Extension at IRREC
UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center extension programs parallel many research programs for the direct application of new scientific knowledge to members of the state's agricultural industry.
Interim Director Pete Stoffella is a member of a team leading efforts to establish a major research park around which the UF Indian River Research and Education Center will serve as the lead research entity.
Teaching program director PJ van Blokland is a renowned expert of finance and the university's State In-Service Extension Finance Specialist. In addition to teaching courses in finance, economics and investing, van Blokland provides financial management consultation to small firms.
At this time, the aquaculture facility is being expanded to accommodate research on multiple species. According to Cortney Ohs, the facility will be used for research and demonstration for agriculturalists interested in aquaculture.
Faculty member Brian Boman is coordinator of a statewide program promoting the use best management practices or BMPs by growers and residents. Highly successful, the Citrus Best Management Practices program created by IRREC faculty and staff, in conjunction with many state, federal and local agencies, has been used as a model for other commodities and other regions of the state.
Mark Ritenour leads post-harvest research in the center's 3,200 square-foot Postharvest Facility. His research and extension activities benefit more than 60 fresh citrus and vegetable packing houses statewide. Current research projects include testing of pre-and post-harvest materials for citrus and vegetable quality retention.
Bill Overholt's and Patrick Wilson's extension appointments are congruent with their research programs. Overholt works closely with county extension personnel to disseminate information about biological control and implement weed biological control programs; Patrick Wilson works with county extension personnel who handle water quality issues.