UF UNIVERSITY of
College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences
LETTER FROM THE DEAN
Q ne of the core values of the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences is student growth
and development. Certainly the academic success
of our students in the classrooms and laboratories
is paramount. But those additional competencies in
leadership and personal development are often keys to
further success in the work place as well as in graduate
and professional school study. That is why the College
supports student organizations, personal development
workshops and activities, internships in government, DEAN R KIRBY BARRICK
and leadership activities including our new CALS
Leadership Institute funded by a grant from the USDA.
The terms "society ready" and "global community" are
probably overused in higher education. The College,
however, knows that well-educated graduates will not
only contribute to their chosen profession but also to
their community. And that community is defined in
many ways, from the local town to, literally, the entire
world. Leadership, whether part of the formal political
process or not, is essential for orderly progress in
society. Graduates of CALS are prepared to take their
rightful place as caring, concerned and contributing
citizens throughout Florida and beyond.
Design & Layout, Editor Adviser
Katelyn S. Crow Elaine Turner, Associate Dean
BY KATIE WIMBERLY
Five clubs, 20 pine saplings, 30
corn plants, one Prius, 150 screws
and less than five days. That's what
created the College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences' Homecoming float
More than 14 people from five
CALS student organizations designed
and built the float, themed "Fueling
the Road to the Swamp," sponsored
by the Agricultural and Life Sciences
College Council (ALSCC). Working
with the idea of biomass, the float
presented a life-size rendition of the
process, starting with biomass, going
to production plants, continuing to
distribution, and then ending with
consumption in the gas tank of a
Toyota Prius hybrid.
"We developed a plan around the
theme for the year and worked to
design something that incorporated
elements from multiple facets of
agriculture," said Maggie Lannigan,
president of the UF chapter of
American Society of Agricultural and
Biological Engineers (ASABE).
From start to finish, organization
representatives worked together to
create a float that would stand out
ALSCC members debut their float de
process biomass undergoes in become
ready for human use.
from the crowd,
started five days
before the Oct.
group set to
complete the float,
the process of
producing biofuel for the homecor
from field to tank.
the materials together was fun," said
Justin Phillips, UF Forestry Club
member. "After getting the corn
plants, we got to go collect a bunch
of pines from the woods for the bio-
After four evenings of cutting,
painting and problem solving, it
was time to add the final touch, the
car. They had to push the car up the
ramp, which had been adjusted to
accommodate low ground clearance
and a lack of power to
drive up an incline in
"We had to do some
re-engineering to get it
up the ramp, but once
we got it there, it really
pulled it all together,"
said David Walker,
Despite the technical
slowed the team down,
picting the Phillips said, not even a
ing biofuel, little rain.
The day of the
and Kristin Kovolsky paint the ALSCC logo
parade, rain dampened everything
but the group's spirits. On the parade
route, people on the float chanted
"Go Gators!" and did the chomp for a
crowd of rain soaked spectators.
The idea behind the ALSCC is to
bring departments within the college
together. Among the six clubs to
participate in the float-building
were Agricultural Communicators
and Leaders of Tomorrow; UF
Forestry Club; Student Chapter
of the Wildlife Society; American
Society of Agricultural and Biological
Engineers; Family, Youth and
Community Sciences Club; and
Agricultural Economics Club.
Most of the team had never met
each other before that weekend.
Since the days spent in planning,
constructing and, of course,
representing the college in the rain,
most of the group continues to keep
in touch outside of class, Walker said.
"It was good to see members ofAg
Council come together with limited
resources to create a successful float,"
said Allen Milligan, member of the
Forestry Club. "It was one heck of a
V1 _A ) 1
tm)rm ff IBl0IaIoflia
Be on the lookout for up and
coming local rock musician
Braxton Adamson, a student in
the food and resource economics
department, and winner of the
University of Florida's Talent Night
solo artist contest.
