GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences tackled many issues, including battling citrus greening, developing improved turfgrass and crops as well as combatting agricultural pests with a record $140 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, an 11 percent increase over the previous year.
UF/IFAS received $125.8 million for research in 2014-2015.
The $140 million is part of $724 million in research funding received by UF. The funding came from federal agencies, foundations, state agencies, local and regional government, companies and other sources.
Of the research money, UF/IFAS received about $24 million in external funds for citrus research.
Also, major U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to UF/IFAS included $4.4 million to develop improved turfgrass; $3.4 million to try to stem the impact of laurel wilt on avocados and $3.4 million to combat a bacterial disease damaging tomatoes.
“Our researchers understand the responsibility and opportunity that comes with increased funding,” said UF/IFAS Dean for Research Jackie Burns. “Every dollar our programs receive is multiplied in research and development that makes positive economic impacts throughout Florida and the world.”
Funding increases reflect the regional, national and international reputation of UF/IFAS’ outstanding faculty, Burns said.
Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources who oversees UF/IFAS, also expressed his pleasure with the research funding.
“A record year for research awards to UF/IFAS is important in two ways. It means we can accelerate our search for solutions to the challenges faced by farmers, families and all Floridians,” Payne said. “The awards also signal that the USDA and other funding agencies recognize the quality of our science and the impact our faculty make by improving people’s lives.”
The UF College of Veterinary Medicine, which is part of UF/IFAS, also received money from Maddie’s Fund, a pet rescue foundation, which awarded nearly $4.2 million to continue to grow the college’s shelter medicine program. The foundation has provided $11 million in support to UF’s program since it was founded in 2008.
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Jackie Burns, 352-392-1784, email@example.com