Front Cover
 Letter from the senior vice...
 Table of Contents
 Improving tomato safety
 Operation: military kids
 New biofuels class
 Faculty profile: Lynn Bailey
 Ordway-Swisher Biological...
 Ethanol pilot plant opens
 We are CALS profile: Jason de la...
 How it works
 News briefs
 On the job profile: Stacy...
 Alumni news
 IFAS development news

Title: Impact
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00044207/00019
 Material Information
Title: Impact
Uniform Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Abbreviated Title: Impact (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: The Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: [1984-
Frequency: three no. a year
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: IFAS, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Spring 1984-
Numbering Peculiarities: Vol. 2, no. 2 misnumbered as v. 2, no. 22.
General Note: Title from caption.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00044207
Volume ID: VID00019
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001107412
oclc - 10908183
notis - AFK3775
lccn - sn 84006294
issn - 0748-2353


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IMPl_2008 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Letter from the senior vice president
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    Improving tomato safety
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Operation: military kids
        Page 8
        Page 9
    New biofuels class
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Faculty profile: Lynn Bailey
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Ordway-Swisher Biological Station
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Ethanol pilot plant opens
        Page 22
        Page 23
    We are CALS profile: Jason de la Paz
        Page 24
    How it works
        Page 25
    News briefs
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    On the job profile: Stacy Strickland
        Page 30
    Alumni news
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    IFAS development news
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
Full Text

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as dirt-poor crackers, struggling for their very existence. "There were many times when Tobias thought
otherwise, but they did survive. He learned many things by trial and error, and passing strangers told
him of others." He and his family gained an appreciation of the land and ecosystem.
Even in a time of economic gloom, it's important to not forget the land's natural treasures but in-
stead remember to look to them as a source of renewal for a prosperous tomorrow. This has always been
a key mission of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
One of those treasures is the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Thanks in large part to a donation
of land from The Nature Conservancy, IFAS is using the 9,100 acres of pristine and diverse landscapes
ranging from wetlands to sandhills to support our tripartite mission. As a core site for the National
Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), the station's unadulterated ecology will be a key element of a
national effort to track the effects of climate change, land management practices, invasive species and
other factors on Florida's environment and the nation's natural resources.
IFAS has facilities in every one of Florida's 67 counties, and there are 13 research and education
centers throughout the state dedicated to developing the state's $101 billion agriculture and natural
resources industry. Each year, IFAS continues to expand its efforts throughout the Sunshine State. The
amount of funding IFAS garners through grants and contracts has maintained a steady climb, and has
increased in the past year by $11.3 million to $104.8 million for 2008.
And that is money put to good use. IFAS is spearheading research and educational programs to find
solutions to citrus greening, which threatens a citrus industry that has been a Florida keystone since
the time of the earliest Spanish settlers. Meanwhile, in light of the recent tomato scare, IFAS faculty
members have worked hand-in-hand with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Ser-
vices and the Florida Tomato Exchange to develop and institute a groundbreaking set of self-imposed
safety standards among the state's growers.
We are helping to set the stage for a future of alternative fuel sources born from but not a burden to
the land. A new cellulosic ethanol pilot plant on our Gainesville campus will help refine methods to
turn nonfood biomass and wastes into a fuel that can help alleviate the nation's reliance on oil. Mean-
while, new biofuel classes and educational programs offered by the College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences will help give a head start to tomorrow's leaders in the field.
Recently I announced that I have accepted an offer to become chancellor of the University of Tennes-
see at Knoxville, effective Feb. 1, 2009. It is with reluctance that I leave the University of Florida where
I have served for more than 33 years. My wife Ileen and I are committed Gators and both our children
earned their degrees here. However, I felt this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as the overall
administrator of a great land-grant university would be the capstone to my career.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given to IFAS and our programs
in teaching, research and extension. Because you have made a difference, IFAS has made, and will
continue to make a difference.

Sincere IFAS
Jimmy G. Cheek
Senior Vice President
Agriculture and Natural Resources

2 IMPACT I Fall 2008

IMPACT is published by the Univer-
sity of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences and is
produced by IFAS Communication
Services (Ashley M. Wood, director)
and IFAS External and Media
Relations (Jack Battenfield,

Senior Vice President
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Executive Associate Vice President
Dean for Extension
Dean for Research
Dean of the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences
To change an address, request extra
copies of IMPACT, or to be added to
the mailing list, e-mail Tom Nordlie
at tnordlie@ufl.edu or write Tom
Nordlie at P.O. Box 110275, Uni-
versity of Florida, Gainesville, FL
IMPACT is available in alternate
formats. Visit our Web site:



4 Improving Tomato Safety

8 Operation: Military Kids

10 New Biofuels Class

12 Faculty Profile: Lynn Bailey

14 Ordway-Swisher Photo Essay

20 Ordway-Swisher, Past and Future

22 Ethanol Pilot Plant Opens

24 We Are CALS Profile: Jason De La Paz

25 How It Works


26 News Briefs


30 On The Job Profile: Stacy Strickland

31 Alumni News

32 Spotlight

34 IFAS Development News

On the Cover
Photographer Wes Marston captured this image of a male bobwhite quail at UF's
Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, while preparing a photo essay that appears
in this issue of IMPACT. Besides being a place of extraordinary natural beauty,
the station serves as an important resource for IFAS scientists, and was recently
designated a core site for monitoring ecological processes and environmental
change, as part of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).


IMPACT IFall 2008 3



IFAS experts help develop, communicate

new safety standards for tomatoes.

or years, Florida has been the nation's No. 1
producer of fresh tomatoes. Now, it's the nation's
pacesetter for tomato safety standards.
Through the efforts of industry leaders, joined by elected
officials, state agencies and the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the state
recently enacted laws requiring tomatoes to be grown and
handled according to a best-practices manual (see side-
bar). Compliance became mandatory July 1, 2008; the
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(FDACS) will conduct inspections to make sure the best
practices are followed.
It's a first for any U.S. state for any agricultural crop.
"The industry has done a remarkable thing by demanding
regulation," says Martha Roberts, who spearheaded IFAS'
participation. A special assistant to IFAS Dean for Research
Mark McLellan, Roberts is also one of the state's foremost
food-safety experts and a former Florida deputy commis-
sioner of agriculture.
The new laws will reduce the risk of Florida tomatoes
being affected by pathogens such as Salmonella bacteria, she

said. They'll also assure consumers that Florida growers will
do whatever it takes to provide a safe product.
Roberts has spent the past three years working with grow-
ers and FDACS, developing and revising the best practices
manual. The standards, science based and clearly stated,
cover everything from soil quality and irrigation water to
worker training and lot identification numbers.
Though many growers had been voluntarily follow-
ing similar practices for 10 years or more, the push for
legislation began in 2004, after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition notified the state's tomato growers, packers and
shippers that they needed to do more on food safety.
So they began their efforts to create a safety plan.
The tomato industry asked FDACS for help. At UF,
Roberts was asked to focus her attention on the issue.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson liked
the idea of statewide standards but believed they needed
the force of law. So the industry particularly representa-
tives of the Florida Tomato Exchange and the Florida Fruit
& Vegetable Association began discussing the idea of new
statutes with legislators.

4 IMPACT I Fall 2008

IFAS food-safety expert Keith Schneider demon-
strates how he inoculates tomatoes with bacteria
brother microorganisms, as a preliminary step
toward testing the efficacy of sanitizing agents.

After much more discussion and
collaboration notably two national-
scale events co-sponsored by UF the
Florida Legislature passed a bill that
Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law in
May 2007.
Now, IFAS faculty will keep the effort
moving forward in new ways, Roberts
One is by assisting growers with
Food-safety experts Keith Schneider,
an associate professor of food science,
and Steve Sargent, a professor of hor-
ticultural sciences, are presenting live
workshops around the state, some of
which are being videotaped and will
soon be available online. Schneider is
also developing a PowerPoint
presentation to aid training at extension
"Most growers have their own train-
ing programs for workers," said Sargent,
a statewide extension specialist in post-
harvest physiology. "We're trying to
keep the industry informed about basic
information they need to know ... and

keep them informed about updates that come along."
Another initiative is promoting better food-safety stan-
dards for other Florida crops.
Blueberries, melons and leafy greens are expected to
get their own sets of mandatory best practices in 2009,
Schneider said. IFAS experts are already working on train-
ing materials specific to those crops, a task made easier by
their experience with tomatoes.
And IFAS is taking steps to enhance its overall food-safety
Three new faculty members will soon come onboard, all
of them appointed to both the Emerging Pathogens Institute

and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, said Doug
Archer, an IFAS associate dean for research.
Two of the positions will be in the plant pathology depart-
ment, one focusing on molecular virology and the other
on epidemiology. The third will be in the food science and
human nutrition department.
Archer said the new hires will use basic-science research,
aided by technologies such as high-speed computer model-
ing, to solve real-world food-safety problems.
"Modeling can be a great help in predicting how diseases
will spread as a consequence of weather, insect vectors and

IMPACT IFall 2008 5


Martha Roberts, special assistant to IFAS Dean for Research Mark McLellan, examines tomato plants at the North Florida Research
and Education Center -Suwannee Valley in Live Oak. Roberts led IFAS efforts promoting new state laws that require tomatoes to
be grown and handled accordingtoa best-practices manual. PHOTO BYTHOMAS WRIGHT

other factors," he said. "That's the kind of thing we have in
There are also numerous IFAS projects focusing specifi-
cally on tomato safety.
Researchers are developing better ways to eliminate sur-
face pathogens on tomatoes, pinpoint locations bacteria are
likely to grow in plants, and trace shipped tomatoes back to
where they were grown.
Florida law governing tomato safety will likely continue
to develop as new information comes to light, Schneider
The state's growers hope to see nationwide standards
enacted, to assure consistent safety and raise consumer con-
fidence, said Billy Heller Jr., chief executive officer of PTG
Management in Palmetto, Fla.
"There has to be a level playing field based on abso-
lute expectations," said Heller, whose company has tomato
growing operations in Mexico, California, Georgia and
Virginia. "There's got to be one set of standards."
It might be coming. In April, U.S. Reps. Adam Putnam,
R-Fla., and Jim Costa, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would
give the FDA power to order food recalls.

