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Food and Resource Economics Department McCarty Hall
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences P0 Box 110240
Gainesville FL 32611-0240
Fax (904) 392-3646
Fax :904 392 8634
Phone: 904 392 5830
TO: Ronald Ward, Chair
IFAS Social Science Co *ttee
FROM: Peter Hildebrand
DATE: April 20, 1995
SUBJECT: Social science programs in IFAS
A number of IFAS programs concerned with sustainable development involve the social sciences. Among these are 1) Farming Systems
Research-Extension (FSRE), 2) Women in Agricultural Development
(WIAD), and 3) Agroforestry. Furthermore, many IFAS faculty are
involved in the Tropical conservation and Development (TCD)
program in the Center for Latin American Studies which also has a
strong social science component.
These multidisciplinary (or interdisciplinary if you prefer)
programs all integrate the biophysical sciences and the social sciences in education, research and outreach. The increasing
concerns regarding the sustainability of agriculture with all its ramifications necessarily requires a systems approach. This kind
of an approach, in turn, requires a multidisciplinary
perspective. These four programs, therefore, are all critical to the future efforts of IFAS as it strives to serve an increasingly
complex set of clients both domestically and internationally.
The farming systems program has been on campus about 15 years.
Emphasis has been on small-scale, limited-resource family farms in developing countries, but there has been a domestic facet as
well. In the early 1980s there was a USDA and state funded
farming systems project in several counties in north Florida.
One of the results of this effort is the emergence of perennial
peanut as an increasingly important forage and hay crop for
Florida. The USAID funded Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP) was a massive effort in the mid 80s and was headquartered at the
An Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action Institution
University of Florida. Approximately 70 graduate students have obtained a minor in FSRE and some 20 are currently enrolled in the minor. A new M.S. degree (with or without thesis) in Agricultural Education and Communication offers a specialization in farming systems. Five students have graduated with the degree and another five are currently enrolled. The program sponsors the FSRE Seminar Series with an average of two speakers per month throughout the year, and sponsored the symposium of the North American chapter of the Association for Farming Systems ResearchExtension (AFSRE) in October, 1994. Faculty from Agronomy, Anthropology, Animal Science, Environmental Horticulture, Food and Resource Economics, Forestry, Geography, and Soil and Water Sciences actively participate. The program maintains a farming systems research-extension library (in the office of Peter Hildebrand) with more than 5,000 entries. The University of Florida is considered a world center of excellence in farming systems research-extension and attracts many outstanding students from around the world for both degree and non-degree programs.
The WIAD program at UF was formalized in 1984. The program has been funded by IFAS International Programs, the Graduate School, and the College of Agriculture and has active faculty from IFAS and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. From its inception, WIAD has sponsored a bi-weekly seminar series featuring speakers on issues related to women in agriculture and natural resource management, both domestically and internationally. The program-has sponsored a number of conferences including the bench mark conference on Gender Issues in Farming Systems Research and Extension in February, 1986, at which there were 300 registrants from 20 countries. This conference resulted in a very popular book by the same title, edited by Susan Poats (FSSP), Marianne Schmink and Anita Spring The WIAD program manages the Women in Development (WID) Certificate for graduate students and publishes a newsletter on a monthly basis. Faculty and graduate students are active in technical assistance and in demand internationally. Many courses on campus now have a gender analysis component because of the efforts of the WIAD program.
The Agroforestry Program, initiated in 1987, is administered through the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. Faculty from several IFAS units (such as Agronomy, Animal Science, Food and Resource Economics, SFRC, Soil & Water Sciences, and Wildlife Ecology and Conservation) and other units across the campus (e.g., Anthropology, Botany, and Geography) actively participate. The Program offers facilities for earning a specialization or Minor in Agroforestry at the graduate level (PhD and Masters-with or without thesis); more than a dozen students (including two PhDs) have obtained such specialization/minor, and another 15 are currently enrolled. The program has sponsored six exchange scholars on sabbatical and/or other exchange visits for durations of 3 to 12 months; and has conducted a series of short training courses in which nearly 70 professionals have been trained. A
major conference (held at UF in 1988) and three collaborative international workshops and conferences have been organized under the auspices of the Program. Currently, discussions are under way to start a cooperative PhD program in agroforestry between CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Training Center), Turrialba, Costa Rica and UF. The Agroforestry Program is an internationally recognized center for academic excellence in Agroforestry, and it attracts many outstanding students, scholars, and other visitors from around the world.
The Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD) was established in 1987 in the Center for Latin American Studies. The overall focus of the Program is on the combined challenges of biodiversity conservation and concerns for the quality of life for the rural poor in Latin America. TCD accomplishes its objectives of research, training and institution building through a wide variety of activities including graduate student fellowships, small grants, curriculum development, post-doctoral and visiting scholar support, faculty enhancement, and program development at universities in Latin America. TCD links teaching and research among 19 academic departments and units on the UF campus. Additionally, an extensive network of linkages with international institutions in 10 Latin American nations continues to result in a wide variety of collaborations among students and faculty at UF and overseas. us institutional links are also prominent and include The Nature Conservancy, the New York Botanical Garden, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Conservation International. The TCD Program developed and coordinates the Tropical Conservation and Development graduate curriculum concentration within the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS) degree. The TCD curriculum includes 37 regularly- offered graduate courses taught by faculty in 13 departments. Since its creation in 1987, approximately 50 students have earned or are in the process of completing their MALAS degrees with a TCD concentration. This concentration is required for MALAS candidates, but is also used to structure an interdisciplinary course of study for M.Sc., M.A., and Ph.D. candidates in other departments. The overall success of the TCD program is reflected in the number, geographical spread, and academic diversity of the students associated with the TCD Program. Since 1980, over 200 graduate students have enrolled as Ph.D., Masters, or non- degree students in TCD and its counterpart programs. About 40% of this group are Latin American nationals,l0% are from Asia and Africa, and the remaining are US citizens. This diverse group from over 20 nations are enrolled in degree programs in 14 departments. To date, approximately 100 of these students have earned or are actively pursuing doctorates and approximately 150 have earned or are actively pursuing Masters degrees at UF. The TCD Program has provided direct fellowship or assistantship support for 70 of these students. Additionally, through Field Research Grants, the program has enabled almost 60 students to conduct research during the Summers. blhr00
March 31, 1995
TO: All UF/IFAS Faculty
FROM: J. M. Davidson
A few months ago I asked several IFAS faculty to serve on a committee to review the social science programs in IFAS. The objectives for this committee included: (1) identify and document IFAS resources and programs dedicated to social science issues;
(2) identify major social society issues relevant to the IFAS long range mission; and (3) make an assessment of our current programs and what may be needed as we move into the next decade. Your input into this process is important.* If you have identified particular social issues of major concern to your programs I encourage you to send your comments to the committee. We have set up a special EMAIL address for this committee or you can send your comments directly to the committee chair listed below.
our primary purpose with this effort is to provide a thorough review of existing programs and to assess needed improvements and/or changes. There is no preset agenda other than trying to assure that IFAS meets its responsibilities to address the ever changing social issues tied to Florida's agricultural and related sectors. The committee welcomes your input as they deal with IFAS major social science programs. A full report should be completed sometime this summer.
Send your comments to: Dr. Ronald W. Ward, Chair IFAS Social Science Committee 1125 McCarty Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
or by EMAIL to: SSPR@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU
Tracy Hoover, Richard Rudd and JoAnn Pierce - Ag. Ed. & Communication Jeff Burkhardt, Roy Carriker and Ron Ward - Food & Resource Economics Bo Beaulieu, Joy Cantrell and John Rutledge 4H & Other Youth Programs - Linda Bobroff, Barbara Taylor and Glenda Warren - Home Economics