'i A o "
By Michael V. Martin
During a period of rapid social and economic change, Florida agricultural and
natural resource industries are facing many challenges in meeting their future needs for
trained professionals. As we look to the future, the development of human resources
continues to be one of our top priorities.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences the teaching arm of the University of
Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is Florida's only comprehensive
academic program of its kind, providing academic programs in food. agriculture, natural
resources, and human and life sciences. UF/IFAS has a mandate to teach courses and
offer academic degree programs throughout the state.
With the addition of a new joint academic partnership program at Hillsborough
Community College in Plant City, UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences now
Vicel i Psefr A r offers degree programs at six locations around the state. UF degree programs on the
Treasure Coast have been enhanced by a new $3.9 million teaching facility addition at
UF's Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce. Following dedication
ceremonies in April, Treasure Coast newspaper editorials were very supportive of our
efforts to expand education programs and partnerships in the region.
The past decade has been one of change for the UF college. Innovation and
improvements, including the new Doctor of Plant Medicine program, have helped boost
enrollment by more than 150 percent. Women and minorities are now a significant part
of the enrollment. Distance education is playing a major role in delivering courses and
degree programs to off-campus research and education centers, allowing students to earn
degrees from UF without having to take courses in Gainesville. Partnerships with other
state universities and community colleges are expanding our ability to serve students
around the state.
And our students continue to earn national recognition through various
organizations such as NAMA (National Agri-Marketing Association) and MANRRS
(Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences).
This issue of IMPACT magazine details some of the many ways UF/IFAS is meeting
the human resource needs of the agricultural and natural resource industries in Florida,
the nation and worldwide. UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, including the
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, is dedicated to developing "society-ready"
graduates equipped to meet the demands of today's complex and changing marketplace.
IMPACT is published by the
Institute ofFood and
Agricultural Sciences (UF/
IFAS). For more information
about UF/IFAS programs,
contact Donald W Poucher, N .
assistant vice president of N
external relations and Aoume I8. N 2 itS mi ntT'PP-M ft;*..I i
392-0437, or e-mail:
IPAS Communication 4 National Leadersh 13 Costa Rica Connetiiw , .-.
Services, AshleyM. Wood, Students and taculn in LiF (, Ieegrcudentsi in iF ( Sel e tcAgre cuIturii
Editor ofAgricultural and LiIe Sciencs. and Life Sciences reccncl ilited
ChuckWoods come from man\ CLdItlres and back- t ra Ri 1.. karn about i'riculture.-
Contributors grounds, are prom.! i .ng dl cria an narur il rc.itrc, and ecoouri. m M I.
Aimee Huskey la rhp ma atioalor- n rc i i
AmiNeiberger 16 Where Are The Now?
LarrySchnell 6 R for Plants A gra.iu i From UFB, cl ee
Photo Editor UIF s unique Dtocor of Plant medicine ofgricultur i d Science, oC.i.rueC '
Thomas S. Wright degree program, established in 1999 as to move ibco leadcrsh-p positions in
Photographers the tirsr program fl its kind at any mig e r nt and business .,rldwide,
Tara Piasio un \ ers n, is attracting a gro\s ing cent j and pist alumni art pr,.tlIled. ..
Snue rb, 3r of students. "
Eric Zamora nuber to r udc .
Audr S. rne 10 Bigger and Better
Tracy D. Zwillinger *g e :.
Change of address, requests for N-icc Eching facilities and e',pandcd
extra copies and requests to be cooperate programs at off-camrpus .
added to the mailing list centre ilo- % students around rhe s t ".. .
should be addressed to C huck c i n cr d r s f o C l e e
Impact is available in
alternative formats; visit our I
home page at s
UF/IFAS develops knowledge
in agricultural, human and
natural resources and the life
sciences and makes that i
knowledge accessible to sustain 1.
and enhance the quality of
human life. : .
Students in UF's College ofAgricultural and Life Sciences come from increasingly diverse backgrounds. Ten years ago, there werefew women and
minority students. Now, women are the majority at the undergraduate level, and there is a high percentage of minority students. Total enrollment in
the college exceeds 3,700, up more than 150 percent during the past decade. Cover photograph bottom center: Wonsook Ha, a graduate student
from South Korea working on her doctorate in soil and water science. Second row, left to right: Bryan Boynton, a graduate student from Florida
working on his doctorate in food science and human nutrition, and Daisuke Sano, a graduate student from Japan working on his doctorate in food
and resource economics. Third row, left to right: Bianca Bradford, a graduate studentfrom North Carolina working on her master' degree in
interdisciplinary ecology, and Nona Collins, an undergraduate student from Florida working on her bachelor' degree in microbiology and cell
science. Top center: Gabriel Cosenza, a graduate student from Honduras working on his doctorate in animal sciences. (Photo by Thomas Wright)
SUMMER 2002 3
Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences -
MANRRS is the only student organization in UF's College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences that spans all undergraduate and graduate programs.
Marta Hartmann, left, and Laikhe
Jones review the annual plan of
workfor the Florida Chapter of
Minorities in Agriculture, Natural
Resources and Related Sciences
(MANRRS). (Photo by Thomas
"MANRRS was established
to develop a national network
between minority students and
professionals from academic
.institutions, government and
industry. The organization
offers programs to enhance the
academic, professional and
". .. .I leadership development of its
S members," she said.
"- In UF's College of
S-- Agricultural and Life Sciences,
.. .-- the student profile has changed
S- dramatically during the past
decade, Hartmann said.
"Ten years ago, we had
s the nation's population becomes more diverse, very few women and minority students. Now, women are
students and faculty at the University of Florida the majority at the undergraduate level, and we have a high
reflect those demographic changes. In the percentage of minority students. At the graduate level, 38
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, leadership and percent of our students are women. At the undergraduate
diversity in agricultural, natural resources and related level, 24 percent are minorities, and 13 percent of our
sciences are being promoted by an award-winning student graduate students are minorities," she said.
organization. The UF MANRRS chapter also has received numerous
The UF Chapter of the National Society for Minorities regional and national awards, including two Regional
in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences is Chapter of the Year awards during the past five years. In
one of more than 50 chapters of the organization. Chartered 1996 and 1997, the UF program was named Chapter of the
in 1989 as one of the founding chapters of the national Year in competition with chapters at other land-grant
organization, UF's MANRRS program now includes 35 universities such as the University of California at Davis,
student and professional members. Nationwide MANRRS Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University and
membership exceeds 1,200. Texas A&M University, Hartmann said.
"The organization began as a vision shared by a group of Since 1995, the UF chapter also has been involved in
agriculture students and faculty members at Michigan State Project A-Team, a tutoring/mentoring program for Lincoln
University and Pennsylvania State University," said Marta Middle School in Gainesville, she said.
Hartmann, who has served as senior faculty adviser to the Hartmann, a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural
UF chapter since 1995. She became national president of Education and Communication, said the UF chapter enjoys
MANRRS in May 2002.
Sally Williams, left, and Keawin Sarjeant, a graduate
student working on his master's degree in meat
microbiology in the Department ofAnimal Sciences,
examine microbial culturing media for growth of
pathogenic bacteria. (Photo by Thomas Wright).
Williams also served as editor of the
national MANRRS newsletter and super-
intendent for the annual graduate student
national oral research contest. She recently
initiated the national professional develop-
ment program and serves as program chair.
LaTonya Jones, an undergraduate student
majoring in food and resource economics,
serves as regional student vice president of the
national organization. Laikhe Jones, a
"graduate student majoring in agricultural
education and communication, is the
incoming UF chapter president.
