UF/IFAS CALS Launches Academy to Promote a Culture of Effective Mentoring

Many academics do not receive formal mentorship education. Yet, when students receive effective mentoring from a faculty member or adviser, this can have positive impacts on the student’s productivity, creativity and mental health, according to a 2018 article in Ecology and Evolution.

After attending a national leadership program for faculty called Lead21, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) faculty members Samira Daroub and Heather McAuslane began working on an idea to strengthen faculty-student mentoring.

This fall, the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) launched its inaugural CALS Mentor Academy with McAuslane and Daroub as its program leaders.

“Through the CALS Mentor Academy, we are helping new faculty members gain the tools and confidence they need to successfully mentor graduate students,” said McAuslane, the program’s co-director and CALS assistant dean. “The program is designed to elevate the discussion of mentoring and promote a culture of effective mentoring within departments, starting with the faculty.”

As part of the CALS Mentor Academy, 23 participants from various disciplines in the college meet eight times during the semester to improve their graduate student mentoring skills. Guest presentations feature fellow CALS teaching faculty as well as facilitators across UF’s campus in the College of Education and UF Health. Faculty within UF/IFAS CALS were nominated by their UF/IFAS unit leaders for this opportunity.

Topics the facilitators address in the CALS Mentor Academy include: establishing expectations and aligning goals, fostering independence, communication, addressing diversity, ethics, mentoring philosophy, and how to have difficult conversations. The faculty-led curriculum is adapted from the Wisconsin Project for Scientific Teaching.

“CALS has held an annual ‘Teacher’s College’ for new teaching faculty since 2007,” said CALS Dean Elaine Turner. “We’re excited to add the CALS Mentor Academy to our professional development initiatives for faculty in the college. We look forward to seeing the further strengthened relationships between students and faculty that come out of the CALS Mentor Academy.”

The graduate student population is more than six times as likely to experience depression and anxiety compared to the general population, according to a study published in 2018 by Nature Biotechnology. This serves as another motivation for implementing the CALS Mentor Academy.

“Having a good mentor is one way to help reduce the stress and anxiety our graduate students face, and in CALS, we realize that is critical for their success and mental health,” said Daroub, a soil and water sciences professor at the UF/IFAS Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, Florida.

Daroub mentioned that the rise in mental health issues among graduate students demonstrates the need for additional career development guidance as well as a shift in culture for faculty to model an appropriate life balance for mentees.

Zoe Bowden, an agricultural education and communication master’s student, thinks the CALS Mentor Academy proves that UF/IFAS CALS faculty truly care about their students. She hopes it encourages additional faculty to become involved.

“I’m so lucky that teachers in my department invest in graduate students like me; they have a genuine concern for our wellbeing and truly want us to succeed personally and professionally,” Bowden said. “Our faculty serve as models for us as the next generation of professors and industry leaders, so it helps graduate students learn how to be mentors as well.”

Several UF/IFAS units foster peer-to-peer mentorship among graduate students. Both the UF/IFAS Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department and the UF/IFAS Agricultural Education and Communication Department facilitate mentor-mentee pairings among Ph.D. students and master’s students through their respective graduate student associations. Bowden said she has found this peer mentoring to be valuable.

“In my first semester, I was paired with a Ph.D. student, and now we’ve completed published research and attended conferences together,” Bowden said. “I can ask him all kinds of personal and professional questions, like what life is like balancing school and a spouse. Our relationship has grown, and I think we’ve mutually benefited from the mentor pairing.”


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. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.


Posted: October 30, 2019

Category: UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: CALS, CALS Mentor Academy, College Of Agricultural And Life Sciences, Mentorship, News


Bill Williams
April 12, 2022

Maybe I did not do this right, so again, great article. My brother, Charlie Williams, was deeply entrenched in the citrus and cattle industry for the State of Florida as Supervisor of Inspectors, stationed in Winter Haven. Again, appreciate the article and Kudos to Kalan Royal and his family heritage.

Deborah Voorhees
March 13, 2022

Do we know when to pick up the plants?

Robert H. Pike
March 9, 2022

I recall back in the 80's that Everglades City was the Stone crab center for ships going out. Is that still the case? Will it pay me to visit there and buy a bag of claws?

Sandra da Costa
March 7, 2022

Hello I am having trouble accessing the Form to register for the Citizen Science program to grow tomato plant. If there are available spots I would like to register and participate in the growing tomato challenge. Thank you

Lee Bender
March 5, 2022

I am very interested in the ( City - Sci: Growing food for science ) but I missed the sign-up. I have successfully been growing tomatoes for ten years at home but feel that the efficacy of my plants would be greatly improved with the training that your program has to offer. Is it possible for me attend this valuable training even if a plant give away is not available to me.

James Vrhovac
March 3, 2022

The link is not working for the sign-ups. 503 error

Dina watkins
March 2, 2022

Exicited to participate. Ive grown tomatoes down here for years but they are very difficult to grow, not like new jersey where i grew up lol.

Judy Bates
March 1, 2022

Where do I put in webinar ID ? I've already registered?

Kirsten Romaguera

February 24, 2022

Hi Cheryl, that's exciting! I'm certain the UF/IFAS Extension Collier County office would be happy to hear from you. You can find contact info at sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/collier.

