Vol. 15, No. 12
UF/IFAS International Programs Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
From the director
Successful year ends in
agreement with Iraq
By Roger Natzke
Hope that ever)- :,'.
one had a great holi- ,
day season and that '
you are looking for- -
ward to being part of j r .
an exciting and pro-
ductive Near in international work. If
you re, iew the new letters from last
year you w ill be cons inced that IFAS
faculty made a difference in the
world in 2004.
As we rounded out the year we
signed cooperative agreements with
the University of Baghdad and Uni-
versity of Sulaimania in Iraq. These
agreements emulated out of a USDA
Cochran grant that provided funding
for a group of dignitaries representing
the Ministry of Agnculture and the
two universities. The training pro-
gram \was developed and carried out
by two of our county faculty. Ken
Rudisill and Logan Barbee and Dis-
trict Director Peter Vergot. They
were abli assisted by another of our
county faculty Paula Davis. Ken and
Logan ,pent time in Iraq with the mil-
itary and have a deep interest in help-
ing the people of Iraq. Having been
exposed to a ariety of UF/IFAS fa-
cilities and faculty members, the Iraqi
official. recognized that we had the
resources to help them to get back on
their feet. They describe their situa-
tion as very grim. During the war
See Iraqi cooperation, p. 2
Iragis receive agricultural training at UF
raq. popularly know n as a petro- y-.
eum producer, once had a ihri% ing -
,gricultural industry. producing
dates. \ heat. barley and other crops.
But that was before isolation under
Saddam Hussein. economic sanctions
under the United Nations, and politi-
cal instability following the U.S.-led
invasion to topple the Iraqi dictator.
Ten Iraqi officials in the vanguard
of a major effort to restore agricultural Iraqi officials visit a soils lab during
education and production visited the their training at UFIFAS.
LF/IFAS in December to learn about agricultural production nor connec-
ne" and current technology and to tion .ith ULIF/IFAS extension is ne%,.
forge ties % ith ULIF/IFAS extension. To UF/IFAS extension faculty. Ken
teaching and research faculty. Rudisill. horticulture agent in Ba\
Neither the effort to restore Iraq's See Iraqis. p. 2
Cheek named UF/IFAS senior vice president
Jimmy Cheek. dean of the Uni'ersity
of Florida's College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences and a longtime pro-
ponent of international education, has
been named the uniker-
sity's senior \ ice presi-
dent for agriculture and
natural resources. UF ,.. "
President Bernie Ma-
chen announced. The --
appointment iseffec- -.
tive Jan. 1. Cheek
"Dr. Cheek has a
long and distinguished record at the
University of Florida." Machen said.
"He enjoy s the respect of his col-
leagues as well as Floridians w\ho
work in the areas of agriculture and
natural resources. I am pleased he has
accepted this challenging position and
look forw ard to his leadership."
As senior \ ice president. Cheek
'ill administer UF programs, in food.
agriculture, natural resources and life
sciences. He %%ill be the administra-
tise head of the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, or IFAS. which
encompasses fise major units: the
College of Agricultural and Life Sci-
ences: the Florida Agricultural Exper-
iment Station: the Florida Cooperatise
Extension Ser\ ice: the School of For-
est Resources and Consenration: and
See Cheek. p. 2
1. t 'VFR ITI, "(i'
Telephone: 352 392-1965 FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http://international.ifas.ufl.edu
Iraqi cooperation. from p. 1
their laboratories, offices and class-
rooms %were stripped of everything in-
cluding wood trim around w windows.
As part of the program. they went
through an exercise to develop a pri-
oritized list of activities that would be
of greatest benefit to them. Highest on
their list %was the need for ad anced
training for some of their faculty and
graduate students. If/when the war
slows dow% n it is anticipated that fund-
ing w ill become available for that
tN pe of acui iry..
During graduation weekend UF/
IFAS hosted Jose Zaglul. president of
EARTH Unilersity of Costa Rica.
Our university has had an active inter-
action w ith theirs for a number of
years. Recently they became the re-
cipient of more than 3.000 acres of
land in the prime tourist area. They
are expected to develop dte property
into a training, research and demon-
stration area. Zaglul made a request
from IFAS to help them in both the
designing and operation of the new
At this point %we want to continue
to work with them and to determine
how a cooperative arrangement %wouldI
allow both institutions to strengthen
their on going programs.
Roger Natzke is senior associate dean
and director of International Programs
( Roger Natzke.
