-Mrasungth Ecom iiciI.
By Michael V Martin
UF/IFAS: tech industries Florida's agriculture and natural
Resource sector has shown strength. vitality and diver-
Relevant and sit,; and remain a stable, productive col ne stone of
Florida', econ0om1 .
Responsive Although Florida's agiicultuial industry is among the
most diverse in the United States. there has been \ih-
ommnon sense and tuall' no majot private research and development
fundamental busi- investment in it. Major companies would rather
ness principles develop a product ol technology to serve 12 million
support the notion that acres of corn in Iowa than serve 850.000 acres of
prudent state investments Florida citrus the state's largest crop in terms
should be made in sectors ot acreage).
that sustain the economy Floiida agricultural research and development is vest-
Mike Martin through good times and ed in the Univeisitv of Florida's Institute of Food and
Vice President bad. Agricultual Sciences (LF EFASi, which brings relevant
for Agricultue Florida weathered the and responsive research and education programs to
and Natral Reources latest economic downturn bear on specific contemporary isuLes or needs, and
better than most states. helps keep Florida strong and competitive.
For example, Florida's cur- Yet. the state annually invests less than 0.2 percent
rent unemployment rate o the annual economic value of this sector in the
stands at about 5.1 percent, compared to 5.4 percent UiF IFAS operating budget. The investment has been
nationally. Other state unemployment ,ates include falling. The ob\io)us result of diminished funding is the
6.6 percent in California, 5.8 percent in Colotado, 5.5 diminished ability of LIF IFAS to serve the agricultural
percent in Massachusetts. 6.1 percent in North and natural resource sector. Budgetary shortfalls invari-
Carolina. 8.2 percent in Oregon and 7.3 percent in ably result in difficult funding decisions. However.
Washington. These states ha\e explicitly pursued high- Florida must act with care when choosing where those
tech industry economic development strategies. cuts fall. Short-term solutions \ill have long-term con-
In addition, during the 1990s, Florida's gross state sequences for this great state.
product grew by 0) percent, compared to a 75 percent Floiida should demonstrate wisdom and farsighted-
growth late in gross national product. ness and to the fullest extent support the state's agii-
Florida owes much of its success to the solid per- culture and natural resources sector though the rele-
formance of its agriculture and natural resource indus- vant and responsive research and development
tries sector agricultural production and related pro- programs of UF 1FAS.
cessing, aquaculture, fisheries, forestry, and paits of
tourism, as opposed to high-tech industries. As
defined, this sector accounts for $62 billion in annual
economic impacts across the state, including $31 bil-
lion in value-added impacts and 649.000 jobs. When
contrasted with the inherent ups and downs of high-
IMPACT is published
by the University of
Florida's Institute of
Food and Agricultural
Sciences and is produced
by IFAS Communication
Services, Ashley M.
Wood, director. Volume 20, No. 1 Winter 2004
Charles T. Woods 4 Show of Strength 20 Tallahassee Region
A new study by the University of Still largely rural in character, 12 coun-
Photo Editor Florida's Institute of Food and ties in the Tallahassee region include
Thomas S. Wright Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shows many agricultural and natural resource
how important agriculture and natural industries that have an output impact
G resource industries are to the state's of $2.6 billion.
Graphic Designer economy Total annual economic 2 So io
Tracy D. Zwillinger impacts exceed $62 billion in output, 22 Southwest Region
which includes $31 billion in value- Two counties in Southwest Florida are
Contributors added impacts. The study focuses on among the nation's fastest growing,
Patti Bartlett eight different regions of the state, and agriculture and natural resource
ristin Guira 1 Orlandoindustries produce $2.3 billion in out-
ristin Guira 10 Orlando Region put impacts
TIIII LoC ettc H.,nic ... m ,,n I the. ..rid ,,1p
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Photographers (O it. .i, al,.. k Id tie [,ale ii II Fl..'..i i etern i' .ilo di: aihictl.
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our home page at
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Show of 2
A new study by the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences on i
the regional economic impacts of Florida's agri-
cultural and natural resource industries shows
that they are strong contributors to the state's
economy generating billions of dollars in rev-
enue and tax contributions, and hundreds of
thousands of jobs. In addition to their $62 bil-
lion economic impact, these industries provide
wildlife habitat, aquifer recharge areas and the
amenities of open space.
W while tourism and high-tech industries were Alan Hodges, an associate in the UF/IFAS food and
hit hard during the recent economic down- resource economics department who worked on the
turn, Florida agriculture and natural study with Mulkey, said the nursery plant business was
resource industries continued to show remarkable signs one major segment in Florida agriculture that suffered
of strength. during the downturn, dropping by about 10 percent.
"In fact, the agriculture and natural resource sectors He said that ornamental plants, which are considered
performed better over the past two years than any somewhat of a luxury item, have since recovered.
other major sector of Florida's $484 billion economy," Mulkey said output, employment and value-added
said David Mulkey, a professor with UF's Institute of impacts are the three principal measures of economic
Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and co- activity. Industry output represents total income or
author of a new economic impact study for eight sepa- sales plus inventory change. Employment includes
rate regions of the state. both full-time and part-time or seasonal positions. And
"Make no mistake about it, the agriculture and natu- value-added impacts represent the value of output less
ral resource industries are big in Florida, and their eco- the value of purchased inputs used in the production
nomic impact is statewide." he said. "Agrliculture con- of goods or -enr ices for final consumption.
sideied the state's most basic industry did not get hit He said thle agriculture and natural resource indus-
as haid ai tourism and othei malor economic sectors." tries include a wide iange of entei piises associated
According to the latest data horm the U.S. \\ih the production, processing and ser\ ice activities
Department of Commerce. personal income in Florida for food. fibei. ornamental and mineral products. The
increased b\ 26 percent in the farm sector. Income in state's subtiopical climate pio\ ides a comparative
the nonfarm sector increased by onlh' 8 percent during advantage foi the production of high-value crops such
the past t\\o \years, since the first qtualter of 200''I, as citus, vegetables, ornamental plants and sugai. The
before the recent recession,. tate i also a leading producer of forest products.
other state three tiers.
fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, dairy and meat billion. A second tier of regions included the Tampa/
".1 ,., -
Florida agdded culture and natural resource industries are not as ell known as tourism, but th contributed more than $62 billion in output impacts to the state's
economy last year Agriculture also peforms a vital role in maintaining valuable green space and protecting the rural environment. (Eric Zamora)
livestock and animal products, seafood and phosphatic metro areas, and the size and scope of its economic
fertilizers. And Florida has more golf courses than any activity The regional assessments were divided into
other stateet usinethree tiers.
"Florida's total land area is nearly 54,000 square In the first tier, the regional economic impacts were
miles, and the state has more than 16,000 square greatest in the Orlando area with $16.9 billion, fol-
miles in agricultural and forestry land, producing lowed by the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area with $15.8
fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, dairy and meat billion. A second tier of regions included the Tampa/
products, forest products and seafood plus an array St. Petersburg area with $9.5 billion and the
of industries that provide supporting inputs and servic- Jacksonville area with $7.6 billion in total output
es," Mulkey said. impacts. A third tier of regions included the Sarasota-
Overall, these industries generated nearly $62 billion Bradenton area with $3.7 billion, the Tallahassee area
in output impacts, including $31 billion in value- with $2.6 billion, the Pensacola area with $2.4 billion
added impacts. These industries supported 644,673 and Southwest Florida with $2.1 billion in total out-
i )b', that generated $19 hillion in laboi income St,.te put impactt. The 14 li-gest ci)untie, ci ntain 67 per-
and h )cal g(,eNnment, received almint $3 billion in cent Of the state', pI)Ipula,,tii and tccoultnt f(Ii mI)st Of
indirect busine., taxe, the agiri ul tu a[ pri ductiii.
Frit the econmimic anal\vs., the state %\'ai divided into The tr tal value-added impact i l agriculture and
eight egim, each includig a co re mnetri p ,)lltit n airea natutral iei uce irl Fh )iida wa% S 1.92c peI capita. and
and s1,urrctunding (o)untie, defined by elpli() ee c mi- the total employment impact xa' i pbs peri 1.00i1
"muting pattern.[ al. 1%wn in the map on page 9. The re.identL,.' Hodge, N.id. "Economic impact o a per-
value if each iegionl impact i% influenced b\' the num- catma basi and hare 4)f gio% regional pri oiduct mdi-
bert, 4 counties included. p()pulation levels, ize )t coated that the agriculture and natural iees( uIce
Winter 2004 5
7- David Mulkey, left, Tom Spreen and
SAlan Hodges review economic data for
St the regional economic impact study.
Spreen is chair of the UF/IFAS
"Department of Food and Resource
Economics. (Thomas Wright)
(Photos below) In all eight regions of
the state, Florida's livestock and meat
t ww $2.8 billion in output and $982 mil-
Smore than 31,000 jobs. 7Te fruit and
p vegetable industry provides more than
$13 billion in output and $6.8 billion
in value-added impacts and accounts for
more than 133,000 jobs. (Left, Eric
p Zamora; right, Thomas 1 ,. ,r I
industries were relatively more important in the lands that have very low native fertility," he said. "The
Orlando, Jacksonville, Sarasota-Bradenton and interior portion of the peninsula has extensive beef
Tallahassee regions than for the state as a whole." and dairy cattle herds and large phosphate mining
In addition to measuring the economic impact in operations. The coastal areas have important natural
eight different regions, the study also looked at the fisheries and aquaculture businesses."
total economic impact of various commodity The impacts of 12 different industry groups rang-
categories statewide. ing from a high of $13 billion for fruits and vegetables
"The fruit, vegetable and ornamental plant indus- to $800 million for field crops are shown on page 9.
tries are concentrated in the southern half of the state, Fruit and vegetable production, which accounted for
where mostly frost-free winters provide a comparative 21 percent of the total output impacts, generated more
advantage for production of cold-sensitive crops," than 133,000 jobs and contributed more than $6.8
Hodges said. billion in value-added impacts.
