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Food Safety for the Holiday Season

portrait of a young woman and her daughter (10-12) preparing a thanksgiving mealFood is always an important part of holiday festivities, but holiday meals can take a turn for the worse if food safety is not properly practiced when preparing and cooking the food. The food you serve your family and friends can be very harmful if your turkey, ham, or home-prepared meat products are not appropriately handled. The good news is that by practicing four basic food safety measures you can help prevent foodborne illness over the holiday season. This 6-page fact sheet provides information about safe food practices for the holidays. Written by Soohyoun Ahn and Keith R. Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, December 2014. (Photo: Stockbyte/Thinkstock)

Preventing Foodborne Illness: Clostridium botulinum

photomicrographic view of a gentian violet-stained culture specimen revealing the presence of numerous Gram-positive Clostridium botulinum, formerly known as Bacillus botulinus, bacteria and bacterial endospores.Clostridium botulinum is ubiquitous in nature, often found in soil and water. The bacteria and spores alone do not cause disease, but they produce the botulinum toxin that causes botulism, a serious paralytic condition that can lead to death. Although it is one of the least common of the foodborne diseases, anyone is susceptible even with the ingestion of only a small amount of toxin present in contaminated food. Immunocompromised individuals, young children, and elderly individuals may suffer from more serious symptoms. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Keith R. Schneider, Rachael Silverberg, Alexandra Chang and Renée Goodrich Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, December 2014.

Handbook of Florida Fence and Property Law: Trees and Landowner Responsibility

Figure 2. Urban trees can often impact multiple targets.This 3-page fact sheet provides answers to these questions: What is the rule for the removal of a healthy tree on a boundary line? What is the liability for over-hanging branches and encroaching roots? and, Which landowner is responsible for dead or live trees falling on adjoining property? Written by Michael T. Olexa, Eugene E. Shuey, and Patrick H. Todd, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, November 2014.

Selective Antibiotic Treatment for Dairy Cow Mastitis

Figure 1. Bi-plate of Minnesota Easy Culture System II. (Top: Factor agar. Bottom: MacConkey agar.)Mastitis is the most common disease in dairy cattle and is estimated to cost dairy farmers $179 a case. When farmers detect clinical mastitis, they usually take immediate action with antibiotics; but many cases either do not need antimicrobial treatment, resolve without treatment, or are not effectively treated by the antimicrobial used. A selective treatment approach can be more effective. This two-step strategy involves first identifying the pathogen, then deciding on a treatment — this would decrease the use of antimicrobials as well as treatment-associated costs for the farmer. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Kathryn Merriman, Fiona Maunsell, Corwin Nelson, and Albert De Vries, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, December 2014. (Photo: University of Minnesota Laboratory for Udder Health, 2004)

Postemergent Herbicides for Use In Ornamentals

nursery with potted flowers, benches. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.Postemergent herbicides are applied directly to weeds. This 5-page fact sheet is largely comprised of two tables: Table one lists postemergent herbicides that can be safely used over the top of some ornamentals when used according to label directions; table 2 lists postemergent herbicides that are registered for use around ornamental plants when applied as a directed spray. Written by Jeffrey G. Norcini and Chris Marble, and published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, November 2014. (UF/IFAS photo: Thomas Wright)

How to Start a Food Business: Writing a Business Plan

business plan words on a chalkboardBefore starting a new food business, you should set a goal and have detailed plans to accomplish that goal. But writing a good business plan is often a challenge and it requires a great amount of effort. This 3-page fact sheet provides guidance on how to write a good food-business plan. Written by Soohyoun Ahn, Lisa House, and Renée Goodrich-Schneider, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, December 2014. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)

The Facts about Mothballs

Figure 1. Mothballs are formulated as solids.Mothballs, moth flakes, crystals, and bars are insecticides that are formulated as solids. Naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, the active ingredients in mothballs, are registered as pesticides. As such, their label directions carry the force of the law, including use intent and the sites where they may legally be used. They can harm people, pets, or wildlife that may touch or eat the mothballs or that may breathe the vapors. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Fred Fishel, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, December 2014.

Prueba de la cuchara para alimentos en pure

Figure 1. Just Right ("spoon thick")Los alimentos en puré preparados para personas con problemas al tragar deben satisfacer las guías de textura recomendadas. La textura apropiada es la prioridad cuando se crean purés. Un puré debe tener textura uniforme que es un “espesor en la cuchara” y no requiere masticar. No debe ser seco, pegajoso, grumoso o delgado. Los ajustes de espesor pueden hacerse de acuerdo a las necesidades específicas del individuo.This 1-page fact sheet is the Spanish language version of Spoon Test for Pur&#233ed Food. Written by Wendy Dahl and Jamila Frazier, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, November 2014.

Carinata Production in Florida

Figure 1. From field to flightBrassica carinata is a promising oilseed crop with great potential for profitable cultivation in Florida. Its high oil content and favorable fatty acid profile make it suitable for the biofuel industry, especially as a biojet fuel. The UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy, Florida, has been working to identify advanced carinata genotypes that are high yielding (seed and oil), disease resistant, early maturing, and adapted to Florida. The work at NFREC is being done in conjunction with Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., a crop company that has the world?s largest collection of carinata germplasm. This 6-page fact sheet’s “Agronomic Management” section provides recommendations resulting from NFREC’s research. was written by C. M. Bliss, R. Seepaul, D. L. Wright, J. J. Marois, R. Leon, N. Dufault, S. George, and S. M. Olson, and published by the UF Department of Agronomy, December 2014.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Africanized Honey Bee in Florida

Figure 1. An Africanized honey bee (left) and a European honey bee on honeycomb. Despite color differences between these two individuals, mostly they can't be identified by eye.The African honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata, was introduced into South America from the central and southern part of Africa in 1957. Since its introduction into South America, the African bee has migrated into the southwestern United States and Florida. Apis mellifera scutellata is the African bee subspecies referred to in this 3-page fact sheet, which answers commonly asked questions about these bees and their behavior. Written by M. K. O’Malley, J. D. Ellis and A. S. Neal, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2014.

