or es Hria OCS
";1, ,. i- '
At* s .l
By Michael V. Martin
Almost three years ago, the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) launched a long-term program planning effort
known as Florida FIRST: Focusing IFAS Resources on Solutions for Tomorrow.
The plan and the process that produced it were built upon several principles,
including open participation by all interested and affected parties. The planning
effort designed to be transparent, understandable and relevant has resulted
in significant evolutionary changes for statewide UF/IFAS teaching, research and
extension programs. Moreover, the planning effort is dynamic and adaptable so
our faculty and staff can respond to changing economic, social and
The plan that we collectively produced has guided our efforts and decision
making for the past two years. We have filled faculty positions that focus on
ik Mari cornerstone capabilities and major program imperatives. We have created an
VicePre n f gi l internal grants program and launched a special project intended to better assess
and N turlR r the contributions of natural resource industries (agriculture, forestry, fisheries and
aquaculture) to the state's economy. We have created and implemented a UF/
IFAS institutional marketing program. To date, through administrative
restructuring, we have reallocated more than $1.5 million from administration to
specific program activities.
This issue of IMPACT magazine highlights UF/IFAS programs in Northwest
Florida that are putting Florida FIRST. We invite you to learn how faculty at the
West Florida Research and Education Center are originating distance education
courses to other parts of the state. Find out how UF/IFAS programs are targeted
toward natural resource enhancement, forest restoration and fire management in
the Florida Panhandle. And see how consolidated programs at the North Florida
Research and Education Center are helping producers compete in today's global
This issue also highlights extension faculty and programs that help our
citizens improve the quality of their lives through direct application of science-
The diversity of Florida's natural resource sector and the ever-changing needs
of the state's residents coupled with rising concerns about the environment
and the pressures of global competition are some of the issues being addressed
in Northwest Florida as UF/IFAS continues putting Florida FIRST.
:. :. .u *. ...l ..
Dorothy,. ,:C 1 1 H.. 1 1:" 1'iSC ..:,p:
Institute of Food and "i "
Agricultural Sciences (UF/ i "
IFAS). For more information .'
contact Donald W. Poucher,
assistant vice president of"
external relations and i ,.1
communications: (352) 392- i .
0437, or e-mail: Volume 1 N,. Summr : '
firstname.lastname@example.org. : ": "
IMPACT is produced by Vital Link r [
IFAS Communication Services, J
Ashley M. Wood, director. 4 The W,t Fl .rd i1 R s rL 1 1 dE.i.
Editor 4 Center n, ir ln, .icola k oo rrt i '
ChuckWoods in counts' al': rh Em ra id n ,...-. ... .
"Contributors the Unit r\ of: Fl or da
Paul Kimpel ,
Ami Neibergerd : P.
TomasrlrHurricane House ,,
Dorothy Zimmerman .. .p 111a1 ...
Photo Editor Anew\ ind'.rrnm D)imaneMaig A-AtO; :
Thomas S. Wright -E4 54Tri ) .I% r i r '
Photographers thi Fc imbia l( ,uir '.tnsin .c '
Milt Putnam hlp, id ;rin ch F ri Pha
Eric Zamora I.. i i I ..! rt Fle r J .h n "
Tara Piasio cop, il hurric inc and ,,,r 4 norm,. One-M an I a ,..B
Designer (_l -u1 i E. it jnh.,! Dii Ftrr, do(, l i
Audrey S. Wynneir
Audrey S. Wyjnne -,1I i- ,ping er ,h.ne tromn aricuiurtl 1
extra copies and requests to be New M management. .
added to the mailing list should
be addressed to ChuckWoods, Strategies
PO Box 110025,l Srort
University ofFlorida, Researchers in h :school of Foresr
Gainesville, FL 32611-0025, ReSourcli and Conscr iion are esting New Horizons
or e-mailed to nc'% "m ir mnmntiall\" Fricrndh
email@example.com eiriedli The Sam nhlithell Aquaculture
ailianagemlnet strategie's tr Apalachicola Demn.strranon Facilite near 24
Impact is available in alternatively Forest i N-rth est F oda. r
formats; visit our home page at F ounctn his add rcar and
impact.ifas.ufl.edu reaching tro ir radlmonal e\treisit'n
UF/IFAS is putting Florida education ni msin.
FIRST in developing knowledgeeanin
in agricultural, human and
natural resources and the life Frid i .i ra c n arena
sciences and making that .:
knowledge accessible to sustain r 28 Nourutrition Sc Health
and enhance the quality of billion mnar!!li !industr\ () pr teC i after
human life. Visit the Florida resor and shorelines. Residents in the Florida Panhandle -,and
FIRST (Focusing IFAS Resources : rh roughotlr the stare are improve n g 0
on Solutions for Tomorrow) Web
page at: floridafirst.ufl.edu their nutrition and protecting their health .
page at: floridafirst..Sfl.edu
trinks to extension programs in family: .
On the cover: Debbie Miller, Reaching Out con
left, and Shibu Jose, faculty at
Sand ShibJose, fac at Innoie --H afterr school' programs
the West Florida Research and i33 nr
Education enter in Jay and are helping youngsters in the Panhandle .
Education Center in Jay and f
region learn and develop ness skills. ,
Milton, use a white quadrat
to measure the growth of I ]Ot, br, ,;i. ';
wiregrass following a
prescribed burn in a longleaf
pine forest. Prescribed
burning helps maintain a
desirable ground cover. (Photo
by Thomas Wright) C C6pyright 2001 by the Universitj, of Florida.AU rights reserved. :
SUMMER 2001 3
:.E : : :..." ::. "": ....
Smera/d Coast Connectio17
W;/h programs k enu7 vonmenta/aorticulture, tar/grass science andr atral
resource management /he West F/orida Research an7dEducation Center near
Pensacola pro vr'es a vita/i betw een the Universit ofF/ord'a and counties a/ong
the state famous Emerald Coast
Sscablished in I 9- to conduct research on row\
crops, ihe Liniv[ rsirv ot Florida's West Florida
SExperiment Station no\x the \\c, Florida
Research and Educirion CIcnter hai evolved into a
.. comprehensive\ program that serves counties in the Florida
SPanhandle and ne-ighboring states.
Faculrv aJ [he center; sill conduct resi-arch and tensionn
programs on row crops such as corn, cotton and peanuts,
-. but th,[h sIope of t[hir \work has bh-n ,cxpandcd to include
e nvironmnental hortic.ulture ur grass ,cincci. \ncd s, ience.
S- ntura-l r,.:,ourcLc manag.nld ent and consc-ratron, and Ifrestr\.
*I r' I addit l, the center no\" offers UF degree programs in
enir inme ntal horticulture, natural resource conservation
ralt Itgra-. science in cooperation w\cth Pensacola junior
"lollegc and the Uni errant of \\e[ Florida. The ne"
teaching programs iar- bad in Milton whilee research is
SI locatd at the center s original sie in Jla. Both sitrcs arc part
-of 1 F s Insctiutc of Food and Agricultural Scicnces I F/
- .. IFAS'.-
"* ,' N leff I ullahey, center director, aijd the ne\v cooperative
education programs allo\% students to complete a bachelor's
c degree without having to attend classes at the main UrF campus
., -Milton d ared\v artracts about 0 s tudent- each semester, and
l 'Al .- j program can accommodate up to 100 students.
e ha e initiated a ne" marketing plan to help increase
-.* "5aarene, about the center's teaching, research and extension
1j' .. programn" he said. "Studen's can take our courses here in
t-- Milton or complete them through our new\ distance
S education program.
.-P He said a new tuition agreement allows students from 15
S' counties in southern Alabama to enroll at the Milion
".. campus without paying our-of-state tuition, sa\ ing them as
"-" much aVp 0 per credit hour. For 60 credit hours, the
i sa\ wings ad d ro $12,000.
S ,- ulCahe, a professor of wildlife ecology and
conservaticp, said the center's long-range goals are being
reviewed urider the Florida FIRST (Focusing IFAS Resources
"( [. i on Solution, for Tomorrow) strategic planning effort. Fuurre
program areas may include alternative cropping systems,
----- ._precisio4::gticuIlure, wildlifee ecology and ecotourism.
"" He said the center's geographical location in \est Florida
ill opens the door to regional partnerships with other land-
SM PIh0 ./ I'/ \\v i grant institutions in the Southeast.
JeffMullahey, left, and Barry Brecke provide program leadership in forestry, environmental horticulture, agronomy and natural resources. Brecke,
professor ofagronomy, serves as associate director of the West Florida Research and Education Center. (Photo by Thomas Wright)
Distance Education Life Sciences provided funds for the new interactive distance
Students at the center have been taking distance "We have cameras, computers, cordless microphones and
education courses since 1996 when the Milton campus was all the production equipment needed to produce classes and
linked to UF in Gainesville and other research and education transmit them statewide via UF's distance education
centers around the state. Now, with the recent installation of network," he said. "This was the first time we originated a
a two-way interactive video production facility at the Milton course from Milton for the entire state, and it was very
campus, distance education courses are being disseminated successful."
from the West Florida center to other areas of the state for
the first time. Forestry
"Annual and Perennial Gardening (ORH 4804C), a
three-credit hour undergraduate environmental horticulture Shibu Jose, assistant professor of forestry at the West
course, was the first distance education course to originate Florida center, is working on research aimed at restoring
from our campus," said Rick Schoellhorn, assistant professor longleafpine forests that once dominated the landscape in
of environmental horticulture. the U.S. Southeast.
During fall 2000, he taught the course to 40 students at "One hundred years ago, there were about 90 million
UF distance education sites in Apopka, Fort Lauderdale, acres of longleaf pine forest in the Southeast, and now there
Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Homestead, Milton and Naples. He are only 3 million acres of longleaf pine forest about 4
said the course was a team effort involving faculty at each percent of what we once had," said Jose. "As a result, there is
location. a strong interest on the part of natural resources agencies and
S, the general public in restoring these forests."
"We had excellent faculty at each site," Schoellhorn said. r
"Each instructor provided guest lectures, with talks on He said longleafpine forests gave way to agriculture and
invasive plants, mulch and compost alternatives, the stands of loblolly and slash pine, two fast-growing species
psychology of different colors in the landscape and raised commercially for their wood. Only isolated pockets of
commercial plant breeding. the stately tree remain, but Jose wants to reverse the trend by
determining how foresters can help the longleaf.