As a result of his victory, Adamson
was invited to perform at Gator
Growl on Oct. 24 at Ben Hill Griffin
Stadium, in front of more than 30,000
"It is pretty awesome to be able
to say that I played at The Swamp in
front of 35,000 people," Adamson
The song Adamson played
was one that he wrote entitled
Adamson said that his song was
dedicated to the success of the Florida
Gator's athletic teams in recent times,
especially the football and basketball
teams, which have brought three
national championship trophies to
Gainesville in the past four years.
Alex Jenkins, a student in the food
and resource economics department
and friend of Adamson, attended
Gator Growl and heard Adamson's
"Having played music that I have
written myself in front of people, I
know how difficult it can be to put
it all out there," Jenkins said. "I can
always appreciate someone who is
willing to perform something that
means a lot to them."
Adamson said the influence for his
song stemmed from the University of
Georgia's fraternity rock artist Corey
"I figured that since our Gators
have been doing so well, someone
should write a song about them,"
Adamson said. "Corey Smith has
been singing about his Bulldogs, so
I figured someone should sing about
Adamson said he has been
seriously playing guitar and
songwriting since he was 14.
"I have played a lot of gigs
with my dad, as well as with many
different bands and musicians,"
Aside from being a student, his
second occupation is his band 3
Story Fall. Adamson and 3 Story
Fall can be heard at www.myspace.
Teachers learn a lesson
The second annual College
of Agricultural and Life
Sciences Teacher's College, a
program designed to assist new
faculty members in the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences,
wrapped up last November after a
The Teacher's College is a
recently created program that
provides assistance to new professors
on incorporating the latest knowledge
on how people learn and effective
teaching methods within their
"Most professors have degrees
in the subjects they're teaching, not
how to teach," said Grady Roberts,
associate professor in the department
of agricultural education and
communication and director of the
CALS Teaching Resource Center.
Teacher's College provides
examples of teaching methods and
styles in a classroom-like setting.
ThirotiIihotut tih 1 n-week course.
prol 1issors paicipatic in acti[\ [its
sinu111a to \\hat tlhc m11ght IIus In
thei 'i o\ n clan.srooms. \\ ith their own
students Tlhc pi ':ss1irs play the role
of trihe sIdnt, annd tih instructors of
the coLIIurs tir to model good teaching
"[The instructors] try to instill
that all of us are continuing to learn;
we're all in here learning together,"
BY CAITLIN SHAFNACKER
Roberts said. "In our professional and
personal lives, we still continue to
The Teacher's College creates an
inviting atmosphere for the professors
who participate, Roberts said. The
instructors understand it could be
intimidating to enroll in such a course
and try to create an inviting, learning
environment for the new professors.
"The course instructors are all
very nice and use different teaching
styles," Roberts said. "This is great
because it allows for the professors to
see varying methods they can bring
back to their own classrooms."
BY MUSA FARMAND
REP. PUTNAM ADVOCATES FOR FLORIDAAG
BY JASON DAVISON & KATELYN CROW
The University of Florida is
tasked with developing the
next generation of communicators
and leaders to address the new and
difficult challenges facing Florida's
Rep. Adam Putnam, the third-
ranking Republican in the U.S. House
of Representatives from Florida's
12th Congressional District, gave
this point to students attending a
monthly meeting of UF's Agricultural
Communicators and Leaders of
Tomorrow on Oct. 7.
At the age of 26, Putnam became
one of the youngest representatives to
ever have been elected to the House.
Putnam, a UF alumnus, said, "One
of the most important things that we
need to produce from our universities
is the next generation of agricultural
leaders and communicators."
Putnam said that the agricultural
industry in Florida was facing
many challenges and needed good
communicators and advocates to
"Pests and disease, marketing and
weather challenges and managing
water are among the greatest
challenges that lie ahead," Putnam
said. "It is a young man's game. The
way to deal with these challenges
on a long-term basis is through our
"There is no question that
agriculture needs communicators
more than ever. There are a lot of
issues out there that no one thinks
affect agriculture, until they do."
He said that even though
the present job prospects for
communication majors in the
agriculture industry are good,
graduates could face problems finding
a job in the near future.
