Group Title: International focus
Title: International focus ; vol. 19 no. 2
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 Material Information
Title: International focus ; vol. 19 no. 2
Series Title: International focus
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date: September 2008
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Bibliographic ID: UF00076678
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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September 2008

September 2008



Vol. 19, No. 2


Spotlight on IFAS Worldwide

UF/IFAS Intemational Programs Office of the Senior Vice President for Agriculture & Natural Resources Gainesville, Florida

Much More than e, a. ammon
International Di,,,rector
I Iu e no\\ bee ni \\ilh IFAS Iniernational PiOL'raiis for
IboLu i\o N\ cji s. einouii In ii to li h,\ come io 1l fll
SIppilc.ei \\c lu nmkes us unique dand \i i oll din as a,
iajiior unit of the Liii eisillh of Flonda The / ..e ne\\ s-
leiter peublictilnon alone ic\ cils in eacll IssIeC sonic of
h\\ al n;ikecs uis Inique. i)aniclaIrl\ in the iiieniaiional
:ienlll; Inrilcr'stini gl. \ hen I .\\;s iecrnied to 1111 IFAS.
the position ;iliouincInhiniIl \%\;is captionIcl "Dircctoi In-
crnaiioii:i A riciiullitul b tll. II faic. lihal \\is ;In erroi thil
\\;Is qutlkl1\ corrected to eleci n11\ cncIni tille.
SDirectoi. Inteni6l ionijl Plogriniis
I noic llus conccied lille b-ecius il uliIilihulis \ liii
jcllictcd Ime to I F IFAS in th I st fi I)plIce the- opporltu-
nitl 10 \\ oik I ill a Illlr anma of disciplines hi.n ilc
lille "'',i nctultit ienerall iinplics I'\ c ah\a\ s I thouLi'
of \\li \\~ c ie hl hlcc in IF AS is arncillnlir c \\ ill lmuie
A1 AniicIllure is JI our cole butl lhe iceniirIkble arna\ of
disciplinain specl i/ltuonis in IFAS blniws ilocllier a
mIILth \\ ider specirnun of e\pllise
IF AS tretclics across IIIh ie \IonInclnl sciences naturally
ICsouices. hlilmnun sciences 1 oil piol ianis. food
s smns. \\ ililie social scieltces. fishlccnes. and folestin
10 eilbuce a hulitLe disciplni' ii tl\ i tii also incltides
ili. core jilnctilliuail jnd life science disciplines B\ be-
il.! so inclusi e s d UF Lunill il\\ doois jnd OI)pollnti-
lies mie opened to10 ll of IFAS and nwe\\ \\j\ s of looking ai
ilih \\olld arie ic\ealed
AnlioiwOst il lirraI of opportunities \\;is 0111 hIostini of
the Canbbean Food C iops Sociei\ iCFC Si 44"' .-\nuill
Nkeinii inII Mliann in Juil% Like he fornn:il iin;nie of IFAS
:ind the nisi;takel1n alnolniceineitI of nl\ currentI position.
CFC S does not full\ caplture the aUni\ of interests I,l it
cIme loeo licr in MIlinini ilis stininel From wo einnciii
to acdeinic t10 eserch or,'ini/aiions CFC S cnendescS
icpiesenied lthe len. bioadesit inicists of tdeelopincin
icloss lithe CIbbin Bisini
EnIljo Inis issue of / t, and ihe renmiik;ible sonries
luiilihlied n iI IF AS InLtenallonal PioLtrnins is ;IciIcl-
iLie and nimich more. be oand the Ilatjilonal bound;.ites
IuIt [li:i lerin su,.i2Lesis-all of% which is c.iplmred inI our
neC slettie Note especially\ thle piece about the C FCS
nieetil!: to ;apprectile lio\\ brojd \\e are *.* Contact:
David Sammons,

UF/IFAS Hosts Historic Caribbean

Food Crops Society Annual

Meeting in Miami
Discussions Address Invasive Species,
Elements of Food Crisis, & Much More
In an historic first-time ever for
this meeting to be held in the
continental United States, the
Caribbean Food Crops Society
(CFCS) held its 44th annual meet-
ing in Miami, Florida from July
13-17, 2008.
UF/IFAS was selected as the meet-
ing host and Dr. Jimmy Cheek, UF
Senior Vice President for Agricul-
ture and Natural Resources, served
as the 2008 CFCS President.
The CFCS 44th Annual Meeting
was a crucial coming together of
agricultural, economic, and socio-
The Honorable Charles logical experts from 22 nations.
Bronson, Commissioner of
Agriculture for the State of Farmers, business leaders, and gov-
Florida, addresses the ernment officials addressed time-
opening ceremonies at the critical issues such as the food
CFCS 44th Annual Meeting. crisis striking Caribbean nations
This meeting, held in Miami, crisis striking Caribbean nations,
Florida, was the first to be invasive species with the potential
held in the U.S. to devastate entire industries, and
other major issues affecting the
Caribbean Basin's many nations.
Countries as far north as Canada, as far south as Guyana, South
America, and as far away as Europe's United Kingdom, Spain, and
France were represented at the meeting.
Other critical issues discussed included economic challenges for
agricultural development; urban agriculture in densely populated
Caribbean nations and successful urban agriculture models in
Florida; and 4-H programs that proved so popular, several Caribbean
nations have already requested assistance from Florida's Extension
agents to begin similar programs in their countries.
The meeting reportedly drew the largest participation in the history
of the CFCS meetings, with 238 full-time registered individuals plus
partial registrations and volunteers that sent total number of partici-
pants to over 300. Countries represented were: Cont. p. 5
Cont. p. 5

Telephone: 352-392-1965 FAX: 352-392-7127 Website:
Visit the e-version for complete stories and even more International Focus news!

Internationalizing Extension

Island of Antigua and Florida 4-H Benefit from

International Extension Partnership .

