Special honors
 In memoriam
 Agronomy field days, etc.
 Student news
 Student awards
 Volunteer activities
 Staff news

Group Title: AgroGator
Title: AgroGator. Volume 9, Issue 2. Fall 1999.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066345/00003
 Material Information
Title: AgroGator. Volume 9, Issue 2. Fall 1999.
Uniform Title: AgroGator
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Affiliation: University of Florida -- College of Agricultural and Life Sciences -- Department of Agronomy -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: Fall 1999
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066345
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Table of Contents
    Special honors
        Page 1
        Page 2
    In memoriam
        Page 3
    Agronomy field days, etc.
        Page 4
    Student news
        Page 5
    Student awards
        Page 6
    Volunteer activities
        Page 7
    Staff news
        Page 8
Full Text


Volume Nine Issue Two

Fall 1999

Dan Gorbet (C) receives award from Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman (R)
accompanied by Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger.

I.pca Honors

One of the most satisfying parts of
producing this newsletter is being
able to publicize the honors and awards
that members of the Agronomy Depart-
ment receive. In this issue we are very
proud to recognize three people who
have won exceptionally prestigious
honors recently.

On April 9t 1999, Dan Gorbet was
presented with the U.S. Secretary for
Agriculture's Honor Award at a cer-
emony in Washington D.C. Dan re-
ceived one of the six Honor Awards
that were presented to faculty and staff
from the University of Florida by the
U.S. Secretary for Agriculture, Dan

Glickman. As the USDA's highest rec-
ognition for outstanding contributions
to agriculture and the consumer, only
19 of these awards are presented each
year. Dan was recognized for his out-
standing research and development of
successful commercial peanut variet-
ies, including the world's first cultivar
with high-oleic chemistry, resulting in
extended shelf-life and improved yield.
This has been a banner year for Dan
as he had already received a Professo-
rial Excellence Award (see last issue
of AgroGator) and he became a Fel-
low of the American Society of
Agronomy at their recent annual meet-
ing in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In our last issue of AgroGator we
were pleased to announce that Rich-
ard Fethiere had received an IFAS Su-
perior Accomplishment Award in the
Administrative and Professional cat-
egory. Little did we know that this was
just a stepping stone to even greater rec-
ognition. On June 1, 1999, Richard re-
ceived one of only six University-wide
Superior Accomplishment Awards,
being the top choice in the Adminis-
trative and Professional category. UF
President John Lombardi presented Ri-
chard with his plaque and $1000 check
Continued on page 2

P Paes PI 5 APge PgA 8
SSpecial honors Student news Volunteer activities New students
Spag" Faculty news Alumni news Graduating students
In memorial Faculty travel Social events UNIV Y
Sf8 '4 Pege A 8FLORIDA
.) Agronomy field days, etc. Student awards Staff news Institute of Food and AgnculturalSciences

Fall 1999


Agronomy Department

College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences

Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences

University of Florida

Dr. Jerry Bennett

Dr. Alison Fox

Eunice Mobley
Design & Layout

Traci Durden

P.O. Box 110500
Gainesville, Florida

Fax: 352-392-1840

AgroGator Online:

Agrogator is published semiannu-
ally for the faculty, staff, alumni and
friends of the Agronomy Depart-
Comments and suggestions are

President John Lombardi (L), Richard Fethiere (C), Chairman Jerry Bennett (R).

Continued from page 1
at a ceremony in the Reitz Union Ball-
As Coordinator of Research Pro-
grams/Services in the UF/IFAS For-
age Evaluation Support Laboratory,
Richard's many accomplishments in-
cluded coordination of the move from
the Animal Nutrition Laboratory to
McCarty Hall, securing new funding
for the lab, coping with critical and
expensive but malfunctioning equip-
ment, and increasing by 31% the an-

Tom Sinclair

nual number of samples analyzed. All
this while maintaining cheerful and
productive relationships with faculty,
staff, and students. A bonus reward
was being able to ride in honor as part
of the UF Homecoming Parade in early
The Crop Science Society of
America selected Tom Sinclair to re-
ceive their Crop Science Research
Award in recognition of excellence in
research. The recipient of this award
is deemed to have made significant and
original contributions in basic and ap-
plied research to crop science, to have
shown excellence in creative reason-
ing and skill in obtaining significant
data, and to have made significant im-
pacts in crop sciences nationally and
internationally. Tom is a Courtesy
Professor in the Agronomy Depart-
ment, employed by USDA-ARS and
he is involved in wide-ranging re-
search activities in environmental crop
physiology. He received his award at
the annual meeting of the Crop Sci-
ence Society in Salt Lake City, Utah
in early November 1999.
Congratulations to all our award
winners and we look forward to many
more announcements in newsletters to
come. If you win an award don't for-
get to let us know! *