"UF's MANRRS program provides its
members with a unique opportunity to
strong industry support, too. Dow AgroSciences contributed establish and maintain business contacts with professionals
$10,000 to help sponsor a February 2002 regional through academic, career and mentoring relationships,"
conference in Gainesville, attracting student chapters from Laikhe Jones said. -- Editor
five other land-grant institutions. The theme of the
conference was "Planting Dreamers, Growing Leaders." Marta Hartmann (352) 392-0502
In April, eight students and two faculty advisers from email@example.com
UF attended the national conference in Portland, Ore. Michael Olexa (352) 392-1881
The UF attendees were among 900 participants from firstname.lastname@example.org
academic institutions, industry and government agencies Sally Williams (352) 392-2993
across the nation.
Because the development of leadership skills is one of the
highest priorities for MANRRS, Hartmann
organized a leadership workshop for national
student officers in summer 2001. Student leaders
from eight land-grant institutions such as UF
participated in the workshop, which took place -
in Puerto Rico. She said the University of Puerto
Rico and U.S. Department of Agriculture
collaborated in the event.
"The workshop provided student officers
with an opportunity to realize the importance of
intercultural communication and a global
perspective to become effective leaders in the 21st S
century," she said.
Faculty working with Hartmann on the UF
MANRRS program include Michael Olexa, a
professor in the Department of Food and
Resource Economics, and Sally Williams, an
associate professor in the Department of Animal
Sciences. Williams is co-adviser and co-founder
of the UF chapter. Olexa has served as co-adviser
Mike Olexa, left, confers with Bianca Bradford, a
graduate student working on her master' degree in
interdisciplinary ecology. (Photo by Eric Zamora)
SUMMER 2002 5
.,, .. .. ........
a growing need for people trained to be general
hen F's Cllee fA CUltural and Life Sciences announced the beining of the wrlds first
Since then, the DP prora ha attracted national and inteaional aenion. More han
"In soe instance consultant aid the erploees the\ ere able to hire ere too narr trained or
Although farmers can call upon specialists in entomology, pnt
plant pathology, soil science and other disciplines, there's complex
a growing need for people trained to be general
practitioner "plant doctors."
Cap he n creditedFs Cor llege of. Presicultral and Lifbard Sciences annoced the beoarinn of the \or's appirsto
the praDoctor of Plant hen the regents' itaff had concerns the stor landed on tie fronts page offered such a prograre
.adeline Mel Since then th DPes proare Inc., a Jupttracter-bd national and internal tionsual tttingfir. lor thisean
LFs sdents hae enrolled i the program. lic trains thl to diaginose problemquires people hat affet plants and make
"thinkers ll h aons to cborrct those problems.
The idea for thie prural e\ oh ed from a suggestion by a national crop protection constltait. said John
Capinera. chainnan of UF's Dcpaiincnt of Entomology and Nemnatology In Gaines\ ille .
"in1 sonic instances. consultanllts said the enmploh c.es the \"crc able to hire ",crc too nlalrlo"\\ trained or
focusedd" Caplnera said. "'Stire. these oung professionals had expertise in entumoloLgy. nemlatlo,:g3 plant
pathology or \"eed science. but the> did not ha\e the range of experience needed to deal \"ith the complex
protluctmon problems most producers no"\ face"
Caplnera credited former UiF President John Lombardi tfr helping persuade thel Board of Regents to appro\ em
the program in 1999. \\hen the reucens' staff had concerns that no other uni\ ersmt. offered such a program,.
Lombardi said that \"as a unique opportunir t for UF.
Niadeline Nlellinger. president of Glades Crop Care Inc., a Jupiter-based agricultural consumlting firm, praised
LiF's "' ismonarv" DPI\I program. ThLe complexmt'3 of modern agriculnire requires people to be "'systems i
thinkers" x\ith a broad background, she said.
mm-i i ,
mL Vi Do.. -a-o*i (, P lt -I1[ C%"HIs' L I [VI IIII/
--" '-c r iud, a Li cw r aph id tn ci., - ,- i, ,,, P o,lo i E ,b i Zal i l i ii).
"SUMME 2002' 9
Stacy Strickland, left, Bob McGovern,
George Agrios and Osmond Baron
examine a squash plant heavily
infected with afiungal disease.
Strickland and Baron are students in
the Doctor ofPlant Medicine
,program. McGovern is the new
director of the DPM program, and
SAgrios is the former director (Photo
by Eric Zamora)
""F range of expertise and experience in producing and
maintaining healthy plants for many types of
Public and private applications, ranging from
production agriculture to ornamental horticulture
and golf course management.
"Plant doctors offer expert service to rural and
urban plant growers alike, and their expertise will
help protect the environment and water resources,"
Agrios said. "By making the correct diagnosis
quickly and prescribing the best, scientifically
determined treatment, they will help reduce the use
of fertilizers, pesticides and other materials that
can harm the environment."
The DPM program leads to an interdisciplinary,
interdepartmental doctorate degree. Courses are
provided by many departments, including
agronomy, entomology and nematology, horti-
George Agrios, the professor in the Department of Plant cultural sciences, plant pathology and soil and
Pathology who inaugurated the program and served as its water science. Students also are required to take
first director, said Florida's hot and humid conditions are courses in agricultural law, agribusiness management
favorable to a wide range of crops and the pests and and communications.
diseases that attack them. As a result, the state presents an The program requires 90 semester credits of graduate
ideal location for offering the DPM program. He said course work plus 30 semester credits of internship.
graduates are able to diagnose and treat illness in a plant Students are required to complete internships in soil
the same way a medical doctor would diagnose an ailment analysis, pest and disease identification labs, and possibly
in a human patient. at UF/IFAS research and education centers, in agri-
"For the first time, we have combined the knowledge and businesses and with extension specialists.
expertise from various disciplines into one degree The DPM program is open to students with a bachelor's
program that parallels professional programs in human degree in any of the biological sciences and appropriate
and veterinary medicine," Agrios said. academic credentials. A professional license by a state
The DPM program requires three to four years of course licensing board is under consideration for the near future.
work at the graduate level across various disciplines and With Agrios' retirement in June 2002, the DPM program
departments. He said the program was created to meet the will be directed by Bob McGovern, associate professor of
growing demand for professionals who have a broad plant pathology.
Nicka Singh, a graduate student in the Doctor ofPlant Medicine program, examines corn damaged by wildlife. The trap will be used
In announcing the change, Jimmy Cheek, dean of the insects, mites and nematodes, vertebrate pests such as
college, thanked Agrios for his pioneering efforts in birds, gophers and mice, and weeds may lead to severe
"As one of the world's leading plant pathologists, George "Plant problems also may be caused by nonliving factors
Agrios contributed significantly to UF's Institute of Food such as nutrient deficiencies/excesses, water imbalances,
development of the Doctor of Plant Medicine program," pH values," he said. "UF's Doctor of Plant Medicine
Cheek said. "George's knowledge and expertise were program is uniquely suited to producing individuals who
emeritus, he will remain a vital part of the UF faculty." i
Cheek also expressed confidence in the leadership of Bob Fordham University in New York City. He worked as a
McGovem, who joined the UF faculty in 1990. "Bob medical technologist at The New York Hospital-Comell
McGovem will provide purposeful and important Medical Center. He completed his master's and doctoral
leadership to the program, and we are pleased that he has degrees in plant pathology at Comell University in Ithaca,
agreed to accept the role of director, beginning in July N.Y. McGovem established and directed the horticulture
challenging to diagnose because of the diverse array of For more information on the program, visit the following
potential causes, and because plant doctors may deal Web site: http://www.dpm.ifas.ufl.edu/ or contact
tie, U d r
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College of Ag ricu a ad LeSien.A I Edllucationm Centmer in Fort P ierce the Tropical Research ll a
pr ograinl between U ill [ Inst1itutie Kof i ] FodadArclt uraIl ~ l/ Resarc and ] Edcaio Cente in~ Milton near Pen sacola.t-
Ci 0 ti e S s e wy to a c ex o f t inesvll e and n Ob i,
complete thei dere fro olg fArclua n Sfcliissc steMdFoiaRsac n
LifeScince," aidJim y Ceek den o th coleg. "Te EucaionCener n Aopk," hee sad. Proram
Alan Corners, left, a student fom
Tampa majoring in environmental
I -- horticulture in UFj College of
SAgricultural and Life Sciences, and Lori
SBarber, coordinator ofacademic support
services at the new Plant City campus,
visit a greenhouse used by Hillsborough
Community College and UF (Photo by
". Gayle Harrell, R-Port St. Lucie,
Formally accepted the facility for the
state of Florida.