Internationalizing Florida's Extension programs has many
benefits both abroad and at home, as demonstrated by two UF/
IFAS county Extension agents. A modest UF/IFAS Interna-
tional Programs travel grant allowed Norma Samuel of the
Marion County Extension Office and Nicole Walker of the
Polk County Extension Office to launch an international 4-H
youth development program for youth on the Caribbean island
of Antigua, part of the two-island nation Antigua and Barbuda.
That program is already benefiting Florida 4-H programs at
When Samuel and Walker arrived in Antigua in January 2008,
they met with Antigua's youth program agency officials, im-
portant stakeholders, and young people. A meeting with the
island's Director of Youth Affairs revealed that her staff knew
very little about 4-H and its benefits. In meetings and through
a workshop, Samuel and Walker equipped the Youth Affairs
staff with information they need to create an island-wide 4-H
Samuel and Walker helped workshop participants develop an
action plan to move Antigua's new 4-H program's develop-
ment forward. They also gathered information on the concept
and functioning of 4-H in the Caribbean Region, learning the
importance of focusing on entrepreneurship and community
service to attract participants and gain community support.
While on Antigua, Samuel and Walker also designed, imple-
mented, and evaluated a horticulture judging contest and a teen
leadership workshop, respectively.
Samuel and Walker brought home to Florida some important
benefits, too. They gained valuable experience by teaching the
entire 4-H 101 Curriculum, which provides instruction in how
to effectively manage a 4-H club and how to conduct programs
using 4-H's experiential learning model and essential program
elements. By conducting this international training, Samuel
and Walker are now equipped to teach any portion of that cur-
riculum to new Florida 4-H Agents.
Samuel and Walker also can share with statewide Extension
colleagues and Florida's volunteer 4-H leaders several creative
teaching and marketing strategies to use when working in com-
munities with a high percentage of people from Caribbean re-
gions. They learned that to attract more Caribbean immigrants
to Florida's 4-H programs, county agents must offer more en-
trepreneurship activities. They also learned the importance of
obtaining grass-roots, or "ground-up," community support to
sustain new or revitalized and expanded county programs.
A reciprocal visit of two or more staff from Antigua's Youth
Department is planned to attend the Southern Region Volun-
teer Leader Forum in Eatonton, Georgia in October 2008. *
CONTACT: Norma Samuel, or Nicole
"The Brazil Biofuels Tour has been our most
successful international extension event of the
past several years."
-Larry Arrington, Dean for Extension

Students on the island
of Antigua learn
horticultural judging
during a UF/IFAS
Extension team's visit
The team came from the
UF/IFAS Marion County
and Polk County Exten-
sion Offices. Informa-
tion exchanged in the
visit is already bringing
helpful change to
Florida, as well as the
residents of Antigua.

Brazilian Tour Paves Way for

Florida Biofuels Industry
UF/IFAS Extension faculty teamed up with County Commission-
ers from five Florida counties for an educational tour of Brazil's
biofuels industry. According to Dr. Larry Arrington, UF/IFAS
Dean for Extension, the educational tour was highly successful.
County Commissioners and Extension faculty were interested in
learning about a wide range of biofuel sources and the products
created from them, such as ethanol from the cellulose of forest
products, biodiesel fuel from oil-producing crops, and ethanol
from other c nac i crops, including corn and sugarcane.
"The county commissioners are extremely excited about the
potential for the use of biofuels in Florida," Arrington said of the
tour. "Furthermore, they are excited about the role that UF/IFAS
can play in helping local governments deal with biofuel issues."
The five counties represented in the tour were Leon, Marion,
Palm Beach, Santa Rosa, and Suwannee. Other IFAS units repre-
sented were the Hastings REC, UF/IFAS International Programs,
and the Extension District Directors Office.
The educational tour was part of the "Internationalizing Exten-
sion" program, geared toward developing partnerships with
Extension agencies from Central and South American countries,
toward enhancing the capacity of Extension faculty through first-
hand international knowledge and experience, and toward helping
international partners develop knowledge of the benefits of inter-
nationalizing Extension programs in a global society.
The Extension and County Commission teams met several objec-
tives for the tour. They developed partnerships with Brazilian
organizations actively participating in biofuels and Extension
work. They gained first-hand knowledge of as many types of bio-
fuel development and production as possible, including inputs.
They discussed with Brazilian elected officials, at both local and
state levels, what process they had used to assist biofuel produc-
tion facilities and processes. They also discussed what agricul-
tural production issues are involved in growing biofuel crops.
See the web version of this newsletter for full details about this
exciting tour at
+ CONTACT: Pete Vergot, or
Walter Bowen,

2 See the Web Version at: http://international.ifas.ufl.edulfocus_newsletters



This project in Haiti was featured at the CFCS meeting, via presentation by a
project partner from the University of Miami, with assistance from UF/IFAS.


















Helping Haiti One Village at a Time ,:

[he UF/IFAS International Programs office has joined forces with Sammons' office will coor-
he University of Miami Medical School to assist the residents of a dinate the work of experts
mall village in Haiti. The project will provide agricultural and in the fields of agronomy,
medical assistance to Marmont, a village in the Western Hemi- soil science, and crop pro-
phere's most impoverished country. The project is based on a duction as a starting place to
nodel deployed successfully in 79 villages across 10 African solve Marmont's agricul-
tations by The Earth Institute at Columbia University. tural issues. The most ur- Impoverished villagers to benefit
gent of these are sustain from new multi-university
Columbia University brings to the project its experience in conduct- gent o tse are sustain- program in Marmont, Haiti.
ng programs like this in Africa. The University of Miami will pro- ability and water availabil- rra
ide medical services and education in a region where a third of the ity as water supplies are unreliable.
childrenn under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Marmont's current agricultural practices and the state of its natu-
)eaths of children under five in Marmont's region average 187 per ral resources paint a grim picture. Tools, for instance, are in criti-
000, the highest mortality rate in the nation. cal shortage, making it difficult for villagers to work their farm
rhe University of Florida's IFAS faculty will provide critically plots. Farmers use local seeds and only a minority of farmers use
needed agricultural and economic training. Better farming methods animal labor to plow the ground, as even oxen are in serious
vill increase food supplies, relieving food shortages and providing shortage and must be rented to plow fields prior to planting.
Those who can't afford to rent oxen must prepare the soil using
better nutrition to improve health, as well as providing higher crop Those who can afford to rent oxe must the s
ields. More crops harvested will allow villagers to sell their surplus and-labor.
bod crops for cash, reducing poverty. At this time, village farmers Farmers have no access to any kind of farm credit, crippling their
re barely able to feed their families with what they produce. ability to improve farming practices. They also face a multitude of
rhe director of UF/IFAS International Programs, David Sammons, farming problems: illness of livestock, limited markets for their
raveled to Haiti with Edsel Redden and Florence Sergile to launch agricultural products, and lack of transportation for those prod-
he project in October 2007. Sergile, a native of Haiti, is working ucts.
0% in IFAS International Programs as Haiti Project Coordinator One of the worst problems, however, is the state of the land, itself.
nd also works in the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Depart- Marmont's farmland has been badly degraded. The culprits are
nent. Redden, the UF/IFAS Putnam County Extension Director, also excessive tree cutting for wood fuel and farming practices inap-
tas many years' experience working in Haiti and will provide crop, propriate for local terrain. Wood is used for cooking and to make
ivestock, and irrigation technology support to the project. wood charcoal. The charcoal is made mostly for sale to consum-
uring that first trip, Sammons, Sergile, and Redden, accompanied ers in Port-au-Prince, rather than used locally for fuel. The com-
y faculty from the University of Miami's Medical School, ascer- bination of farming and fuel practices has led to advanced soil
ained the extent of Marmont's needs. During subsequent trips, erosion.
surveys have been taken to determine what resources are available Erosion further degrades soil quality. Flooding decreases crop
nd what the most pressing needs currently are. yields at harvest and consequently decreases revenues for farmers
already below the poverty level. In fact, seventy percent of the
1".21011 I S pOpIlllllOll h\C h, clo% po\ o Ict k\ cl
Randy Ploetz Receives :l: I ,I 1 ll
internationall Service Award piolcc please conuci UF IFAS Inicinaional Pioians *:
CONTACT: Florence Sergile,
lIh A. mCrcan PIh iopaliholoicail Socict\ IAPS a \\adcd its
nti.cnaionil Scn ice A.\\id to Di Rand\ Ploci/. Ph D a prof:-ssor Tiopical Rcscachi and Education Cciuilr TREC i n 1.v1- B\
plant patlholou, at ilh UF IFAS Tiopical &t<: Eduiciion l .,1 hli hald bc -n piomoi.d to professor IIn 211114 Plo.l/ ca.nicd
cnicil. Ji lilc so-cicn s liiI l i minu.l Ilciill tlills Juh in NMhinik-a- lih killl\ crsll of Flonida R-scaJrch Foundaiion Piofcssor A\\ird
oll From 21l' i"" 2i1112. Ploel scn ed ;ic s Edilor-in-Cliief of APS
\PS is lhe c world's pr-ciinenliil pllain pilliolo._ip socich sp:iuilii. Press and \\;:is a Seiloi Edillor on lle .PS cdilorul board flora
lie ._lobc \I illi Iloic ili;ini 5111 1 ill cIlllbel scillered liroli.'2oli t '2 I'<5 to 2 111 i He sen' cd sI ;. n Associuic Edilor loi I / in i il ',I-
oLitlincs Plocil/ a\\s o;S [lic Ii"' iccipielli of th APS Inielli- ,,.' front l'In5 to 1',"' :s %ell
ion;al Sen ice' A\\rd II IS 21i\i elo ;I ill APS incinibei in reco,2iiiillioii
fO Ii/Plod0/llso s l~.efl'Ill Is PlesidelU of Ihc Flonda PhI IOl,1-
If outsilndlln Contribuiilon 10to plin pliholot In comunces ousid lo/ lko cn cd terms i Piidn of lhe Flotnd PrI ioia-
i ni' c c niliololIicJl Sochic1 and \ icc-Picsideni of the Flond Statec Hoin-
CIIillulIl Soclel\ I He hls \\ niicl o\ ci 111 publicllIOns oi l iopical
lihe Jolin and Anin Niedcrlueiatsci Endo\\ inc pio\ ides a cash pnic friit diseases. has edited and i nciin foul books and cutiicnil is
s pJrn of lhe a;l Jid. pa;i of lh;i cash prin is al\ \ s donated t1 in n iin a I\ o-\ olumln book ilcld / r.p ,/,..l '.rmt ,ili, I. ..i for
iilcrniiion:il piOilr;iii desiinaied b thlie rcipieiilnt Sprnllcr-\ ela
Jand\ Ploct is rccouiu/cd as a \orld itulontI on tropical fruit LIF IFAS flciliics ai TREC include c\lcnsi\c oicliiads \\ hcic
lascs'.s Alfcr caiilllu i Ph D in Plani Palholou1 from Ilhc Inn cr- disscIs resistance is siudkid ioi ianii\ lilopicaul fimi crops
in of Flonda in 11-14. Ploci/ \\s lured as faculI al ilhc UF IFAS CONTACT: Randy Ploetz,

September 2008

People in the News 3


UF/IFAS Alumna Blanca Canteros Battles Citrus Canker

in Argentina By Deb Fisher, UF/IFAS Graduate (Class of 2007)

Dr. Blanca I. Canteros is a research scien-
tist and coordinator of research projects
for the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologica
Agropecuaria (INTA) of Argentina. She
is housed at the Bella Vista Experimental
Station in Northeast Argentina's Province
of Corrientes, a region that neighbors
Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Canteros, who works in every area of
citrus disease and is an expert on all as-
pects of citrus canker, has worked for
INTA since 1997, when she graduated
from the National University of the
Northeast in Argentina (NUNA). She
expanded on her degree from NUNA by
earning her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from
the University of Florida in 1990. She
then returned to INTA.
Canteros' research focuses on host-
parasite interaction, molecular characteri-

zation, copper resistance, ecology, and
integrated disease management.
She also advises graduate students and
teaches special graduate classes on plant
pathogenic bacteria and on citrus dis-
eases at NUNA and at other universities
in Argentina.
Some of Canteros' accomplishments are
the numerous research papers and arti-
cles that she has written on the detection
of copper resistance in the citrus canker
bacterium, characterization of canker
resistance in citrus hosts, cloning and
characterization of the avrBsP gene in
Xa pv vesicatoria, and successful inte-
grated management of citrus canker in
Argentina, among others.
Canteros is a member of the American
Phytopathological Society, the British
Society of Plant Pathology, the Asocia-

ci6n Latinomaericana de Fitopatologica,
and the Asociaci6n Argentina de Fitopa-
While at the University of Florida,
Canteros worked with Robert Stall and
Daryl Pring on bacterial diseases for her
dissertation. She said that her work at
UF/IFAS was very helpful for her re-
search program in Argentina.
She continues to do collaborative re-
search with Stall and remains in contact
with other UF/IFAS researchers through
the International Society of Citriculture,
saying, "These connections benefit my
work all the time."
UF/IFAS extends its congratulations to
this successful citrus researcher and inter-
national alumna. *.
CONTACT: Blanca Canteros, in-

The War on Invasive Aquatic Weeds: In Search of

Bio-Control Agents for Hygrophila

James Cuda, a biological-control scientist
at the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nema-
tology Department and veteran of the
fight against invasive species, has de-
clared war on yet another aquatic weed
that has invaded Florida.
He's brought a cadre of scientists from
India into the fray, as well, to help search
for bio-control agents for hygrophila, an
easily spread invasive weed that has in-
vaded Florida, other warm-water areas of
the U.S., and Mexico.
Hygrophila, a Federally listed noxious
weed, threatens to choke waterways and
is difficult to control. Native to India,
hygrophila has no natural enemies in
American waters.
So Cuda, a specialist in bio-control of
aquatic weeds, decided to go looking for
some. He traveled to India with graduate
student Abhishek Mukherjee in the fall
of 2007 to search for natural enemies of
Upon arrival, they met with Dr. Rabindra,
director of India's Project Directorate of
Biological Control (PDBC), where they
made a presentation and secured the co-
operation of PDBC for the project.

