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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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – When Kathleen Colverson works in places like Mozambique, Tanzania and Ethiopia, she watches as women farmers rise before dawn to gather firewood and water to make breakfast for their families.
They send the older children off to school, strap their babies to their backs, and leave the 5-year-olds to watch the toddlers while the women head into the field to raise greens, corn and beans, said Colverson, associate director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ international programs – also known as IFAS Global.
At harvest time, they pick the crop, dry it and then process it – all by hand. If they are fortunate, they belong to a women’s co-op, which helps them sell their crops and any crafts they make at home by firelight after cooking dinner.
“I have tremendous admiration for women farmers because they are such strong, capable people,” said Colverson, whose work is part of UF/IFAS’ mission to help farmers throughout Florida, the U.S. and the world learn about the latest crops and growing techniques.
The United States Agency for International Development recently awarded UF/IFAS part of a $7 million grant to help extension provide better reach to African women farmers, which will contribute to higher household incomes and improved nutrition. USAID administers this and other programs, providing economic and humanitarian aid in more than 80 countries worldwide. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A new e-book from the University of Arkansas System features University of Florida scientists’ quest to establish a Florida organic strawberry industry.
A chapter titled “Organic open-field and high tunnel strawberry cropping systems for long-term viability of the southeastern industry” examines the participation of five Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty in the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative sponsored by the Walmart Foundation.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For scientists to better communicate with the public, they’ll have to use more than their brains: they’ll need their hearts and souls as well, says Alison Van Eenennaam, who will present the fall 2014 York lecture.
Van Eenennaam, a Cooperative Extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology at the University of California, Davis, will give a talk called “GMO Technology: What do the facts say?” Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at Emerson Alumni Hall. The talk is free and open to the public.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – With an additional $200,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, scientists from the University of Florida and North Carolina A&T University are expanding grower engagement in organic strawberry research.
While the focus of the 2013-2014 work was broad and exploratory, a key component of this year’s research will be to test the best aspects of the organic strawberry production system under farm conditions and with grower management.
Growers at three farms in North Central Florida are assessing two cover crops and three commercial strawberry cultivars that performed well in last year’s Phase I trials. Grower evaluations of the Phase I research resulted in suggestions that researchers assess cover crop combinations as well as a cover crop that could produce a marketable product.
In Phase II, scientists will evaluate the on-station and on-farm research for seasonal variability in market yield, nutrient-use efficiency, consumer acceptance and response to postharvest handling and storage.
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Agricultural Extension Agent Cesar Asuaje is the recipient of the 2014 National Extension Diversity Award, given by the Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Three veteran University of Florida Extension agents have earned national recognition for outstanding leadership, diversity and international service.
Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary fraternity that encourages professional development for the nation’s Extension agents, recognized Mary Keith, Mary E. “Betsy” Crisp and Adrian Hunsberger at its annual conference in Indianapolis in October.
Keith, Crisp and Hunsberger have worked for UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, collectively, for about 50 years.
Strawberries will be a part of a five-year, $10 million grant to grow better fruit crops
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The United State Department of Agriculture awarded a team of scientists from 14 universities, including the University of Florida, the first of a $10-million, five-year grant to improve half a dozen fruit crops.
The award is from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative and involves two projects. (more …)
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A consortium of scientists and researchers, led by the University of Florida, has received the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Partnership Award for Multistate Efforts.
The Southeast Climate Extension project is comprised of 19 researchers from half a dozen universities. They engage agricultural producers and help them implement management strategies to protect crops from weather extremes. In addition, they conduct research aimed at reducing climate and weather risks in agriculture and natural resources in Florida, and cooperate with similar programs through the Southeast Climate Consortium. (more …)
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.