Sophia Brubaker
February 24, 2022

Hello Tory-- I am very excited about this educational opportunity, having read about it in today's News-Press! I am a retired art and history teacher from CT. I am now a Florida resident and spend the bulk of my year here. After leaving the public schools, I operated my own art studio for K-12 students (Barn for Artistic Youth) in Niantic, CT. The backbone of my curriculum involved observation from nature. For many years, my art students entered and won awards in the Junior Federal Duck Stamp Program (begun by a retired Sanibel Art teacher!), The DEP partnered with us by giving us a fine collection of birds to allow us to draw from life. Believe it or not, many of my students wrote their college essays about their yearly involvement in this important, environmental-awareness competition (and many included their duck compositions in their college portfolios when they applied to art school!) Now that I am retired, I have been looking for the right cause for volunteer work and think the Florida Youth Naturalist Program might be it! I would like to become an endorsed instructor. I am not sure, from the website, how to enroll for formal training. Please advise. My husband is a board member of the Sanibel Fly Fishing Club. The club is very environmentally focused and now funds a scholarship for a Florida resident graduate student in the Water Studies Program at FGSU. I believe that your Junior Naturalist Program helps grow the talent to feed into opportunities like this as well as creating life-long, pro-environment learners. We all need to be on the this path and we need to partner! Please let me know how to get started. Fondly, Sophia Brubaker Retired Art Teacher and former Director of The Barn for Artistic Youth (BAY) in Niantic, CT MA, Rhode Island School of Design BA, Wesleyan University, CT

Ellen Block
February 22, 2022

What a wonderful and selfless act of goodwill and service to the community. Donna is an energetic professional and delightful woman. Thank you Donna, Dave, volunteers and suppliers for your contribution.

Cheryl Sims
February 21, 2022

I’m going to be staying in Collier County the month of March and am a master gardener volunteer from Franklin county in Ohio. I would like to know more about projects in your area. I have also spent some time in Vero Beach recently and installed a native planting at a residential location.

Spencer Harford
February 6, 2022

I 'am going to be looking for help on hemp & vegetable farm in central Florida. Agromeny ,chemist, greenhouse, lab .field work, Construction, manachiac,irragtion & more. Spencer Hemp & vegetable Farm email spencerfarm1941@gmail.com Phone 518-949-9792 Regards Spencer

Merrell Leavitt
February 3, 2022

My cacti are being eaten by worm from the inside (prickly pear)! The worm is about 1/2 the size of a pencil and about 2/3” long! I have been told the moth form burrows into the ground and then imerges as the worm and burrow into the cacti! Would you have someone there who has an affective way to get rid of these cacti KILLERS??!! Please direct me to where I may get a solution to my problem??!! Thank you for your time!! Merrell

Vyom Overseas
February 1, 2022

It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.

Charles burris
January 31, 2022

Hi, I just purchased 10 acres in Trenton Florida. I am looking for some type of crop to grow on it for some income. I saw your report on Sorrel and was wondering if I could find out more about growing it for a cash crop.

Treasure Leggett
January 29, 2022

Love the work I've see you do..and would so appreciate you flipping my yard.

January 27, 2022

Great read, thank you Brad.

Kirsten Romaguera

January 21, 2022

Thank you for your interest in assisting! Columbia County did participate this year and I'm sure would love to include your schools in the 2022 challenge. It will start all over again Oct. 1! https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/columbia/

Pamela Hartopp
January 21, 2022

I would love to help with this, I noticed that Columbia County was not listed. What do I have to do to help with this. The school I work at collected over 15,000 items for our local food bank this past October.

January 17, 2022

Thank you for sharing information about technology mission in agriculture

January 14, 2022

Thank you Sam

January 13, 2022

Me gustaría aprender más sobre el manejo del agua y nutrientes en los citricos

fencingand resindrives
January 6, 2022

I found this article very informative about "smart-spray technology". Looking forward for more informative articles like this related to Fencing & Resin Drives Solutions Blackpool

December 28, 2021

I know, a pest known as the hibiscus bud weevil is infesting tropical hibiscus. Hibiscus flowers not flowering? Scout for the hibiscus bud weevil, UF IFAS scientists suggest. Hibiscus shrubs are attractive and hardy-flowering.

David Futch
December 15, 2021

What a great story. All Gators are proud of Hope Hersh and wish her success. Go Gators and Go Team Space Bread!

Ben E
December 9, 2021

Looks like it would be pretty tasty down here too.

December 7, 2021

Thanks Ken. You were a major influence and on how I run my eco tourism company. Keep up the good work.

Mary Rozelle
December 7, 2021

Thank you Ken for all of your hard work and dedication. I was blessed to participate in your classes. Since then you have been a valuable resource when I’ve needed help or information.

Meg Wally
December 6, 2021

The math calculations are incorrect on the cost investment for a grower to purchase/use IPCs. You've stated that if a grower plants 200 trees the cost is $16,000. It should be $1,600. That's a significant difference!!

D Klassen
December 3, 2021

Absolutely awesome. A project that makes sense. I want to see sweet rolls...

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November 25, 2021


Robin Harris
November 20, 2021

Fascinating guy to talk to. He is knowledgeable and entertaining which makes learning from him interesting and fun!