AgroGator 2



Fall 1999

In Memoriam

Dr. Edwin Charles "Tito" French

Edwin Charles "Tito" French, Asso-
ciate Professor, 54, collapsed and died
unexpectedly Sunday, September 26,
1999 while jogging in the San Felasco
Hammock near Gainesville on a morn-
ing outing. Dr. French was an avid,
frequent runner in apparent good
physical condition.
After completing his undergradu-
ate studies in Wildlife Science from
New Mexico State University, Dr.
French joined the Peace Corps and
served for two years in El Salvador.
During this time, he completed his
M.S. thesis at New Mexico State Uni-
versity for a Masters degree in Horti-
culture. He returned to the United
States to pursue a Ph.D. in Horticul-
ture, which he received from Texas
A&M University in 1978. His goal
was to work internationally with small
Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr.
French accepted a two-year assign-
ment with the University of Florida in
Bolivia working with cropping sys-
tems for small farms. In 1980, Dr.
French joined the Agronomy Depart-
ment at UF as an Assistant Professor.
Here he continued his work with small
farmers in the North Florida Farming
Systems Project. One of his major ac-
complishments in research and exten-
sion was the widespread adoption of a
perennial peanut, an important new
forage crop for Florida. He was the
organizer and founding member of Pe-
rennial Peanut Producers Association
(PPPA), an organization devoted to
expansion of perennial peanut produc-
tion, marketing channels and produc-
tion technology. Dr. French was
largely responsible for the over 20,000
acres of this crop in Florida and lower

south. In recent years he researched
and promoted perennial peanut as an
ornamental ground cover for lawns,
parks, wasteland, and highway medi-
ans and shoulders.
Over time his interest in environ-
mental agronomy increased and he be-
gan research on cropping systems use-
ful in taking up nutrients to reduce pol-
lution, and making sustainable feed
when irrigated with dairy manure ef-
fluent. Dr. French received many
grants from both state and national
sources for research projects on im-
proving water quality on dairy farms.
The research teams he had put together
will continue this ongoing research.
Dr. French's clients, friends and
colleagues remember him as a helpful,
pleasant person who took time to lis-
ten to your problem and helped if he
could, even when it took much of his
ever-short time. He frequently com-
plained that days were too short for him
to accomplish all that he wanted to.
Dr. French was widely known
throughout North Central Florida for
his tireless work with the Boy Scouts
of America. In addition to serving as
committee Chairman for Troop 84 in
Gainesville since 1993, he was active
in the Alachua County scouting orga-
nization, and served for years on the
district committee. He was instrumen-
tal in overseeing the annual food drive
known as Scouting For Food, which
benefits many local organizations serv-
ing the homeless and the needy. He
was the founder of Environmental Ser-
vice Day, an effort now in its third year
in which Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and
adult leaders devote a day to cleaning
up watersheds and parks throughout
Gainesville and its environs. Dr.

French also served both Alachua
County and the North Florida Council
as Environmental Service chair. In
this capacity, he pioneered the idea of
every Scout Troop having a youth and
adult Environmental Steward to
heighten awareness of environmental
issues and coordinate local service.
His dedication to the protection and
preservation of our environment was
unswerving, as was his dedication to
preserving our resources by recycling.
He instituted an Environmental
Awareness display which he took to
locations around the state in his efforts
to increase awareness of the need for
environmental responsibility. He also
served on staff at the National Scout
Jamboree in 1997 in this capacity.
In addition to these activities, Dr.
French served the Echockotee Lodge,
Order of the Arrow, as Service Advi-
sor and, most recently, as Event Ad-
visor for the upcoming Section Con-
ference 2000, to be held in April next
year. For his dedicated work to the
Lodge, he was voted the Vigil Honor,
where he obtained his Indian name,
Ahoaltuwl Guttgennemen
Machpikim in 1999, by the youth he
strove to serve and to guide. *

3 AgroGator



Fall 1999


[plt 2 e e th*c
lr/-t--t ___

Agronomy Department's poster presentation for Gator Encounter/TailGator '99.

