• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Perspective
 Table of Contents
 New hurricane house in Fort...
 Brazillian berry destroys cancer...
 Gene could help crops beat global...
 Python problems in the park
 Reptile chic: Florida alligator...
 Clam industry stays strong in Cedar...
 Eel effects
 4-H life in the legislature
 Your new gateway for extension...
 Going undercover
 Biomass-to-ethanol technology ready...
 Manure matters
 Questions about quail
 Spotlight
 Development news
 IFAS development
 Back Cover














Title: Impact
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 Material Information
Title: Impact
Uniform Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Abbreviated Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: The Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: [1984-
Frequency: three no. a year
quarterly
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Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: IFAS, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Spring 1984-
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 2, no. 2 misnumbered as v. 2, no. 22.
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Perspective
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    New hurricane house in Fort Lauderdale
        Page 4
    Brazillian berry destroys cancer cells
        Page 5
    Gene could help crops beat global warming
        Page 6
    Python problems in the park
        Page 7
    Reptile chic: Florida alligator farmers cash in on fashion trend
        Page 8
    Clam industry stays strong in Cedar Key
        Page 9
    Eel effects
        Page 10
    4-H life in the legislature
        Page 11
    Your new gateway for extension information
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Going undercover
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Biomass-to-ethanol technology ready to go
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Manure matters
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Questions about quail
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Spotlight
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Development news
        Page 34
    IFAS development
        Page 35
    Back Cover
        Page 36
Full Text




THE INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES MAGAZINE VOL. 22 N1 FALL 2006
THE INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES MAGAZINE I VOL. 22 NO. 1 I FALL 2006


UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA


Solutions for


Your Life














perspectie


TIME IS RIGHT FOR FLORIDA INVESTMENT IN BIOMASS
ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
In his 2006 State of the Union address, President
Bush said the United States is "addicted to oil."
Now, more than ever, rising energy costs are driv-
ing home the need for alternative energy sources to
replace oil and other fossil fuels. Building a renew-
able and sustainable energy supply is one of the most
important scientific challenges of the 21st century,
and our success is crucial to the nation's future eco-
nomic growth.
One of the most promising alternative energy
sources is biomass, which includes agricultural crops,
woody materials and organic residues. These can be
used to generate ethanol and methane gas, which can
be used for automobiles and serve as clean-burning
fuels to create electricity.
In fact, ethanol generated from biomass could
replace half of our imported petroleum.
More than one billion tons of biomass could be
produced in the United States each year, according
to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
Fortunately, the University of Florida's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) already
has considerable experience converting biomass to
energy, and the time is right for the state to become a
national leader in the commercialization of this tech-
nology. This can only be accomplished by investing in
research to make production methods more practical
and affordable.
Florida could lead the nation in biomass energy
production because we have the resources and the
demand for it. Thanks to strong agriculture and for-
est industries, Florida is the nation's No. 1 biomass
producer. The state also ranks third in total energy
consumption and fifth in per-capita energy consump-
tion. It is also critical to our economy that we meet
the energy needs of more than 40 million visitors
each year.
Florida has the technology to bring biomass energy
to the marketplace. The University of Florida Center
for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels was formed five
years ago to provide research and education in the
production of chemicals and fuels from biomass. The
center is directed by Distinguished Professor Lon-
nie Ingram, who holds a dozen patents on ethanol
production. More than 60 other IFAS scientists and
Extension faculty have submitted proposals for bio-




JIM Y G. CHEEK
Senior Vice President
Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Florida


mass research in agronomy, engineering, entomology,
forestry, microbiology, plant pathology, soil science
and other disciplines. Support for these research
efforts will provide the knowledge to make biomass
energy successful.
We must move forward with a strong commitment
to innovation and efficiency. For example, we propose
to establish an ethanol research and demonstration
facility that tests all phases of the process of pro-
ducing ethanol from woody materials (yard waste,
crushed sugar cane stalks and peanut hulls), grasses
and forest trees. At the same time, we will be develop-
ing new and improved production methods for high-
yielding grasses, trees and even potatoes with high
starch content.
Methane, which can also be produced from bio-
mass, is a versatile form of energy and can be used for
all applications designed for natural gas. To produce
methane, we can use agricultural byproducts, such as
animal manure and culled fruits and vegetables. Flori-
da's farmers can provide a reliable supply of these
materials and earn extra income by doing so. IFAS is
already a leader in waste-to-biogas energy systems,
with a patent for the production facility design at our
Dairy Research Unit in Hague where usable fuel is
produced from manure.
The university is planning to build a biodiesel plant
on campus. Biodiesel is another alternative fuel made
from crops or waste vegetable oil to power diesel
engines.
Our Extension faculty will play a crucial role in
educating the public about biomass, and this infor-
mation will be available on the new IFAS Web site:
http://www.solutionsforyourlife.com.
Our faculty will also help producers grow energy
crops, assist business owners with conversion to bio-
mass fuels and show consumers how to use these new
forms of energy efficiently.
This effort will require cooperation from a host of
partners, including Florida's agricultural industries;
state and federal government agencies; builders and
utilities; waste management officials and Florida
residents.
Our state and our nation deserve nothing less than
an all-out effort to ensure reliable energy supplies for
the future. UF/IFAS is in a unique position to provide
that national leadership in biomass fuels.






UF UNIVERSITY of
UFFLORIDA

IFAS





IMPACT is published by the University
of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences and is pro-
duced by IFAS Communication
Services (Ashley M. Wood, director)
and IFAS External and Media
Relations (Jack Battenfield,
director).



EDITORIAL BOARD
JIMMYG. CHEEK
Senior Vice President
Agriculture and Natural Resources
JOSEPH C. JOYCE
Executive Associate Vice President
LARRY R. ARRINGTON
Dean for Extension
MARK R. MCLELLAN
Dean for Research
R. KIRBY BARRICK
Dean of the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences
EDITOR
CHARLES T. WOODS
PHOTO EDITOR
THOMAS S. WRIGHT
DESIGNER
TRACYD. ZWILLINGER
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS
MARISOL AMADOR
JOSH WICKHAM
CONTRIBUTORS
MICKIE ANDERSON
LAURA LOK
TOM NORDLIE
COPY EDITORS
AMANDA K. AUBUCHON
CAROL CHURCH
To change an address, request extra
copies of IMPACT, or to be added to
the mailing list, e-mail Chuck Woods
at cwoods@ufl.edu or write Chuck
Woods at PO Box 110275, University
of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
32611-0275.
IMPACT is available in alternative
formats. Visit our Web site:
impact.ifas.ufl.edu


IMPACT
THE INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES MAGAZINE I VOL. 22 NO. 1 I FALL 2006


NEWS UPDATES

4 NEW HURRICANE HOUSE IN
FORT LAUDERDALE

5 BRAZILIAN BERRY DESTROYS
CANCER CELLS

6 GENE COULD HELP CROPS BEAT
GLOBAL WARMING

7 PYTHON PROBLEMS IN THE PARK

8 REPTILE CHIC: ALLIGATOR
FARMERS CASH IN ON FASHION
TREND

9 CLAM INDUSTRY STAYS STRONG IN
CEDAR KEY


FEATURES

12 YOUR NEW GATEWAY FOR
EXTENSION INFORMATION

16 GOING UNDERCOVER

22 BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL
TECHNOLOGY READYTO GO


MANURE MATTERS

QUESTIONS ABOUT QUAIL


SPOTLIGHT

28 PEOPLE, PLACES &THINGS


10 EEL EFFECTS

11 4-H LIFE IN THE LEGISLATURE

IFAS DEVELOPMENT NEWS
34 DEVELOPMENT NEWS

35 IFAS DEVELOPMENT


On the Cover
There's something for everyone at the new Solutions for Your Life Web site
launched recently by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences. Sponsored by UF's Extension Service, the Web site provides instant
access to UF's statewide research and education programs as well as information
from partnering agencies and institutions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE PAGE 12 AND VISIT HTTP://WWW.SOLUTIONSFORYOURLIFE.COM/





COPYRIGHT 2006 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA/IFAS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED I IMPACT Fall 2006


\M I











NEW "HURRICANE HOUSE"

IN FORT LAUDERDALE


Built to withstand winds of more than 140 mph, the new
"hurricane house" at UF's Fort Lauderdale Research and
Education Center opened to the public May 26, just days
before the official start of the 2006 hurricane season.
"This hurricane house demonstrates that it is possible to
build a home that will come through a Category 4 or 5 hurri-
cane with little or no damage," said Van Waddill, director of
the Fort Lauderdale center, which is part of UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences.
He said the 3,000-square-foot house officially known
as the Broward County Windstorm Damage Mitigation
Training and Demonstration Center also shows how exist-
ing homes can be made more hurricane resistant. The mate-
rials, products and construction methods, which meet or
exceed new state building codes, can be used in new homes
or to retrofit existing structures.
Waddill said new Florida building codes, which went
into effect in March 2002, are stricter than the ones they
replace, but not as strong as those enacted in Miami-
Dade and Broward counties. He said the stricter standards
should be required statewide because no area of the state is
immune to hurricane damage over the long term.
The hurricane house in Fort Lauderdale is one of four
demonstration facilities located at UF Extension Service
offices around the state. Other hurricane houses are in
Fort Pierce, Pensacola and St. Augustine. The Florida
Department of Financial Services provided $2.3 million for
the four houses, which cost about $600,000 each.
Bob Stroh, director of UF's Shimberg Center for
Affordable Housing, supervised the design and construction


of the homes. He said homeowners and builders can visit
the hurricane demonstration houses to see three types of
window shutters and other features, such as impact-resistant
doors, a steel "safe room" and a garage door that will with-
stand winds of more than 150 mph.
He said visitors also can see exposed sections of interior
walls that demonstrate alternative construction methods,
such as insulated concrete forms that can be used to build
stronger and more energy-efficient homes. The forms use
reinforcement bars and concrete sandwiched between plas-
tic foam sheets.
Pierce Jones, director of the Program for Resource
Efficient Communities at UF in Gainesville, said the method
is more expensive than regular concrete block or wood-
frame construction, but it is desirable in coastal areas that
are more vulnerable to hurricane-force winds and storm
surges.
The new insulated concrete forms meet Florida building
code requirements, and an increasing number of builders
know how to work with the materials, he said.
In the wake of the devastating hurricanes of 2004 and
2005, the UF hurricane houses around the state are becom-
ing magnets for builders and residents who want to learn
more about wind damage mitigation, energy efficiency and
environmentally sensitive construction, Jones said.
In Broward County, the hurricane house is located at 3205
College Ave. in Davie. Telephone: (954) 577-6300.
In St. Lucie County, the hurricane house is located at
8400 Picos Road in Fort Pierce. Telephone: (772) 462-1660.