Cuda and Mukherjee visited the Central
National Herbarium, one of the world's
largest and oldest herbariums, to find
hygrofila specimens that could pinpoint
areas of the country where the weed is
found in large quantity. While they found
specimens from twelve Indian states, 41%
of them originated in West Bengal.
Cuda also wanted to know if any current
aquarium trade in hygrophila existed, so
he and Mukherjee visited a type of flea
market called a "han" in local dialect.
They not only found an aquarium trade
vendor selling hygrophila, the man agreed
to show them where he'd collected it.
They contacted Prof. G. G. Maiti at the
University of Kalyani, a taxonomy scien-
tist, who confirmed that the aquarium
vendor's plants and the plants invading
Florida were the same species. Maiti
joined the search for hygrophila in the
Not only were they successful, they found
hygrophila with signs of insect damage
on the leaves-a hopeful indication of
insect predators of this weed. They also
found a closely related species with both
insect and disease damage, which may
yield even greater promise for bio-control

agents. Cuda signed a cooperative agree-
ment with the Krishi Vigyan Kendra
(KVK), or Agriculture Research Institute,
which is affiliated with the Indian Council
of Agriculture Research (ICAR). The
KVK agreed to provide laboratory space
for a field station dedicated to the hy-
grophila research project.
The lab will allow scientists in West Ben-
gal to search for and then raise insect
predators of hygrophila before sending
them to the larger labs in Bangalore. The
eastern part of India is very favorable for
the growth of hygrophila, so having a
field station in this area will be essential
for the success of the project.
Dr. Carol Ellison, a senior scientist and
invasive species specialist with CABI was
hired as project consultant and liaison
with the Project Directorate of Biological
Control (PDBC) India, the central body of
biological control research in India.
Ellison, a plant pathologist who will pro-
vide expertise in isolating and identifying
pathogens affecting hygrophila, will be
the UF/IFAS team's main contact in
India. *. CONTACT: Jim Cuda, or Abhishek

4 Focus

People in the News


From page 1 l' CRies
AnIeIIll Bjibados (aaida C (a\ n Islklmnd
Cili C(oSa Rica Donlinica i li Donniimca
Republic Flianie Guilde lou)pe GuinIa Ha II
JIanmica Nailtniqute Nlc\ico S|pain St Killt
Jnd Ne\ il St Lucii Suniiina Tinidad and
Toba. Iio lintld lKiiL'doill and thli linited
S lies inclndinll Pulito Rico and thl Li S
\ ii, Islinds ais \\ell as s\.eiul li S sai, es

CFCS 44th Annual





Left, Chelston
Brathwaite, spoke on
his "Vision of a New
Paradigm for Carib-
bean Agriculture."

The ke note seecih \\is dliN elied b\ Di
Compton Bourne. president of the C(1ibbean
De\elopnent Bank The ke ,note speech.
'Pe 'lpe'Cll\ c Oil Enhanci Clg Sluslalnable
Ciio\\ Ih and De elopmient of Caiibbe ai
ALnctiltiire. is iJ sub Cci Bounie I S C\ll-
s\ie '\pcience in'i' Illhc \\oild Bank. the In-
cil-A cincljan Dc\ clo)pincilu Bank. and a
\\ ide \nllC\ of0 Caibbean iiisltillionls haus
prel),cied luiii 1o0 iaddiliss
Otheli opciiinji session speakers included
* Hclcor SIantli.Io-Anaidon. AssoCluIt
Dcan and DCepui Diiccior of lte Atin-
cuIllilal E\I)penientl Sution of tle l iiI-
\cl rs of Pucrlo Rico. NMl.l\,l a /
lNakola Abdullah De'in and Directoi
of Land-Giiant Pioiainis ilt Florida A.M N
iiln ersi\ .
\ictor Hambin. Actinu Centir foi Plant
Health Science and Tcchnlolou\ Director
Chelson Bililln\nile. Director General of
hllc Illir-.Aieiicain In lltit e for CO lperi-
lion oin Ag.'riultire.
The Honoiable Chailes Bronson.
C'oninissionli of AeL'nrilliuie for lhe Sttle
of Flonida.
.Antlon\ Bn an. Senioi A.sociate. Center
foi Stratecie and International Studies..
\\'Vaislirlon. DC and Senioi .Associate.
SlanlhLcestr Tude. \\ashiiunlon. DC aind
Senior Ad iser Business De\ elopientc
Office The l)ninicsil of the \\es Indies-
St .AtuituSine Tnnidad and Tobalo. and
Proflesor Enlientris. LUin\ rsitl of Nllianu.
Desiree Fiell-Ridle\. Ad\ iser CARIC OM)
Sin,'le' Milrket ind Setlonal ProLn'inuniies.
Jinlm Clheck. Senior \ ice Presidentl foi
Ae.rtilluiie and NatlIal Resources. Unli-
\ elll\ of Florida. and tiS Picsident of
Ille C(aiibbeai Food Crop)s Sociel\

September 2008

Above, Keynote Speech:
Delivered by Compton Bourne,
President of the Caribbean
Development Bank. Bourne's pres-
entation was titled "Perspectives
on Enhancing Sustainable Growth
and Development of Caribbean

Left, Desiree
Irwin LaRocque,
spoke on
Challenges in the

Right, Makola
Abdullah, gave
opening remarks
from the
perspective of
programs at
Florida A&M

Right, Arlington
introduced the
keynote speaker
with remarks to
prepare the
audience for that

Left, Victor Harabin
gave opening
remarks from the
perspective of
APHIS, protecting
the U.S. from
invasive species.

Above, Jimmy Cheek,
2008 President of CFCS
and Senior Vice Presi-
dent for Agriculture &
Natural Resources,
University of Florida.

Above, Anthony
Bryan delivered
a talk on "Petro-
politics and
Pantry Politics:
Journeys in the
Global Reposi-
tioning of the

Right, Bruce
Knight spoke on
"Perspectives on
United States-
Caribbean Basin
Enhanced Trade
and Food Safety

Left, Hector Santiago-
Anad6n, Chairman of CFCS.

Charles Bron-
son, spoke
on "Florida-
United States Agricultural Trade
and Marketing Challenges."