"Because we're educating students at remote sites around determining how foresters can help the longleaf
the state, the instructor needs to emphasize student "This particular species of pine can be somewhat difficult to
interaction," he said. "Once students become comfortable manage when it comes to conditions needed to produce new
with being on television, they participate more freely in trees that will grow to maturity," Jose said. "If trees produce
discussions with the instructor and other students." seeds, the seedlings can remain in what we call the grass stage
Rick Puckett, coordinator of academic support services for up to 15 years if there is intense competition from other
Rick Puckett, coordinator of academic support services
plants. Our research objective is get the seedlings out of the
at the Milton campus, said UF's College of Agricultural and plants. Our research objective is get the seedlings out of the
SUMMER 2001 5
..... .... .." .. ... -h'
Established with aid of the $3.9 million grant from the "Installation of a wood fences, for example helps rebuild
director of the new center dunes come back pretty quickly using this method."
"Iscth gr r i. h ,',,,
J, /,tl,,, I,, I 'l lt.' q
!I, C, .'I:?,,,~;l~r,;/ L ~t t....... / h'tci P j I";' ,
t. Ic' i ,1 1,. t i 'L
"grass stage as quickly as possible so they can grow into researchers at the West Florida center have been trying to
marketable trees in 50 years instead of 100." help Mother Nature repair the damage.
To promote environmentally friendly farming practices "Just piling up sand on the beach with a bulldozer is not
in Florida and the Southeast, Jose is working with scientists the only way to rebuild dunes," said Debbie Miller, assistant
in the new Center for Subtropical Agroforestry in UF's professor of wildlife ecology and conservation who leads the
"School of Forest Resources and Conservation. dune restoration project.
Established with aid of the $3.9 million grant from the "Installation of a wood fences, for example, helps rebuild
U.S. Department of Agriculture, the center will provide dunes that blew away after native vegetation was removed by
teaching, research and extension in agroforestry, a new the hurricane or bulldozing of storm debris. Once sand starts
farming practice that grows crops alongside of trees or to accumulate around fences, native plants like sea oats are
shrubs. PK. Nair, distinguished professor in the school, is planted to stabilize the dune," she said. "We have found that
director of the new center, dunes come back pretty quickly using this method."
Jose said agroforestry practices are relatively unknown to However, knowing how to build a dune doesn't mean the
industrialized nations, but are common in tropical regions dune will do what it is supposed to. She said researchers
where limited-resource farmers grow trees in crop fields to must remember dunes actually serve two purposes.
"In the Southeast, agroforestry could bridge the gap Leonard Dunavin, associateprofessor of agronomy at the West Florida
between commercial agriculture and and traditional Research and Education Center, evaluates a ryegrass testplot in Jay as
farming," Jose said. "It could help smaller farms diversify, part ofhis program to select high-yieldforage varietiesforfarmers in
enhance their revenues and become more sustainable. It also Florida andAlabama. (Photo by Thomas Wright)
can promote conservation of land and wildlife habitat.
"In most cases, we want to minimize competition," he
said. "One promising environmental strategy uses deep-
rooted trees to capture excess crop fertilizer and prevent it
from leaching into groundwater."
Jose said preliminary tests at the West Florida center have
focused on planting cotton between rows of pecan trees and
cotton between rows of loblolly and longleaf pines.
When Hurricane Opal swept through Santa Rosa Island
in 1995, the scenic barrier island that runs from Destin to
Pensacola Beach lost most of its sand dunes. Since then,
Robert Kinloch, associate
"professor of hematology at the
West Florida Research and
Education Center, isolates
nematodes fom a soil sample
provided by a local farmer. a
Kinloch 's research program
focuses on methods to control
nematodes and develop
practices for agronomic and
(Photo by Thomas Wright)
"We need dune restoration not only for building "One goal of the festival is to increase awareness about
protection, but also because dunes provide habitat for gardening and landscaping in this part of the state,"
animals, including several subspecies of endangered beach Schoellhorn said. "We had 30 vendors this year, with the
mice," Miller said. "We want to learn how beach mice move booth fees going to scholarships for students.
through the landscape so we can plan for restoration that "Visitors attended educational talks, and information
will help with the recovery of those subspecies." was available at booths on butterfly gardening, native plants
and environmentally friendly gardening," he said. "Overall,
Garden Festival it was a celebration of spring with lots of color and new
Activities at the Milton campus provide services that go While the festival is four years old, Schoellhorn said
beyond research and teaching students. As part of its goal to 2001 was the second year it was held on the Milton campus,
be a center of horticultural knowledge, faculty at the Milton with attendance growing to about 8,000 for the three-day
campus with attendance growing to about 8,000 for the three-day
campus work with Pensacola Junior College and the Florida event. Most of the vendors were from the Florida Panhandle,
Federation of Garden Clubs to present the annual Emerald but some came from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Coast Flower and Garden Festival. This year's festival took Chuck Woods and Ed Hunter
place April 6-8.
Jeff Mullahey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dick Bedics, left, provost of
Pensacola Junior College,
and Rick Schoellhorn "
examine ornamentals at the
Emerald Coast Flower and
Garden Festival, April 6-8.
The annual event is held at
the Milton campus of the
West Florida Research and
Education Center in
cooperation with PJC and
the Florida Federation of
Garden Clubs. (Photo by
Faculty and staff at the North Florida Research and Education Center have expertise in
a wide range of programs and commodity areas, and the center's impact on agriculture,
natural resources and consumers extends well beyond the state's border.
By Chuck Woods
With 23 scientists and educators in nine academic The North Florida center currently has research and
disciplines working on more than 30 research projects, the education programs at four different locations: Live Oak,
University of Florida's North Florida Research and Marianna, Monticello and Quincy. The center's beef unit in
Education Center is like no other facility in Florida or the Chipley has been closed and moved to Marianna.
southeastern United States. Ornamental and fruit crop programs at the Monticello
"Of course, Florida is our first concern, but our center will be moved to Quincy later this year. All programs
geographical location allows us to deal with problems that are part of UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
don't stop at our northern border," said George Hochmuth, (UF/IFAS).
center director. "Our faculty work closely with scientists at "The consolidation from five locations to three -
the UF campus in Gainesville as well as those stationed at will allow us to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of
other UF research and education centers around the state. our teaching, research and extension programs," Hochmuth
And our strategic location makes it possible and desirable said.
to work with scientists in other states to solve regional At Quincy, a new 27,780-square-foot laboratory and
problems." office building is scheduled for completion this fall.
Faculty at the center also are active internationally, working Programs at the center focus on all aspects of plant science,
with scientists from as many as 20 other nations, he said. including plant breeding, crop production, plant disease,
Ron Barnett, professor ofagronomy, examines new lines oftriticale at the Quincy center. He said the small grain is a cross between durum wheat
and rye being developed as an alternative food, feed and forage crop. Under the small grain breeding program directed by Barnett, 23 new varieties
have been developed for Florida growers since 1980. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
insect and nematode pests, forestry, soil science, economics, agronomy at the Quincy center. "As a result, the number of
marketing and rural development. The State Rural family farms in the Southeast continues to decline, and some
Development Council is located at the center, linking UF farm supply dealerships have lost almost a third of their
with community development in North Florida. customers during the past five years."
New research laboratories and bull-testing facilities have For example, in Jackson County, which leads the state in
strengthened agronomic and animal programs at Marianna, peanut production, the number of farms has dropped from
he said. This center will continue to focus on cattle research, 4,000 in the mid-1980s to fewer than 800 today. Although
peanut breeding, forage production and agricultural some of this reduction is due to consolidation into larger
economics. farms or a shift into tree farming, a viable cropping system is
Hochmuth said the North Florida Research and essential for the survival of farming in the region, Wright
Education Center Suwannee Valley in Live Oak is closely said.
tied to extension programs in the region. Examples of He said research at the UF center indicates sod-based
programs at the various center locations follow, rotations with bahia grass and bermuda grass can lower
production costs even further and produce dramatic yield
Conservation Tillage increases.
"Even though row crop acreage is reduced when sod
Thanks largely to the work of faculty at the North crops are introduced into rotations, net profits can double,"
Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida Wright said. "With sod-based rotations, peanut yields
has been a national leader in conservation tillage for the past increased to 3,800 pounds per acre up from 2,600
25 years. Some North Florida counties have increased their pounds per acre without sod rotation."
conservation tillage acreage from less than 5 percent to more In addition to sod-based rotations, the research program
than 70 percent during the past five years. uses integrated pest management, biotechnology, precision
The practice which reduces the need for tractor passes farming and minimum or no-tillage systems.
over fields saves fuel, labor and equipment. It also helps "The primary goal over the next five years is to develop
protect the soil, prevents erosion and enhances the long-term and deliver an economically and environmentally sustainable
sustainability of farming. row crop production system for Florida and the Southeast,"
"Even with the high adoption rate for conservation tillage Wright said.
and the $20 to $70 per acre advantage it offers, the family farm Other faculty at the center working on the project
is still under pressure because of droughts, stagnant yields and include Tim Hewitt, professor of food and resource
low commodity prices," said David Wright, professor of
SUMMER 2001 9
m Steve Olson, left, and Tim
Momol evaluate how
black and metalized
plastic mulch bed covers
"affect the population of
thrips and the incidence of
tomato spotted wilt virus
on tomato transplants.
(Photo by Milt Putnam)
economics; James Marois, professor of plant pathology; Fred strategy for controlling thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus,
Rhoads, professor of soil and water science; Jimmy Rich, reducing or eliminating the need for conventional broad-
professor of nematology; Richard Sprenkel, professor of spectrum insecticides."
entomology; and David Zimet, associate professor of food Funderburk said tomato plants are somewhat toxic to the
and resource economics. Ray Gallaher, professor in the minute pirate bug predators, which limits their ability to
Department of Agronomy in Gainesville, also is working suppress the thrips vector. Nevertheless, spinosad is effective
with the group. against thrips in tomatoes.
Working with Tim Momol, assistant professor of plant
Vegetable Production pathology at the Quincy center, Funderburk and Olson have
New pest management programs developed at the developed other solutions to the pest and disease problem,
N ew p est managementg v egetale growers i athe Stheat including the use of plastic mulches or bed covers that reflect
Quincy center are helping vegetable growers in the Southeast ultraviolet (UV) light.
control western flower thrips and tomato spotted wilt virus,
which is spread by the insect pest. "Western flower thrips are attracted to flowers of low
"w ris sreeadb to ecaest fo UV, yellow, blue and white, and our highly-reflective UV
"During the past two decades, western flower thrips have mulches confuse them so they are unable to locate the
spread the tomato virus worldwide, causing yield losses ,he tm sot. t a om
tomato flowers or plants, Funderburk said. "In our tomato
ranging from 20 to 40 percent sometimes as high as 100 toat plts, und tt reflective mulchs are omao
percent in tomatoes, peppers and other crops in thetest plots, we found that UV-reflective mulches are an
percent in tomatoes, peppers and other crops in the effective way to reduce losses from thrips and tomato spotted
Southeast," said Steve Olson, professor of horticultural wilt."
sciences. "As a result, western flower thrips and tomato
spotted wilt virus are now the key insect and disease In 2000, the researchers evaluated the technology in
problems for vegetable growers in the region." large-scale grower trials and found it to be highly effective.
