IFAS News

University of Florida

Yara International pledges $100,000 in scholarships to UF/IFAS students

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Yara International has pledged $100,000 in scholarships to students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida to study agriculture.

The five-year grant, called the Yara Crop Innovation Scholarship, will be split evenly between undergraduate and graduate students in the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

“One exciting aspect of this gift is the focus on undergraduate student research,” said UF/IFAS CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “In order for students to develop a love for research, they must be engaged early in their academic careers. Yara’s gift will open doors for students to pursue their science passions.”

Yara understands the important role played by agricultural research, said UF/IFAS Research Dean Jackie Burns. “Yara’s gift demonstrates they understand the larger picture, that we must invest in both research as well as future scientists,” Burns said. “Through their generosity, Yara is setting a strong example for other industry groups who wish to impact the next generation of agricultural researchers.”

According to Yara president and CEO, Svein Tore Holsether, innovation and collaboration have been two key themes throughout the company’s history. “By launching these scholarships, we are not only supporting local students, but it is a good way of working closely together with academia and farmers on           topics that really matter—and that contribute to increasing our shared global knowledge,” he said.

-30-

By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, beverlymjames@ufl.edu

Source: Christy Chiarelli, 352-273-0353, ccw@ufl.edu

New UF/IFAS Extension location ups visibility, opportunities

Topic(s): Announcements, Extension, IFAS

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida IFAS Extension Hernando County agents and staff are settling into their new office at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport and Technology Center, and they couldn’t be happier with the change of scene.

Until recently, the UF/IFAS Extension office was housed with the Hernando County building department. This location was “far off the beaten trail,” said Stacy Strickland, the UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County director.

Both Strickland and the county administration agreed that the office needed a more prominent location. They started making plans in February to find the office a new address.

Strickland likes that the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport and Technology Center is closer to residential communities and potential UF/IFAS Extension clientele.

The move benefits both the UF/IFAS Extension office and its new neighbors because these businesses now have a connection to the University of Florida, said Valerie Pianta, economic development manager for Hernando County.

For example, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County has connected one of the manufacturers in the technology center with the University of Florida’s engineering department, Strickland said.

The center houses 125 businesses that employ 2,500 people, said Valerie Pianta. “This is an excellent central location for Dr. Strickland and his staff for what they are doing today. We are interested in having that kind of partner at our tech center,” she said.

“We certainly remember our agricultural, 4-H, FCS, and urban horticulture roots, and intend to serve those clientele while looking at new opportunities to serve the citizens of Hernando County,” Strickland said, adding that he wants to take advantage of the new location when creating future programs.  “I think that we can have a new take on some of our traditional programs such as 4-H. We’ve discussed aviation camp for our 4-H youth,” he said.

“I think what we have to do is look into the future and satisfy the clientele that we may have in the future,” he said. “I think this is going to put us in a really good position to do that.”

-30-

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

Sources: Stacy Strickland, 352-754-4433, jsstick@ufl.edu

Valerie Pianta, 352-540-6400, vpianta@hernandocounty.us

UF/IFAS student team wins national Ocean Spray competition

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A team of students from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences recently took home a $5,000 first-place prize at a national Ocean Spray Cranberry competition, dazzling the judges with a scrumptious waffle and dipping syrup product.

The food science graduate students, in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, were charged with making a new product for “healthy strivers.” Fifteen schools submitted abstracts, and three teams—UF, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Delaware Valley University—were invited to present their products at Ocean Spray headquarters in Massachusetts.

“The second annual Student Product Development is an effort to build employment brand recognition as well as to spark new ideas internally,” said Ocean Spray spokeswoman Kellyanne Dignan.  “It was a great opportunity and pleasure to host and showcase the truly innovative ideas created by students that represent our values of respect, ownership, innovation and collaboration.”

(more …)

$2.6M legislative allotment lets UF/IFAS complete Beef Teaching Unit expansion

Topic(s): Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Extension, IFAS, Livestock, Research

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

Please see caption below story.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Students in the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences animal sciences department will benefit from a top-notch cattle-teaching facility in Gainesville, thanks to a $2.6 million legislative allotment this year.

That’s one of many advantages of the $3.6 million expansion to the UF/IFAS Beef Teaching Unit. The facility will house 5,000 square feet of multipurpose enclosed space and another 15,000 square feet for cattle pens and working area. The Legislature allotted $1 million toward the Beef Teaching Unit in its 2015 session. Phase 1 of the expansion is expected to be complete by August or September, while Phase 2 should be done in 2017, said Geoff Dahl, chair of the UF/IFAS animal sciences department.

Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, lauded the expanded Beef Teaching Unit.

“With the expansion of the UF/IFAS Beef Teaching Unit, our students, faculty and staff can learn, teach and conduct cattle research and Extension programs that are second-to-none in the nation,” Payne said. “We thank the Legislature for its allocation.”

(more …)

Kjelgren named new director of UF/IFAS research center in Apopka

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

Roger Kjelgren

APOPKA, Fla. — Roger Kjelgren, who has spent decades as a professor of horticulture at Utah State University, has been named the new director of the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka, Florida. The center is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Kjelgren, who begins his position in mid-August, focuses his research on water conservation and irrigation landscape. Specifically, he studies how much water plants need to create a low-usage landscape.

Kjelgren said he is looking forward to a new experience. “I had a successful career at Utah State and accomplished my teaching and research goals,” he said. “Now, I will focus on linking agriculture and horticulture production to meet urban needs for creating sustainable landscapes. The Mid-Florida REC is really well-situated to accomplish that.”

(more …)

Myers named Chair of UF/IFAS department of agricultural education and communication

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

Brian Myers

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Brian Myers has been named Chair of the University of Florida’s department of agricultural education and communication. The department, in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is considered among the country’s best in developing leaders, educators and communicators to meet society’s challenges.

Myers is a professor whose research interests include agriscience, curriculum development, agriscience instructional methods, and the design and delivery of teacher professional development. He has advised more than 35 graduate students, and served on the supervisory committee for dozens more.

“Dr. Myers has dedicated his academic life to agricultural education and communication, and we at the University of Florida, the state and the country benefit from his drive to be a positive influencer to the profession,” said Jack Payne, senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “He truly is an asset, and our students, faculty and citizens all reap the rewards of his commitment.”

(more …)

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.
(more …)

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

-30-

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.

(more …)

UF/IFAS professor wins prestigious national teaching award

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

Thetford.Students

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.

(more …)

Back to Top