Vol. 15, No. 12
UF/IFAS International Programs Office of the Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida 32611
Iragis receive agricultural training at UF
raq, popularly known as a petroleum producer, once had a thriving gricultural industry, producing dates, wheat, barley and other crops.
But that was before isolation under Saddam Hussein, economic sanctions under the United Nations, and political instability following the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Iraqi dictator.
Ten Iraqi officials in the vanguard
of a major effort to restore agricultural Iraqi officials visit a soils lab during education and production visited the their training at UF/IFAS. UF/IFAS in December to learn about agricultural production nor connecnew and current technology and to tion with UF/IFAS extension is new. forge ties with UF/IFAS extension, Two UF/IFAS extension faculty, Ken teaching and research faculty. Rudisill, horticulture agent in Bay
Neither the effort to restore Iraq's See Iraqis, p. 2
Cheek named UF/IFAS senior vice president
J immy Cheek, dean of the University
of Florida's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and a longtime proponent of international education, has been named the university's senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, UF President Bernie Machen announced. The appointment is effective Jan. 1. Cheek
"Dr. Cheek has a
long and distinguished record at the University of Florida," Machen said. "He enjoys the respect of his colleagues as well as Floridians who work in the areas of agriculture and natural resources. I am pleased he has 965 FAX: 352 392-7127 Website: http:
accepted this challenging position and look forward to his leadership."
As senior vice president, Cheek
will administer UF programs in food, agriculture, natural resources and life sciences. He will be the administrative head of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or IFAS, which encompasses five major units: the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station; the Florida Cooperative Extension Service; the School of Forest Resources and Conservation; and See Cheek, p. 2
UL-N!VFR 4TY OF
them to get back on escribe their situa.During the war aqi cooperation, 2
Telephone: 352 392-1
and director of International Programs began with a three-day orientation in
RogerNatzke, Washington. The group also visited
the University of Nebraska.
_____________________ Subhi M. Hammadi Al Jumaily,
Cheek oversees five main units of UF/IFAS as senior vice presid
Crrn rn 1
elements of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
"The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has a proud history of excellence in serving Florida's agriculture and natural resources through teaching, research and extension," Cheek said. "I am honored by President Machen's support and look forward to working with him as well as IFAS stakeholders, students, faculty
Cheek, 58, who previously oversaw IFAS academic programs, was appointed dean of the college in January 1999. He joined the UF faculty in 1975 as an assistant professor and rose to the rank of full professor in agricultural education and communication in 1985. He was named assistant dean for academic programs of what was then the College of Agriculture in 1992.
Ken Rudisill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheek received his bachelor's and doctorate degrees in agricultural education from Texas A&M University in 1969 and 1975, respectively. He received his master's degree from Lamar University in 1972. Prior to coming to UF, Cheek served as a graduate fellow and instructor at Texas A&M.
(Jimmy Cheek, JGCheek@ifas.ufl.edu)
Iraqis' visit represents a new phase of cooperation
From p. 1 deputy minister of agriculture, said
County, and Logan Barbee, extension Iraq's most pressing need is stability. director in Calhoun County, spent a But also important is finding help to year in Iraq as Army reservists work- develop its agricultural sector. Building with Iraq's agricultural and edu- ing international bridges is the best cational interests. But the arrival of way to achieve that, he said. Much of the high-level Iraqi officials from the Iraq's infrastructure for agricultural Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry production has been destroyed. of Science and Technology, and re- In rebuilding, Iraq needs to work search institutes throughout the coun- with new technology, said Zuhair try represents a major step in the ef- Stephan, director general, State Board fort to enhance agricultural extension for Agricultural Research. Participants and production. are interested in new technology and
Rudisill and Barbee, joined by in transferring it to farmers.
District Extension Director Pete Ver- "Our objective here is to learn got and Bay County 4-H agent Paula about extension and research," he Davis arranged the study tour for the said. "We are here to see how to de10 Iraqis and hosted their seven-day velop these programs and how we can tour in Florida. They visited the UF get the benefits for our country. We campus, International Programs and are starting from zero now and we are Academic Technologies and other trying to get people in science and campus offices, the Marion County technology to cooperate with scienExtension Office, the UF dairy farm, tists from the University of Florida." the Citrus Research and Education Iraq is an agricultural country, he Center, Mid Florida Research and said, with climatic differences that Education Center, and Disney Epcot support a variety of agricultural prodCenter's agricultural exhibits. ucts including tomatoes, wheat, barAreas of interest were soils test- ley, rice, cotton, corn, citrus and dates. ing, integrated pest management, cit- Millions of date trees were lost rus production and extension. over the past 20 or 30 years, he said,
The trip was funded by the U.S. and under a new program the country Department of Agriculture's Cochran has produced 10 million seedlings to Fellowship Program. The study tour revive date production, a potential ex-
Nair, Bellow honored with international
.K. Nair, a distinguished professor covered by IUFRO. Nair, director of
of agroforestry at the University of the Center for Subtropical AgroforestFlorida's Institute of Food and Agri- ry in the UF/IFAS School of Forest cultural Sciences, and his former grad- Resources and Conseruate student, John Bellow, have been vation, is a pioneering
selected to receive awards for their researcher, educator
scientific contributions from the Inter- and world leader in
national Union of Forest Research Or- agroforestry.
ganizations (IUFRO). He has been editorNair will receive the Scientific in-chief of AgroforestAchievement Award and Bellow will Nair ry Systems since 1994
receive the Outstanding Doctoral Re- and has served on the edisearch Award in August 2005 at the torial board of Plant and 12'h IUFRO World Congress in Bris- Soil for six years. He was bane, Australia. The awards, which chair of the Global Orgainclude a scroll and $1,500 honorari- nizing Committee for the um, are presented every five years. 1st World Congress of
"This is the first time that an advis- Agroforestrv Julv 2004. Bellow
er-advisee team has been selected independently to receive the organization's outstanding recognition for separate scientific accomplishments at the same world event," Nair said.