In the meantime, IFAS personnel will work with grow-
ers and FDACS to improve the industry. The relationship
goes back a long way, said Marion Aller, director of FDACS'
Division of Food Safety in Tallahassee.
"You need broad collaboration in order to make good reg-
ulatory policy, and to make sure those policies are trans-
lated to practical regulations and efforts," Aller said. S
DOUG ARCHER (352) 392-1784
MARTHA ROBERTS (850) 509-7282
STEVE SARGENT (352) 392-1928
KEITH SCHNEIDER (352) 392-1991

6 IMPACT I Fall 2008

Steve Sargent, an IFAS post-harvest technology
specialist, says proper sanitation programs are
critical for controlling contamination oftoma-
toes. The decay in the top tomato probably began
when a pathogen entered through thestem-end
scarduring harvestor packing, hesaid. PHOTO


Provisions of Florida's new tomato laws are found in Florida Statutes Sections 570.07(6),
570.48(2)(e), and 570.481(1)(b). Access the statutes online at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes
Additional provisions are found in Florida Administrative Code Chapter 5G-6.
Access the code online at https://www.flrules.org
The Tomato Best Practices Manual is available online at
An IFAS document, "Salmonella and Tomatoes: Q&A for Consumers," is
available online at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/SS484

IMPACT IFall 2008 7






Helping Children Whose Parents Serve

ven though Mara Callahan's
dad has been in the military
for all of her 10 years, she was
too young when they moved off the
Army base to remember much about
life on it.
Her father, Dan, an Operation
Desert Storm veteran, separated from
active duty in 2001 and joined the
Army National Guard.
So even though he's deployed sev-
eral times since, Mara's experience
never included being part of the fabric
of a bigger military family.
Until now.
This summer, she and younger
brother Braeden, 8, spent a week with
86 other children just like themselves.
They met at a camp organized and
run by Operation: Military Kids.
Launched in 2005, Operation:
Military Kids is a nationwide program
that helps children of deployed or
soon to be deployed active duty,
National Guard or reservists handle
the unique challenges they face when
losing a parent for months on end.

A group of young people hone their archery ski ls
during the Operation: Military Kids weekat Camp
Ocala in June. Group of 88 children, ages 8 to
13, attended theweeklong camp in the Ocala
National Forest, hosted by 4-H. PHOTO BYTYLER

The program, administered by
the Army Integrated Family Support
Network, has already helped 65,000
children and is growing rapidly. When
the Army needed to reach those chil-
dren, it turned to an organization
that's been helping kids for almost 100
years 4-H.
Georgene Bender, Florida 4-H's pro-
gram director for Operation: Military
Kids, says 4-H is suited for the task
because of extension's vast reach.
"Extension is in every county of
the state, and the reserve and guard
are in every county of this state," she
said. "In Union County, there might
be just five guard families, but they
don't know how to find each other.
Part of our goal is to help these people
Bender is working with a $100,000
grant to get Florida's program up and
running. So far, there are active pro-
grams in about half the state's 67
counties, and she's hoping that num-
ber will soon grow.

8 IMPACT I Fall 2008

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Campers atJune's Operation: Military Kids week
at 4-H's Camp Ocala listen as military officers
brief them on the Black Hawk helicopterand what
it can do. The children,who have at least one
parent in the military, later enjoyed the noisy and
windy thrill ofwatching the helicopter take off.

"It's a huge program that's really
beginning to see some momentum,"
she said. "2007 was a lean year, but
in 2008-2009, the need is going to be
Operation: Military Kids has a num-
ber of partners, Bender said. Groups
helping support their efforts include
the Florida National Guard, the Army
Reserve Child and Youth Services
Program, the American Legion, Joint
Family Support Assistance Program,
and the National Association of Child
Care Resources and Referral Agencies.
In late May, Bender led a group of
county 4-H extension agents through
a daylong training session at Camp
Blanding, near Starke. They gained
insight about the day-to-day lives
of military families, and how
they could better relate to the
children. r
They learned that there are b
many children out there who
need help. Florida Army and Air
National Guard families have an C
estimated 7,163 children under b
18 and that doesn't include
the children of active and reserve
members from all branches of
the military.
They also learned about many com-
ponents of Operation: Military Kids,
which include:
Educating the public on the
impact of deployment on soldiers,
families and children.
HERO packs, often stuffed by vol-
unteer organizations such as Girl
Scout troops, are backpacks given
to children at deployment send-
off ceremonies. The packs include
things like a writing kit, hero
pins, a military family scrapbook,

4-H bandana and other fun stuff
to make children feel special.
* Speak Out for Military Kids is a
program for military and non-
military kids to establish speaker
bureaus of those 14 and up to
advocate for military youth
and publicize the burden they

Provide training for the 4-H Army
babysitting course, designed to
help give stressed-out parents
relief by providing well-trained,
responsible babysitters.
Mobile Technology Labs that use
everything from digital cameras
to video cameras and DVD burn-
ers that can help children stay in
touch with their deployed parents.
In mid-June, the Callahan kids
were among 88 children who spent
a week at 4-H's Camp Ocala in the

Ocala National Forest. The camp was
made possible by Operation: Military
Kids, the Florida National Guard, 4-H
and the American Legion. Among the
highlights was True Hero Day, where
the 8- to 13-year-olds got to interact
with military personnel, taste-test mil-
itary rations, learn drill commands
and watch a Black Hawk helicopter
take off.
"We got to watch it fly off,"
Mara said. "It was very loud
and very windy."
Another highlight was the
y dance near the week's end, she
said, and she's definitely hop-

ing to go back next year.
"I miss everybody now," she
Her mom, Shira Callahan,

said the experience was great
for both Mara and Braeden.
"They never really got to be part of a
(military) post atmosphere," she said.
"It's cool now they can see how
they're part of a bigger picture." SS

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IMPACT IFall 2008 9

' They never really got to

le part of a (military) post
atmosphere. It's cool now the
an see how they're part of a

rigger picture.)
Shira Callahan, mother of two children who participate
in Operation: Military Kids' summer camp in Ocala.



3io e,


This fall, the University of Florida will offer one of the nation's first college
courses focused on bioenergy crops. The topic is so new that instructor Wilfred
Vermerris had to develop a textbook for the class. Vermerris is glad to be
responsible for another alternative-energy milestone at UF's Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, but says he's more interested in inspiring students.

or hundreds of years, farmers and scientists have
developed crop varieties to emphasize desirable
traits everything from color to texture to flavor to
nutritional value.
Today, interest in bioenergy has put a new spin on the
quest for perfect crops. Farmers still want varieties that
offer fast growth, hardiness and large yields. But the peo-
ple who process plant material to make fuel have their own
For example, cellulosic ethanol production such as the
method developed by IFAS' Lonnie Ingram starts with
biomass. That's a catchall term for cornstalks, sugarcane
bagasse and other inedible woody materials.
From a processor's standpoint, desirable crop traits get
pretty technical when you're talking cellulosic ethanol. For
example, it's preferable if the plants have cell walls that are
easily broken down into their chemical components.
Unfortunately, the science of breeding bioenergy crops
is still in its infancy. So experts haven't had much time to
focus on these traits, even for widely grown commodities.

"Traditionally, sugarcane is a crop used to extract the
juice," says Wilfred Vermerris, an IFAS associate professor
of agronomy. "People haven't spent as much effort selecting
sugarcane varieties for bagasse production."
But Vermerris is working to change that. This fall, he'll be
teaching one of the nation's first college courses devoted to
bioenergy crops.
Currently listed as AGR 6932, Bioenergy Crops is a
graduate-level course aimed at students in plant science, and
those in biological and chemical engineering interested in
alternative energy production.
The class focuses primarily on ethanol production, from
fuel sources such as corn, sugarcane, switchgrass, sweet sor-
ghum and pine trees. It will cover biomass composition, pro-
cessing methods, bioenergy potential of various crops, and
how to genetically enhance those crops.
To give students practical experience, they'll be required
to develop a research proposal on any crop, or a literature
review for a crop that isn't covered in the class.

