From the Vice President
The numbers tell us our state is in the midst of rapid change underscoring the importance of the University of Florida's Florida
Tomorrow capital campaign. Fifty years ago, Florida's population was about five million. Today there are more than 18 million people in
the state. In the next 50 years, there will likely be twice as many residents to feed. The numbers also tell us that millions of acres will be
converted to urban use, and development will surround more land now used for agriculture, forestry and conservation. This dramatic
growth will have considerable impact on agriculture and the environment, including green space, wetlands, wildlife habitat, water and
other natural resources.
While changes present many challenges, UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has a unique mission to provide research-
based information to solve problems for agriculture, natural resources, land use and renewable energy. IFAS is committed to the future
growth and viability of Florida's $98 billion agricultural and natural resources industries in the global economy through its research, aca-
demic and extension programs.
With 40 graduate and undergraduate majors, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is an international education leader.
Graduates well prepared to meet the demands of a complex job market are in high demand by business, academia and govern-
ment. Many become successful entrepreneurs. The college also has an exceptional record of placing graduates in professional and
State-of-the-art research is conducted by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in Gainesville as well as 13 research and educa-
tion centers throughout the state. Our scientists are unraveling the mysteries of citrus greening and developing methods of controlling
fire ants, termites and other pests. Faculty are also creating ways to convert trees and urban waste to ethanol, and developing other bio-
IFAS Extension offers programs about sustainable landscape management, nutritional counseling for limited-resource families, tech-
nical seminars for agricultural producers and 4-H activities for youth. It serves clientele through offices in every county. Its Web site
- SolutionsForYourLife.com provides information on health and nutrition, sustainable living, urban pest control and the environment.
Our faculty work in UF's Genetics Institute, and IFAS is one of three main components in the Emerging Pathogens Institute. By fus-
ing key disciplines, we are fighting invasive species, developing new plant varieties and studying plant diseases to preserve the health
and economy of the state.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign is about realizing opportunities for the Gator Nation. With your generous support, we can continue to
build on past accomplishments and achieve the "extra margin of excellence" to ensure UF's future as a world-class university focused on
solving problems in Florida. We welcome your partnership in this campaign.
Jimmy G. Cheek
Senior Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources
F T 0m or row0 Y
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a day. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences, we believe it's an opportunity, one filled
with promise and hope. It's that belief that feeds the university's
capital campaign to raise more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the iti.; .. -ir., cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida
Tomorrow is pioneering research and
spirited academic programs. It's a fer-
tile environment for inquiry, teaching i .
and learning. It's being at the forefront
to address the challenges facing all of .
us, both today and tomorrow.
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
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Florida Tomorrow is a place ...
where economic and environmental sustainability is the key to
a high quality of life for residents in one of the nation's fastest
At a time when managing Florida's breakneck urban growth
is a major challenge, IFAS is helping ensure future economic and
environmental sustainability through a variety of research and
education programs designed for residents as well as the state's
$98 billion agriculture and natural resource industries.
In one of the most innovative programs designed to protect
water resources and expand natural habitats, IFAS is working
closely with other state and federal agencies and the World Wildlife
Fund on the new Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services
Project. The project compensates ranchers who protect their water
resources, wetlands and wildlife habitats from development. It cre-
ates an incentive for land to remain in ranching instead of being
used for urban development land uses that would further aggra-
vate water quality and other environmental problems.
To help restore the Florida Everglades, IFAS has developed
best management practices that reduce the amount of fertilizer
in water from farms and residential areas. IFAS has also devel-
oped similar recommendations for citrus and vegetable growers
to reduce their need for fertilizers and pesticides. Well man-
aged micro-irrigation systems, which may reduce water use by as
much as 80 percent, are now being widely used by fruit, vegeta-
ble and ornamental growers throughout the state. IFAS research is
helping dairy farmers manage animal waste and protect ground-
IFAS scientists are also developing a substitute for methyl bro-
mide, a widely used soil fumigant. The fumigant, which controls
pest and disease problems in the soil, is essential for the produc-
tion of many fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops in Florida.
Without a cost-effective substitute, Florida producers will not be
competitive with other production areas.
IFAS Extension education programs, such as Master Gardeners
and Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, help residents become
more energy efficient and reduce their use of fertilizer and
irrigation water. Extension's Program for Resource Efficient
Communities promotes the adoption of best design, construction
and management practices in new residential community devel-
opments that measurably reduce energy and water consumption
and environmental degradation.
Finding realistic and equitable solutions to a wide range of
important growth management and sustainability issues espe-
cially those that affect agriculture, green space, water resources
and energy is easier thanks to a partnership between the state-
wide IFAS Extension Service and UF's Levin College of Law.
Extension works closely with the law college's Conservation Clinic
to promote smart growth and sustainability solutions throughout
the state. The clinic provides environmental and land use law ser-
vices to Florida communities and non-government organizations
and university programs such as the Extension Service.
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when the use of renewable fuels from biomass and environ-
mentally friendly technologies makes the state and nation less
dependent on traditional energy sources.
A breakthrough technology developed by IFAS researchers will
produce fuel ethanol from biomass at a new $20 million research
and demonstration facility in Florida. Site selection is under way.
Funded by the 2007 Florida Legislature, the facility is designed
to commercialize the process of making ethanol from inedible
plant biomass, such as sugarcane residues, rice hulls, municipal
green waste, trees and wood waste, and other organic materials.
Florida could produce as much as 90 million tons of biomass
each year, enough to make 9 billion gallons of ethanol nearly
double the 4.8 billion gallons now made mostly from corn nation-
wide. Converting biomass to fuel ethanol could replace half of the
imported petroleum in the United States.
The bioconversion technology, selected by the U.S. Department
of Commerce to become landmark patent No. 5,000,000, is also
being commercialized by Verenium Corp., a UF licensee head-
quartered in Cambridge, Mass.
Additional support for bioenergy research comes from the U.S.
Department of Energy, which recently awarded $750,000 to IFAS
for developing sorghum as an ethanol feedstock. Sorghum a
plant species related to corn and sugarcane is an attractive bio-
mass crop because of its high sugar content. IFAS genetic research
is aimed at identifying and combining desirable plant traits so
that sorghum can be used for commercial bioenergy production.
In Florida's largest biotechnology program for commer-
cially important species of grasses, IFAS researchers are working
to enhance the process of converting grass biomass into low-
cost ethanol. The research is currently focused on developing
plant-based technologies for high-level expression of cell wall
degrading enzymes a promising technology for reducing the
cost of producing ethanol from biomass.
By identifying all the major genes controlling specific wood
properties and disease-resistance in loblolly pine trees, IFAS
researchers are increasing their understanding of the highest-
valued crop in Florida and eight other Southern states. Loblolly
pines, which cover just 6 percent of forest land in the United
States, account for 58 percent of the nation's total wood pro-
duction. Wood is a renewable energy source, and increasing
productivity through genetics will help reduce the nation's
dependence on nonrenewable energy.
A wood-to-energy outreach program, coordinated by IFAS in
cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and other agencies, is
helping Gainesville and other Southern communities learn about
the economic and environmental aspects of using wood as a fuel
source for electricity.
. .. ... .
Florida Tomorrow is a belief ...
that the University of Florida is destined to become one of the
nation's top-tier institutions recognized internationally for
outstanding research, academic and extension programs.
Better Plants for Florida
Many varieties of the most important crops in Florida rang-
ing from fruits and vegetables to ornamental plants, turf grass,
pine trees and agronomic crops such as peanuts and pasture
grasses came from IFAS plant genetics programs. While most
of these were produced by traditional plant breeding methods,
scientists are increasingly using biotechnology to enhance the
process accelerating the development of new varieties with
higher yields, disease resistance and other improved genetic traits
for the state's unique environment.
A top priority in the IFAS plant biotech program is managing
citrus canker and citrus greening bacterial diseases that threaten
the state's $9.3 billion citrus industry. Scientists are making prog-
ress in developing disease-resistant citrus varieties and other
management strategies to combat these destructive pathogens.
The state's $500 million tomato industry benefits greatly from
varieties developed by IFAS. Major achievements in the tomato
breeding program include improved fruit quality, superior flavor
and resistance to troublesome diseases such as Fusarium wilt. A
new variety has heat-tolerant fruit setting ability, allowing Florida
tomato growers to expand their production during hot weather in
IFAS strawberry varieties, including many with improved ear-
liness, flavor and disease-resistance, have been key to the growth
of Florida's $200 million strawberry industry. The state's $30
million blueberry industry is largely based on IFAS research,
resulting in disease-resistant and heat-tolerant varieties that ripen
earlier with bigger berries, better taste and higher yields. IFAS
also has developed award-winning grape varieties for the state's
expanding wine industry, and scientists are using genetic engi-
neering to develop a grape variety with resistance to Pierce's
disease the most destructive bacterial disease affecting grapes.
