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Risk, Resilience and Extension

Risk, Resilience and UF/IFAS Extension

It may surprise you to know that the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Service can help you to deal with risk in numerous areas. We provide risk management to governments, communities and individuals by providing access to the research-based capacity of the University of Florida, primarily through the educational programs we offer. The Extension program deals with a range of issues – from helping individuals make healthy nutrition-based dietary decisions, to enabling farmers and homeowners to identify horticultural pests and disease and the appropriate sustainable methods of treating them. UF/IFAS provides classes on household budgets, running a small farm business and educates young people about leadership, agriculture and the natural environment. The range of programs is adapted to the needs of each county we partner with and is based on consultation with stakeholders. This ensures that the information is directed to meet community needs.

UF/IFAS also creates communities and connects individuals, educational institutions, governments, non-profits and businesses. We create and participate in working groups that bring multiple stakeholders together to share knowledge, build networks and learn from each other’s experiences. One example of this is the current Southwest Florida Food Policy Working group. This collaboration between Blue Zones, The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council and UF/IFAS Extension is creating a food policy agenda that meets the needs of the community and takes into account the future changes and identifies potential growth opportunities within the local food systems.  The valuable social capital created helps save money, increases communication and assists decision-making to enable communities to face risk and be resilient.

UF/IFAS provides greatly increased capacity to our partners. If a county department, non-profit, business or individual approaches us with a query, we have access to a vast network of agents, researchers, and educational institutions. This extends beyond the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to Engineering, Health, Natural Sciences, Economics, Law and Physical Sciences. With greater exposure to research-based information we can help plan more effectively and adapt wider knowledge to local issues rather than reinventing the wheel.

UF/IFAS operates in every county in Florida and we are available for public consultation. In Lee County, contact us at lee@ifas.ufl.edu (239) 533-7500 or visit us at 3410 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers FL 33916. In Collier County, collier@ifas.ufl.edu (239)252-4800 or visit 14700 Immokalee Rd. Naples FL 34120.

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