Van Waddill, holding emergency preparedness publications, says the new"hurricane house" at UF's Fort Lauderdale Research and
Education Center is designed to withstand winds of more than 140 mph. Officially known as the Broward County Windstorm Damage
Mitigation Training and Demonstration Center, the 3,ooo-square-foot structure opened to the public May 26. PHOTO BYJOSH WICKHAM












In St. Johns County, the hurricane house is located at 3125
Agriculture Center Drive in St. Augustine. Telephone: (904)
209-0432.
In Escambia County, the hurricane house is located
at 3740 Stefani Road in Cantonment near Pensacola.
Telephone: (850) 475-5230. E -CHUCK WOODS


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
VAN WADDILL

BOB STROH

PIERCE JONES


(954) 577-6300
waddill@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1192
stroh@ufl.edu
(352)392-8074
ez@energy.ufl.edu


BRAZILIAN BERRY DESTROYS CANCER CELLS


SBrai-;ili v berry popular in health
1 .. I ,. .antioxidants that
. I-t,, -,, ~ Itured human cancer cells
i Ii ...r Ii a diversity of Florida study,
....- .. t rlr.- hi ;t to investigate the fruit's
purported benefits.
Published Jan. 12 in the Journal
of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,
the study showed extracts from acai
(ah-SAH-ee) berries triggered a self-
destruct response in up to 86 percent
of leukemia cells tested, said Stephen
Talcott, an assistant professor of food
science and human nutrition.
"Acai berries are already considered
one of the richest fruit sources of anti-
oxidants," Talcott said. "This study was
an important step toward learning
what people may gain from using bev-
erages, dietary supplements or other
products made with the berries."
He cautioned that the study, funded
by UF sources, was not intended to
show whether compounds found in
acai berries could prevent leukemia
in people.
"This was only a cell-culture model,
and we don't want to give anyone
false hope," Talcott said. "However,
we are encouraged by the findings.
Compounds that show good activ-
ity against cancer cells in a model sys-
tem are most likely to have beneficial
effects in our bodies."
Other fruits, including grapes, gua-
vas and mangoes, contain antioxidants
shown to kill cancer cells in similar
studies, he said. Experts are uncer-
tain how much effect antioxidants
have on cancer cells in the human


body because factors such as nutrient
absorption, metabolism and other bio-
chemical processes may influence the
antioxidants' chemical activity.
Acai berries are produced by a palm
tree known scientifically as Euterpe
oleracea, which is common in flood-
plain areas of the Amazon River,
Talcott said. When ripe, the berries
are dark purple and about the size of a
blueberry. They contain a thin layer of
edible pulp surrounding a large seed.
Historically, Brazilians have used
acai berries to treat digestive disorders
and skin conditions, he said. Current
marketing efforts by
retail merchants and
Internet businesses sug-
gest acai products can
help consumers lose ,
weight, lower their cho-
lesterol and gain energy.
"A lot of claims are
being made, but most
of them haven't been
tested scientifically,"
Talcott said. "We are
just beginning to under-
stand the complexity
of the acai berry and
its health-promoting
effects."
UF is one of the first
institutions outside


Stephen Talcott, who is
studyingthe potential health
benefits ofantioxidants in
acai berries, holds the South
American berry in his UF
laboratory. PHOTO BY
THOMAS WRIGHT


Brazil with personnel studying acai
berries, he said. Besides Talcott, UF's
acai research team includes Susan
Percival, a professor with the food sci-
ence and human nutrition depart-
ment; David Del Pozo-Insfran, a doc-
toral student with the department,
and Susanne Mertens-Talcott, a post-
doctoral associate with the pharma-
ceutics department of UF's College of
Pharmacy. E TOM NORDLIE
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
STEPHEN TALCOTT (352) 392-1991
sttalcott@ifas.ufl.edu




















Though E. coli bacteria are well known for making peo-
ple sick, a University of Florida study shows that a gene
found in the microbes can keep plants healthy by improving
their resistance to heat stress a discovery that might help
researchers develop food crops that can withstand harsh cli-
mates and global warming.
Tobacco plants carrying the gene thrived after spending
a week in 95-degree heat, said Bala Rathinasabapathi, a UF
associate professor of horticultural sciences. The gene poses
no threat to human health.
Researchers believe the plants were unusually resil-
ient because they contained up to four times the normal
amounts of vitamin B-5 and one of its components, the
amino acid beta-alanine, he said.
The UF study appeared in the March issue of the journal
Plant Molecular Biology.
"We're already researching the gene's effect on tomatoes
and lettuce, which are economically important to Florida
and vulnerable to heat," said Rathinasabapathi, who co-
authored the study with graduate student Walid Fouad.


"Large-scale application is several years away, but we believe
this technology will be practical and affordable. It's certainly
needed."
Up to 20 percent of the world's food crop is lost to heat
stress each year, he said. That figure is likely to increase if
predictions of future global warming prove correct.
Besides fighting crop loss, the gene could enable farmers
in tropical and subtropical areas to grow a wider variety of
foods, Rathinasabapathi said.
The connection between the gene and heat tolerance was
discovered by accident as researchers tried to learn how
plants make beta-alanine. The process is well understood in
bacteria, so the researchers decided to take a gene that helps
regulate beta-alanine production in E. coli and observe its
effects in plants.
They transferred the gene to tobacco, a species popular
in genetic research. During an experiment on heat stress,
Fouad was surprised to find plants carrying the gene were
taller than their ordinary counterparts.
"We hypothesized that the plants grew taller and larger
under higher than optimal temperatures because some-
thing associated with the gene protected them from heat,"
Rathinasabapathi said. "One possibility was that the large
amounts of beta-alanine and vitamin B-5 they were produc-
ing played a role."
In the current study, researchers found that tobacco
plants modified with the gene contained four times as much
beta-alanine and vitamin B-5 as ordinary tobacco plants.
Modified plants exposed to 95-degree heat for one week
weighed almost twice as much as ordinary plants grown
under the same conditions. But when the modified plants
were kept at temperatures typical for tobacco farming -
about 75 degrees they grew at the same rate as their ordi-
nary counterparts.
"The practical applications for this gene may be limited to
situations where crops will be exposed to temperatures of 90
degrees or more," Rathinasabapathi said. "We're conducting
follow-up studies to learn more about how the gene works
so we can maximize its benefits." TOM NORDLIE


BALA RATHINASABAPATHI


(352) 392-1928
brath@ifas.ufl.edu


Bala Rathinasabapathi holds genetically modified tomato plants that
contain a gene found in E. coli bacteria. The gene enables plants to better
withstand heat. PHOTO BY MARISOL AMADOR



















Removing gigantic Burmese pythons
from a place they're not wanted is no
easy feat, but University of Florida
researchers have found a high-tech
way to make it easier they sent radio-
tracked pythons out into Everglades
National Park to do the work for them.
Frank Mazzotti, an associate pro-
fessor with UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, led a team that
used "Judas snakes" to lure and catch
- other pythons from the park, where
they're not welcome.
The pythons, which can grow longer
than 20 feet and weigh more than 200
pounds, are released in the park by pet
owners who either don't want them or
can't handle them anymore. They've
caused problems since the mid-1990s,
their battles with native alligators
being the most widely documented.
Mazzotti, who is based at UF's Fort
Lauderdale Research and Education


Center, credits National Park Service
officials for having the courage to go
ahead with the snake-tracking project,
despite its risk.
But while a python could overpower
a human, Mazzotti says he believes
they pose a far bigger risk to people
who hit the snakes with their cars or
crash trying to avoid one.
"Python attacks are not impossi-
ble, but I'd say that someone driving a
Honda Civic who hits a 14-foot, 100-
pound python is more likely to have a
serious problem," he said.
Last winter, researchers caught
four "Judas snakes," implanted pin-
kie-sized radio transmitters in them,
tagged them and turned them loose in
the park. For three months, they kept
tabs on the snakes' whereabouts, using
them to find other pythons.
Three of the four original snitch
snakes helped researchers find 15 more


untagged snakes 12 of which were
caught and euthanized. The fourth had
post-surgery troubles and was removed
from the study.
The Burmese python is one of the
world's largest snake species. One of
the snakes found in the Everglades was
16 feet long and 152 pounds.
Park officials have caught or found
the remains of more than 212 pythons,
95 of them in 2005.
The team hopes to study how much
of the national park and adjacent lands
the pythons are using, and whether the
snakes seek each other's company out-
side of their breeding season. 111
MICKIE ANDERSON


FRANK MAZZOTTI


(954) 577-6338
fjma@ufl.edu


The growing number of large pythons in Florida's Everglades National Park is increasing conflict between the powerful snakes and alligators, accordingto
Frank Mazzotti. In this file photo, the alligator appears to have the upper hand in the struggle. Mazzotti,who is helping remove pythons from park, said a
python was killed last yearwhen it attempted to swallow a medium-sized alligator that was too big for the snake. PHOTO BY LORI OBERHOFER, EVERGLADES
NATIONAL PARK












REPTILE CHIC: Florida Alligator Farmers


Cash in on Fashion Trend


While some agricultural producers are facing tough times,
Florida alligator farmers are cashing in on reptile chic the
growing worldwide demand for alligator skins on everything
from belts and boots to $10,000 designer handbags.
"The market for high-end alligator leather products is
very strong right now, and farmers are getting top dollar for
their gator skins," said Perran Ross, a wildlife ecologist with
the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences. "Florida alligator farming has had its ups and
downs in recent years, but it's definitely a good time for
those who are already established in the business."
He said Louisiana is the nation's leading producer, har-
vesting about 300,000 alligators every year, compared to
60,000 in Florida. But Hurricanes Katrina and Rita dam-
aged alligator egg production in Louisiana. As a result, lux-
ury-goods manufacturers in the United States and Europe
need to secure future supplies of alligator skins. This is an
opportunity for Florida farmers, who can provide high qual-
ity products.

Perran Ross holds an alligator that is being raised for its meat and skin.
PHOTO BY MARISOL AMADOR


Ross said the value of finished alligator skin products may
be anywhere from five to 10 times the raw-product value.
Allen Register, owner of Gatorama in Palmdale, Fla., one
of 60 licensed alligator farms in the state, said prices for alli-
gator bellies range from $40 to $50 per foot, which is up by
almost 50 percent from a few years ago. He said that belly
skins are more valuable because they are soft and flat, com-
pared to horn-back skins, which have bumpy ridges and are
often used in the western-wear market.
Like other Florida alligator farmers, Register harvests
gators when they reach four or five feet in length, which
requires about two years of growth. He said Louisiana farm-
ers typically harvest three- or four-foot-long alligators after
one year to save on the space needed to raise large numbers
of gators.
"In the past, buyers have been a lot more fussy about scars
and scratches on hides, but we are seeing less emphasis
on those imperfections, probably because of the increased
demand from U.S. and foreign luxury-goods manufacturers,"
Register said. "After some slow times during the past eight
or nine years, the market is definitely on the upswing."
In addition to the strong international demand for alliga-
tor hides, the domestic appetite for alligator meat is grow-
ing. The meat now commands prices of $4.50 to $4.75 per
pound at the wholesale level and $7.50 to $10 per pound at
retail, Register said.
Ross said alligator farming has about a $25 million impact
on Florida's economy. He said it is not a "get-rich-quick
scheme," but one that requires large capital investments
over a three- or four-year period, during which little or no
income is generated. To protect this renewable resource in
Florida, alligator farms are licensed and regulated by the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
He said the commercial harvest of alligators actually helps
conserve the species and its habitat because the economic
incentives from egg production and legal harvesting encour-
age landowners to maintain wetlands. In addition, license
fees from the program help support research, monitoring
and wildlife management programs that conserve alligators.
"In other words, alligators pay their own way for their
conservation," Ross said. "Florida has a model program that
is emulated all over the world for managing alligators and
their habitat for sustainable economic gain." E
CHUCK WOODS