"The northern part of the state is dominated by Forest products, with a total economic impact of
industrial forestry plantations and traditional agro- $8.6 billion statewide, comprised 14 percent of the
nomic crops that can provide a reasonable return for total. The forestry industry employed 67,000 people
The environmental horticulture industry which includes
landscape plants, flowers, foliage and turfgrass is the
fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, and Florida is
ranked as the second largest production state in the nation.
The industry output totals more than $6.9 billion, including i"""
$4.4 billion in value-added inipacts. (Eric Zaniora)
and generated $4 billion in value-added -
Other food and fiber manufacturing
contributed $8.2 billion to the Florida
economy, supporting 53,000 jobs and con-
tributing more than $3.6 billion in value-
Agricultural inputs, which include items
such as farm chemicals and fertilizers, have
a total economic value of $7 billion, or 11 percent of
the total. The industry group supported 107,000 jobs
and indirectly generated $3.3 billion in value-added i
Environmental horticulture, which includes land- With this year's record orange crop expected to fill
scape plants, flowers, foliage, turfgrass and related 303 million 90-pound boxes, it's easy to see why
landscape services, produced $6.9 billion in output Florida leads the nation in citrus production. And
impacts, employing 132,000 people and generating Florida agriculture leads the way in the production of
$4.4 billion in value-added impacts. at least nine other crops. The state also leads in the
Smaller industry groups (those below $6 billion) number of seafood processing plants and golf courses.
accounted for nearly one-third of agriculture's total All of these commodity groups and industries benefit
economic impact in the Florida economy. The cate- from the statewide research and education programs of
gories include mining, sugar and confectionary prod- the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
ucts, tobacco, livestock and meat products, dairy, Agricultural Sciences.
seafood and field crops such as peanuts, corn and soy- Here's how it all adds up, according to the Florida
beans. The categories generated a total of 152,000 Agricultural Statistics Services and the October 2003
jobs and yielded $8 billion in value-added impacts. issue of Florida Trend magazine.
For the study, Mulkey and Hodges used the Implan Oranges (230 million boxes)
Pro software package to create economic models for Grapefruit (46.7 million boxes)
each region and estimate total economic impacts of Temples (1.55 million boxes)
more than 100 industry sectors in agriculture, natural Tangelos (2.15 million boxes)
resources and associated value-added manufacturing. Tangerines (6.6 million boxes)
"The Implan Pro system consists of a database and Sugarcane for sugar (16.8 million tons)
software components, providing economic and socio- Snap beans (147,000 tons)
demographic profiles for all U.S. counties across 528 Okra (6,100 tons)
economic sectors," Hodges said. "Mutlipliers from Radishes (31,900 tons)
Implan measure output, total value added, employ- Tomatoes (720,000 tons)
ment, employee compensation, personal income, other Watermelons (379,500 tons)
proprietary income and indirect business taxes." Foliage for indoor and patio use ($459.7 million in sales)
The system was developed by the U.S. Department Cut cultivated greens ($86.3 million in sales)
of Agriculture's Forest Service in 1979 and commer-
cialized by the Minnesota Implan Group (MIG Inc.)
The complete study, Regional Economic Impacts of
Florida's Agricultural and Natural Resource Industries,
is available at http://economicimpact.ifas.ufl.edu.
Allan Hodges, 352-392-1845, ext. 312
David Mulkey, 352-392-1845, ext. 406
Over the past two years, economic growth in the Industry Sector Change
United States has generally been slow. This also holds 2001-03
true in Florida, although to a lesser degree, since the Management of companies and enterprises 27.0%
state's large service-based economy is less susceptible Farms 26.2%
to economic cycles and recessions. Educational services 23.0%
The following table, compiled by David Mulkey and Forestry, fishing, related activities 17.4%
Alan Hodges in the UF/IFAS Department of Food and Government and government enterprises 17.1%
Resource Economics, summarizes the changes in per- Health care and social assistance 15.0%
sonal income for 22 major industry sectors of the Real estate and rental and leasing 12.3%
Real estate and rental and leasing 12.3%
Florida economy between the first quarter of 2001 and Finance and insurance 11.9%
the first quarter of 2003. Construction 9.2%
"It is apparent that there is a wide divergence among Professional and technical services 7.4%
industries in the degree of change, ranging from posi- Profess ional and tech services 5.9%
tive 27 percent to negative 7 percent," Hodges said. Accommodation and food services 5.9%
Among the industries that have fared better over the Other services, except public administration 4.8%
past two years are management (+27 percent), farms Administrative and waste services 4.4%
(+26 percent), education (+23 percent), forestry and Retail trade 3.8%
fisheries (+17 percent) and government enterprises Transportation and warehousing 2.7%
(+17 percent), Hodges said. Arts, entertainment, and recreation 2.2%
Industries that have experienced a decline in person- Wholesale trade 2.0%
al earnings include manufacturing, mining and infor- Utilities 0.4%
nation. Some of the leading industries that have tradi- Manufacturing (durable goods) 0.3%
tionally been drivers of the Florida economy have had Mining -4.6%
only moderate growth, such as construction (+9 per- Information -5.8%
cent), real estate (+12 percent), and finance/insurance Manufacturing (non-durable goods) -6.9%
(+12 percent). Florida Total Personal income 7.6%
"Sectors related to tourism have been weak, includ- U.S. Total Personal income 4.8%
ing retail trade (+4 percent), accommodation and food Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Regional Economic Information
service (+6 percent) and arts/entertainment/recreation System
(+2 percent)," Hodges said. "As a comparison, total
personal income in Florida increased by 7.6 percent,
compared to 4.8 percent for the entire United States In addition to the direct impact of agricultural products and services, there
during this period." are indirect economic benefits associated with the purchase of inputs such as
equipment, fertilizer, fiel and pesticides, as well as services such as grove care,
landscaping and logging contracts. The value of agricultural inputs and
services exceeds $6.9 billion, and value-added impacts top $3.3 billion.
Pensacola area area b Jacksonville area
21,191 jobs 78,111 jobs
y29,144 jobs 1 $16.91
nTampaa Hareat 6' 170,686 jobs
Field C 84 1
Sarasota area are
48,470 jobs 173,914 jobs
SW Florida area
$2.14 $ 3 --
The eight regions used for the impact analysis are based on the functional economic areas defined by the the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic
Analysis (Surrey of Current Business, Feb. 1995, pp. 75-81). Each region is comprised of a core metropolitan area and a number of surrounding counties that are
related by virtue of worker commuting patterns, newspaper readership and other indicators. C .. ll there are a total of 172 such economic areas in the United
States. The boundaries of the economic areas are periodically revised to reflect demographic trends measured by the U.S. Census of Population and Housing.
Winter 2004 9
C itrus the state's signature crop is the working on various plant development,
largest commodity in Florida's $62 billion production and protection problems for
agriculture and natural resources industry, the industry Their work includes the
and the booming 13-county Orlando region is the development of environmentally
leader in citrus production, said David Mulkey, a pro- friendly biocontrols that have reduced
fessor with the University of Florida's Institute of the need for pesticides.
Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Indoor foliage plant production is
"A lot of production has moved from the northern centered in the Apopka area, while
areas of the region to warmer groves south of shrubs, trees and other woody orna-
Interstate 4, but citrus is still king in Central Florida," mental are grown throughout
he said. the region.
Mulkey said oranges and grapefruit are just part of Scientists at the Apopka center also
the wide variety of agricultural commodities and serv- work with vegetable and fruit produc-
ices in the region, which produces everything from ers, including the area's $5 million
fruits and vegetables to environmental horticulture grape industry.
plants and thoroughbred horses. The total regional The Orlando region is also home to
impact of these goods and services is $16.9 billion, the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and
generating more than 170,000 jobs. Education Center in Lake Alfred, the
The findings are in a new study on the regional eco- world's largest facility of its kind. In
nomic impacts of Florida's agricultural and natural the 1940s, UF/IFAS researchers helped develop frozen
resources industries. Mulkey co-authored the research juice concentrate, now a key part of the state's $9 bil-
with Alan Hodges, an associate in the UF/IFAS food lion citrus industry UF/IFAS research has improved
and resource economics department in Gainesville. juice processing and led to the development of high-
The Orlando region where agricultural and natural value not-from-concentrate products for the industry
resource industries have the largest economic impact in and consumers.
the eight-region study includes Brevard, Citrus, Researchers at the center have solved many citrus
Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Marion, Orange, production problems in areas ranging from fertilization
Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties, and irrigation to pest control and harvesting. UF/IFAS
While citrus is still the largest commodity in the integrated pest management programs have drastically
region, the environmental horticulture industry reduced the need for pesticides.
which includes landscape plants, flowers, foliage and Lisa Rath, executive vice president of the Florida
turfgrass is the second largest segment, with nearly a Citrus Processors' Association in Winter Haven, said
$2 billion economic impact. Now the fastest-growing the citrus industry "is heavily dependent on UF/IFAS
segment of Florida agriculture, the industry generates for research on various production problems we talk
more than 23,000 jobs in the region, to their experts almost every day"
Ben Bolusky, executive vice president of the Florida UF/IFAS researchers are using biotechnology to solve
Nurserymen and Growers Association in Orlando, said some of the citrus industry's toughest problems. They
"the industry's unique partnership with UF/IFAS has are working with scientists from the U.S. Department
helped make Florida's nursery and landscape business of Agriculture and other organizations to map the
the nation's second largest." entire genome of the orange tree. The research could
He said major support for the industry comes from lead to new tree varieties that are resistant to citrus
the UF/IFAS environmental horticulture department. canker and citrus tristeza virus, two of the state's
In the Orlando region, scientists at the UF/IFAS Mid- costliest diseases.
Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka are
""sands more. feeding and breeding of horses, UF/IFAS hosts the
"Lance Osborne, a professor of entomology at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka, examines a leaf damaged by hiteflies. Indoor
foliage plant production is centered in the Apopka area, while shrubs, trees and other woody ornamental are grown throughout the region. (Thomas Wright)
Once a common sight as far north as Marion "Sinc e these horses ae athletes, we're working on
County, citrus groves have been moved south because research that will help produce sound, healthy and
of disastrous freezes over the past few decades. Now, competitive horses," said Edgar Ott, a professor of ani-
Marion County is the center of the thoroughbred mal sciences who oversees the operation of the
horse industry that generates 10,000 jobs for the UF/IFAS Horse Research Center in Ocala.
region. Statewide, the industry employs thou- To disseminate the latest information on the care,
sands more. feeding and breeding of horses, UF/IFAS hosts the
"We supply 12 percent of the foal crop for all of annual Florida Equine Institute, a seminar and trade
North America," said Rica had Hancock, executive vice show that provides breeders and owners with current
president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and information on the management of these animals.
Owners' Association in Ocala. "This area probably has "This equine institute is geared toward the serious
more working horsemen than anywhere else in horse owner, someone who already knows the business
the world." and who wants to know more," said Mark Shuffitt,
While other commodity groups are feeling the pinch UF/IFAS Marion County livestock extension agent.
from overseas competition, globalization seems to be "There are a lot of serious horse owners out there it's
working to the advantage of the Florida horse industry. our biggest industry."
Association officials are now talking with racetrack Edgar Ott, 352-392-2455
operators from South KI(orea and other Asian nations firstname.lastname@example.org
about sales of Marion County horses in the Far East. Mark Shuffitt, 352-620-3440
When it comes to expert care and management for email@example.com
animals, the horse industry relies on the UF/IFAS ani-
mal sciences department and UF's Veterinary Medical
Teaching Hospital, which includes IFAS faculty.
Winter 2004 11
C counties along Florida's southeastern rim are In Palm Beach County, Rick
home to some of the nation's biggest and Roth is one of many growers
fastest-growing urban areas, but they're also who have helped the county
the source of billions of dollars in farm production. earn the reputation as the
From the nearly frost-free citrus groves of Indian nation's capital of winter veg-
River County to the winter vegetable and sugarcane etable production. He has
farms in the 505,000-acre Everglades Agricultural more than 5,000 acres planted
Area, Southeast Florida is one of the nation's hot spots in sugarcane, rice, sod and veg-
for agriculture, providing the country with much of its tables in the western half of
winter supply of fruits and vegetables, as well as tropi- the county.
cal crops that can't be grown anywhere else in the con- Roth stays up-to-date on
tinental United States. The region is also home to big UF/IFAS research for every
dairy and cattle farms. crop he plants, and he said
In 2000, the agricultural and natural resource indus- that research has been particu-
tries in the 10-county Miami region generated more larly helpful in helping fight
than $15 billion in output and 173,000 jobs more root-rot, a disease that
employment than any other region. Fruit and veg- kills turfgrass.
etable production exceeded $1.6 billion and so did "We rely heavily on UF/IFAS
sugar and confectionary products. Environmental hor- research centers, particularly
ticulture production topped when it
$1.4 billion, while dairy and comes
livestock operations contributed to sod production," Roth said.
more than $813 million to "Some big companies do their
the economy. own research, but it's all propri-
These and other findings are etary IFAS does basic research
in a new regional economic 4 on just about every problem in
study by researchers in the A agriculture, and we are glad to
University of Florida's Institute : have that information."
of Food and Agricultural i David Basore, co-owner of
Sciences (UF/IFAS). The Miami 7 Grower's Management, a new
region includes Broward, Belle Glade company that pro-
Glades, Hendry, Indian River, duces lettuce and other leafy
Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, vegetables, says UF/IFAS
Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Palm research and education centers
Beach counties. Mangoes and other tropical fruit grown in Miami-Dade have been a valuable asset to
County generate more than $137 million in economic impacts
Many South Florida produc- annually. (Eric Zamora) South Florida vegetable growers.
ers say UF's research and educa- "We work closely with the
tion programs are essential for the continued success people at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and
of agriculture in the region. In addition to extension Education Center in Belle Glade, which has entomolo-
offices in every county, the university has research and gists, plant pathologists and plant breeders working on
education centers in Belle Glade, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. problems we face every day"
Pierce and Homestead that work on specialized pro- South Florida growers are also turning to specialty
duction problems for local producers. crops, using the area's warm weather to give them an
edge in niche markets.
Rick Roth, who has more than 5,000 acres planted in sugarcane, rice, sod and vegetables in Palm Beach County, relies on UF/IFAS research and education pro-
grams for valuable production information. He is one of many growers who farm in the rich muck soils of the region. (Eric Zamora)
"If you want to make money, you've got to follow winter months. The river also offers protection to
trends in the market," said Darrin Parmenter, UF/IFAS grapefruit and orange growers, allowing them to easily
Palm Beach County extension vegetable agent. "As a flood their groves something that can add a few vital
result, many growers are doing very well with niche- degrees of heat on the rare nights when the tempera-
market crops such as Chinese vegetables." ture drops below freezing.
Sometimes a niche product turns into something But Indian River's grapefruit crop still faces many
much bigger. A century ago, the grapefruit was a sub- dangers. Many diseases that prey on the state's orange
tropical oddity that whetted the appetites of wealthy crop diseases such as citrus canker and tristeza are
Northerners who wintered in Florida. Now it's a major just as damaging to grapefruit. Bournique said grape-
part of Florida's $9 billion-a-year citrus industry. And fruit growers look to UF/IFAS for the expertise and
Indian River and Martin counties are crucial in getting well-researched information that can help them com-
that fruit to consumers worldwide. bat those threats.
"The Indian River area is the biggest grapefruit pro- "So far, we've managed to keep the Indian River
duction area on planet Earth," said Doug Bournique, area canker-free," said Bournique. "We've been lucky,
executive vice president of the Indian River Citrus but advice from UF/IFAS has probably played a role in
League in Vero Beach. The league represents citrus that as well."
growers along the Indian River, which runs roughly Darren Parmenter, 561-233-1718
parallel to 200 miles of South and Central firstname.lastname@example.org
The warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean help protect
the Indian River coastline from the cold during the
Winter 2004 13
In the mostly urban four-county Tampa region, Researchers at the Ruskin lab
agriculture and natural resource industries have an are working on techniques that
economic impact that rivals much larger regions of could help Tampa area fish
the state. farmers open still-broader mar-
Name any major agricultural commodity, and kets for their products.
chances are you'll find it being produced in the region One example is their work
that includes Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco and with the clown loach, a color-
Pinellas counties. Plus, because of its status as an ful freshwater fish that is pop-
international port and air gateway, the Tampa region ular with aquarium hobbyists.
has a number of unique industries, such as phosphate Most clown loaches in the U.S.
mining, strawberries and tropical fish. The region's are imported from Sumatra
total output is $9.5 billion, including $4.6 billion in and Borneo, where they can be
value-added impacts, supporting more than 88,000 found in the wild. Fish farmers
jobs, according to a new economic study by the have had difficulty breeding
University of Florida's Institute of Food and the fish in captivity, but
Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). researchers at the UF/IFAS lab
Ornamental plants, strawberries and tropical fish are have discovered how to spawn
prime examples of high-value crops being produced on the clown loach, giving fish
relatively small acreage in the region. farmers a new foothold in
More than 20 years ago, when Marty Tanner started the market.
doing the books for a Tampa-area tropical fish store, "There's a multimillion-
he realized that raising fish could be more than a dollar market for this fish, and now Florida can get its
hobby. Today he is president of Aquatica Tropicals in share of that," Watson said.
Plant City, a company that earns millions of dollars Researchers at the Ruskin lab are also working on
supplying fish to aquarium hobbyists around the coun- ways to cash in on the demand for another Florida
try All of the fish are grown in tanks on three small product: water lilies. The plants are popular with gar-
farms with a combined area of about 60,000 square deners in northern states, who put the plants out in
feet a little bigger than your average supermarket. spring only to see them die when cold weather returns.
Operations like Tanner's are common in The result is a boom in demand for lilies every spring,
Hillsborough County, the heart of Florida's tropical with customers often demanding more plants than
fish industry. Florida tropical fish farmers, most of producers can deliver.
them concentrated in the Tampa and Miami areas, Using tissue culture techniques, Mike Kane, a pro-
raise 95 percent of the captive-bred aquarium fish sold fessor in the UF/IFAS environmental horticulture
in the United States. Those small fish can add up to department in Gainesville, is developing a micropro-
big money; UF/IFAS researchers estimate that tropical pogation system to produce water lilies 10 to 15 times
fish farming was a $43 million business for Florida in faster than traditional propagation methods. He is
1999. It's all part of aquaculture, one of the fastest using the same techniques on a variety of other aquat-
growing segments of Florida agriculture, ic plants that are in high demand by landscapers build-
"The fish farms themselves are just part of the ing ponds or environmental engineers trying to restore
story," said Craig Watson, director the UF/IFAS wetlands.
Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin. "Every fish "We want to mass-produce these plants, which will
has to be bagged and boxed for shipping, then flown be good news for people who like water lilies," said
to retailers around the country Tropical fish are the Kane. "It's also good news for people who do
No. 1 air freight item shipped out of Tampa wetland restoration."
"I. 4ii I
Craig Watson observes clown loaches at the UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory in Ruskin. He said UF/IFAS researchers recently achieved a breakthrough in
breeding the popular fish in captivity. (Eric Zamora)
While the Ruskin lab, established in 1998, is a rela- market, and it's the reason growers refer to Plant City
tive newcomer to the Tampa area, researchers at the as the "winter strawberry capital of the world."
UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center For more than half a century, UF/IFAS researchers
have been helping growers in the Tampa Bay area for have been breeding strawberry varieties tailored to the
decades. New facilities for the UF/IFAS center are needs of Florida growers. Varieties such as "Sweet
under construction in Balm, and they will consolidate Charlie" which became a favorite of Florida growers
programs from Bradenton and Dover. Spring 2005 is after its introduction in 1992 gave winter growers
the planned completion date. higher fruit yields from December through February
Since the days when farmers first began shipping then other available varieties. Newer varieties such as
produce by rail, Hillsborough County has been one of "Carmine" and "Strawberry Festival" promise to
the country's leading producers of strawberries, improve further on Sweet Charlie.
growing 15 percent of the strawberries consumed in "These cultivars have a nice size and shape, and are
the nation. really firm, which results in longer shelf-life," said
"Florida supplies a significant portion of the straw- Craig Chandler, a professor of strawberry breeding at
berries sold in America, and most of Florida's crop is the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education
grown in the Plant City area," said Chip Hinton, exec- Center in Dover.
utive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers' Craig Chandler 813-744-6630, ext. 70
Association in Plant City, which represents more than email@example.com
125 growers with 7,000 acres planted in strawberries. Michael Kane 352-392-1831, ext. 205
"This is a high-value crop, and relatively small acreage firstname.lastname@example.org
can make a huge economic impact." Craig Watson, 813-671-5230, ext. 107
Florida's early growing season allows Hillsborough email@example.com
County strawberry growers to dominate the winter
Winter 2004 15
cross North Florida, fast-growing pine is the Doran said the UF/IFAS
largest single crop and a key factor in the School of Forest Resources and
area's economy, producing more than $8 bil- Conservation has been a key
lion in annual output and supporting more than factor in the industry's growth
78,000 jobs, according to a new regional economic and prosperity, providing pro-
"impact study by the University of Florida's Institute of fessionally trained graduates
Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). and research on better forest
In the 16-county Jacksonville region, pine also domi- management practices.
nates the agricultural landscape, generating more than Fifty years ago, UF/IFAS and
$3 billion in annual output and supporting more than industry researchers founded
"25,000 jobs in the forest products industry. the Cooperative Forest
The region includes Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Genetics Research Program, a
Columbia, Duval, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, partnership that allows
Lafayette, Levy, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee UF/IFAS researchers and the
"and Union counties. timber industry to pool their
In addition to the forest products industry, the resources to develop better
region includes thousands of traditional small farms varieties of loblolly and
from the outskirts of Jacksonville to the docks of slash pine.
Cedar Key. Here, you can still find farmers growing "We're really just beginning
fruits, vegetables, peanuts, tobacco and watermelons to domesticate these plants,"
on the same land their families have owned for genera- said Dudley Huber, co-director
tions. The region is also home to cattle and dairy of the research partnership. "No one did significant
farms, plus new enterprises such as greenhouse hydro- breeding of these trees until the middle of the
ponic crops, organic crops and sod for golf courses and 20th century"
urban areas. When you're dealing with a plant that takes decades
But when it comes to economic impact, none of to reach maturity, breeding work can be a slow process,
those commodities comes close to the income generat- but the partners in the cooperative have made signifi-
ed b\- fonest poductL in the ietion. callnt imprllle(,elll nt in the pines (o Fhiida tree fim
"No matter hw\\ 'on add the number,. forestrv i, in a relati elh sh0ut period (f time. he ,aid. \Vaietie,
(me of the biggeSt induStrie min Florida. and one o( developed bI the reetLrch pirtnerhip Imke up 1more
e civ three wood- and paper-producing i(bh, in the than 90 percent of the crmp, grDWn on Floiida tree
state can be found in Not theast Florida." said leff farms tdand h ietied th ti anc 'here frnmml
Dorin, executive vice president of the Florida Foretr 15 to 35 percent i1me u,ble w \\c)d than mnon-
Association in Tallihd,,ee. impited \iietieC.
W\heln su add payroll receipts provided by healthy The cooperative program haIl liko made ,ignificant
foret,, the ripple impact on Florida's ecoiom\u i advances in the fight againt fusiform rust, a disease
much gredter than mot people realize." Dliran said. that can kill trees, stunt their growth oi degrade the
"Mrlire than 30 percent of the indutri\V $1.3 billion quality io their wood costing tilnber companies, and
pdvrNoll goe, to Northea.,t Florida residents who wo\rl<. smaller landowners millions in profit, every\' ear.
in wood and paper milkl. If you paid the employees of And You don't have tom be a major player in the tim-
jLut one North Florida mill with bark-colored currenc\- ber business to ,see a benefit from the research, said
and traced it through the local econon\, vou'd be Tim W\hite. director of the folestr\- school. which ij
altounnded by the result." pdrt of UF IFAS.
Tim White, a professor offorest genetics and director of the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, checks research plots at the UF/IFAS
Austin Cary Memorial Forest near Gainesville. White, who joined thefaculty of UF/IFAS in 1985, was named director of the school in October 2003.
(UF/IFAS file photo)
"Small private landowners account for half the tim- Wright, research manager for Rayonier Inc., one of the
berland in Florida, and when their property is harvest- corporate partners in the project.
ed and replanted, it's almost always with varieties A giant in the global timber business, Rayonier is
developed by our program." White Nid. One of the largest private lalndoners in Florida But
But it takes more than a genetically s-,ounllld tree to even lithe Lrge tinimber companies don't have the
make forestry\ a profitable and sustainable indullstr. resources to do research on thile scale of thile studies
ThatC's \why UIF IFAS formed another. simlllilar coopera- routinely done bv the UF IFA-\S research cooperative.
ritve inll 1996I h one that takes anll interdisciplinary Wright said.
approach to keeping ttree farms and forests health and "With this cooperative. \\e can do a trial on a single
profitable. site and get data from 19 other sites run bI oAther
The UF IFAS Forest Bicology\ Research Cooperative cooperative partners." Wright said. "So \ve're getting
llw\\ researchers from UF IFAS and more than a 20 trials for the price of one."
dozen corporate partners to work together on trials of That's not just money saved by the timber industry:
new tree varieties and new management techniques, in increased fields from ne le\\ tree varieties ultilmately
a search for the right combination of genetics. maniage- result inll bigger profits for Northeast Florida landowLn-
ment and location. ers and owners of timber-related industries.
"-We're looking at 11hat limits the productivity of Timoth W\\'hite. 352-86-0850
timberland whether it's genetics, fertilization, pesti- tlwhiterit unfl.edu
cides aor any other factor and hoping to find tays to Dudley Huber. 352-84-6-0898
manage the land so that it's more productive." said leff dahuberil uft.edu
Winter 2004 17
apprachto eepng ree arm an foest helthyand\\'h hiscoopratve.we an Woiateria on0 a 1inl
Ibul t llt,1111 i i li LL. It I .. e ii'L .IMlll L 0l'.I l i e .I c I lcllci l 'I Ia le l l 1 ( II i lllll \ 10
l 11JdeL (I 111d l 11.11(lLd .1le llc\ I l
tbin i eIl iit. i i Iiit i e l den.d AIeI > dl M 'i Iee\\ lll m\ iil the i i
t liid a i .ii e l. i C inaL I h IC Fue t ij ,i M i l .it I l l l ti i l r 1 ,11( n .. '1 t Lh .. LL lli
to i uI rend i l't ie,. itii le Cl I T c. i l n ii 111 II Li tl I-
The -L, ,l 31JdC y It oIl l lll 1\11 X \ O 11 bellllll. I C I Ie ll. J1_I)I,IL 1 .111d
The region includes Bradenton, Charlotte, IDeoto and have yet to take a signUficant
Manatee counties.' bite out of the area's citrus
tOf course, it doesn't hurt to be home to one of the crop, which has been a major player the county
largest fruit juice companies. Tropicana Products Inc., since the 1980s, when freezes drove much of Central
producer of the world's best-selling brand of orange F lorida's orange production southward.
juice, has its headquarters and "In the past 10 or 15 years,ta
processing facilities i -- i t we've seen a dramatic increase inc
Ci 'tie' In thl i aA- Bz deI III The tidx CLictiinhe i Iiie S2
aolf icf tl tt lan d lLttL aIl me uie' in theb II 1ILeI l miYI tdhe',elp 'aine eeii bid. -
int Bradento i the mount Lof citrnt lt il Ii t e t. (.useLllt\. de\ire," saidi
"The region includes Bradenton, Charlotte, DeSoto and have yet to tae a sgnifiF/IFAS DeStcant
M anatee counties, bite out of the area's citruse'e
than 3,000 employees," said cl had some problems in recent years
"Iristine Nickel, a spokesperson acragbecause of canker and tristeza, but
Of course, it doesn't hurt to be home to one of the crop, which has been a major player in the county
largest fruit juice companies. Tropicana Products Inc., since the 980s, when freezes drove much of central
producer of the world's best-selling brand of orange Florida's orange production southward.
juice, has its headquiartengs and "In the past 10 s or 15 years,
processing facilities we e seen a dramatic increase in
in Bradenton. urban develop-the amount of citrus here,"om said
"We are the largest private ZJim Selph, UF/IFAS DeSoto
employer in Bradenton, with more County extension director. "We've
than 3,000 employees," said coul had some problems in recent years
"Kristine Nicitru el, a spokesperson because of canker and tristeza, but
for Tropicana. "Our payroll is the economic impact of citrus here
$160 million in Bradenton alone." is huge."
