This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
BEAR MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold six public workshops in April and May to discuss management of black bears in the eastern portion of the Florida Panhandle and how people can get involved in working with the FWC on local bear issues. Workshops will offer the public a chance to provide input on local bear issues and allow interested individuals to sign up to be active members of the East Panhandle Bear Stakeholder Group. The meetings will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. local time at the following locations:
·April 30 – Bristol, Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 10405 NW Theo Jacobs Lane
·May 6 – Tallahassee, Woodville Community Center, 8000 Old Woodville Highway
·May 8 – Panama City, Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th St.
·May 13 – Perry, Forest Capital Hall, 204 Forest Park Dr.
·May 15 – Carrabelle, city of Carrabelle Auditorium, 1001 Gray Ave.
·May 20 – Port St. Joe. Gulf Coast State College, Gulf/Franklin Campus, 3800 Garrison Ave.
The East Panhandle Bear Management Unit includes Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington Counties.
A PRIMER ON WOOD-BORING BEETLES AND FUNGI As wood-boring beetles and fungi are increasingly impacting forests and industries in the U.S., the demand for research on these organisms is also increasing. Dr. Jiri Hulcr, the UF/IFAS Forest Entomologist, was invited on to present his lab’s research on ambrosia beetles and fungi at four Universities across the eastern U.S. On this three-week “tour,” he was hosted by entomology departments at Auburn University, University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, and Virginia Tech. A snapshot from one stop at this can be seen on YouTube: a recorded presentation and questions session at the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. This is an excellent primer on the biology and ecology of ambrosia beetles and why we need to be concerned about their expanding populations.
TO CERTIFY OR NOT: FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM NEEDS TO DECIDE Something that sets the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) apart from all other private land stewardship programs is forest certification. ATFS Tree Farms are currently third party certified as sustainable (or “green”) and products can be sold as such at market. Florida, along with the other states are now being presented with a choice to make: to either stay in or opt out of ATFS Certification status depending on the importance we see in it. The Florida Tree Farm Committee will be required to make a formal declaration by December 31, 2015 of whether or not we want to continue as a state program of “third party certified” Tree Farms. The alternative is to revert to a “recognition” program that no longer has a “certification” status. As Tree Farmers, The Florida Tree Farm Committee would like your opinion of whether Florida should remain in a “certified” Tree Farm program, or drop the requirement for third party certification. More details on this in the next issue of the Florida Land Steward Newsletter. Reply with any comments you may have on this to Phil Gornicki, State Tree Farm Coordinator, at 850-222-5646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Florida Timber Disease and Pest Workshop, 10 am to 12 pm ET, UF/IFAS Madison County Extension Office, 184 College Loop, Madison, FL 32340. Presented by Jeff Eikwort, Florida Forest Service. For more information or to register contact Justin Kania, (850) 973-5115, email@example.com
Earth Day Festival, 10 am - 2 pm at USDA Brooksville Plant Materials Center, 14119 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34601. For more information contact Janet Grabowski, 352-796-9600, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Native Plant Society's 34th Annual Conference, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers, FL. Details at http://fnps.org/conference
Compost in Citrus Production Workshop, 8 am - 4 pm, UF/IFAS: Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Florida 29, Immokalee, FL. Training will be based on composting principles which promote the improvement of soil. Call the Center at (239) 658-3400 for more information.
Rural Energy Workshop, 6 - 8 pm, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office, 2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville, FL. Topics include solar power systems for agriculture and residential use, economics of solar power. FREE, supper included. Pre-register at 352-337-6209 (voice mail) by May 27th. For more information call 352-955-2402.
Trees Florida 2014 Conference (link), Innsbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor, FL. Presented by Florida Chapter International Society of Arboriculture. CFEs approved for the event. See link for details and registration.
Forest Stewardship / Heartland CISMA Workshop: Invasive Exotic Species and Management, 8:30 am to 3 pm ET, UF/IFAS Okeechobee County Extension Office, 458 Highway 98 North, Okeechobee, FL 34972. Pesticide applicator CEUs and SAF CFEs pending. More details to come.
WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
Green Living Expo 2014 (link), 9 am to 2 pm, Crawfordville Hudson Park & TCC Wakulla Center. Activities include a Green Flea Market, bike rally & safety check, presentations on sustainable activities, and food vendors.