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
PERRAN ROSS


(352) 392-7137
rossp@wec.ufl.edu













CLAM INDUSTRY

STAYS STRONG IN CEDAR KEY


After weathering two of the worst
hurricane seasons on record, Cedar
Key is still one of the nation's top clam
producers. Starting from ground zero
in 1993, the small village on Florida's
Gulf Coast also known as "Clamalot"
for its ideal growing conditions rap-
idly became the No. 1 producer of cul-
tured hard clams in the nation.
"Clam production in Southwest
Florida and the Indian River area on
the east coast is recovering from the
disastrous hurricanes of 2004 and
2005, but the storms had little effect
on production in Cedar Key," said
Leslie Sturmer, a University of Florida
aquaculture Extension agent.
According to the first-ever aqua-
culture census conducted by the U.S.
Department of Agriculture in 1998,
Florida produces more hard clams by
volume than any other state. About
80 percent of that production comes
from Florida's west coast, with Cedar
Key producing 70 percent of the total,
Sturmer said.
"In addition to all the usual agri-
cultural statistics about the growth of
the clam industry in Cedar Key, many
local folks like to point to the grow-
ing number of new pickup trucks in
town," Sturmer said. "Used to haul
clams, the trucks are a good indica-
tion of the clam industry's strong eco-
nomic impact in this island commu-
nity a place that's proud of its fishing
heritage and protective of its fishing
resources.
She said development of the farm-
raised hard clam (Mercenaria merce-
naria) industry in the rural coastal area
started with several job retraining pro-
grams that have helped hundreds of dis-
placed workers in the commercial fish-
ing industry. Since 1991, more than 200
underemployed oyster harvesters and
former net fishermen in Cedar Key have
been trained and moved into small-


scale business enterprises, building a
new aquaculture industry in one of the
state's oldest ports.
The education programs, conducted
by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic
Institution in cooperation with UF's
Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, provide workers with infor-
mation on the production and market-
ing of clams and other business aspects
of clam culture.
"The training programs helped estab-
lish the clam farming industry in Cedar
Key as well as Southwest Florida and
the Oak Hill area on the east coast,'
Sturmer said. "The growth in hard clam
production in these areas of the state
can be attributed to our training pro-
grams and the high natural productiv-
ity of subtropical waters for almost year-
round clam seed planting, growth and
harvesting."
Sturmer said no
other production '
area in the nation can
match the excellent
production condi-
tions in Florida.
Clam farming now
provides income to
Florida fishermen
displaced by the 1994
statewide ban on
fishing nets, boost-
ing local economies
in rural communities
such as Cedar Key,
she said. Statewide,
about 400 shellfish
growers are farm-
ing more than 1,800

Leslie Sturmer, left, checks
clams with Mike Hodges,
ownerof Hodges Seafood
Co. in Cedar Key. Hodges,
who harvests 15 to 20
baskets of clams a week
every week of theyear,
has worked closely with
Sturmerto build the clam
industry in this Gulf Coast
village. PHOTO BY
THOMAS WRIGHT


acres of state-owned submerged lands
in coastal waters, producing more than
140 million clams annually.
In 1989, clam sales represented less
than one percent of all aquaculture
sales in the state, but that figure has
jumped to almost 20 percent. Farm-
gate sales of clams topped $16 mil-
lion in 2005 a 34-fold increase since
1989.
According to Chuck Adams, a
Florida Sea Grant marine economics
specialist and professor in UF's depart-
ment of food and resource economics,
the total economic impact of Florida's
clam industry, which is the largest
marine aquaculture industry in the
state, exceeded $34 million in 1999.
Aquaculture sales in the state, includ-
ing tropical fish and aquatic plants,
bring in about $100 million annually,
he said. E CHUCK WOODS
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
LESLIE STURMER (352) 543-5057
lnst@ifas.ufl.edu
CHUCK ADAMS (352) 392-1826
cmadams@ufl.edu















EELEFFECTS


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P r HiOll BY I..OSH WICKHAMr, rI l h ll r. ll: r ... I F l
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PHOTO BY JOSH WICKHAM













4-H Life in the Legislature


Do you think all public facilities
should be closed on Sept. 11? What
about lowering the voting age in
Florida to 16? Should jaywalking be
legal? These were just a few of the
bills debated at the Florida 4-H Mock
Legislature June 26-29 in Tallahassee.
Conducting business with an acting
governor, lieutenant governor and cab-
inet, and with both a house and sen-
ate in session, more than 250 4-H
mock legislators, lobbyists and report-
ers experienced how state government
actually works.
Now in its 34th year, the 4-H Mock
Legislature program brings youth in
direct contact with legislators and lob-
byists. It is the only 4-H program of its
kind in the United States.
"The legislature program perpetu-
ates youth learning in civic engage-
ment, specifically legislative and gov-
ernment processes and the leadership
skills to make community decisions
regarding public policy," said Marilyn
Lesmeister, state 4-H volunteer devel-
opment specialist and one of the adults
advising the youth-driven event.
The elected "4-H governor," Abigail
Crawford of Bradford County, signed
four bills over the weeklong event.
Crawford also serves as the State 4-H
Council president. "I think the rep-
resentatives, senators, lobbyists and
reporters are doing a phenomenal job,
treating legislation as it should be -
taking jobs seriously and participating
fully," she said.
The opening session began with a
visit by the state's actual lieutenant








Jonathan Danielsof Duval County debates the
issues in the Senate Chambers at 4-H Legisla-
ture. PHOTO BYJOSH WICKHAM


governor, Toni Jennings. Jennings gave
a brief speech and then swore in the
mock governor, lieutenant governor,
senate president, speaker of the house,
secretary of the senate and clerk of the
house.
Then it was off to committees where
the debating began on a variety of
issues. Lobbyists came to the meetings
and stated their business in order to
persuade legislators to vote their way
on a bill.
Current events in this country and
around the world caused 4-H teens
to form the first-ever homeland secu-
rity committee this year. They felt
that this hot topic area of policymak-
ing was important for their research
and debate. Topics debated in this area
included: reimbursing homeowners
for the purchase of hurricane shutters;
mandatory generators in all Florida gas
stations; mandatory searching of all
personal luggage in Florida airports;
and making bird flu vaccinations avail-
able to all Florida residents.
The 4-H legislative bills are inten-
tionally controversial. According to
Lesmeister, they are designed to pro-
mote debate, research, negotiation
and problem-solving in order to sim-
ulate real legislative experience. "The


4-H lobbyists and legislators are not
expected to represent their own val-
ues or views, but they practice commu-
nication skills, negotiation and critical
thinking," she said.
This hands-on experience in
how government works is orga-
nized by the 4-H Youth Development
Program which is administered by the
Extension Service in UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences. As
the 2006 Mock Legislature closed, the
teens were able to look back on their
involvement in planning, writing bills
and debating the issues and realize
that they are becoming engaged citi-
zens in society.
Last year, 4-H worked with more
than 240,000 young people between
the ages of 5 and 18 in Florida's 67
counties and on five Seminole Tribe
reservations in South Florida. All pro-
grams are open to all persons regard-
less of race, color, age, gender, sexual
orientation, handicap or national ori-
gin. For more information, visit www.
florida4h.org or contact the county
Extension office in your area. 0
LAURA LOK
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
MARILYN NORMAN (352) 846-0996
mnorman@ufl.edu








0


YC


The Web site is being widely promoted in the media, including billboards
such as theoneshown above. Initial billboard locations, provided by the
outdoor advertising industry at no cost, include Citrus County, Columbia
County, Leon County, Marion County and St. Lucie County. PHOTO BYJOSH
WICKHAM


EXTENSION


INFORMATION


By Tom Nordlie


12 IMPACT I Fa12006














utions for






)ur fe .comr



University of Florida Extension


LAUNCHED IN MAY, THE
SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR LIFE
WEB SITE PROVIDES ROUND-
THE-CLOCK ACCESS TO A VAST
ARRAY OF USEFUL INFOR-
MATION FROM THE STATE-
WIDE TEACHING, RESEARCH
AND EXTENSION PROGRAMS
OF UF'S INSTITUTE OF
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES.


For decades, Florida residents have looked to the
University of Florida's Cooperative Extension Service for
reliable, research-based information on agriculture, the envi-
ronment, gardening, family life and other topics.
Now there's a new way to get that information and it's as
close as your computer.
It's called Solutions for Your Life, and it's a Web site offer-
ing a vast array of resources from the Extension, research
and education programs of UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, as well as partnering agencies and
institutions. Launched in May, the site is located at http://
www.solutionsforyourlife.com and sponsored by UF's
Extension Service.
"Solutions for Your Life isn't meant to replace direct con-
tact with Extension offices in all 67 Florida counties, but it
supplements what our offices can do," said Larry Arrington,
UF dean for Extension. "Because the Web site is available
24 hours a day, it lets users browse or research information
on their own schedule. And it links our clientele with all
three branches of IFAS the Florida Cooperative Extension
Service, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and the
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences."


-,. A.


IMPACT I Fall 2006 13











With hundreds of how-to publications, educational pro-
grams, technical reports and other materials, Solutions for
Your Life also helps UF Extension faculty serve their clients
more effectively, he said. County agents can use the site to
research difficult questions and increase their knowledge of
popular topics.
"This project greatly enhances the value of our Extension
program to the state," Arrington said. "We think users
will agree."
Solutions for Your Life currently receives about 1,000
visits per day and is already recognized as one of the larg-
est and most sophisticated Extension Web sites in the
nation, said Ashley Wood, director of IFAS Communication
Services.
"There's a lot of interest among land-grant institutions
in putting Extension information online," said Wood, who
manages the Solutions for Your Life Web team. "This project
came about because we saw an opportunity to pull together
a great deal of material that could help residents improve
their lives."
Solutions for Your Life is the largest Web project under-
taken by UF's Extension Service, Wood said. Planning
began in January 2004, and the site itself was in develop-
ment for more than a year. But the project's roots reach back
much further. For 15 years, UF has been a national leader
in applying new technology to the Extension mission, pro-
ducing innovative Web sites such as the Electronic Data
Information Source (EDIS) and RadioSource.NET.
"Our past experience was a big help in developing
Solutions for Your Life," Wood said. "One reason this site is
considered a model for other universities is that we put so
much emphasis on organization, making sure users could
easily find what they needed."
The Solutions for Your Life home page prominently fea-
tures several items related to current events and seasonal
themes. Other items that change frequently include a calen-
dar, a links section, a "Did you know?" feature and informa-
tion about continuing education opportunities for industry
professionals.
The home page also contains six permanent topics -
agriculture, community development, environment, fami-
lies and consumers, 4-H youth development, and lawn and


garden. Each topic has its own Web page, organized to help
users find specific information.
Local Extension news and events will still be publicized
on county Extension office Web sites, said Ligia Ortega,
IFAS Web manager.
"Solutions for Your Life was developed to be a state-
wide resource, so it only contains material with a statewide
focus," Ortega said. "This way, the site enhances the Web
presence of all county Extension offices equally."
She said greater Web presence is important because the
Internet is widely used by young people, an audience that
may not be aware of Extension.
"Solutions for Your Life can also help Florida residents
take the guesswork out of Internet research," Ortega said.
"It's frustrating when you have to decide which Web sites are
relevant, accurate and unbiased."
Pat Montgomery, a high school teacher from St. Johns
County, experienced that problem firsthand. She turned to
Solutions for Your Life for information about planting blue-
berry bushes after visiting sites that focused on other parts
of the country with different growing conditions.
Montgomery found that Solutions for Your Life contained
information about commercial blueberry production in
Florida, but nothing aimed at casual growers. So she sent an
e-mail to the Web team asking for help. The next day, Ortega
sent relevant material to Montgomery, and other members
of the Web team posted it on the site.
"I was very happy with the experience," said Montgomery,
whose husband previously worked as a Manatee County
Extension agent. "I'll use the Web site again.
Extension faculty are finding they can easily refer the
public to Solutions for Your Life during conversations, said
Eleanor Foerste, a natural resources agent with the Osceola
County Extension office.
In June, Foerste took part in an interactive hurricane edu-
cation program hosted by WESH-TV in Orlando. While
describing strategies parents can use to discuss hurricane
preparation with children, Foerste stated the Solutions for
Your Life Web address on the air. Efforts are under way to
have the address linked to several Central Florida Web sites,
she said.