The Scientific Achievement Award recognizes distinguished individual achievements in the research fields
In 2004 Nair received the International Service in Crop Science Award from the Crop Science Society of America, and the Barrington-Moore Award in Forest Biology from the Society of American Foresters. He also received a UF Distinguished International Educator of the Year Award.
awards in forestry
Nair has a doctoral degree in agronomy from Pantnagar Agricultural University, India, a doctor of science in agriculture from Goettingen University, Germany; and an honorary doctor of agriculture from Kyoto University, Japan.
Bellow's award is for "path-breaking doctoral dissertations, including post-doctoral or other scientific activities during the five-year period preceding the IUFRO Congress."
Bellow received his doctoral degree from UF in 2004. As a doctoral student, Bellow was a Named Presidential Fellow at UF/IFAS. He is now a postdoctoral researcher with the Southeastern Climate Consortium in the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
P.K. Nair, email@example.com J
Gmitter works with Japanese scientists on citrus cloning techniques
t Kyoto University in Japan, UF/ I AS citrus researcher Fred
Gmitter is working with scientists to enhance citrus cloning techniques, while he explores a variety of exchanges with Japanese researchers.
Gmitter, who was selected as a visiting professor at Kyoto University, also gave lectures during his threemonth stay ending Jan. 11. In a separate role as leader of a Florida-based team, Gmitter took advantage of his travels to look for new fresh fruit varieties to help Florida growers maintain their share of the world market.
Gmitter is sharing research with three faculty members and a postdoctoral researcher at Kyoto on common genomic approaches to cloning crops.
An exchange of research information through lectures is a component of the exchange between University of
Florida and Kyoto University. Gmitter gave a series of lectures entitled "Genetic Improvement of Florida Citrus: Challenges Facing the Industry and Genetic Solutions" to
Shiranul, a Japanese students at the seedless fresh fruit pomology lab- variety, has been inoratory at Kyo- troduced to Florida. to. He also presented a special lecture to the Graduate School of Agriculture entitled "Genomic Research on Citrus: Evolution of Genomic Technology and Evolution of a Citrus Disease Resistance Gene" and other lectures on his citrus research at other institutions, at
Mie University, and to the Citrus Genome Analysis Team of the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science at Okitsu and Shizuoka University. The latter group is part of the International Citrus Genome Consortium, for which he serves as one of two U.S. delegates.
Gmitter was invited to speak at an international symposium at Mie University on his research as well as UF's organization, administration and intellectual property policies.
In Japan, Gmitter served as leader of an Exploration Team searching for new fresh citrus varieties. The effort is funded by the Florida Department of Citrus on behalf of Florida citrus growers.
(Fred Gmitter, fgg @ crec.ifas. ufl. edu)
Office of International Programs University of Florida Office of the Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources P.O. Box 110282 Gainesville, FL 32611-0282
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Dehgan observes endangered cycads, invasive lantana in Asia
D uring a trip to Thailand and Indo- is a function of the International nar at the Indonesian Ornamental
nesia, UF/IFAS Professor Bijan Union for Conservation of Nature and Crop Institute on the reproductive biDehgan in horticultural sciences par- Natural Resources. Dehgan is a mem- ology and threat of the invasive speticipated in workshops in conservation ber of the organization's Species Sur- cies Latana. The institute recognized and lectured about his research on en- vival Commission. Dehgan for his research by awarding
dangered cycads and invasive lantana. At Mahidol University, Bangkok, him a plaque.
Dehgan attended the World Conser- and later Bogor Agricultural Universi- Contact
vation Congress: People and Nature ty, Indonesia, Dehgan presented semi- Bijan Dehgan,
Only One World, held at the Queen nars on propagation and culture of firstname.lastname@example.org
Sirikit National Convention Centre in cycads, also known as sago palm. Bangkok in November. The congress In Indonesia, Dehgan gave a semi-
Datnoff explores disease
awrence E Datnoff traveled to LjBeijing, China, Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 to share research on the use of silicon to control plant diseases.
He was invited by the Soil and Fertilizer Institute/Institute of Agricultural Resources and Agricultural Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, to present his research on using silicon for plant-disease control, and his knowledge of mechanisms of silicon-mediated disease resistance.
resistance through silicon
While there, he and Liang discussed the possibility of organizing a cooperative silicon research program between their two institutions.
This trip was sponsored in part by the Office of International Programs the Office for the Dean of Research, and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Lawrence E Datnoff,
with Chinese researchers
Lawrence E Datnoff, left, and Yongchao Liang during Datnoff's visit to China.