During September, several mem-
bers of the Agronomy Depart-
ment put their talents together to pro-
duce a revised version of the depart-
mental display which was used in the
IFAS public-relations double-header
of Gator Encounter on October 1st,
and TailGator the following day.
Gator Encounter is a recruitment event
during which high-school students
from around the state visit UF to hear
and see all about IFAS programs. An
event previously held in the spring, the
emphasis at Gator Encounter is to ap-
peal to students with eye-catching and
interactive displays. TailGator has

become an annual gathering for IFAS
friends and alumni, preceding a home
football game (we will tactfully forget
which one that was this year).
Facing stiff competition from
hatching chicks (Poultry Science) and
ice-cream (Dairy Science), the stu-
dents, staff and faculty of the
Agronomy Department rotated over the
two days to pursue an assertive strat-
egy to attract people to our display.
Bribery with packets of peanuts drew
our visitors in (actually in the confines
of the tent, they had little opportunity
to avoid our cheerful greetings) but a
multiple-choice quiz kept many of

them long enough to actually read
about Agronomy (and find the answers
on the display). Inspired, no doubt, by
the possibility of winning a can of pea-
nuts, an impressive 171 quizzes were
completed over the two days, and many
contestants (hopefully prospective stu-
dents) indicated an interest in receiv-
ing more information about our depart-
ment. Many expressions of surprise
were heard as visitors discovered what
diverse topics such as food production,
biotechnology, forages, and weed sci-
ence, are included in our department.
The quiz and names of winners can be
Continued on page 5





Fall 1999

Jean Thomas demonstrates the Li-Cor
photosynthesis analyzer to students.

Continued from page 4
found on the Agronomy Department's
website http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/
In keeping with our objective to
attract more students to the undergradu-
ate Plant Sciences program, members
of the Agronomy Department partici-
pated in a couple of recruiting drives
this semester. Thanks to persistence
from Ken Buhr to keep Plant Sciences
on the IFAS recruiting agenda, presen-
tations were made to two groups of
Community College advisors on our
teaching program by Ken, Maria
Gallo-Meagher and Alison Fox. In
addition to the traditional peanut bribe,
assorted hand-outs, and a fright from a
very prickly tropical soda apple plant,
these audiences also got a student's-eye
view from Plant Sciences major C h ,,-
tina Fulford. It is hoped that activities
such as these, combined with popular
and innovative undergraduate courses
will help boost undergraduate enroll-
ment in the long run. *
ss Fil Da
Jaur 13,6206

Faculty News

Congratulations to Ken Buhr and
Alison Fox! They were elected to the
University Senate for a two-year term
that began this fall. This could be an
interesting tenure with three different
presidents at the helm.

00 Shocking
news.....there are no more
peanuts for sale this year! Good
news for the Agronomy/Soils Club
who use money from these sales to
support club activities and scholar-
ships, but a possible disappointment
for those of you who had not yet got
your holiday supply of peanuts. A new
batch of peanuts will be available in
late March or early April. They prom-
ise to get more of the popular "honey
roasted" variety that was very well re-
ceived this year.

Faculty Travel

Randall Stocker presented a paper at
the XIVth International Plant Protec-
tion Congress (IPPC) in Jerusalem, Is-
rael on "Biological Control of Aquatic
Plants with Fish."
Paul Pfahler attended the Interna-
tional Conference on Pollen-Stigma
Interactions at Oxford University in
Oxford, England
Alison Fox attended the Weed Sci-
ence Society of America, Mid-year
Board of Directors Meeting in Toronto,
Ken Boote presented a paper on
"Food and Forestry: Global Change
and Global Challenges" at the GCTE
Focus 3 Conference in London, En-
gland. He also traveled to Ghana to
coordinate collaborative peanut re-
search studies conducted by Ghanian
and Benin scientists and to Egypt to
conduct a crop model training course.

5 AgroGator

Student News

A new event has been added to the Agronomy Department's calendar, but
the invitation list is very selective! A social was arranged for September
15th, as an opportunity for graduate students to meet in an informal setting
(food provided), with a particular emphasis on welcoming new students.
However, Hurricane Floyd (at least the threat thereof) decided not to be so
friendly and due to the closure of UF for that day, the gathering had to be
postponed for a few weeks.
David Wofford made an offer of a huge prize (a bogus offer it turns
out...) for the student who came up with the most imaginative name for this
new event. While this inducement (and the free food) helped to attract
most of our graduate students to the event, a suitable name was not forth-
coming. Apparently, this task was treated with a little more intellectual
effort than was intended (not a bad sign in our students, of course) but the
contest will be repeated next year with the encouragement to be particu-
larly creative and light-hearted.
With the new academic year came a transition between Graduate Stu-
dent Representatives. Dorothy Brazis (M.S. student with Randall Stocker)
and Jackie Greenwood (M.S. student with Raymond Gallaher) passed this
commitment over to Stuart Rymph (Ph.D. with Ken Boote) and Alison
Snyder (M.S. with Ken Boote). These representatives serve as a liaison
between the faculty and graduate students, typically attending faculty meet-
ings or meetings with the Department Chair, both to represent the students'
perspective on issues, and to be able to relay relevant information to the
other students.