The incidence of tomato spotted wilt virus was reduced from
He said growers responded by spraying broad-spectrum, 45 percent in conventional black-mulched fields to 10
highly toxic insecticides on a regular basis, even though the percent in fields with the UV-reflective mulch. The program
chemicals were not effective in control the virus. In the in fields with the UV-reflective mulch. The program
chemicals were not effective in controlling the virus. In the also relies on the use of spinosad to further suppress western
mid-1990s, Olson and Joe Funderburk, professor of flower thrips and some late-season disease spread.
effective against the insect and the virus it spreads. cooled the soil and resulted in reduced plant growth and
"First, we found that the minute pirate bug is a natural yields when used for early planting," Olson said. "Additional
"First, we found that the minute pirate bug is a natural mulches are being evaluated with black strips down the
predator of the thrips vector in peppers. Then we discovered middle to increase soil temperatures."
a natural insecticide, spinosad, was effective against western
flower thrips, but harmless to the natural predator," The Quincy team recently received grants from the U.S.
Funderburk said. "Pepper growers have adopted this IPM Department of Agriculture and private industry to conduct
Russ Mizell checks a trap for stink
bugs, which are pests of most fruit,
vegetable and seed crops. He
developed the trap, which utilizes
pheromones (chemical attractants
and baits) to monitor and suppress
different species of the pest. Mizell
said the trap has potential
applicationfor homeowners and .
growers who cannot control stink
bugs with conventional chemicals.
He is seeking a patentfor the trap.
(Photo by Milt Putnam)
further research and implement IPM programs for tomatoes, Mizell also is developing integrated pest management
peppers and other crops. (IPM) programs for deciduous fruits, pecans, ornamentals
and landscapes. He is currently developing new monitoring
Regional Pest M anagm ent and biological control methods for weevils, stink bugs and
Russ Mizell, professor of entomology at the North Stink bugs are very important pests of most fruit, nut
Florida Research and Education Center in Monticello, is co- and grain crops. Mizell invented a new trap to monitor stink
director of a new regional pest management center, one of bug species and has applied for a patent on it.
four in the nation. The Southern Region Pest Management "It appears to have great promise as a monitoring and
Center was established at UF in September 2000 to
Center was established at UF in September 2000 to suppression tool for stink bugs. Under homeowner and
strengthen connections between agricultural producers and suppression tool for stions, the trap may adequately reduce
research and education programs in 13 southern states, organic grower conditions, the trap may adequately reduce
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. damage from these pests," he said.
the The basis of any IPM program is knowing the seasonal
"It will improve the link between pest management abundance of the pests, which requires effective detection
researchers and farmers and ranchers in the southern U.S.," and monitoring tools. Mizell found that the Tedders trap
said Mizell. "Our major objective will be to assist the U.S. will enable detection and monitoring of more than 110
Department of Agriculture and the Environmental .
Protection Agency in implementing the Food Quality spece ee
Protection Act passed by Congress in 1996. We will focus on "The trap is particularly effective against weevil species
a full range of agricultural pests from insects to rodents." that spend a portion of their life cycle in the ground such as
Mizell, who directs the center with Norm Nesheim, plum curculio, the citrus root weevil complex and the forest
Mizell, who directs the center with Norm Nesheim,
pests, the regeneration weevils, Mizell said.
professor and pesticide information coordinator in UF's pests, the regeneration weevils," Mizell said.
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, said the "As a result of this work the adult emergence patterns for
southern region has a wide diversity of fruit and vegetable many important pest species can be determined as can
crops, including citrus and tropical fruits. answers to other questions concerning their biology, ecology
"Fl id ci c d wih o and suppression. This line of research has great potential for
"Flonridas warm, humid climate, coupled with our homeowners and organic growers," he said.
geographic location, makes the state particularly vulnerable
to the accidental introduction of exotic pests from other In cooperation with Peter Andersen, professor of
areas," Nesheim said. "This presents special issues for us." horticulture at the Quincy center, Mizell is studying the
feeding behavior and nutrition of the glassy-winged
Mizell and Nesheim, who submitted a proposal for the feeding behavior and nutrition of the glassy-winged
center to USDA, were successful recipients of a $4.1 million sharpshooter, a leafhopper vector of the pathogen, Xylella
grant to initiate the UF program. The grant will underwrite fastidiosa, which causes Pierce's disease and many other
grant r diseases. Their joint research publications represent the
operation of the center for three yearsworld's seminal literature on the nutritional ecology and
behavior of xylem-feeding insects.
SUMMER 2001 11
Gary Knox checks flower quality on mandevilla, aflowering vine. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
Florida Yards and The education program provides alternative approaches
and techniques that can significantly reduce unwanted
Neighborhoods environmental impacts generated by home development,
landscape installation and maintenance, Knox said.
Reaching millions of residents in 35 counties, the Florida "Florida Yards and Neighborhoods differs from other
Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN) extension education landscape-oriented environmental education programs
program teaches landscape practices that protect the because it includes all aspects of landscape management," he
environment and save time, money and natural resources, said. "It's a comprehensive program that integrates site
"Purchasing and management decisions made by home conditions, landscape design, plant selection, irrigation,
owners, landscape professionals and builders affect a wide fertilization, pest control, mowing, pruning and recycling."
range of environmental issues," said Gary Knox, professor at At the same time, he said, the program stresses the
the Monticello center, who serves as team leader for the benefits of water conservation, pest control through
extension program. The team includes Christine Kelly- integrated pest management, recycling of yard wastes,
Begazo, state FYN coordinator in Gainesville, other wildlife enhancement, energy conservation and abatement of
extension specialists and county agents. non-point source pollutants.
Knox said key issues include storm water runoff, loss of For more information, visit the following Web site:
wildlife habitat, destruction of natural wetland and upland http://hort.ufl.edu/fyn/
ecosystems, water and energy consumption, and generation
of yard debris and solid wastes.
Jarek Nowak, assistantprofessor offorestry at the
Quincy center, examines a young loblolly pine
plantation for signs offusiform rust, the most
"troublesome pineforest disease in the U.S. Southeast.
Although there is a lot of interest in restoring longleaf
pine ecosystems, loblolly pine remains the most
important woodproducingpine species in the
Southeast. In Florida, loblolly pine is best suited for
more productive soils such as those in the Gadsden
County area. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
Jeff Norcini examines Black-eyed
Susan, a native wildflower commonly
planted along roadsides in Florida.
His research has shown that native
wildflowers grown from seed derived
from naturally occurring populations
in Florida survive better than
wildflowers grown from seed produced
in other parts of the country. (Photo
by Milt Putnam)
Native Wildflowers and
A growing interest in ecologically sound management of
roadside vegetation, restoration of natural habitats,
conservation and ecotourism is driving the demand for
regionally adapted native wildflowers and grasses, especially
seed, said Jeff Norcini, associate professor of environmental
horticulture at the Monticello center. There also is a demand
for native wildflowers and grasses that can be used in
residential and commercial landscaping.
To help the ornamentals industry meet the demand for
native plants, Norcini initiated a research program in 1996
to propagate, establish and maintain wildflowers and grasses
in the Florida environment.
"We are emphasizing native herbaceous plant materials
that are appropriate for Florida," he said. "Our work
supports those involved with native wildflower seed
production, container production and establishment of
Norcini said information generated from his program
will be useful to those involved in UF extension's Florida
Yards and Neighborhoods program as well as extension's
Environmental Landscape Management program.
George Hochmuth, email@example.com
SUMMER 2001 13
Panhndl andothr aeas f te sate.Grat s id
Agronomic and animal programs at UF's North Florida Research and Education Center in
Marianna have a regional impact in the U.S. Southeast.
On more than 6 million acres of Florida pastureland, working on the forage program. "His work on forage
bahia grass is the principal forage or "backbone" of the state's evaluation in the Florida Panhandle is an important part of
$2.1 billion beef cattle industry, the program at Marianna, and he is actively involved in
"The warm season forage grass has a remarkable several collaborative projects between the two centers,"
adaptation to Florida and much of the Coastal Plain, but its Blount said.
growth just about stops with the onset of shorter days and Robert Myer, professor of animal sciences at the
cooler weather. This forces ranchers to use hay and expensive Marianna center, is working on grazing studies with new
alternative feeds from October to April," said Ann Blount, forages.
assistant professor of agronomy at UF's North Florida "Silvopastoral interest in the northern part of the state is
Research and Education Center in Marianna. growing," Blount said. "Many farms have diversified
"As a result, there's a real need to develop greener agronomic cropping with tree plantings and livestock. There
pastures during these months, and that's what our new is considerable interest in grazing under planted pines and
forage program is all about," she said. "We want to develop also enhancing wildlife habitat."
forage systems for year-round grazing, with an emphasis on Jarek Nowak, a new assistant professor of forestry at the
bahia grass breeding improvement. At the same time, we also Quincy center, is working with Blount on grazing livestock
are developing cool season forages small grains, ryegrass under various tree plantings. Nowak said diversifying
and clover that complement bahia grass." farming in the area and integrating cropping, forestry and
Blount, who coordinates the bahia grass breeding livestock are critical to farming's economic survival.
program with researchers in Brooksville, Gainesville, Ona "Having many scientists involved in forage production
and Tifton, Ga., said incorporation of physiological traits, statewide should lead us to greener pastures," Blount said.
such as improved photoperiod response and better cold
tolerance, offer great promise. Improvements also are being Aw ard-W inning Peanut
sought in seedling vigor, forage quality, and nematode and
disease resistance. Program
"Our recent success with new bahia grass lines that are
less sensitive to changes in light or photoperiod response Peanut varieties from UF's breeding program have
- will eventually extend the growing season of this popular accounted for as much as 75 percent of the peanut acreage in
grass," Blount said. the United States and are important in other nations around
Working with her on this aspect of the bahia grass twor
improvement program are Paul Mislevy, professor of Improved yields, grades, disease resistance, oil chemistry,
agronomy at UF's Range Cattle Research and Education flavor and overall industry acceptance all reflect the high
Center in Ona, and Tom Sinclair, agronomist with the U.S. quality of UF's peanut breeding program headed by Dan
Department of Agriculture in Gainesville. Other UF and Gorbet, professor of agronomy at the Marianna center.
USDA scientists are involved in the effort, including Richard With more than 30 years of experience in breeding some
Sprenkel, professor of entomology at UF's North Florida of the world's most successful commercial peanut varieties,
Research and Education Center in Quincy, who is studying Gorbet recently achieved a major breakthrough for the
insect pests that feed on bahia grass, peanut industry and consumers with his new C-99R peanut.
