The first day of the 2016 legislative session begins January 12, 2016 and we expect it to conclude in March 2016. Accordingly we should know our budget well before the beginning of the next fiscal year. Our IFAS Government Affairs team of Mary Ann Hooks and Sydney Stone has submitted our legislative budget requests (LBR’s) and are working on gaining support for those. We also work along side of the rest of the UF Government Affairs team on other topics that affect UF and the state universities. We are seeking more funds for workload, to complete the project of hiring new faculty including extension agents; we are seeking funds to complete the Beef Teaching Unit, which is working on building phase 1 of the new classroom building for animal sciences majors; new funds to develop mobile technology for consumers and students; and to restore funding to the invasive species quarantine facility in Fort Pierce. The Government Affairs team sends regular updates by email as the session goes along, but if you have any questions feel free to contact them or me.
On January 11, 2016, IFAS has been invited to present to the Senate Agriculture Committee about developments of technology which help farmers. We actually have too many to talk about in the time given, but this is a good problem to have! If you are curious about what mobile apps we have currently available, see IFAS Mobile Apps. We’ll be showcasing these along with other examples.