10 IMPACT I Fall 2008

(Right) Wilfred
lectures in his
Bioenergy Crops
class. PHOTO BY
(Below) Vermerris
put together the
textbook for his
class, Bioenergy
Crops, because there
was no other book
available. PHOTO BY


Vermerris also plans to explore background issues such
as global climate change, sustainable farming and contro-
versy over the use of food crops in conventional ethanol
"I think we're at a moment in history where there are
some very big challenges ahead of us, that will require some
very big decisions, some trade-offs, potentially," he said.
"And I want to make sure the next generation is aware of
Because there was no suitable classroom text already in
print, Vermerris put one together, "Genetic Improvement
of Bioenergy Crops," published by Springer Publishing
Company. He served as editor, arranging for various experts
to write chapters on their specialties. The chapter authors
include IFAS faculty Gary Peter and John Davis of the
School of Forest Resources and Conservation and graduate
student Ana Saballos. Vermerris wrote three introductory
The class itself has been in development for about two
years, beginning shortly after Vermerris arrived at UF in
May 2006 from Purdue University. He was expected to
teach a new course, but the subject was undetermined.
Around that time, department of agronomy Chairman
Jerry Bennett was contacted by a colleague curious to know
if any universities in the Southeastern United States were
offering courses in biomass production. Bennett wasn't
aware of any. But his department already had a long history
of research on the subject.

The combination of the inquiry, the department's past
work and Vermerris' need for a course subject got Bennett
"Dr. Vermerris has a great deal of experience with respect
to genetics, formation of cell walls, biomass production
of crops," Bennett said. "So I encouraged him to consider
developing a course specializing in this area.
Vermerris wrote proposals for several courses. Ultimately,
he and Bennett agreed that the time was right for a bioen-
ergy crops class, and Vermerris set about developing one.
"Starting out was not the easiest thing, just because of it
being a new field," Vermerris said. "But that also makes it
feel meaningful, right?" - TOM NORDLIE
WILFRED VERMERRIS (352) 273-8162

IMPACT Fall 2008 11

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t 16, there was Lynn Bailey
on WIS's live morning show,
using flip charts, food sam-
ples and a doll to demonstrate her
knowledge of nutrition: knowledge
that had earned her a spot in the 1965
National 4-H Congress.
The town of Wagener, S.C., popu-
lation 1,000, was busting its buttons,
glued to TV sets, watching the home-
town girl who'd already bested thou-
sands of kids from bigger towns to win
first place at the state level. They cel-
ebrated her success a few weeks later,
when she boarded a plane in Columbia
- she remembers vividly her feath-
ered hat and heels bound for the
national event in Chicago.
She proudly represented the state
and her hometown at the National 4-H
Congress and returned to Wagener
even more enthusiastic about her
goal to pursue nutritional science as a
Even after all that, her first casual
mention that she might like to become
a university professor someday didn't
get much serious consideration.
"All of my friends thought it was
hilarious," she said.
Wagener kids didn't grow up to
think big thoughts in ivory tow-
ers. They grew up to work as store
clerks, or laborers in the Wagener
Shirt Factory. Or maybe at the nuclear
power plant, like her dad, who put in
hard hours as a steamfitter.
Her mother went to college for a
year, but was called back home to
pick cotton a disappointment that
gnawed at her for years. She eventually
became the librarian she'd hoped to be
(and started the town's library, which
still bears her name), but without the
benefit of a college degree.
Fortunately, Bailey's 4-H extension
specialist, Alpha Jenkins, didn't think
it was silly for a young girl to hope for
a career in academia.

"She told me 'yes, Lynn, I think you
can do this,'" Bailey recalls. "I felt so
inspired by that one person believing
I could do it that really stayed with
It wouldn't be the last time an influ-
ential mentor would make a differ-
ence to Bailey UF's 2008 Teacher/
Scholar of the Year and a renowned
folate expert. Her research program
and government advisory work con-
tributed to major changes in recom-
mended folate intake, a shared effort
that resulted in significant drops in
neural tube birth defects like spina
bifida around the globe.
After earning her undergradu-
ate degree at Winthrop, a master's at
Clemson, and her Ph.D. at Purdue, she
had begun working at Purdue, study-
ing protein as a means to find ways to
create more nutritious corn for devel-
oping countries. In short, she meant to
help end world hunger.
But without an on-campus medical
school, the logistics of her human met-
abolic studies were challenging. UF
had one.
Arriving in Gainesville in 1977,
she actively sought out another men-
tor, someone she could bounce her
research ideas off of; someone she
sensed had her best interest at heart.
She found one in Jim Dinning, a world-
renowned folate expert who had
retired from a dean's post in Thailand.
He'd seen the numbers of children
in developing countries with birth
defects, and he felt in his gut that
folate would be key to reducing those
Instead of malnutrition, Dinning
argued to Bailey, she needed to change
the whole focus of her research to
folate and birth defects.
She did.
He was right.
Bailey's research group generated
data instrumental in establishing

folate-intake recommendations,
including those for pregnant women,
and her name grew synonymous
with folate. By the early 1990s, she
was named to a U. S. Food and Drug
Administration committee whose rec-
ommendations were adopted as law in
1996 mandating that all enriched
foods in the United States be fortified
with folic acid.
"It wasn't until the 1980s, early
1990s that we got the evidence that
showed he was right," she said. "But I
trusted him." -
Now just four years away from
retirement, she hopes to stay actively
involved in her ongoing research
as well as folate-related work at the
national and international levels as a
professor emeritus. And she's enjoy-
ing the payoff of years spent mentoring
young academic minds like Marie
Caudill, now on the faculty at Cornell,
and Karla Shelnutt, who earned her
Ph.D. under Bailey's tutelage.
"Everything I know I've learned
from that woman," says Shelnutt, who
now teaches a nutrition and metab-
olism class with Bailey at UF. "She's
Looking back on her career, Bailey
says landing at UF and IFAS was
an ideal fit. She loves the idea of work-
ing in a place where extension works
to get research out to the public -
especially to inquisitive kids from one-
stoplight towns.
"Growing up, I had this concept that
if you went to college you could answer
all these questions," she said. "Being
in IFAS is wonderful for me. I love
that there's this chance for kids out in
rural communities to be inspired by a
county 4-H agent. It's like coming back
to my roots." : MICKIE ANDERSON
LYNN BAILEY (352) 392-1991

*^I ^^^ ^l**""*^

(Photo left) IFAS' Lynn Bailey, a world-renowned folate researcher, was honored as UF's 2008 Teacher/
Scholar of the Year. Bailey, a South Carolina native, credits her 4-H roots with sparkingan interest
in nutrition and putting heron the path to a career in science. Shown at UF's Baby Gator playground,
Bailey has helped prevent birth defects in children around the world. PHOTO BY ERIC ZAMORA


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Nearly 30 years has passed since I last turned onto Mason Road
off of State Road 26. It hasn't changed much, still unpaved with
just a few houses. I like that. I pass the old entrance to the Swisher
property, a driveway that passes by the Perry home. Our drill was
always the same: My dad would call Truman Perry to let him know
we wanted to go fishing, then we would stop to chat with Mr. Perry
and he'd tell us he would check for our tracks at dark to be sure we
made it out.
I immediately notice two changes the roads that previously
had pockets of deep sand that tried to swallow our vehicles are now
well packed, and the deer. In the past the deer were a rare sight,
now they seem to be everywhere. Steve Coates, the property man-
ager, is there to let me in. We chat a little, and he points out a flock
of turkey hens and poults, and even a few more deer. I notice that
the gopher tortoise population seems to be prospering. I'm pleased
to hear fox squirrels are still abundant they've disappeared from
most places I used to see them.
I immediately head to my two favorite places to fish, Cue and
Rowan Lakes. Usually, at least when Coach Ray Graves wasn't
along, my dad and I would fish one of these lakes. Anderson/Cue
is really two lakes joined by a short canal. They're at the bottom of
a valley, or the closest thing to a valley in Florida. Sometimes my
mom would come along and we would fish and picnic. It's funny
what you remember. As I look around the lake, I see the spot where
a bass broke off the tail of my plastic worm. I cast the remaining
worm to the same spot and reeled in a bass, my worm tail sticking
out of its throat. I drive over to Rowan, the prettiest of the lakes,
in my view. We fished here on our last trip to the property. My dad
caught an 8-pound bass on a topwater plug. An appropriate finale.
On the way back, I spot a small house, now in disrepair, where
my dad and I once spent the night. We had quail hunted that day
about 20 miles down the road at the Q.I. Roberts Ranch. Mr.
Roberts sent us home with a few quail and a hunk of fresh veni-
son. My dad usually looked to me to do the cooking. After walking
all day and eating only snacks, we were starving. All we had was a
stick of butter, some bread, salt, pepper, the meat and a cast-iron
skillet. We agreed it was one of the best meals we had ever eaten.
As is often the case with photography, some of the shots I
remember best are the ones I miss. The fox squirrel that jumps at
the wrong time, even though I'm in pretty good position and think
I'm ready for it. The gopher tortoise that built his hole in the wrong
direction so the lighting is so-so, and I miss his slide into the hole.
But I enjoy lying on my belly, careful to avoid cactus. The turkeys,
supposedly my specialty, manage to avoid a good capture. The hen
with tiny poults stays in the shadows or high grass. I try to call
some predators, but only infuriate the nearby does, who blow and
stomp at me.
Perhaps the highlight is the quail. I set up my chair blind in an
area covered with a variety of animal tracks. I see nothing. Just as
I'm about to give up, I hear a familiar call one I seldom hear any-
more. I answer his "bob-white" with my best sultry hen whistles.
After a second exchange, a brown blur flies past me and lands in
the nearby brush. Although out of practice, I've still got it. Too bad
there isn't a market for quail callers. - WES MARSTON