The challenge for the students
will be that with harder economic
times and declining commodities
prices, Florida's producers will not
be able to support the current number
of associations. A declining number
of associations could mean fewer job
opportunities for future graduates.
"As the amount of dues that
individual producers can afford to
pay to be in multiple associations
declines, there will be an increased
financial pressure on some of those
associations (to survive)," Putnam
Those financially strained
associations could consolidate with
similar associations; the resulting
conglomerates would need larger,
savvier and more aggressive
communications departments, he
Putnam also said that the students
would have to confront an additional
challenge to the industry beyond the
age-old problems farmers have faced
"It's not a marketing challenge.
It's not a pest and disease challenge.
It's not a weather challenge." he said,
"but it's a public policy challenge
that requires communicators (on the
agricultural industry's behalf)."
ACLT member Tom Adams said
he found Putnam's remarks honest,
direct and interesting.
"He pointed out the good things
that lie ahead for me as I decide
on a career as a future agricultural
communicator, but he also addressed
the problems and challenges that will
face that possible career choice," he
Adams said that he was also
pleased that Putnam did not put a
political spin on the issues, especially
since the country was in the middle of
an election cycle.
(Story follows on the next page)
Congressman Adam Putnam, R-Fla., addresses the Agricultural Communicators
and Leaders of Tomorrow, a student organization in the College of Agricultural
and Life Sciences, on the need for effective communicators and leaders in
Florida's agricultural industry.
"He addressed the challenges that
face Florida's agriculture industry
as a concerned citizen, patron and
leader," he said. "He didn't frame
the discussion as a politician trying
to place blame on the other party for
The congressman closed his
remarks by taking questions from the
audience. A majority of the questions
pertained to the economic downturn
in the country and the recent bail-
out plan for banks that passed the
previous week by the U.S. Congress
Putnam said the downturn in the
economy is not a typical, cyclical
"The country has not seen an
economic collapse like the present
situation since the 1930s," he said.
When asked about his future
political or personal plans, Putnam
said, "In a political climate like this
year, I would be happy to get re-
In Feburary, Congressman Putnam
announced that he is giving up his
seat in the House to run for Florida's
Commissioner of Agriculture and
CALS student gets Taylor-made internship in D.C.
Morgan Taylor (right) worked as
Congressman Adam Putnam's (left)
intern in his Washington, D.C., office
during the summer of 2008.
An internship with a congressman
is a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for some students,
and for agricultural education and
Morgan Taylor, it became a reality.
"My dream has always been to
live in Washington, D.C.," Taylor
said. "I didn't know how I was going
to get there, but I knew that's what I
always wanted to do."
Taylor interned for Republican
Congressman Adam Putnam in
Washington D.C., from May to
mid-June 2008. She said she found
out about the opportunity through
a friend of her father's who is good
friends with Putnam.
"My father's friend gave
Congressman Putnam my resume
and told him I was interested in the
internship," Taylor said. "Then his
office actually contacted me and
asked me if I would apply for it."
Prior to going to Washington,
Taylor said she was most excited
about the "big city life" and living
on her own. She lived on Capitol
Hill, right behind the Supreme Court,
during her summer in Washington.
"Every day on my way to work, I
had this huge grin on my face because
I thought, 'Am I really here? Is this
real?"' Taylor said.
Taylor said her responsibilities
included giving Capitol tours,
opening Putnam's mail, answering
phones and helping redesign
Putnam's Web site.
"My favorite thing that I got to do
was give the Capitol tours," Taylor
said. "That was the first thing I asked
when I got the job: 'Do I get to give
Any of Congressman Putnam's
constituents who are wiling to travel
to Washington can go on a tour of
the Capitol. Taylor said the tours
are about the history of the United
States, why Capitol Hill is called
Capitol Hill, why the Capitol is
located in Washington, D.C., and
about the structure of the buildings in
"It was neat being able to help
with the Web site too," Taylor said.
