UF/IFAS Faculty Receive Six Top USDA Awards For Research And Education Programs

By:
Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

Source(s):
Jose Alvarez (561) 996-3062 ext. 142
Bill Messina (352) 392-1881 ext. 308
Dov Borovsky (561) 778-7200

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Eight faculty and staff members from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences received 1998 Honor Awards from the United States Department of Agriculture during ceremonies in Washington, D.C., Wednesday (6-9-99).

The Honor Awards, the federal agency’s highest recognition for outstanding contributions to agriculture and the consumer, were presented to UF/IFAS faculty by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and broadcast live via satellite at 1 p.m.

The UF received six of the 19 Honor Awards presented to the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and its land-grant university partners.

UF faculty and staff honored were: Jose Alvarez, professor at the Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade; Bill Messina, educational coordinator in the Department of Food and Resource Economics; Dov Borovsky, professor at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach; James Cato, director of the Florida Sea Grant College Program; Dan Gorbet, professor at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna; Michael Olexa, professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics; Steve Otwell, professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition; and Fedro Zazueta, director of Information Technologies.

Alvarez and Messina received the USDA secretary’s Honor Award for outstanding public service to U.S. and Florida agriculture for research on the economic challenges and opportunities associated with a resumption of trade with Cuba.

Borovsky received the secretary’s Silver Plow Award for personal and professional excellence. He was honored for outstanding research on mosquito biochemistry and molecular biology, and control of digestion in mosquitoes and agricultural insect pests using natural hormones instead of synthetic insecticides. The Silver Plow Award is a special Honor Award recognizing exceptional leadership and contributions.

Gorbet received the secretary’s Honor Award for outstanding research and development of successful commercial peanut varieties, including the world’s first cultivation with high-oleic chemistry, resulting in extended shelf-life and improved yield.

Olexa received the secretary’s Honor Award for outstanding leadership in environmental protection by developing effective educational programs for culturally diverse audiences on laws and regulations governing agricultural practices in the United States.

Otwell and Cato received the secretary’s Honor Award for outstanding leadership as national coordinators of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) training program to improve seafood safety and comply with new federal food safety regulations.

Zazueta received the secretary’s Honor Award for outstanding achievement in promoting use of computer technologies in Florida agriculture to improve efficiency and competitiveness in domestic and world markets.

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