Cheek said the 20,000-
square-foot teaching facility
addition complements the existing
O.C. Minton Hall, citrus research
In addition, Cheek said professional master's level groves, horticultural research fields, greenhouses and other
programs will be available in the existing UF Master of support facilities.
Agriculture Distance Education program, including The addition, which includes an adjacent 2-acre
specializations in agriculture business management, and teaching garden, features distance education facilities, lecture
agricultural education and communication. rooms and auditorium for courses, seminars and meetings.
"The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is The addition has five classrooms, two laboratories, a
Florida's only comprehensive academic program of its kind, computer laboratory, a library, greenhouses and office space
providing academic programs in food, agriculture, natural for faculty and staff.
resources, and human and life sciences," Cheek said. "UF/ Martin said the expanded teaching program at Fort
IFAS has a mandate to teach courses and offer academic Pierce reflects "UF's unique statewide agricultural and
degree programs throughout the state." natural resource research and education mission" that is
He said the new joint teaching program at Plant City mandated in federal laws, beginning with the 1862 Morrill
is supported by $400,000 appropriated by the 2001 Act that established land-grant universities in every state.
Florida Legislature. "Providing access to students, conducting research in the
Mike Martin, UF vice president for agriculture and public interest and taking new knowledge to the people are
natural resources, said the statewide UF/IFAS mission in more than land-grant traditions they are legally-binding
teaching, research and extension is to develop knowledge in responsibilities," Martin said.
agricultural, human, and natural resources and life sciences Cheek said the addition, started in June 1999, will
and to make that knowledge accessible to people to sustain accommodate the center's growing number of students who
and enhance the quality of human life. can earn their bachelor's degrees from UF without having to
Gwendolyn Stephenson, president of HCC, said the leave the Treasure Coast. Nearly 500 students have
community college is an accredited, public, comprehensive participated in degree and nondegree teaching programs at
community college, providing a "leadership role in the center.
technological training, economic development and He said the cooperative teaching program at the center
community service in the global marketplace." involves Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce
She said the joint HCC teaching program with UF/IFAS and Florida Atlantic University in St. Lucie West.
is "an outstanding example of cooperative programs and "Thanks to the support and collaboration of our
partnerships that fulfill local needs." legislators, local and state educators, business groups and
others, we are able to move forward and expand the
Treasure Coast statewide teaching programs of UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences," Cheek said.
Dedication ceremonies for a new $3.9 million teaching The UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education
facility addition to UF's Indian River Research and Center was established in 1947 to serve the research and
Education Center in Fort Pierce were held in April. education needs of Florida with special emphasis on the five-
State Sen. Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, was the keynote county area comprising St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Martin,
speaker and dedicated the building. Pruitt and State Rep. Indian River and Brevard counties. Editor
During their weeklong visit to Costa Rica, students and faculty visited several ecotourism sites, including this waterfall at Zeta Trece. Those on the
study tour included, front row left to right, Kris Grage, John Ricketts and ohn Hall; second row, Megan McCracken, Erin Eckhardt, John Hooker
and Taylor Stein; third row, Brian Myers and Jason Steward.
While many University of Florida students were enjoying their spring break at the beach,
students in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences visited Costa Rica to learn about
agriculture, natural resources and ecotourism in the Central American nation.
or a week in March, 11 undergraduate and The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), UF's
graduate students in UF's College of Agricultural partner in Costa Rica, arranged the travel and educational
and Life Sciences, accompanied by two faculty experiences. Mickie Swisher, an associate professor in the
members, visited agricultural production and natural Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and
resource areas in Costa Rica. They evaluated the sites and Taylor Stein, an assistant professor in UF's School of Forest
compared them to similar enterprises in Florida. Resources and Conservation, accompanied students on the
While enjoying hot springs, observing an active volcano, trip. Swisher has extensive experience in Costa Rica and has
exploring a rain forest canopy and riding horseback, they frequently worked with OTS. It was Stein's first trip to
experienced a culture and natural landscape different from Costa Rica.
their own in Florida yet with a similar economic base. "The Costa Rica study tour is a prototype of what the
Students, some of whom had never traveled abroad, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences plans to offer
welcomed the international experience, students in a variety of topics and locations," said E. Jane
"The trip was a unique experience a great Luzar, associate dean of the college. "We want to increase
opportunity to see agriculture, natural resource manage- international exposure for our students and faculty.
ment and ecotourism in an international setting," said "Many students cannot take advantage of the summer-
Brian Myers, a doctoral student in agricultural education or semester-abroad opportunities because their programs are
and communication. highly structured and do not require credits in subjects such
Myers and his classmates visited a Dole Food Co. banana as a foreign language typically offered in a study-abroad
farm, a research station in a rain forest, a cattle ranch that program," Luzar said. "Many agriculture students find little
combined production and tourism, and a village that has benefit in these programs because they would accumulate
successfully developed ecotourism. excessive elective credits and delay their graduation."
SUMMER 2002 13
So the college decided to offer the foreign study tour a well suited for agriculture, but its natural setting and out-
short, relatively inexpensive program scheduled during a of-the-way location have become a tourist attraction.
break in classes when students could gain exposure to Students learned how a group of enterprising women turned
international topics, the rural environment into an attraction that maintains its
"The study tour really isn't about students needing natural character.
credits," said Luzar. "Students want to go overseas and gain They said the international experience in Costa Rica
international experience." would be useful in their careers.
Swisher was selected to serve as the college's globalization John Ricketts, a doctoral student in agricultural
coordinator to help develop international tours and assist education and communication, plans to train agriculture
faculty and students interested in developing similar tours. teachers for secondary school. He would like to arrange
The Costa Rica study tour was designed to give students similar study tours for them. He plans to continue taking
exposure to a broad range of academic disciplines to enhance tours to gain more international experience.
their interest in international issues. A variety of future study Erin Eckardt, an undergraduate in environmental
tours are being developed that will have more narrow topics, horticulture, plans to work with botanical gardens after her
Swisher said. studies. She has worked with many tropical plants but never
The tour was well structured for John Hall, a master's in their natural habitat.
degree student in agribusiness. He wanted international John Hooker, a UF undergraduate, was interested in
experience to prepare for a career teaching agriculture to how urban areas are managed in a region devoted to
high school students, but he couldn't get away for a semester. conservation. Exposure to the public policies of Costa
"It's an ideal way for us to get international experience," Rica gave him a broad perspective for his career in
Hall said. political science.
Swisher encouraged students to evaluate places they The trip also acquainted faculty with international
visited on the tour because the various sites could help them issues. Costa Rica has adopted some of the most successful
understand Florida's economic and natural resource issues. conservation measures of any nation. Its policy has kept
The regions have similarities as well as differences. Both about a quarter of the land in public ownership.
depend on tourism and agriculture. Both market their Stein wanted to learn more about Costa Rica's
products and services to distant clientele. And both have a conservation and ecotourism efforts so he could incorporate
strong Hispanic heritage and depend on outside labor for the information into his three UF courses on ecotourism.
agricultural production Costa Rican farms employ many In Costa Rica, conservation was in place before
1In Costa Rica, conservation was in place before
Nicaraguans in agricultural labor. ecotourism, Stein said. In the United States, nature-based
"We asked, what are some of the strategies for recreation typically is a reason for adopting conservation
development that people in Costa Rica have used, and what policies.
are the lessons learned for Florida?" said Swisher. ro r ro
"They protected their land and then brought in
At La Selva, an OTS research station in a rain forest, recreation," said Stein. "In many ways, Costa Rica is more
students observed a unique ecosystem and learned about advanced than we are in terms of conservation."
research efforts underway to better understand rain-forest Larry Schnell
ecology. Megan McCracken, a senior in animal sciences, said
she had always wanted to visit a
"The amount of vegetation is
really impressive," said McCracken.