Fall 1999

Student Awards

+ Xu He received the Hull Award
and $500 for her academic excellence
of a 4.0 GPA and for completing her
Ph.D. research project in only 2 V2
years. In memory of a former Depart-
ment Chair, the Hull award is given in
place of the C. E. Dean award in some
Xu's research involved many com-
plex technologies including growing
and hybridizing plants, maize tissue
culture and transformation, vector con-
struction, charactering transgenic
plants with recombinant DNA tech-
niques, measuring enzymatic activity
with radio-labeled substrates and mea-
suring forage nutritional quality.
> Four students were awarded the
Paul Robin Harris Memorial Scholar-
ship to support presentations of their
papers at scientific meetings.These
four students and their award informa-
tion are listed below.
+ Michael W. Edenfield (Weed
Science)--awarded up to $500 for sup-
port to present papers at two meetings-
2000 Beltwide Cotton Research Con-
ference in San Antonio, TX, 4-8 Janu-
ary 2000 and Southern Weed Science
Society meetings in Tulsa, OK, 24-26
January 2000. Mike will present a to-
tal of three papers at these two meet-
ings. Titles of papers are as follows: 1)

"The Effect of Glyphosate Application
Timing on Weed Control and Boll De-
velopment in Glyphosate Tolerant Cot-
ton," 2) "The Influence of Glyphosate
Application and Timing on Purple Nut-
sedge Control and Boll Development
in Glyphosate Tolerant Cotton." and 3)
"Torpedograss Control in
Bermudagrass with Quinclorac."
Michael is author of 3 refereed publi-
cations, 3 departmental publications
and 7 abstracts.
4 JacquelineGreenwood
(Production-soil fertility and plant
nutrition)--awarded up to $300 for sup-
port to present papers at the 1999 meet-
ings of the American Society of
Agronomy in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jackie was senior author on one poster
paper and was junior author on a sec-
ond poster paper at these meetings.
Titles of papers were as follows: 1)
"Recycling of Urban Yard Waste to Im-
prove Soil Quality and Sweet Corn
Yield," and 2) Growth and Nutrient
Uptake and Partitioning in White Acre
Cowpea." Jackie is author of 2 refer-
eed publications, 3 departmental pub-
lications, and 5 abstracts.
+ Yoana C. Newman (Forage
Physiology)--awarded up to $300 for
support to present a paper at the 1999
meetings of the American Society of
Agronomy in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Yoana was senior author on a paper
entitled "Carbon Dioxide, Tempera-
ture and N Effects on Yield and
Chemical Composition of Bahiagrass
and Rhizoma Peanut." Yoana is au-
thor of 1 book chapter, 1 other refer-
eed publication, and 3 abstracts.
+ Alison Snyder (Crop Physiol-
ogy)--awarded up to $100 for support
to present paper at the 2000 meetings
of the Florida Academy of Science in
Melbourne, FL. Her paper is entitled
"The Effects of Elevated CO2 and
Temperature on Growth and Yield
Processes of Two Rice Cultivars."

Christina Fulford
+ Christina Fulford, an under-
graduate in the Plant Sciences pro-
gram, was selected to be an IFAS
Ambassador in Summer 1999. IFAS
Ambassadors give presentations about
the College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences in schools and community
colleges around the state. This is an
effective public relations and recruit-
ing program because the perspective
of these UF students is particularly ap-
pealing to those who are considering
a university education. Each year
IFAS students apply to become am-
bassadors and have to pass a very rig-
orous selection procedure.
+ Christina also was elected Corre-
sponding Secretary for the American
Society of Agronomy-Student Activi-
ties Section (ASA-SAS) at the their
recent annual meeting. Over the years,
there has been a concerted effort to
Student Awards continued on page 7

AgroGator 6

Jerry Bennett, Chairman, Michael Edenfield, Yoana Newman,
Jacqueline Greenwood and Alison Snynder.



