GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The state’s biggest educational event for honey bee hobbyists, professionals and anyone interested in honey bees is back for a seventh year, University of Florida officials announced this week.
UF’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory has organized and hosted the event since 2008. The event will be held at the UF Whitney Marine Laboratory in Marineland, Fla., March 7-8.
This castor plant at the UF/IFAS Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra, can be grown in Florida, according to a new UF/IFAS study.
Courtesy: David Campbell, former University of Florida graduate student
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Castor, grown in Florida during World War II and currently considered as a component for military jet fuel, can be grown here again, using proper management techniques, a new University of Florida study shows.
Those techniques include spacing plants properly and using harvest aids to defoliate the plant when it matures.
Growers in the U.S. want to mechanically harvest castor, which is typically hand-picked in other parts of the world, the researchers said. Among other things, the UF/IFAS study evaluated whether the plant would grow too tall for mechanical harvesting machines.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Floridians value water, almost as much as they value money and their health — just don’t ask them to time themselves in the shower.
An online survey of 516 Floridians found that interest in water ranked third in a list of public issues, just behind the economy and health care, but ahead of taxes and public education. Eighty-three percent of respondents considered water a highly or extremely important issue.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Feb. 3, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will celebrate 100 years of UF/IFAS Extension achievements and community service at Florida’s 2014 State Fair, scheduled for Feb. 6-17 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
UF/IFAS Extension personnel will be on hand in the State Agricultural Hall of Fame to explain the many services provided by Florida’s leading agricultural and research university. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Researchers from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida are closer to finding a possible cure for citrus canker after identifying a gene that makes citrus trees susceptible to the bacterial pathogen.
Citrus canker, which causes pustules on fruit, leaves and twigs, is a highly contagious plant disease and spreads rapidly over short distances. Wind-driven rain, overhead irrigation, flooding and human movement can spread citrus canker. Human transport of infected plants or fruit spreads the canker pathogen over longer distances. (more …)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kevin Folta, the interim chair of the University of Florida’s horticultural sciences department, has accepted the permanent job, Jack Payne, UF’s senior vice president for agricultural and natural resources, announced Friday.
Folta is an associate professor with internationally-recognized programs in strawberry genomics and light regulation of plant traits. Recently he has gained national visibility in relating science to public audiences, particularly in the area of genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Michael Dukes, a University of Florida agricultural and biological engineering professor and Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member, has been named director of the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, where he’d been interim director since November 2011.
Dukes specializes in irrigation engineering and water conservation issues.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida peach growers, some of whom are looking for an alternative to citrus as greening takes a toll on that crop, could see a small profit by their third year of operation, a UF researcher says.
Greening, a disease first found in Florida in 2005, has led to $4 billion in lost revenue and industry-related jobs since 2006 for the $9 billion-a-year citrus industry.
As some farmers turn to peaches, they want to know how long before they turn a profit and how long they can sustain that profit, said Mercy Olmstead, assistant professor in horticultural sciences at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Growers should see steady profit through years 10-12, when the tree starts to decline in the South.