Yvonne Florian
November 17, 2021

It is interesting to note that Hibiscus sabdarifa, Roselle, was planted by Florida's early settlers. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings had Roselle in her north Florida garden. They made a holiday jelly out of the calyxes which was similar to cranberry sauce from up north. In the Caribbean a spiced red Christmas punch is made with it. Roselle is the main ingredient in "Rasperry Zinger" herbal tea. Dry some for herbal tea all year. I boil a large pot full down with water, sugar, and ginger, into a very dark burgundy-colored simple syrup, then can it in a water bath canner. It may also be boiled down further, till dark brown, and then added to seltzer- tastes just like Coca-Cola (Ginger being the secret ingredient). This syrup may be added to seltzer or tap water for a refreshing drink, jars given as gifts or saved. It is also great on ice cream or as a "Jello" when thickened with gelatin. We even found the candied, dried calyxes at Trader Joe's sold as "hibiscus flower" which were just like delicious dried fruits. I am still playing with that process at home and cannot quite get the consistency right. But all of it is tasty. My grandsons love the calyxes fresh from the plant because they are very tart.

November 13, 2021

Cant wait for the results I am super excited.

will dunn
November 11, 2021

good stuff

November 11, 2021

I have this coming up in my yard every year. Nothing gets even close to 4' tall. No flowers like your photo either. What's up?

Kirsten Romaguera

November 11, 2021

Hi Kristopher, thanks for the question! You can find the contact information and hours for the Duval County office at http://duval.ifas.ufl.edu/.

Kristopher Smith
November 11, 2021

Two neighborhood based organizations with community gardens in New Town and North Riverside are looking for assistance with design and horticulture. Can you advise how we can make an appointment with Jax staff to get the ball rolling? Thanks in advance.

Yvonne Florian
November 10, 2021

What a fantastic idea. I once noticed some native muhly grass growing alongside US Highway 1 between the road and the railroad tracks. Within a month, construction had begun on a self-storage facility and the Muhly grass was plowed under. I regret not stopping to dig up those beautiful native Muhly grass clumps, though I believe this would have been illegal and the Self-storage place had little room for this highly decorative grass in final landscaping.

Dona Farnam
October 27, 2021

Please let me know where I can buy the peach bags. Thanks

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October 24, 2021

So nice of her!

buy high backlinks
October 23, 2021

Congratulations! It is indeed a great achievement.

Darryl Palmer
October 20, 2021

Very informative and the archival photos are great! NFREC has a wealth of historical resources. Thank you!

Alexina Venney
October 20, 2021

Too many brown anoles. Hate that they take over!!

October 19, 2021

Problematic cutting down old growth grandfather tree oaks and planting of low growing sparce shrubs. Less shade. In fights combat the more aggressive brown Anoles I normally see, prevail.

Lin Herz
October 19, 2021

I'd like specifically to know what I can plant in Zone 9B mainland but only about 1 mile from the Indian River Lagoon to attract the green anoles. I have some oak trees but if they're in tehre, I have never seen them. I have 2 wild coffee and a baby marlberry tree. I want to help out these adorable green anoles that used to be so prevalent.

Lad Hawkins
October 18, 2021

Do the two species interbreed?

Linda Mason
October 15, 2021

Great story Jonathan. I remember Andrew well. Driving around it was hard to imagine what everything was like before but it didn’t take long for the tropical plants to leaf back out! Linda

Chris Moran
October 13, 2021

Nice work by FRE Department analyzing this important trend, and good job by Brad reporting out the story.

Lourdes Mederos

October 4, 2021

Thank you. Much appreciated. Dr. Chouvenc is available for interviews.

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October 4, 2021

This ia extraordiarily intriguing! In terms of evolution, a fascinating phenomenon although its sigificance yet to be elucidated. A fine piece!

Cecil Brumley
September 24, 2021

Are any of the students from Volusia County

Merni Stringfellow
September 21, 2021

Please send information about a possible fellowship for a student candidate for a PhD in nursing at UF interested in AI and it’s application to wilderness medicine and agriculture or any suggestions within that framework related to 4h and or training youth in this field. Thank you very much.

Mary Ann Rich
September 15, 2021

We eat tomatoes morning, noon, and night and any season = some taste good some not. It’s a special love for tomatoes. This year most of the tomatoes have been different. The taste is different, lacking that awesome tang, also are hard with a hard core and yellow veins running through the red. I have even thrown out tomatoes, probably caused by improper storage at the store. I’m sure the farmers need to make as much money as possible. But what we pay per pound someone is hauling in the dough. Also the scientist need jobs, but when does the experimenting stop?? Just a few years ago they were perfect. Please don’t respond it’s too much rain, the soil ph is off, tomatoes are bred red or yellow, tangy or not acidic. I know about all these things, my conclusion Too Much Experimenting! I hope you will consider my opinion.

Dorothy Swayzer
September 8, 2021


jessica pacella
September 5, 2021

This is horrible.

August 31, 2021

"contains a significant supply of antibodies" I do not see this statement in the study. Can you reference the where you found that in the study?

Rod Hemphill
August 30, 2021

Congratulations, Craig! Well-deserved honor. I always enjoyed touring your facility and you were always so helpful to this ag journalist.

Shannan Powell
August 17, 2021

We have seen this in our neighborhood. At least three of us in a row have lost palms in Seffner. Education and tips for homeowners is much appreciated.

August 15, 2021

Your article states 19 variety of palm trees are vulnerable. However you did not list which ones are. Can you post these varieties please. Thank you.

August 15, 2021

Your article states 19 variety of palm trees are vulnerable. However you did not list which ones are. Can you post thise varieties please. Thank you.