"I was able to apply many of the
things I had learned in Web design
the previous semester to help with the
Before her internship, Taylor said
she was a very conservative-thinking
and close-minded person, but her
experience intering for Putnam
forced her to be more open-minded.
"I think that will help me so much
in my future working with people
because not everyone thinks the same
way," Taylor said. "I've learned to
accept other people's cultures and
ideas so much more."
Taylor was able to make many
connections and contacts during
her internship experience. She is
still in contact with Putnam and
communicates with his office
"It is so important to stay in touch
with those contacts even though you
may not need them right now," Taylor
Taylor said she has another
possible internship opportunity for
next summer but if it falls through,
she would be back in Washington
intering "in a heartbeat."
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity that you'll never be able
to get again."
legend heads for Tennessee
BY THOMAS ADAMS
The University of Florida's senior
vice president for agriculture
and natural resources has traded his
University of Florida orange for
the lighter shade of orange at the
University of Tennessee.
Jimmy G. Cheek was
named the new chancellor "W
of the University of
Tennessee, Knoxville in H
October, and assumed the
position in Feburary.
Cheek, who has been
with UF's Institute of
Food and Agricultural
Sciences for 33
years, said his experiences at UF
have helped prepare him for the
responsibilities of becoming UT
"My time at UF has given me a
complete understanding of what a
major university is all about," Cheek
said. "It's given me a fundamental
understanding of the functions and
constituencies of various colleges."
Cheek began his career at UF
in 1975 as an assistant professor
in the department of agricultural
and extension education, now the
department of agricultural education
He rose through the ranks of the
College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences, serving as assistant dean
from 1992 to 1999 and then dean
from 1999 until 2004. Cheek was
appointed senior vice president in
Carl Beeman, professor emeritus
and former department chairman
for agricultural education and
communication, remembers hiring
Cheek more than 30 years ago.
"Funds were tight in those
days, even more so than they are
today," Beeman said. "I remember
interviewing Jimmy, after which I had
him over to my home for dinner and
offered him the job."
Cheek was instrumental in the
Vith Jimmy, his word is his bo
is a man of absolute integri
Carl Beeman, former depart
chair for agricultural education
growth and development of what
has now become the agricultural
education and communication
department within CALS. Beeman
said Cheek was always someone who
could be trusted to provide an honest
and dependable opinion on any topic.
"With Jimmy, his word is his
bond," Beeman said. "He is a man of
Although his departure is
bittersweet, reactions to his new job
at UT Knoxville have been positive,
"I have received over 600 e-mails,
100 written notes and countless
phone calls," Cheek said. "They have
all expressed gratitude for my service
and were delighted for me to have the
opportunity to lead a major land-grant
During his tenure at UF,
enrollment in the college grew
tremendously. In addition to the
college name being changed from
the College of Agriculture to the
College of Agricultural and Life
Sciences, Cheek was particularly
proud of expanded enrollment and
maintenance of a diverse, high quality
student body, he said.
Finding a replacement for
someone as talented as Cheek will
be a challenging process, said CALS
Dean Kirby Barrick, who followed
Cheek as CALS Dean.
"He is deserving
nd. of the opportunity to
move to a new level of
ty. administration," Barrick
"He has worked hard
n for Florida agriculture in
the broadest sense. It has
been a pleasure to follow
him as dean."
After three decades of
service to UF, Cheek is still pleased
about the experience.
"The University of Florida is a
great institution," Cheek said.
"It has been a great opportunity
to have been here for such a long
period of time and served in so many
different capacities," he said.
"Those who are from here, work
here or are currently enrolled here are
blessed to be part of an outstanding
BY KRYSTA VAN ALSTINE
For the past two years, one
University of Florida student
team has taken home the National
Championship award at its annual
conference, a feat only accomplished
by one other university in the history
of the organization.
The UF National Agri-Marketing
Association (NAMA) team, known as
Gator NAMA, won the competition
in 2008 in Kansas City and again in
2009 at the Atlanta competition.
Gator NAMA is housed in
the food and resource economics
department and comprised of
undergraduate students in the
Agricultural Economics Club.