Blount said the bahia grass breeding program also has a "This cultivar has excellent yield, grade and disease
"turf side" to it. Improving bahia grass may lead to the resistance with normal oil chemistry," Gorbet said. "The
development of cold-tolerant, long-season, pest-resistant turf foliar disease resistance of the cultivar will allow growers to
for home and roadside use. With Florida's growing reduce fungicide use and production costs."
population, breeding a good bahia grass turf should have a He said C-99R is a new runner market-type peanut
bright future, she said. cultivar with good resistance to late leafspot, stem rot, white
She said collaborative research with other UF forage mold and TSWV (tomato spotted wilt virus). TSWV is the
breeders in the state is a major part of the North Florida most troublesome disease problem for the peanut industry in
forage program. Blount works closely with Ron Barnett, the U.S. Southeast.
professor and small grains breeder at the Quincy center; "The new peanut has essentially the same disease
Gordon Prine, professor in the Department of Agronomy in resistance as Southern Runner and Florida MDR-98, but
Gainesville, who is developing new ryegrass varieties; and with stronger TSWV resistance," Gorbet said. "Georgia
Ken Quesenberry, professor in the agronomy department, Green is currently the leading peanut cultivar in the
who is breeding new clover varieties. Southeast, and it received its TSWV resistance from its
Leonard Dunavin, associate professor agronomy at the Southern Runner parent."
West Florida Research and Education Center in Jay, also is Prior to C-99R, Gorbet developed the highly acclaimed
SUMMER 2001 15
I Dan Gorbet examines new C-99R peanuts at his Marianna
laboratory. His contributions to agriculture in the Southeast and the
peanut industry earned him a "man oftheyear"award from The
Progressive Farmer magazine in 1997. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
New Bull-testing Facility
The Marianna center's new bull-testing facility the
Only public program of its kind in the state is helping
cattle producers produce top-quality bulls.
"Testing provides commercial producers with a source of
bulls that have passed strict health requirements and
evaluations," said Ronnie Hartzog, project coordinator.
"Testing at the facility provides producers with important
information about the genetic potential of their bulls and
Hartzog, who is working with Bob Sand, associate
professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, and Doug
Mayo, Jackson County extension livestock agent in
T Marianna, said the facility includes an auction area, corrals,
-. A J feed bins, shade structures and a watering system.
Sl "Our bull sale in February 2001 was very successful, with
P the top-selling bull fetching $15,000 for owners who will
retain interest in the animal for one-third of future semen,"
H artzog said. "The second-highest selling bull was
purchased for $4,000, and 37 bulls were sold at the average
price of $1,851. Breeds included Angus, Brangus, Charolais,
Limousin, Simbrah and Simmental."
He said plans are underway for the next bull test sale in
SunOleic 95R and 97R peanuts, the world's first commercial January 2002. Animals must be vaccinated, and they are fed a
peanut cultivars with improved oil chemistry. Their complete ration and hay. Cost to participate in the program is
cholesterol-lowering properties are similar to those of olive $650. For more information, contact Hartzog at (850) 482-
oil. 1252 or Sand at (352) 392-7529. Chuck Woods
What gives SunOleic 97R its health-promoting qualities Ann Blount, firstname.lastname@example.org
is its oil chemistry. It has more than 80 percent oleic fatty Dan Gorbet, email@example.com
acid compared to about 50 percent in regular peanuts. Fatty Ronnie Hartzog, firstname.lastname@example.org
acids are major components in all oils, but it is the oleic
form (18:1) found mainly in olive and canola oils that makes Ronnie Hartzog, left, and Doug Mayo, ackson County extension
them healthy. Gorbet said SunOleic 97R has more oleic acid livestock agent in Marianna, discuss plans for the next bull-test sale
than olive oil or canola oil. scheduled for January 2002. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
"High oleic peanuts give retailers a three- to 15-fold ,
increase in shelf life and offer growers better yields than
Florunner, the former industry standard also developed by /
UE TSWV has limited 97R production in the Southeast.
"The increase in shelf life alone translates into millions of
dollars of savings on recalls due to outdated product. Longer
shelf life also gives the new peanut an edge in taste," Gorbet
said. "Not only does it taste good, it holds its flavor longer."
The UF has three U.S. utility patents on this oil chemistry in
The UF's high oleic germplasm (F435-1) has been
widely used in peanut breeding programs elsewhere in the
U.S. and around the world, including Argentina, Australia,
India, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The high oleic
chemistry is expected to be the dominant type of chemistry
in peanuts in the near future, Gorbet said.
A new building at the Escambia County Extension service
demonstrates how stronger construction methods can
prevent or reduce storm damage along the 6ulf Coeat.
Since it opened in March 2000, the University of Florida's
Windstorm Damage Mitigation Training and Demonstration
Center near Pensacola also known as the "hurricane house"
- has attracted more than 1,000 visitors.
The 3,100-square-foot facility, located at the Escambia
County Extension Service office in Cantonment, is showing
designers, inspectors, builders and homeowners how to
minimize storm damage and increase survivability along
Florida's Gulf Coast.
"The building is helping demonstrate how new and existing
homes can be made more wind resistant," said George Rogers,
Escambia County extension agent with UF's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). "Materials, products and George Rogers said Escambia Countys new "hurricane house" has three
construction methods in this building can be used in new types of window shutters, impact-resistant doors, a steel safe room and
homes or to retrofit existing structures. We are showing people a garage door that will withstand winds of more than 120 miles per
how they can protect their homes and themselves during high- hour. (Photo by Eric Zamora)
wind storms." about these and other reinforcing methods. Homeowners
Rogers said it's the second hurricane house in Florida. The and builders can visit the center to see features such as three
first was built at the St. Lucie County Extension Service in Fort types of window shutters, impact-resistant doors, a steel safe
Pierce in 1999, and a third facility is now under construction at room and a garage door that will withstand winds of more
the St. Johns County Extension Service in St. Augustine. than 120 miles per hour.
"The structures are designed to comply with new state Visitors also can see exposed sections of interior walls that
building codes that go into effect in July 1, 2001. The Florida show construction methods such as concrete, wood frame or
Department of Insurance provided $400,000 for construction walls built using an insulated concrete form all showing how
of each center, and the UF Energy Extension Service is to build stronger and more energy-efficient homes.
developing training programs for builders and homeowners. "The insulated concrete form, for example, uses
He said many programs already have been developed and reinforcement bars and concrete sandwiched between plastic
presented at the Escambia County building. Last year, two 4-H foam sheets. The method makes a substantially stronger wall,"
Hurricane Awareness Camps were conducted, attracting 94 Rogers said. "This method, used more often in the northern
young people who learned about the dynamics of hurricanes areas of the United States and Europe, is a little more expensive.
and the methods that are used in preparation, survival and But, on a beach where there is corrosion and storm surge, it
recovery from these and other high wind events. would be worth the added cost.
Other training programs have been conducted for Although insulated concrete forms meet Florida building
contractors, construction inspectors and home designers. Many code requirements, not all craftsmen know how to work with
local homeowners and citizens planning to build new homes the material, said Bob Stroh, director of UF's Shimberg Center
have visited the center to obtain information. for Affordable Housing, who is overseeing hurricane house
"A popular item of discussion is the incorporation of a 'safe construction in the state.
room' into new homes," Rogers said. "Evacuation is becoming Stroh is confident UF hurricane houses around the state
less of an option and safe rooms are becoming an alternative for will become magnets to educate the construction industry and
some people." the public on wind loss mitigation, energy efficiency and
Homeowners can save up to 70 percent on their insurance environmentally sensitive construction. One training program
premiums if they use recommended measures to protect their at the Escambia County center helped building craftsmen work
homes, said Ron Natherson, public affairs manager with the with insulated concrete forms, which is now a popular
Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association. construction method in the Florida Panhandle.
Reinforcing the roof, for example, could bring a 5 to 10 Rogers has plans for several educational programs during
percent discount on insurance, while reinforced window the 2001 hurricane season.
shutters could save as much as 18 percent, he said. "In Florida, hurricane preparedness training is a year-round
Rogers said the UF windstorm damage mitigation program," he said. Chuck Woods
centers provide homeowners and others with information George Rogers, email@example.com
SUMMER 2001 17
The Can-Do Man of Gulf C
In the midst of rapid economic and social change, the Gulf County Extension Dir
sition from an industrial-based economy to one that is increasingly oriented tow;
Aylih r I
...... .. C t
'". X. em
t by A e -
experience, he is well-suited to deal with the challenges
O t 7 presented by his clientele of cattle farmers, garden club
devotees, 4-H members and tourists. Not to mention county
commissioners, hay farmers, homeowners and busy
sector is helping residents make the tran- "This is more than a nine-to-five job," Carter said. "It's
"rd services and eco-toufism. based on the needs of the people, and sometimes that means
working nights or weekends whatever it takes."
Carter's work-life has a rhythm that ebbs and flows with
BY Paul K l the seasons.
By Paul Kimpel
For example, each year from about April 20 to May 20,
What do Angus cattle, Tupelo honey and farm-raised the banks of the Apalachicola River are literally swarming
catfish have in common? The answer is Roy Carter, Gulf with bees that collect nectar from Gulf County's prized
County extension director with the University Florida's Tupelo gum trees. Local beekeepers bring 5,000 hives to the
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). riverbank, and beekeepers from other parts of Florida bring
Since 1979, when Carter assumed leadership of the another 5,000 hives.
extension program in Wewahitchka, this "one-man band" Carter provides information on controlling Varroa mites
has helped people grow better crops, raise superior livestock miniscule pests that destroy beehives and he also has
and market their world-famous Tupelo honey. wholesale contacts that buy the honey. Each beehive
Carter also provides services that range from helping produces about 90 pounds of Tupelo honey, which sells at
farmers better use their resources to teaching children about wholesale for $1 a pound. Altogether, the 10,000 hives
horticulture and horses valuable things to know if you produce $900,000 each spring.
live in that part of the woods. Although many of Carter's extension activities have a
And woods are a big part of Roy Carter territory. Tucked seasonal cadence, some such as catfish farming keep
between Tallahassee and Panama City in northwest Florida, him busy year-round. Gulf County has five catfish farmers,
Gulf County covers 369,000 acres. The area 80 percent each raising about 3,000 pounds of fish per acre. With the
forestry and 20 percent small farms is home to 13,500 average fish farm consisting of four acres, the farmers
residents, and one-third of them produce a living from produce 60,000 pounds of catfish annually. The fish sell for
the land. about $1 a pound at wholesale.