Rae Coletti
August 14, 2021

In response to the spread of bronzing disease in our palm tree population, why isn't the state of Florida requiring monitoring the various outlets selling sod. Testing should be done before the sod is transported and sold to detect the presence of this insect. This seems like a reasonable request to monitor and stop bronzing before it destroys our palms!!

shawn o norris
August 2, 2021

The way I see it they've been around for millions of years they have cycles much in the way that cicadas do. This is just their year. What I fear is the fact that they could become an endangered species if they're killed off and droves. The only word of advice I can give is leave them alone. If they invade your home then get it out of your home. But it doesn't mean that the poor thing has to die. And besides they eat scorpions and I believe centipedes. I've never really had a problem with the vinegaroon.. Thanks for letting me comment. DRC. ;)

Mary Pittman
July 27, 2021

Thank goodness for that reassuring bit of information. They are painful looking creatures and it's nice to know fear is in the eye of the beholder more than in reality. Thank you, Dr. Kern, for enlightening us with the facts.

Tim Gray
July 10, 2021

I am a resident of Texas, a lifelong wannabe farmer, this software is one of the most useful tools imaginable. The people of the Great State of Florida should be proud of the work presented here!!!!!!!

June 25, 2021

very helpful article . thanks for sharing

Elinor Tucker
June 24, 2021

My ottb Halo who is now 16 years old has been suffering for 11 years. I have tried every product on the market. Plus acupuncture and now I have him in a stall with an AC during the day and turned out at night. He's managing well but I'm not able to ride him much during the hotter months. I live near Tampa Bay. I would love to move him us north and I have trying to find him a home off and on for years with no luck. I'd love to get him into a study if possible.

Terra Evans
June 24, 2021

I have a horse that is 18 years old that suffers from this condition horribly. Every summer I am afraid he won't make it through the Arkansas summers. If you would like to use him for any research and could travel to Arkansas for it, you are more than welcome. We do everything we can to help keep him comfortable and with us.

Denise Talbot
June 23, 2021

My gelding, Dashing Big Red, developed Anhidrosis when he was 8 years. old. He was a registered QH but the bloodlines were 50% Thoroughbred. He raced until he was approximately 5.5 years old. He died at 18 years. I tried dark beer, One AC, Signal. None worked. An old race remedy helped more than any - sugar, lite salt and salt. I free leased him out so that he would be doing arena work instead of trail riding. I got him back a number of years later. He would sweat some on his neck near his mane, under his legs and flanks. His sire was Dashing Val, by Dash for Cash. His dam was Ma Hemp, by Hemp Myers out of Comin Honi.

Lisa Travis
June 23, 2021

I have my Eventer that is anhidrosis. I have had him for 5 years and we successfully compete Beginner Novice and Novice. I have an ice regime that I do after each phase that helps him. Also the best thing I do for him is keep him competition fit. I do ride at all times of the day as I may have to compete in it at some point. I have tried EVERYTHING on the market and the only thing that works for a 2 week period is acupuncture. Although it is crazy expensive. So I will be doing it myself for him. Im not sure why the same drug that is used for humans couldn't be tried on horses as we use many of the same drugs as a human. If there is ever a study to do with those drugs in mind I would like to try them for my guy. Thank you for trying to find out how to help these horses. Lisa

June 23, 2021

Are y’all working on a future test to see if a breeding horse carries the genetic marker for anhydrosis?

Laurie F
June 23, 2021

We need to have a test that can be done as part of a pre-purchase exam. Having gone through this with my Morgan mare and making the difficult decisions to manage her care and untimely getting her out and of the state of Fl...it would have been so helpful to know prior to purchasing her.

Denise Ebner
June 21, 2021

Are the plants available, we are a nursery in Ft. Pierce?

Gwendolen Reyes-Illg, DVM, MA
June 3, 2021

Recently, there were a series of excellent presentations at the Dairy Cattle Welfare Symposium regarding maintaining the cow and calf together during the first several months after birth. Systematic reviews of the literature suggest that this arrangement, in addition to being more natural and better for the emotional and psychological well-being of both the mother cow and her baby, may benefit the physical health of both. For example, rates of mastitis and calf mortality improve when cow and calf are not separated. In addition, consumer prefer this arrangement and it may lead to increased productivity. As a UF alum, I'd like to see my alma mater contribute to research this husbandry practice, which is increasingly being practiced in Europe, the UK and New Zealand.

Janice Hoffman
June 1, 2021

Great information! Would someone from the college be willing to be our podcast guest on our www.everythingbuildingenvelope podcast series?

Roger Conley
May 20, 2021

A lot of citrus growers are at the end. We need to get this product in our hands yesterday. The growers have used all their resources. We can get a vaccine for covid 19 in one year. But can't get anything for greening in 15 years of research. The 9 billion dollar industry of Florida will soon be gone. Please speed up the process for getting this product ,so we citrus farmers can give it one more shot. Thanks to all.

Roger Conley
May 20, 2021

A lot of citrus growers are at the end. We need to get this product in our hands yesterday. The growers have used all their resources. We can get a vaccine for covid 19 in one year. But can't get anything for greening in 15 years of research. The 9 billion dollar industry of Florida will soon be gone. Please speed up the process for getting this product ,so we citrus farmers can give it one more shot. Thanks to all.