The National Agri-Marketing
Association is the nation's largest
professional association for marketing
and agribusiness. Each year, NAMA
sponsors a student competition where
teams create a marketing plan based
upon research gathered by the team.
"The objective of the competition
is for the NAMA team to best market
the product they create," said Amanda
Saha, alumni and career development
coordinator in the department of food
and resource economics.
The NAMA team not only has
to come up with a product, but also
a written executive summary and
presentation, including consumer
demographics, purchaser data, goals,
product positioning, price and in-
depth promotion and marketing
For the 2008 competition, the
team members developed the idea
for Masher Meals which are fresh
refrigerated, produce-based, value-
added products that include whipped
mashed potatoes with a variety of
healthy sides, said NAMA team
adviser David Barber.
The NAMA team worked hand-
2008 NAMA Team represents UF with a first place national marketing award.
NAMA members are as follows: Michael Beck, Lauren Goodman, Brett Johnson,
Mike Jones, Adam Kiefer, Kristen Kovalsky, Jessica Manning, Kerri Matson,
Matthew McLaughlin, Trevor Murphy, Chelsea Spanevello and Alicia Taylor.
in-hand with the Russet Potato
Exchange in Wisconsin and the
Walt Disney Company to secure the
rights to use the Disney name and
characters for marketing strategies.
"For eight months they stayed
focused on the goal, and I watched
them grow into a dedicated, articulate
and confident group of individuals, so
I am extremely proud of their much-
earned success," Barber said.
Determined to repeat the success
of the 2008 team, Gator NAMA 2009
created SunFruit, a grapefruit-pumelo
hybrid developed as an alternative for
those taking medications that interact
The team called on Dr. Fred
Gmitter, professor at the University
of Florida Citrus Research and
Education Center in Lake Alfred, Fla,
to help develop a product that would
recapture the grapefruit market lost
due to interactions with common
"This team really outworked
the competition," said Lisa House,
professor in the food and resource
economics department. "They put in
the time to make sure they understood
everything about their product."
The team's unity also helped them
gain another win.
"There was not one standout in
the team; they all worked together
as a team, which was something the
judges noted in their evaluation,"
NAMA members enroll in the
Marketing Strategies in Agribusiness
course. During this course, NAMA
members work the entire semester to
create their campaign product.
Grant leads a new group of Gators
BY JASON DAVISON
There is a newly acquired
grant allowing the College of
Agricultural and Life Sciences to lead
the way in helping students develop
new leadership skills.
CALS recently applied for
and received a Higher Education
Challenge Grant from the United
States Department of
Agriculture. The grant *
will help fund the new 0
Institute set to begin *
accepting students in
fall 2009. S
The project will a
be administered by
program director H. S
Charlotte Emerson *
and co-director CALS
Dean R. Kirby Barrick. 0
"The idea of a
came from a similar institute at
the University of Illinois," said
Emerson, CALS's director of student
development and recruitment. "Since
Dean Barrick (is) from there, it was
something he had working knowledge
of and wanted to see come to fruition
here at UF."
Barrick said CALS's program
could be expanded beyond the
personal development modules that
were the focus of the University of
"The main purpose is to provide
students with the leadership skills
and international understanding to
succeed in the future," Barrick said.
The project's goal is to create a
leadership development program for
CALS undergraduate students. The
leadership program will be called
"Preparing Global Ready Leaders
in Agricultural and Life Sciences,"
and will focus on the globalization
of agricultural business markets and
"This program will allow students
to analyze their own personalities,
leadership skills and styles and put
them to use in the marketplace,"
* ** *
program," Stedman said.
She said in the past it was difficult
to provide students with a genuine
real-world experience that allowed
them opportunities to practice
different leadership theories.
"In a controlled program like
this, you're going to hopefully
'he main purpose is to prove
students with the leadership
nd international understand
succeed in the future.
