University of Florida

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


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

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


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 professor wins prestigious national teaching award

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


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Mack Thetford, an associate professor based at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center, has been selected the 2016 American Society of Horticultural Science Outstanding Undergraduate Educator award. Thetford, whose teaching and research focus on landscape ornamentals and plant propagation, will be honored at the ASHS awards ceremony in Atlanta on Aug. 8.

The ASHS Outstanding Undergraduate Educator award recognizes an educator who has had a distinguished and outstanding undergraduate education teaching career in horticultural science for a period of 10 or more years. Thetford has taught at UF for 21 years.

“Dr. Thetford’s teaching efforts at the WFREC are appreciated, and I am grateful for the depth of knowledge and passion that he brings to the profession,” said Wes Wood, director of the West Florida REC.

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UF’s Archer to leave post as associate dean for IFAS research to teach

Topic(s): Announcements, IFAS, Research

Doug Archer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Associate Dean for IFAS Research Douglas Archer has switched gears to pursue his passion of teaching and research in the department of food science and human nutrition.

Archer transitions back to what he considers “the best job in the University” after a full decade in the UF/IFAS Dean for Research office. With his academic background in microbiology, he plans to use his knowledge of the research interests of IFAS faculty in Gainesville and at the Research and Education Centers to help researchers with common interests collaborate in ways they otherwise would not have realized.

He also plans to continue working with the Emerging Pathogens Institute, particularly on diseases associated with food and water, to better link the science with rapidly evolving Federal policy.

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UF/IFAS recognizes top faculty research

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Aquaculture, Economics, Environment, Honors and Appointments, IFAS, Nutrition, Pests, RECs, Research

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Whether it’s hybrid termites, grain pathogens, mosquito mating or something in between, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers are studying important topics and helping to solve global issues.

The UF/IFAS Research Dean’s Office recently recognized more than two dozen UF/IFAS faculty members for their impactful research, and Dean for Research Jackie Burns said she could not be more proud of the scientists.

“We recognize that these research articles are examples of the many published by UF/IFAS that are highly impactful and help reach solutions to worldwide issues including food shortages, nutrition, diseases and economic development,” Burns said. “Our faculty perform top-quality, globally-recognized scientific work, and we’re proud to recognize them.”

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UF/IFAS student to participate in White House science panel on April 13

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida/IFAS student will serve on a panel at the White House Science Fair on April 13. The science fair is the last of President Obama’s administration.

Kiona Elliott is a third-year student majoring in horticultural sciences, and has been asked to reflect on her past experience in the White House Science Fair, discuss the importance of STEM training and talk about her current research activities. She currently attends UF as a McNair Scholar, named for astronaut Ronald McNair who perished in the Challenger Disaster in 1986.

“I am honored to represent UF/IFAS during the White House Science Fair,” Elliott said. “The university has nurtured my passion for the sciences, and the faculty have been supportive as I pursue my educational goals.”

Elliott performs research with Dr. Kevin Folta’s group in the horticultural sciences department, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, examining uses for a potentially new class of plant growth regulators that could improve sustainable farming.  She has presented her work at national meetings, and plans to enroll in a leading graduate program with a focus on using technology to ensure food security for developing nations.

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UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County agent awarded $2.67 million contract to train inmates

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Crops, Economics, Extension, IFAS

Lloyd Singleton. Photo taken on 9-2-15

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — More Florida inmates will have an opportunity to leave prison with real job skills and likely reduce their chances of being reincarcerated, thanks to a contract between the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Lloyd Singleton, an extension agent with UF/ IFAS Extension Sumter County, was recently awarded a $2.67 million contract to expand a vocational training program. Singleton leads a program to teach horticulture and culinary arts at the Federal Correctional Center in Coleman, Florida.

The five-year contract will help organizers expand a current program that offers horticulture training, Singleton said. He has headed the program for five years, which offered horticulture training to approximately 80 inmates a year. Now, the new contract will include culinary arts and will allow organizers to train more inmates.

“In the past five years, we have trained 415 inmates, 195 of whom have been released. Only seven of those released have been re-incarcerated,” Singleton said. “The recidivism rate of four percent is substantially lower than the national average, which shows that giving inmates training before they leave prison helps them to become productive citizens.”

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UF/IFAS researcher’s findings resonate 30 years later

Topic(s): Announcements, Aquaculture, Economics, Honors and Appointments, IFAS

Jim Anderson (2)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor wrote an article 30 years ago that’s still so significant that a scientific journal has recognized it as an “enduring” article.

James Anderson, a UF/IFAS professor of food and resource economics and director of the UF/IFAS Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, has been honored by the journal Marine Resource Economics for his 1985 paper, “Market Interactions between Aquaculture and the Common-Property Commercial Fishery.”

“I was quite surprised and honored, especially since it was the first time the award was given, and at the time the article was written, almost no one in the economics profession was giving any attention to the economics of aquaculture and its relationship to traditional capture fisheries,” Anderson said. Capture fisheries are found mostly offshore. “Most articles written 30 years ago have been forgotten, but I know some researchers are still looking at this one – that’s a good feeling.”

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UF/IFAS to teach how to communicate agricultural hot topics more effectively

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, Environment, IFAS


Ricky Telg

See caption below story

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Major issues threaten American agriculture, but few outside the industry understand the gravity of these problems. University of Florida students are learning how to tell these stories.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, awarded a $296,000 grant to UF, Texas Tech and Colorado State — three land-grant universities — to teach students how to increase their awareness and knowledge about controversial topics in agriculture and natural resources. That way, they can think more critically about such hot-button topics – including genetically modified organisms and climate change — and thus, communicate more effectively about them, said Ricky Telg, a UF/IFAS professor of agricultural education and communication.

UF/IFAS received $90,921 for its portion of the project.

The grant will help future agriculture leaders know how to communicate more effectively and hopefully educate the general public about how these challenges could, for example, destroy Florida’s $10.7 billion citrus industry, spread viruses like chikungunya and dengue, increase water pollution and lead to more obesity. Educating the general public about these challenges will help people understand how agriculture and natural resources issues are intertwined and help everyone see the big picture in ensuring we have ample food to feed the predicted 9.5 billion people on Earth by 2050.

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