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Gift Supports Ag Law Center

Debra Amirin

Melda Bassett, Assistant VP fo, (352) 392-1975

GAINESVILLE – A premier Florida agricultural family has made a $500,000 gift to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, half of which will benefit the UF/IFAS Agricultural Law Center. The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the gift in grateful recognition of the significant role UF/IFAS research and education has played in enabling Florida to become one the nation’s top agricultural producers. The gift was made in the form of a irrevocable trust, and will provide benefits to the donor before one day benefitting UF/IFAS.

“These types of ‘planned gifts,’ as they are known, enable many of our donors to attain their philanthropic goals while meeting their own financial obligations.” said UF/IFAS Assistant Vice President for IFAS/SHARE Development Melda H. Bassett. “This gift is from a longtime friend of UF/IFAS and is a meaningful tribute to the University’s efforts over the years on behalf of Florida agriculture.”

When it is received, half of the gift will support the UF/IFAS Agricultural Law Center, currently in its formative stages. The Center will help Florida agriculturalists and rural residents contend with an increasingly complex framework of laws and regulations. Farmers and ranchers, for example, must deal daily with challenges relating to growth management and other land management and land use controls, water resources allocation and quality, employer/employee relationships, environmental issues, product quality and transportation, taxation, and many other topics wherein individual actions are defined By national, state and local governments and agencies.

Few states face a legal environment as complex or dynamic as that of Florida, which has been a bellwether state in dealing with a number of agricultural regulatory issues, especially in the areas of environmental and economic sustainability. State leaders and citizens must cope with the pressures of rapid urbanization consistent with strong and viable agriculture and tourism industries. The Florida legislature has initiated water and growth management programs, farmland incentives and others. In addition, numerous federal laws relating to such issues as pesticide oversight, toxic waste cleanup, biotechnology, water quality, product grades and standards, OSHA, marketing orders and agreements, price supports, international trade, farm labor and many others make the state a unique laboratory for agricultural law center activities.

The gift will also help UF/IFAS to attain its $54 million-plus goal in UF’s “It’s Performance That Counts” Capital Campaign. Anyone interested in supporting this important effort should contact Melda H. Bassett in the SHARE Office at (352) 392-1975.