Monday, March 24, 2014

March IFAS Matters

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IFAS Events
Family Day at the Dairy Farm 2014
Florida Master Naturalist Program Conference
UF College of Veterinary Medicine Open House
Aquatic Weed Control
Short Course
The 15th International
Symposium on Trace
Elements in Man and
Animals (TEMA15)
Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration (CEER 2014)
The 3rd International Firefly Symposium
America’s Watershed
Initiative (AWI)
ACES: A Community on Ecosystem Services
Awards &

Frazer named director of UF/IFAS School of Natural Resources and

UF/IFAS names Kevin Folta as horticultural
sciences chairman

Turner named interim UF/ IFAS dean of agricultural and life sciences

UF/IFAS researcher wins $300,000 grant to further citrus greening research

UF/IFAS researcher named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors  


IFAS Matters —  March

Extension Centennial

We’re celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the US
Extension Service in 2014.
View Article>>


Cartoon provided by Skeptical Science

Embracing Science in Addressing Global Issues

Slightly more than 14 years ago, we had our first global
group-think as we turned the page on the 20th Century. Most of the modern world held their collective breath as the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve 1999. The dreaded Y2K “virus” was, according to some, going to bring global operating
systems to a screeching halt due to a programming glitch. The
fallout from Y2K was predicted to cause disasters ranging from home computer malaise to nuclear missiles automatically launching themselves. 

Y2K turned out to be a tempest in a teapot, but not before
billions of private and public dollars were spent to become Y2K compliant. Y2K got people’s attention. Folks who could barely afford it went out and purchased new computers and software. Companies hired consultants to guide their passage to the new millennium. Governments scrambled to get a solution. It looked as if everyone drank the Kool Aid and believed that some sort of preparation was necessary. The modern world was playing “Beat the Clock” to get ready for the inevitable New Year’s Eve that could change everything.

Today the dire portents of climate change have garnered a less than lukewarm response. That the reality of the destructive forces presented by climate change fully register with people, so they will to act with the needed urgency, is indeed a
challenge. In fact, many people are in total denial of the efficacy of the overwhelming scientific data and the ever-increasing world political upheavals, devastating food and water
shortages, and mounting weather-related disasters that are happening right now, all around us.

I admit, sometimes the language of science is not a stirring call to action. Scientists are by nature cautious, and restrained. However, science is in a battle with politics, and when that
happens, science usually loses. And that is true regardless of political party. However, scientific research can’t bail us out of a famine if the notion that science is either something that can be believed in selectively, something that is simply one point of view, or something about which anyone can have a creditable opinion, no matter how ill-qualified, uneducated, or misin­formed. This point needs to be made very clear to both sides of the aisle.

If we continue to persist in driving greenhouse gasses up with only casual concern, there will be consequences. Now more than ever, it is imperative for the general public and for policy makers to understand and act upon the many agricultural
issues that are influencing their daily lives and that could
ultimately save their lives.

Furthermore, we will not get out of this situation by living more simply. Even the most draconian lifestyle reductions will not suffice to avoid dangerous climate change or to make enough food available to feed nine billion people a Western-style diet. Nor will we escape this by ending growth — almost all of which will happen in the developing world. There is only one way out of this situation. We must augment research to protect and
increase the resources we have available, while reducing our impact on the planet.

Science is our best tool to understand - and protect - the world around us. We must learn to set our emotions aside and
embrace what science tells us.


UF/IFAS researcher to growers: Peaches can be profitable in three years.
Read Article>>


UF/IFAS study helps
researchers better
estimate citrus crop yields.  
Read Article>>

New Cultivars

UF/IFAS approves 14 new cultivars for
Read Article>>


Gov. Rick Scott signs resolution honoring Extension service at Florida State Fair.
Read Article>>

Water Survey

Center survey: Floridians value water, but not ‘all in’ on conservation.
Read Article>>



Key Largo Woodrat
A UF/IFAS study shows captive breeding is no help to the endangered Key Largo woodrat.


UF researchers find
genetic cause for citrus canker, putting them a step closer to a cure.
Read Article>>

Military Meals
A UF/IFAS researcher is helping to eliminate waste and streamline the process of distributing the U.S. Army’s legendary Meal, Ready-to-Eat or MREs.


Dairy Farming
UF/IFAS Extension is helping North Florida dairies move into grazing using a perennial grass.

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