Iraqis' visit represents a new phase of cooperation
From p. 1 deputy minister of agriculture, said
County, and Logan Barbee, extension Iraq's most pressing need is stability.
director in Calhoun County, spent a But also important is finding help to
year in Iraq as Army reservists work- develop its agricultural sector. Build-
ing with Iraq's agricultural and edu- ing international bridges is the best
national interests. But the arrival of way to achieve that, he said. Much of
the high-level Iraqi officials from the Iraq's infrastructure for agricultural
Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry production has been destroyed.
of Science and Technology, and re- In rebuilding, Iraq needs to work
search institutes throughout the coun- with new technology, said Zuhair
try represents a major step in the ef- Stephan, director general, State Board
fort to enhance agricultural extension for Agricultural Research. Participants
and production. are interested in new technology and
Rudisill and Barbee, joined by in transferring it to farmers.
District Extension Director Pete Ver- "Our objective here is to learn
got and Bay County 4-H agent Paula about extension and research," he
Davis arranged the study tour for the said. "We are here to see how to de-
10 Iraqis and hosted their seven-day velop these programs and how we can
tour in Florida. They visited the UF get the benefits for our country. We
campus, International Programs and are starting from zero now and we are
Academic Technologies and other trying to get people in science and
campus offices, the Marion County technology to cooperate with scien-
Extension Office, the UF dairy farm, tists from the University of Florida."
the Citrus Research and Education Iraq is an agricultural country, he
Center, Mid Florida Research and said, with climatic differences that
Education Center, and Disney Epcot support a variety of agricultural prod-
Center's agricultural exhibits. ucts including tomatoes, wheat, bar-
Areas of interest were soils test- ley, rice, cotton, corn, citrus and dates.
ing, integrated pest management, cit- Millions of date trees were lost
rus production and extension. over the past 20 or 30 years, he said,
The trip was funded by the U.S. and under a new program the country
Department of Agriculture's Cochran has produced 10 million seedlings to
Fellowship Program. The study tour revive date production, a potential ex-
began with a three-day orientation in
Washington. The group also visited
the University of Nebraska.
Subhi M. Hammadi Al Jumaily,
SKen Rudisill, email@example.com
Cheek oversees five main units of UF/IFAS as senior vice president
From p. 1
elements of the College of Veterinary
"The Institute of Food and Agricul-
tural Sciences has a proud history of
excellence in serving Florida's agricul-
ture and natural resources through
teaching, research and extension,"
Cheek said. "I am honored by Presi-
dent Machen's support and look for-
ward to working with him as well as
IFAS stakeholders, students, faculty
Cheek, 58, who previously over-
saw IFAS academic programs, was
appointed dean of the college in Jan-
uary 1999. He joined the UF faculty
in 1975 as an assistant professor and
rose to the rank of full professor in
agricultural education and communi-
cation in 1985. He was named assis-
tant dean for academic programs of
what was then the College of Agri-
culture in 1992.
Cheek received his bachelor's and
doctorate degrees in agricultural edu-
cation from Texas A&M University in
1969 and 1975, respectively. He re-
ceived his master's degree from
Lamar University in 1972. Prior to
coming to UF, Cheek served as a
graduate fellow and instructor at Tex-
(Jimmy Cheek, JGCheek@ifas.ufl.edu)
Nair, Bellow honored with international
P.K. Nair, a distinguished professor covered by IUFRO. Nair, director of
of agroforestry at the University of the Center for Subtropical Agroforest-
Florida's Institute of Food and Agri- ry in the UF/IFAS School of Forest
cultural Sciences, and his former grad- Resources and Conser-
uate student, John Bellow, have been vation, is a pioneering
selected to receive awards for their researcher, educator
scientific contributions from the Inter- A 0%%. and world leader in
national Union of Forest Research Or- agroforestry.
ganizations (IUFRO). He has been editor-
Nair will receive the Scientific in-chief of Agroforest-
Achievement Award and Bellow will Nair ry Systems since 1994
receive the Outstanding Doctoral Re- and has served on the edi- _
search Award in August 2005 at the trial board of Plant and
12th IUFRO World Congress in Bris- Soil for six years. He was (C
bane, Australia. The awards, which chair of the Global Orga-
include a scroll and $1,500 honorari- nizing Committee for the
um, are presented every five years. 1st World Congress of
"This is the first time that an advis- Agroforestrv Julv 2004. Bellow
er-advisee team has been selected in-
dependently to receive the organiza-
tion's outstanding recognition for sep-
arate scientific accomplishments at the
same world event," Nair said.
The Scientific Achievement Award
recognizes distinguished individual
achievements in the research fields
In 2004 Nair received the Interna-
tional Service in Crop Science Award
from the Crop Science Society of
America, and the Barrington-Moore
Award in Forest Biology from the So-
ciety of American Foresters. He also
received a UF Distinguished Interna-
tional Educator of the Year Award.
awards in forestry
Nair has a doctoral degree in agron-
omy from Pantnagar Agricultural Uni-
versity, India, a doctor of science in
agriculture from Goettingen Universi-
ty, Germany; and an honorary doctor
of agriculture from Kyoto University,
Bellow's award is for "path-break-
ing doctoral dissertations, including
post-doctoral or other scientific activi-
ties during the five-year period pre-
ceding the IUFRO Congress."