CABEDA, Marcelo
May 17, 2021

Yeast and bacteria Samantha! I bought my colony in 2017 from San Diego's White Labs and we love it. A SCOBY is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. At White Labs they announce the estimate of containing: Bacteria: Bacillus sp. licheniformis (99%) Bacillus sp. cereus (99%) ** Bacillus sp. pumillus / aerophilus / safensis / altitudinis (99%) * Acetobacter tropicalis (99%) Bacillus sp. aerophilus (96%) Bacillus sp. aryabhattai (98%) Gluconacetobacter saccharivorans (99%) Micrococcus sp. (98%) Gluconacetobacter rhaeticus (98%) Paenibacillus taichungensis (97%) Bacillus sp. subtilis (99%) Yeast: Brettanomyces bruxellensis (99%) Saccharomyces cerevisiae (92%) Zygosaccharomyces sp. (97%) Candida sp. (97%) References at the link visited today, 05/17/2021: https://www.whitelabs.com/yeast-single?id=175&type=YEAST&style_type=7 Thank you for your kind answer to my question!

Samantha Murray

May 17, 2021

Thank you for your comment and question. According to Dr. Czyz, his lab has not done any work with yeast, and yeast is a component of SCOBY.

CABEDA, Marcelo
May 17, 2021

Great news Samantha Murray! My spirit believes in it. :) Congrats to Dr. Czyz and his team! Would you mind tell us ... Did they ever try some scientific essay with kombucha SCOBY? Thank's in advance!

Julian Chacin
May 6, 2021

Hi Brad, Thank you for your article and amazing event. Please contact me when you get a chance. 786-514-8605 Have a great day!

May 6, 2021

Interesting work and informative story, Lourdes

May 4, 2021

It should be required by ALL home owners, any and all property owners, to have beneficial landscaping only rather than a decorative plant or god forbid an invasive plant or tree that only disrupts nature and causes problems including taking space away from our native landscaping.

May 4, 2021

It should be required by ALL home owners, any and all property owners, to have beneficial landscaping only rather than a decorative plant or god forbid an invasive plant or tree that only disrupts nature and causes problems including taking space away from our native landscaping.

May 4, 2021

It should be required by ALL home owners, any and all property owners, to have beneficial landscaping only rather than a decorative plant or god forbid an invasive plant or tree that only disrupts nature and causes problems including taking space away from our native landscaping.

Orlando Hidalgo
April 25, 2021

I have experienced this amazing phenomenon while birding one day. I came across other birders who where using a a recording device playing the sound of an Eastern Screech owl being mobbed by a group of Tufted Titmouse and Black-capped Chickadees. I was amazed at how many different species of birds came in from different areas.

Gail Hansen
April 23, 2021

Question- did you note if the plants were native or non-native? If so, was there a difference in the number of insects using native plants vs. non-native? Thanks

chrissie abrahams
April 22, 2021

Do they sell organic local fruits and vegetables at wickham park farmers market

April 16, 2021

Baby I just read this with tears running down my cheeks to Daddy he said why didn’t you say anything about him I had to laugh! Thank you I love you so much

Henry Yonce
March 24, 2021

Will attend

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March 23, 2021

Thank you for this post, it was very interesting

Glenda Cranford cribbs
March 19, 2021

Is there any evidence, that oak trees help shield the citrus from Greening???

February 27, 2021

Love you Mommy!

February 27, 2021

Awesome information about you as well as your family roots.

Kimberly Brown
February 27, 2021

Sandra has an amazing capacity for compassion and mercy, within her career and her personal life. Always willing to lend a hand and help someone in need. She is a strong African American woman who believes in unity and peace. I admire her strength and commitment.

Della Wheeler
February 25, 2021

I am thoroughly proud of this young African American man I have known him the majority of his life Highly recommend him and esteem his work in society toward the betterment of human life. Della Wheeler

February 18, 2021

Jesus in your heart, excellence in your bloodline, knowledge in your head, and Black Girl Magic...well that's EVERYTHING!!! Thank you for representing well and blazing a positive trail for others to follow!!

February 18, 2021

Correction to previous post. So very proud of you!

February 17, 2021

Correction to previous post. So very proud of you.!

Torie Dorval
February 16, 2021

Loved the article!

February 16, 2021

Awesome Awesome. So very pride of you, the work you’re doing and the beautiful young woman you’ve become. Congratulations.

Shirley Baker
February 15, 2021

I am so proud of your and your continuous stand in faith for the youth that have cross your path. Thank you for your support and spirit of excellence and knowledge in all you have done. Baker

I. D. Larkins
February 14, 2021

You are a blessing and have been for many youth and adults. Very proud of you and expecting to hear and read much more of your experiences and compliments

Jim Singleton
February 14, 2021

I had the pleasure of spending a week or two with Dr. Lloyd studying Fausis reticulata at my home in the western highland rim of Tennessee some years ago. I would like to think we became friends. I certainly gained a great respect for the man, his passion and his intellect. We spoke on the phone and through email from time to time, but I never had the privilege and the gift of his presence again. I very much would like to purchase a copy of his book, 'A Naturalist's Long Walk...' I think it may again be like being in the woods in the dark with my friend and mentor. Please let me hear from you with whatever you can offer. Sincerely, Jim Singleton

Dr. Courtney Edwards
February 13, 2021

Awesomeness, Dr. BT❣️

Gwen Lang Jones
February 13, 2021

Dr. Tennille, This is incredibly beautiful! Girl we can see that you truly worked hard for it, and are representing in a BIG way. You have established such a great legacy that definitely makes our entire family so proud. You are our trailblazer, so Keep up the awesome job that you're doing . Aunt Gwen

William Herron
February 12, 2021

Great job!