International Research


Field Trips
The finil dai of ihe C FCS ilnull niic'IInI included foul
field iilps of South Flonid dalriculluriial opCeions
Field Trip #1. "Boiaunical Gardens beaiin at Fairclhild
Giden stopped for luncli at SclineblI Rediiid \\inci
fruit \\ inc\ mnd ended \\ itli a tour of the iUF IFAS Trop
and Ediclt ion C'enter
Field Trip #2. Production Ntii-Scnc I and O(n)rlnlenl.,"
touii of Kern () Orcluids & Bionimluds. R F Orcluds In
Rcdlind s \\ ine- and Costa Nise -J\ in- pirticipan
sc SOulK of Soullh Florida's oinrnc ntais uiirsleie
Field Trip #3. "Tiopicil Fminl Production Farmi. Iriuti
eci included slops it the L;iJ Tiopicil Frull F:irm. the
\\aler NllnLenient District \\Dies Punipinm Sulion 3
Recdind's \\ iin ier nd the Pine IsLind Nuiseni
Field Trip #4 \\ is a d;i\ -loni_ \ isitl o the Ad inis Raincli.
opctiion kiio\\ n for its biceding pio'iilms and is eco-fi
ianai e J ki ent pnictices

Want to know more about DDIS? Visit: http://ddi

Sessions and
Invasive Species
Day two of the CFCS Meeting
featured heavy-hitters in terms
of technical presentations. Oral
presentations delivered during
one simultaneous session in-
cluded authors delivering papers
on forage and livestock, food
science and post-harvest tech-
nology, and socioeconomics.
While those were underway,
another important feature of

CFCS 44th Annual


provided CFCS
participants an
educational visit
to a lovely &
tropical garden.
Visits to tropical
fruit farms
allowed partici-
pants to sample
tropical fruits
grown in South
Florida. Some of
these fruits are
used by the
Winery, where
the tour partici-
pants ate lunch,
to create unique
tropical wines.
Some partici-
pants learned
about the irriga-
tion system in
South Florida by
visiting a South
Florida Water
District pumping




Invasive Species (IS) cost the U.S. $120
billion a year in losses & threaten to wipe out
entire industries in the Caribbean Basin, which
includes Florida, a critical player in the region.

the 44th Annual Meeting was unfolding during a second simultaneous session. That
simultaneous session was the day-long Caribbean Invasive Species Workshop spon-
sored by the UF/IFAS T-STAR (Tropical/Sub-Tropical Agricultural Research)
office. This symposium covered the latest developments in the area of invasive spe-
cies management in the Caribbean Basin.
To put the problem in perspective, the wide variety of invasive species-plant, ani-
mal, and pathogens-costs the U.S. alone more than $120 billion in losses each
year, as of 2004. When losses of this magnitude are sustained across a region en-
compassing some 20 nations, a number of which don't have the resiliency or diver-
sity of crops to sustain that level of losses, the invasive species problem looms as
one of the greatest threats to modem agriculture and the food chain.
The research presented at this symposium addressed the latest information available
on the many types of sometimes devastating invasive species that threaten to wipe
out entire industries. The combined research information from UF/IFAS presenters,
US and State of Florida presenters, and a multitude of Caribbean
nations' presenters brought important information to the table,
which will help many nations protect their agricultural systems-
Splol'ssional and ultimately the health and welfare and economic survival of their
citizens-from the threat of invasive species.

Boliaicjl Technical sessions continued the next day, with crop protection &
. .i Iiopic.l- pest management; fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops; and natu-
'ical Researci ral resources sessions.
A special Red Palm Mite meeting was held just prior to the kickoff
me ludcd of the Poster Session presentations. Red Palm Mites threaten the
i Schncbl ornamental palm industry, plus banana, coconut, and date produc-
ls a chance to tion industries.
The Poster Session drew a large crowd as poster authors presented
on. & Nuis- either their research or Extension outreach projects to the delegates.
South Florida Posters were grouped according to discipline. Florida A&M Uni-
1. Schlebl versity presented a small ruminants session and the UF/IFAS Dis-
tance Diagnostic and Identification System (DDIS) demonstrated
how the online system can be used to identify invasive species via
ai beef citle the web. DDIS is a collaboration and communication tool for first
ninidh land detectors, extension specialists, and diagnosticians to share infor-
mation on plant insects and diseases. The system uses field data and
digital media to diagnose plant disease, insect, weed, invasive spe- cies, plant management, physiology, and nutrient problems.

._0 ;CFCS 44th Annual RF T1



Farmers Forum
The Farmers Forum theme was "Community
Assisted Agriculture in a Peri-Urban Envi-
ronment." It introduced meeting partici-
pants to densely populated South Florida's
urban agriculture via two production agricul-
ture farms and a presentation on web-based
marketing strategies for urban agriculture.
Paradise Farms Organic, an organic farm
located on just 5 acres, operates via direct
sales to high-end restaurant chefs and
through periodic "Dinner in Paradise"
events. Owner Gabriele Marewski brings
restaurant chefs out to her property to
produce gourmet organic dinners using the
farm's produce in the farm's beautiful
garden area.
Nancy Roe, owner of Farming Systems
Research, Inc., Boynton Beach, Florida
made a presentation on "A Peri-urban Farm:
Farming in the Middle of the Markets." Her
discussion included subscription farming,
community-supported agriculture, restaurant
sales, production issues, food safety, worker
education, marketing tips, and hurricane
disaster recovery.
Ian Maguire discussed web-based marketing
strategies for urban agriculture. Maguire is
a professional photographer and web spe-
cialist at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research
and Education Center in Homestead and also
does work for local agribusiness firms.
Maguire took the photos for the CFCS 44th
Annual Meeting as well as serving as an
information technology computer expert for
the Meeting. .

Marketing ,
tropical fruits l
on the internet
is another way
of practicing .....
peri-urban _.
agriculture.. .----- .
iOther Meeting Features
Other features of the 44th Annual CFCS Meet-
ing included the Caribbean Council for Higher
Education in Agriculture (CACHE) Board of
Directors meeting; a meeting of Agricultural
Experiment Station Directors and PROCI-
CARIBE; a CACHE General Session; and an
SAwards Dinner for members of CFCS.

Peri-Urban Agriculture: Above,
"subscription farming." Below, worker
education is part of restaurant sales and
other marketing strategies for "farming in
the middle of the markets."
1 / I

1 C.- I
Above, "Community Assisted
Agriculture" brings the consumer
to the farm.
Below, Paradise Farms Organic
sells to fine restaurants & hosts
organic gourmet dinners in a
garden setting.

Paractie' Farms& Organvic

Florida Cultural Night
At the end of the first day's plenary
session, participants enjoyed the
"Florida Cultural Night." Cultural
Night is a recurring feature of the
CFCS annual meetings, where the host
country provides a dinner that high-
lights the host nation's cultural arts.
A dinner cruise along the intra-coastal
waterway allowed participants to
enjoy the sights of Miami while the
Miami band "Island Heats" provided
guests with the sights and sounds of
South Florida's arts community via
costumed dancers and music that
reflect the rich blend of cultures found
in South Florida.

