Scott Angle, vice president of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, or IFAS, with 67 branches in all Florida counties, recently began a statewide listening tour in Macclenny.
He arrived on the afternoon of September 2 for a tour of the extension office on U.S. 90 and a meeting with its director Alicia Lamborn, 4H agent Shaina Spann and horticulture agent Alicia Halbritter; as well Farm Bureau president Robert Norman and county commissioner Cathy Rhoden. They spoke about the challenges facing local farmers, who are hurting due to COVID-19-related economic shocks, and according to Mr. Angle, a 24-year soil science professor at the Unversity of Maryland before joining UF/IFAS in July, too many middlemen in agriculture industries between farmers and their end customers.
He was also very complimentary of local extension staff and the close relationships they’ve built with the community and the county government, which partially funds the extension service, most recently by splitting the costs of a passenger van with UF/IFAS for the 4H program’s participants.
Photos by Joel Addington