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April 2005 Vol. 16, No.4
UF/IFAS International Programs Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
From the director
Change can be invigorating
By Roger Natzke 7
A search commit- .
tee. chaired by Dr. i
Jimmy Jones. has .
been selected and a
job description is be--
ing created to allow
the International Programs office to
seek new leadership. As I will soon
begin my 40th year in the professori-
al ranks and 25th in UF/TFAS. and
with DROP breathing down mN
neck, it is time to bring this phase of
my career to an end. A goal of Sept.
1 has been set for the transition. I
have thoroughly enjoyed my years as
a department chair and more recently
in leading the UF/IFAS international
effort primarily because of the great
people that I ha\e been able to inter-
act with. Enough of that!
ft was reassuring to !,ari that
Vice President Jimmy Cheek and the
deans decided to do a national and
international search to fill the posi-
tion and to mo\e the post from part
time to full time. Those decisions
% ill ha\e a major positive influence
on the effectiveness of this office.
They did their job. Now it is up to
the UF/IFAS faculty to do theirs.
The official job description should
be out shortly. We need to take it
upon ourselves to insure that all
highly qualified candidates are
a are of the opportunity. Many of
See Change, p. 2
USAID official outlines opportunities
USAID's Da\ id Sammons has an
important message for UF/IFAS facul-
ty: agriculture is back on the agency's
agenda, and universities can pla. a
role in USAID initiatives.
Sammons, senior ad% iser for Uni-
versity Relations and Agricultural Re-
search Training and Outreach Office
for Agriculture. visited UF/IFAS in
April to discuss opportunities for fac-
ult\ to \ork with US-
AID on the intemation-
al development agenda. j
said, is tr ing to re-en-
gage ith universities
in projects related to
agriculture in the
broadest sense, includ-
ing natural resource
ture, forestry. family science and hu-
During a Global IFAS Seminar.
Sammons outlined the project areas
where UF/IFAS faculty can interact
\ ith the agency.
I. The USAID Agriculture Strate-
g2: Linking Producers to Markets.
Projects in this area are designed
around economic development. link-
ing producers to domestic and export
markets. The strategies include ex-
panding trade opportunities and inm-
pro\ ing the trade capacity of produc-
ers. improvement of social and eco-
nomic conditions, enm ironmental sus-
tainability of agriculture, mobilizing
science and technology for strength-
ening agriculture, fostering capacity
for innovation, and strengthening
training, education outreach and adap-
2. Participation in one of the Col-
laborati\e Research Support Pro-
grams. or CRSPs. These U.S. uni\er-
sits-led opportunities leverage re-
search capacitH as well as training
Iskills in the university)
community. Some exist-
t ming CRSPs focus on pea-
I nuts. soils, beans, cow-
I peas. sustainable agri-
culture and natural re-
sources as well as inie-
grated pest management.
UF/IFAS faculty mem-
bers have been in\ol\ed
with projects in several
of the CRSPs. T"o faculty recently
received planning grants for the SAN-
REM CRSP focused on the reduction
of soil degradation and forest destruc-
tion. as \well as global climate change.
3. Consultative Group for Interna-
tional Agricultural Research. USAID
contributes about $26 million a year
to the 15 CGIAR centers, and agency
missions contribute an additional $25
million-plus annually to these centers.
USAID supports linkages between
See Opportunities. p. 2
.. UNIVFERI1T OF
Telephone: 352 392-1965 FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http://international.ifas.ufl.edu
David Sammons discusses
opportunities with USAID.
Vol. 16, No. 4
Opportunities, from p. 1
U.S. universities and the centers, and
currently sets aside a percentage of its
core contribution to support this link-
4. Agricultural biotechnology. This
topic has emerged as an important
component of the agency's work with
developing countries. The agency is
seeking ways to use biotechnology as a
tool for enhanced crop production and
is also interested in policy-related is-
sues relative to utilization of GMOs
and risk associated with their use.
5. Partnerships for Food Industry
Development. This program involves
four areas fruits and vegetables, meat
and seafood, poultry, and natural prod-
ucts and focuses on building market
linkages and market capacity for pro-
ducers of these commodities. All
PFID's are university-led.
BIFAD, the Board for International
Food and Agricultural Development.
BIFAD, and its subcommittee, the
Strategic Partnership for Agricultural
Research and Education, or SPARE, is
an advisory body to the agency respon-
sible, in part, for strengthening the
agency's relationship with universities.
Sandra Russo with UF International
Center has been recently appointed to
Change, from p. 1
.ou travel extensivelyv overseas, while
abroad keep our needs in mind. If you
w would rather not address the person.
forward his/her name to the chair of
the committee. Dr. Jones will be
pleased to receive it.
