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University of Florida

CALS Student Excellence Fund to honor longtime UF/IFAS employee

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS

emilie mattews 121514

Emelie Mattews

GAINESVILLE, Fla. ─ Graduating transfer students in the University of Florida’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences can soon receive a special award named for a 35-year CALS employee.

The new CALS Student Excellence Fund will be renamed to honor college Admissions Coordinator Emelie Matthews, a longtime Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and CALS employee, when she retires next year.

In her position, Matthews works primarily with transfer students. She has been working for UF for 35 years. For 12 of those, Matthews also has served as an adviser for Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority.

“I’ve always tried to look at what’s best for the students and guide them, so that they can go out and be successful individuals,” Matthews said.
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Limagrain, HM. CLAUSE gifts give $300,000 to Challenge 2050 program

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Officials from two global agricultural companies, Limagrain and HM.CLAUSE, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have partnered to support a new initiative aimed at finding ways to feed a growing world.

Limagrain will provide $200,000 over a three-year period, while HM.CLAUSE will donate $100,000 over a five-year span, to support the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Challenge 2050 Project, which aims to equip current and future agricultural leaders with the skills to find innovative ways to sustainably feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.

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18th Annual IFAS/CALS TailGATOR to be held on Oct. 11

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, IFAS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Alumni and friends of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are invited to TailGATOR 2014: Celebrating 50 Years of IFAS on Oct. 11 in Gainesville.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and CALS have hosted this annual event since 1997. TailGATOR will begin in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center three hours prior to kickoff of the UF vs. LSU game. TailGATOR tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door. Individuals can register online at www.cals.ufl.edu/tailgator.

“This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of IFAS,” said Janice Hurdle, CALS Alumni and Friends president. “As a part of IFAS, CALS students are uniquely positioned to gain hands-on research and Extension experience.”

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Animal sciences professor named College of Agricultural and Life Sciences associate dean

Topic(s): Announcements, CALS, IFAS

Joel Brendemuhl.  Professor, Animal Sciences.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A professor and assistant chairman of the Department of Animal Sciences has been named associate dean of the University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Joel Brendemuhl, with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences since 1985, began work in his new role July 14, said college Dean Elaine Turner.

Brendemuhl will provide leadership for admissions, enrollment, curricula and academic program assessment in the college, also known as CALS, Turner said.

“His experience as both an undergraduate and graduate coordinator, his effectiveness as a teacher and adviser and his commitment to serving our students were key factors in his selection for this role,” Turner said. “I anticipate that he will use his experience to assist in the continuous quality improvement of all of our academic programs.” (more …)

Elaine Turner named dean of UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

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


Elaine Turner has been named dean of the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Elaine Turner has been named dean of the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida faculty member and administrator often lauded for her outstanding teaching skills has been named dean of the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Elaine Turner, senior associate dean for UF’s third -largest college, often known as CALS, has been interim dean of the school since early January, but becomes its dean effective April 11, said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

“Dr. Turner is a person who gets things done,” said Payne. “She is organized, she’s tireless, she never drops the ball and she’s got a career-long commitment to the highest-quality teaching.”

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Gov. Rick Scott signs resolution honoring Extension service at Florida State Fair

Topic(s): 4-H, Agriculture, Announcements, CALS, Economics, Extension, IFAS



TAMPA, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott pauses to be in a photograph with 4-H members, left to right,  Marissa Coughlin, Meagan Borg and Krista Baker at the Florida State Fair. Scott attended the fair and the Fresh From Florida breakfast to talk about the importance of agriculture in Florida. In the photograph, he and the 4-H’ers stand in front of cutouts of political leaders who helped create the land-grant university and cooperative extension systems. UF/IFAS photo by Javier Edwards.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a resolution, sponsored by state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Thursday, at the state fair in Tampa recognizing the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, which established the federal Cooperative Extension Service.

Scott formally opened the 110th Florida State Fair and held a cabinet meeting on the fairgrounds as a way to highlight the state’s agricultural heritage. He spoke briefly at the Fresh From Florida Breakfast.

Through the Smith-Lever Act, extension agents in every state work to share research information with various constituents, including farmers. Florida has an Extension office in every one of its 67 counties.

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UF/IFAS expert available to offer relationship tips, advice for Valentine’s Day coverage

Topic(s): CALS, Families and Consumers

Victor Harris.  Family, Youth, and Community Sciences.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Whether you are in a blissfully happy, everything-runs-like-a-charm relationship or whether your significant other is your cat, the University of Florida’s Victor Harris – an expert in couples and premarital education – has tips to help strengthen your relationship.

Harris, an assistant professor in family, youth and community sciences at the University of Florida, says it’s a great time for relationship reflection.

Here are six tips from his arsenal:

  1. The old adage about never going to bed angry? It’s a marriage myth, he says. Sometimes it’s best to get some rest before your tired, cranky self says something you can’t take back. During those times when you’re most aggravated by your spouse, he suggests calming down for at least 30-minutes and taking at least a three-minute meditation break, focusing on the things you love most about your partner.
  2. The idea that marriage must always be a 50-50, straight-down-the-middle partnership? Also a myth. Many couples prosper and thrive with many different power balances and imbalances, he says. As long as both partners are happy, the balance works.
  3. Every couple needs rituals, both the everyday and special occasion varieties, he says. “Men seem to especially need a ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ touch. Basically, rituals help us increase positive bonds, which are a major aspect of the ongoing nurturing of friendship.” Rituals can include physical affection, gifts, keeping promises, acts of kindness, surprises and giving compliments. “The most important compliments are those that tell you ‘You are lovable and you are capable,’” Harris says.
  4. One of the easiest routes to a busted union is when couples don’t learn how to de-escalate a disagreement. Couples stuck in criticism-defensiveness-contempt-stonewalling mode are in big trouble, he warns. “For a relationship to work, researchers have found that you’ve got to have at least a 5-to-1 ratio of positive to negative interactions and experiences, and you’ve got to learn how to short-circuit the argument cycle before it becomes a mud fight.”
  5. If you’re wondering if your marriage is doomed: Find a couples therapist. Harris said some studies show that of couples who contemplate divorce but choose to stay together, more than 90 percent say later that they’re glad they did.
  6. And for singles looking to find someone with whom to celebrate future Valentine’s Days, Harris advises: “Besides just finding a hottie, as my students say, you need to find someone who fulfills your needs – and you do that by finding someone first who knows how to meet their own needs. Another big key is finding someone who can accept influence from you when you express what your needs and opinions are.”

Harris can be reached at 352-273-3523 or at victorharris@ufl.edu. Here are links to three more of his pertinent publications:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1277  9 important communication skills for every relationship; http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1335 10 things you need to know before you get married, and http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1334 Are you ready to tie the knot? A quick checklist

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