14 IMPACT I Fall 2006












"One thing I like about
Solutions for Your Life is that
users can locate their county
Extension offices with it,"
Foerste said. "Sometimes Florida
residents don't know Extension
is a statewide program, with
local faculty available to help
them."
Responsiveness to users'
needs is one of the long-term
keys to success for Solutions
for Your Life, said Liz Felter,
UF Extension Web site con-
tent development and training
manager.
"We want to emphasize timely
topics material that's needed
now," Felter said. "We also want
to offer the latest cutting-edge
information as our researchers
develop it."
The Web team's other imme-
diate goal is to boost public
awareness of Solutions for Your
Life and drive more traffic to the


site, said Tracy Irani, an associate professor with UF's agri-
cultural education and communication department.
"We're using billboards, posters, bookmarks, business
cards and brochures to brand the Solutions for Your Life
theme," said Irani, who serves as faculty adviser to the
Web team.
Solutions for Your Life marketing efforts sport a distinc-
tive look, combining bright colors with photographs of
smiling people. The photos depict a broad cross-section of
Florida's population, underscoring the idea that Solutions
for Your Life aims to serve all residents, she said.
"No matter who you are or what you do, Solutions for
Your Life can help you," Irani said. "That's what we want
people to remember." :


t "1 C


RIE 1 SOLUTIONS
for )' lUI'rLIFE


Emerging Tranlng & CEus
Pathogens
Initiadwve ',
MuanID Ma.
l f e. u .. ,1 .


Did rou no*?
SSolution Now AJullDole 7'



1 th Tah Season t ,e
,..... I ,J ,.-
,, I.,il ,,,1" r,,r,


mitru Canker Managemlrt


Larry Arrington, dean for the UF Extension Service, says the new Solutions
for Your Life Web site strengthens Extension's statewide outreach efforts.
PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
LARRY ARRIN GTO N

ASHLEYWOOD


The photos below, from left to right, are keyed to information available
on six permanent Web site topics agriculture, community development (in-
cluding disaster preparedness), environment, families and consumers, 4-H
youth development, and lawn and garden. PHOTOS BY UF/IFAS PHOTOGRAPHY


IMPACT I Fall 2006 15


SlAgnulture

S 'F1 n i.ll i .m. r. .

'Communny Development
Piep ltn. ', --. 4 .n -i,
E ronam .. r..r. r..
P.,ral 2:-.ir~r|.e

P EnvrWonme@ r
EcoysIens-; *qj.n'q n'.'pe
Plafl. Arplrc inn *jfli3.lF.1bI

F-- Consumer
9S A q & .. C ,,i aeW : r..l9 r
SFood SJIy 'ran & irurnn
Sli Hw n. ',, MO.W y MNns

.| VA s Vt D.,wnapwmi"


(352) 392-1761
lra@ifas.ufl.edu
(352) 392-2411
amwood@ufl.edu


" i Ll' mi F -----t___


* 7-" A







0


S


* %


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il I I











With a few taps on a computer key-
board, University of Florida research-
ers can control just about every aspect
of growing vegetables and other high-
value crops in greenhouses that protect
plants from pests and diseases boost-
ing yields by 10 times over field-grown
B* production.
"It's all part of the growing trend
toward precision, high-tech agriculture
in Florida," said Dan Cantliffe, a pro-
fessor and chairman of UF's horticul-
tural sciences department and leader
of the Protected Agriculture Project at
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences. "The project demonstrates
how vegetable and fruit crops can be
produced on a year-round basis not
a just when weather conditions or mar-
ket windows are favorable for Florida
growers.
He said the computerized green-
house project, which covers one acre
at UF's Plant Science Research and
SEducation Unit in Citra, reduces labor

requirements and automates every-
thing from plant nutrients in drip irri-
gation systems to temperature controls
in the greenhouses. The amount of
phosphorus, nitrogen and other plant
nutrients needed by each crop can be
precisely controlled by the comput-
ers. Greenhouse operations at Citra
can also be monitored and controlled
by UF computers in Gainesville, more
than 20 miles from the site.
To those who say the protected
agriculture system is too expensive,
Cantliffe replies that the greenhouses
can be constructed for $2 to $4 per
square foot far less than the cost of a
new home.




Exterior view of one of the two half-acre research
greenhouses at UF's Protected Agriculture Proj-
ect in Citra. Each greenhouse has about 22,000
square feet of computer-controlled growingarea.
(Inset) Emil Belibasis, left, owner of Beli Farms in
Wellborne, Fla., and Dan Cantliffe, chairman of
UF's horticultural sciences department, examine
cucumber plants in a high-tech greenhouse.
Belibasis is one of the first growers in the state
to begin using newtechnologies demonstrated
at UF's Protected Agriculture Project. PHOTOS BY
JOSH WICKHAM





IMPACT I Fail 2006 17











Phil Stansly examines squash plants for
tiny parasiticwasps that controlwhiteflies.
i. I PHOTO BYJOSH WICKHAM


o ,


Unlike existing hydroponic green-
house structures that require substan-
tial investments in heating and cool-
ing systems, the Protected Agriculture
Project relies on passively ventilated
greenhouses for greater energy
efficiency, Cantliffe said. The auto-
mated greenhouse production system
reduces the need for pesticides and
recycles water and fertilizers solv-
ing several major problems facing the
state's $1.6 billion fruit and vegetable
industry.
"For example, it will help grow-
ers who are increasingly concerned
about more state and federal regula-
tion of water, fertilizer and pesticides,"
said Cantliffe. "It will also solve prob-
lems associated with the recent fed-
eral ban on the use of methyl bromide,
a widely used soil fumigant to control
soil pests."

Lance Osborne, left, checks papaya plants with
Debra Taylor, a deputy at the Seminole County
Correctional Facility in Sanford, Fla. Inmates at
the facility, who have been growingtheir own
vegetables for more than to years, are also
growing beneficial insects on papaya plants for
Osborne and other UF researchers. The insects
provide effective biocontrol of the sweetpotato
whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) in greenhouses at the
Protected Agriculture Project. PHOTO BYTHOMAS
WRIGHT


He said the sustainable farming
system will also eliminate or mini-
mize worries about freezes, drought,
weather and certain other problems,
such as E. coli bacterial contamina-
tion. The greenhouses can be built
almost anywhere in the state, reduc-
ing problems associated with urban-
ization and loss of prime farmland
in South Florida.
"Growing crops in a protected
greenhouse environment will make
Florida producers more competitive
against imports from other areas
in the world," Cantliffe said. "If
the vegetable industry in Florida is
going to prosper and grow, there is a
clear need for these new greenhouse
production technologies."
He said Florida vegetable produc-
tion now involves intensive produc-
tion practices on more than 230,000
acres. Crops such as tomatoes, pep-
pers, cucumbers, strawberries and
watermelons account for 61 percent
of the state's vegetable crop value, and
the new protected agriculture system
could allow growers to produce more


of these crops with higher plant den-
sities year-round.
"Production of crops such as blue-
berries, eggplants and squash could
also be increased, along with the pro-
duction of new crops such as the Galia
muskmelon, which is widely produced
in Spain and Israel, Morocco, Turkey
and other Middle Eastern countries
and shipped to Europe, where
consumers pay top prices for this
excellent-tasting melon," Cantliffe
said.
"Considering the fact that vegetable
culture in Florida is already a highly
technological business involving sev-
eral high-cost inputs such as polyeth-
ylene mulch, drip irrigation, fertilizer
and pesticides, this new system will be
cost-efficient and sustainable over the
long term," he said. "Almost one-third
of Florida vegetables, including all
tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, egg-
plants and most melons, are produced
on plastic mulch, and nearly half of all
the crops grown on mulch have drip
irrigation."
While the passively ventilated
greenhouse structures can protect
crops from wind and rain, they also
can protect crops from insects when
fitted with insect-exclusion screens.
Therefore, these greenhouse structures
can reduce the need for pesticides, he
said


18 IMPACT Fall 2006











Cantliffe said the greenhouse struc-
tures also known as plasticulture sys-
tems could include the use of soil-
less culture for crop production. One
example would be bag or pot-
container production using inert
media such as perlite or coconut fiber.
Pine bark, which is an inexpensive and
renewable resource, can also be used
as a growing medium.
"With soil-less culture in green-
houses, winter vegetable production
would not depend on the warm, sandy
soils of southern coastal Florida," he
said. "In addition, the loss of methyl
bromide would be less troublesome
if a portion of the vegetables could be
grown in soil-less culture under a pro-
tective structure."
Cantliffe said the new greenhouse
technology is already being used in
European countries, such as Holland
and Spain, and Mediterranean coun-
tries, such as Egypt, Israel, Morocco
and Turkey, as well as Canada, China,
Korea, Mexico and Japan. He said pro-
ducers in these countries face some
of the same challenges as Florida
growers.
"The Protected Agriculture Project
provides much-needed information for
hands-on training and demonstrations
so that Florida producers can examine,


The Protected Agriculture Project includes a com-
puterized system that mixes precise amounts of
liquid fertilizer from these tanks, and the nutri-
ents are delivered via drip irrigation to plants in
the greenhouse. PHOTO BYJOSH WICKHAM


work and train in this new agricultural
business environment," Cantliffe said.
The new greenhouse technol-
ogy being demonstrated in Citra has
already been adopted by Beli Farms in
Wellborne and by several other Florida
vegetable growers. Emil Belibasis,
owner of the farm, which grows toma-
toes on the vine and mini-cucumbers
in four acres of greenhouses, said the
new structures are naturally ventilated
with overhead retractable shade.
"We use pine-bark pots and coconut-
fiber slats for the growing media, with
one row of pots for two rows of crops,"
Belibasis said. "Recently, we installed
a computerized environment control-
ler and a weather station to better con-
trol the greenhouse environment. It
controls fans, pads, heaters, curtains,
shade and irrigation.
He said the new structures also have
improved environmental controls for
managing disease. The use of insect
screens, soaps, specialized equipment


and cultural practices for insect con-
trol has helped reduce the need for
pesticides.

RELATED RESEARCH

Working with Cantliffe on various
aspects of the greenhouse
project are four other UF faculty mem-
bers stationed in Immokalee, Apopka
and Gainesville. Phil Stansly, a profes-
sor of entomology at the Southwest
Florida Research and Education Center
in Immokalee, and Lance Osborne, a
professor of entomology at the Mid-
Florida Research and Education
Center in Apopka, are developing
effective pest management strategies,
while Steve Sargent, a professor in the
horticultural sciences department in
Gainesville, is developing handling
recommendations for some of the new
greenhouse vegetables, such as baby



Jeanmarie Mitchell, left, and MarkJones,
students majoring in horticultural sciences in
UF's College of Agriculturaland Life Sciences,
and Dan Cantliffe, center, examine tomatoes
being grown at the Protected Agriculture Project.
PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


IMPACT I Fall 2006 19















































Beli Farms, which produces tomatoes in Wellborne, Fla., on a year-round basis, uses many of the technologies
demonstrated at UF's Protected Agriculture Project. The pipes on the ground carry hot water to heat the green-
house, and they also are used as tracks for carts to prune and harvest the crop. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


yellow summer and zucchini squashes.
John VanSickle, a professor in the food
and resource economics department,
is studying the market for the new
greenhouse crops.
Stansly said pest management
depends partly on fine mesh screen
covering all ventilation spaces and
double doors with positive airflow
to impede insect entry. "The trade-
off is between exclusion on the one
hand and ventilation on the other -
too coarse a mesh and the bugs get in;
too fine and plants go down with fun-
gal diseases," he said. "These green-
houses are engineered to provide the
benefits of insect screen without the
drawbacks. For one thing, the screen
has rectangular openings that exclude
pests like whiteflies but allow suffi-
cient air movement."