Farmers in the rural area outside I Canker and tristeza aren't the
Bradenton are still holding their only woes southwest Florida farm-
own economically, despite the loss ers face in coming years. The
of farmland to urban develop- phaseout of methyl bromide a
ment, said Phyillis Gilreath, (Erc Zamora) soil fumigant used to control a
UF/IFAS Manatee County exten- wide variety of insects, weeds and
sion agent. pathogens could soon put the squeeze on Florida's
"In citrus, we've lost some acreage to canker and fruit and vegetable growers.
some to development, but the vegetable industry is Methyl bromide is routinely used on more than 100
doing very well," Gilreath said. different crops including tomatoes, ornamental
Manatee county tomato growers long the biggest plants and other major Florida crops and is valued
force in agriculture are going strong, contributing an by growers for its ability to kill a broad spectrum of
Joe Noling, a professor of entomology and nematology with UF/IFAS, examines tomatoes being grown with an experimental treatment that could replace the widely-
used methyl bromide fumigant. Noling heads a statewide research team searching for a replacement. (Eric Zamora)
plant pests. But it is also believed to be a significant The cocktail has one major drawback: it includes
factor in the depletion of the ozone layer. chemicals that, according to federal regulations, can
As a result, methyl bromide is being phased out by only be applied by workers wearing protective gear.
the federal Environmental Protection Agency and is Federal regulations may also restrict use of the chemi-
expected to be banned in America by 2005. However, cal cocktail near urban areas, which could spell prob-
its use will continue in other countries such as Mexico, lems for farmers in rapidly urbanizing areas like those
which competes with Florida in global fruit and veg- in Southwest Florida.
etable markets. To help Florida farmers remain com- But UF/IFAS researchers are also looking at other
petitive, UF/IFAS researchers are racing against the alternatives to chemicals in the cocktail. And while
clock to perfect alternatives to the widely used they search, a handful of the state's tomato growers
fumigant. are already testing the new management system on
"There's nothing that works as well against the their fields.
broad spectrum of diseases and pests that methyl bro- "This will be a major change to the way they oper-
mide reaches," said Joe Noling, a professor of entomol- ate, but we've seen some encouraging signs that the
ogy and nematology at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research industry is able to adapt," said Noling. "When the
and Education Center in Lake Alfred and head of a supply of methyl bromide runs out, I think Florida will
statewide research team searching for alternatives to be ready."
the fumigant. Phyillis Gilreath, 941-722-4524, ext. 229
Noling's team has crafted one solution to the prob- firstname.lastname@example.org
lem an integrated pest management system that Joe Noling, 863-956-1151, ext. 1262
involves use of a "chemical cocktail" of pesticides to email@example.com
kill plant pests now controlled with methyl bromide.
Winter 2004 19
n the rural counties of the eastern Panhandle, also and other qualities are assessed
known as Florida's Big Bend, farmers are the back- over a 112-day period. It's a "l .
bone of the economy. vital tool for breeders, who
A new economic study by the University of Florida's need independent assessments ,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) of the quality of their cattle in
shows that agriculture and natural resource industries order to see whether their
generate more than $2.6 billion in output impact in breeding programs are success-
the 12-county Tallahassee region. Forest products con- ful. A bull that scores high in
tribute more than $1.6 billion in output impact. the tests will typically fetch a L i
Other major contributors include agronomic crops good price.
such as cotton, peanuts and tobacco, ornamental "Last year, the bulls that
crops, vegetables and seafood, completed the test sold for an
The region covers Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, average of about $1,600 a
Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, head, which is pretty good,"
Taylor and Wakulla counties, said Ronnie Hartzog, coordina-
In Jackson County, where agriculture is the No. 1 tor for the facility.
industry, the university is helping farmers coax more Fishing and seafood-related
profit out of their land by encouraging them to change industries are also a big part of
their crop rotation practices. In the early 1990s, lower the Big Bend economy
peanut yields were attributed in part to the lack of "Franklin County is historically
crop rotation, which encouraged growth of root- and culturally tied to the
damaging nematodes in the soil. seafood industry," said Anita Grove, executive director
Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS Jackson County extension cat- of the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. "We
tie agent, said researchers at the UF/IFAS North have more than 1,000 people working in the oyster
Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy industry alone."
found that planting a field in bahiagrass helps keep More than 90 percent of the oysters harvested in
nematode populations down. As a result, extension Florida about 10 percent of the total United States
agents have been encouraging farmers to add bahia- harvest come from the Apalachicola Bay area. The
grass, a popular forage for cattle, to their rotation. And fishing industry also brings in blue crabs, shrimp,
when a field is planted in bahiagrass, it only makes grouper and other seafood by the hundreds of thou-
sense to raise cattle on it. sands of pounds each year.
"Peanuts have been the cash crop here, but we're But the area's livelihood has been threatened in
seeing more and more row crop farmers who want to recent years by competition from foreign markets, red
get bahiagrass and cattle into the rotation," Mayo said. tide blooms and concerns about Vibrio vulnificus, an
He said UF/IFAS has also given a boost to purebred organism present in raw shellfish that causes illness in
cattle producers in the Panhandle and around the state some people.
with the creation three years ago of a bull-testing facil- Thanks to research by UF/IFAS scientists,
ity at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Apalachicola's seafood industry is using new methods
Education Center in Marianna. to help predict levels of Vibrio. The research helped the
The facility the only one of its kind in the state state establish harvesting criteria to reduce the risk of
allows breeders to get an independent assessment of infection with the bacterium.
the quality of the young bulls they produce. Cattle Researchers are also studying freezing as a method of
producers send bulls between the age of 6 and 11 killing the bacterium, as well as trying to discover
months to the facility, where their weight, growth rate which strains of Vibrio are responsible for the illness.
Doug Mayo, left, discusses beef cattle production with Mack Glass, owner of Cherokee Ranch in Marianna. In the 12-county Tallahassee region, the livestock indus-
try generated more than $97 million in output impact and $44 million in value-added impacts. (Eric Zamora)
New federal regulations will require oysters to be treat- worry about getting frozen over and not being able to
ed for the bacterium, and the UF/IFAS research could harvest," said Bill Mahan, UF/IFAS Franklin County
save Gulf Coast oyster producers millions of dollars. extension director. "People say this is oyster country,
"High-pressure pasteurization is already available, but there's no reason why it can't be clam country,
but the pasteurization equipment can cost hundreds of too."
thousands of dollars," said Anita Wright, an assistant Ronnie Hartzog 850-482-1252
professor in the UF/IFAS food science and human firstname.lastname@example.org
nutrition department in Gainesville. "Many of our oys- Bill Mahan 850-653-9337
ter producers are mom-and-pop operations that can't email@example.com
afford that kind of expense, but they do have freezers. Doug Mayo 850-482-9620
Currently, we are working with Steve Otwell and Gary firstname.lastname@example.org
Rodrick, professors in the department, and others to Steve Otwell, 352-392-4221, ext. 304
validate freezing as a practical, cost-effective method email@example.com
for producing a safer product." Gary Rodrick, 352-392-1991, ext. 310
UF/IFAS extension agents are also working with the firstname.lastname@example.org
area's fledgling clam aquaculture industry, which could Anita Wright 352-392-1991, ext. 311
grab a bigger share of the national market. email@example.com
"Our clams grow fast, our water is clean, and unlike
a lot of Northern communities, we don't have to
Winter 2004 21
Shen it comes to rapid economic growth in "Legally, they have no need _
agriculture and natural resources, Collier to be certified, but there's a _- -
and Lee counties could be called the hunger out there for the infor- -
dynamic duo. mation we have," Brown said.
A new study by the University of Florida's Institute With its balmy climate,
of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) shows the Southwest Florida has tradi-
two-county Southwest region was the fastest growing tionally been an exporter of
in the state over the five years from 1995-2000. ornamental plants to customers
Employment in agriculture and related industries north of the peninsula. But res-
exceeded 30,000. idential development has put a
Driven largely by a whopping 75 percent increase in dent in those exports as a grow-
environmental horticulture especially the ornamental ing number of ornamental
plant landscaping business this segment of agricul- plants are sold to homeowners
ture generated more than $442 million in output, plus and landscapers in Southwest
another $300 million in value-added income. It was Florida. Local producers still
nearly equal to the $444 million output and $315 mil- export $142 million in
lion in value-added impact for the area's fruit and veg- environmental horticulture
etable industries. products and services to out-of B
"Conventional wisdom holds that agriculture ends state customers.
where residential development begins, with new neigh- While the shift toward envi-
borhoods growing on land formerly tilled by farmers," ronmental horticulture is strong
and Stephen Brown, UF/IFAS Lee County extension in Lee County, neighboring
horticulture agent. "But Southwest Florida residents Collier County remains a major
are finding that development often means trading one producer of fruits and vegeta-
kind of agriculture for another. Landscaping ordi- bles. The shift of citrus produc-
nances for residential and commercial properties, along tion to the warm areas of Southwest Florida has dra-
with golf courses and environmental concerns, have matically increased production in the region.
created a huge demand for these profes- "Tomato production is also a big enter-
sional services. prise in Florida, but it's Collier County
"Landscaping is the agriculture of the that drives the ship," said Reggie Brown,
future," Brown said. "It enhances the manager of the Florida Tomato
urban environment and creates lot of Committee in Orlando, a federal market-
jobs more than 9,000 in these two coun- ing committee that sets standards for
ties alone." Florida tomatoes shipped across state
He said the boom in environmental hor- lines.
ticulture is also stimulating demand for Florida produces between 45 percent
UF/IFAS research and education programs and 50 percent of all fresh market toma-
in the region, particularly as residents and toes grown in the United States, according
professional landscapers come to the UF to the committee. Together, Lee and
extension service for information on top- Collier counties produced $249 million
ics ranging from irrigation and fertiliza- worth of vegetables in 2000 alone, accord-
tion to pest control and water conserva- ing to the UF/IFAS economic impact
tion. study. Tomatoes accounted for most of
Brown offers a certification class for that production.
landscapers through the Lee County Brown says recent fluctuations in the
Extension Service in Ft. Myers, and he says there's economy have not put a dent in America's demand
strong demand for the classes even though state law for tomatoes.
doesn't require landscapers to be certified. "Consumption of tomatoes has generally trended
upward in the past several years," Brown said. "And we
in tomatoes." more firmness, or a longer shelf life.
