UF/IFAS Vice President Mike Martin Outlines “Florida FIRST” Plan For New Melennium

Mike Martin (352) 392-1971
Don Poucher (352) 392-0437

TALLAHASSEE—A University of Florida vice president has outlined a statewide plan to help define Florida’s growth and evolution in the new millennium.

Speaking before the Florida House Council on Resource and Land Management Committee on Agriculture, Mike Martin, vice president for agriculture and natural resources, presented a long range strategic plan for the UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) called Florida FIRST — Focusing IFAS Resources on Solutions for Tomorrow.

Martin said Florida FIRST is a public-private partnership that will enhance the IFAS land-grant mission of shaping Florida’s future and serving its people.

“Through Florida FIRST, IFAS is using its statewide research and education programs to help Florida expand domestic and international business. The strategic planning process also emphasizes the need to enhance Florida’s natural resources, provide consumers with a wide variety of safe and affordable foods, support community development, maintain a sustainable food and fiber system, and improve the quality of life in general,” he said.

The Florida FIRST plan outlined by Martin includes special “imperatives” or objectives in key areas such as water quality and allocation; plant, animal and human protection from pests; human impacts on ecosystems; Florida’s global agriculture competitiveness; food safety and nutrition; human resource development; society-ready graduates; and public policy issues.

Martin said the major imperatives were identified at a conference with 250 IFAS clientele and a series of 18 area meetings throughout the state that included “conversations with the people of Florida.”