"It's a totally different type of
ecosystem than I've experienced
Zeta Trece, a community near
the Nicaraguan border, was a model
for student evaluation of
ecotourism. The region was not
Students learn about
banana production at
a Dole banana
processing and "
(Photo by Taylor Stein) ] .
Ph ii b Chaii i J B rd
On a canopy tour, Brian Myers swings through the
rain forest. (Photo by Taylor Stein)
SUMMER 2002 15
No matt here you go in the tes and other nations,
chances 4 p u gradqat liege ofAgricultural
and Life ci variety of .ig vernment and
business io Some work trge nal
organizaotios uFie others use ti l kils to
own businesses. And some gradual o on to otherprofessio
program n nre uch as medicine o-
"More than ever; soiety-ready' gradualm the college are
well-prepared to meet the demands of today's increasingly complex
job market and changing societal needs, said Jimmy Cheek (photo
below), dean of the college. "We're proud of thousands of
"completed e aduate
and graduate egres::in
':the college. Thefollowing
.profiles on some of our
graduates highhlig e ii
goah and contributions t
--a better world."
veterans and heard their stories firsthand. Did
Putnam take the credit? Not a bit. He told The
Ledget newspaper in Lakeland, Fla.. that he
wanted to bring young people together with
S.... Putnam is modest, but he has played an
important role in \ashington, D.C.. during the
past year. He was with U.S. President George \W.
.ii Bush on Air Force One on Sept. 11 when
terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon. Putnam has made his mark on
Capitol Hill, playing a critical role in homeland
defense against terrorism as vice chairman of a
key congressional subcommittee on national
security. The Bartow, Fla., native is one of the few
congressmen with four committee assignments
and is the only freshman to serve on the loint
Because he believed it would negatively affect
Florida agriculture, Putnam made waves when he
broke part' ranks and voted against a trade bill
giving the president broader authority. The bill
passed by a narroev margin, but instead of
deflating the young congressman's career, his
steadfastness earned the respect of colleagues and
even President Bush, wh., citdil resolvee
The W\\hington in which Putnam works
today si 'ery ditterent from the one he arrived at
in 2001. The concrete barricade, outside hi'
office and the anthrax Wcare arre renunder' of the
changes but Putnam remain, opuimi'tic about
That optimism i: grounded in old-Fthioned
values A fifth generation Floridian who gre\\ up
in the citrus and castle business, Putnam spent 10
sears' i member. He as exp osed to UF
I n his freshman year on Capitol Hill, Adanm earl on through h4-- storiess
Putnam is more likely to be mistaken for a pate during, Florida --H Congress an arm
or a student than a repeated U.S. Congre,,man from CIo erleaF for summer camp and 4-H Camp Ocala for stare
Florida, I 2h district. At 2 he i, the youngest member of 4-H execuLti\e board. He 'aid LiF identifie- capable young
the U.5. HouLe of Representatike,. people early' in life through --H. "Coming utp through 4-H
When asked if his age poses a challenge to get people to exposed me to the opportunities LIF had to offer." he aild.
take him seriously, the UF College of Agricultural and Life Thoe opporrunitie, help young people develop skjll
Science, graduate said. "I could write a book of Funny that help them for the rest of their live'. Putnam 'aid. "--H
,torie, about being kicked off the members' elevator or raught me the citizenship and leadership skills I ule today.'"
asked to fetch coffee. He ,ee, being \oung as a help, %%rote Putnam in an editorial for, e youth development
not a hindance, organization's centennial. "From p :. making to leading
Putnam,. \ ho completed hi, bachelor', degree in Food a meeting. --H continues to instil
and reOLIuce cononli\ IInI 1i0QQ7. a31d enior clitizetl are today"s 'ourh,.
more likely to support young people in leaderlhp poion110 When it was timt- to applh for college. UF .va.
than many other voters. It because of their experience, school to v. which he applied. Putnam remembers manu of his
during i\\orld \War II. he said. pro[msors and the interest they take in students. "No one
"\\When they \sere young, they\ defeated Nazi German\ falls through the cracks in UFs Collcg- ,If Agricultural and
and lapan. and then they came home and rebuilt America." Lifte ci-ncc,." he said. "Evervone from the- dean down to
he said. He ,ponored an e\ent on the 60th anni\ersary of the 4-H club lI-adi-r nurtures students."
the Pearl Harbor attack lat \ear. sshere \youn1 people met
SUMMER 2 17
He said his experience in UF student government taught He was "bitten with the bug to do politics" while State
him about the nuts and bolts of campaigning and how to 4-H Council president, and his life has never been the same
represent the interests of a diverse constituency. He was since. His 4-H days saw him building coalitions with 4-H
president of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity his junior year members to pass legislation on the floor of the Florida
and active in Florida Blue Key. House of Representatives. Not much changed when he was
An agricultural and life sciences degree remains relevant elected to the Florida Legislature at the age of 22 in 1996.
in today's economy, Putnam said. Citing the explosion in He served in the Florida House of Representatives for four
biotechnology, he said there is a need for young people to years, proving wrong those who thought that young
pursue agriculture, biological sciences and the life sciences. legislators could not make a difference.
"People are always going to need food," he said. "As our Putnam places great faith in America's young people and
population continues to grow and the number of people their ability to help solve problems through government
working in agriculture declines, we need bright, innovative service and economic life. In a speech to 1,200 people at the
producers to feed the world efficiently." National Conversation on Youth Development, Putnam said
S U i o America is only as strong as the next generation of young
Putnam said UF's impact on agriculture is based upon a r i r i.
network of capable alumni from the college. "We have a people, and he thanked them for being part of the solution.
network of capable alumni from the college. We have a
blending of science, service and academia. The success of He also said young people are not the leaders of
Florida's $54 billion agriculture and natural resources tomorrow; they are the leaders of today. Putnam is a UF
industries depends largely on the ability of UF's College of graduate who doesn't just say those words; he lives them.
Agricultural and Life Sciences alumni to address issues with Ami Neiberger
stakeholders, policymakers and county commissioners."
ajoring in food science and human nutrition in own diet and increasing my exercise," she said. "By the end
UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences of medical school in 1996, I had earned my degree, gained
helped define the future for Anita Dhople, who is self-confidence and developed a respect for those less
now a doctor of internal medicine at Albany Primary fortunate than me. Since then, my life has been graced by
Health Care Inc. and an adjunct clinical instructor in the many opportunities."
Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical College of After completing her residency in internal medicine at the
Georgia in Augusta. University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 2000, Dhople began
By the time she entered her junior year at UF in 1990, to pursue her career dreams. For the past two years, she has
Dhople had her eyes set on medical school, been working at the nonprofit community health center in
"Early on, the status and income associated with being a Albany, helping residents whose average income is 200 percent
medical doctor certainly appealed to me, but all of that below the poverty level.
changed when my grandfather in India died from lack of "I don't work in a fancy practice or drive a luxury car,"
access to health care," she said. "The issue of access to she said. "I am thriving on the challenge of helping people
medical care in a wealthy country such as the United States who may not have had access to proper medical care in the
also struck me as an important issue. At that point, I past. Besides my clinical responsibilities, I have started a
decided making health care more accessible to the hospitalist program in Albany, and I work with a group on
disadvantaged in this country was more important to me diabetes education."
than money or status." Dhople said the hospitalist program is a relatively new
When she completed her bachelor of science degree in field in medicine. "Hospitalists are physicians whose
food science and human nutrition with honors in 1992, primary professional focus is the general medical care of
Dhople was recognized as the Outstanding Student of the hospitalized patients. They may engage in clinical care,
Year in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Her teaching, research or leadership in the field of general
undergraduate education was supported by scholarships hospital medicine."
from RJR Nabisco Inc. and Procter & Gamble. She said her undergraduate education in food science
She then began the next leg of her journey in UF's and human nutrition prepared her well for the challenges of
College of Medicine with the help of a full scholarship from her current health-care position. For example, a course in
the National Public Health Service. In addition to her oral communication required for all graduates of the College
studies, she volunteered at UF's Equal Access Clinic for the of Agricultural and Life Sciences has been particularly
homeless and led a Girl Scout troop during her senior year valuable in her efforts to reach out and establish a dialogue
in medical school, with different audience groups in the community.
"At the same time, I began using what I learned in the While her career in medicine is just beginning, Dhople
food science and human nutrition program, changing my already has an impressive list of professional awards,
-- ^ P IA
- .... .. *.
Photo by Thomas Wright
including the Infectious Disease Society of Florida Award in The author of numerous scientific papers on disease,
1996 and the Regan Award for Psychiatry in 1996. She was obesity and nutrition, Dhople also is a member of several
one of 16 chosen from a field of 80 to present a paper on professional organizations, including the American Medical
hepatitis C at the Virginia chapter meeting of the American Association, American College of Physicians and American
College of Physicians in 2000 in Roanoke. Association of Physicians from India. Editor
SUMMER 2002 19
Photo by Tara Piaiso
become a reality. When she came to UF's College of store has its own Web site: www.theplantshoppe.com.
Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1992 to pursue her In addition to a large selection of plants and garden
bachelor's and master's degrees in environmental supplies such as fertilizer and pesticides, the store has
horticulture, Spillers worked at The Plant Shoppe in bonsai plants and supplies, birdhouses and feeders, garden
Gainesville and thought about having a similar business art and stepping stones, and garden books and gift items.
someday. Now, at age 28, she owns the business. The store even sells ladybugs for biocontrol of pests on
Spillers, who grew up in the nursery industry, is a plants, she said.
transplant from Homestead, Fla., and said she's been getting "Almost everyone who works in the garden center either
ready for her own business since she was five. She recalled has been or is currently an environmental horticulture
the early days in her dad's greenhouse and helping sell plants student in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences,"
at the flea market to pay for nursery equipment. she said. "Our knowledgeable staff can help diagnose what
While her undergraduate and graduate degrees are in might be ailing your plants. We also offer seminars and
environmental horticulture, Spillers said she learned about workshops during the spring and fall."
managing a business and marketing many different products Looking back on her days in the UF college, Spillers said
and services by taking courses in UF's Department of Food the relationship between faculty and students is excellent. As
and Resource Economics. a student, she had an opportunity to meet many
To gain real-world experience, she interned at garden professionals in the environmental horticulture industry -
centers in Texas and Minnesota and worked as a gardener at people she now works with in her new business.
Walt Disney World. Upon graduation, Spillers opened and And, finally, the latest development in her gardening
managed a garden center for a large chain store in Orlando career is that Spillers got married in January 2002, and her
from July 1998 to May 1999. last name is now Gardner. "You could say I am a true
At the same time, she and her parents entered Gardner," she said. Editor
negotiations to purchase The Plant Shoppe, closing the deal
in the summer of 1999. The 17-year-old store is a full-
early impressions can make a lasting difference. Ambassador, speaking to high school and community
When Callief Shand and her family moved to college students, as well as UF undergraduates about
Florida from Jamaica in 1984, she was impressed by opportunities available in the college.
the high level of health care in the United States. The "As an ambassador you have to answer questions on
contrast helped shape her education and career choices at every aspect of CALS, so it was a great way for me to
the University of Florida. enhance my own understanding of the college," she said.
"Good, affordable dental care is not always easy to find "The ambassador training also helped me chart my own
in Jamaica, so the idea of a dental career appealed to me at course, increasing my awareness of the options."
an early age," she said. "In fact, by the time I was 15, I After graduating from Orlando's Maynard Evans High
wanted to be a dentist." School in 1995, Shand served in the U.S. Army for three
Like many students who go on to professional programs years as a supply specialist before earning her associate of arts
in medicine, Shand pursued a bachelor's degree in UF's degree at Valencia Community College. She is currently an
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She received her active member of the Florida Army National Guard.
bachelor's degree in food science and human nutrition in When she arrived at UF in fall 1999, Shand entered the
May 2002 and will enter dental school in Tennessee this fall. college, initially pursuing a degree in agricultural operations
"Beginning this fall, I will attend Meharry Medical management and then changing her major to food science
College's School of Dentistry in Nashville, where I will work and human nutrition.
on my degree in dentistry," she said. "Thanks to my "The food science and human nutrition curriculum
experience in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, was more closely related to coursework in dental school,
I feel well prepared for the challenge of a professional so it seemed like the right choice for me," Shand said.
program such as dentistry." "Other students in the food science and human nutrition
During her two years at the UF college, she met students program who were headed for dental school provided a lot
destined for professional studies in medicine, dentistry, of helpful advice."
veterinary medicine and law. Other graduates of the college To gain experience in her chosen field, Shand worked
pursue careers in business, communications, education and part-time as a laboratory technician at UF's College of
agricultural production, she said. Dentistry. Her work included sterilization monitoring to
"The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences appeals make sure dental instruments are bacteria-free after they
to such a wide range of students because there are so have been steam-treated in autoclaves.
many degree options available," she said. "The college "The work helped me appreciate the relationship
offers 20 majors everything from agricultural and between good dental health and other areas of expertise,"
biological engi-neering to microbiology and cell science. she said. "For example, in food science and human
There are also about 50 specializations and 17 minors nutrition, various foods can have a major impact on overall
available for students." dental health." Editor
If Shand sounds well-informed about the college, that's
because she served from 1999 to 2001 as a CALS
Photo by Tara Piaiso
-0 4 I1.
dall v l ..
Photo by Eric Zamora
n industry as large and diverse as Florida agriculture organization's membership has more than doubled since he
requires strong leadership. Fortunately, the $54 took office.
billion industry has Carl Loop among its leaders. During his tenure as president, Loop has worked to
Recognized throughout the state as well as nationally foster an atmosphere of cooperation among commodity
and internationally as a statesman for Florida agriculture, organizations within the state. That, in turn, has led to a
his influence extends from the halls of Washington, D.C., to united agricultural community more able to effectively
the grass roots of agriculture. address legislative issues, regulatory matters and
Born in Jacksonville, Fla., Loop graduated from UF's environmental concerns.
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 1949 with a He has been a member of the American Farm Bureau
bachelor's degree in environmental horticulture. He married Federation (AFBF) board of directors since 1983. He was
the former Mary Ruth Forbes. They have three children and elected vice president of the organization in 1995, serving in
five grandchildren. that capacity until January 2000. He also is president of the
After college, he started Loop's Nursery and Green- Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.
houses with a borrowed truck and $1,500. The Jacksonville Loop has represented the interests of Florida agriculture
nursery is now one of the largest wholesale nurseries in at the national and international levels. He has appeared
the Southeast. many times before congressional committees and regulatory
Early in his career, Loop recognized the importance of agencies, presenting testimony on behalf of his fellow Florida
organization within agriculture. He helped found both the farmers and ranchers. He has helped shape legislation that
Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association and the reduced the estate tax, improved the availability of health
Florida Foliage Association (now merged with FNGA). care, and addressed ergonomics, methyl bromide and many
Loop was a successful businessman when he became other issues of vital importance to Florida producers and
president of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation in July rural families.
