Motivational speaker Chris Koch to visit UF students, Gainesville community

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Canadian farmer and motivational speaker Chris Koch, who was born without arms and legs, will speak to students and the public at the University of Florida on March 13 and 14.

After attending the 2016 Ag Media Summit where Koch spoke, several members of the University of Florida Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow (ACLT) club knew he was someone the larger UF and Gainesville community needed to hear.

Despite the challenges Koch faces, he chooses to take life in stride and make the best of every situation. He spreads the message “If I can” to the public. Koch uses his message to inspire others to overcome their own obstacles, and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Koch will speak at the UF J. Wayne Reitz Union grand ballroom at 6 p.m. on March 13 and again at 9 a.m. on March 14 at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center. The events are free and open to all. Participants are encouraged to bring two non-perishable food items for the Alan and Cathy Hitchcock Field and Fork Food Pantry on campus.

“I think he will bring a great message to UF’s campus about not only overcoming challenges, but thriving in spite of them,” said agricultural education and communication student Kali Bowen, ACLT president. “His message is something that is applicable to all of the university’s students. It’s a great extension of the things ACLT stands for.”

The events are one of several Solutions Seminars the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences hosts for students throughout the year.

“Solutions Seminars are designed as a holistic educational opportunity, whether it be through skills in leadership, life, or professional and personal development,” said Charlotte Emerson, CALS director of student development and recruitment. “We hope that this seminar builds on the foundation of a student’s current and future success.”

These events are sponsored by the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership, UF/IFAS CALS, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, and UF Agricultural Communicators and Leaders of Tomorrow.

Click here to register for the March 13 program.

Click here to register for the March 14 program.


By: Dana Edwards, 352-392-1963,

Sources: Kali Bowen, 352-221-5258,

Charlotte Emerson, 352-392-1963,

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. Visit the CALS website at, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.





Posted: March 2, 2017

Category: Agriculture, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: CALS, College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences

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