Seen Brown, right, said there's another trend to (Cycas reoluta) with Phil Wells, left, owner ofL Lndscape Managerowing now are better than the
employee of thefinn. (Eric Zamora)
expect that trend to continue as the baby boomers get facilities, scientists are using a combination of genetic
older; recent findings about the health benefits of engineering and conventional breeding techniques to
lycopene in tomatoes are also stimulating interest produce new tomato varieties that offer better taste,
in tomatoes." more firmness, or a longer shelf life.
He said there's another trend to watch out for. "The varieties we're growing now are better than the
Future federal regulations will require country-of-origin varieties we had 10 years ago," Brown said. 'And we
labeling on all tomatoes sold in stores, a change that expect they'll be even better 10 years from now,
could give Florida tomatoes an edge when competing thanks to UF/IFAS."
with imported tomatoes on the domestic market. At the UF/IFAS Immokalee center, Fritz Roka, an
But the toughest competition for Florida tomato associate professor of food and resource economics, is
growers has always come from the backyards of helping citrus growers in the area evaluate the cost-
America, Brown said. effectiveness of various mechanical harvesting systems.
"People have an emotional attachment to tomatoes To compete with low-cost producers such as Brazil,
that you don't find with any other kind of produce," Florida growers need to reduce their production costs,
he said. "It's the most common vegetable in private and machine harvesting can help them realize that
gardens. Everybody has memories of tomatoes they've goal, he said.
grown themselves, or tomatoes that came from their Stephen Brown 239-461-7513
grandmother's garden. No matter how good your firstname.lastname@example.org
product is, it's hard to convince people that a store- Fritz Roka 239-658-3400
bought tomato is just as good. It's hard to compete email@example.com
with a memory."
At the UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and
Education Center in Immokalee and other UF/IFAS
Winter 2004 23
.. ...... .
T leie'" Mil'le L(, Flh idil.'. EneIaid (I ,, i thn li L e''I.l.tlni ,II, ,,mm ii di'e.i'e' = L .0
mnIeeL' c eh e\ e. 'tiLi .i' ol pla l. i ,tII ed- -- .. -
(c.ii ruiit h t lithe u I -cci'', bedch '.. p.a't i Lhe Lud ln i l i 'Ll. e 'I.l t 'I il t h1'1 e h lne\\ "
ati e.' an iiid mili n bI'eIs. an MIld \ II l.ee t le t Iliei Lice \a.iiic'l". let le L .n aila Ile. dLiair. -
1o0 F(i IId ',I P. IilidILle. \\ lhee the eoC 1i1 nix I I 'Ie I1I11 ii, h (i e din ic Ie.is e i une ti
dcpell d'" i i)n o p oile N11 \h i Mi i I Lt h thIlli lli d M iuldl hle Cen i nh Li d III\ e 11ii1 111
Ai. iiiltiLII I.e 111. 1 iijl Ij[ le'l l 'LC inl LILI'"tell .l e i i' pe' LI. lll lltl l ie"' ll I ,lc it ..-illC' e '
CillliriitIoi, iI t I c ite \ eiall cL, im\ l f l ie I Pe'il',. ci inii .i tlie L'F IFA"- \\'eit Jt- .l
"]eiiein Leneiatlin ln mile than $I illiilln III O iitptt and FliridaL'. Rcei cli and EduLILILat h l
,th a e-.i ed ed 'l\ icc, in llie L.It c' "i\ \c-Lt ie inItiu ,t (.entL in 1.i\ d ld II l .nalee Lt i
c )LIl tie,'. aLIil 'dllli' l) i Il n \\ ecLi lnitlin ilm npmict ",i Lli\ dic\el)pill it \ .i lie't\ hll be it an1-
b\ the Li n eiMitv (I iFli iida s In'itti ite i tf Fiiid ,iid W, eminent plra. tiLc,' i t, lp b t
Ae c lttiltna.tl iicince' iLiF IFA',i Pnlhaidlce La inie'll hl i bN o't [piIt i 4l
"Fiin ciittiin pe.i nLit lnl ,' ixhe nI' tiii, tm- l ti' l. iii a(),f1id pi i tcict thie e1n' nIl il ent\ii t. -- 1...l
acie' pl .nted iln I lN1 illx lnd 'la.il pin le. agriLLiltUiLIe lhibl IINe. dln 1 itazl p ile,'- .*.1; "
"Hle re 11:i. a D seep I thitil [eel." 'aid Lanm oir (-liii 'teneilrl I f htiie'.t ec lt li a llt tllhe
i1F IFA. Ecjmibi (.iitun\- e\ten.ioln director in LF IFAS \\e',t Flirlda cenitel. 1 .
Pen'aci ilaI. de\ el' pinl i nic\\x ;i(>,t i i \e t
.nld \\xhi lC Ili11iniiniiL cII)ipI, Li1d1 foItiiet' pii,1duct' lix \e Il:1.ni11enient plact1ice' that i M Ii
been produced in the region for generations, new agri- farmers to grow row crops or
cultural enterprises such as catfish farming, sod pro- graze livestock on land that's also used to grow trees.
duction and ornamental crops are important contribu- Little known in the United States, agroforestry is rel-
tors to the economy actively common in developing countries where farmers
The recent boom in the region's catfish aquaculture can't afford fertilizers and other production inputs.
industry is a prime example, Christenberry said. Ten Farmers usually plant rows of crops between trees,
years ago, catfish farming was almost unheard of in the making use of the trees' natural nitrogen-fixing abili-
western Panhandle. Now the region has 35 catfish ties and reducing the need for fertilizers.
"farmers operating on more than 1,000 acres and pro- Jose said agroforestry is ideal for the Florida
during millions of pounds of fish. He said none of Panhandle, particularly for crops such as cotton and
them would have turned to aquaculture without the peanuts that grow in partial shade. The practice can
help of Max Griggs, a UF/IFAS Escambia County help Florida row crop and cattle farmers boost their
extension agent who recently retired, income by harvesting timber on a regular basis. It also
"Here's an industry that grew up from nothing all reduces fertilizer runoff and leaching into ground-
because of the efforts of an extension agent," water supplies.
Christenberry said. "It's a perfect example of what the Rick Williams, an associate professor and extension
extension service is all about." forestry specialist at the UF/IFAS West Florida center's
In another example of how UF/IFAS helps agricul- Milton campus, is helping developers and new resi-
ture, Ken Barton, president of the Florida Peanut dents manage timberland that has been converted to
Producers Association in Marianna, said peanut grow- residential or commercial use.
ers could not survive in today's competitive world He offers the new landowners advice on "natural
markets without the university's research and educa- management" techniques that allow them to turn a
tion programs, profit while changing rows of planted pine into a more
"For decades, UF/IFAS has been at the forefront in natural-looking forest. Natural management involves
developing new high-yielding peanut varieties that are harvesting only small portions of a property and
Fla. Te center also as facilities in Milton. (Eric Zamora)
Jeff Mullahey, left, and Greg Kimons, a senior agricultural assistant at the UFIFAS West Florida Research a and tEducation Cenwter check peanut plants in Ja,
Fla. The center also hasfacilities in Milton. (Eric Zamora)
allowing the trees there to re-seed naturally in lieu of 'At the UF/IFAS West Florida center, which is one of
planting new trees, the largest turfgrass research facilities in the Southeast,
Jeff Mullahey, director of the UF/IFAS West Florida we are developing new environmentally friendly man-
center, says Williams' work will grow increasingly agement practices and varieties for commercial and
important in both economic and environmental residential applications," Unruh said
terms as the Panhandle population continues to "One of our most promising new varieties is seashore
move to land now used for forestry paspalum, a saltwater-hardy coastal grass that could be
"This is a trend that's going to change the landscape used on Florida golf courses," he said. "Because of its
forever," Mullahey said. "If we can reach these new high tolerance to seawater and treated wastewater, the
landowners and teach them how to manage their land, grass could help reduce use of other water resources to
it will have a long-lasting impact." keep Florida golf courses green. It's also a great-looking
Bryan Unruh, an associate professor at the UF/IFAS grass that golfers like to play on."
West Florida center, said urban development and new Lamar Christenberry 850-475-5230
golf courses are driving the rapid growth of the turf- firstname.lastname@example.org
grass industry in all areas of the state. As a result, Shibu Jose, 850-983-2632
many row crop farmers in the West Florida region are email@example.com
diversifying their operations with sod farming. Jeff Mullahey. 850-983-5216
According to the UF/IFAS economic impact study, firstname.lastname@example.org
the environmental horticulture industry which Bryan Unruh, 850-484-4482
includes turfgrass and other landscaping plants grew email@example.com
by 68 percent in the western Panhandle during the Rick Williams, 850-983-5217
five-year period ending in 2000, adding more than $91 firstname.lastname@example.org
million in annual revenue to the area.
