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UF/IFAS to showcase Extension at Florida State Fair

Feb. 3, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will celebrate 100 years of UF/IFAS Extension achievements and community service at Florida’s 2014 State Fair, scheduled for Feb. 6-17 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

UF/IFAS Extension personnel will be on hand in the State Agricultural Hall of Fame to explain the many services provided by Florida’s leading agricultural and research university.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, which allows everyone to benefit from the knowledge of land-grant universities. Extension has helped millions of Floridians by tapping the latest information from the research engines of University of Florida and Florida A&M University and converting it to practical knowledge for everyday use.

Those who have been impacted by IFAS research and Extension services over the years are encouraged to stop by the IFAS booth at the Florida State Fair to record their story on Feb. 10th, 11th and 12th, when a video team will be in attendance. Florida State Fair attendees my also share their impact stories by messaging UF/IFAS Solutions on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UFIFASNews. The entries will be judged in March and the writers of the best six will receive special gift bags. UF employees are not eligible.

UF/IFAS has Extension offices in each of Florida’s 67 counties to help local farmers, ranchers, families, youth and communities.

“Cooperative Extension has helped many businesses, individuals and communities grow and strengthen over our 100-year existence,” said Nick Place, UF/IFAS dean for Extension. “This year’s centennial is a great opportunity to ensure that Extension continues providing meaningful impacts through the next 100 years and to ensure that cooperative extension is highly recognized as the ‘front-door’ to our land-grant university, the University of Florida.”

Some educational programs Extension offices provide include:

–          Putting more green in your thumb with personalized advice about local growing conditions for ornamentals, fruits, vegetables and turf;

–          Protecting Florida’s water supplies;

–          Helping people make healthier food decisions, keeping food safe and promoting local food utilization;

–          Providing natural resource industry leaders with training programs that prepares them for real-world problems;

–          Keeping agriculture competitive and sustainable throughout the state;

–          Helping developers minimize environmental impact when they build, and long afterward;

–          Overseeing Florida’s 4-H Youth Development program, which creates safe and inclusive learning environments for young people and helps them excel beyond their peers, make more healthy choices, and succeed in school and the sciences.

More information can be found about UF/IFAS online at: http://ifas.ufl.edu/.

Writer:  Kimberly Moore Wilmoth, 352-294-3302, k.moore.wilmoth@ufl.edu

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