Bellow received his doctoral degree
from UF in 2004. As a doctoral stu-
dent, Bellow was a Named Presiden-
tial Fellow at UF/IFAS. He is now a
postdoctoral researcher with the
Southeastern Climate Consortium in
the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric
Prediction Studies at Florida State
University in Tallahassee.
P.K. Nair, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Gmitter works with Japanese scientists on citrus cloning techniques
t Kyoto University in Japan, UF/
- FAS citrus researcher Fred
Gmitter is working with scientists to
enhance citrus cloning techniques,
while he explores a variety of ex-
changes with Japanese researchers.
Gmitter, who was selected as a vis-
iting professor at Kyoto University,
also gave lectures during his three-
month stay ending Jan. 11. In a sepa-
rate role as leader of a Florida-based
team, Gmitter took advantage of his
travels to look for new fresh fruit vari-
eties to help Florida growers maintain
their share of the world market.
Gmitter is sharing research with
three faculty members and a postdoc-
toral researcher at Kyoto on common
genomic approaches to cloning crops.
An exchange of research informa-
tion through lectures is a component
of the exchange between University of
Florida and Kyoto University. Gmit-
ter gave a se-
ries of lectures
netic Improve- ; > -,.
ment of Florida "
Citrus: Chal- ..
the Industry S .
and Genetic .. ..
Solutions" to Shiranui, a Japanese
students at the seedless fresh fruit
pomology lab- variety, has been in-
oratory at Kyo- produced to Florida.
to. He also pre-
sented a special lecture to the Gradu-
ate School of Agriculture entitled
"Genomic Research on Citrus: Evolu-
tion of Genomic Technology and
Evolution of a Citrus Disease Resis-
tance Gene" and other lectures on his
citrus research at other institutions, at
Mie University, and to the Citrus Ge-
nome Analysis Team of the National
Institute of Fruit Tree Science at Okit-
su and Shizuoka University. The latter
group is part of the International Cit-
rus Genome Consortium, for which he
serves as one of two U.S. delegates.
Gmitter was invited to speak at an
international symposium at Mie Uni-
versity on his research as well as UF's
organization, administration and intel-
lectual property policies.
In Japan, Gmitter served as leader
of an Exploration Team searching for
new fresh citrus varieties. The effort is
funded by the Florida Department of
Citrus on behalf of Florida citrus
(Fred Gmitter, fgg @crec.ifas.ufl.edu)
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
Dehgan observes endangered cycads, invasive lantana in Asia
D during a trip to Thailand and Indo- is a function of the International nar at the Indonesian Ornamental
nesia, UF/IFAS Professor Bijan Union for Conservation of Nature and Crop Institute on the reproductive bi-
Dehgan in horticultural sciences par- Natural Resources. Dehgan is a mem- ology and threat of the invasive spe-
ticipated in workshops in conservation ber of the organization's Species Sur- cies Latana. The institute recognized
and lectured about his research on en- vival Commission. Dehgan for his research by awarding
dangered cycads and invasive lantana. At Mahidol University, Bangkok, him a plaque.
Dehgan attended the World Conser- and later Bogor Agricultural Universi- Contact
vation Congress: People and Nature ty, Indonesia, Dehgan presented semi- ( Bijan Dehgan,
Only One World, held at the Queen nars on propagation and culture of email@example.com )
Sirikit National Convention Centre in cycads, also known as sago palm.
Bangkok in November. The congress In Indonesia, Dehgan gave a semi-
Datnoff explores disease
awrence E Datnoff traveled to
Beijing, China, Nov. 30 to Dec. 6
to share research on the use of silicon
to control plant diseases.
He was invited by the Soil and Fer-
tilizer Institute/Institute of Agricultur-
al Resources and Agricultural Plan-
ning, Chinese Academy of Agricultur-
al Sciences, to present his research on
using silicon for plant-disease control,
and his knowledge of mechanisms of
silicon-mediated disease resistance.
resistance through silicon
While there, he and Liang dis-
cussed the possibility of organizing a
cooperative silicon research program
between their two institutions.
This trip was sponsored in part by
the Office of International Programs
the Office for the Dean of Research,
and the Chinese Academy of Agricul-
Lawrence E Datnoff,
with Chinese researchers
Lawrence E Datnoff, left, and
Yongchao Liang during Datnoff's
visit to China.