UF/IFAS Scientists to Promote Importance of Agricultural Research to Congress

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Agricultural research is important not only to the livelihood of farmers, but also to every consumer who expects safe, affordable food and a healthy environment, and its success depends on public funding.

That’s why two University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers will join some of the country’s top agricultural scientists and representatives to share the field’s importance with lawmakers.

For the 2019 Agricultural Research Congressional Exhibition and Reception in Washington, D.C., the work of UF/IFAS scientists will be highlighted by Wendy Graham, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering and director of the UF Water Institute; and Spiro Stefanou, a UF/IFAS professor of food and resource economics who is attending as a representative of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.

Graham, who is also the Carl S. Swisher chair in water resources, will present an ongoing project called the Floridan Aquifer Collaborative Engagement for Sustainability (FACETS), which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This effort – involving researchers from University of Florida, the University of Georgia, Albany State University and Auburn University – examines agricultural and forestry practices to develop ways to protect the aquifer underlying the Flint (South Georgia) and Suwanee (North Florida) river basins.

“Florida faces huge challenges protecting and restoring water quantity and quality in the Floridan Aquifer, and there are no quick fixes,” Graham said. “Our project brings diverse, competing stakeholders together to better understand causes of Floridan Aquifer sustainability issues and explore economic and environmental tradeoffs associated with proposed solutions. We believe that explicitly acknowledging these tradeoffs, and developing programs and policies to compensate for them, will lead to more just, robust and widely accepted outcomes.”

The 2019 exhibition and reception, held May 15 at the Rayburn House Office Cafeteria, begins at 5:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.

-30-

By: Kirsten Romaguera, 352-294-3313, kromaguera@ufl.edu

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS website at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *