Farm to Table

Mission Statement


The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or UF/IFAS, is a federal, state and county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources and the life sciences, and to making that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.

Nick Simmons 4
Sea Agent Marsh Class

FY 2016-2017 Accomplishments

  • Extension Horticulture developed an eight-week fall and spring gardening series that reached 154 Myrtle Grove community members. Evaluations ranged from 88-100 percent of participants improving knowledge on topics such as growing tomatoes, composting, growing perennials and turf care.  
  • The department’s horticulture agent taught 10 hours of pesticide and best management practices training for 138 horticulture professionals who were maintaining state certification. Topics included pesticide safety, landscape pests and Florida laws.  
  • The department’s Coastal Sustainability agent coordinated the annual Arbor Day tree giveaway for 121 participants, providing educational information on tree species and planting techniques. Collaborating with the Florida Forest Service and Agriculture agent, Extension gave away 250 one-gallon native trees at the Davisville Community Center. This year’s Arbor Day events included a “mail art” contest with 270 participants and awards given for the top three winners in the youth, teen, and adult contests.  
  • After graduating from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program series of classes, 217 limited-resource adults and 1,844 limited-resource youth learned to choose healthy foods and to prepare and eat foods in healthier ways. Vegetable consumption increased 32 percent for youth by program completion. Adults using the “Nutrition Facts” label to make healthy food choices increased 67 percent. Ninety percent of adults showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices. Adults also showed an 84 percent increase in one or more food resource management practices by program completion. The average yearly savings per EFNEP participant was $290. EFNEP saved Escambia County citizens $2.5 million on health care costs and $597,690 on food expenses.
  • The Sea Grant Invasive Species Program educated 6,240 county residents and visitors this past year. Over 6,000 people attended the annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, where 6,043 lionfish were removed. Including the pre-tournament submissions, close to 8,000 lionfish were removed.  
  • Escambia County 4-H continued its mission of enhancing youth development through screened, trained volunteers who teach hands-on life skills. During the 2016/17 4-H year, 4,298 youth throughout Escambia County participated in 4-H programs. Two new 4-H agents came on board to implement youth development programs. One of those agents received a promotion to Agent III level.  
  • Escambia and Santa Rosa County agriculture agents were awarded $13,000 in grant funding to study cover crops and soil moisture irrigation sensors. The agriculture agent coordinated two field days, with a total of 35 participants.  
  • The Family and Consumer Sciences agent conducted a series of educational programs on diabetes, food safety, child nutrition, elder nutrition, food preservation and financial management. Programs reached 4,392 individuals in Escambia County.
  • Extension-trained volunteers provided the equivalent of $576,922 in volunteer hours in the community.

Extension Service Statistics

  • 379 educational materials produced
  • 768 field consults
  • 1,311 office consults
  • 48,425 group learning contacts
  • 4,850 telephone consults
  • 83,054 email consults
  • 44,410 website contacts
  • 594 volunteers
  • 32,783 volunteer hours


Email consultations provided to residents


Volunteer hours


Lionfish estiamted to have been removed during Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day