At 56th Annual Ag Tour and Luncheon, UF-TREC was highlighted with recognition to Emeritus Professor Dr. Waldemar Klassen and graduate students being awarded scholarships for their research work.
Homestead, FL – Over the past 56 years, the Agri Council has organized tours to visit the different agricultural operations in Miami-Dade to showcase the diversity and uniqueness of farming in South Florida’s subtropical climate. Part of that tour includes a luncheon where esteemed members from the community are recognized for their many contributions to the agricultural industry, and for their continuous effort to support agriculture. The Board of Directors of the Dade County Agri Council, Inc. votes every year on student research submission based on their focus and the accomplishments they have attained and awards them with scholarships.
That day there were several members of The Redland community who were honored, and among those, Dr. Waldemar Klassen, Emeritus Professor for UF-TREC who was recognized for his lifetime achievements as a researcher. First, as a scientist for USDA, where he developed an IPM program for vegetable insects, and also for being a Center Director at UF-TREC where he worked diligently to find solutions for the vegetable industry to keep it viable. He also investigated invasive and potentially invasive arthropods in the Caribbean and Latin American. Dr. Dak Seal, Vegetable Entomologist at UF-TREC, spoke to recognize Dr. Klassen and his wife Betty.
At the luncheon, graduate students from The University of Florida-IFAS-Tropical Research and Education Center were also recipients of scholarships. Dr. Jonathan Crane, Associate Center Director for the Tropical Research and Education Center and Tropical Fruit Specialist, awarded the checks to each of the winners.
Rafia Khan, Ph.D. candidate, was awarded the Dennis Carpenter the Memorial Fellowship award. Her topic of research “Sustainable management approaches for controlling thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and their transmitted tospoviruses in tomatoes of south Florida”. Her major professor is Dr. Dak Seal, Vegetable Entomologist.
The William H. Krome Memorial Fellowship was awarded to Lynhe Demesyeux, M.S. candidate, for her work on “Yield performance and miraculin content (miracle fruit) in Homestead, FL”. Her major professor is Dr. Alan Chambers, Genetics and Breeder of Tropical Fruits.
Vincent Michael, Ph.D. candidate, was awarded The Warren Wood, Sr. Memorial Fund for his work on “Developing commercial squash varieties with resistance to Phytophthora crown rot for Miami-Dade County”. His major professor is Dr. Geoffrey Meru, Vegetable Breeder, Genetics and Genomics.
The Florida Mango Forum awarded the scholarship to Sara Brewer, Ph.D. candidate, for her work on “Building better papaya for South Florida”. Her major professor is Dr. Alan Chambers, Genetics and Breeding of Tropical Fruits.
Dr. Edward “Gilly” Evans, Center Director for The University of Florida-IFAS, Tropical Research and Education Center, also attended the luncheon to express his gratitude to the Agri Council organization for giving support to TREC graduate students by providing scholarships for the research work they are doing, as this eventually will benefit the community.
The mission of the UF-TREC is to develop and disseminate science-based information about tropical horticulture and natural resource sciences through basic and applied research, extension, and teaching to sustain and enhance the quality of human life and the natural environment.