September 2008 Florida: Where the World's Cultures Meet

September 2008

Florida: Where the World's Cultures Meet

Extension's International Impact



A 4-H oral presentation
on gardening was only
one of 75 scheduled oral
presentations at the 44th
Annual CFCS Meeting,
but it illustrates the im-
pact such presentations
can have.
-An Exten-
sion team
of 4-H faculty from two counties,
Norma Samuel, Nancy Gall, and
Natasha Masciarelli of the Marion
County Extension Office and Nicole
Walker of the Polk County Exten-
sion Office, made oral presentations
and exhibited several posters of their
various 4-H gardening and nutrition
projects. Their 4-H posters were
among the 88 scheduled poster pres-
entations at the CFCS meeting.
The "4-H Garden Project Builds
Positive Life Skills in Youth" oral
presentation, by Samuel and Gall, resulted in the
4-H team receiving many questions about how the
project had been organized and operated and how
CFCS participants could use information from the
Florida project to improve gardening projects for
youth in their countries.
Samuel and Walker, the 4-H team that went to Anti-
gua (see article page 2), created a poster about their
experience, titled "Exploring the Internationalizing
of Extension Opportunities: A Partnership with
Antigua 4-H Youth Program." This poster resulted
in contacts with representatives from the island of
St. Croix's Department of Agriculture and the Uni-
versity of the Virgin Islands, who requested the
Florida team's technical expertise to help with
their respective 4-H and youth gardening pro-
Their "4-H Munchy Adventures Project Book" oral
talk by Samuel, Gall, and Mascierelli resulted in an
offer to translate the book into French and sugges-
tions that a Spanish version be produced, as
well. The team acquired a Caribbean Food Group
Guide and is considering the possibility of doing a
version of the 4-H Munchy Adventures program
for the Caribbean region, due to interest from Anti-

CFCS 44th Annual


Above, left to right:
Singh, of the Univer
West Indies; Kwam
of the University of
Islands; and Hector
Samuel Jackman Pr

Left, 4-H gardeners
from oral presenta-
tion. Right, atten-
dees study research
on the response of
melon thrips and
chili thrips to
selective insecti-
cides and discuss
the findings with
Vivek Kumar Jha, o

Representatives from the University of
Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, gather
at Poster #41: Fermentation Charac-
teristics and Consumption of Forage
Sorghum and Sudax Ensiled in Round
Bales; W. Rodriguez, A.A. Rodriguez,
and E. Valencia, Department of Animal
Industry and Department of Agronomy
and Soils.
gua in using the curriculum in their Diabetes
Prevention Program in schools.
The impact of the other oral and poster pres-
entations will be far-reaching, as well, with
great benefit for people throughout Florida
and the Caribbean Basin. Experience in
other nations benefits Florida, just as experi-
ence in Florida benefits other nations.

111k_17 77_1111e'11 110_,*

CFCS Meeting Oral &
Poster Presentations

1ki 4-lli Aiiiuntl C RF S ci~iiu, InI li,
Nluniil Bi.acli Rc,ort ani Sp.I Howl~
hI.~urc~d C5 schictiticd owil I pic l-diIitaio
Niiid sc .ichciicd poslwr pi*sLIIJlirfl.

uouipcd mto kiCmlplmllmc scssmonis
* Forwc & Lnc LstocI
" Food Scieinic &' csl

" Soclocconoillcs & Pollc
" C rop Protectioni Pest N~ainn ciiinei
"Fiiiii. \Flint ibsc.s & SpccuILtN Criops
" N.ittirai Re.Oiiices
Owl picscniailioni comm mmucd 1Io11LI11oL1L
I\ o mitur, dji\ olic ndiccmn %i Ilnk
poster pic-scnut oiis %icrc mldt iniu,
dii 0 0hil,' .Nc~IsOII. \\" 111 posLt Oil N IC'A\
tluom,.liotit tli, 4-dl\ nicciiiii-

8 International Research Focus



The CFCS meeting drew a
varied group of participants.
Some were senior scientists
fully established in their aca-
demic or professional agency
careers. Many networked their
findings and established new
linkages to produce new col-
laborative research efforts on
critical need areas and Exten-
sion outreach projects to help a
wide variety of audiences and
age ranges.
sity of the Other CFCS attendees were
e Garcia, young scientists just
the Virgin beginning their careers in aca-
Belle, of demia or professional organi-
escod. zations, while still others were
students pursuing degrees in a
wide variety of disciplines.



International Research



Research at CFCS
Samples of the research presented by inter-
national scientists at the 44th Annual
CFCS Meeting by neighbors from through-
out the Caribbean Basin include the
The French Overseas Depart-
ment Invasive Species Initia-
tives in the Caribbean Basin
An archipelago of eight small islands,
including Martinique and Guadeloupe,
comprise the "French West Indies." The
strategy to protect plants from invasive
species is founded on a complex frame-
work of European and overseas regula-
tions plus French administrative rules and
organization, not always drafted or revised
to incorporate issues related to tropical
So CIRAD set out to attempt integrating
the European regulations and their phi-
losophy by developing 130 pest risk
analyses (PRA) and 70 invasive plants risk
analyses, which were created between
2004-2006. These PRAs are the founda-
tions of the new "European Overseas
Regulations," which are being drafted.
Meanwhile, to combat the most dangerous
invasive species, the French government
initiated Project PANDOeR for the French
West Indies. PANDOeR involves several
administrative or professional partners. It
aims at both controlling possible invasions
of Black Sigatoka, Moko disease, palm
lethal yellowing, tropical fruit flies, etc.,
and also to determine the geographical
range extensions of the red palm mite,
tristeza virus, etc. PANDOeR, based in
Martinique, has been fully operational in
the field since 2007.*: CONTACT: Jean

The Effect of Earthworm Com-
post on Production of Ivy Gourd
Horticulture Department, Universi-
dad ISA, La Herradura, Santiago,
Repiblica Dominicana
An icicaslsine dcimand Ii lhealthluci
foods is drain II2 IIc m lciasd ol,'2nic food

CFCS 44th Annual


Because CFCS presenters spoke three
major languages, the opening plenary
session and all oral technical paper
sessions were translated three ways:
English, Spanish, and French. The trans-
lation booths in each session room were
staffed by professional translators from
Master Translating, Inc.

Papaya Growth in Double-Row
Systems Established During the Dry
University of the Virgin Islands
Thlie Urni cii of thl \ IrLnu IslInlds con-
duclcd icse:acli on papa.i a. a liopical fruill
ilil is iimpoitanit boil foi iits iilniion and for
ilhc bill l to cult\ ,ic it \ ea-IOuLlnd
Thle \ inrin Islands. ho\\eN er. li'ic :c longi dn
se;a.o1 \ here fle li xl atl is sc:i .C 1naiili, i
p;apai ploduclion difficltill
Tins ricsalichl sti;d I papi' i l nl ; lll;S.
111cc roi -spacii l-ic'1lhcs tisinI, dtip itni'a-
111n and'i\ ilcli to coiliol \\ ccds
icltaiin moistuic. and picxcilt soil loss during
1hIc shorl bii llaN N winls The Ulilr .rsll\ o0
II 1 \V'ii n sll. I ccol nn ltids isin' l 1l \ 2
in doiublc-roi\ uron\ in, s .tlem inIcoipolrallII
drip inialion \ illi 4L III cniii ciS ;1 1 in
intln als *1CONTACT: Thomas

ploducilan I 1lhel Doininiclnl Republic TIls
iescarch conilt.Isied heli use of ccleicnlal IfeCil-
i/eis \\ ilh Ithe coinpost produced \\ ili crilI-
\\ioiis (Iinn11111si on llie I\\ L'oil ld
Clicnucil eIliilli/cr a\\;s pplied to lthe crop
eilithi limes in tllk fr'illi/cr plots. \\ hcicas
cll\111oiin Copos \\s as applied onlI once in
ili l 1nnius plots