In the past few years a number of
changes have been made primarily
through the guidance of our Interna-
tional Programs Advisory Committee.
The dedicated faculty, staff and stu-
dents insure that the office reflects the
needs of the faculty. As an office that
is here to serve the faculty. their input
is extremely important as we set the
course for the office. As an example
recently two committees haoe been
6. Water Resource Management.
Through CRSPs, BIFAD and
CGIAR, a global effort is underway
to manage, conserve and improve wa-
ter resources, and USAID has invest-
ed substantially in the field.
7. Long-term training. The focus
in this revitalized activity is training
young scientists from Africa in topi-
cal areas based on African priorities.
The program is beginning with mas-
ter of science degrees.
8. Global Horticultural Assess-
ment. This work is focused on Sub-
Saharan Africa, Asia and the Near
East, and Latin America, where US-
AID is supporting regional work-
shops on global horticulture.
9. Applied biotechnology research.
This topic supports economic devel-
opment by putting biotechnology in-
novations to work. The initiative in-
volves policy and regulatory issues,
risk assessment, and management.
10. Tsunami relief and recovery
efforts. USAID, through its head-
quarters in Washington, D.C., and in
its offices in affected countries, is
supporting relief and recovery efforts
from the tsunami.
11. Global Development Alliance.
formed, one to look at our procedure
for providing Spanish training and
the second to brainstorm the priori-
ties for the office. Sitting in on those
deliberations shows dramatically the
divergence of opinions on the issues.
It will be very helpful to be able to
incorporate those ideas into the struc-
turing of programs
The IP office has a tremendous
potential to make a difference. Let's
%work together to find an outstanding
Roger Natzke is senior associate dean
and director of International Programs
The initiative involves partnerships
with the private sector to further the
goals of USAID in specific countries.
12. Unsolicited proposal develop-
ment. Through this program, universi-
ties can promote their ideas for aiding
other countries by working directly
with the country missions.
In meetings with Sammons, UF/
IFAS International Distance Educa-
tion Committee members described
UF/IFAS efforts in developing mas-
ter's programs for overseas students at
the cost of in-state tuition. The pro-
gram could be useful to USAID, Sam-
mons said. Distance education could
help keep down costs of training while
enhancing the ability of residents of
some nations to get advanced degrees.
At USAID, Sammons is responsible
for providing a bridge between the
university community and USAID
with special attention to issues and
concerns that inform the partnership.
Lisette Staai, Ims@ifas.ufl.edu
Extension director visits India
Seminole County Extension
Director Barbara Hughes visited
India to observe National Immuniza-
tion Day as part of a Rotary-sponsored
Hughes. president of the Longwood
RotarN. joined 74 other Rotarians in
obserN ing hot\ India immunizes
against polio and helps residents with
other health issues. The trip %%as Feb.
I through Feb. 24. Half the expenses
%were paid b\ Longwood RotarN Club.
The Rotarians traveled through the
northern counitrside to Japur and
Varanasi. where they met w ith India
people and observed the efforts of Ro-
tar\ International in eradicating polio.
NMore than 200.000 children %were \ac-
cinated as part of the program.
UF, NASA, Russia join in videoconference
UF/IFAS shared its space-related re- a Fulbright Scholarship. Kratasyuk
search with the Kennedy Space Center and her sponsoring UF/IFAS faculty
and Krasnoyarsk State University member, Ray Bucklin, joined horti-
through a videoconfer- cultural science re-
ence that brought lead- searcher Anna-Lisa
ing scientists from the Paul in discussing
three institutions to- UF/IFAS involve-
gether in a virtual con- ment in space-relat-
ference room. F-- ed research into
The event April 12, food production,
Space Day, was an an- Anna-Lisa Paul, Valentina Krata- low pressure engi-
niversary of the first syuk and Ray Bucklin discuss re- neering, and low
space flight in 1961 by search at a videoconference. pressure plant biolo-
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
More than 40 years later, results
from research in agriculture and bio-
logical systems have been integrated
into space travel. Researchers from
UF/IFAS, Krasnoyarsk and the
Kennedy Space Center discussed their
research and expressed the need for
UF/IFAS has longstanding collabo-
rations with the Kennedy Space Cen-
ter. UF/IFAS and Krasnoyarsk State
University are linked through the visit
of Valentina Kratasyuk to UF/IFAS on
NASA relies on UF/IFAS for re-
search in these fields. The Krasno-
yarsk State University is one of Rus-
sia's centers of space research.
