IFAS News

University of Florida

Florida Youth Institute lets high schoolers explore a future in agricultural and life sciences

Topic(s): Agriculture, CALS, IFAS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — As 22 high schoolers step onto the manicured turf of Florida Field, Jason Kruse, associate professor of environmental horticulture, explains how maintaining a football field involves more than fertilizer and regular mowing. Rather, he says, it’s research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences that keeps the field green for fans and safe for athletes.

This lesson is just one of several activities that comprise the Florida Youth Institute (FYI), a week-long summer program sponsored by the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the World Food Prize Foundation.  The program gives rising juniors and seniors a chance to explore emerging issues in agriculture, life sciences and natural resources while also giving them a taste of college life.

“FYI was created with an overall goal of engaging youth with issues in agricultural and natural resource sciences that affect Florida, the U.S. and world food security,” said Elaine Turner, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. “Ultimately, we hope to grow the talent pipeline by connecting students to academic programs in CALS that will prepare them for careers in agricultural and natural resource sciences.”

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UF CALS students, faculty shine at annual teaching conference

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences students and faculty were recognized for their outstanding teaching and research at the 62nd annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) conference in June.

More than 25 UF CALS faculty, staff and graduate students attended the meeting, said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. CALS is part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Many UF CALS faculty and students contributed to the NACTA program with posters, oral presentations and workshops.

“The NACTA annual conference is a showcase for innovation and excellence in teaching and learning,” Turner said. “I am so proud of the UF/IFAS faculty and CALS graduate students who were recognized with teaching, leadership and scholarship awards this year. The constant pursuit of excellence in teaching is a key part of what makes CALS such a great academic home for students.”

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UF CALS student one of 12 National Teach Ag Ambassadors

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

National Teach AG ambassador 061316

Tyler D’Angelo

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences student will spend the next school year as one of 12 National Teach Ag Ambassadors, spreading the word about the importance of agricultural education and learning more about how to teach the subject.

Tyler D’Angelo will be a senior in agricultural education and communication in the fall and hopes to pursue his master’s degree in the same department after he graduates. After that, he hopes to teach agriculture.

“It is truly an honor to represent the profession that I love,” D’Angelo said. “I hope that through my ambassadorship that I will be able to bring more of a presence to the Teach Ag campaign to Florida. I also hope to encourage those interested in teaching agriculture to pursue a degree in agricultural education.”

Agricultural education and communication is an academic department within the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Brian Myers, a professor in the department, nominated D’Angelo to be an ambassador.

“Tyler will be an outstanding Teach Ag Ambassador,” Myers said. “He has a passion and excitement for agricultural education that is evident the moment you meet him. He has a tremendous skill set that will allow him to tell the story about being an agricultural educator in meaningful and impactful ways. He will be a great representative of the agriculture teaching profession and of the University of Florida.”

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UF CALS student named as prestigious ‘Cultivator’ for national conference

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

Cultvator 062116

Will Dezern

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences student who researches how to improve peanuts has been named as UF’s first Cultivator for the 2016 Farm Foundation® Round Table.

Will Dezern, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in plant science from UF CALS, participated the week of June 6 at the discussion forum in Louisville, Kentucky, where he presented a poster on his research. He is one of six students selected nationwide to attend the forum. Student participants are known as “Cultivators.”

“I am very excited about this opportunity to hear from agricultural leaders from around the country,” Dezern said during the conference. “Sometimes it is easy to be very focused on just one area of work, so I look forward to gaining a better understanding of the state of the industry as a whole. I’m very honored to have been chosen to attend the Round Table event, and I hope to come back with new ideas and perspectives.”

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

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

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Yara North America 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.

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

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

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.”

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$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.”

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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.”

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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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