William Herron
February 12, 2021

You continue to be a role model and a light in a very dark world. You continue to be a trailblazer and focal point of the tip of a modern day spear that pierces the veils of female inequalities in the work force. If you persist in your endeavors, you will always be rewarded with the blessings of God! Thank you for your service and support.

safia safia
January 13, 2021

thanks for this

Samantha Murray

November 9, 2020

Hi Lois, our experts say the only really way to protect monarch caterpillars from predators would be to raise them indoors. Thanks again for your question.

Samantha Murray

November 6, 2020

Hi Theresa, thank you for your question. You can find recommendations for pollinator friendly plants for Florida in these two UF/IFAS Extension publications: Butterfly Gardening in Florida A Guide to Planting Wildflower Enhancements in Florida

Samantha Murray

November 6, 2020

Hi Lynette, we suggest contacting the Vermont Extension Master Gardener program for recommendations on pollinator friendly plants for your area. Here's the link to their help page: https://www.uvm.edu/extension/mastergardener/helpline

Samantha Murray

November 6, 2020

Hi Lois, thanks for your question. We're asking our experts about it and will get back to you.

Samantha Murray

November 6, 2020

Hi Tammie, thanks for your question. We recommend contacting Laura Vasquez (lavasquez@ufl.edu) at the UF/IFAS Extension Miami-Dade County office for recommendations. Or, call the office at (305) 248-3311.

Tammie Lee
November 6, 2020

Hi. I live in S. FL (Miami-Dade) and we are having problems finding native milkweed to feed our Monarch caterpillars. Is there any suggestions on where we can find nurseries that have them? Thank you.

Don Bower
October 31, 2020

Nayda's influence and impact has been national and beyond. I had the benefit of working with her on various USDA/NIFA CYFAR projects in Georgia, one of many state CYFAR projects that Nayda coordinated and strengthened. Nayda is still remembered fondly as a faculty member at the University of Georgia, more than 30 years ago. I am fortunate to consider her a mentor and friend.

Kenneth Kopczynski
October 29, 2020

My mother-in-law is Effie Stone Rolfs' grand-daughter, Effie Hargrave Kirby. She is 91 and lives in La Crosse.

October 28, 2020

How does one control lizards from eating the catapillars? I have counted 40 plus catapillars on a bush in the evening, and the next Morning there are none. This is happening all over my acre garden.

Elaine Pivinski
October 22, 2020

I am so moved by this organization as a Women in Agriculture. I pioneered growing Wine Grapes in 1976 and I was the first sole proprietor, female, to get a farm loan 1986. I hold high standards for Women in Agriculture and my mentor is Dee Ann Connor. I was unaware of her dedication until now.

Samantha Murray

October 22, 2020

Hi Don, thanks for your questions. Here's some information from Jaret Daniels: "The general recommendation for tropical milkweed in Florida is to cut it to the ground in late Oct/early Nov to help prevent winter breeding and disruption of the migration. This stands for folks living north of Lake Okeechobee. South Florida is more complicated and already has a non-migratory population and winter breeding. Regarding other plants for pollinators and monarchs, the list is extensive. Here are a few resources: Butterfly Gardening in Florida and A Guide to Planting Wildflower Enhancements in Florida."

Don Munroe
October 22, 2020

what other plants can be used locally for monarchs and other pollinators? Do I need to worry about local monarchs migrating to Mexico and cut back my milkweed planes some time in the fall or winter? Is there a good reference (IFAS publication or similar) for raising monarchs and other butterflies?

safia safia
October 21, 2020

great article; thank you for sharing

Lynette Courtney
October 19, 2020

It would be very helpful & list the various flowering plants used in this study. Being from Vermont, close to the Canadian border, are there any similar lists for areas much farther north than Florida?

October 17, 2020

I thought you would give suggestions on which wild flowers to grow for migratory

Kirsten Romaguera

October 16, 2020

Sure is! The UF/IFAS Extension Okeechobee County office is located at 458 US Hwy 98 North in Okeechobee (34972). If you need other information, here is the office's website: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/okeechobee/. Thank you for your interest!

October 2, 2020

A wonderful charitable way to feed the hungry- maybe save a life today! My daughter lives in FL . I know she will donate. She loves ppl.

October 1, 2020

Is there an extension office in or near Okeechobee County?

Kirsten Romaguera

October 1, 2020

Hi Sandra! Thanks for your interest. The UF/IFAS Extension Marion County office is located at 2232 NE Jacksonville Rd in Ocala. Here is their website if you need any other contact information: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/marion/.

October 1, 2020

Collection locations in Ocala?

JoAnn Bishop RN
September 15, 2020

I totally understand the article our Son went thru a bout of Chemo for tx and the article was fascinating to me... Thank You

JoAnn RN
September 15, 2020

Very interesting article. Awesome

Lourdes Rodriguez

August 17, 2020

Hi MS Malagday. Sorry for the delay, I am unable to find your original request. In the meantime, I will forward your inquiry to Dr. Alan Chambers.

August 16, 2020

Did you ever hear an answer? I would love to try to grow one? Thanks

Lourdes Rodriguez

July 15, 2020

Thank you for reaching out to UF/IFAS. We are very excited about this opportunity to continue 4-H programs. If you’d like information about supporting youth and families through 4-H in your community, please contact Caylin Hilton with Florida 4-H at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352-392-5432. To get involved with 4-H in your area, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office by visiting http://florida4h.org/getinvolved/. For more information about UF/IFAS Extension Broward County 4-H’s work, please visit https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/broward-4-h-youth-development/

Lourdes Rodriguez

July 15, 2020

Thank you for reaching out to UF/IFAS . At this time, due to COVID restrictions, the children are unable to meet in groups. The 4-H agent, however, is still working virtually on continuing the program.