1983. He has been re-elected for eight two-year terms. His He has been a strong voice for Florida agriculture in the
leadership put renewed vigor into the state's largest general international trade arena. Three U.S. presidents Reagan,
farm organization, which is based in Gainesville. The Bush and Clinton appointed him to serve on various
advisory boards for the Florida Leadership and Education "Carl Loop believes in agriculture and the people within
Foundation Program and the International Studies Program. the industry," said Reggie Brown, president of the Florida
He has opened his nursery business to researchers and Agricultural Hall of Fame and manager of the Florida
extension staff seeking solutions to production problems, Tomato Committee in Orlando. "He has given freely of his
forming close personal relationships with many UF/IFAS time, talent and treasure to meet with people, to advise and
leaders, deans and researchers. assist people to overcome the challenges they face. His
In February 2002, a lifetime of service and common sense approach to business, problem solving and
accomplishment earned Loop a place of honor in the Florida activities has created personal friendships throughout the
Agricultural Hall of Fame. state and nation." Editor
S! w~ ...
is resume includes some of the nation's top Fortune and surgeons. "However, when the firm's stock went from
500 companies, and his fast track to success began 136 to 23 with no splits, I realized it was time to find a
with a bachelor's degree from UF's College of more stable work environment, and that's when Mobil Oil
Agricultural and Life Sciences in 1988. Corp. became a major player in my career," he said.
Charles Davis, who transferred to UF from West Point In October 1993, he became a marketing representative
Military Academy in 1984, became interested in sales and for the firm's plastics packaging division in Charlotte.
marketing, but he wasn't sure about the type of degree to Working for Mobil was a unique opportunity because the
pursue. A meeting with the faculty in UF's Department of firm had the ability to drill, refine and sell to the end user,
Food and Resource Economics convinced Davis that he had he said.
"found a new home." "In the plastics packaging division, I learned about all of
He said the department's academic program offered him the manufacturing processes and developing new products
"the opportunity to combine for the market," Davis said. "In
business concepts with an 1993, we launched two new
applied approach using real products, and my work was very
scenarios." During his four- t instrumental in getting the
year program in the UF college, products to the end user."
Davis was an intern at IBM After he completed his tour in
and the brokerage firm of the plastics division in 1994, Davis
E.E Hutton. went to Mobil's U.S. Marketing
At the same time, his work and Refining Division in Port St.
as secretary of the Food and Lucie, Fla. His responsibilities
Resource Economics included developing and
Department Club earned him promoting company-owned Mobil
the department's Outstanding consumer service stations in South
Service Award. During his Florida. "The position was great
junior and senior years, Davis because I had a responsibility for
was a CALS Ambassador, a sales as well as operations and
recruiting students for the human resource development."
College of Agricultural and Life Once Davis completed his
Sciences. "That was my first assignment with the company in
sales job," he said. Port St. Lucie, he was appointed
Upon graduation in 1988, to work with dealer franchising
Davis joined Dun & Bradstreet A in Fort Lauderdale. As a sales
in Tampa, working as a business and business consultant, he
analyst in the firm's information counseled independent franchisees
resources division. on ways to manage and run
"Dun & Bradstreet was an their businesses.
excellent opportunity for Since August 1997, Davis has
someone with my background," been business development
Davis said. "Their training manager for ExxonMobil's Fuels
program reinforced everything I Marketing Division in Fairfax, Va.
learned in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. My His area of expertise is in the industrial fuels business,
responsibilities included meeting with officers of small- to specializing in commercial fleets. Davis oversees the national
medium-sized firms, writing their business reports and fleet portfolio for the entire United States.
making credit decisions." "My current job involves lots of coordination with our
Nine months later, Johnson & Johnson offered Davis supply chains, pricing services, transportation/logistics and
the opportunity to become territory sales manager for the our legal offices," he said. "Once all the internal hurdles
firm's McNeil Consumer Products Division in Savannah, have been handled, the negotiations and meeting the
Ga. During his stay at McNeil, Davis was promoted and customer's expectations begin. Some deals can take years
received several national sales achievement awards. After to close, but the rewards can result in hundreds of millions
being tapped as an elite member of the firm's "Best of the in revenue."
Best Club," Davis was ready for the challenge of selling Davis said ExxonMobil has provided him with an
highly technical products. In January 1991, U.S. Surgical opportunity to work at the highest level of the sales
Corp. in Charlotte, N.C., offered him an opportunity he profession. "The factors that have led to my success have
could not refuse. been hard work, good education, wonderful people and
The firm was known for its leading-edge technology in countless blessings," he said. Editor
wound closure, and Davis sold the equipment to hospitals
Photo by Thomas Wright
ith three degrees from UF's College of "We immediately began working with UF's Institute of
Agricultural and Life Sciences, Chip Hinton is Food and Agricultural Sciences to help growers solve various
well prepared to represent Florida's $167 production problems, and we also started to educate
million strawberry industry the nation's primary source of government officials and consumers about the advantages of
winter strawberries. having a viable strawberry industry in west central Florida,"
The former Gator football player and lifelong Florida Hinton said.
resident became interested in the strawberry business when Now, after serving as executive director of the association
growers in the Plant City area sought his help in starting for nearly 20 years, Hinton said the industry has become
and managing the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. much more proactive. "All outside influences being equal,
"I remember sitting in an audience of growers at a the difference between a prosperous and floundering minor
Hillsborough County Horizon 2000 planning meeting, crop is effective leadership. For that reason, leadership
hearing predictions that the area's huge population growth development at all levels has been our top priority."
would push agriculture out of the county by the end of the He said a proactive role includes being in the govern-
century," Hinton said. "No one in county government ment policy-setting cycle from the beginning to end. That
seemed to have the vision to include agriculture in the means the association must provide information, gain credi-
county's long-range growth plans." ability, build leverage and influence the content of legislation
Shortly thereafter, Hinton decided to help the and ordinances in an increasingly urban environment.
strawberry growers start and manage the new association to Hinton, who completed his doctoral degree at UF in
make sure the industry would survive and prosper in the 1972, said the population of Hillsborough County has
coming decades. The association, which now represents 90 doubled in 20 years and the number of farm acres has
percent of all strawberry growers in the state, was officially dropped by 20 percent, but the value of agriculture has
incorporated in 1982. increased from $50 million to more than $500 million.
SUMMER 2002 25
"Without a doubt, the single greatest reason for the around the state with the only comprehensive undergraduate
continuing success of Florida's strawberry industry is the and graduate program in agriculture and natural resources.
ability of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to "A degree from the UF college opens doors," he said. "It
develop and transfer technology that allows us to exploit our allows people to contribute to the agriculture and natural
marketing window," Hinton said. "The development of resource industries as well as their communities. But, the
new strawberry varieties for the state's winter production most important benefit of a UF degree is that it gives you
cycle has increased our acreage by 40 percent and the ability to continue learning, which helps people innovate
quadrupled our income." and remain young at heart."
UF research and education programs also are responsible Hinton said recruiting, training, mentoring and
for the the industry using less water and fertilizer today than motivating future leaders is one of the biggest challenges
it did 15 years ago even with a 40 percent increase in facing Florida agriculture. "Our passion must be to teach
acreage, he said. our replacements how to teach others. Only then can we
Hinton, recognized by many state and national hope to meet the challenge of maintaining a viable
organizations for his professional contributions to agricultural community in an increasingly urban
agriculture, said UF's College of Agricultural and Life environment." --Editor
Sciences has a unique role in Florida, providing students
Ph.o bv Tara P aso aurie Trenholm's
L career path began
with her own need for
information that she now
provides to millions of
..7 "To learn about caring for
my own lawn, I enrolled in a
few horticulture classes at
a *- Indian River Community
College in Fort Pierce," she
said. "The subject matter was
4. so interesting and challenging
that one thing really did lead
-to another putting me on
the fast track to a career in
In 1991 Trenholm began
working on a bachelor's
degree in UF's College of
Agricultural and Life
Sciences, taking courses at
UF's Fort Lauderdale
Research and Education
"Being a little older than
most of my classmates helped
me stay motivated and
focused I knew that I
.: wanted a career in
she said. "Being able to take
courses and complete my UF
degree at the Fort Lauderdale
campus also was a big help
because I could not move to
Gainesville at the time."
