UF/IFAS thanks supporters during second annual Dinner of Distinction

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A number of people were honored for their contributions to UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the annual Dinner of Distinction, held at the UF Hilton Conference Center the evening of Friday, Oct. 4.

This was the second year of the awards banquet established to recognize individuals and organizations that support and advance the UF/IFAS Mission. It is held on the same weekend as the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ TailGATOR event, which serves as both a celebration of alumni achievements and an opportunity for students to learn more about CALS while networking with alumni.

During the banquet, UF/IFAS officials also honored state Sen. Alan Hays of Umatilla and state Rep. Steve Crisafulli of Merritt Island for their legislative efforts in support of UF/IFAS. The 2013 Dinner of Distinction award recipients include:

SHARE Volunteer of the Year

Wayne Smith, of Melrose, served UF/IFAS for 18 years in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, eight of them as director. As SHARE Council Chair, he led the effort to rebuild the Austin Cary Memorial Forest Learning Center, recruiting more than 100 donors, and securing thousands of dollars’ worth of in-kind donations. He and his wife, Mitzi Austin, have also contributed greatly to the fund.

UF/IFAS Champion Award

Charles Steinmetz said he was ‘captivated’ in his sophomore year at UF when he signed up for Entomology 101. He chose entomology as his profession and said he always found UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology exceptionally helpful, especially during a time when chemicals used to control termites changed. In 2011, UF officials announced that Steinmetz and his wife, Lynn, had committed $5 million to create five new permanent endowments, including three professorships, an entrepreneurship fellowship fund, a research fund and additional support for an existing student scholarship fund. His support for the department has been steadfast and the department’s building now bears his name.

UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Horizon Award

Kelly Mosley graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and communication. She serves as career and technical education specialist for the Clay County School District where she continually promotes agricultural careers. Mosley implemented a local college and career fair for high school students. She serves on the board of directors for Clay County Farm Bureau, Clay County 4-H Foundation and Clay County Cattlemen.

Crystal Snodgrass earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in entomology and nematology in 2003 and 2005, respectively, and is the Manatee County vegetable Extension agent. Her efforts in that position have contributed to reduced fertilizer rates, resulting in total savings of more than $1.1 million dollars and a reduction of about 1.6 million pounds of nitrogen fertilizer.

UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Award of Distinction

Andy Andreasen, who has a bachelor’s degree from UF in animal science and a master’s in agriculture and extension education, is a former Extension agent in the Panhandle. Andreasen established the Northwest Florida Beef Production Conference, pioneered the UF/IFAS Beef Cattle Reproduction Management Schools, and was also involved with youth livestock and meat judging teams.

Arlen Jumper attended UF on a football scholarship and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1953 in animal husbandry and horticulture and a master’s in 1958 after three years in the U.S. Navy. He has been a major cooperator with IFAS in testing new varieties of grass and materials for control of insects, weeds and diseases, and was instrumental in providing research funds as director of Florida Turf Grass and Florida Sod Growers Co-op.

UF/IFAS Extension Outstanding 4-H Alumna

Mamie Wise was heavily involved in 4-H while growing up in Florida, even serving in the national America’s Promise program established by Colin Powell. Since graduating from law school in 2008, she has continued her staunch support of 4-H, serving as a 4-H volunteer.

4-H Lifetime Achievement Award

Barney and Hariot Greene spent years helping 4-H, contributing financially and lending other support to ensure that many 4-H’ers were able to participate in the program who otherwise might not have been able to.  Mrs. Greene has been a member of the Florida 4-H Foundation Board and in 2002, became a member of the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame. Mr. Greene passed away earlier this year.

UF/IFAS Research Partner Award

The 1923 Fund, a charitable private trust, awards grants to select universities. The University of Florida has been a recipient of the fund’s generosity, which has helped support the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Support from the fund has assisted in renovating facilities at the station, as well as helping UF/IFAS purchase adjacent properties to the 9,000-acre research station, home to some 750 plant and animal species.

Contact: Ruth Hohl Borger, 352-392-2411, rborger@ufl.edu

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