Group Title: FREDispatch
Title: FREDispatch ; vol. 4 no. 1
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087296/00002
 Material Information
Title: FREDispatch ; vol. 4 no. 1
Series Title: FREDispatch
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida
Publisher: University of Florida Food and Resource Economics Department
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087296
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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THE FRE DISPATCH


w'xA'. FRED IFAS UFL.EDu


FOOD AND RESOURCE E,,CONOMI, 'CS DEPARTMENT


VOLULIME 4 I ISSUE 1


Sd^^HN^ I.ilIl(

SGAINESVILLE, Fla. Dr. Thom- Marketing and Management majors.
as Spreen, Professor and Chair of the This course, co-taught with Dr. Tim
department was recently recognized Taylor, receives the highest students
as the recipient of the SAEA Lifetime evaluations every semester. Gary is an
Achievement Award. Dr. Spreen was outstanding teacher with a unique, gre-
chosen because of his dedication to the garious personality, and an unbounded
food and resource economics profes- sense of humor. At any time of the day
sion, his outstanding research, and ac- there is steady stream of students going
complishments as a teacher. Dr. Spreen in and out of his office to debate cur-
is recognized internationally for his rent international trade issues as well
work on the production and marketing as ask questions about his class. His
of citrus and he has received over $1.4 evaluations are amongst the highest
million in grants. He has taught elev- in the department and are consistent-
en unique courses in our department, ly well above the college
eight at the graduate level average.
Sfor a total of 43 offerings. Mr. David Barber was
He has served on over ioo Dr. Thomas Spreen, recognized as the Col-
graduate committees, in- Dr. Gary Fairchild and lege of Agricultural and
cluding chairing 34 the- David Barber take top Life Sciences Undergrad-
sis and dissertations. In uate Advisor of the Year
addition, he has served honors. ruate Adviso David Y s
for 2005-2006. David is
on countless department, the Undergraduate Pro-
University, State, Na- gram Director for the de-
tional, and International
tonal, and International apartment. David is also the advisor for
committees. the NAMA marketing team, and junior
Dr. Gary Fairchild was named the UF advisor for Alpha Zeta. David spends
Teacher of the Year for 2005-2006. countless hours with students who
Gary teaches a number of classes in need advising regarding their academic
the department including the capstone and career goals.
course for the Food and Agribusiness continued on page3


























An Internet-Based System for

Financial Benchmark Analysis of

Wholesale Nurseries
ALAN W. HODGES AND JOHN J. HAYDU


Financial benchmark analysis is a wide-
ly used technique for evaluating the
performance of individual business-
es in relation to industry standards.
The approach typically involves use of
indicators or benchmarks that reflect
the key practices in a specific type of
business and often in a particular re-
gion. Benchmark analysis can be used
by managers as a guide for important
business decisions such as expansions,
financing, marketing, operations plan-
ning, and human resource manage-
ment. It enables managers to identify
the strengths and weaknesses of a com-
pany, in order to capitalize on its ad-
vantages, and to establish goals for im-
provement. Ideally, benchmarks should
be representative of industry-leading
firms to reflect best management prac-
tices, however, they may also provide
statistical information on variability of
the business performance. The devel-
opment of benchmarks requires col-
lection of extensive financial and op-
erational data in a standardized format
that enables valid comparisons among
different firms. Traditionally, this infor-


mation has been compiled through
time-consuming industry surveys
or interviews with managers of co-
operating firms.
For over 30 years, the University of
Florida's Food & Resource Econom-
ics Department has conducted a fi-
nancial benchmarking program for
wholesale ornamental plant nurs-
eries in Florida known as the Nurs-
ery Business Analysis. The program
was originally started by Dr. Ned
Cake, then continued by Dan Gunt-
er, Robert Strain and Alan Hodg-
es. From time to time, results have
been published for various types
of nurseries with distinct of plant
growing systems, including field
or container-grown woody orna-
mentals, tropical foliage, flowering
plants, and cut foliage.
Benchmarks include measures for
productivity, profitability, financial
solvency and liquidity. For example,
some of the key indicators are sales
per square foot (acre), value pro-
duced per fulltime equivalent (FTE)


employee, capital managed per acre,
plant inventory turnover, indirect cost
per square foot, rate of return on equi-
ty, and the financial leverage ratio.
Recently, we have developed an inter-
net-based system for the Nursery Busi-
ness Analysis, in response to the need
for automated data collection and
analysis, and to provide a higher lev-
el of service to industry clients. This
effort was undertaken with the sup-
port of the Florida Nursery Growers
and Landscape Association. The sys-
tem consists of data entry forms, a re-
port generator, a historical database of
firm records, and a website user inter-
face. The system is available at http://
hortbusiness.ifas.ufl.edu/hortNBA/.
Reports generated by the system con-
sist of a series of tables and charts that
provide benchmark information for
a client firm compared with two or
three selected industry groups. With-
in each commodity group, informa-
tion is available for small and large
firms, and highly profitable firms.
Registered users of the system are as-
signed a username and password to
enable access to the system for secu-
rity-encrypted data entry and custom-
ized analyses.
Further programming of the website
is being done by FRED-Information
Technology Support person Stephen
Reese. A technical refinement that
has been incorporated into a new ver-
sion of the system is deflator factors
that state values in inflation-adjusted
dollars.
Training workshops for users have
been conducted throughout Flori-
da and other southeast states during
2004 and 2005. As the system con-
tinues to develop, and more users are
recruited to the system, an expand-
ed database of records may enable re-
porting of benchmark values for addi-
tional nursery industry groups and for
specific counties or regions. Also, it is
envisioned that the system may be ex-
tended to other segments of the agri-
culture, such as the large and rapidly
growing landscape services sector. m






continued from cover
Under David's leadership, our
NAMA team has been recognized
nationally as the team to beat. He is
a vital resource for our students and
inspires them to achieve their best.
David dedicates his work to mak-
ing UF and the FRE Department the
best place possible for any student.



]D)idl Y(ou ]Knl(O0\w ?

* There are approximately 350 under-
graduates enrolled in FRED making it
one of the largest undergraduates de-
partments in the College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences.

* The Department has 41 faculty mem-
bers involved in a full range of research,
extension, and teaching programs in-
cluding Agricultural Marketing and Pol-
icy, Production/Farm Management, In-
ternational Trade and Development,
Marine Economics, Natural Resourc-
es, Community/Regional Development,
and Labor Economics. In addition to
33 faculty members located at the main
campus in Gainesville, eight faculty are
found at research and education centers
located throughout the state.

* FRED undergraduate students have
been highly successful in national com-
petitions including four consecutive
wins at the American Agricultural Eco-
nomics Association Quiz Bowl compe-
tition (2001-2005) as well as the nation-
al championship and multiple final four
finishes in the NAMA Marketing com-
petitions.

* Three FRED faculties have received
Lifetime Achievement awards from the
Southern Agricultural Economics Asso-
ciation. Several faculties have developed
international reputations in diverse
fields such as trade policy, generic ad-
vertising, citrus economics, sugar policy,
business retention and expansion, lead-
ership development, consumer attitudes
towards genetically modified food, and
dairy marketing.


Florida Natural Resources Leadership

Institute Update (FNRLI)


The Florida Natural Resources Lead-
ership Institute (FNRLI) is a UF/
IFAS Extension program, affiliated
with the University of Florida School
of Natural Resources and Environ-
ment. Burl Long, a long standing
faculty member in the Food and Re-
source Economics Department is
the current director of FNRLI. The
purpose of the institute is to develop
leaders who can create a future for
Florida where people, businesses,
and institutions can prosper while
conserving Flroida's fragile and
unique environment. FNRLI was
created at UF largely through the ef-
forts of Dr,. Carriker who had partic-
ipated in the North Carolina Natural
Resources Leadership Institute and
believe that Florida would benefit
from such a program.

Six classes have graduated from FN-
RLI since its inception in 1998.
Each class is composed of Fellows
who are mid-career to top level pro-
fessionals in natural resource related
fields drawn from industry, federal,
state, and local government, aca-
demia, and community based orga-
nizations. There is now a total of 115
graduates who are advancing their
careers and contributing to a grow-
ing network of like-minded profes-
sionals. These professionals have
learned, through their FNRLI train-
ing, how to bring techniques of con-
flict management and collabora-
tive leadership to bear
on contentious envi-
ronmental issues, of-
ten related to develop-
ment, with end results
that can satisfy stake-
holders and avoid litiga-
tion. FNRLI provides
this training through a
well planned and tested


process. Each class of Fellows par-
ticipates in eight three-day sessions
over the course often months. Each
of the firs seven sessions is held at
a different location around the state
of Florida. Each session is a blend
of seminars and activities in which
Fellows develop skills in the practi-
cal techniques of conflict resolution
and the management of contentious
meetings and associated processes.
Each session also includes guided
field trips to the resource areas and
discussions with stakeholder panels
composed of the industry, agency,
and community people involved in
the local issue at hand. The eighth
session is graduation where the
graduates present a practicum proj-
ect that they have worked on as part
of their participation in FNRLI.

If you are interested in participat-
ing in FNRLI, or know someone else
who might be interested, please con-
tact FNRLI Executive Director Bruce
Delaney at 392-1881 extension 426
or email him at bldelaney@ufl.edu.

The Florida Natural Resources Lead-
ership Institute has benefited greatly
from its affiliation with the Food and
Resource Economics Department
and appreciates its continuing rela-
tionship with the department.







Does the generic promotion of citrus benefit Florida producers?


The Florida Department of Citrus
asked Dr. Ron Ward, a long time
professor in FRED, to lead a team
of economists and industry leaders
to addressed this important ques-
tion. The team included Mark Brown
and Bob Norberg of the FDOC; Al-
len Morris and Bob Behr, both FRED
graduates; Tom Spreen, the Chair-
man of FRED; Bob Barber with
Florida Citrus Mutual; and industry
leaders Dan Casper, Ron Edwards,
Rod Liddle, and Jim Zellner. Zellner
also has had an affiliation with
FRED. Drawing on both quantitative
research and industry experience,
the team met over several months to
review existing economic analyses
and devised a strategy for objective-
ly measuring the impact of Florida's
generic promotion programs for pro-
cessed oranges.
Generic promotion (commonly re-
ferred to as the checkoff) is a tool
used by many commodity groups to
enhance the demand for their spe-
cific commodities. Notable exam-
ples include the promotions of beef
and dairy. Research by Dr. Ward has
addressed the economic impacts of
many of these commodities and,
hence, the citrus industry turned to
him to provide the leadership to eval-
uate the effectiveness of the citrus
promotions. Three issues of partic-
ular importance included measur-
ing the overall rate-of-return to Flori-
da growers, the level of free-riders in
the system, and the economic ben-
efits to the state of Florida. Generic
promotions have become complicat-
ed with the legal challenges relat-
ing to the constitutionality of theses
programs. Having a scientific evalu-
ation of the economic impacts is an
essential component during litiga-
tions and for the legislative process.
This last spring Dr. Ward presented
the results for the evaluations of the
citrus programs to the State of Flor-
ida Legislative Joint Committee on
Agriculture.


The full report can be readily ac-
cessed through the FDOC web page
under the title "Generic Promotions
Of Florida Citrus-What Do We Know
About the Effectiveness of the Florida
Department of Citrus Processed Orange
Juice Demand Enhancing Programs?"
(www.floridajuice.com/grmarket_
list_misc.php)
The full report documents that the
generic promotions of citrus bene-
fitted Florida growers as well as the
states' overall economy. Several ma-
jor conclusions were highlighted:
i. For each million dollars of FDOC
promotions of processed citrus
juice, industry revenues at the de-
livered-in level (i.e., fruit delivered
in to processing plants) increase
by $1.8 to $3.8 million. That is, the
benefit-to-cost ratio to Florida grow-
ers (at the delivered-in) is between
1.8 and 3.8, depending on the level
of the promotion-induced demand
shift.
2. On-tree net rates-of-return from
the processed orange juice promo-
tions show positive gains between
70% and 256%. Again, this is net
of the promotion cost to grow-
ers. Each grower's profits from
these net gains then depend on
how much it costs to produce the
oranges.
3. During the average season over the
last five years, a $40 million pro-
motion investment would generate
from around $91 to $227 million
in additional dollars at the deliv-
ered-in level. For this amount, Flor-
ida growers capture between 70%
and 80% of the gains with the dif-
ference going to imports. Clear-
ly, there are free-riders to the ex-
tent that imports, not subject to the
box-tax, benefit from the increas-
es in demand. Note that the mod-
els used to calculate the benefits ac-
counted for increasing imports if
promotion-induced demand shifts
increased retail prices. *