Dean Kirby Barrick,
co-director of program
Emerson said the program would
enable students to move beyond
the academic study of leadership
development, currently offered in
CALS, into a real-life application of
"As a part of the program, students
will complete 14 leadership modules,
work with a mentor presently in the
industry and be able to participate in
an international travel capstone at the
conclusion of the program," she said.
Nicole Stedman, an assistant
professor who teaches leadership
courses in the department of
agricultural education and
communication, said the institute
will provide students with additional
learning experiences on leadership
beyond the academic classroom.
"Giving students that practical
orientation would be a wonderful
complement to any academic
produce a positive
* experience for the
0 student to apply
* keys learned in the
work," she said.
* Emerson said
the institute would
Sbe looking for
students in CALS
with differing cultural
* and social experiences
to participate in the
program. The committee will select
30 students for the initial group
to enter the program, spanning 17
"We want a vast array of students
with differences in cultures, majors
Emerson said. "We want this
group not only to learn from this
experience, but also from each other."
She said the initial group of
students will be required to assess
their growth and development as a
leader at the end of the program.
Emerson said even though the
current grant only allows for two
groups to complete the program,
everyone hopes the program will
continue well beyond the first two
"If it benefits our students,
we want to be able continue that
experience for them," she said.
TailGATOR 2008 Awards
Award of Distinction
Sherwood "Buddy" Johnson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture
from UF in 1966 and 1968. He and his wife Patricia own and operate Sherwood Johnson
& Son Grove Management Inc., Buck Hammock Groves Inc. and Hilliard Groves Inc.
Johnson is a third-generation citrus grower and his son and daughter are involved in the
family business, as well.
As a UF student, Johnson specialized in fruit crops and was a member of Alpha Zeta
and Phi Kappa Phi. He is a charter member of the UF National Alumni Association,
chaired IFAS's SHARE Council, has been on the board of directors of the St. Lucie
4 County and Florida Farm Bureau and is a former chairman of the board for Ocean Spray
Cranberries Inc. He also serves as president of the Treasure Coast Agriculture Research
/ Foundation and is a longtime supporter of the Indian River Research and Education
Center. In 2005, he was inducted into the St. Lucie County Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Johnson's nominators are Barney and Hariot Greene.
Emily Eubanks earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UF in agricultural
communication in 2001 and 2004. She resides in Micanopy with her husband John
and their children, Will and Kaity, and is the communications coordinator for the UF/
IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Besides writing news releases
and providing Web content, Eubanks helped create the "Gardening in a Minute" radio
segment, which won five national awards in its first year and won three more this year.
As a UF student, Eubanks served as secretary/treasurer for the National Agricultural
Communicators of Tomorrow and was actively involved in the agricultural education
and communication department. Eubanks is an active volunteer, serving on the program
committee for CALS Alumni and Friends, leading the Stars and Stripes 4-H Club
and coordinating Web activities for the Alachua County Cattlemen's Association.
She is a member of Christ Community Church in Gainesville, the Association for
Communication Excellence, Garden Writers Association, Alachua County Farm Bureau,
and Alachua County Cattlemen's Association. Eubanks' nominator is Sarah Graddy.
CALS Alumni and Friends
Kristin Harrison is a sophomore majoring in microbiology and cell science. Originally
from Montverde, Florida, Harrison graduated from East Ridge High School where she
was recognized as a National Merit Scholar. A UF Collegiate FFA member, Harrison
was active in FFA throughout high school, participating on the state champion teams
in parliamentary procedure, meats evaluation, sales and services, and land evaluation.
At UF, Harrison participates in the Florida Student Honors Organization and Gator
She is a member of the Pre-Vet Club and spends her free time volunteering for the
Alachua County Humane Society. In summer 2008, Harrison worked at West Orange
Veterinary Hospital in Winter Garden where she gained hands-on experience assisting
with vaccinations, grooming, blood work and surgical monitoring. AFter graduation,
Harrison hopes to attend the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. She is the daughter of
John and Dawn Harrison.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
PO Box 110270
Gainesville, Florida 32611-0270
For more information on CALS, visit our Web site at http://cals.ufl.edu.
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
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