David Barhouma
July 15, 2020

Hi Alan My wife and I have just moved from Canada to Florida and looking for land to purchase for farming and are interested in many of the new initiatives you are exploring especially vanilla. We want to grow a few as well to get more familiar while we are locking in land etc and a plan here to farm the natural way. Can you and are you able to let us purchase some plants to try or direct us to the right area? We also could and are willing to assist you in testing etc if you wish. Let us know please and excited to here more

Lourdes Rodriguez

July 14, 2020

Thank you for reaching out to UF/IFAS. Unfortunately, this was designed for Palm Beach residents only. The UF/IFAS Extension Office did not have the same arrangement. However, there are many online virtual camps that you can take advantage and that are available from any one of the counties. Please log on to http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/4-h-adventures/ If you wish to reach the Broward County 4-H site, please go to http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/

Lourdes Rodriguez

July 14, 2020

Hello Paul, thank you for reaching out to UF IFAS. The UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County office covers and offers programs for the City of Melbourne. Here is some information with a contact number. The website can be reached by logging on to https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/brevard/ The Extension Direction is Elizabeth Shepherd who can be reached via email at bshephar@ufl.edu. If you wish to call the office, please call Tel: (321) 633-1702 but please keep in mind that due to COVID restrictions, there may be some schedule conflicts.

Lourdes Rodriguez

July 14, 2020

Hello Sharon, so sorry for the delay. Let me put you in touch with Lorna Bravo, the UF/IFAS Broward County Extension Director. Her phone 954-756-8529 lbravo1@ufl.edu

Marco Metzger
June 8, 2020

I work in Palm Beach but live in Broward. Can my kids still get a take home kit? I can’t find this for Broward County extension office.

Rose Bechard Butman
May 29, 2020

Are the children still allowed to meet at the Community Garden?

Juan Sierra
May 29, 2020

Awesome news for our community! 4H greatly contribute to balance life with exceptional family-oriented leadership programs. Thank you Glick Philanthropies.

April 18, 2020

Is it possible to join the hydroponics class?

Paul Biggs M.D. FAAFP
April 2, 2020

Who is the UF/IFAS point of contact for the Melbourne, Florida area? Thanks.

Lourdes Rodriguez

March 31, 2020

HI Jeffrey, I am forwarding your request to Lorna Bravo, the extension director for UF/IFAS Extension Broward who will be happy to assist you.

March 29, 2020

I read this article fully regarding the difference of most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it's amazing article.

March 26, 2020

Where can I get the plans to make those bucket planters?

David D
March 19, 2020

Outstanding! Congratulations!

Cynthia Hamilton
March 1, 2020

Good Morning! We are very excited about this new research on Vanilla Planifiolia in Florida. We are landowners interested in starting a Vanillery . Our la nd offers the shade, humidity and natural structures that support orchid habitat at a large scale. Please reply this comment at chamilton21@gmail.com Looking forward to hear from you or Mr Chambers

Denise Fraser
February 15, 2020

Hi, I am a retired physician and am very intrigued with the idea of growing vanilla in Florida. I was thinking of setting up a greenhouse in my area, Fernandina Beach to start, a small business. I think vanilla growing would be do-able here in a green house to protect the plants in the winter. I have been to Tahiti and visited a vanilla farm; it has interested me ever since, and I have made extract with the beans I brought home. It is far superior to any store bought. I was wondering how I would be able to procure enough cuttings to start my business? Are you in contact with a supplier for your ventures? I would appreciate any help you could give me in this area. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Cheryl Malagday
February 12, 2020

Hello, Thirty years ago when I was coming back to Florida from Hawaii I had to leave behind a vanilla orchid I was given. I hated it. I knew I couldn't and wouldn't smuggle it back here. I have wanted one ever since. Is there a way I could buy one? I live in Fort Walton which is more humid than there and gets very cold at times, so I would build the orchid it's own house if necessary. Please contact me when you have time. cperkins1000@gmail.com Cheryl P. Malagday 40 Windham Ave. #40 Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548

Lourdes Rodriguez

February 10, 2020

Hi Tanya, I will forward your question to Dr. Brym as well as other scientists at UF. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me directly. Lourdes Rodriguez rodriguezl@ufl.edu 954-577-6363

Tanya Goldsmith
February 10, 2020

If this should escape could parts of the plants be toxic to horses? I asked our ag agent awhile back and we discovered conflicting reports. Thanks

Lourdes Rodriguez

February 5, 2020

So sorry for the delay. Let me get working on that request for you.

Samantha Murray

January 14, 2020

That's great! You can sign up for the course here:

January 14, 2020

I'am interested

Kim Lawton
January 13, 2020

I have a huge hive of honey bees you are welcome to in Port Charlotte.

Linda Biedermann
January 3, 2020

Are there Master Naturalist classes, and volunteer opportunities, available in Leon County?

Dionne Morris
December 22, 2019

Wow, I would love to have cuttings to try in my location. I have a few cuttings that I started this past September but am interested it what you are doing.

Joanne Smith
December 21, 2019

I have been growing the orchid for 2 years, no flowers as of yet...excited fir my first bloom.

Dana Edwards

November 14, 2019

You can make a pre-sale order. See details: https://sites.google.com/site/ufhortclub/poinsettia-sale

Lydia Hull
November 14, 2019

Is it possible to purchase December 3rd. There is a teachers luncheon December 4 that I’m responsible for flowers. I’ve purchased the last three years and have been extremely pleased with the plants and would live to share with the teachers at Oak Hall School.