Biological control is used against
pests that breach the barriers. Stansly
said that a year of work in vegetable
greenhouses in southern Spain with
the Dutch company Koppert Biological
Systems made him a believer in the
power of this strategy. "I didn't think
that pests like thrips and whiteflies
could be controlled without recourse
to insecticides, especially since both
are vectors of debilitating plant
viruses, but seeing is believing," he
said.
"Predaceous mites and minute
pirate bugs were used by more than 50
percent of the growers in one major
pepper-growing region, and we were
successful in bringing a tiny parasitic
wasp (Eremocerus mundus) online to
control whiteflies," Stansly said. "We
hope our work at Citra will demon-


state that similar biologically based
pest management systems can be
adapted to Florida conditions."
Osborne said biological control in
protected culture is a widely accepted
technology in many parts of the world,
such as Europe and Canada. It has also
become commonly used in the pro-
duction of Florida ornamental crops,
where the cost can be more easily jus-
tified than in vegetable production.
However, these methods don't always
transfer to greenhouses in southern
climates, where the temperatures are
significantly higher and there is year-
round pressure from pests.
He also said the size of the green-
house vegetable industries in other
countries supports the development of
commercial insectaries, thereby allow-
ing for more readily available biolog-


20 IMPACT I Fall 2006











ical control agents and technical sup-
port. A large concentration of growers
utilizing biological controls also
reduces costs to the growers for both
technical support and natural enemies.
"In Florida, we are developing sys-
tems to make the use of biological
controls both economical and user
friendly for growers and the general
public through the use of 'banker'
plants, which are plants that are used
to rear the natural enemies of green-
house pests," Osborne said. "We cur-
rently have effective biological control
systems available for mites, whiteflies
and aphids, and we are developing sys-
tems for thrips and mealybugs."
Sargent said there is little or no reli-
able postharvest information avail-
able for growers and shippers to mar-
ket specialty vegetables grown under
protected culture. This lack of knowl-
edge restricts the ability of growers
and shippers to compete in potentially
lucrative markets, thereby making
research on protected production sys-
tems more important.
Crops that have high demand but
little available postharvest informa-
tion include baby squash, edible flow-
ers and Beit Alpha cucumbers. There
are many types of summer squash
(Cucurbita pepo), with a wide range
of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors.
Summer squashes are harvested at
immature stages, as opposed to winter
types that are harvested fully mature.
Both squash fruit and flowers come
from the same crop, and the squash
fruit develops below the edible female
flower. Male flowers also
form separately.
"There is significant demand for
the baby squashes and edible flowers
by upscale restaurants and by grocers
for use as fresh garnishes in salads or
in a variety of cooked dishes," Sargent
said. "Buyers want either the flower
detached from the fruit at harvest and
sold separately, or fruit and flower as
an intact product.'
He said their current studies indi-
cate that male squash flowers picked
just prior to opening hold up better


Steve Sargent uses a colorimeter to measure
changes in the externaland internal colorof
Beit Alpha cucumbers. His postharvest studies
include tracking the effects of shippingand
handling operations on the quality of fresh
cucumbers and othervegetables grown at
the Protected Agriculture Project. PHOTO BY
MARISOLAMADOR


5. .~!
~ I~ I!* j


during handling and shipping than
open male flowers or detached
female flowers.
Successful postharvest handling of
fresh produce requires careful coor-
dination and integration of the var-
ious steps involved in harvesting
the produce and bringing it to con-
sumers in order to maintain the ini-
tial horticultural product quality,
Sargent said. Quality refers to those
characteristics that consumers asso-
ciate with each commodity and that
are dependent upon the particular
end use, such as sweetness in man-
gos, tenderness in snap beans, crisp-
ness in carrots and flavor in tomatoes.
"Quality also refers to freedom from
defects, such as blemishes, mechanical
injury, physiological disorders, decay
and water loss," he said. "Quality loss
in fresh vegetables is cumulative; each
incident of mishandling reduces final
quality at consumer level."
Sargent said many factors reduce
quality during postharvest handling,
including harvesting the produce at
the incorrect maturity stage; handling
the produce carelessly during harvest,
packing, shipping and retailing; san-
itizing contact surfaces improperly;
using unsanitized wash water; delayed
or inadequate cooling; shipping or
storing produce above or below opti-
mal temperature; not providing proper
relative humidity; poorly designed
packages and, for some commodities,
exposing the produce to ethylene gas.
VanSickle, who also is director of
UF's International Agricultural Trade
and Policy Center, says protected agri-
culture technologies allow Florida
growers to get their products into new
markets. VanSickle said it is important


for growers to understand the market-
ing channels and consumer expecta-
tions for new crops.
"Many of Florida's vegetable crops
move through traditional institutional
market channels that fit well with
field-production technologies," he said.
"Crops grown under plastic are gen-
erally perceived by consumers to be
of higher quality and command pre-
miums in the market. Therefore, pro-
duction of protected agricultural crops
should add value to Florida vegetable
crops." U
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
DAN CANTLIFFE (352) 392-1928
djc@ufl.edu
LANCE OSBORNE (407) 884-2034
lsosborn@ufl.edu
STEVE SARG ENT (352) 392-1928
sasa@ifas.ufl.edu
PHIL STANSLY (239) 658-3400
pas@ifas.ufl.edu
JOHN VANSICKLE (352) 392-1881
sickle@ufl.edu


IMPACT I Fall 2006 21







































Lonnie Ingram, right, holds a petri dish containingthe new bacteria that produce ethanol from biomass.
Gregory Luli, left, said Celunol Corp. plans to build a 20-million-gallon biomass-to-ethanol plant in
Jennings, La. The plant's technology and process will be based upon Ingram's genetically engineered
bacteria. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


BIOMASS-TO-ETHANOL TECHNOLOGY

READY TO GO ByChuckWoods


22 IMPACT | Fall 2006


I\











Half the automotive fuel in the United States
could be replaced with ethanol from renewable
agricultural crops, forest wastes and energy
crops, according to a University of Florida
researcher who has developed bacteria that
convert biomass and other farm wastes
into fuel.
"We can reduce our dependence on imported
oil and lower the price of automotive fuel
by reformulating our gasoline with ethanol
derived from inexpensive farm wastes," said
Lonnie Ingram, a distinguished professor of
microbiology with UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences.
His breakthrough technology genetically
engineered bacteria produces fuel ethanol
from farm wastes, such as corn stems, cobs and
leaves. A related technology can be used to pro-
duce biodegradable plastics from biomass.
"With the cost of imported oil reaching
record highs, we can use this new technology
to produce ethanol for about $1.30 a gallon,"
he said. "Ethanol will stretch the nation's fuel
supply and make gasoline burn more cleanly.
Gasoline-ethanol blends also boost the octane
rating of automotive fuel."
Ingram, who was invited to present a briefing
about the technology to the staff and members
of Congress, says his genetically engineered
bacteria are capable of converting all sugar
types found in plant cell walls into fuel ethanol.
Ingram's two organisms produce a high yield of
ethanol from biomass, such as sugarcane resi-
dues, rice hulls, forestry and wood wastes and
other organic materials.
The bioconversion technology, selected by
the U.S. Department of Commerce to become
Landmark Patent No. 5,000,000, is being com-
mercialized with assistance from the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE). Celunol Corp.,
based in Dedham, Mass., holds exclusive rights
I.,.. to use and license the UF-engineered bacteria.
Until now, all of the world's fuel ethanol
has been produced from high-value materials
such as cornstarch and cane syrup using
yeast fermentations. In 2005, more than 4.5 billion gallons
of fuel ethanol was manufactured from cornstarch and used
as automotive fuel.
Ingram said his technology will further expand ethanol
production by converting celluloic waste into fuel ethanol,
more than doubling current ethanol production.
Ingram, who is director of the Florida Center for
Renewable Chemicals and Fuels at UF, cited a recent report
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and DOE that indi-


cates more than one billion tons of biomass can be sustain-
ably produced each year. Converting this to fuel ethanol
could replace half of all imported petroleum in the
United States.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Ingram
said he genetically engineered the two organisms by clon-
ing the unique genes needed to direct the digestion of sugars
into ethanol, the same pathway found in yeast and higher
plants. These genes were inserted into a variety of bacteria
that have the ability to use all sugars found in plant material,
but normally produce a worthless mixture of acetic and lac-
tic acids as fermentation products. With the ethanol genes,
the engineered bacteria produce ethanol from biomass sug-
ars with 90 percent to 95 percent efficiency.
"Until we developed this new technology, the chemical
makeup of biomass prevented it from being used to make
ethanol economically," Ingram said. "Biomass is a much
cheaper source of ethanol than traditional feedstocks, such
as cornstarch and cane syrup, but the cost of processing
is higher."
Gregory Luli, vice president of research at Celunol's lab-
oratory at UF's Sid Martin Biotechnology Development
Institute in Alachua, Fla., said the firm plans to build a 20-
million-gallon biomass-to-ethanol plant in Jennings, La. The
plant's technology and process will be based upon Ingram's
genetically engineered bacteria.
"The first phase of commercializing Ingram's technology
will be a one- to two-million-gallon demonstration facility,
expected to be operational by spring 2007, that will convert
organic waste into ethanol, a form of alcohol that can be
used as a clean-burning fuel," Luli said. "Waste from the sug-
arcane industry in Louisiana will serve as the plant's main
feedstock."
Ingram, who addressed the World Congress on Industrial
Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Orlando in April, said
the Governors' Ethanol Coalition, which includes gover-
nors from 33 states, wants to expand federal mandates on
using ethanol as a motor-vehicle fuel additive. The coalition,
which is facing opposition from the oil industry, is seeking
federal incentives to boost production to at least eight bil-
lion gallons a year by 2012. The move to increase ethanol
production is also supported by the National Commission
on Energy Policy, a research group based in
Washington, D.C.
"Energy independence is important to Florida and the
nation, and it should be a 10-year national goal," Ingram
said. "Energy independence should be the moonshott' of
our generation." :
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
LONNIE INGRAM (352) 392-8176


GREGORY LULI


ingram@ufl.edu
(386) 418-4050
gluli@celunol.com


IMPACT I Fall 2006 23







































Manure


MaTTers


The growing number of big dairy and swine
livestock farms alongwith increased develop-
ment in rural areas- has resulted in greater
awareness and concern about the proper stor-
age, treatment and utilization of manure. UF/IFAS
FILE PHOTO


By Chuck Woods


As the nation looks to agriculture for renewable fuels from crops and
other sources, University of Florida researchers have developed a manure
management system that produces energy, saves valuable nutrients for
biofertilizer, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and reduces offensive odors.


It's not often that one technology
can solve several major problems, but
an innovative University of Florida
animal manure management system
is a sustainable option for dairies and
other livestock operations that pro-
duces renewable energy and protects
the environment.
Ann Wilkie, the associate professor
with the soil and water science depart-
ment in UF's Institute of Food and


Agricultural Sciences who developed
the system, said the growing number
of big dairy and swine livestock farms
- along with increased development
in rural areas has resulted in greater
awareness and concern about the
proper storage, treatment and utiliza-
tion of manure. Without proper man-
agement, animal manure can get into
groundwater supplies, and odor prob-
lems can irk nearby residents.