Winter 2004 25
Shat used to be a niche market in the organic land at the UF/IFAS ..I
nation's annual $460 billion food industry Pine Acres Experimental
has become mainstream as more consumers Station will be used for
look for locally grown foods that are produced in envi- research. UF is one of the first
ronmentally safe ways. For some, this means land-grant universities in the
organic foods. nation to start a center for
In fact, sales of organically grown fruits and vegeta- organic research and education;
bles have increased 20 percent a year for the past 10 one of the goals is to create a
years, and almost three-quarters of all supermarkets in minor in organic agriculture
the United States now carry organic foods. The U.S. and a certificate in organic
organic market is expected to reach $20 agriculture, to be
billion by 2005. offered through UF's College of
And the boom in oingamnc isn't limited AgiLcultuial and Life Sciences.
to the LI S In the United KAingdom Rose Koenig. iwne of Rosie -' O()rganic
organic food sales ame expected to Farm in Gadineville and co-dilectoi ot
incie.ie Lby 75 percent (o\e the next fh\e the center. aid atgricultual eseI ch and
\eaiI In Chmin. ifa nmel aie getting 30 education hale al\ \ been the ,ke\ to
percent to 50 percent mnule h-I their mclieasing food pioductiun in tiadition-
oigaiic food exports. 0A l. laige-scale fa ming opelationl. "\Ve
"People a-.,ociate oitgaunc food-s ith .V need to apply the samie science-baded
helness, bertei hea-lth and food afetv appo-'lach to io\ ng the problems that
and they're I\ illi n to pa\- a piemliui organic pulducer fce." he said.
p i ice ftot organicc produce especially' for "O co-u)ti e. before \\e initiate an\
produce that is grown lhcall," said .' reHeariclh onorganic failing. \\e lha\e to
Nlickie Swisher. an associate plofeol in i. make certain that no prohibited sub-
the iUnl\ ellt\ of Florida's Institutte oft stances, such as \ynthetic fertilizers or
Food and Agiicuiltual Sciences pesticides. ha\ e been used on the
I LUF IFAS.. land within the past three \ eas.'
lMaking cel tiii the pmloductlon of said Koenig.
locally gro\\n organic foods \\ill meet She said discussioii \with LF IFAS
gio\ving demand is one goal of the nei\ about creating the center date back to
Center for Organic Agriculture. a pI i- iE, z.,', 1907 'The need for organic aiming
vlate-public partnership between reseeaich was confirmed in 2002 dwhen
UF IFAS and organic fai inei S\isher. an expert on the U.S. Depaitmeint of Agriculture established nation-
sustainable agiicultuie and small faims. said certified al tandaid, foi certifving oiganically grown food The
Rose Koenig, left, examines locally grown organic produce at a farmers' market in Gainesville with Mickie Swisher (Thomas Wright)
USDA action stimulated consumer interest in organic this is true or not there is no scientific evidence for
products. this one way or another," Koenig said. 'At UF/IFAS, we
"The establishment of USDA standards, which was a have experts in many areas, ranging from agronomy
key event in the history of this nascent industry, really and soil science to food science and human nutrition.
validated the value of organic products," Koenig said. This gives us a great opportunity to answer complex
"The USDA standards help assure consumers that the questions like this one."
organic products they buy are really organic." Koenig said organic farming is environmentally
She said the USDA standards for organic produce friendly. "It doesn't just protect the soil, but actually
also pointed to the need for research, "bringing organic improves the quality of soil."
producers and researchers to the same table so that Marty Mesh, executive director of Florida Organic
cooperative projects could be developed for the benefit Growers and Consumers in Gainesville, said there are
of growers and consumers." 2.23 million acres of organic farmland in the U.S.,
The research at the UF/IFAS center will lead to including about 12,059 acres in Florida. He said the
inipioved prod c1ti on piactice- that will help all lne\ UF FAS center ill be an a.et to both gio.veis
ougaanic produces. and consumlelr
Floiida'- organic farmers ale once rned about three Rose Koenig. 352-392-19S7 ext 267
malor production problems: insect pest and disease rosiesfarn-.ii'inindspring.com
management: controlling %eeds and managing soil fei- Mar lesh. 352-377-63-15
tilit\-. shie said. oginfotrifoginfo.com
There aie man\ exciting opportunities for ieearch. gicnfe ow-isher. 352-3 )1. eot. 25
For example. some people feel that organically pro- nmesw'isher(iifas.ufl.edu
duced foods offer health benefits. But no one kno\\s if
Winter 2004 27
lifen IL coilleu 1111 Wi 1 ill I in e'tillm enL. the eC11in eril aI> Jie oe l I.' .i.wti
"[I [c m"
,licie ,n iici i-H hiliit I )e\clopmei0in ro41 um 111e mo ,e( n ime ,eo dhu. 'iA i ._
Dl'e inW ein ll I' l led in i titeuide -4-H piolii ani nd role I111(delk hi m i)heir kid,.
\\e l1I\C el \ 1'2 li.ll 111111 li II \ h \(,)1I Itl 1 1iL'.aiid', -4-H \ (3 LIIll 'ltee", X\\ II^ 1 )3lle-
iil hIti,LIr U, hl lp the-'ec 31\I, lI pe, ple Ic llize Ih ll I ll in-,ne ith I)LII peo ,ple
It elllli. ithe le l n I n)l In t ll c iL'i I ewen, c\LcllClll. .ild ndtli'i,, Id lIi \ Un U liltiihtitc
N\ La il\ In L ,emeiieti ;cill t,i' d'l.l l'l Jp11le ", )l' \\ ILh lthe [lo VIn l peo(iple ell-Cetiee l.
Ljli\i ei"i-y (l1 FlIIida ,. I l"-i' LiL cl F' i) l d Lld ; inlidenie .tLd le.adeihlip
Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). skills,"
"From the standpoint of public- Lesmeister
support, we know that 4-H is cost / said. "This
effective, but the program also has a helps them
positive, long-term impact on the find ways to
lives of young people that's difficult succeed in
to measure in dollars and cents," society outside of the traditional
she said. "Florida 4-H really is a school environment and adapt their
lifetime investment in the future of skills to better succeed in the public
our youth." school system."
Lesmeister said a recent study She said 4-H is a "welcoming
found that young people who par- place" for today's youth, including
ticipate in the 4-H youth develop- at-risk youth. The Florida 4-H pro-
ment program for a year or more -- gram now involves youth in 67
fared better than their peers, includ- -- counties and the Seminole Tribes -
ing those participating in other encouraging young people statewide
after-school activities. to make a positive contribution to
The research shows that youth their communities.
development is closely linked to In today's rapidly changing socie-
how kids spend their time out of ty, she said the statistics for at-risk
school, she said. Those who are not youth point to the need and long-
involved in constructive out-of- Maylin Lesmeister, right, confers with Maria term value of programs such as the
school youth development programs Valladares, who has been a 4-H club volunteer in Florida 4-H program, which is
such as 4-H are more likely to expe- Alachua Countyfor 18years. (Tara Piasio) administered by UF/IFAS.
rience problems in school, get lower At a time when state and local
grades, cheat on tests and experiment with drugs, governments are spending an average of $7,400 per
"After all, a lot can happen in the out-of-school child attending public schools each year, there are
hours. 4-H makes sure it's positive," she said. more than 26,000 school dropouts in Florida alone.
Lesmeister, who works with adults who volunteer The cost of incarcerating a youth in a juvenile deten-
their time to 4-H, said the survey also indicates 4-H tion facility for one year averages approximately
Mary Williams, left, UF/IFAS Nassau County extension director and 4-H agent, visits with 4-H'ers during the annual State 4-H Congress at the University of
Florida in Gainesville in July 2003. Williams is president-elect of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, an organization ofyouth development profes-
sionals that integrates scholarship, research and practice. (Eric Zamora)
$20,000. And the detention facility's population con- In Apopka, Fla., Doug Meyers, the national director
sists mostly of dropouts finding trouble to fill the time of outcomes for HealthSouth Corp., tracks patient care
they should be spending in classrooms, for physical and occupational therapy. He also volun-
"Essential to the program are nearly 12,000 volun- teers as the Wrangler 4-H Club organizational leader
teers who donate time and energy worth an estimated and agrees with Lesmeister: "Measuring the value of
value of more than $2 billion nationally each year," the 4-H program is a lot more complicated than look-
Lesmeister said. "Recent research indicates youth ing at dollars and cents," he said.
involved in 4-H programs develop into competent, car- Meyers, a 4-H alumnus from Ohio, is a 4-H parent
ing, compassionate and confident youth who make and volunteer leader to a club that expanded from
contributions rather than cause trouble." eight young people to 80 in just five years. He strives
She said it's the lasting impact and influence of vol- to reach out and make a difference in the lives of at-
unteers that really matter, not the estimated monetary risk youth in his Orange County community.
value of their volunteer efforts. Every year, students enrolled in public education
"Volunteers of all ages who want to use their skills leave the system because they are not able to meet the
to help youth in their communities work as individu- educational and FCAT (Florida Comprehensive
als and on committees," Lesmeister said. "They plan, Assessment Test) goals of their school. Meyers said
coordinate, teach, manage, mentor, market and advo- these kids may not be able to reach their full potential
cate. Research shows us that volunteers bring added because they have difficulty learning in a structured
credibility to the 4-H program, because they are trust- school environment.
ed. They have influence with friends, neighbors and "The 'learn-by-doing' motto is what makes the 4-H
decision-makers." program so successful," Meyers said. "Some kids just
Winter 2004 29
Sandra Smith, right, an educator from the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, answers questions from students at a 4-H workforce preparation program for
inner-city youth. (Thomas Wright)
aren't textbook learners, and the experiential learning ter understanding of the nation's economy and the
process encourages the students to learn not only the demands of the job market, these youth can become
content, but the thought processes and reasoning leaders in their communities and have a positive effect
behind the topics. on the overall economy.
"By reaching out to these at-risk youth and enhanc- "Many of the 4-H'ers in my club discovered their
ing their education through other processes, the 4-H future careers while completing their 4-H projects,"
program is reducing the risk of creating a two-level Meyers said. "Pledging their 'hands to larger service,'
society in the future: those individuals who are 'book- 4-H youth work with adult volunteers to improve their
wise' and those who are left to flounder in minimum- local communities through various service projects
wage jobs," he said. and programs."
"4-H provides the opportunity for these youth to In Santa Rosa County, for example, 4-H'ers, parents
become caring, competent adults," Meyers said. "The and volunteers joined together to salvage bleachers,
activities and experiences keep youth out of trouble, wood, garbage cans and other items from a horse arena
encourage creative and critical thinking, and help them scheduled to be demolished. They transported the
explore future career possibilities through interesting items to a new recreation facility, saving the county
projects and mentors." several thousand dollars.
Meyers said the long-term impact of the 4-H pro- "It's difficult to estimate the value of their efforts,"
gram is the development of life skills in youth that said Vickie Mullins, UF/IFAS Santa Rosa County
improves their economic futures. By developing a bet- 4-H agent in Milton, Fla. "Salvaging the materials
Mullins said the program began in August 2003 and
appears to be successful; eight girls submitted projects
to compete in the North Florida Fair. While no partici-
pants have been released yet, the goal is to include
4-H participation as part of their release plan.