) I After completing her
bachelor's degree in 1994,
Trenholm earned a master's
degree in environmental
horticulture at UF's main
campus in Gainesville in 1996. She received her doctoral Because water conservation is a high priority item,
degree in crop science from the University of Georgia in 1999. Trenholm is helping to develop best management practices
Trenholm said several UF faculty members at the Fort for lawn care and testing new ways to cope with
Lauderale center were particularly helpful in her undergraduate drought conditions.
education, including professors John Cisar, George Fitzpatrick "We're particularly excited about a new grass called seashore
and George Snyder. She said professor Albert Dudeck in paspalum that has good tolerance to saline or recycled water,"
Gainesville was a valuable mentor in graduate school. she said. "The grass may help coastal communities conserve
"Everyone in UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences water, and it's beginning to gain commercial acceptance."
wants to help students succeed," she said. "They provide so Trenholm develops educational materials to train landscape
many opportunities to make students more marketable in professionals who maintain more than 1 million acres of
today's competitive job market, whether it's by attending Florida lawns. She also meets with representatives of pest
conferences, networking with people or participating in hands- control and fertilizer companies to discuss scientific advances
on research and extension activities." and industry needs.
Trenholm's outstanding academic record in Florida and "Many of the professionals we work with have a great
Georgia paved the way for her 1999 appointment as assistant deal of practical experience," she said. "Their input is
professor of environmental horticulture at UF's Institute of crucial, especially in Florida where serious disease and pest
Food and Agricultural Sciences. pressures must be balanced with equally serious environ-
With her responsibilities in research and education, mental concerns."
Trenholm is a prime source of lawn care information for Her other responsibilities include serving as co-chair of
Florida homeowners and turfgrass industry personnel. She also UF's Turfgrass Extension Design Team and head of the Florida
trains UF county extension faculty and master gardeners. Residential and Commercial Landscape Program. Trenholm
"Getting information on proper fertilization, pest control also works with graduate students in the college.
and water conservation out to an increasingly diverse audience "The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences helped
in a rapidly growing urban state is a daunting task for the UF me, and now it's time to give something back," she said.
extension service," she said. "Different turfgrass varieties, soil "There's a wonderful opportunity here to help students the
conditions, climatic conditions and limited water resources are way my professors helped me." Editor
all factors we must consider. What works in one area might not
0lr. npical da\ ai %%ork mighi
find TF ahlumna Lvnne
hNii, hal Nliddleron I right in
pho[o) an," ering que 1,io n about
4-H youth development programs in
Putnam County, getting kids ready
for summer camp, weighing in hogs
0 for a fair or helping produce a
The UF College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences graduate was not
aware of 4-H until she began looking
for a six-week summer internship in
1999. "At the time, I wasn't sure what
I wanted to do with a bachelor of
science degree in food and resource
economics," Middleton said.
With graduation less than two
years away, she contacted Austin
Tilton, Putnam County extension
director in East Palatka, about
.. .\ summer internship opportunities in
t .", her home county. Tilton
recommended an internship with
UF's extension service and said it
would give her an overview of
different career opportunities in the
lP statewide educational program.
Photo by Thomas Wright
SUMMER 2002 27
He also told Middleton to contact Christine Waddill, Middleton was hired before she graduated and joined
dean for extension with UF's Institute of Food and the Putnam County extension office in May 2000. She said
Agricultural Sciences, and apply for an internship for the working in 4-H has changed her life in more ways than one.
summer of 2000. Soon after she became an agent in the county, she met her
The application was successful, and six weeks of work husband while he was coaching the Putnam County 4-H
for the Putnam County Extension Service gave Middleton a Livestock Judging Team.
new perspective on future career options, particularly In her new position, Middleton coordinates all 4-H
opportunities with 4-H youth development programs. programs in Putnam County: managing 15 clubs with more
"Working with kids during that summer was very than 350 members; recruiting and training volunteers,
rewarding from a personal standpoint, and it became an leaders and kids; writing the county newsletter, planning
increasingly attractive employment option for me," she said. 4-H activities and events; and coordinating the Putnam
About six months before Middleton's graduation in May County Fair.
2000, Tilton said there was a full-time 4-H agent position "There may not be a lot of things for kids to do in
open in the county and urged her to apply for the job. Putnam County, but we try to give them projects to keep
"The timing was perfect," Middleon said. "The them out of trouble and help them learn and develop life
"The timing was perfect," Middleton said. The ,, .
Se w g w skills," Middleton said. "Our focus is on getting kids
internship experience was excellent, graduation was i l / k i in v
involved in 4-H and keeping them involved.
approaching and there was a permanent position open in
my home town. Opportunity was knocking at my door!" Aimee L. Huskey
Photo by Tara Piaiso
Agricultural education is a family affair for Roland Agricultural and Life Sciences who have devoted their
SHill, Howard Satin and Jeff Satin three careers to teaching agriculture in Florida high schools.
generations of graduates from UF's College of
With a combined total of more than 63 years of teaching agriculture teachers in Florida public schools, and many
in the Tampa Bay area, Hill, Satin and his son, Jeff, attribute counties were hiring."
much of their career success to UF's College of Agricultural Satin began working toward his teaching certification
and Life Sciences. and was assigned to Greco Junior High School in Tampa
"Looking back over the years, working in agricultural from 1967 to 1971. To gain real-world experience to share
education has been very rewarding, and the UF college with his students, he spent the next two years working for a
prepared all of us well for our work," said Hill (left in chemical company in Clermont. He returned to Tampa in
photo), who started teaching agriculture in 1949. "I'm 1973, taking an agricultural teaching position at Buchanan
proud to see that my son-in-law, Howard Satin, and his son, Junior High School. In 1984, Satin began teaching at
Jeff, have followed in my footsteps." Gaither High School, where he remained until his
Hill, 80, who retired in 1979, grew up on a farm in retirement in 2001.
Henderson County, N.C., and chose his career path in the "Being an agricultural education teacher was an excellent
ninth grade. He said the early career choice was inspired by career choice for me," he said. "I retired after 32 years of
his high school agriculture instructor, H.L. Davis. teaching service, and I may get back into it yet there are
"Mr. Davis was one of the finest people I've ever still three years left on my teaching certification."
known," Hill said. "He started teaching about 1930. back -' Like Hill, Satin said one of his most important
when agricultural education program, \ere first introduced resionlbilitlic \\a helping studentss develop self-confidence
in the public schools." anjdeterminaion. qualitie, that could benefit them in any
When the United States entered World \\ar II Hill put .. .".k of life.
his college education on hold and served in the ,ir Force as "\e expected excellence." Sarn said. "We wanted
a pilot and flight instructor. After ihe \art, he earned a s q ipden'ts to prove to themsel\ve they ere capable of setting
bachelor of science degree in Kentucky. H'tnom ed to and achieving e 'ags. The goaL establish positive peer
Florida in 1948 to begin hi, reaching careemin Hilklborou h pressure tchu nfi ate' everybody."
County with Veterans on the Farm, a vociiional prograrp Oneo How d Sain's more successFul students at
designed to help returning soldiers learn aopt f ra7 W 1oo \,as his -,,n son left (middle in
In 1949, Hill founded the agriculture iarTmet- pho.l fow-, 'ho graduated from the school in 1996
Franklin Junior High School.jnTampa d- artd a similar I tarted teal agculture there last year.
program at Hillsborough High Nhooii His lj inher's oosteps "as one of the
teaching post was at Chamberlain gi .I 3. ,h n mpli m W ld have given him," Jeff Satin said.
helped launch an agriculture program' T ,. remaining "I'm fortunate, because I have rxo wonderful sources for
on the faculty until his retirement in 19'9. advice my f.rh r and grandfathgr. One of the most
Along the way, Hill earned a master's d:-gre in impbriant things they taught mei that I'm a role model for
agriculture from UF's College of Agricultural and Life my students, so I c got to be positive and help students
Sciences in 1967. ant to learh."