In the last issue of AgroGator we
started a new section on volunteer ac-
tivities under the title of "Buddy, can
you spare some time?" The first theme
scheduled for the spotlight was Scout-
ing. Two Agronomy faculty members
who indicated that they were involved
in the Boy Scouts are Tito French,
whose many contributions were out-
lined on page 3, and Barry Brecke who
is an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy
Scout Troop 427 in Milton, Florida.
In future issues we plan to feature
different volunteer activities of mem-
bers of the Agronomy Department. If
you haven't already done so, let the
Editor know if you participate in after-
hours projects about which you would
be prepared to be interviewed.

Alumni News

Chandra Reddy (1982, Ph.D.) pro-
fessor of Agronomy at Alabama A &
M University. He was elected as Uni-
versity Faculty Senate President in
1998 and re-elected for 1999-2000.
Recently Dr. Reddy and his colleagues
in the Senate made the Board of Trust-
ees rescind a Board resolution to fire
28 faculty members, including tenured
Linda Linsenburg (1981, B.S.)
is a citrus and vegetable crops sales
representative for Dow Agro Sciences
LLC in Melbourne Beach, FL.
Ruben A. Ortiz (1988, Ph.D.) is
senior manager in the Agronomy &
Nutrition Production Department at
Chiquita Brands International, La
Uruca, Costa Rica.
Thomas V. Cunilio (1979, B.S.)
is the lead agronomist for the Center
of Sustainable Agroforestry, Inc., a
501(c)(3) research and education cor-
poration with an emphasis on water
and energy issues, specifically the or-
namental perennial peanut and
leucaena for bioenergy.

Student Awards continued from page 6
have UF students as officers in this
national Society. Christina will be re-
sponsible for newsletters and commu-
nications within the SAS, a job made
somewhat easier by the change to elec-
tronic format, which was instituted by
another Agronomy student, Brett
Wade, when he held this office a few
years ago.
+ Justin West, also an undergradu-
ate in the Plant Sciences program, won
5th place in the Essay Contest at the
same ASA-SAS meeting.

JfAgf Social Events

The annual Agronomy and Soil and
Water Sciences barbecue and fish fry
was held at the Livestock Pavilion on
the evening of October 8th. The usual
combination of volleyball, popcorn,
cheese-grits, ice-cream and all the
barbecue / fish fry fixin's was enjoyed
by a crowd of over 130. Members and
guests of the Agronomy Department
satisfactorily out-numbered the SWS
crowd! Many thanks are due to the
hard-working organizers and servers of
this enjoyable and tasty annual event.
To the right, Gordon Prine stirs his famous
cheese-grits at the annual BBQ/Fish Fry.


Fall 1999


C, New Year!



Fall 1999

Staff News

In late summer, the Agronomy Depart-
ment was pleased to welcome a new
Biological Scientist, Lisa Huey. Ac-
tually, Lisa (photo below) is no

stranger to the department having
worked 10 years ago with Steve
Albrecht. After that she worked in the
Entomology and Nematology Depart-
ment while obtaining a B.S. degree at
UF in Wildlife Ecology and Conserva-
tion. Lisa has been working with
Alison Fox on invasive plant projects
since April 1998, and they plan to uti-
lize her combined botanical and wild-
life skills in her new position.
The following four employees re-
ceived service pins in honor of their ser-
vice (supervisor in parentheses).
Bob Querns 5 years
(Greg MacDonald)
Kim Lottinville 10 years
(Nancy Byrd)
Neil Hill 15 years
(Ken Langeland/Randall Stocker)
Nancy Carter 15 years
(Richard Fethiere)

Wendy Andrew
Eastonce Gwata
IL-Ho Kang
Gretchen Lindstrom
Christopher Main
Ryan Richards
Stuart Rymph
Scott Tubbs


Marjatta Eilitta
Rebecca English
Jason Goldman
Michael Netherland
Loan Ngo
Stuart Rymph

-- - _- __-_-_-_-_-_-__-__-_____ _ --
Please tell us what you are doing! We would like this newsletter to serve as a source of information on
activities within the Department and news of alumni and friends. Send us information on your recent activities

and we will be pleased to include them in future newsletters.

Year Grad Degree




Current occupation (title, company, business) or other news of interest

Return to: Dr. Alison M. Fox, AgroGator Editor, University of Florida, Department of Agronomy, P.O. Box
110500, Gainesville, FL 32611-0500. Email: amfox@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
% ---------------------------------------- -

AgroGator 8











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