To remain competitive in world markets, Florida's booming $15
billion environmental horticulture industry depends on an almost
continuous flow of new and improved landscape plants, flow-
ers, foliage plants and turf grass from IFAS. New caladiums give
consumers dazzling leaf-shape and color options. New lisianthus
flowers now account for 75 percent of the crop grown in the state.
A slow-growing St. Augustine grass will require less mowing and
has improved resistance to chinch bugs over current varieties.
Biotech research is boosting the fragrance and longevity of roses
and other cut flowers.
IFAS leads the way in peanut research for Florida and the
Southeast. The Florunner peanut variety was grown on more than
70 percent of all peanut acreage in the United States for more than
two decades, and the SunOleic 95R was the world's first heart-
healthy, high-oleic peanut. Three IFAS peanut varieties released
in 2007 have higher yields, heart-healthy oils and strong resis-
tance to tomato spotted wilt virus, the No. 1 peanut disease. IFAS
researchers are also developing a non-allergenic peanut for those
who are sensitive to peanut allergies.
Our Vision of Tomorrow
While the University of Florida traces its roots to 1853 and
the establishment of the state-funded East Florida Seminary,
the Morrill Act of 1862 created the land-grant university system
from the sale of public lands to establish "colleges of agricultural
and mechanical arts" in each state. The establishment of Florida
Agricultural College in 1884 at Lake City under the federal act
marked the beginning of what is now UF's Institute of Food and
Thanks to public and private support and the accom-
plishments of outstanding faculty and students IFAS is now
recognized as one of the nation's premier land-grant programs in
agriculture and natural resources. IFAS is committed to excellence
in teaching, research and extension.
Teaching: With 5,000 students in 40 degree programs, IFAS
offers an education in agriculture and life sciences that's second
to none. Alumni are working in leadership positions through-
out the United States and other nations of the world making a
difference in everything from crop production in South Africa to
profitability and sustainability of agriculture in Florida.
Research: A major focus of the IFAS research mission is to
develop knowledge to improve Florida's $98 billion agriculture
and natural resources industries. Ranked No. 1 by the National
Science Foundation in agricultural R&D, IFAS sets a world-
class standard for innovation and transfer of new technologies
to the marketplace.
Extension: IFAS Extension provides Florida residents with life-
long learning programs in cooperation with county governments,
the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Florida A&M University.
The wide array of extension educational programming in each
county is offered in response to the local needs of residents, com-
munity organizations, regulatory agencies, schools and industry.
In an overall measure of excellence, IFAS Extension programs
have more support at the local level from county governments
than any other extension program in the nation.
To achieve its unique statewide research and education mission, IFAS depends on funds from county, state and federal sources.
However, at a time when many demands are being made on these resources, critical IFAS research and education programs may be
compromised when revenues fall short, and other sources remain constant or decline.
The Florida Tomorrow capital campaign is designed to improve the availability of funding for IFAS programs and provide an "extra
margin of excellence" for the future. While IFAS will always rely on state, county and federal support and student tuition as well as
grants and contracts, private support makes the crucial difference between good public universities and truly outstanding programs.
IFAS needs your support to enhance facilities for our programs and provide the quality education that will prepare students for their
first job as well as their future role as state, national and international leaders.
Private support makes it possible to attract top quality faculty members who conduct cutting-edge research, development and exten-
sion education programs on critical issues such as food safety and human nutrition, renewable energy, water resources, and invasive
pests and diseases. Private support will improve the ability of IFAS faculty to address other challenges ranging from population growth
and urban sprawl to global competition, climate changes and labor shortages.
Private support will help the statewide IFAS Extension Service develop new methods of disseminating research-based educational
information to producers, consumers and other clientele groups.
Your participation in the Florida Tomorrow campaign will also enhance other IFAS programs, including the creation of endowments to
provide critical support for faculty as well as scholarships and fellowships for outstanding students.
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