IMPACT Fall 2008 19

The Past and Future of the


University of Florida

t's difficult to convey the full beauty of the Ordway-
Swisher Biological Station in words or even pictures.
But some of the significance of the site can best be
captured with a few key facts.
To researchers, the more than 9,000 acres of pristine
North Central Florida forests and wetlands are an ideal
place to take the pulse of the natural world.
"It's the perfect area to get a clear picture of how the nat-
ural world is changing," said John Hayes, chairman of UF's
wildlife ecology and conservation department. "The area is
important for its unique diversity of land types that are of
high conservation significance, but the station is also a fan-
tastic natural laboratory that we are using to enhance our
understanding of our natural environment and to teach
the next generation of conservation scientists and decision
At any given time, there are two dozen or so experiments
taking place across the station. Research activities at the sta-
tion are diverse. Some are tracking invasive species of plants
while others are seeking to better understand behavior of
the station's insect populations. Other projects range from
monitoring the dynamics of diseases in local gopher tortoise
populations to using new technology to better understand
the influences and behavior of fire as it snakes through the
"The station has a tremendous potential to enhance our
understanding of the natural world," Hayes said. "And in
many ways we are just beginning to tap the station's poten-
tial; things are about to get much more exciting."

History preserved
In many ways the station's forests and wetlands resem-
ble how the region must have looked when Spanish explor-
ers first set eyes upon it in the 16th century. However, sur-
rounding land use, changes in rainfall patterns, changes in
seasonal temperatures and invasive species continue to leave
their unique mark on the territory, said Mel Sunquist, pro-
gram director for the station.
Prior to the 1980s, the land was used mostly as an out-
door retreat for hunting and fishing. The land had been
held as a preserve for half a century by the Swisher family,

owners of a Jacksonville-based tobacco company. That
changed when The Nature Conservancy (TNC) secured
3,000 acres in the area, known as the Carl Swisher
Memorial Sanctuary. Around the same time UF obtained
the adjacent 6,100-acre Katharine Ordway Preserve, named
after the heiress to 3M whose foundation funded the
For two-and-a-half decades, the preserve and the sanc-
tuary were managed under a joint stewardship agreement
between UF and TNC; and, in 2006, the collective proper-
ties were officially renamed the Ordway-Swisher Biological
At an August 5, 2008 ceremony, TNC officially trans-
ferred the deed for the Carl Swisher Memorial Sanctuary to
the UF Foundation. The donation officially brings the entire
9,100-acre station under UF's purview, although TNC will
continue to be an important partner in research, education
and conservation activities at the site.
The sanctuary is valued at $11 million, and is the largest
land gift ever donated to the university.

Stepping forward
"This is a step forward in the relationship between UF
and The Nature Conservancy, and we look forward to work-
ing closely with TNC in the years and decades to come,
Hayes said. "Consolidation of the station under a single
ownership helps us better coordinate our efforts on our path
to making this a globally significant site for research and
As one example of the continuing partnership between
UF and TNC, the station will soon house three TNC-funded
fire experts who will provide assistance for fire management
in natural areas throughout North Florida. When on-site,
the team will provide educational and training programs for
UF students and professionals in the region on how to con-
duct prescribed burns and control wildfires.
An additional benefit of the new arrangement is that it
paves the path for stronger cooperation with other agen-
cies. The station has been tagged by the National Science
Foundation (NSF) to serve as its core site for monitor-
ing ecological processes and environmental change in the

20 IMPACT I Fall2008

Representatives of UFand The
Nature Conservancy met on
campus Aug. 5 to celebrate
TNC's donation of the Carl
Swisher Memorial Sanctuary to
UF. Pictured, from left, areJohn
Hayes, chairman of UF's wildlife
ecology and conservation depart-
ment; Jeff Danter, directorof the
Florida chapterof TNC; Jimmy
Cheek, UFseniorvice president
foragriculture and natural
resources; and Bernie Machen, UF

southeastern United States from Texas to North
Carolina as part of the National Ecological Observatory
Network (NEON).
NEON will be NSF's primary program to track the status
of the natural world in the face of changes in climate, land
use and invasive species. The program is likely to be the
largest single investment in ecological sciences made by the
federal government in the coming decades.
Designation as a core site is anticipated to result in a mul-
timillion-dollar infrastructure investment by NSF in the sta-
tion and 30 years of funding. This infrastructure includes
arrays of sensors that will continuously monitor the station's
air, water, soil and biodiversity to track changes over time.
The data collected at the station will be continuously fed
into a central database, where it will be used with data from
other stations to develop a comprehensive picture of envi-
ronmental change within the United States and the nature
of our ecological systems.
"NEON is a chance for us to be a fundamental part of
research that will inform this nation's ecological prog-
ress in a time when we know that we cannot take nature
for granted," said Jimmy Cheek, UF senior vice president
for agriculture and natural resources. "That is not only an
opportunity, but a responsibility." E STU HUTSON
JOHN HAYES (352) 846-0552

Me[ Sunq uist, left, is program director for
the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. He's
been teaching classes at the facility for years,
includingthewildlife field techniques class
from spring 2007 shown here. IFAS FILE PHOTO

IMPACT I Fal2008 21




Ushers in New Era for

IFAS Biofuels Research

Lonnie Ingram monitors the bioreactor in the cellulosic
ethanol pilot plant in Rogers Hallon UF's Gainesville campus.
The bioreactor uses heat, chemical reactions and enzymes to
break down feedstocks before they are fermented for ethanol

Gasoline prices in the United
States have fluctuated wildly
in the past two years, but
this isn't the first time the nation has
felt pain at the pump. Several oil cri-
ses in the '80s prompted microbiolo-
gist Lonnie Ingram to begin working
on alternative fuels to meet U.S. trans-
portation needs.
Since that time, Ingram and col-
leagues at the University of Florida

have been developing economical and
environmentally friendly ways to pro-
duce cellulosic ethanol a clean-
burning fuel produced from materials
such as yard waste and switchgrass,
that could end up replacing much of
the country's gasoline.
This work at UF has resulted in
the formation of two spinoff compa-
nies, Verenium Corp. to commercial-
ize cellulosic ethanol and BioEnergy

International to commercialize the
production of renewable chemicals for
biodegradable plastics. In both cases,
imported petroleum will be replaced
with green, renewable alternatives.
But UF's role in developing this
new technology has only begun. In
October, a biofuels pilot plant on the
UF campus officially opened opera-
tions to help usher this solution into
the mainstream.
"This will be a tremendous tool for
studying the nuts and bolts of biofu-
els and renewable chemicals for plas-
tics so that they both can become a
reality on a scale that will really have
an impact on our energy economy,
said Ingram, a distinguished professor
of microbiology and cell science with
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences and director of the Florida
Center for Renewable Chemicals and
The pilot plant will serve as an
essential stage for refining biofuel con-
version processes offering the real-
ity of an industrial setting beyond the
limitations of beakers and test tubes,

22 IMPACT I Fall2008

k \





but without the inhibiting costs and
unwieldy practicalities of a full
industrial-scale plant.
For example, it will enable testing
of feedstocks that might otherwise be
overlooked. Researchers at the plant
will also be able to make the already
green cellulosic ethanol production
even more environmentally sound
by investigating new ways to recycle
water and harness byproducts that can
be converted into energy to help power
the conversion process.
Nearly two years in development,
the biofuels pilot plant was made pos-
sible as part of $4.5 million awarded
by the Board of Governors of the State
University System to UF as part of its
Centers of Excellence Program. Nearly
half the funds went to develop the
pilot plant in Rogers Hall.
That funding, approved by the
Florida Legislature, is aimed at stim-
ulating Florida's economy by simul-
taneously creating new high-tech
industries and addressing the state's
growing energy needs.
With more than 150 faculty mem-
bers involved in 22 energy research
centers, UF brings together the
research resources to make this goal
possible. In the past few years alone,
UF's federal and state energy research
funding exceeded $70 million.
"We are glad to have this kind of
support, because it's an essential part
of developing a solid future for this
country's energy demands," Ingram
The overall method for producing
ethanol is somewhat similar to brew-
ing automotive fuels and organic acids
that can be used to make plastics.
Feedstocks are first broken down by
exposure to physical grinding, chem-
icals, heat and enzymes. The syrupy
results are then put into tanks where