The videoconference is part of an
educational proposal to increase the
exchange of people and information
among the Kennedy Space Center,
UF/IFAS and Krasnoyarsk State Uni-
( Ray Bucklin, email@example.com ]
Grant supports cover crop research
In South America, efforts to improve
cacao production have been thwart-
ed by degradation of soils and loss of
UF/IFAS plant nutritionist Yuncong
Li in the Tropical Research and Educa-
tion Center, Homestead, has been
awarded a planning grant to work in
Brazil and Peru to develop cover crop
technology for use in cocoa farming.
Yuncong Li will collaborate with
other researchers in the project "Cover
Crops in Natural Resources Improve-
ment and Tree Crops Sustainability un-
der Tropical Agro-forestry Systems in
The project is funded by SANREM
CRSP, a USAID program focused on
sustainable agriculture and natural re-
Cocoa is one of the major high-
value tree crops in the tropics. Im-
provement in productivity could help
low-income farmers in the region.
Erosion has resulted in a loss of soil
and nutrients. Legume crops could
improve soil fertility and productivi-
ty, reduce erosion, increase carbon
sequestration, improve water quality,
and reduce pests and diseases.
An evaluation of the effects of
leguminous cover crops on soil
fertility and cocoa production in
wide-spaced cocoa plantations in
regions of South America is essential
to developing a plant to improve soil
Yuncong Li, Yunli@ufl.edu
Thai student to study at IFAS
UF/IFAS and Chiang Mai University,
Thailand, could enhance their cooper-
ation, with the arrival this summer of
another Thai graduate student and
possible collaborative research on bio-
Chuckree Senthong, director of the
Biogas Technology Center at Chiang
Mai University, visited UF/IFAS in
April to prepare for the arrival of a
graduate student and to explore col-
laborative opportunities under a coop-
erative agreement. Chiang Mai Uni-
versity and UF/IFAS have collaborat-
ed in graduate education under the
Thai Royal Golden Jubilee Program,
which supports Ph.D. assistantships,
research, and travel abroad.
UF/IFAS researcher Keith Ingram
is a co-adviser to three of these stu-
(Keith Ingram, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brathwaite, featured speaker
Chelston Brathwaite, director gen-
eral of the Inter-American Insti-
tute for Cooperation on
Agriculture, or IICA,
and rural life as speaker
March 30 in the 2005
Brathwaite Lecturer Series.
Brathwaite gave his
speech "Agriculture and Rural Life in
the Americas in the 21st Century" at
the Reitz Union. A native of Barba-
dos, Brathwaite joined IICA in 1981
as a regional plant protection special-
ist for the Caribbean region.
Carlton Davis, UF/IFAS distin-
guished service professor in food and
resource economics, hosted Brath-
Office of International Programs
University of Florida
Office of the Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources
P.O. Box 110282
Gainesville, FL 32611-0282
MS DALE B CANELAS
UNI LIBRA & DIR
PO BOX 117001
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-7001
Technique for fruit fly control introduced in Caribbean
r he West Indian fruit fly, a pest
J that once devastated Florida fruit,
has become a significant pest in St.
Kitts and Nevis. The fruit fly's
such as guava
and mango is
seek to develop .
their fruit export Liburd
Oscar Liburd, a UF/IFAS fruit
integrated pest management specialist,
is introducing and evaluating a control
strategy developed at the Fruit and
Vegetable IPM laboratory in the
entomology and nematology. The
technique involves a low-risk
insecticide-treated sphere that
provides a safer way to control fruit
flies without using conventional
broad-spectrum toxic insecticides.
Fruit flies are visually attracted to
these fruit-mimic spheres for feeding.
When the flies feed on the sucrose
surface of the sphere they ingest a
low-risk biological insecticide that
prevents them from reproducing.
Liburd will travel to St. Kitts and
Nevis in May to monitor on-going
A USDA-Pest Management
Alternative grant funds the project.
The West Indian fruit fly was
discovered in Florida in 1930 and
(Oscar Liburd, email@example.com
UF/IFAS-CIAT distance education gets grant
A proposal to link UF/IFAS and
CIAT through a distance learning
class in participatory approaches to
agriculture and natural resources has
gained support through an Internation-
alizing the Curriculum award.
The award, $3,000 from the UF In-
ternational Center, will support agri-
cultural education and communication
researcher Nick Place's work in de-
veloping and implementing the course
Managing Innovation; a Collaborative
Course between the University of
Florida and CIAT in Colombia.
The course will create linkages be-
tween UF students and other coun-
tries. The partnering instructor, Jac-
queline A. Ashby, director of Rural
Innovation Institute at CIAT the In-
ternational Center for Tropical Agri-
culture is recognized as an expert on
Nick Place, place @ ufl.edu