That's where Carter comes in. With a bachelor's degree Gulf County residents also benefit from workshops and
in agricultural education and a lifetime of farming other programs provided by visiting UF/IFAS faculty. By
inviting these professionals to the county, Carter helps
4.,-l t IJAoJ
SU ER 2001 19
provide the latest information in animal science,
aquaculture, pest management, soil science and other
subjects. His own knowledge about agriculture also helps.
When Gulf County resident WA. Jones bought his first
hay farm, he was going to plant (sprig) Coastal Bermuda
"hay, but Carter advised him to sprig Tifton-85 Bermuda hay,
a more productive strain with a high protein content.
"Roy tested the pH in the soil and advised us on what
hay to sprig and which fertilizer to use," Jones said. "Later,
when we had trouble with Army worms, he helped us handle
that problem too. He helps us in every way you can
Economic and Social Change
"The county, which is an economically depressed area,
took a big hit in 1996 when the area's biggest employer, thee t
St. Joe Co. formerly the St. Joe Paper Co. sold its 60-
year-old paper mill. New owners operated the mill until it
closed in 1999, causing a loss of about 2,000 jobs. The mill
is now being dismantled.
But, Carter said, the local economy received a boost in
1999 when construction was completed on Gulf
Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in
Wewahitchka that houses 2,000 inmates. The prison created
700 new jobs for area residents.
The growth of eco-tourism is another plus for Gulf
County, which includes world-class beaches on Cape San
Blas. In cooperation with the Gulf County Chamber of
Commerce, Carter is helping develop the local eco-tourism
industry. In the fall, butterfly seekers, insect hunters and bird
lovers descend on the county in search of exotic species along
the Apalachicola River, and Carter directs them to farmers
who provide wagon rides along the nature trails.
Youth Development "We'll keep him," Wooten said jokingly, reflecting on the
good rapport Carter has with his clientele. "He helps us a lot
Other seasons hold interesting challenges for Carter. For around here, from teaching the kids about gardening to
instance, summer finds him administering 4-H summer giving us great advice about landscaping. The county is
camp programs, including horse, marine and forestry camps. lucky to have him."
"The best part of my job is taking a group of young Interestingly, before becoming an extension director,
children and teaching them about responsibility through Carter worked for Wooten in the mid- 1970s. Wooten was
hands-on activities," Carter said. "When they finish the 4-H principal of Wewahitchka High School, and Carter taught
gardening program, they can name all the vegetables. And vocational agriculture.
they know you don't just go to the local store and buy Carter's teaching job gave him an unexpected benefit
them." that is indispensable in his current job: He got certified to
Jean McMillan, a 4-H leader for the Big River Riders drive a school bus. Because school bus drivers are now
horse club, said having Carter is as good as it gets. unionized, it would be impossible for Carter to get certified
"Somehow, Roy is always there for us," McMillan said. today. And with all the kids he has to transport for various
"He sets up the camp, hires instructors, provides projects, Carter said being "grandfathered in" during the
transportation for kids and does so many other things." 1970s was a blessing.
Another one of Carter's avid supporters is Clayton "Being able to use a county school bus to transport the
Wooten, principal of Wewahitchka Elementary School kids is a great advantage in a rural community," Carter said.
where Carter spends a few hours each week teaching 50 kids "Without the bus, a lot of children around here would miss
how to grow strawberries, potatoes, collards, cauliflower and out on extension activities because they don't have
Roy Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
4 National Forest
Researchers in the School of Forest Re-
sources and Conservation, which is part of
IL UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sci-
"ences, are testing alternative systems for
managing Northwest Florida's longleaf pines.
By Paul Kimpel
If you walked from one end of the Apalachicola National
S Forest to the other, you would notice that most of the longleaf
pine trees are about the same height and age. Occasionally, you
would come upon a 50-acre stand of longleaf pines in which
the trees are younger and shorter.
According to Eric Jokela, a professor in the University of
Florida's School of Forest Resources and Conservation, that
pattern is a result of the "even-aged management system."
He said that under an even-aged regime, 50-acre stands of
mature longleaf pines are harvested and regenerated about every
80 years. Within 10 years of the harvest, the stands will
regenerate saplings that range from five- tol 5-feet high, which
are the younger stands mentioned above.
"Although this is the primary management system for
longleaf and other Southern pine species, the U.S. Department
-" of Agriculture's Forest Service recently designated 123,000 acres
q of even-aged longleaf pine and slash pine to be converted to a
more diverse structure. This has led forest biologists such as
Jokela to experiment with an alternate technique called
A I1 In this technique, small areas (gaps) of longleaf pines -
"ranging from one-half to two acres are harvested. Then the
'A gaps are either replanted, or naturally regenerated by seeds from
mature trees that are left standing for that purpose. About every
15 years, a different set of mature areas are cut and re-seeded.
"The goal is to create three or four distinct age groups
within each stand, thereby providing a more diverse habitat and
a steady source of harvestable timber," Jokela said. "Longleaf
L- pines are also valued as a source of pulpwood and cellulose,
with the cellulose being incorporated into such diverse products
as photographic film, cereals and vitamins."
". .To examine uneven-aged management, Jokela and UF
graduate student Jennifer Gagnon conducted a "group-
selection" experiment in the Apalachicola National Forest from
I* 4 SUMMER 2001 21
". I seedling survival decreased yet seedling diameter increased by
That type of data is important, Jokela said, because longleaf
pine seedlings can be very slow growers, sometimes remaining
from other species.
Jokela said that in this study, seedling responses involved
"F "We generally found that seedlings grew larger in gap
areas that had higher resource availability but lower survival
rates, such as the center of the gap," Jokela said. "Before
recommendations for the group selection system can be
made, we need more studies on the optimal size of canopy
He said the uneven-aged management system, although
more labor-intensive and more costly than even-aged
management, has many desirable traits for forest managers
"* Once the program is fully implemented, small groups of
mature trees can be cut about every 15 years, providing
harvestable wood and income on a regular schedule.
"* Mature trees are always present in each stand, thereby
advancing ecosystem sustainability. The small openings
that are created, along with the spatial arrangement of
trees of varying age classes, will lead to enhanced habitat
for various faunal species.
"* The variety of age groups within stands creates aesthetic
superiority, which provides recreational opportunities for
Jennifer Gagnon, left, who recently completed her master' degree in visitors.
silviculture, and EricJokela measure the diameter ofa longleafpine According to Jokela, the longleafpine ecosystem is the most
tree in Apalachicola National Forest. (Photo by Eric Zamora) bio-diverse of all Southern pine forest systems. It is highly
resistant to damage from wind, fire, insect attack and fusiform
rust, which are pernicious to slash and loblolly pines. Also,
January 1999 through August 2000. The project, which was longleaf pine forests make an excellent habitat for animals such
jointly funded by USDA and Tall Timbers, a Tallahassee-based as the wild turkey, bald eagle and red-cockaded woodpecker.
nonprofit forest research organization, was a first step in a long Additionally, the tree's tufted foliage and tall, straight trunk -
process, Jokela said. which can grow as high as 115 feet make it desirable for
"For the group-selection system to be applied within a recreational, environmental and commercial purposes.
longleaf pine ecosystem, we must obtain a better understanding The increased focus on alternate management systems of
of seedling regeneration dynamics," Jokela said. "This longleaf pine forests has come about in part because of
experiment provided initial data on the effects of various site diminishing longleaf acreage in the Southeast. Longleaf pine
resources such as water, light and nutrients on the forests have been reduced from 90 million acres of the
survival and growth of seedlings." prehistoric Southern landscape to about 3 million acres today.
Jokela said the study required the creation of four half-acre Jokela said he is seeking more funding so he can recreate the
gaps in the tree canopy, each of which was divided into 24 experiment in various soil environments.
subplots. Some subplots acted as controls, receiving no
treatment, while others were hand-weeded and fertilized. "Some questions remain unanswered, such as what is the
best method to convert an even-aged to an uneven-aged stand,
During the 1999-2000 growing seasons, the biologists and what are the expected long-term timber yield and
measured soil moisture content and sunlight exposure within associated ecological benefits from an uneven-aged stand,"
the canopy gaps. In addition, survival rates and stem caliper Jokela said. "We hope to be able to answer these and other
diameters of the seedlings were recorded. important questions through future experiments."
Jokela said first-year seedling survival and growth was Eric Jokela, email@example.com
influenced by sunlight availability, which varied from the gap
center to the gap edge. Moreover, when other site resources
were increased, either by reducing competition from mature
trees, or by fertilization and weed-control treatments,
The Forest Biology Research Cooperative, an
interdisciplinary research team of academic scientists,
government agencies and forest-industry corporations, has r
entered the second phase of its long-term research project,
"Clonal Biology and Performance ofElite Genotypes ofLoblolly
and Slash Pine."
Formed in 1996 within UF's School of Forest Resources
and Conservation, the research cooperative is dedicated to
optimizing the productivity, health and sustainability of forests,
especially in the intensively managed pine-forest ecosystem of
According to Tim White, a professor in the school and
director of the research cooperative, the team's primary goal is
to combine the disciplines of tree physiology, plant genetics,
pathology and silviculture to achieve fast-growing, disease-
resistant loblolly and slash pine trees that produce quality wood.
White said single-discipline studies often are ineffective in Shibu Jose, who is a team member of the Forest Biology Research
dealing with the dynamics of pine forests, and the research Cooperative, removes stem cuttings from a loblollypine hedgefor
cooperative's team approach has resulted in a successful model clonalpropagation. The research is aimed at producinggenetically
for combining resources and expertise to maximize research superior trees that have identical characteristicsfor growth, vigor and
productivity, disease resistance. (Photo by Eric Zamora)
After finishing the first phase, which focused on breeding
and propagation, the research cooperative team recently began The biologists expect to begin the next phase of their work
the field evaluation phase, which uses traditionally bred clones by January 2002. In that phase, 900 different clones ofloblolly
to assess various environmental responses. pine rooted cuttings, which will be about six- to 10-inches high
Shibu Jose, assistant professor of silviculture at UF's West and in containers, will be field-planted on tracts of land
Florida Research and Education Center in Milton, is currently belonging to various industry partners.
assessing root growth by testing 30 clones of genetically similar The scientists will plant the clones on six separate sites to
rooted cuttings of loblolly pines, assess the response of the seedlings to pests, various soil
Jose said root growth is graded according to two criteria: the environments and low vs. high intensity resource management.
number of roots each clone grows in a given time period, with Jokela said the team is looking to identify the elite
more being better, and the growth-orientation of roots genotypes that will provide superior qualities in terms of growth
meaning horizontal vs. vertical with vertical being preferred. performance and disease resistance, with the ultimate goal being
Following the rooting assessment period, the clones will be increased forest productivity.
tested in a greenhouse in Milton during July-December 2001, Other team members from UF's Institute of Food and
and then out in the field by January 2002. Jose said the rooted Agricultural Sciences will participate at various stages of the
cuttings would primarily be tested for responses to nutrient study. The research cooperative team, which received the IFAS
stress and drought. Interdisciplinary Research Award in 2000, is comprised of nine
Another team member, Eric Jokela, professor of faculty members.
silviculture in the school and associate director of the In addition to Jokela, Jose and White, members include
research cooperative, is examining the effects of intensive Tim Martin, assistant professor of tree physiology and associate
management systems on tree crown architecture, such as director of the research cooperative, George Blakeslee, professor
branching patterns. He also is studying the nutritional of pathology and forest health, Nicholas Comerford, professor
characteristics of the various genetic sources. of forest soils, Dudley Huber, associate professor of forest
Jokela said a better understanding of these interactions genetics, Don Rockwood, professor of tree improvement, and
would help define what factors contribute to growth superiority Robert Schmidt, professor of forest pathology. Paul Kimpel
on various sites. He said the team is seeking clones that allocate Eric Jokela, firstname.lastname@example.org
more growth to the stem, while maintaining efficiency in Shibu Jose, email@example.com
overall growth. TimWhite, firstname.lastname@example.org
SUMMER 2001 23
New Mission Statement
To further improve service to industry and consumers,
the Sam Mitchell Aquaculture Demonstration Facility
in Blountstown is expanding its horizons.