Lonnie Ingram explains to Florida Gov. Charlie
Crist how cellulosic ethanol is produced from the
inedible portion of plants in his laboratory in the
Microbiology and Cell Science Buildingon UF's
Gainesville campus. In 2007, Crist appointed
Ingram to his Action Team on Energy and Climate

they are fermented with the aid of
microbial agents to produce a mixture
of ethanol and other products. From
this broth, ethanol can be distilled to
produce an automotive fuel or organic
acids can be purified to make plastics.
Typical ethanol production primar-
ily uses the edible portions of plants
- such as cane sugars and the starchy
portions of corn. The cellulosic pro-
cess, however, introduces genetically
engineered bacteria that can break
down inedible portions of plant mate-
rial that do not compete with food
Ingram's technology is already at
work on an industrial scale. Verenium
now holds UF rights to the ethanol
technology, and has constructed a 1.4
million-gallon-per-year demonstration
plant in Jennings, La. Additionally, in
2007, Verenium presented its first roy-
alty check to UF from the proceeds of
a 1.3 million-liter-per-year cellulosic
ethanol plant in Osaka, Japan.
A second, Massachusetts-based com-
pany holds the rights from UF to pro-
duce renewable chemicals for use
in biodegradable plastics. In 2007,
BioEnergy International presented UF
with its first royalty check for renew-
able chemicals which are being pro-
duced commercially in Salamanca,
With $20 million recently awarded
by the Florida Legislature, UF has also
partnered with Florida Crystals Corp.
to plan and construct a demonstration

plant in South Florida which will focus
on the unique feedstocks available in
The campus pilot plant currently
houses two boilers. One runs to three
small-scale fermenting tanks, each just
slightly taller than an average person.
Another runs to a bioreactor, a series
of tanks with a total footprint of a
large pickup truck, used to experiment
with methods for breaking down feed-
stocks before fermentation.
Along with industrial centrifuges,
mixing tanks, distillation equipment
and various other tools used in the
cellulosic ethanol production pro-
cess, the plant also houses equipment
such as gas and liquid chromatography
machines used to analyze chemicals
and products on a molecular scale.
"This technology is moving forward
on a large scale, but there are many
things that are too costly to experi-
ment with at that level," said Pratap
Pullammanappallil, an assistant pro-
fessor of agricultural and biological
engineering and director of the plant.
"We have to keep pushing hard to
move the state of the art further along,
and that's exactly what this pilot plant
at UF will allow us to do." S
LONNIE INGRAM (352) 392-8176
(352) 392-1864

Jason De La Paz and friends. PHOTO BY ERIC ZAMORA

Jason De La Paz, D.V.M., Class of 2012

ason De La Paz, 30, of Homosassa, Fla., is one of six
UF students that's right, six headed for a career in
food animal science. Nationwide, there are big short-
ages of food animal veterinarians, and IFAS officials are
working hard to reverse the trend. De La Paz, a first-year
doctor of veterinary medicine student, told IMPACT maga-
zine why he wants to pursue this specialty.
His motivation: "I didn't grow up on a farm or anything
like that. I didn't grow up around livestock, really. It's some-
thing that I was just drawn to because I thought it was really
an important profession. It's challenging and to me it's
important because you're working on the food supply."
His take on why more students haven't been drawn to
the field: "I think it has a lot to do with the public being so
disconnected from farming in general. In the past, it's had

a stigma of being a job where you work more hours (than
vets who work in clinics), because a lot of times food ani-
mal vets work out of their truck. It's been more of a solitary
veterinary practice, where one vet is dealing with all the
Why cows deserve our thanks: "I just have a lot of respect
for dairy cows, just because of the role they serve. I think it
deserves our compassion and respect. They're doing some-
thing that's so valuable. I have a dog I love very much, but I
think there's something special about working on the coun-
try's food supply, versus working with somebody's pet."
What he loves about the work: "I like the idea of getting
out in the field, not being confined to a clinic. Well, when
it's not raining." MICKIE ANDERSON

24 IMPACT I Fall2008

Transferring genes from one plant to another
In this recurring feature, we'll explain technical processes used frequently in IFAS research.

One of the most useful items in the plant
geneticist's toolbox is a plant pathogen called
Agrobacterium. In nature, this microbe infects
plant tissues by injecting DNA into the host's
cells causing them to multiply rapidly and
form a tumor. It is in this tumor that Agrobacte-
rium thrives.
Plant geneticists use Agrobacterium to deliver
useful DNA to plants they want to improve.
Here, using Harry Klee's tomato research as an
example, we'll show how the process works.
Klee, an IFAS plant geneticist, finds ways to
enhance the flavor, smell and nutrient content of
tomatoes. Often he takes genes from one tomato
variety and puts them into another.

1.A. Receiver tomato it will
receive genes from the donor
1.B. Donor tomato the plant
donating genes to the receiver
2.A. Cells from the receiver plant
are cultured in the lab.
2.B. DNA for beneficial genes is
isolated from the donor plant,
then introduced into a part of
the Agrobacterium called the
plasmid. The plasmid stores
DNA that's injected into plant




1 __

3. The genetically modified
Agrobacterium is mixed with
cultured cells from the receiver
plant. Then the Agrobacterium's
plasmid releases its DNA pay-
4. DNA from the plasmid is incor-
porated into the receiver plant's
5. Cells from the receiver plant are
cultivated into seedlings.
6. The result a new tomato vari-
ety with new, desirable traits.

1-, /-




IMPACT I Fall2008 25





CFCS Meeting

lorida isn't part of the Caribbean, but geographically
it's right in the neighborhood.
And the Sunshine State shares many things with
nearby nations, including weather conditions, environmen-
tal constraints, crops and pest threats.
Highlighting this common ground, the Caribbean Food
Crops Society (CFCS) held its annual meeting in Miami July
13-17, the first time in 44 years the event took place on the
U.S. mainland. The meeting, organized and partially spon-
sored by IFAS International Programs, was also the largest-
ever meeting of the CFCS, with more than 300 participants
from 22 nations.
CFCS is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary organization of
farmers, academicians, government officials, research sci-
entists and business leaders from all around the Caribbean
Basin and beyond, including Mexico and parts of Central
and South America. Important trading partners, includ-
ing Canada, Spain and France, were also represented at the

New Butterfly Publications

"By hosting this meeting, UF sent a message that we
share the region's broad concerns," said IFAS International
Programs Director David Sammons, "and we're willing to
go the extra mile with Caribbean partners to confront and
solve the problems we all encounter."
At the meeting, Sammons was elected to the CFCS board
of directors. Jimmy Cheek, UF senior vice president for agri-
culture and natural resources, served as the 2008 CFCS
The first day was devoted to the meeting's theme,
"Repositioning Caribbean Agriculture: Challenges and
Opportunities for Sustainability." Speakers included Charles
Bronson, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture; keynote
speaker Compton Bourne, president of the Caribbean
Development Bank; Bruce Knight, under secretary for mar-
keting and regulatory programs with the U.S. Department
of Agriculture; and Chelston Brathwaite, director gen-
eral of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on
Other topics took center stage later in the meeting -
invasive pests, livestock production, agricultural trade and
the food shortages plaguing many Caribbean Basin nations.
Numerous collaborations were initiated. In one notable
example, Caribbean Basin nations voiced significant inter-
est in 4-H. Earlier this year, extension agents Norma Samuel
of Marion County and Nicole Walker of Polk County used
an International Programs grant to establish 4-H clubs in
Antigua. At the meeting, they found folks from other coun-
tries in the region eager to launch their own 4-H programs.


