UF/IFAS Celebrates 100th Year Anniversary of Extension with Large Exhibit at Florida State Fair
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences celebrated 100 years of UF/IFAS Extension achievements and community service at Florida’s 2014 State Fair February 6-17, 2014 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
UF/IFAS Extension personnel and volunteers were in the State Agricultural Hall of Fame to explain the many services provided by Florida’s leading agricultural and research university. On Saturday Feb. 15th, Meri Nantz (Research Information Coordinator in Food Science & Human Nutrition) volunteered, along with her husband Darren Nantz. “It was exciting to see so many people visit and to see their interest in IFAS – especially the number of UF alumni and fans who came by,” Meri said.
At the State Fair, UF/IFAS featured a newly created set of eight table top displays with topics on water, agriculture, nutrition, natural resources, community development, gardening, food safety, and 4-H Youth Development. These will also be displayed at the on-campus celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Extension being held on April 17th.
For the 100th Anniversary, IFAS Communications Services also produced a timeline of UF/IFAS Extension, and three life sized cutouts of Extension’s Congressman Asbury Lever and Senator Hoke Smith (Sponsors of the Smith-Lever Act), and Dr. Seaman Knapp (Extensions’ First Demonstration Agent).
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, which allows everyone to benefit from the knowledge of land-grant universities. Extension has helped millions of Floridians by gathering the latest information from the research engines of the University of Florida and Florida A&M University and converting it to practical knowledge for everyday use.
UF/IFAS has Extension offices in each of Florida’s 67 counties to help local farmers, ranchers, families, youth and communities.
“Cooperative Extension has helped many businesses, individuals and communities grow and strengthen over our 100-year existence,” said Nick Place, UF/IFAS dean for Extension. “This year’s centennial is a great opportunity to ensure that Extension continues providing meaningful impacts through the next 100 years and to ensure that cooperative extension is highly recognized as the ‘front-door’ to our land-grant university, the University of Florida.”
Some educational programs Extension offices provide include: 1) Putting more green in your thumb with personalized advice about local growing conditions for ornamentals, fruits, vegetables and turf; 2) Protecting Florida’s water supplies; 3) Helping people make healthier food decisions, keeping food safe and promoting local food utilization; 4) Providing natural resource industry leaders with training programs that prepares them for real-world problems; 5) Keeping agriculture competitive and sustainable throughout the state; 6) Helping developers minimize environmental impact during building, and long afterward; and 7) Overseeing Florida’s 4-H Youth Development program, which creates safe and inclusive learning environments for young people and helps them excel beyond their peers, make more healthy choices, and succeed in school and the sciences.