On April 12, 2016 UF/IFAS hosted a Gator Gathering in Washington, D.C.
Held on the American Farm Bureau Federation rooftop in the heart of the capital, the event was an opportunity for Gators in the area to reconnect with UF/IFAS, and hear from some of the institute’s leaders, who discussed its impact, both in Florida and around the world.
Dr. Jack Payne, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, highlighted plant molecular biologists Rob Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, who are sending plants on NASA missions to see how they fare in zero gravity.
Dr. Jackie Burns, Dean for Research, described the breadth of strategies UF/IFAS researchers are using to combat citrus greening, a disease devastating the Florida citrus industry. Psyllid control, thermotherapy and genetic improvement were a few of the approaches named, and though not cures, in combination they may allow the industry to survive until a sustainable solution is found.
Dr. Elaine Turner, Dean of the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, said that the college is working to not only recruit and retain outstanding students, but to prepare them to address the world’s critical challenges, such as feeding the a projected population of 9.7 billion people in the year 2050.
All-in-all it was an informative evening, with a recurring message: You can expect great things from IFAS.