Food and Resource Economics
and the University of Bonn

The Food and Resource Econom-
ics Department at the University of
Bonn in Germany and FRED, UF
are strengthening ties through a
number of collaborations. The Uni-
versity of Bonn is a major university
located in northwest Germany. It is
one of leading institutions of high-
er education in Europe with a strong
undergraduate and graduate pro-
gram in agricultural economics and
agribusiness.
After initial contact was made by
Dr. Ron Ward in the 199os, Dr. Ger-
hard Schieffer, former head of the
Food and Resource Economics De-
partment at the University of Bonn,
came to Gainesville in 200oo3 for a
sabbatical in FRED. This contact
was followed by several graduate stu-
dents from the University of Bonn
for study visits lasting from two
months to a full semester.
More recently, the University of
Bonn approached FRED regard-
ing the development of a joint Mas-
ter of Science degree program be-
tween the two universities. In the
proposed program, a student would
spend one year in Bonn and one
year in Gainesville and then write a
M.S. thesis under the joint supervi-
sion of faculty from both Bonn and
UF. Upon completion, the student
would receive a M.S. degree from
both universities. In addition, the
student would be exposed to the lan-
guage and culture of both the Unit-
ed States and Germany.
The University of Bonn has also
taken the lead in the formation of
a consortium of universities from
both sides of the Atlantic to address
issues confronting the food industry
in the 21st century. The universities
include the University of Bonn, Uni-
versity of Parma (Italy), University
of Madrid (Spain), Wageninen (The
Netherlands), University of







continued from page 4
Macedonia, Cornell University, and
the University of Florida. The con-
sortium resulted in the First Sym-
posium of Innovation and Dynam-
ics in the Food Industry which was
held in Innsbruck, Austria in Feb-
ruary 2007. Dr. Ron Ward and Dr.
Tom Spreen serve on the board of
directors for the consortium. Dr.
James Sterns, Dr. Lisa House, and
Dr. Ward give presentations at the
Symposium.


N;'-.c~


From left to right: Dr. Michael Gunderson, Amanda Stull Saha and Jo Ann Davis


Dr. Michael Gunderson joined the
FRE faculty in September 2006. His
research interests are agribusiness
management and finance, strategic
planning, and decision making un-
der uncertainty. Current research
considers the attitudes of commer-
cial agricultural producers regard-
ing agricultural services. In addition,
Dr. Gunderson is interested in the
impacts of financing on agricultural
production operations and the man-
agement implications of real options
thinking.
His publications cover a range of
topics including the consumer de-
mand for different steak qualities,
profitability in agricultural lend-
ing, and simulation models in new
product introduction. Dr. Gunder-
son is responsible for teaching agri-
business finance and food market-
ing at the undergraduate level and
is involved in advising and teaching
graduate students. Mike completed
his undergraduate degree at the Uni-
versity of Illinois, his M.S. at Cornell
University, and Ph.D. at Purdue Uni-
versity, all in agricultural economics.

Amanda Stull Saha joined the FRE
department in August of 2006.
Amanda is the Coordinator of Alum-
ni and Career Services. Her projects
include co instructing AEB 3935,


FRE Seminar with Dr. Lisa House,
academic advising for undergradu-
ate students, career advising, coor-
dinating the FRE Golf Tournament
and Reunion Dinner, and developing
relations between students, alumni,
faculty, and industry professionals.
While Amanda is new to the depart-
ment she has worked in the Col-
lege of Agricultural and Life Scienc-
es here at UF since 2004. Amanda
is also pursuing a Masters of Science
in the Department of Agricultur-
al Education and Communication.
Amanda is a native of Kentucky
and a graduate of the University of
Kentucky.

Jo Ann Davis joined FRED in May,
2006, as the Administrative Coordi-
nator to the department.
She manages the Business Office
and the Computer Support Team.
Prior to this appointment she was
the Employee Relations Manager of
the IFAS Satellite Office for the Of-
fice of Human Resource Services.
Jo Ann has worked at the Universi-
ty since August, 1998. Before mov-
ing to Florida, Jo Ann worked as the
Administrative Director for the De-
partment of Public Works in How-
ard County, Maryland. She holds a
bachelor's degree from the Universi-
ty of Maryland.


Welcome new FREDa







Announcing the Food and Resource Economics Department

Third Annual Golf Tournament and Reunion Dinner
S Help support our national champs... Reunite with college friends, faculty and staff...
In addition to having an excellent golf experience, by This third annual FRE Reunion dinner will feature a
participating in the Golf Tournament you will be presentation by the NAMA marketing team, recognition
contributing to the FRE Student Enhancement Fund. of departmental scholarship recipients and some special
These funds will help support our national champion faculty awards. This evening will provide a great oppor-
FRE/NAMA marketing team and Academic Quiz Bowl tunity to visit with college friends, current and retired
teams as well as other student activities, faculty/staff. Join us for golf and the reunion dinner.
We look forward to your visit!