"The key to our waste management
system is a natural biological process
called anaerobic digestion that relies
on microorganisms to transform ani-
mal manure into biogas, a mixture
of mostly methane and carbon diox-
ide," Wilkie said. "Anaerobic digesters,
which process waste under oxygen-
free conditions, are different than
conventional aerobic systems that use
oxygen to treat the waste."


24 IMPACT I Fall 2006











Wilkie said anaerobic digesters can
process five to 10 times more waste
than aerobic systems. Because the
waste is enclosed to keep oxygen out,
anaerobic digestion keeps odors in.
Odors, flies and pathogens are reduced
by as much as 95 percent.
With anaerobic digestion, the biogas
produced can be used to heat water or
generate electricity, eliminating meth-
ane gas emissions that contribute to
global warming. Nutrients such as
nitrogen and phosphorus can be recov-
ered and used to fertilize crops.
To demonstrate the technology
at a working dairy farm, a large-
scale anaerobic digester at UF's 500-
cow Dairy Research Unit in Hague is
now generating biogas from manure
flushed from animal barns and milking
parlors. The patented waste treatment
technology is being made available for
licensing by UF's Office of Technology
Licensing.
About 40 cubic feet of methane per
day can be produced from the waste of
each dairy cow, Wilkie said. Each cubic
foot of methane has about 1,000 BTUs
(British Thermal Units), which adds
up to a huge amount of usable energy.
A British Thermal Unit is the amount
of heat needed to raise the temper-
ature of one pound of water by one
degree Fahrenheit.
Art Darling, executive director
of Sunbelt Milk Producers Inc. in
Orlando, said that although methane
technology is not without cost, it
can solve important energy and
environmental problems on Florida
dairy farms.
Darling said the UF system takes
advantage of the fact that it is less
expensive to move liquid containing
manure than it is to move dry manure
solids. The anaerobic digester pro-
cesses manure from the large volumes
of water used to flush waste from ani-
mal holding areas at the dairy.
Because manure flushed from these
areas is so diluted by water, only
two types of anaerobic digesters are
practical for Florida dairies cov-
ered lagoons and fixed-film digesters,


Ann Wilkie records data at the waste treatment
system at UF's Dairy Research Unit in Hague.
The fixed-film anaerobic digester tank produces
methane gas from flushed manure. Some of the gas
is used to heat water on-site, and the flare stack
burns off excess amounts of gas. Wilkie recently
received the 20o6 Sustainable Florida Best
Practices Award from the Collins Center for Public
Policy in Tallahassee for her research. PHOTO BY
MARISOLAMADOR



Wilkie said. Covered lagoons require
large land areas, gas-tight covers
and careful sealing to prevent nutri-
ents from leaching into groundwater.
By contrast, the fixed-film anaerobic
digester at Hague is a 100,000-gallon
tank that has a relatively small foot-
print, which can be a real plus when
local land-planning issues are a
concern, she said.
"In covered lagoons, which are less
efficient than fixed-film anaerobic
digesters, the digestive bacteria float
around, making only random contact
with the manure particles," Wilkie
said. "In fixed-film digesters, the bac-
terial growth occurs on the surfaces of
the internal media that the waste must
flow over, thereby assuring frequent
contact. In this way, higher volumes of
wastewater can be processed"'
She said a fixed-film digester can
process flushed manure in two to three
days, compared to 30 to 40 days for a
covered lagoon. Generally, the fixed-
film design is suitable for any livestock
manure that is diluted with water for
transport or processing, such as dairy
and swine waste.
The by-products of anaerobic diges-
tion liquid fertilizer and compost -
reduce the need for synthetic fertiliz-
ers and soil conditioners that are pro-
duced using less sustainable methods,
providing a cost savings as well as
environmental benefits, Wilkie said.
Anaerobic digestion reduces the
potential for global warming in two
ways, she said. First, by capturing
biogas, anaerobic digestion can reduce
natural emissions of methane, a potent
greenhouse gas. Second, when anaero-
bic digestion produces renewable fuel
to replace fossil fuels such as coal, oil
and natural gas, production of carbon


dioxide from burning those fossil fuels
is avoided. Use of renewable resources
represents a closed carbon cycle that
does not contribute to increases in
atmospheric concentrations of carbon
dioxide.
Another advantage of anaerobic diges-
tion is that it produces very little sludge.
With aerobic treatment, up to 50 per-
cent of the organic matter from the
waste is converted to sludge, which
requires further processing and disposal.
The anaerobic digester also lowers
the levels of pathogens; starvation and
competition with other microorganisms
help kill pathogens that might be in the
manure, Wilkie said.
David Armstrong, farm manager at
the UF Dairy Research Unit in Hague,
said the fixed-film anaerobic digester
has been operating successfully for more
than six years, and some of the methane
produced is used to heat water for the
milking parlor. He said the digester is
"farmer friendly" because it is easy to
operate and maintain. U
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
ANN WILKIE (352) 392-8699
acwilkie@ufl.edu
DAVID ARMSTRO N G (352) 538-3442
armstrong@animal.ufl.edu


IMPACT I Fall2006 25




























pt.1
tf1











QUESTIONS QUAIL

ABOUT


Loss of habitat for the northern bobwhite quail the
nation's most popular game bird is blamed for its sharp
decline in the Southeast, according to a University of Florida
wildlife conservationist who says improved land manage-
ment practices will help restore the species.
More intensive forestry and agricultural practices, urban
sprawl and other types of development are important factors
in their decline, causing bobwhite quail populations to drop
by two-thirds since 1980, said Bill Giuliano, an assistant pro-
fessor with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Florida hunters once harvested more than two million quail
each year, but they now take fewer than 250,000.
Several nongame birds that share habitats with bobwhites
- such as burrowing owls, crested caracaras, eastern mead-
owlarks and sparrows -are also experiencing long-term and
large-scale declines.
In much of the Southeast, bobwhite numbers are a small
fraction of what they were only 25 years ago, Giuliano said.
Continued loss and alteration of habitat through changing
land management practices and development threaten the
future of quail in Florida and the region. Similar problems
are affecting quail populations in other areas of the nation,
where the birds live in a wide variety of habitats.
Giuliano said the length of the hunting season -
November through March does not appear to be a factor
in their decline. However, considering these habitat prob-
lems, there may be a need for some new scientifically based
regulations to manage the harvest.
"To bring the bird's population back to 1980 levels in
the Southeast, some 81 million acres of habitat need to be
restored, and we are working with several public and private
agencies to encourage that on both public and private lands,"
Giuliano said.
Plans to restore habitat are being developed by UF
researchers in cooperation with scientists at the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the U.S. Geological
Survey and the Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee.
To educate landowners, managers, hunters and quail
enthusiasts on the ecology and management of bobwhite,
the UF Extension Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission held a quail management short
course last year in Arcadia, Fla. Giuliano, who coordinated
the course, said a similar program will be held Oct. 5-6 in
Monticello, Fla.
Giuliano said quail biologists generally agree that nest-
ing and ground-plant covers needed for brood-rearing are
important factors across most of the species' range in Florida
and the Southeast.

Loss of habitat in Florida and the Southeast has caused northern bobwhite
quail populations to drop by two-thirds since 1980. The northern bobwhite
quail (Colinus virginianus) is a small, chunky, short-tailed, round-winged,
ground-dwelling bird that is about eight inches tall. For more information,
please visit http://floridaquail.wec.ufl.edu PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT


"While the birds still thrive on large, intensively man-
aged quail plantations in North Florida, their numbers have
declined in South Florida, where changing land-use patterns
have altered their preferred habitat," Giuliano said. "In fact,
the landscape has changed so much that extensive tracts of
land have become completely unproductive for quail."
He said vast acreages have been cleared for citrus groves
and improved pastures. Concerns from urban residents
about smoke often prevent land managers from using con-
trolled burns to control excessive plant growth that may be
undesirable for quail. For example, palmetto is beneficial
for quail when it covers small areas of pastureland, but it
becomes detrimental when the coverage is extensive.
UF DeSoto County Extension Director Jim Selph said
many agricultural practices, including livestock grazing, are
often blamed for the loss and degradation of habitat for quail
and other wildlife. However, in many rangeland systems,
grazing can actually be an effective management tool to cre-
ate and maintain a good habitat for quail, he said.
The ideal quail habitat often referred to as a "crazy quilt"
of plants scattered about the landscape includes small
patches of bunchgrasses for nesting cover, weeds for forag-
ing and other shrubs such as palmetto for escape cover,
he said.
Selph, a livestock expert, said moderate grazing, which
usually results in more open and diverse rangeland, pro-
duces the best habitat for quail. Heavy grazing, particu-
larly when shrubs and other nonforage plants are being con-
trolled, could lead to a "golf-course effect," providing little
forage for cattle and no food or cover for quail.
"Unfortunately, there is no magic stocking rate or number
of animals that will always provide moderate grazing inten-
sity and maintain the crazy quilt that quail need," Selph said.
Giuliano said habitat restoration and possibly preda-
tor management practices could boost quail populations.
Predators of quail include armadillos, bobcats, hawks, owls,
raccoons and snakes.
Supplemental feeding, another form of predator manage-
ment, can help protect the birds by reducing the time they
spend away from their nests searching for food.
"Controlling red imported fire ants, which are one of
the leading causes of low quail numbers throughout the
Southeast, will also help quail populations rebound,"
Giuliano said. "In fact, controlling fire ants in heavily
infested areas could double quail populations." :
CHUCK WOODS


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
BILL GIULIANO

JIM SELPH


(352) 846-0575
docg@ufl.edu
(863) 993-4846
jselph@ifas.ufl.edu


IMPACT I Fall 2006 27











HUMBOLDT RESEARCH AWARD


F


P.K. NAIR


P.K. Nair, a distinguished profes-
sor of agroforestry at UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences,
has received the Humboldt Research
Award also known as the Humboldt
Prize which is Germany's highest
research award for senior scientists in
the United States.
The award, which includes a 50,000
euro stipend (about $60,000) for
future research, was presented to Nair
in June by the Humboldt Foundation
in Bonn, Germany. He was nomi-
nated for the award by professional
colleagues in Germany. Award win-
ners are also invited to develop
research projects of their own choice
in Germany in cooperation with col-
leagues for periods of six months to
a year.
The Alexander Humboldt
Foundation is a nonprofit foundation
established by the Federal Republic of


Germany for the promotion of inter-
national research cooperation. It
enables highly qualified scholars to
spend extended periods of research in
Germany and promotes international
scientific cooperation.
Nair, who is also director of the
Center for Subtropical Agroforestry in
UF's School of Forest Resources and
Conservation, is an internationally rec-
ognized leader in agroforestry, said
Jimmy Cheek, UF senior vice president
for agriculture and natural resources.
"P.K. Nair is largely responsible for
the development of agroforestry as a
scientific discipline by applying agro-
nomic concepts and practices to for-
estry," Cheek said. "This prestigious
international award is another indica-
tion of the outstanding quality of our
faculty:'
The UF agroforestry scientist is the
recipient of numerous awards, includ-


ing the 2005 Scientific Achievement
Award from the International Union
of Forest Research Organizations, the
2004 Barrington Moore Memorial
Award from the Society of American
Foresters and the 2004 International
Crop Science Award from the Crop
Science Society of America.
The Crop Science Society of
America is affiliated with the Soil
Science Society of America and the
American Society of Agronomy, both
of which have previously named
Nair a fellow, their highest recogni-
tion, and given him international ser-
vice awards. He also is a fellow of
the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. In 2005, he
was selected for the senior specialist
award of the Fulbright Commission.
Nair has a doctoral degree in agron-
omy from Pantnagar Agricultural
University, India, and a doctor of sci-
ence degree in agriculture from
Goettingen University, Germany. He
received an honorary doctoral degree
from Kyoto University, Japan in 2002
and one from the University of Science
and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in
2005. On June 15, 2006, he received
an honorary doctoral degree from
the University of Guelph in Ontario,
Canada.
He was editor-in-chief of
Agroforestry Systems from 1994 to
2005 and has served on the edito-
rial board of Plant and Soil for six
years. He served as chair of the Global
Organizing Committee for the 1st
World Congress of Agroforestry in
Orlando in July 2004. U


P.K. NAIR

JIMMY CHEEK


- CHUCK WOODS
(352) 846-0880
pknair@ufl.edu
(352) 392-1971
jgcheek@ufl.edu


28 IMPACT I Fall 2006












NEW BOOK PROFILES UF WOMEN ENGINEERS


JANIE FOUKE WENDY GRAHAM


CAROL LEHTOLA


Women represent less than 10 per-
cent of the nation's engineering work-
force, but a new book designed to
increase their numbers pays homage
to four University of Florida faculty
members.
"Changing Our World: True Stories
of Women Engineers" includes profiles
of UF Provost Janie Fouke and Wendy
Graham, Dorota Haman and Carol
Lehtola of UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences.
The book, released during National
Engineers Week in February, was writ-


ten by Sybil Hatch and produced by
the Extraordinary Woman Engineers
Project, an effort by more than 50
organizations to encourage young
women to pursue engineering careers.
The four UF faculty members were
chosen by a committee that reviewed
hundreds of nominations from various
engineering societies, said Graham,
former chairperson of UF's agricultural
and biological engineering department
and now director of UF's new Water
Institute.