Addressing Animal Health Issues in
CARICOM Member States:
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute,
Pan American Health Organization,
Kingston, Jamaica
Some of the presentations at CFCS looked
ahead at what needs to be done, rather than
report on what has been done. This presenta-
tion identified needed changes.
CARICOM (Caribbean Community) is an
organization that allows its member nations
to work collectively to solve challenges and
benefit member nations in the region. The
Caribbean Community can be viewed as a
group of small islands in which multiple
countries share a single domestic space. It is
critical, therefore, to have in place a plan to
eradicate or contain diseases that emerge or
On the global scale, such diseases are chal-
lenging the resources of governments and
private sector groups. There is need to re-
evaluate current veterinary infrastructure in
CARICOM countries. These countries must
determine the extent of their preparedness to
deal effectively with veterinary problems that
may emerge.
The Pan American Health Organization is
proposing the creation of a joint multi-
country strategy to effectively decide on a
process of eradication or containment for any
new disease or disease agent. That strategy
would need to prevent the disease from gain-
ing grounds and spreading from an infected
country to neighboring states.
Recognition of the potential economic and
social impact of diseases plus a closer look at
the animal health infrastructure in these small
island states provide some parameters for
establishing a mechanism to address animal
health issues in CARICOM countries. +
CONTACT: Lloyd Webb,

Bccatiusc totl Iutii p rodIucion ;1a not1101 sinifi-
canil\ diffleren beit\\ ccin hlK i o ItretIl ntS
the dl i t ia tsu ha c,1n1 111r1\\o n ll i nus nI iN
subsiIltut lor clc i ical fcitilli/ i in IN \ iouird
produclion Thal's -uood Ine\\ for oi-,anic
Ifanc1rs in Ihis island nalion *:*CONTACT:
Rafael Amable Vhsquez Martinez,

September 2008 9

CFCS 44th Annual Meeting

Sponsors & Displays
The 44th Annual CFCS Meeting relied financially on assistance
from sponsors, which included Federal agencies, state universi-
ties, international agricultural agencies, and agricultural industry
associations, as well as on CFCS membership and meeting atten-
dance fees.
The investment in both money and time will have long-lasting
benefits for Florida and for the countries of the Caribbean.
Nations are working together to halt the spread of diseases, the
ravages of agricultural pests and other invasive species, and to
share technology to boost food production and solve socioeco-
nomic problems contributing to the
food crisis in Ilkc Icion I iM

M CCIIn,__' sponsors included
* UF/IFAS (host and sponsor)
* UF/IFAS International Programs
* UF/IFAS T-STAR (Tropical/
Sub-Tropical Agricultural
* Florida Agricultural & Mechani-
cal University
* Inter-American Institute for
Cooperation on Agriculture
* Florida Cattlemen's Association;
Each sponsor assisted financially with
critical support for the annual meeting.
Sponsoring organizations also made
presentations during the opening
plenary session and many chose to
exhibit, as well, providing valuable
information for attendees.


ThlIcr \\cic 11 displ.i s at lthe
CFC(S nimcinI- from \ linoti
minccin' sponsors as pill olf 1lk
PoscIl Scssioni
Display s included
* liF IFAS Plant DieinosiiLcS
* Red Painj Mile.
* Florida C'alllcnii'-s Associllion.
* InlceI-Ainciian Inliiiluic loi Coopera-
11on oin A tiIculltue Ill.CA i.
* LF IF AS Tropical Reseaich rnd
Education C('nici ITREC
* liF IFAS Foil L;iucleidale Researcli nd
Education Cenici.
* UF IFAS 4-H Muncli .Adh\ enures'
Desiiin Tea;n.
* Florida Anculiiiuil and Nlcchlnical
Linl c;ISln FAlItI. and
* FAMNL Riuminant Li\ esiock

Above: Florida A&M
University's two
displays included a
small ruminant
display, at left, and
a general informa-
tion display, at
right. The small
ruminant display
was used in a
special session on
small ruminant live-
stock presented
during the poster

Above: IICA, the Inter-American
Institute for Cooperation on
Agriculture, brought a display from
their headquarters in Costa Rica.
IICA maintains offices in 34 nations,
including the United States.

10 Focus

UF iLekibA

One of the meeting sponsors,
APHIS (Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service), is
the branch of USDA that
combats invasive species
that enter the United States,
endangering agriculture and
public health.

CFCS 44th Annual Meeting

About the CFCS Meeting Sponsors...

Meeting Hosts
Caribbean Food Crops Society
The Caribbean Food Crops Society
(CFCS) is an independent professional
organization with interdisciplinary orien-
tation and membership. Constituted in
San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1963, CFCS is a
non-profit organization which fosters
communication between people who can
contribute to the development of science,
technology, and production of food crops
and animals throughout the Caribbean
Basin. The Society's objectives are to
advance and foster all aspects of Carib-
bean food production, processing and
distribution, and to help improve the qual-
ity of life for the people of the Caribbean.
University of Florida's Insti-
tute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (UF/IFAS)
The University of Florida (UF) is a major,
public, comprehensive, land-grant,
research university. The state's oldest,
largest and most comprehensive univer-
sity, UF is among the nation's most aca-
demically diverse public universities.
The University of Florida's Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/
IFAS) is a federal-state-county partner-
ship dedicated to developing knowledge
in agriculture, human and natural re-
sources, and the life sciences, and enhanc-
ing and sustaining the quality of human
life by making that information accessi-
While extending into every community of
the state, UF/IFAS has developed an in-
temational reputation for its accomplish-
ments in teaching, research and exten-
sion. Because of its mission and the di-
versity of Florida's climate and agricul-
tural commodities, IFAS has facilities
located throughout Florida. IFAS is the
research and development center for Flor-
ida's agricultural and natural resources
industries, which have a $101.9 billion
annual impact.
Meeting Co-Sponsors
UF/IFAS International
Leadership for UF/IFAS international
activities is provided by the UF/IFAS
International Programs (IP) office, which
is administratively part of the Office of
the Senior Vice President. IP is responsi-
ble for coordinating, nurturing, and