(352) 392-1965

utterfly lovers used to catch, mount and collect the
beautiful insects, but it recent years, just watching
them has become popular.
To encourage hobbyists, UF recently issued four publi-
cations aimed at newcomers, written by Jaret Daniels, an
assistant professor with the University of Florida's Institute

of Food and Agricultural Sciences and assistant director
for research with the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and
Biodiversity at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The publications, produced in collaboration with the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, cover
butterfly watching basics, Florida butterfly gardening,
50 common butterflies of Florida and a butterfly check-
list. They're sold as a package, titled "Florida Butterfly
Encounters," available for $7 from UF's IFAS Extension
Bookstore, www.ifasbooks.com. - TOM NORDLIE
JARET DANIELS (352) 392-1901

26 IMPACT I Fall2008

Climate-Response Programs

wo new grants will enable University of Florida
experts to plan an institute focused on responses to
climate change and launch a new center devoted to
carbon sequestration. Designed to help the state's agricul-
tural and natural resources industries, these new programs
will establish UF as the Southeast's leading university in car-
bon sciences and climate-response research.
The grants, awarded in September, were provided by the
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, research arm of
UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Planning for the universitywide Climate Response
Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources will be

Florida Ag Value
10/ 0t A ttatime
when the
ai nation's
N) \slowing economy
is tipping toward
recession, one of
the largest and most
stable sectors of
Florida's economy
continues to thrive,
.. according to a
University of Florida
study released in
The nearly $102
billion annual value-
added impact of
agriculture, natural
resource, food and
fiber product manufacturing, distribution and related ser-
vice industries is larger than ever, and these industries will
continue to play a vital role in Florida's 21st century

supported by a two-year grant awarded to Jim Jones, a
distinguished professor with the agricultural and biological
engineering department.
During the planning process, Jones will confer with pro-
ducers, network with colleagues and seek funding sources.
Planning will begin immediately with a goal of launching
the institute within the next year, he said.
A second two-year grant will launch the Carbon
Resources Science Center; it was awarded to Tim Martin, an
associate professor with the School of Forest Resources and
The center will take shape this fall, Martin said. It will
investigate ways of mitigating carbon dioxide levels in the
atmosphere by sequestering solid carbon in trees and other
"We believe that enhancing our capacity in climate
response and providing the world a science center on car-
bon sequestration are central to our mission," said Mark
McLellan, IFAS dean for research. "I see UF becoming rec-
ognized as a global leader in this field." S TOM NORDLIE
JIM JONES (352)392-1864


(352) 846-0866

economy, say UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Agricultural economist Alan Hodges, lead author of the
study, said this economic sector continues to be strong and
generates the second-largest number of jobs in the state.
In addition to farms, forests and fisheries, the agricultural
economic sector includes activities such as mining, fertil-
izer manufacturing, sawmills, fruit and vegetable process-
ing, landscaping, food stores, restaurants, building material
and garden stores, pest control, golf courses and recreational
fishing, he said.
Agriculture, natural resource and related industries pro-
duced $137 billion in output or sales revenues, expressed in
2007 dollars. They also generated $61 billion in revenues for
other economic sectors due to supply chain and employee
spending multiplier effects. Combined, they provided nearly
$200 billion in total output impacts.
The study is available at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe702 S


(352) 392-1845

IMPACT IFall2008 27

MyPyramid Poster for Older Adults

ating well as you age can be tricky. You generally
need fewer calories, but the foods you do eat must
pack a nutritious punch.
With that in mind, faculty at the University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences adapted the
federal government's MyPyramid poster to apply to older
Americans in February 2007.
Researchers then tested the
poster's effectiveness in increas- ''MyPyram
ing nutrition knowledge at six
lower-income senior centers in
North Central Florida. f
Karla Shelnutt, coordinator of
UF's Elder Nutrition and Food
Safety program, or ENAFS, pre- S
sented an overview of the proj- 4 w.;.
ect at the Society for Nutrition s % :.0
Education's annual conference
in Atlanta in July. Faculty mem- I C =.I
bers Linda Bobroff, ENAFS pro- Choosefibe-richfoodsoften.
o Dnnk water and other bevera
gram director, and program that are low in added sugars.
evaluation specialist David
Diehl also worked on the study.
Participants were tested before and after a review of the
poster. Those who correctly identified beverages low in
added sugars increased from 56 to 77 percent. Those who
could identify vitamins that should be obtained from for-
tified foods or supplements (vitamin D and vitamin B 2)

lid f


increased from 70 to 93 percent. And those who identified
the two sources of fiber among four possible answers went
from 79 to 83 percent.
In addition, 96 percent of the participants said they
planned to make at least one behavior change, includ-
ing drinking more water or other low-sugar beverages (79
percent); eating more fiber-
rich foods (75 percent); eating
or Older Adults foods from all five food groups
each day (63 percent); and eat-
ing more fortified foods (61
The MyPyramid for Older
Adults poster is aimed at those
60 and older, but is most critical
1 WP for those over 70, Shelnutt said,

Use fortified foods or
supplements to meet your

because for this age group, get-
ting good nutrition is challeng-
ing, especially for those on fixed

vitamin 0 and vitamin Bi2 needs. Download the poster at http://
enafs.ifas.ufl.edu or order quan-
tities at the IFAS Extension Bookstore,
http://www.ifasbooks.ufl.edu. MICKIE ANDERSON
KARLA SHELNUTT (352) 392-1778

New Finance Booklet

o help families struggling to make ends meet,
the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences has published a new bottom-
line guide to personal finances.
Titled "Managinur in Tough Times." the 40-page
I 1..... r I 1. .It l .Il t, .I.r ,,,,, .rir ,,,,,tt, ,
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and low-cost entertainment. Each chapter was written by
UF experts.
But users will need to do more than read the booklet,
they'll need to take action, said Michael Gutter, a family,
vouth and community sciences assistant professor who led
rl.- project.
F. ir example, one of the most important steps in financial
I .1i tagement is determining your net worth, which means
t I.ing stock of assets and liabilities, Gutter said. The pro-
-ss may take a little time, but it provides a road map for
"We encourage people to assess their situation right
now," he said. "But we also want them to look ahead
just a bit." -TOM NORDLIE
MICHAEL GUTTER (352) 392-1945

Curbing Parakeet Populations

When monk parakeets began to infiltrate the
United States in the 1960s, some people feared
they would ravage farm crops as they often had
in their native South America.
Instead, the birds caused a
different problem: They built
huge, heavy nests atop power
substations and utility equip-
ment, causing power outages,
fires and headaches for util-
ity companies from Florida to
Washington. These problems
began in the 1980s and wors-
ened in the 1990s.
But a U.S. Department of
Agriculture researcher has a
solution trimming the par-
akeet population by feeding
them contraceptives.
"The birds will still be
there, but by reducing their numbers over time, that should
go a long way toward solving the problem," said Michael
Avery, a wildlife biologist at the USDA's National Wildlife

Research Center in Gainesville. He outlined the findings in
August's Journal of Wildlife Management.
Avery, a courtesy faculty member with the University of
Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, hopes
the contraceptive approach
will be more palatable to the
public than euthanizing the
bright green birds.
In March 2006, Avery's
team went to South Florida,
where nests were causing big
problems for Florida Power &
Light. They installed feeders
and gradually got the birds
accustomed to the avian con-
traceptive DiazaCon.
At 10 sites during the two-
year study, researchers found
that DiazaCon reduced nest-
lings by 68 percent. !



(352) 375-2229

Terminating Termites

ach year in the United States, termites gnaw away
more than $1 billion in structural damage despite
an ever-growing array of insect control techniques.
In this battle, the next generation of weapons could target
the termites' very genes.
"The trend in insect control is to find methods that elim-
inate the problematic insect without affecting anything
else in the environment," said Michael Scharf, an entomol-
ogist with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences. "What could possibly be more spe-
cific than genes that are unique to the insect itself?"
In a paper published online in May in the jour-
nal Insect Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, Scharf, along with colleagues
Xuguo Zhou, Faith Oi and graduate student
Marsha Wheeler, describes the effects of a mixture
that, when consumed by termites, causes them to be crip-
plingly deformed after molting.
Because the pesticide specifically targets termite DNA,
it would be unlikely to affect other animals, unlike many
current pesticides that can have neurotoxin-like effects if

Any marketable genetic pesticide is still many years away
from development, Scharf said. When they are put into use,
however, they may solve another major problem.
Many insects quickly build resistance to modern pesti-
cides. It would be much more difficult for insects to adapt
to an attack on their DNA. And, even if they did, there are
thousands of genes within an insect's genome
that could be similarly targeted. !
MICHAEL SCHARF (352) 392-1901


'.- -I. "
a/ r t^ IMPACT IFal 2008 29

Stacy Strickland, D.P.M., 2003

ho he is: Strickland, one of the first graduates of
the IFAS Doctor of Plant Medicine program, has
been a multicounty extension agent based in
Brooksville, Fla., since 2004. The program, expected to have
46 graduates by the end of 2008, was created to respond to a
need for broadly trained plant health practitioners.
On a typical day: He spends a lot of time identifying mys-
tery items for backyard gardeners, farmers and others. On a
recent day, he fielded questions about everything from nem-
atodes on corn to muscadine grape production and parasites
on chickens. His four-county area includes some citrus, lots
of blueberries, hay, sweet corn, squash, zucchini, peas and
Weirdest thing he's had to identify: "Oh boy... they will
bring in anything and everything. We've had live coral
snakes in the office, everything."
How his IFAS degree helps in his work: "I tell ya, I use not
just soils, but entomology and plant pathology every day. Of

course, the things I didn't think I needed to know in school
are the things I need every day. I thought it would be all row
crops, but about 10 percent of my clients are organic grow-
ers, and I never thought I would work with that."
Favorite CALS teacher: Professor Emeritus Tom
Kucharek. "He's great. A plant pathologist. Wonderful guy, I
still talk to him."
When he's not working: He's spending time with his wife,
Keri, and their three dogs a border collie, a "brilliant
purebred mutt" and an English bulldog. They go out in their
boat on the Withlacoochee or Weeki Wachee rivers and see
what's biting.
Obvious follow-up question What happened with the
coral snake?: "I let it go into the woods beside the extension
office. Live and let live!" 5 MICKIE ANDERSON