"We want the girls to go back into the community
and stay out of trouble," Mullins said. "Ideally, we'd
like them to contact their 4-H offices and continue
their involvement in this excellent program."
Marilyn Lesmeister 352-846-1000, ext. 238
Doug Myers 407-448-5192
Vickie Mullins 850-623-3868
benefited the whole community, and the county was
able to use the money that they saved for other proj-
ects that benefit the community."
She said a new 4-H program in Santa Rosa
County seeks to rehabilitate young women residing
at the Juvenile Justice Facility in Milton. Members
of the Milton Girls of America 4-H Club will spend
from five and a half months to one year in the facili-
ty, and Patty Hooper, a recreational therapist at
the facility, hopes they stay out of trouble when ,
Vickie Mullins encourages 4-H'ers
to practice their riding skills.
Ready for a -A
F lorida's $62 billion agricultural and natural Less than a decade ago,
resource industries depend on educated profes- Nyree Washington was a stu-
sionals in highly technical disciplines, and the dent at UF, searching for a
University of Florida's College of Agricultural and Life career path that would allow
Sciences fills that need with "society-ready" graduates. her to have an impact on socie-
Current enrollment in the college, which includes ty. After taking a survey class
the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and on agricultural careers in the
Conservation, exceeds 3,900 students up more than UF/IFAS college, she was
150 percent during the past decade. Ten years ago, hooked.
there were few female and minority students. Now, When she graduated from
women are the majority at the undergraduate level, the college in 1997, it didn't
and there is a high percentage of minority students. take her long to find a teaching
"No matter where you go in the United States and position at one of the state's
many other nations, chances are you'll find graduates most innovative magnet
from the UF/IFAS college in a variety of important schools. As an agriscience
government and business positions," said Jimmy teacher at Miami's Coral Reef Senior High School,
Cheek, dean of the college, which is part of UF's Washington is helping kids from one of America's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). urban centers get ready for jobs in agriculture and the
He said some graduates work for large multinational sciences.
organizations, while others use their college skills to "In a big city, it can be difficult to get people inter-
build their own businesses. And some graduates go on ested in agriculture," she said. "But if you start
to other professional programs in areas such as medi- talking about agricultural biotechnology, you get a dif-
cine or law. ferent reaction. You get students and parents who
"It may be difficult to meature the dollar Nalue of understand that thee ie ae a lot of career oppo unities
our teaching pioglams. but we Iknow< they are essential in thi held "
for aguculltulle and related industries Cheek said. Stoies like \VWaungton's are common among giadu-
"Ou-t graduates are among the movers and shakers in ates of the college. which prides itself on producing
every agricuLlture-related business in Florida." he said. alumni \ ho are ready to enter the real world and make
"The\ own and run family fai ms. They teach school an impact on society the minute they\ have their
and develop ne\\ technologies They manage giant degrees in hand.
agribusiness companies. And they w-oilk in the go ei n- "I love my work." said Alissa Blank, an assistant gen-
ment instituitons that keep our food safe and our envi- etal counsel foi enforcement at the Florida
ronment clean. Department of Environmental Protection in
"\Ve pride ourselves on giving our graduates broad- Tallahassee. "I feel a sense of purpose in what I do,
based education and experience he said. "\e want and I get to put my undergraduate education to work
them to be professional, and technically competent every day in my job "
but we also want students who have the agility Blank is in change of the agency's efforts to ensure
to adapt to the needs of a changing society that landowners comply with state regulations on
and economy." restoring damaged mangro \e swamps and othei
Nyree Washington, right, discusses the propagation of poinsettias in her science class at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami with Justin Kotlowski, center, and
Alexander Crawford. (Eric Zamora)
wetland areas. She has closed several cases for the Graduates of the UF/IFAS college are also crucial to
agency, including one long-standing case that resulted the development of new businesses that provide jobs
in a corporation giving a large cash and land donation for Floridians. Just ask Patrick Schirard, a 1982 gradu-
to preserve the Florida Keys. In addition to the dona- ate and president of Fort Pierce-based Freshco Ltd., the
tion, the corporation has planted 1.4 million mangrove company that makes Indian River Select orange and
seedlings to help restore the damaged mangrove fringe. grapefruit juice.
Blank says she has always been interested in envi- In l4 92 Schirard joined Groveco Inc a citrus and
ronmental policy issues, but wasn't able to get hands- cattle operation in martin County In 1995. the coin-
on experience in the field until her undergraduate pany expanded its operations to include citrus juice
classes in the UF IFAS School of Forest Resources processing and packaging. Their new venture, Freshco
and Conservation. Ltd.. began building the Indian River Select brand of
"Being from Mllami. I'd never even been in a forest premium juices in the supermarkets of the southeast-
before I started taking classes at UF IFAS." she said ern United States.
"On my first day in the field. I showed up wearing "There was plenty of recognition of the Indian River
Ralph Lauren boots to visit a cypress swamp. I didn't name, but at the time it was mostly associated \\ith
have a clue about what it \\as really like out there." fresh fruit." Schirard said. "\\e thought there was
She graduated in 2000( with a degree in natural enough recognition to support a not-from-concentrate
resources conservation and a desire to use her degree juice brand."
to help save the environment. After finishing lan The idea appears to have caught on: the brand is
school in 2003. she joined the staff at the Florida envi- nowv carried by a dozen major grocery store chains in
ronmental agency. She says her background in forestry the Southeast. "We'\ e grown from a startup to a mil-
is a key to her success in the job. lion cases a year." he said.
Winter 2004 33
Sf Bernie Lester; who graduatedfron
SUF/IFAS college in 1961, was an economic
6 researcher for the Florida Citrus
w Commission before he joined Alico Inc. in
1986. He became president of the LaBelle-
"r based company in 1997. (Thomas Wright)
(Photo below left) Students examine cassa-
va plants in a crop science laboratory
Sloffered by the UF/IFAS Department of
S/ Agronomy. (Tara Piasio)
(Photo below right) Students learn about
laboratory techniques in a course offered by
producers, Schirard knew from the beginning that he and field work," he said. "It's a great place to get
was headed for a career in citrus. And he knew there an education."
was only one place to go for his education. That balance is one of the college's greatest
Science is the Ill-t reputable agcultuLal school i e're ot ist talking abot tude attend ding clabse
the Alouth." and taking note." Cheek oaid "\We encoulage p-[u-
Rem ie Lester agrees. Gio\'mIg up cm a shade tobacco dent% to get mx'ohed %%ith internhips, international
farm neai the Gadden Comnt tomn of HaL awa. experiences mand ieearch. and xe give them opportuI-
ester leaned that LF IFAS a the bet place to go tie to do o. \e ha e pfessioal b associate
for a career in agriculture. with every malor in the college. If \You look at the
He graduated from the college in 1961 and went o, quality of out studentt bod\', the careers theN' entel, and
to earn hi doctoral degree from TexaN A&Al the graduate and professional schools they enroll in at
Sonier of ait loThen lie retofned to Florida to work a an graduatesion. and citrus ca effectid a good balance ompte with al trainin-
economic re ea cher forin ci t rus.e Floida Ctruhe knews thereti an educatiour in tn. e ted Sate.."
Coiwas only ione pl. acIn 1986 goe joined Alico Inc anat agribbaui- lance is Cheeone 32-3ofthecoll2-61ege's greatest
nes company that ownN more than 140,000 acres in email@example.com
"Centrae wl and outever any qhweuestt Florida. He became sapreid. "The strengths, Cheek said.
of tUnive LaBelle-based companllege of cultural and Life "When we talk about the curriculum in this college.
Lestei said he could not hai\e made it without the
start he got in the LIF college
The UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore has hundreds of useful and interesting books, videos
and software CDs available at low prices. Whether you're a farmer, natural resource man-
ager, community educator, gardener, wildlife watcher or homeowner, we have the resource
for you! The products below are just a sampling of what we have to offer from gardening
manuals and wildlife guides to essential information for agriculture professionals.
Florida Citrus Treasures SP I, The newly revised Citrus
... ., Cookbook: A Collection of k wwwI woF. HBrp.r, Disorders ID Deck features
'-l Heritage Recipes contains Dausm anmurwno 8Syawr. 65 identification flash
250 unique recipes treas- Hnot Iwss rm ,InuD cards with 106 color pho-
ured by pioneers and tographs of the enemies
educators throughout the of citrus and the damage
__ years. The selections they can cause. This
pol include categories from pocket-sized set of lami-
appetizers to main dish- nated cards is convenient
es, desserts, jams, jellies for field use and includes
and pickles. These easy- a handy measurement
S to-make recipes use conversion guide. A use-
Singredients such citrus 46L I I ful information source for
pulp, peel and juice to Iboth citrus industry pro-
create unusual dishes fessionals and backyard
such as bitter orange beverages, grapefruit pies and citrus enthusiasts. SP 176, $10.00.
lime cookies. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook
will be used to endow a professorship in the UF/IFAS
Department of Family, Youth and Community
Sciences. SP 338, $15.00.
Your home landscape
hosts a diverse ecosystem
of insects and other tiny
life forms. Some survive
by eating your prized
plantings, but many oth-
ers help by eating the t t I e
"bad bugs." Some are Boste ling I4
simply harmless. Learn
which bugs to keep and t c i
which ones to control
with this updated version
of a favorite ID deck: h p w is om
Helpfid, Harmful or Emi e ks r
Harmless? Each colorful
photo is clearly marked -| le
to eliminate the guesswork. Fresh information, new
photos, and a convenient new format complete this
exciting revision. SP 130, $10.00. F 3
Winter 2004 35
' T FLORID-PA NON-PROFIT ORG.
F ,LORLJD-A U.S. POSTAGE PAID
IFAS PERMIT NO. 94
Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources
The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180
*..'. S S,.
I. -S S
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