Fouke, a biomedical engineer who
was dean of engineering at Michigan
State University before coming to
UF, was recognized for discovering
how cold weather can trigger asthma
attacks by increasing blood flow to the
lungs and expanding blood vessels.
Graham, profiled for research on
reducing nutrient pollution in ground-
water, said young women should con-
sider engineering because it offers
many career options.
"I think it's incredibly important
to show young women what they can
contribute to the world, and this book
does a great job of showing what's pos-
sible through engineering," she said.
Haman, the first woman faculty
member in UF's agricultural and bio-
logical engineering department,
said it's important for universities to
hire women engineers. An irrigation
expert, she was profiled for helping
farmers around the world.
"Female students need to see
women engineers in leadership roles,
and I think it benefits male students as
well," she said. "Today, there's no rea-
son why we shouldn't have as many
women engineers as men.
Lehtola, an agricultural safety expert
who was the first woman to graduate
from South Dakota State University's
agricultural engineering program,
is profiled for her efforts to reduce
deaths due to tractor rollovers, the
most common cause of farm fatalities.
For more information, visit: http://
www.engineeringwomen.org/stories.
html. E TOM NORDLIE
JANIE FOUKE (352) 392-2404
jfouke@aa.ufl.edu
WENDY GRAHAM (352) 392-1864
wgraham@ufl.edu
DO ROTA HAMAN (352) 392-1864
dzhaman@ifas.ufl.edu
CAROL LEHTOLA (352) 392-1864
cjlehtola@ifas.ufl.edu


IMPACT Fall 2006 29











FDA COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN


Mark McLellan, dean for research at
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, has been named chair of the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration's
(FDA) Food Advisory Committee,
whose members are the nation's
top consultants for food issues. The
appointment became effective in
February and will continue through


June 2008. As chair, McLellan will
lead a group of 17 scientists, consumer
advocates and industry representatives
consulted by the FDA for advice on
complex or controversial issues.
"The FDA turns to the commit-
tee when it isn't sure of the best path
to take on something," McLellan said.
"My job is to guide the discussion
among committee members so we can
provide well thought-out guidance to
FDA."
Depending on the FDA's needs, the
committee may address topics rang-
ing from basic food safety and product
labeling to genetically modified foods,
allergens and emerging pathogens, he
said.
McLellan was selected for the posi-
tion by FDA Commissioner Andrew
von Eschenbach.
McLellan has led several large sci-
entific organizations. Before arriv-
ing at UF in July 2005, he was direc-


tor of Texas A&M University's Institute
of Food Science and Engineering.
He also served as director of Cornell
University's Institute of Food Science
and president of the Institute of Food
Technologists, a nonprofit scientific
society with 28,000 members.
McLellan's appointment is another
indication of UF's prominence among
the nation's leading universities, said
Jimmy Cheek, senior vice president for
agriculture and natural resources.
"By taking a leadership role with the
FDA, Dr. McLellan will attract more
attention to the University of Florida,"
Cheek said. "Our faculty and adminis-
trators are excellent, and this appoint-
ment will pave the way for greater UF
involvement in issues of national con-
cern." TOM NORDLIE
MARK MCLELLAN (352) 392-1784
mrml@ufl.edu


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD


JIM DAVIDSON


Jim Davidson, former University of
Florida vice president for agriculture
and natural resources, has been hon-
ored with the E.T. York Distinguished
Service Award for his contributions to
the people of Florida through UF agri-
culture and natural resource programs.


Davidson received the award
April 4 at the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences' administrative
council meeting at Emerson Alumni
Hall. A plaque bearing his name was
installed in McCarty Hall.
From 1992 until he retired in 1998,
Davidson led statewide IFAS teach-
ing, research and Extension programs.
From 1986 until 1992, he served as
IFAS dean for research. He came to UF
in 1972 as a visiting associate professor
and joined the faculty as a soil science
professor in 1974. His research focused
on the movement of pesticides and
other organic materials through soil.
Davidson is a fellow of the
American Society of Agronomy and
the Soil Science Society of America
and is listed in the American Men
of Sciences, Men of Achievement,
Who's Who in the South and Who's


Who in Science and Engineering. He
served on national EPA and Academy
of Science committees investigating
groundwater quality.
Before coming to UF, Davidson
taught at Oklahoma State University
and held laboratory research posts
at Oregon State University and the
University of California, Davis.
He earned a bachelor's degree in soil
science at Oregon State University in
1956 and stayed to earn a master's in
soil physics in 1958. He earned a doc-
torate in soil physics at the University
of California, Davis in 1965. E
MICKIE ANDERSON
JIM DAVIDSON (352) 377-0582
jamesjmd44@cox.net


30 IMPACT Fall 2006











INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS


DAVID SAMMONS


David Sammons, associate dean and
director of international programs in
agriculture at Purdue University, has
been named director of international
programs at UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences.
In announcing the appointment,
which became effective July 25, Jimmy
Cheek, UF senior vice president for
agriculture and natural resources, said
international programs are increas-
ingly important in the global econ-
omy, and Sammons' experience, cou-


pled with his vision for the future, will
help the university develop a world-
class program.
Cheek said Sammons will lead
international efforts. International
Programs, which is in the Office of
the Senior Vice President, helps fac-
ulty identify and pursue opportuni-
ties, secure funding, network with col-
leagues and obtain foreign language
training. Sammons will be the pro-
gram's first full-time director since
1999. He replaces Roger Natzke, who
has held the post since July 2003.
"I look forward to helping raise
UF's profile and presence around the
world," Sammons said. "There's enor-
mous potential for the university to
help meet global needs for improving
agriculture, food production and natu-
ral resource management."
Throughout his career, Sammons
has traveled extensively, beginning
with an assignment as a Peace Corps
science and agriculture education vol-
unteer in the Philippines and, more
recently, working in Africa, China,
Europe, Japan and Russia, as well as


Central and South America and the
Caribbean.
Sammons has served at Purdue since
1993. In September 2004 he took tem-
porary leave to work as senior adviser
for university relations and agricul-
tural research, training and outreach
in the Office of Agriculture at the U.S.
Agency for International Development
in Washington, D.C.
Prior to arriving at Purdue,
Sammons was a member of the
University of Maryland's agron-
omy department faculty from 1978
to 1993, specializing in plant genet-
ics and breeding. At Maryland, he also
served in two associate dean positions
and was interim head of an outlying
research and education center.
He has a bachelor's degree in biol-
ogy from Tufts University, a mas-
ter's degree in biology from Harvard
University and a doctoral degree in
agronomy from the University of
Illinois. E TOM NORDLIE
DAVID SAMMONS (352) 392-1965
sammons@ufl.edu


WILDLIFE ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION


JOHN HAYES


John Hayes, a professor and associ-
ate dean for international programs at
Oregon State University's College of
Forestry, has been named chairman
of the wildlife ecology and conserva-
tion department at UF's Institute of


Food and Agricultural Sciences. The
appointment became effective July 27.
In announcing the appointment,
Jimmy Cheek, UF senior vice president
for agriculture and natural resources,
said Hayes' combination of research,
teaching, Extension and administrative
experience made him an ideal candi-
date for the position.
"The fact that Dr. Hayes has sub-
stantial experience in international
programs is a plus," Cheek said. "The
university continues to expand its
work around the globe, and he will
bring valuable insights to the position.
Hayes said the UF department is
poised to become the nation's best
wildlife program.
"One of the things that drew me to
UF was the combination of high-qual-
ity teaching, research and Extension


activities," Hayes said. "My job will be
to help everyone build on the accom-
plishments that have already been
achieved."
Hayes had served at OSU since
1992, where he also was associate
department head of forest science.
His research focuses on applied ecol-
ogy, including habitat ecology of ver-
tebrates in forests, the influence of
forest management on wildlife popu-
lations, and the ecology and conserva-
tion of bats.
He has a bachelor's degree in wild-
life science from OSU, a master's degree
in biology from Southern Oregon State
College and a doctoral degree in ecology
and evolutionary biology from Cornell
University. E TOM NORDLIE
JOHN P. HAYES (352) 846-0552
hayesj@ufl.edu


IMPACT I Fall2006 31












TEACHER OF THE YEAR


GARY FAIRCHILD


Gary Fairchild, a professor in the
food and resource economics depart-
ment, was one of two University
of Florida faculty members who
received a 2005-2006 Teacher of the


Year award during commencement
ceremonies in May.
"Fairchild was nominated for the
award by UF's College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences because he con-
sistently earns high marks from stu-
dents for his classroom style, quick
wit and genuine interest in them,"
said Kirby Barrick, dean of the
college.
Fairchild co-teaches his
department's capstone course,
Contemporary Issues in Agribusiness
Management, consistently lauded by
students as tough but intellectually
stimulating, Barrick said. Fairchild
also teaches courses in international
trade policy in agriculture, interna-
tional agribusiness marketing, and


public policy and the agribusiness
firm.
A faculty member in UF's Institute
of Food and Agricultural Sciences
since 1971, Fairchild has chaired
committees on program develop-
ment, peer evaluation and other cur-
ricular issues; advised department
and college clubs and councils; men-
tored junior faculty and served on the
University Center for Excellence in
Teaching advisory board.
Fairchild has a bachelor's degree in
rural sociology and a master's degree
in agricultural economics from Ohio
State University, and a doctoral degree
in agricultural economics from Texas
A&M University. E MICKIE ANDERSON
GARY FAIRCHILD (352) 392-1826
gff@ufl.edu


JAMES NEWSOME


James Newsome, president and
chief executive officer of the New
York Mercantile Exchange Inc. and
a 1982 graduate of UF's College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences, was
honored as a Distinguished Alumnus
during commencement ceremonies in
May.
He was nominated for the honor by
a UF Faculty Senate committee and


DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS


recommended for the award by the
UF Board of Trustees. Jimmy Cheek,
senior vice president for agriculture
and natural resources, presented the
award to Newsome.
Cheek said Newsome is widely
respected for his forward-thinking
approach, his insight into interna-
tional markets and his strategic plan-
ning skills. "He is an outstanding role
model for students and alumni, and
he has brought distinction to himself
and UF through his accomplishments,"
Cheek said.
Newsome, who became president of
the exchange in 2004, has expanded
into international markets, opening a
facility in London and partnering with
a subsidiary of Dubai Holding to cre-
ate the Dubai Mercantile Exchange.
The New York exchange is the world's
largest physical commodities future
exchange and the preeminent trading
forum for energy and precious metals.