By Tom Nordlie
Launched in 1988 to help establish and promote catfish farming in West Florida, the
Sam Mitchell Aquaculture Demonstration Facility has offered a variety of extension
education programs. Now, with the help of a new coordinator, the facility's mission
statement includes research and teaching.
"Extension will remain a priority at the Blountstown unit, but we're also part of the
University of Florida's Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, which increases
opportunities for research," said Debbie Britt Pouder, facility coordinator. "We're one of the
few facilities in UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) equipped to
handle big aquatic research projects."
Named :or the Florida legislator xwho helped obtain state funding ro -establish the ftailitv
in 198-, it covers -4 acres and features i outdoor ponds, eight outdoor tanks. wr\
greeriAttses eqtljped %\ith indoor tanks, a hatchery, a laboratory and living quarters for
\isiing person i under said the unit emphasizes to 4'q s nd bait fsh, unlike LiFs
Tropical AquacilkurLa n ornamental is.
I " .Ti Y ..
"Integrating aquaculture with traditional agriculture will be wooden tanks or racewayss" that will be stocked with clams.
a key objective here," Pouder said. "Not only does it offer Once the system has been tested, it will be demonstrated at
economic possibilities, some applications could solve difficult dairy farms in the Lake Okeechobee area, he said.
Integrated aquaculture/agriculture could greatly benefit
An integrated aquaculture/agriculture project underway small family farms, said Frank Chapman, a reproductive
may offer a viable method of removing phosphorus from dairy biology specialist in UF's fisheries and aquatic sciences
farm effluent, said Lance Riley, a UF fisheries and aquatic department who works closely with personnel at the
sciences doctoral student working with Ed Phlips, Shirley Baker Blountstown facility.
and Patrick Baker, faculty in the fisheries and aquatic sciences "Highly diversified farming has been successful elsewhere,
department. and Florida needs a proven approach. The farms are small, so
"Because phosphorus is a nutrient, we can sequester or it's economically safer for them to diversify," he said.
capture it using the aquaculture food chain," Riley said. "We're "Aquaculture fits right into this scenario."
raising aquatic microorganisms in phosphorus-rich water, then Chapman believes that sturgeon is an ideal aquaculture
feeding them to several crop species. In effect, the crop species crop. The huge, primitive fish are best known for producing
act as phosphorus storage units." caviar, but sturgeon meat commands $4 per pound and is
As part of the project, Riley is studying the freshwater clam, growing in popularity, he said. Moreover, sturgeon grow
Corbiculafluminea, a filter-feeder used to remove particulate quickly and are very efficient feeders, meaning they provide a
phosphorus from the wastewater stream. Once harvested, the good return on production costs.
clam's meat can be used for fertilizer and its shell can be crushed After several years of evaluating native sturgeon species,
to make building material. Chapman and other UF researchers have developed effective
"We want the phosphorus removal system to produce farming methods, he said. Now the Blountstown facility is
enough income to offset the operating costs," Riley said. helping educate Florida fish farmers on sturgeon culture.
As part of the project, Riley is helping construct large "Historically, sturgeon was a staple seafood product but
Debbie Britt Pouder, left, supervises the construction of racewayss" used for a biologicalfiltration system using the freshwater clam Corbicula
fluminea. Lance Riley, a graduate student in UF's College ofAgricultural and Life Sciences, operates the equipment. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
SUMMER 2001 25
Debbie Britt Pouder checks petri dishfor a bacterial culture. If
bacteria are found, further testing identifies the problem so it can be
treated. She said the Sam MitchellAquaculture Demonstration
Facility helps farmers and recreational pond owners identify and
control fish diseases. (Photo by Milt Putnam)
STwice a year, children's fishing programs take center stage at
Blountstown, as 300 kids and almost as many parents gather on
"two half-acre ponds stocked with hybrid striped bass and
catfish, he said. The young anglers take home their catch, along
with a photograph, certificate and a "goodie bag" of fishing gear
donated by a leading tackle manufacturer.
fo, s"ae're crazy about this event," Lazur said. "The kids have a
today they're almost forgotten," he said. "Now that we have the "We're crazy about this event," Lazur said. "The kids have a
T m uwonderf time and we introduce them to a wholesome activity
technology to grow them efficiently, it's time for a comeback." wonderful time and we introduce them to a wholesome activity
that could become a lifelong pursuit."
Recreational Fishing Until now, children's fishing events at the facility have been
a collaborative effort with the conservation commission.
As Florida's premiere freshwater gamefish, the largemouth Beginning this summer, the facility will team up with UF's
bass needs no introduction. But in Dade and Broward fisheries and aquatic sciences department, as part of the Fishing
Counties, a little-known South American fish called the for Success program.
peacock cichlid may be competing with the largemouth for
food, said Jeffrey Hill, a doctoral student in UF's fisheries and
aquatic sciences department.
To measure the competition, Hill and Charles Cichra, an
associate professor in the department, are launching a new
study at the Blountstown facility. By housing each fish species
alone and together and offering a variety of prey, Hill and
Cichra will determine if bass feeding habits change when the
cichlid is present.
"Previous studies suggest that the peacock cichlid is not
detrimental to largemouth bass populations, because the bass is
not a picky eater," Hill said.
Hybrid striped bass have long been a favorite V
demonstration fish at the Blountstown facility, where they're
being raised in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, said Andy Lazur, associate professor
in UF's fisheries and aquatic sciences department. When
mature, the bass are used for various children's fishing programs
conducted by the facility, the commission and the department.
Debbie Britt Pouder, foreground,
captures a young sturgeon as
Dave Carpenter, left, and
Randall Kent pull the fish net
towards the shoreline. (Photo by
J~~ "u&,. ,Md*
Predation Control aggressive feeder, better able to withstand stress and easier to
harvest than its parent species.
With so many fish living in outdoor ponds, it's only natural "Researchers from UF, Auburn University and the
that fish-eating birds such as cormorants, egrets, ospreys and University of Georgia will independently study production
herons are attracted to the facility. To discourage predation, UF issues like growth, feed conversion rates and ease of harvest," he
relies on John Dunlap, a U.S. Department of Agriculture said. "We'll get together and compare notes, then issue joint
wildlife biologist who maintains his office at the facility, findings."
"Each bird may eat only a few fish per day, but when you Like many of the applied aquaculture projects at
have flocks visiting the ponds every day it adds up," said Blountstown, the hybrid catfish evaluation project was reviewed
Dunlap, who works throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama. by an advisory committee, Carpenter said. The committee,
"It's especially bad during winter when migratory species pass which includes industry representatives from around the state,
through." helps plan research and extension activities.
Dunlap uses several humane methods to discourage the "They're the voice of the industry, and we're always going to
hungry birds. A device called a propane cannon creates loud listen," he said. "Whether we're doing research or extension, we
explosions at regular intervals. For situations requiring want to help Florida farmers and consumers."
immediate attention, Dunlap uses pyrotechnics, such as a pistol Debbie Britt Pouder, email@example.com
that fires exploding rounds high into the air.
The Blountstown facility is participating in a tri-state
project to evaluate a hybrid catfish called the "channel x blue"
that may benefit fish farmers throughout the Southeast, said John Dunlap, a US. Department of
Dave Carpenter, a UF aquaculture biologist. Spawned from a Agriculture wildlife biologist whose office
female channel and a male blue catfish, the hybrid is a more is at Sam MitchellAquaculture
Demonstration Facility, helps keep hungry
birds away from outdoor fish ponds.
(Photo by Milt Putnam)
The Seal of Approval
Clean Marina flag rewards marinas that promote clean water.
By Dorothy Zimmerman
When the car with yellow state plates appeared at his Bay The Pensacola Shipyard Marina Complex was recently
Point Marina, Scott Burt knew it probably meant trouble, named the state's first Clean Marina, and Bay Point Marina
Quite simply, any visit from the state's Department of in Panama City quickly followed. The designation lets
Environmental Protection was an unwelcome one. "It was a boaters and competing marinas know that the facilities
totally adversarial relationship," Burt said. "It was always voluntarily follow practices that don't pollute coastal waters.
negative. They'd march in and say, 'You do this, or else we'll The idea originated within DEP's law enforcement
close you down."' division in the mid-1990s to motivate the state's more than
Burt and many marina owners throughout Florida think 2,000 marinas into compliance with state environmental
differently of the DEP these days, due to the success of the regulations. But getting marinas to cooperate with the
state's Clean Marina Program. The initiative puts owners and agency that policed them proved daunting. "I had been in
operators of Florida's $1.7 billion marina industry at the business for more than 20 years," Burt said, "and I never,
helm of a rigorous effort to clean up and protect marina ever worked with DEP on anything."
waters and shores. Florida Sea Grant's marine extension service, a
cooperative effort between the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and
the national Sea Grant College program, has played a key
role in bringing together the regulators and those who are
Because Sea Grant serves as a clearinghouse of science-
based information on clean water, it has helped forge a
network of private marinas, public agencies and Florida's
marine industry associations that gives the Clean Marina
S"They view Sea Grant as an impartial party that doesn't
advocate anything unless it's based on scientific research,"
"said Don Jackson, the Clean Marina project coordinator
with Sea Grant. "We're the go-between with the marine
; industry and DEP."
I Early on, Sea Grant's extension program assisted DEP
-.and its first few marine industry partners with identifying
the key practices that could promote clean environments and
translate them into profitable operations. This has evolved
into the basis for individual marina operation plans covering
everything from A-to-Z.
