who earned honors from the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at its April 14 banquet show exemplary scholarship, leadership and commitment to the community.

“One of our top priorities for CALS is to recruit and retain outstanding students,” UF CALS Dean Elaine Turner said. “Our annual Scholarship and Leadership Awards Banquet gives us the opportunity to showcase the achievements of those students. The award winners are truly the best of the best. I’m so proud that they chose CALS to further their education.”

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UF CALS doctoral student named UF teaching assistant of the year

Topic(s): CALS, Honors and Appointments

 

Bertrhude Albert.  2016 CALS Scholarship and Leadership Awards Portrait.

Berthrude Albert

See link to video below the story

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Imagine your instructor using rap to get her point across. That might pique your interest and make you listen more attentively, especially if you’re a university student.

Rapping is one of many approaches Berthrude Albert uses to get her students to listen. Her teaching acumen has led to her being honored with the 2016 Jack L. Fry Excellence in Teaching Award, given to a graduate student by the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Albert also was honored this year as one of two to win the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award as the best graduate teaching assistant of the year for the whole university.

Albert teaches a course titled, “Effective Oral Communication,” which is a graduation requirement for many majors at UF.

“When they first get to class, they’re so nervous,” said Albert, who expects to earn her doctorate in agricultural education and communication in December. “I know that part of public speaking is being comfortable in your own skin. I put myself out there. Even if it’s silly, just put ourselves out there and see what happens when we put our guards down.”

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Many career options for this year’s UF CALS grads

Topic(s): CALS, Families and Consumers, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

CALS Commencement Javan Brown 032616

Javan Brown

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Unlike most graduating college seniors, Javan Brown gets up at 5:30 every morning. While his classmates sleep in, Brown goes to the Army ROTC center on the University of Florida campus to go through physical training and to train other cadets.

Brown will graduate Friday from the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in family, youth and community sciences. He will be among 658 UF CALS students earning bachelor’s degrees at the April 29 commencement. Another 84 will receive master’s degrees while 59 will get doctorates, according to figures provided by the UF CALS dean’s office. CALS is part of the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

When he gets his diploma, Brown will also be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He intends to make the military his first career. After that, who knows? He has a passion for helping others.

“People can improve their position,” Brown said. “But if they don’t know how, it’s tough. I want to motivate and empower people. If you get a map and identify where you want to go, you can succeed.”

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UF/IFAS Celebrates Arbor Day with an art contest in Seffner

Topic(s): Agriculture, Conservation, Environment, Extension, Forestry, IFAS

A pond at the UF/IFAS Santa Fe Beef Teaching Unit.  Photo taken 09-24-15.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— Arbor Day is approaching and Seffner, Florida, residents are geared up to celebrate with an Arbor Day mail art contest presented by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Hillsborough County.

National Arbor Day, April 29, is a time for the global community to come together and celebrate the importance of trees by planting new ones and taking care of the trees already in existence. Trees play an essential part in the ecosystem because they provide clean air and water as well as slow climate change. They also prevent species loss and alleviate poverty and hunger.

This year’s Arbor Day theme for the mail art contest is titled “I appreciate trees because…” Contestants will submit their art, along with their name, age and number, to the Extension office for a chance to be one of three winners. The categories are divided by three age groups: child, youth and adult. Three winners will receive a tree planting kit worth $100, and their art work will be displayed in the lobby of the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County office.

The winners from each age group will be chosen before Arbor Day, and they must be present at Kerby’s Nursery on April 29 at 6 p.m. to receive their prizes.

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By: Brinkley Clark, 954-600-8257, brinkleycclark@ufl.edu

Source: Nicole Pinson, 813-744-5519, nicolepinson@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County program prevents tree abuse through education

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A volunteer of the Duval County Tree Stewards trims a tree limb at a park near Jacksonville, Florida.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Have you ever had a tree trimmed back to bare bones because you thought you were getting your money’s worth? You may be guilty of tree abuse, says a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agent.

For the last 16 years, the UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Tree Trimmer Program has been teaching tree trimmers and arborists in South Florida how to avoid tree abuse with best pruning practices. Broward County requires tree trimming businesses to be certified and licensed, and the Extension program provides the certification training. Since its start in 2001, the program has issued between 10,000 and 11,000 certifications.

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County agent Michael Orfanedes developed and now oversees the training program. Orfanedes said that when it comes to pruning trees, “Some customers think that the more that gets removed, the better the job.” However, certain pruning practices are considered tree abuse because they can make trees vulnerable to decay and instability. “When trees decline and fall apart, there can be liability and loss of property,” Orfanedes said.