In 1998, Newsome was confirmed
by the U.S. Senate to be a commis-
sioner of the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission (CFTC). He was
appointed chairman of the commis-
sion in 2001. As chairman, he guided
the implementation of the Commodity
Futures Modernization Act of 2000
and oversaw unprecedented levels of
futures activity. During his tenure, the
CFTC brought cases against 22 energy
companies for price manipulation and
other fraud.
Originally from Plant City, Fla.,
Newsome earned his bachelor's degree
in food and resource economics at UF
in 1982. He then completed his mas-
ter's and doctoral degrees in animal
sciences and agricultural economics at
Mississippi State University. E
CHUCK WOODS
JAMES NEWSOME (212) 299-2000
exchangeinfo@nymex.com


32 IMPACT Fall 2006











NEW ACADEMIC MACE FOR COLLEGE


KIRBY BARRICK, LEFT, AND WAYNE SMITH
The University of Florida's College
of Agricultural and Life Sciences has
a new symbol to honor its history and
mark its 100th year educating students
in Gainesville.
The college's first academic mace -
an attractive wooden staff more than
four feet tall and weighing 20 pounds -
will be used in commencements and
other formal ceremonies, said Kirby
Barrick, dean of the college.


"The mace is an impressive piece of
work, and will be a symbolic addition
to our graduation ceremonies," Barrick
said. "Since we cannot recount our col-
lege's long history at these events, the
mace provides a way to represent it."
Wayne Smith, director emeritus of
UF's School of Forest Resources and
Conservation, led the effort to develop
the mace when he was interim dean of
the college. A committee that included
Jake Huffman, a professor emeritus
of wood science; Jane Luzar, associ-
ate dean of the college; Steve Feagle, an
instrument maker and designer with
the agricultural and biological engi-
neering department and George Hecht,
a curatorial assistant with the Florida
Museum of Natural History, designed
and crafted the mace.
From bottom to top, the mace
includes red mangrove, a strong wood
representing southern coastal areas; live
oak, a dense wood used to build ships
such as Old Ironsides; cypress, a dura-


ble wood representing the state's wet-
lands and black cherry, a fine wood
used to build furniture.
The final piece of wood is a piece of
UF history a block of longleaf pine
salvaged from Machinery Hall, the first
building completed on the Gainesville
campus.
The pine was used for the head of
the mace, which is decorated with the
seals of the college, UF and the state
of Florida. Atop it rests a gilded sphere
that symbolizes the sun and the global
reach of the college.
The brass bands used to connect
the wooden sections of the mace were
engraved to record the college's chang-
ing institutional names and administra-
tive leadership throughout the years. E
TOM NORDLIE
KIRBY BARRICK (352) 392-1961
kbarrick@ufl.edu
WAYNE SMITH (352) 846-0867
whsmith@ifas.ufl.edu


SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD


E.T. YORK


E.T. York, chancellor emeritus of
the state university system of Florida
and the leader of efforts to establish
the state's first veterinary college at
the University of Florida, was honored
May 27 with the College of Veterinary
Medicine's Special Service Award.


York, who has also served as UF
interim president and vice president
for agricultural affairs, was recognized
at the college's commencement cer-
emony. The award was presented to
York by Julio Ibanez, a member of the
college's first graduating class and pres-
ident of its alumni council.
James Thompson, interim dean of
the college, said York was the per-
son most responsible for creating the
college, which opened its doors in
September 1976. "It's because of Dr.
York that the college exists today,"
Thompson said. "Everybody here rec-
ognizes that when they hear his name.
We wanted to show our gratitude, and
this was a fitting way to do it."
The Special Service Award is
one of three honors in the college's
Distinguished Awards Program, which
was established by its alumni council
in 2000, Thompson said. The Special


Service Award is the only honor pre-
sented to individuals not directly
involved in veterinary practice or
trained at the college.
York's work to establish the college
dates back to 1963, when he arrived at
UF to serve as provost for agriculture.
In 1967, he was appointed to represent
UF in matters related to the creation
of a state veterinary college. Thanks in
part to his efforts, in 1969 the Florida
Legislature designated UF as the loca-
tion of the college and appropriated
funding sufficient to start the planning
process and hire key personnel, includ-
ing a dean.
In the 30 years the college has
been operational, York has remained
involved in its activities, serving on
various advisory committees. The col-
lege includes numerous faculty affil-
iated with UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. TOM NORDLIE
E.T. YORK (352) 392-6545
york@ifas.ufl.edu


IMPACT I Fall 2006 33









DEVE


THE PAUL J. DIMARE
FOUNDATION TERM
PROFESSORSHIP


PAUL J. DIMARE
Paul J. DiMare of Coral Gables,
Fla., and members of his family have
established "The Paul J. DiMare
Foundation Term Professorship"
endowment with their gift of
$1 million.
The state of Florida has a match-
ing gift program which may further
enhance the DiMare gift with match-
ing funds of $750,000. In addition, UF
President Bernie Machen has pledged
to add $250,000 from the Faculty
Challenge Initiative fund, ultimately
increasing the endowment to a total of
$2 million.
The DiMare gift will provide sup-
port for a UF/IFAS tomato plant
breeder/geneticist who will work to
develop tomato varieties that are resis-
tant to fungi, viruses and bacteria, as
well as tomatoes that show increased
yields and improved quality.
DiMare is the largest grower of
fresh-market tomatoes in the United
States and is commonly known
throughout the industry as "Mr.
Tomato." He is a strong supporter of
UF/IFAS research efforts to develop
new breeds of tomatoes that would
help the industry and consumers
throughout Florida and the nation. E


LOPMENT /


THE JOHN T. BARNES PROFESSORSHIP

John T. Barnes of Pace, Fla., received his undergraduate degree in 1948 and
his master's degree in 1949 through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(CALS). He says he has been blessed during his lifetime due in part to the educa-
tion he received at the University of Florida. As an expression of his appreciation,
Barnes has chosen to give back to the college by setting up charitable gift annui-
ties, which will benefit him during his lifetime, provide tax advantages and even-
tually support CALS by establishing "The John T Barnes Professorship." Barnes
says he is proud to have his wishes carried out in a manner that will not only
accomplish his personal financial planning goals, but will also allow him to give
something back to UF/IFAS. E



THE LENTON ROWLAND JR.
AND KITTY FEHR ENDOWMENT


LENTON ROWLAND JR. KITTY FEHR


Lenton Rowland Jr. of Gainesville, Fla., and his sister, Kitty Fehr of Raleigh,
N.C., have funded a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT), which will one day
establish "The Lenton Rowland Jr. and Kitty Fehr Endowment." The CRUT
will provide Rowland and Fehr joint life incomes. The remaining CRUT proceeds
will be used to create the endowment, which will be used to support fellowship
awards to graduate students in the UF/IFAS animal sciences department.
Rowland received a graduate fellowship while pursuing his degree and feels it
is important to give something back to UF. Understanding the pressures graduate
students face, Rowland and Fehr want the endowment to support graduate stu-
dents so they will not have to take on additional outside employment.
Rowland, a former UF/IFAS animal sciences faculty member, and his sister, Ms.
Fehr, have also included UF/IFAS in their estate plans to further supplement their
future endowments. 0


34 IMPACT I Fall 2006









IFAS





Ways you can help
support UF/IFAS
The IFAS Development program serves as the central fund-
raising effort to secure private support for the University of
Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in partner-
ship with the University of Florida Foundation Inc. Charitable
gifts provide the "margin of excellence" for IFAS academic pro-
grams, research, Extension and facilities.

Ways to Give
There are several ways to support IFAS:
*Cash
Charitable Bequests (wills and trusts)
Real Estate (residential or farmland)
Life Income Gifts (charitable remainder trusts,
annuities, retained life estates and retirement planning)
Stocks (especially appreciated stocks)
Life Insurance (new or existing policies)

How Gifts are Used
All gifts designed for IFAS are payable to the University of
Florida Foundation and are generally tax-deductible. Your
gift may support IFAS academic, research or Extension pro-
grams, faculty initiatives, student scholarships, enhanced
facilities or equipment. Permanent named endowed funds
may also be established to ensure long-term stable funding
for any project or program.

Matching Gift Programs
The state of Florida may provide matching dollars for
endowment gifts. Employers may also match employee con-
tributions. Check with your employer's benefits office and
see if they will provide a matching gift form for you to com-
plete and return with your gift.


Life Income Programs
from the
University of Florida
Foundation Inc.

The University of Florida Foundation Inc. offers charita-
ble gift opportunities with life income plans. This method
of giving enables you to transfer highly appreciated assets
to the Foundation and to retain an income for your lifetime
or for a term of years certain or for other designated benefi-
ciaries. You also will receive a charitable income deduction
or an estate tax deduction for part of the value transferred
to the life income plan. You may specify how the residual
of your gift will be used to benefit a UF/IFAS program or an
area of your choice.

The following are additional ways these types of deferred
gifts may benefit you:
Enables you to create an alternative retirement resource that
is not limited by federal contribution caps.
Permits you to diversify your overall income portfolio.
Allows you to convert low-yielding or non-income producing
assets into higher income streams.
May enable you to reduce or eliminate capital gains taxation
on sales of appreciated assets.
Can help you to reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes.

State Matching Gift Levels:
$100,000 to $599,999 gifts matched 50 percent
$600,000 to $1,000,000 gifts matched 70 percent
$1,000,001 to $1,500,000 gifts matched 75 percent
$1,500,001 to $2,000,000 gifts matched 80 percent
$2,000,001 or more gifts matched 100 percent


For more information, contact:
IFAS Development Office
Phone (352) 392-1975 Fax (352) 392-5115
Web site: http://share.ifas.ufl.edui


IMPACT I Fall 2006 35







UNIVERSITY of NON-PROFIT ORG.

FLORI U.S. POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 94
IFAS GAINESVILLE, FL
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
PO Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180





















MORE FLOWER POWER
N I...- .. ...., a student in UF's environmental horticulture
.I -l m' II- ... ...Is data on how temperature, humidity, sanitation
I 1.)t n I It 1i effect the longevity and shelf life of roses. She is part
S., te i .1 1 I. hers in UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
i I i. I,-,,l,l. flowers go the distance extending flower quality
and vase life by three or more days for consumers.
Terril Nell, chairman of the environmental horticulture department
who has provided leadership for the postharvest floral program for
more than 25 years, said their research has shown that keeping flow-
ers cold as they move from the field to the florist is critical.
S "Proper treatment and sanitary conditions are also important," Nell
said. "Consumers can extend vase life by two to three days by using
properly mixed commercial flower foods. Using clean, sanitized con-
tainers will help to keep all cut flowers fresh longer.
Nell and his research team are working with growers and retailers
nationally and internationally to spread the word about how best to
make flowers last longer.
"Sometimes the differences we achieve relate to the flower quality
as well as vase life," said Nell, who began working with roses because
of their popularity and economic value. He also works with carna-
tions, lilies, gerbera, chrysanthemums and alstromeria.
"I t"It's not enough to offer consumers a beautiful flower," Nell said.
/03 "It needs to come with an extended warranty to remain lovely for a
reasonable period of time. Our research is providing scientific basis
for that kind of guarantee." :
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
TERRIL NELL (352) 392-1831
a- tanell@ufl.edu
PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT




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