30 IMPACT I Fall2008

Eubanks Wins Horizon Award
communications professional Emily Eubanks is the winner of the 2008
Horizon Award given by the University of Florida's College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences.
The award goes to a graduate of the past decade for contributions or poten-
tial leadership in the agricultural, natural resource, life science and related
Eubanks, of Micanopy, is the communications coordinator for the IFAS Center
for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Besides writing news releases and pro-
viding Web content, Eubanks helped create the "Gardening in a Minute" radio
segment, which won five national awards in its first year.
Eubanks earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UF in agricultural
communication in 2001 and 2004, respectively.
As a UF student, she served as secretary/treasurer for the National Agricultural
Communicators of Tomorrow. Today, Eubanks serves on the program committee
for CALS Alumni and Friends, leads the Stars and Stripes 4-H club and coordi-
EMILY EUBANKS nates Web activities for the Alachua County Cattlemen's Association. !

CALS Honors Buddy Johnson
Fort Pierce citrus industry leader is the winner of the 2008 Award of
Distinction, given by the University of Florida's College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences.
Sherwood "Buddy" Johnson, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees
in agriculture from UF in 1966 and 1968, respectively, won the honor. He and his
wife Patricia own Sherwood Johnson & Son Grove Management, Buck Hammock
Groves and Hilliard Groves.
"I was elated when I received the letter," said Johnson, a third-generation
citrus grower. "It's a great honor."
The Award of Distinction is presented to CALS alumni or friends to recog-
i nize outstanding contributions to UF, the Institute of Food and Agricultural
ScSciences, CALS and related professions.
Johnson is a charter member of the UF National Alumni Association, chaired
Sthe IFAS Special Help for Agricultural Research and Education (SHARE)
Council, serves as president of the Treasure Coast Agriculture Research
SBUDDYOH N Foundation and is a longtime supporter of the Indian River Research and
Education Center. MICKIE ANDERSON

Beginning with this issue, IMPACT will feature an a new job, promotion, award, appointment or other
alumni news section, including personal profiles, short distinction.
feature stories, updates and more. To do it, we need Send your alumni news to Tom Nordlie at
your help. tnordlie@ufl.edu or PO. Box 110275, University of
If you're a CALS alum, please let us know about your Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0275. Submissions may
recent activities and accomplishments it could be be edited for clarity and length.

IMPACT IFall2008 31

Spotlight Faculty Distinctions

The Southeastern
Universities Research
Association (SURA)
presented Lonnie Ingram
with the 2008 SURA
Distinguished Scientist
Award for his work on
biofuels in April. SURA
is a consortium of more
than 60 universities
across the country that
Lonnie Ingram promotes initiatives in al-
ternative energy sources,
information technologies, coastal research and technology
Horticultural sci-
ences professor Rebecca
Darnell has begun a
three-year leadership
role with the American
Society for Horticultural
Science. She recently
started a one-year stint as
vice president-elect and
will follow that with a
two-year term as the or-
Rebecca Darnell ganization's research vice
president. As research
vice president she will oversee about 45 research groups
within the organization.
The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association
presented its Friend of the Industry Award to Jimmy
Cheek, UF senior vice president for agriculture and natural
resources, in June. The award honors individuals outside
the association who have contributed to the advancement or
improvement of the environmental horticulture industry.

Laurie Trenholm,
an associate professor
with the environmental
horticulture department,
was awarded the first-
ever Turfgrass Educator
Award of Excellence
from Turfgrass Producers
International, a nonprofit
professional organization.
The award, presented
in April, recognized
Trenholm's efforts to

educate consumers, turfgrass producers, lawn-care profes-
sionals and government decision makers.
The Florida State Horticultural Society named Wagner
Vendrame recipient of its 2008 Presidential Gold Medal

Laurie Trenholm

Award in June. Vendrame, an associate professor at the
Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, was
recognized for publishing outstanding articles in the journal
Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society.
Lori Warren, an assistant professor of animal sciences,
received the 2008 Florida Agri-Women Founder's Award
in August. Warren teaches several undergraduate courses,
mentors graduate students, conducts research in equine
nutrition and serves Florida horse owners through her ex-
tension work. The annual award recognizes women who are
actively involved in Florida's agricultural industry.

In April, agrofor-
estry pioneer P.K. Nair
received his fourth honor-
ary doctorate, this time
from the Universidade de
Santiago de Compostela
in Spain. Nair was hon-
ored for his contributions
to the development of
global agroforestry, the
practice of growing trees
P.K. Nair and other crops together
to achieve greater benefit
than would be possible if they were farmed separately.
Paul Willis, executive assistant to Jimmy Cheek, UF's
senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources,
has been honored for his long-term service to the National
Agricultural Alumni and Development Association. In June,
he was presented with the Founders Distinguished Service
Award, which recognizes an individual who has made sub-
stantial contributions to the association.
In May, the 2008 Florida Energy Achievement Award was
presented to Ann Wilkie, an associate professor with the soil
and water science department, to honor her extensive work
in creating bioenergy from animal waste. The award recog-
nizes significant achievements in the efficient utilization of
energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable
energy in the state of Florida. It is presented by the Florida
Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of
Central Florida.
Three IFAS faculty members were honored at the an-
nual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and
Biological Engineers in July. Professor Ray Bucklin and
professor emeritus Bill Miller were inducted as fellows,
recognizing their professional distinctions and long-term
membership in the society. Fedro Zazueta, director of UF's
Office of Academic Technology, was awarded the Kishida
International Award, the society's highest award for inter-
national work. All three men are with the agricultural and
biological engineering department.

32 IMPACT I Fall2008


FAES launches award event

More than 75 IFAS researchers were honored at the
inaugural Florida Agricultural Experiment Station awards
ceremony in April. The ceremony, developed to celebrate re-
search accomplishments, included some brand-new awards
as well as several recognition for previous honors.

Among the newer awards:
Richard L. Jones New
Faculty Research
awards Mark Brennan,
Natalia Peres
Best Doctoral
Dissertation Phillip
Aaron Kirkland
Best Master's Thesis -
Caitlin Hicks
Researchers with more
Mark Brennan than $1 million in grants,
fiscal year 2006-2007 -
Nayda Torres, Lonnie Ingram, James Jones, Harry Klee,
Frank Mazzotti, Wiley Kitchens, William Haller, Robert
McGovern, William Overholt, Laurie Trenholm
IFAS Research
Innovation awards -
Rosemary Barnett, Mark
Brennan; Maria Gallo,
Christine Chase; Graciela
Lorca, Joseph Larkin III;
Lena Ma, Max Teplitski,
Charles Guy; Lisa House,
Carmen Carrion-Flores;
Joseph Larkin Cortney Ohs, P. Chris
Wilson; Michael Scharf,
Xuguo Zhou, Aurelein
Tartar, Drion Boucias,
William Farmerie, Faith
Oi, Marsha Wheeler;
Jason Smith, John Davis,
Tom Kubisiak, C. Dana
Nelson; Gurpal Toor,
Amy Shober, Sabine
Grunwald, Geoffrey
I Denny, Christopher
Lena Ma Martinez; Xin Zhao,
Jeremy Edwards, Eric
Simonne, John Scott