Friday, March 30, 2007
Schedule of Events
Golf Tournament
University Golf Course
2800 S.W. 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL
ii:oo am: Golf Check-in and Lunch
12:00 noon: Tee Off!
Reunion Dinner and Reception
Florida Farm Bureau
5700 S.W. 34th St., Gainesville, FL
6:30pm: Reception
7:30 pm: Reunion Dinner
* NAMA team presentation
* 2006-07 Departmental
scholarship awards
U. C lht A- rlJ,


All golf sponsorships and fees include green fee, cart fee, range balls, and lunch.
Awards will be presented at the Reunion Dinner.

Golf Sponsorship Opportunities


Gold Sponsor $1oo
Four player spots
Hole sponsor
Company logo on the
program and prominent
recognition at the event
Four dinner tickets


Tickets for the Reunion Dinner will not be mailed.
They may be picked up at the registration table.
Business Casual Dress Suggested for Dinner


For Additional Information:
Amanda Saha
University of Florida
Food and Resource Economics Dept.
PO Box 110240
Phone: (352) 392-1826 ext. 302
Fax: (352) 846-0988
E-mail: asahaiSulfl edu


. a ucu u

FRE Golf Tournament and Reunion
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MARCH 23, 2007


NAME:
COMPANY:
ADDRESS:
CITY: STATE ZIP.
E-MAIL
PHONE FAX

YES! I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GOLF TOURNAMENT
ADDITIONAL GOLFERS:
NAME:
NAME:
NAME:

YES! I PLAN TO ATTEND THE REUNION DINNER $IO EACH
ADDITIONAL GUESTS
NAME:
NAME:
NAME:

SORRY, I CANNOT ATTEND, BUT I AM ENCLOSING A DONATION



MAIL THIS FORM WITH PAYMENT TO:


0L GOLD SPONSOR- $500
0L SILVER SPNSOR- $350
0L FOURSOME GOLFER $200
L INDIVIDUAL PLAYER $55
L HOLE SPONSER $I00

GOLFER REGISTRATION
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REUINON DINNER R
OTHER DONATION
TOTAL ENCLOSED

PAYMENT
L I HAVE ENCLOSED A CHECK FOR PAYMENT
PLEASE MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO : UF/IFAS SHARE


U VISA
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O AMEX


ExP DATE:


FRE GOLF TOURNAMENT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
PO Box 110240
GAINESVILLE, FL 32611
(352) 392-1826 EXT. 401


II **I. .rJ...ii... II~II






MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR, Dr. Tom Spreen
After a brief hiatus, FREDispatch has returned to bring news about the Food and Resource Eco-
nomics Department. You can see that there are many exciting things occurring in FRED. After
several years of little hiring, we added one new faculty member in 2006 and will add at least two
more in 2007. With the imminent retirement of many long-standing faculty in 2007 including
Robert Degner, Carlton Davis, Robert Emerson, Gary Fairchild, Clyde Kiker, Ron Ward, and PJ
Van Blokland, it is important that new faculty are hired so that we can continue the teaching, re-
search, and extension programs of the department.
Please let know your thoughts about the Dispatch as we try to find ways to keep you
informed about the activities of FRED. Please feel free to send your thoughts and ideas to
tspreen@ufl.edu. They are greatly appreciated. Go Gators.


FRE Contacts


Thomas Spreen, Ph.D
Department Chair
352.392.1826
thspreen@ufl.edu


Lisa House, Ph.D
Undergraduate Program
Coordinator
352.392.1826
lahouse@ufl.edu


David Mulkey, Ph.D
Associate Department Chair
352.392.1826
mulkey@ufl.edu


Jessica Herman
Graduate Program Assistant
352.392.1826 x 200
jherman@ufl.edu


Jeff Burkhardt, Ph.D
Graduate Program Coordinator
352.392.1826
burk@ufl.edu


Nancy Baker
Undergraduate Program Assistant
352.392.1826 x 210
nebaker@ufl.edu



Al Wysocki, Ph. D
MAB Program Coordinator
352.392.1826
wysocki@ufl.edu



Amanda Stull Saha
Coordinator, Alumni and Career Services
352.392.1826 x 302
asaha@ufl.edu






University of Florida
Food and Resource Economics Department
McCarty Hall
PO Box 110240
Gainesville, FL 32611-0240


F UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension


PRESORTED
FIRST CLASS MAIL
US POSTAGE
PAID
GAINESVILLE, FL
PERMIT NO. 94


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