"When I first arrived in Florida in l-S., farming was Like his graridtather. leffSatin.became interested in
getting established as a iabl industry.' he. said"The new agriculture at an Larly age-. He joined Future Farmers of
industry generated many employment opportunities across America and participat-d in nimti activities. After high
the state, and our agricultural education programs'helped school, he spent a year traveling the country as Florida vice
the industry grow.'' ".- president for FFA. H, chen arrtnded Hillsborough
When Hill started teaching students inHilrsborough Comm(I' ui CollegeA'nd entered UF in 1999, earning his
County, his future son-in-las. Hovard Satiti(right in bachelor's degree-in agricultural education in 2001.
photo), was growing up in Tayares, about 0.nmailes ribrth '"Going to a largely' itution such as LIF was a little
of Orlando. .... o\erx\ helming, and I vwas oncerned about getting lost in the
"Citrus farming %as the main agricultural in4usty *,. shuflle,'.he said. "Bul rhe faulnt and staffin UF's College
there, and I was interested in it from a young age," said of Agricultural an-d Lire Scieiices \ ere very accessible,
Satin, now 56. supportive and knowledgeable."
He entered UF's College of Agricultural and Life During his first year at UF, Jeff Satin served as a CALS
Sciences in 1965, majoring in fruit crops, with an emphasis Ambassador, visiting community colleges and high schools
on citrus. When Satin completed his bachelor of science to tell students about opportunities in the college.
degree in agriculture in 1967, he encountered a tough "The ambassador program helps students learn about
job market. career options," he said. "Now, as an agriculture instructor at
"The United States was involved in the Vietnam Gaither High School, we can do the same thing -
conflict, and many companies were reluctant to hire young encouraging students to consider attending UF to pursue a
men because they might be drafted," he said. "I started major in agriculture and natural resources." Editor
looking at other options and found there was a shortage of
SUMMER 2002 29
Ph,',lo by Tara Plalso
In April, USDA and UF researchers released a tiny insect
to slow and maybe stop the spread of harmful Australian
melaleuca trees in South Florida. Center said the melaleuca
psyllid, about the size of a gnat or small ant, feeds on the
tree's sap, severely damaging seedlings. The psyllid is the
second beneficial insect imported from Australia to help
control melaleuca. In 1997, a weevil was released and is
feeding on tree leaves and flower buds. Seed production has
r been reduced by about 50 percent on trees they attack.
When he joined the USDA, Center's first assignment
was to "revitalize" the biological control portion of the
agency's aquatic plant control program. At the time, there
were no new effective biological controls on the horizon.
The two most important aquatic weeds were submersed
species (hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil), which were not
good candidates for biological control, he said.
SCenter developed a cooperative project with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers to conduct research on hydrilla
and initiated cooperative agreements with UF and the
Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control. To find
effective biocontrols for hydrilla, he developed a cooperative
program with UF, which provided an assistant research
scientist to conduct exploration in Africa, Asia and the Indo-
"Pacific region. Since then, the aquatic weed control program
has been expanded to include other target species.
In 1991, Center received the USDA Distinguished
Service Award, the agency's highest professional recognition,
.. for developing the research program.
SVAH e has 150 papers published (or accepted) in refereed
journals, in proceedings, or as book chapters and technical
reports, and has made many presentations at scientific
'F meetings, technical conferences and workshops, including
Sp more than 65 by special invitation.
"r W Center's knowledge of and experience with biological
control has resulted in international cooperation with
I | organizations such as the Commonwealth Institute of
Biological Control, the Commonwealth Scientific and
AIndustrial Research Organization, the Centre for Overseas
after completing his doctoral degree in entomology Pest Research, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for
at UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in Tropical Biology, the Thailand National Biological Control
1976, Ted Center began a long and distinguished Research Center, the Sino-American Biological Control
research career on the biological control of aquatic and Laboratory in Beijing, the Plant Protection and Research
invasive weeds. Institute of South Africa, the University of Capetown, the
Center's work including more than 24 years with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, the Mexican
Service has taken him to 16 countries and earned Institute of Water Technology, the Panama Canal Zone
numerous professional awards. Company and others.
As leader of the USDA's Aquatic Weed Research Unit "He is widely recognized at the local, national and
since 1994, Center also is director of the agency's new $6.2 international levels as a trusted and respected colleague,"
million Invasive Plant Research Facility now under said Jimmy Cheek, dean of the UF college.
construction at UF's Fort Lauderdale Research and "Ted Center is recognized as an authority on the
Education Center. biological control of aquatic weeds, particularly water
"The new facility will provide the USDA and UF's hyacinth, as evidenced by his selection as keynote speaker
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences with a valuable for sections of international symposia, invitations to write
resource to help contain melaleuca and other invasive species book chapters, by numerous invitations to speak at
in South Florida, which will contribute greatly to the conferences, by special assignments, by membership on
restoration of Everglades ecosystems," he said. advisory committees, and by invitations to assist in the
planning or reviewing of aquatic weed projects in other in Gainesville," he said. "In fact, there probably are more
countries such as India, Nigeria, Mexico, Australia and entomologists in Gainesville than anywhere else in the
South Africa. His research papers are widely cited in the nation, including researchers with UF, USDA and the
scientific literature," Cheek said. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Prior to his doctoral studies in UF's College of "For students majoring in entomology at UF's College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences, Center completed his Agricultural and Life Sciences, the various research programs
bachelor's degree in zoology and his master's degree in are a real plus," Center said. "During my doctoral program,
biology at Northern Arizona University in 1971. I was able to gain practical experience at USDA, and the
"For my doctoral degree program, UF was the logical opportunities for post-doctoral research continue to be
choice because of the large concentration of entomologists excellent." -Editor
Photo by Thomas Wright Named after world-champion
calf-roper Toots Mansfield, Banner
is currently in the process of
moving his Riverside Equine
business from Melbourne to
"Micanopy near Gainesville. The
move will allow him to serve the
growing horse farm industry in
North central Florida. Another
reason for moving the business is to
Spend more time with his family.
"Equine dentistry is more
"physically demanding but not
subject to the same irregularities in
scheduling as in a full-time equine
veterinary medical practice," he
said. "At the end of the day, I can
go home and be with my wife and
In addition to starting and
operating his own practice, Banner
was president of the International
Association of Equine Dentistry
from January 2000 to January
.2002, and he currently serves as
liaison for the international
association and the Florida
Veterinary Medical Association. He also served on the
n a prime example of how graduates from UF's College national board exam and clinical competency test review
of Agricultural and Life Sciences are well prepared to committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association
enter professional educational programs in related and Professional Examination Service.
fields, Toots Banner received his bachelor's degree in animal He was president of the Florida Association for Equine
sciences and then moved on to UF's College of Veterinary Dentistry from 1997 to 2000. During his college days at UF,
Medicine. Banner was president of the Student American Veterinary
"Right after I received by first UF degree in 1983, I went Medical Association from 1985 to 1986.
directly into the College of Veterinary Medicine, completing One of his favorite sayings is: "Don't let your studies get
my doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1987," Banner in the way of your education." Banner, who attended junior
said. "Then I started my first veterinary job at the Animal college in Colorado before transferring to UF, said his
Medical Clinic in Melbourne, Fla." experience at UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Banner, who worked in ambulatory equine medicine and College of Veterinary Medicine not only prepared him
until June of this year, started his own business, Riverside for an occupation but opened many other doors.
Equine, in 1989. He said the "ambulatory" term referred to "The friendships and professional relationships that
the mobile nature of his services, providing on-site animal developed during my college years continue to be valuable
care from his truck. During this same period, he developed a assets," he said. Editor
growing interest in equine dentistry, primarily through
working with other equine dental professionals.
SUMMER 2002 31
UNIVERSITY OF NON-PROFIT ORG.
FLD A U.S. POSTAGE PAID
FD PERMIT NO. 94
Institute of Food and A agricultural Sciences
Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources
The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180