Protecting Our Water
Global water supplies are dwindling. In the U.S. alone, landscape irrigation accounts for an estimated one-third of all residential water use – about 9 billion gallons per day. So it's up to everyone to conserve the water we have left. Across UF/IFAS, researchers study how to irrigate most efficiently, whether it's for home landscaping or agricultural production. Some UF/IFAS faculty focus on precision agriculture; others zero in on smart irrigation apps. Others examine how to minimize nutrients from polluting our groundwater, lakes, rivers and saltwater. Research and Extension faculty work hand in glove to get useful water data to the public to preserve water.
Feeding The World
By the year 2050, about 9.5 billion people will populate the earth. How do we feed them? Working across academic disciplines on campus, UF/IFAS spearheads the Challenge 2050 program, in which students are trying to figure out how to feed the spike in global population with little to no additional land or water available. UF/IFAS faculty also are helping to solve global hunger via such initiatives as the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems. At the ISFS, researchers look for ways to better connect food -- and avert food pathogens -- from one end of the world to another. Other researchers examine how to ensure the food you eat meets safety standards and provides the nutrition you need to stay healthy. On the farm, scientists across UF/IFAS seek more efficient crop irrigation methods, fewer pests and improved soil nutrition. UF/IFAS research and Extension faculty work on these areas to help feed the planet.
Finding solutions doesn’t just depend on what we’re doing today. Cultivating tomorrow’s leaders ensures that the UF/IFAS mission of improving people’s lives continues. Though Florida 4-H, and the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS challenges young people to go out and change the world for the better. Programs like the Wedgworth Leadership Institute and Natural Resources Leadership Institute offer opportunities for young and mid-career professionals to develop their own portfolio of leadership skills to be the effective industry leaders needs to manage complex issues.
Food safety intersects our lives is so many ways. From proper food handling and preparation to knowing where your food comes from is critical to our daily health. Today, food travels the globe to get to our lunch box, dinner table or on-the run snack. At UF/IFAS we have programs, classes and research that educate professionals and individuals on how to protect from foodborne illness. In addition to have safe food, we need enough food to feed a growing population. Despite modern agriculture and advances in productivity, there is hunger in virtually every community around the world. At U/IFAS , we are working to ensure that everyone has enough to eat whether it is around the corner or around the world.
Florida is home to aim if the worlds’ most beautiful and diverse natural environments, from the everglades to our dense forests, our coastal resources to the precious springs, Florida’s natural resources provide economic resources, recreation opportunities and a simple beauty that enhances the Florida lifestyle. UF/IFAS faculty lead research , teach classes and prepare leaders on how to best manage, appreciate and conserve our valuable natural resources.
Eliminating Invasive Species
Florida has more invasive species than any other state in the country, with 28 ports of entry. Invasive species not only destroy ecosystems, but cost the state approximately $100 million a year (not including Asian Citrus Psyllid) in destroyed environments and via the costs of efforts to manage and control them. Invasive species affect homeowners, landowners, agriculture, aquaculture, tourism and recreation, and natural resources.
Healthy Living Lifestyles
Consumers are a critical part of food systems. When those consumers are living their best, healthiest lives, those systems flourish. UF/IFAS teachers, researchers and Extension faculty promote healthy lifestyles through academic and outreach programs in wellness, nutrition, relationships and money management. Faculty in Food, Science and Human Nutrition make up one of the world’s largest combined academic program where food science, nutritional sciences, and dietetics are all studied within one department. With these tools, all Floridians can do more to support their families, communities and local economies.