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UF/IFAS to host panel about global food security with Rep. Ted Yoho on May 2

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

Background: The House of Representatives recently passed the Global Food Security Act, a bill crucial to the continuation of the important Feed the Future Innovation Lab research at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).  Congressman Ted Yoho’s district includes the University of Florida, and he is a supporter of this legislation and other USAID-supported research at public land-grant institutions. This panel will provide a greater understanding of how that research affects his district and U.S. efforts to promote nutrition, food security and partnerships with farmers abroad.

What: A panel discussion to highlight the important contributions being made by the University of Florida to the fight against global food insecurity and malnutrition.

Where: UF Animal Sciences Horse Teaching Unit; 1934 SW 63rd Ave. From main campus, head south on SW 13th St., and turn right onto SW 63rd Avenue.  The HTU is located about 0.4 miles down the road on the right.  Parking is ample.
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UF/IFAS to host 65th Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course on May 4-6

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

Who:    The University of Florida IFAS department of animal sciences will host the 65th Annual Florida Beef Cattle Short Course.

What:    Both small and large beef producers are invited to hear experts discuss hot topics and current research related to the beef industry. Presentations will include “Modern Ag in a Facebook Culture,” “Understanding the Use of GMOs in Agriculture” and “Beef Cattle Improvement in the Genomics Era.” Hands-on demonstrations will cover animal production, disease monitoring, and feed evaluation. Participants will have the opportunity to meet others in the industry during the trade show and catered dinner.

When:   1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m, Wednesday, May 4

8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, May 5

8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday, May 6

Where:   Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center

2142 Shealy Drive

Gainesville, FL 32611

For more information, visit http://animal.ifas.ufl.edu/beef_extension/bcsc/2016/short.shtml

To register, go to http://bit.ly/1plNY4k

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By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307, grenrosa@ufl.edu

Source: Matthew Hersom, (352) 392-2390, hersom@ufl.edu

 

UF/IFAS researchers: Florida sees dramatic increase in school gardens

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

4H counselor gardening with children.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — School gardens have been popping up like pea plants all over Florida, and students and teachers are eating up the benefits.

There are approximately 1,300 school gardens in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These gardens provide numerous benefits to students and teachers, said Kohrine Counts, a dietetics intern and master’s student at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

A recent study by Counts and Karla Shelnutt, an associate professor in the department of family, youth and community sciences and UF/IFAS Extension nutrition specialist, shows that school gardens are an excellent way to get fresh produce into classrooms and cafeterias. And, they also provide students with a living classroom where concepts related to science, math, agriculture and nutrition can be learned and applied, Counts said.

“School gardens get children outside and offers an interactive learning environment,” Counts said. “It gives them a chance to see where their food comes from, and allows children to develop life skills such as leadership, self-awareness, decision making and responsibility.”

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UF/IFAS professor wins national communicator’s award

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Departments, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Kevin Folta

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Folta, a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, has received the prestigious 2106 Borlaug CAST Communication award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Folta, chair of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, was lauded for being an outstanding teacher, mentor, researcher, and organizer.

“Folta focuses on clear, credible information when communicating science to non-scientific audiences,” said Kent Schescke, CAST executive vice president. “He does an excellent job in training scientists, farmers, physicians and students to perform public outreach in scientific or controversial topics.”

As a department chair, Folta provides statewide administrative leadership in UF’s teaching, research, and Extension fruit and vegetable programs. He coordinates and supports faculty efforts in more than 50 research programs at seven locations, ranging from citrus breeding and biotechnology to organic and sustainable production.

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UF/IFAS research may give new hope to expanding avocado production

Topic(s): Agriculture, Crops, Economics, IFAS, RECs, Research

Avocados - CristinaLaurelWiltBest 041816

Please see caption below story

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Findings from new University of Florida research may lead growers to produce avocados in the Indian River region of Florida, an area where the citrus industry has fallen on hard times.

The research comes from a dissertation by Cristina Pisani, who recently completed her doctorate in horticultural sciences at the University of Florida Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce. The center is part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

For her research, Pisani studied a grove of about 150 avocado seedlings collected in California by Rey Schnell, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami. Schnell identified the true hybrids of avocado Hass and Bacon cultivars. Then the seedlings were planted at the USDA Horticultural Research Laboratory, adjacent to the IRREC.

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