administering UF/IFAS global efforts. UF/
IFAS has nearly seven decades of experience
with global programs. Through multi-
institutional linkages and significant research,
education, and outreach, UF/IFAS' interna-
tional efforts have contributed to the global
development of agricultural, natural resources,
conservation, nutrition, and allied sciences.
The global work of UF/IFAS scientists is sup-
ported by advanced laboratories, specialized
research and education centers statewide, mar-
ket information resources, educational exper-
tise in formal and non-formal settings, and a
network of professional colleagues around the
Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University is the nation's No. 1
producer of African Americans with baccalau-
reate degrees. For more than 120 years, Flor-
ida A&M University has served the citizens of
the State of Florida and the nation through its
provision of preeminent educational programs
which were the building blocks of a legacy of
academic excellence with caring.
FAMU, "Florida's Opportunity University, is
committed to meeting the challenges and
needs of future generations. Florida A&M
University is one of nine institutions in Flor-
ida's State University System, and excellence
remains its goal.
Florida Cattlemen's Association
Florida's cattle industry is one of the 15 larg-
est in the United States. Centered around
birthing and raising calves rather than the beef
processing part of the system, Florida's cattle
industry has contributed to Florida both envi-
ronmentally and economically. Florida's
cattlemen both constitute a large industry
within the state and are dedicated to the pres-
ervation of Florida's green ranch land.
As a major industry, cattle ranchers signifi-
cantly support Florida's interstate economy
and provide jobs as well as beef. The cattle
industry supports a vast network of associated
businesses. Allied industries include (but are
not limited to) feed companies, heavy machin-
ery corporations, and fertilizer manufacturers.
This integrated web of economic organiza-
tions helps create jobs and business opportuni-
ties. Additionally, Florida's cattlemen have
been strong supporters of Florida's youth.
Inter-American Institute for Co-
operation on Agriculture (IICA)
IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture
and the rural milieu of the Inter-American
System, whose purpose is to provide innova-
tive technical cooperation to the Member

States, with a view to achieving their sustain-
able development in aid of the peoples of the
IICA's vision is to be the leading agricultural
institution in the Americas and the partner of
choice by virtue of the quality of the technical
cooperation it provides in response to the
needs of Member States, and through its
contributions to sustainable agricultural devel-
opment, food security and rural prosperity.

UF/IFAS Tropical-Subtropical
Agricultural Research (T-STAR)
T-STAR is a federal special grant admin-
istered through USDA-CSREES that lev-
erages state and federal funding for the
advancement of agriculture, natural and
human resources in tropical and sub-
tropical regions.
The overall goal of the University of Flor-
ida's T-STAR project is to enhance the
decision-making capabilities of public
and private sector managers involved
with invasions by alien species.
United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA)
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture,
natural resources, and related issues based on
sound public policy, the best available science,
and efficient management. USDA is a dynamic
organization that is able to efficiently provide
the integrated program delivery needed to lead
a rapidly evolving food and agriculture system.
USDA Animal and Plant Health In-
spection Service (USDA/APHIS)
"Protecting American agriculture" is the basic
charge of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
(USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS). APHIS provides leadership
in ensuring the health and care of animals and
plants. The agency improves agricultural pro-
ductivity and competitiveness and contributes
to the national economy and the public health.
USDA Cooperative State
Research, Education, and Exten-
sion Service (USDA/CSREES)
The Cooperative State Research, Education,
and Extension Service (CSREES) is an agency
within the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA). CSREES is one of four USDA agen-
cies that make up its Research, Education, and
Economics (REE) mission area. The other three
agencies are: Agricultural Research Service
(ARS); Economics Research Service (ERS);
and National Agricultural Statistics Service

September 2008 11

UF rieikh

Office of International Programs
University of Florida
Office of the Senior Vice President for Agriculture
and Natural Resources
P.O. Box 110282
Gainesville, FL 32611-0282 newsletters
(352) 392-1965

Linda Evans
Executive Editor
Don Poucher
Assistant Vice President
Programs Personnel
David Sammons
Director, International
Walter Bowen
Associate Director,
International Programs
Florence Sergile
Faculty Coordinator,
Haiti Project
Kaye Bough
Marti Dettman-Kruse
Program Coordinator




Distance Learning System Benefits India,
Florida, & the World

Water is a critical concern for agriculture,
not just in Florida, but worldwide. Water
quality and water management can be life-
and-death factors that spell the difference
between successful harvests and healthy
families or lost crops and starvation in many
areas of the world.
India's vast diversity of ecosystems and its
monsoon pattern of rainfall create great
challenges related to water management.
Those challenges impact India's vast popu-
lation, a significant portion of which lives in
That's why a group of seven scientists from
three Indian universities and two agricul-
tural research organizations (ICRISAT and
Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
came to UF/IFAS in February 2008. A
grant awarded through the India-U.S. Agri-
cultural Knowledge Initiative, spearheaded
by K. Ramesh Reddy, allowed these scien-
tists to partner with UF/IFAS faculty for
two weeks.
By the end of their visit, the partners had
completed 17 new distance-learning compo-
nents called "Reusable Learning Objects,"
or RLOs, that were unveiled during an
intensive workshop at the J. Wayne Reitz

Union on UF's campus. The RLOs are now
part of an online learning system called
EcoLeamIT, developed by Dr. Sabine Grun-
wald, in the UF/IFAS Soil and Water
Science Department. EcoLeamIT is an
"electronic library" with many individual
RLOs within it.
What are these 17 new RLOs? They are
web-based PowerPoint presentations, text,
narrated audio files, and video clips with
music and provide a rich resource to learn.
Each RLO is "self-standing" to make it reus-
able and is focused on specific learning
objectives. Each RLO has a knowledge
component and an assessment component.
The RLOs range in length, so learners can
complete them in 5 to 15 minutes. The
RLOs are not courses, but rather are tightly
focused learning units. All 17 involve wa-
ter: irrigation, water conservation, and wa-
ter management.
During their development, the Indian part-
ners learned a great deal about distance edu-
cation and e-leaming, as they began with
less knowledge about these learning plat-
forms than their UF/IFAS counterparts.
Two of the Indian partner institutions have
active plans to use the new technology and

develop courses using it. The other Indian
partner institutions are interested in doing
so, as well, but are still in the planning
While the materials are free to use, they
could be combined into courses that gener-
ate revenue. In a time of shrinking reve-
nues, generating income from these RLOs is
a great benefit. UF/IFAS and all five Indian
partner institutions will be able to benefit
from the creation of short courses, certifi-
cate courses for graduate students and pro-
fessionals, graduate and undergraduate
courses, and extension training that use the
"library" of RLOs.
While useful in teaching, EcoLeamIT is
also beneficial in extension and outreach
programs. The EcoLearnIT system is grow-
ing and attracting users from UF, U.S.,
India, and elsewhere. This shows how the
benefits gained from the fusion of ideas
between UF/IFAS faculty and Indian scien-
tists will have far-reaching impact.
CONTACT: Sabine Grunwald,; K. Ramesh Reddy, Eco-LearnIT:
AKI project and workshop material:

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