Plant patent holders Ronald Barnett (oat cultivar
"Horizon 321," triticale cultivar "342"); David Clark (coleus
cultivar "Twist and Twirl"); Craig Chandler (strawberry
cultivar "Carmine")
Utility patent teams Lonnie Ingram, Shengde
Zhou, (Recombinant Hosts Suitable for Simultaneous
Saccharification and Fermentation); Lonnie Ingram,
Kazuyoshi Ohta, Brent Wood (Recombinant Cells that
Highly Express Chromosomally-Integrated Heterologous
Genes); Ahmed Abouzid, Jane Polston, Ernest Hiebert
(Materials and Methods for Producing Geminivirus
Resistant Plants); Nan-Yao Su (A Semiochemical Reservoir
to Attract Subterranean Termites Tunneling in Soil);
Larkin Curt Hannah, Joanna Marie-France Cross (Variants
of ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase Affecting Phosphate
Sensitivity and Other Parameters); David Clark, Holly
Loucas, Harry Klee, Kenichi Shibuya (Genetic Elements
Conferring Petal-Specific Transgene Expression);
Balasubramanian Rathinasabapathi, Suresh Babu Raman
(Beta-Alanine N-Methyltransferase); Zhijian Li, Dennis
Gray (Nucleotide Sequences of 28 Albumin Gene and its
Promoter from Grapes and Uses Thereof); James Cuda,
Lewis Long (Materials and Methods for Controlling Pests);
Howard Johnson, Prem Subramaniam, Mustafa Mujtaba,
Lawrence Flowers (Inhibitors of Autophosphorylation
Protein Kinases); David Clark, Kenichi Shibuya (Enhancing
the Fragrance of an Article); David Clark, Holly Loucas
(Floral Organ Tissue-Specific Expression of Isopentenyl
Transferase); James Jawitz (Device and Method for Passively
Measuring Fluid and Target Chemical Mass Fluxes in
Natural and Constructed Non-Porous Fluid Flow); Howard
Johnson (Orally-Administered Interferon-Tau Compositions
and Methods); Philip Koehler (Methods for Eliminating
Termite Colonies); Larkin Curt Hannah, Thomas Greene
(Heat Stable Mutants of Starch Biosynthesis Enzymes);
Ann Wilkie (Fixed-Film Anaerobic Digestion of Flushed
Manure); Baldwin Torto, Drion Boucias (An In-Hive Trap
and Attractant Composition for the Control of the Small
Hive Beetle)

Recognition for previously held honors:
National Academy of Sciences members -
Robert Cousins, Lonnie Ingram
Eminent Scholars William Dawson, Andrew Schmitz,
Harry Klee, Robert Cousins, Andrew Hanson,
Marjorie Hoy
Distinguished Professors James Jones, Daniel Cantliffe,
Ramachandran P-K Nair, Lonnie Ingram
UF Research Foundation Professors Thomas Frazer,
Peter Hansen, Rongling Wu, Murat Balaban, Willie Garner
Harris, Yuncong Li SS

IMPACT I Fa12008 33




Harriet B. Weeks, left, with her daughter Robin.

Harriet B. Weeks Estate Gift

UF's Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences received a gift of
$3.8 million from the estate of Harriet
B. Weeks. Combined with matching
funds from the state of Florida, the
gift will total $7.6 million.
The gift created three new per-
manent-endowed funds titled, "The
Harriet B. Weeks Forestry Education
and Research Fund," "The Harriet B.
Weeks Bovine Research Fund" and
"The Harriet B. Weeks Professorship
in Bovine Medicine Fund."
The forestry education endow-
ment will support IFAS' overall for-
estry programs and activities in
teaching, research, technology and
academic programs, including those
in the School of Forest Resources and
Conservation. The bovine research
endowment will support teaching,
research and extension programs in
the animal sciences department. The
bovine medicine endowment will sup-
port a research professorship in the
College of Veterinary Medicine.
Weeks was a schoolteacher and
owned cattle and agricultural oper-
ations in Glades County. She died in
February 2005. The charitable bequest
from her estate was received by the
University of Florida Foundation in
December 2007.

State wildflower license tag. IMAGE COURTESY OF

The Florida Wildflower

The Florida Wildflower
Foundation's mission is to enrich lives
with native wildflowers. It achieves
this by using money donated through
sales of the state wildflower license
plate to advance wildflower education,
research and planting.
To boost research, the founda-
tion established "The Gary Henry
Endowment for the Study of Florida
Native Wildflowers" in honor of Gary
Henry, a board member and former
executive director who helped cre-
ate the license tag. The endowment
is administered through the environ-
mental horticulture department.
"The endowment is an important
tool in achieving long-term research
support for our efforts," said Lisa
Roberts, the foundation's execu-
tive director. "Research helps us bet-
ter understand wildflowers and the
roles they play in Florida's ecosystems.
It also is extremely beneficial to the
development of a native wildflower
seed and plant industry in Florida."


Luke and Jocelyn McKathan. PHOTO COURTESY OF

McKathan Farms Donates

Luke and Jocelyn McKathan, own-
ers of McKathan Farms of Reddick,
Fla., donated a thoroughbred stallion
and two thoroughbred mares valued
at $205,000 to the animal sciences
department's Horse Research Center.
The horses will be used in teaching
programs and will aid research on
nutritional and reproductive issues
important to the equine industry. The
Horse Research Center is a 320-acre
complex located seven miles north of
Ocala in Marion County.

Southern Precision Inc.
Provides Equipment and

Southern Precision Inc., formerly
Southern Laser Inc., of Lutz, Fla.,
donated advanced technology equip-
ment including a spatial scanner, soft-
ware package and accessories valued
at more than $102,000 to the School
of Forest Resources and Conservation.
The company also provided its train-
ing services, all of which will be
used for teaching and research in
SFRC's geomatics surveying program.
Southern Precision serves construc-
tion, survey and agricultural markets
throughout the Southeast.

34 IMPACT I Fall2008


"Private Gifts Providing the Margin of Excellence"

What is IFAS Development?
The IFAS Development program serves as the central
fundraising effort to secure private support for the
University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences in partnership with the SHARE Council direct sup-
port organization and the University of Florida Foundation,
Inc. Charitable gifts provide the "margin of excellence" for
IFAS academic programs, research, extension and facilities.

Ways to Give
There are several ways to support IFAS:
Charitable Bequests (wills and trusts)
Real Estate (residential or farmland)
Life Income Gifts (charitable remainder trusts, annuities,
retained life estates and retirement planning)
Stocks (especially appreciated stocks)
Life Insurance (new or existing policy)

UF/IFAS Endowments
Endowments are named permanent funds that provide
annual renewable support for donor designated IFAS pro-
grams. Endowments are managed and invested by the
University of Florida Foundation. As of June 30, 2008,
there are 256 UF/IFAS endowments valued at more than
$96 million established by individual College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences alumni, businesses, associations and
friends of UF/IFAS.


IFAS FY Gift History
(711104 6/30/08)

Sges thing I

2005 2006 2007 2008

Total Gifts for Fiscal Year 2007-08
In fiscal year 2007-08, IFAS received a total of
$35,525,142 in gifts, pledges and state matching monies,
making this a record year for support.

Florida Tomorrow Campaign
In July 2005, the University of Florida launched its third
and largest ever comprehensive campaign with a goal to
raise $1.5 billion in private gifts. To enhance funding for its
teaching, research and extension programs and facilities,
IFAS has set its campaign goal at $100 million.

UF/IFAS Campaign Goals
Faculty Support........................................ $42,500,000
Graduate Support ....................................... $9,000,000
Undergraduate Student Support.................. $8,000,000
Program Support and Research ...................$29,500,000
Campus Enhancement............................... $11,000,000
Total ................................... ......... ........... $100,000,000

* IFAS Endowment Values
(as of 06/30/2008)




UU05 u006 LuU/ uu00

* IFAS Florida Tomorrow
Campaign Totals
(07/01/2005 06/30/2008)



76A2 2R7



Jun-06 Jun-07 Jun-08

IMPACT I Fall2008 35







Ken DeVries, assistant vice president for IFAS Development (352) 392-5424
Joe Mandernach, director of development (352) 392-5457
OFFICE: (352) 392-1975 FAX: (352) 392-5115 WEB SITE: http://share.ifas.ufl.edu

The University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
P.O. Box 110180
Gainesville, FL 32611-0180






On April 8, 2008, IFAS officially dedicated a his-
torical marker at the Everglades Research and
Education Center in Belle Glade. It's the second
installation by the University of Florida Historical Marker
Program commemorating major accomplishments by the
Originally known as the Everglades Experiment Station,
the facility's history reaches back to 1921 when the Florida
Legislature authorized funding for its construction; it con-
tributed greatly to the development of agriculture in South
Today, the Everglades REC employs about 60 faculty and
staff who conduct research and extension programs focused
on improved, sustainable crop production.

Pictured at the ceremony are, from left, Christine
Waddill, current EREC director; Rick Roth of Roth Farms,
representing the EREC advisory board; Joe Orsenigo, rep-
resenting EREC emeritus faculty; Joe Joyce, IFAS executive
associate vice president; Mark Trowbridge of the UF Alumni
Association Board of Directors, representing the UF Alumni
Association; and George Wedgworth of the Sugar Cane
Growers Cooperative of Florida, a guest speaker. SS
JOE JOYCE (352) 392-1971

INTTT FFO N G IUTRLSINE UNIERIT OF FLRD I Allprg rams and relate aciite spnoedg 6,oasse
by th Insttut of Foo and 6.iulua Scene ar ope to al6 pesn witou diciinto 66t 6 rae cred coorlgin gdiaiiy
sex, se6a oretain maia stts naton6 orgn poitca opiion or 6.ilaios Inor6to fro th6 pulcto i Svial i6 alent formats.Vis6
*matia~f.eu or cotc A Exera an Mei Relaions Unvrst of Flria . Bo 1125 Gansvle FL36107.ISe04-33

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