"Together, we discovered that a handful of leading
marinas already understood that providing clean water made
good business sense," Jackson said. "Many of the best
practices were already in use. We didn't have to reinvent the
Burt at Bay Point Marina agreed. "If I see fuel floating
on water, I don't need the state to tell me it's a problem," he
explained. "My customers tell me that. If I don't provide
clean water, docks and restrooms, they'll go somewhere else."
The job now, Jackson said, is to bring more of the state's
marinas onboard to help reduce the amount of boating-
I Christine Verlinde, left, is part of the Sea Grant marine
extension network thatprovides technical assistance to
marina owners and operators who wish to earn Clean
Marina status. She is holding a Clean Marina flag with
Keith Bellflower, shipyard supervisor at Pensacola
Shipyard Marine Complex, the state's first Clean
Marina. (Photo Eric Zamora)
"It means the responsibility for cleaning up the marina is
shared by the owner and DEP," Jackson said. "Marinas now
work in partnership with the DEP, rather than as an adversary."
Moreover, some incentive grants are available from
programs such as Florida's Clean Vessel Act to get non-
compliant marinas back on the right side of the law. In the
s t marina business, thanks to a complicated array of regulations
related pollution. Floridas waters are navigated by more than that change depending on local, state or federal jurisdictions, it's
1 million boats each year. Marinas are the critical link sometimes not easy.
between boaters and the support services they need, such as to ece
fueling, pumpouts and boat maintenance. The potential for "The important thing is for a marina not to become
pollution from boat sewage, spilled fuel, cleaning products discouraged if it initially has trouble meeting program criteria,"
and trash is considerable. Jackson said. "We want to succeed at this thing, not fail. The
a idea is to get the dialogue going and the process underway."
What sets the Clean Marina Program apart from many
other environmental programs is Marinas that meet the standards
that some of the toughest policies established by the industry and
have come from the industry itself. DEP become eligible to fly the
It also sends a clear signal to owners Clean Marina flag, increasingly seen
and operators that DEP prefers to n as more than token recognition for
work with them to prevent a job well done. "The testimony
pollution, rather than catch we're hearing from operators
infractions after they've occurred indicates the flag gives them
and caused the most harm. W i prestige," Jackson said.
Sea Grant's extension program t"Customers look for it. Where
has helped write the curriculum there is competition, market
that tells marina owners about the pressures favor the Clean Marinas.
program and how to bring their Eventually it will be the boaters
marinas into compliance. Sea Grant themselves who are driving this
extension agents located in Florida's thing."
coastal counties also are available to To date, more than 250 marina
give marina owners technical facilities have asked DEP for
assistance to complete their assistance with the Clean Marina
checklist and to outline a plan for Program. Jackson says at least 14
becoming compliant. now fly the flag; another six to eight are near completion, and
Typically, marina operators interested in participating in more than 100 are in the compliance process.
the program must attend a Clean Marina workshop, where Encouraged by the response, Jackson said that Sea Grant
they're introduced to a step-by-step checklist that is used to extension is now assisting DEP with plans to take the clean
assess whether their facility meets or exceeds government marina concept ashore with a similarly structured Clean
standards for pollution prevention. Boatyard Program.
It's then up to the marina to conduct its own self- Meanwhile, the flagship Clean Marinas in the Panhandle
assessment. Are the marina's dockside facilities and harbor hope their achievements are duplicated in other marinas
waters clean, without signs of oil, sewage or litter? Is there an along the coast.
employee trained in environmental policies who can provide Burt put it this way: "I love the flag. It flies every day of
customers with information? Is there access to clean the year. I'm very proud of it."
restroom facilities and pumpouts? Don Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org
If operators discover shortcomings, they're given an 18-
month grace period to make corrections. During that period,
DEP withholds fines for violations, freeing up funds that
marinas can then invest in improvements.
SUMMER 2001 29
Food For Thought
In partnership with other government agencies, the University ofFlorida's Extension Service
provides a variety of nutrition education programs to residents across Northwest Florida.
By Tom Nordlie
The more we learn about nutrition, the more we appreciate
"its critical role in good health. For this reason, UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) brings nutrition
"education to all 67 Florida counties.
The 15 West Florida counties in Extension District I
present a special challenge to county faculty, said Pamela Allen,
an extension agent in Escambia County.
"Because the area is largely rural, residents may have few
information resources available," she said. "The population is so
spread out that we have to make a special effort to reach
One solution is networking. By forming partnerships with
"other agencies, UF extension delivers nutrition education
through existing government programs. The strategy provides ,
UF extension with ready-made audiences and allows
partnership agencies to offer their clients added benefits.
In Escambia County, for example, Produce Pointers helps
clients in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition-
assistance program select and use locally grown fruits and
vegetables that WIC provides. Dorothy Lee, left, and Pamela Allen review information
"Produce Pointers has done so well for us that several other sheets used in Produce Pointers, which educates clients of
counties have picked it up, and we encourage that," Allen said. the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition
"Our extension offices have a great cooperative relationship. assistance program. (Photo by Thomas Wright)
Personnel from neighboring counties often develop programs
together in fact, Produce Pointers was a collaborative effort
between Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties." programs," Courtney said. "From there, it's easy to custom-
Extension agents Dorothy Lee of Escambia County and tailor the material to local needs."
"Linda Bowman of Santa Rosa County recently collaborated on In Walton County, extension agent Becky Young used the
an elder nutrition program called Heart-to-Heart: Delicious statewide program Choices: Charting a Positive Future for Teen
Decisions. Offered at congregate meal sites, the three-part Parents to help develop the Teen-age Parenting Program, part of
program identifies risk factors for heart disease and teaches an alternative high-school curriculum for pregnant girls.
heart-hcalth'% cooking, Lee said. "Every year, extension agents receive in-service training
to help Okaloosa County employees maintain healthy from UF nutrition specialists, in the Food, Nutrition and
weight levels, extension agent Elaine Courtne% partnered Awith Health Update," Young said. "Extension faculty in Gains illi
the Okaloosa County Board of Cormmisskionrs and a local help us stay current on trends and emerging issues in this field."
hospital to offer Healthy Employees 2001. The yearlong program in
program c.mph.sizcs gradual lifesyle adjustments for improved At thi- As,,,mrum o" R.c-.lrid Ckiz-n, day pr,,ram in
-program c manphmiz and ural lh. ments for improved (hipley. adults from Washington and Holnme Counties receive
cight manaimgemcnt and ov-erall health, sht said. idc sa and rcparriun.
k,,ons on food id-nrtificaf,,n. safety and preparation.
The curriculum for Health) Employees 2001 was modeled Washington Counr\- c-\-nion agent Judy Corbus said the
on a statewide program called lb ard Permanent \\'eight program helps participants bKcome more selfrelant.
i lanagemn-n,. developed by Linda Bubroff, a,, ociatC professor Bua lies can a\cd [le dri hru ands e ri and
in UF s Department ofl family, lbuth and Community Bu aiies an aoid he drie-hru and ae te nd
Sciences. money %vlrh lackson Counry's Earing on the Run program. said
extension agent loan Elmore..After examining helir scheduling
"\e exren'ion agent, rely a ggreat deal on itate tensionn need. families can use one-pot or one-dih meals to cut
faculty at the ULF camp, to pro% ide tus % ith cienrificallv based preparation ume.
"It's much easier to eat healthy when you control what goes In Leon County, the UF Expanded Food and Nutrition
in the meal," Elmore said. Education Program (EFNEP) helps Tallahassee parents in
Marjorie Moore, the new extension director in Bay County, difficult situations. Extension agent Jo Shuford-Law said
is working with the local African-American community to test a EFNEP helps parents stretch their food budgets using meal
blood-pressure maintenance program called Keeping the planning and shopping strategies.
Pressure Down, developed by state extension faculty at UE A 19-year veteran of EFNEP, Shuford-Law says innovation
"Several counties are testing the program, and I wanted to has always been the hallmark of UF extension programs.
work with African-Americans because we're more at risk for "I've seen a lot of changes," she said. "Years ago, EFNEP
high blood pressure and related problems like heart attack and went door-to-door to reach people, and now we save time by
stroke," Moore said. "Once it's fine-tuned by state faculty, the networking. We're always looking for a better way to carry out
program will be made available to all county extension offices our mission, but the mission itself never changes helping
for use in local programs." people to help themselves."
Bay County also boasts a successful Family Nutrition On May 30, 2001, Extension District I hosted a multistate
Program (FNP), headed by extension agent Mildred Melvin. planning conference for county extension faculty from the
The program educates children and adults in low-income Florida Panhandle, southern Alabama and southwestern
communities throughout the Florida Panhandle. Part of the Georgia. The conference, held in Fort Walton Beach, explored
federal Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program, Florida's ways for extension agents to cooperate across state lines in
FNP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the developing and sharing programs.
communities FNP serves. Pamela Allen, email@example.com
In Calhoun County, extension agent Monica Brinkley and Linda Bobroff, firstname.lastname@example.org
program assistant Shellie King are proud of their monthly FNP Linda Bowman, email@example.com
presentations to senior citizens at congregate meal sites. They Monica Brinkley, firstname.lastname@example.org
presentations to senior citizens at congregate meal sites. hey Elaine Courtney, email@example.com
use materials developed by state extension faculty for the Judy Corbus, firstname.lastname@example.org
statewide Elder Nutrition And Food Safety program. Joan Elmore, email@example.com
King also is an FNP program assistant in Liberty County, Yolanda Goode, firstname.lastname@example.org
where she teaches a six-week class for inmates awaiting release Dorothy Lee, email@example.com
r 1Bill Mahan, firstname.lastname@example.org
from Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol. ill Mahan, email@example.com
Mildred Melvin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elementary school students are among FNP's primary Marjorie Moore, email@example.com
audiences, and Gulf County program assistant Marie Jones gets Jo Shuford-Law, firstname.lastname@example.org. leon.fl.us
their attention with in-class demonstrations on healthy foods. Becky Young, email@example.com
"I love helping kids stay healthy," she said.
Franklin County Extension Director Bill Mahan agreed.
"Far too many children are overweight today, and poor diet is a
big part of the problem," he said. Elementary, middle and high
school students participate in Franklin County
Children in Gadsden County get nutrition
education from UF extension in two ways: a 4-H
after school program and a summer day camp.
Extension agent Yolanda Goode said both
programs are designed to provide youth with a
way to use their time wisely and learn while
Lam,,eia, i 1.,,,,, f ','
1 ," C lr'. -,. ,; I :., "1'
A fL preG ', ,..., 4-=i
agelt pil/a Dari' lea, h
(f,',10 o 1'.I T '', i, 1 'i l,r-'" -
SUMMER 2001 31
Dining With Diabetes
To help Northwest Florida residents with diabetes enjoy
a fuller life, family and consumer sciences extension agents
Elaine Courtney of Okaloosa County and Becky Young of
Walton County have launched Dining with Diabetes, a
three-part diet management program offered in both
"This is much more than a food preparation class,"
Courtney said. "We have guest speakers at each session to
address medical issues related to diabetes."
