In an economy where jobs hard to come by, Florida’s agriculture sector employment is still growing. A new UF/IFAS report shows the number Florida residents working in agriculture, natural resources and food industries reached 1.52 million people in 2013, which is an 8.7 percent increase from 2012.
This increase is part of almost 15-year industry trend. Employment in Florida agriculture has seen 19.7 percent growth since 2001, making it the biggest employer in the state.
To read the full report, click here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe969
The report reflects data from 2013, the most recent year in which figures were available.
The University of Florida is offering its first ever bilingual course to horticulture students this semester. The four-week course, called Nutrient Management in Container Crops, is offered in English and Spanish. This class was designed for farmers and the horticulture industry, but it can be taken online by graduate and undergraduate students.
Read more details about the course here: http://www.alligator.org/news/campus/article_9a87fde4-51f9-11e5-8464-a3704deed92b.html
“Horticultural Careers” is a series of mini-videos featuring interviews with professionals in the horticulture industry. This effort, supported by a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences teaching mini-grant to Dr. Bala “Saba” Rathinasabapathi and Dr. Steven Sargent, Professors of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida, is aimed to inspire the next generation of successful professionals in Horticulture!
Horticultural Sciences major Kiona Elliot shares her experience as undergraduate student at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
With help from several departments in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, UF has released a series of “smart irrigation apps” to help manage urban and agricultural irrigation.
The apps are designed to help commercial farmers and small-time gardeners calculate their plant’s precise water demand to save money and water resources.
There are currently apps available for citrus, strawberries, cotton, avocado, vegetables and urban lawn. Check them out here: http://smartirrigationapps.org/
Read more about these and other UF/IFAS apps here: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2015/08/ufifas-apps-give-irrigation-growing-tips-and-more/#more-9025
Horticulture Department Chair Dr. Kevin Folta and students Chris Barbey and Alejandra Abril Guevara spoke about genetic engineering at a bipartisan roundtable in the House Science Committee this past June. This discussion was led by Congressional Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma. Citing the disparatity between scientific consensus and pubic opinion, Rep. Lucas wanted our department to address some of the unscientific misconceptions surrounding GM crops.
Read Rep. Lucas describe the meeting in his own words: http://www.stwnewspress.com/opinion/columns/rep-frank-lucas-perception-of-gmo-foods-underserved/article_1f33e538-2dc6-11e5-bb29-6b2137526872.html