USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to Host Two Webinars on Grant Opportunities


Gainesville, Florida — When most people walk into a grocery store, the shelves are filled year round with all the food they want, so they might not be considering where their food came from.

Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida, says it’s critical to know the origins of our food supply, not just the worry of being in the know.

“As a nation, we recently declared that obtaining too much steel from overseas is a national security issue,” Payne said. “I would say that producing our own food is even more essential to the security of our nation. Where these foods come from is a testament to the reliability, safety and affordability of our food supply. “

March 20 marks the 45e Annual National Agriculture Day, a time to reflect on the sources of our food and fiber.

The University of Florida’s Extension Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences is doing everything in its power to help bridge the awareness gap between the public and agriculture – and its links with the environment – said Nick Place, dean of the UF / IFAS extension.

“Extension provides scientific information to a multitude of stakeholders, including our farmers and herders,” he says. “Our extension faculty does an exceptional job day in and day out to ensure that producers are kept abreast of the best findings of our research so that they can provide consumers with nutritious food, while maintaining eco-friendly practices. environment.”

With the help of many groups, including commodity groups and schools, UF / IFAS Extension is raising awareness about the vital role agriculture plays in our daily lives, says Place.

Extension professors get their data from researchers. Researchers at UF / IFAS are constantly working to develop alternative crops – like peaches and pomegranates – so that farmers can grow a wider variety of foods.

“We are creating new varieties of foods and plants that have a longer shelf life and an attractive appearance,” he says. “We are creating new foods that require less water and fertilization. “

Scientists at UF / IFAS are also working to improve current crops, Payne says.

The theme for National Agriculture Day is “Agriculture: Food for Life”. The Agriculture Council encourages everyone to:

• Understand how food and fiber are produced.
• Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
• Promote the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
• Recognize and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industries.

Agriculture is linked to life in many ways, says Nan Jensen, Family and Consumer Sciences Officer for Pinellas County Extension UF / IFAS.

“Farmers produce a wide variety of foods that nourish us, support us and help us stay healthy,” says Jensen. “In developing countries, agriculture helps ensure food security and prevent malnutrition. ”

Agriculture affects our lives in other ways as well, she says.

“The many agricultural products that are produced are used to make the medicines we take, the personal care products we use, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in and the cars we drive,” Jensen explains.

Libbie Johnson, an agricultural officer for the UF / IFAS extension in Escambia County, says without agriculture people would be hungry, naked and homeless.

“We depend on agriculture at least three times a day for meals,” says Johnson. “Every morning we put on clothes made with fabrics made from agricultural products like cotton, linen and wool.”

“We leave our homes built from wood grown in sustainable wood systems,” says Johnson. “Many of the products we use on a daily basis are derived from agriculture – cosmetics, leather goods, paper and personal care products. Agriculture is an integral part of everyone’s daily life.

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