October 30, 2019

Brilliant idea! I asked out sons advisor for a mentor for him! It would have really made a difference and still could! Great minds think alike!

Georgene Bender
September 13, 2019

Denise is a wonderful person - fabulous mother, volunteer and so many other jobs she has. I am pleased to have worked with her. She always has a smile on her face and a good thing to say about people. Thanks for highlighting this wonderful 4-H volunteer.

Howard C Lucas
November 29, 2018

Juanita Popenoe, I was a citrus grower,killed by greening. Located at 7317 Crystal Beach Road, Winter Haven, Florida, just south of your area and a little warmer. Pushing out last of dead citrus now. Replanting with avocados, Choquette, Monroe and Oro Negro. Now 2500 in ground half 1 year old and half 2 years old. Will have 35 to 40 acres of avocados. They will be cold protected by micro jet irrigation. Advantages: They are hard when mature to be picked, will not bruise and can be handled like fresh citrus, picked, processed, packed and sold by Dundee Citrus Growers Association ( I am a member). They have a shelf life of 3 to 4 weeks. You might be able to grow cold hardy varieties in your area. I purchased the trees from Heather Teatig at Pine Island Nursery. She is very knowledgeable about Avocados. I will be interested in having more growers in this area to build up the market. Howard C Lucas 560 Avenue K, SE, Winter Haven ,Florida 33880 ( mailing address) email. hclmdeyes@aol.com office phone 863-294-2450 cell phone 863-412-4961

Patti Cardoso
April 3, 2018

You’re a special lady and a wonderful dairy advocate! So happy to see you featured...congrats and thanks for all you do to promote the beneficial aspects of women in dairy!

Selma McClarigan
March 31, 2018

Awesome article and Colleen is an awesome lady! I taught with Colleen's mom, and watched Colleen growing up. She was in my daughter's class at school. They were on the same softball team for several years. So glad to see she is doing well. I am sure that the students that Colleen teaches will be well taught!

Mebratu Melaku
January 4, 2018

It is a very interesting news. Since especially, Ethiopia has a huge livestock population but the income from these livestock population is very far below the expected. The greatest problem in addition to genetics and disease, "Lack of good-quality, year-round feed for livestock" is a very critical which was mentioned and described above. Therefore the project will bring a good insight for the rural poor smallholders' livestock keepers through conducting research, extension and technology transfer.

December 4, 2017

Where can I purchase this book

William B. Van Duyn
September 20, 2017

A tour of storm damage in the heavily wooded Orange Park area revealed that about 95% of the downed trees were laurel oaks (often mis-identified as the less common water oak which has similar properties). There was almost no damage to the much stronger live oaks and few other species came down. Laurel oaks, especially large, old ones, are much more susceptible to storm damage than most other large trees and homeowners should be aware of this. They are prone to breaking off in any part of the trunk, have weak root systems and easily shed branches in strong wind. They are very heavy and can do a lot of damage. Even worse, they are subject to internal rot in the roots, trunk and branches which often remains invisible until the tree breaks off or comes down. They are prone to rot in the roots and hollowing in the stump that can result in the tree falling down even in the absence of wind. I had one large tree and several large limbs come down that way and have seen others fall with no wind. Homeowners take heed.

Dahna R. James
September 10, 2017

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I am quite familiar with your extension sites and I am very pleased with the great knowledge that you share. UF is the best!!! So let's here it ! GO GATORS!! Thank you again for all your hard work & the knowledge you share. God Bless and stay safe~

Samantha Grenrock

August 10, 2017

Hi Barbra, Thanks for your message! If you'd like to participate in the Air Potato Patrol, please go to https://airpotatobeetle.com/.

Barbra Faircloth Harless
August 1, 2017

I have air potato vines at my house on the Aucilla River in Taylor County. I have not been able to attend any class on the problem even tho I am a MG for Leon Co Extension. I will be glad to report, participate, help in any project to get rid of them. I have two emails, one listed below and the other is barbra@fairclothagency.com

Samantha Grenrock

July 12, 2017

Hi, Tom, thanks for getting in touch. You can request beetles online at http://bcrcl.ifas.ufl.edu/airpotatofiles/airpotatoforms.shtml. Since you're in Polk County, you'll fill out a request for Area 2. Let us know if you have any other questions!

Tom Trulson
July 7, 2017

Are air potato beetles available for Polk County? We have had an ongoing problem along our property line in south Lakeland for several years and, with the recent rains, the plant is again overtaking our native vegetation, including elephant ears and even oak/camphor trees to the extent the smaller plants are all dying. I contacted the City's Parks & Recreation Department about acquiring beetles and was advised to contact you myself rather than through their office. I can send you pictures of our damage if necessary, but would definitely appreciate your timely assistance. In addition to my personal email (below) you may contact me at 863-398-1079. Thank you.

Samantha Grenrock

June 26, 2017

Hi Laurie, Thanks for writing! You can request more beetles here. We also have a new citizen science program for those interested in helping scientist control air potato. You can find out more at https://airpotatobeetle.com/.

Laurie Jackson
June 21, 2017

2 years ago, I registered for and received the red beetles to help control the air potato vines in my yard. I am wondering if I can get more of the beetles through your co-op. I live in Seminole, FL and the beetles helped control the vines but we no longer have the beetles in the yard and need more. Thank you. Laurie

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