She said speakers include a diabetes educator who
provides an overview of the disease, a pharmacist who
discusses diabetes medication and a podiatrist who explains
how diabetes can impair blood circulation and lead to foot
Courtney and Young present much of the program,
which consists of three weekly classes covering different
meal components. Courtney said the first class concerns
desserts and use of artificial sweeteners, the second covers
main dishes and the link between fat and complications of
diabetes, while the final class addresses side items such as
fruits, vegetables and grain products. A
"We hope to offer the program at least once a year in j W
each county," Young said. "There's a real need for it we
get information requests constantly." Elaine Courtney, left, and Becky Young teach Dining with Diabetes,
an educationalprogram that includes demonstration ofhealthy food
In Okaloosa County, the program is held at the preparation techniques. (Photo by Thomas Wright)
extension office in Crestview, while in Walton County the
site is Healthmark Regional Medical Center in De Funiak
Springs. Young said the program was developed and modified by
"We are targeting some high-risk groups, although most extension personnel in West Virginia and Georgia. Young
and Courtney adapted the program with assistance from UF
of the participants have already been diagnosed with and Courtney ad d the program with assistance from UF
diabetes," Young said. "We encourage families to attend the state extension faculty and used diabetes ion
program together, so everyone can understand the needs of
diabetic family members." Diabetes is a disorder in the body's ability to use blood
sugar, she said. It affects 10 million to 20 million Americans.
Left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney
disease and other serious health conditions. Tonm ANrdlic
4-H After School
S Programs Reach Out
By Ami NeibergerI
"o F.,-' 4-H after school educational programs for at-risk
r- youngsters might go by names such as the "Gee
Whiz Kids 4-H Club," or have fancy acronyms
like "4-H ASAP," but underneath they are 4-H.
"These programs focus on sustained educational
involvement with young people by adults and volunteers,"
said Damon Miller, assistant dean for the University of
Florida's statewide 4-H Youth Development Program. "They
use hands-on learning. Amazing things are happening with
CYFAR grants in some of our county 4-H programs."
CYFAR stands for Children, Youth and Families at Risk, h
an initiative funded through the U.S. Department of -
Agriculture's Cooperative State Research Education and
Extension Service. The 4-H program is part of UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Ingrid Farrow, 4-Hprogram assistant, left, helps
In the Gee Whiz Kids 4-H Club, youngsters introduce Shaunte Bronson, 11, with her homework during
themselves with names like Jumping Jeremy, Confident the 4-Hafter schoolprogram at Bonifay Middle
Katie, Jolly Jonathan, Skating Samantha and Athletic Ashley. School. (Photo by Tara Piasio) t
The boisterous fourth- and fifth-graders gather around the
flagpole outside their school in rural Holmes County to CYFAR grant. She said all of the children in the club are from
plant a flower garden. They're learning the 4-H pledge and low-income families and live at or below the poverty line.
how to be successful in life. According to school principal Lorna Rapper, one-third of
According to Holmes County 4-H agent Suzanne the students in the school need remediation programs to
Wilson, they picked the name "because these kids are going help them catch up, but the school district can only afford it I
to astonish the world with what they can do." for students scoring below the 20th percentile on the FCAT.
They do typical 4-H club activities. They have watched Consequently, these low-scoring students fell into a no-man's
butterflies blossom out of pretzels and chocolate, and used land between average achievers and very poor achievers.
glowing "fake" germs to learn about food safety. Administrators say the program works. "Their success in
There are leadership lessons too. Club president Kristy 4-H is bleeding into academics," said Rapper, who would
Palmer, 10, said, "We had an election and had to write a like to expand the program so it can reach more kids. The
speech and read it in front of everyone. It's like being a school is tracking the grades and office referrals for the
president like George W Bush." Palmer takes her duties children to evaluate its success.
"seriously and when asked about the club's flowerbed project
to beautify the school, she said matter-of-factly, "Of course, Holmes County 4-H:
we are 4-H'ers and we're supposed to help the community."
Several of the club members will attend 4-H Camp Legos & Computers
Timpoochee near Niceville this summer for a week. "It
thrills my mind to think of what will happen this summer. There is a similar 4-H after school program four
It's going to be fun," said vice president Dillon Skipper, 11. days a week during the school year at Bonifay
Middle School for at-risk youth with an emphasis
An observer watching the club's energetic banter would on science and technology, as well as homework tutoring.
never guess these children are at-risk for problems and The CYFAR grant paid for a site license for a set of Lego ,.
challenged academically, scoring in the 30th percentile on kits with a teaching curriculum that focuses on science, and
the FCAT, the standardized exam the state uses to assess the program includes frequent trips to a computer lab for
student achievement. hands-on keyboard time.
"There are the kids who don't achieve who are not "It takes a lot of brainpower," said Allen Waddell, 12, as
told often that they are doing OK," said Wilson, who is he assembled a conveyor belt with the Legos. "You have to -
doing the program at Bonifay Elementary School with a figure out what parts go where."
SUMMER 2001 33
SAllen Waddell, 12, left, and
Trevor Austin, 13, get a lesson
with Holmes County 4-H agent
SSuzanne Wilson, right, about
mechanical science using a Lego
software package that helps kids
design their own creations.
-. (Photo by Tara Piasio)
""Ms. Suzanne says I should be an architect," said Brandie er t anan d
Couch, 13, a seventh-grader in the program who is talented To help everyone get along, Coleman helped the
with Lego projects. "But I want the a chid psychologist or students draft a "civil rights" proclamation that is read at the
with Lego projects. "But I want to be a child psychologist or
a lawyer so I can help kids." start of every class to prevent students from picking on each
Like the elementary school club, the middle schoolers are
participating in other 4-H activities, such as service learning A small store with t-shirts and key chains where the
Opportunities and the 4-H dairy poster contest. The students students earn "dollars" for attendance and good behavior has
raised funds to sponsor a 4-H team in the American Cancer been used to teach them how to write checks, manage
Society's Relay for Life, where they won the best team spirit savings and learn deposits. They also used the Dreamcatchers
award and raised more funds than any other youth group curriculum, which is designed to help young people think
Couch said she especially likes getting her homework The sixth-graders learned to fill out a job application and
finished and the tutoring provided by the older teens from give a speech in front of an audience. Almost all of the 4-H
the high school who come to help. ASAP members participated in county 4-H events, giving
presentations about cake decorating, babysitting, fashion
Megan Hanson, 15, is in the ninth grade and volunteers design and first aid.
with the program. "When we help them, they understand
with the program. "When we help them, they understand In the program's first year, 78 percent of the students
Things more," said Hanson, who has only been involved with I program's irst ear, percent o te
a 4-H for one year. improved or maintained their academic progress and 77
Percent prepared speeches for county 4-H events. Teachers
Another CYFAR-initiated program is Leon County 4- noted that 38 percent of the ASAP students had improved
H's After School Activity Program, designed for sixth-graders their attitude toward school and 48 percent improved their
at Fairview Middle School by 4-H agent Elaine Shook and homework quality and study skills.
Family and Consumer Sciences agent Betty Miller. The "This program definitely makes an impact," said 4-H
program focuses on developing life skills such as conflict .y ae a i r d
agent Elaine Shook. "They have a positive role model in
resolution, how to get along with others and how toy h a p r m
communicate. Tammy to look up to, and they are becoming good citizens."
"We wanted to find a way to get them to cooperate For more information and some additional photos, visit
S, jTthe Florida 4-H Web site. http://4h.ifas.ufl.edu/
better, so we did a ropes course," said Tammy Coleman, the the lorida 4- eb site. http:4h.ifas.ufl.edu
program assistant for the project. Coleman started as a Damon Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
volunteer with the program in 1999 and became the Suzanne Wilson, email@example.com
Betty Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
program assistant this year. She is assisted by eight Elaine Shook, email@example.com
volunteers, several of them from Florida A&M University in
"I learned how to treat others with respect," said
Christopher Loyd, 12, who said he enjoyed the field trips
and had fun while he was learning.
Youth In Action "i I
Learning about the environment and how to take action f :
on issues they care about was the focus of the Youth in '"
Action teen retreat this past spring at Whiting Field Naval .
The topic for the retreat was suggested by the teens
themselves, and more than 60 of them from across 4-H
District I attended the retreat, including youth from Bay,
Escambia, Holmes, Santa Rosa and Washington counties. 0 -
The retreat was supported by a grant from the Florida 4-H
Water sampling, wildlife observation and conservation
management were a few things they learned while on the
A common problem teens face is not being taken
seriously by adults, said Vickie Mullins, Santa Rosa County
4-H agent. "Their idealism can seem impractical to older
people," she said. "Sometimes they're not given credit for
their intelligence, desire and ability to do positive things."
The teens got plenty of encouragement to speak up from
a panel discussing wetlands issues. Guests ranged from a
wildlife biologist and a government official to private citizens
active in both conservation and development.
A mock town hall meeting closed out the event, with
teens enacting a case study where they debated the impact of
putting a mall near a wetlands area in a community that
Jeremy Hall, 17, of Santa Rosa County and Danielle
Metz-Andrews, 18, of Washington County lobbied for the
mall and squared off against their opponents, who said that
the mall should find a new location because it would damage 4-H members inspect a wetland area and contemplate
the surrounding wetlands areas. At the end of the meeting, taking action on environmental issues during the Youth in
the group voted against the mall by a narrow margin. Action 4-H District I Teen Retreat at Whiting Field Naval
State 4-H Council president Mamie Wise, 18, said that Air Station in Milton. (Photo by Tara Piasio)
4-H'ers left feeling empowered to be active in the
community, whether that was organizing a clean-up or being
informed enough to speak out and vote responsibly. In her 4
keynote address at the banquet she said, "The future is not YO04 cOn vi5it Florida l4-H
always tomorrow, often it is today." Ami Neiberger
Vickie Mullins, firstname.lastname@example.org Online at:
http:/NH. if s.uf l.edu
4-H members Richard Sunday, 13,
and Sarah Mullins, 16, inspect a +4
tree trunk and learn about
environmental science during the
"retreat. The event taught
environmental science and delved
into the public debate around
environmental issues. (Photo by
SUMMER 2001 35
SU ERSY OF NON-PROFIT ORG.
FLORIDA U.S. POSTAGE PAID
FI E ... A ,c S... PERMIT NO. 540
Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources GAINESVLLE, FL
The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180
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