Techniques for Melon Grafting

Grafting as a cultural practice for controlling soilborne diseases and improving abiotic stress tolerance has been widely used in vegetable production in many areas of Asia and Europe. Interest in vegetable grafting has been growing in the United States in recent years, as well. Cost, along with the desire to customize scion cultivars and the need to produce organic transplants, has led many small and organic growers to choose to graft plants by themselves. To help growers who are interested in grafting melon plants achieve a high graft survival rate, this 5-page fact sheet introduces commonly used grafting techniques and their application in specific circumstances. Written by Wenjing Guan and Xin Zhao, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, December 2014.
Figure 2. Splice grafting.>

Best Management Practices for Siting Honey Bee Colonies: Good Neighbor Guidelines

Figure 1. Backyard beekeeping set-up using hives with movable frames. Beekeeper has not exceeded the number of hives on this parcel. Hives are facing the fence, which acts as a flyway barrier.Keeping honey bees requires responsible management so that the bees do not become a nuisance. Additionally, the presence of Africanized honey bees in Florida places more pressure on beekeepers to maintain their colonies properly. This 3-page fact sheet is a reference for honey bee management in Florida, with emphasis on siting apiaries in sensitive locations, in order to promote harmonious cooperation between beekeepers, neighbors, and landowners. Written by Jamie Ellis, Jerry Hayes, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, November 2014. (Photo by Thien Gretchen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), via Flickr)

Producing biochar using a custom designed Top-lit Updraft (TLUD) gasifier

Figure 1. (left) original design of the TLUD; (right) constructed version of the TLUD.Biochar can be produced in a wide variety of ways; some are complex, while others are relatively simple. Researchers at the University of Florida Everglades Research and Education Center in Belle Glade, FL, designed and built a top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier that can generate biochar from locally acquired feedstock. This 4-page fact sheet describes its design and evaluates the biochar recovery of four locally available feedstocks. Written by Jehangir H. Bhadha, Stephen Jennewein, Julio Sanchez, and Timothy A. Lang, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, September 2014.

Improving Extension Program Development Using Audience Segmentation

Sliced orange, juice, fruit, nutrition. UF/IFAS photo Marisol AmadorDeveloping an impactful Extension program depends on acquiring a deep understanding of the audience’s specific needs and preferences. Audience segmentation allows an agent to address the variability among Extension clientele, in order to deliver the programming and messages that are most meaningful to an audience/clientele segment. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Paul Monaghan, Laura Warner, Ricky Telg and Tracy Irani, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, November 2014. (UF/IFAS photo Marisol Amador)

Building Impactful Extension Programs by Understanding How People Change

A composite of various views of a monarch emerging from its chrysalis.Extension is reported to be one of the world’s most successful change agencies, and the ability to encourage behavior change remains critical to its success. This 7-page fact sheet describes an approach to understanding how Extension audiences move through the process of change as a means of delivering meaningful programming at the most appropriate level. Written by Laura A. Warner, Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez, and Michael S. Gutter, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, December 2014. (Photo:iStock/

Pest Identification Guides

Created to help growers and crop consultants, private homeowners, Master Gardeners, and the general public identify common arthropod pests and the damage they inflict, each field guide provides photos of the important life stages and crop damage associated with arthropod pests. The text highlights key general morphology and biology, distribution, and natural enemies. Written by Nicole Casuso and Hugh Smith, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, October 2014.

Breast Cancer: Making Sense of the Numbers

Figure 1. Whether or not you take an active role in choosing treatment options, it is important to communicate with your doctor after a breast cancer diagnosis.A breast cancer diagnosis is always a challenge to the patient and her family.* People react in different ways to a breast cancer diagnosis. Some breast cancer patients want to take an active role in understanding and choosing their treatment, and others prefer to leave decisions to their health care providers. This 5-page fact sheet, first in a 12-part series on breast cancer, provides information that will help persons who want to understand and be actively involved in treatment decisions. Was written by Martha C. Monroe, Barbara F. Shea, and Linda Bobroff, and published by the UF Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences, December 2014. (Photo: iStock/Thinkstock)

Genetically Modified Food

Closeup of cornA food is considered genetically modified when its genetic makeup is altered in some way as a result of the use of recombinant DNA biotechnological procedures. These changes result in the expression of attributes not found in the original. Examples include delayed-ripening tomatoes and pest-resistant or herbicide-tolerant crops. Genetic modification can be used to improve crop yields, reduce insecticide use, or increase the nutritional value of foods. This 5-page fact sheet answers questions consumers might have about genetically modified food. Written by Keith R. Schneider, Renée Goodrich Schneider, and Susanna Richardson, and published by the UF Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, November 2014. (Photo: iStock/

Spousal Individual Retirement Accounts

Figure 1. Identify areas in your finances where you may incur unexpected costs, such as medical emergencies, car accidents, or other events. By having a plan to deal with these situations, you can save money in the long run. Credit: HuntstockA spouse who stays at home to take care of children or other dependents is likely to have reduced Social Security benefits and will not have access to a workplace retirement plan. So a spousal Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can be an important step to enabling retirement security. An IRA is a tax-advantaged way to accumulate money for retirement. In order to contribute to an IRA you must have taxable compensation. But if your spouse has taxable compensation and you file a joint return, then you can fund an IRA. This 2-page fact sheet was written by Lisa Leslie, and published by the UF Department of Family Youth and Community Sciences, November 2014.

Environmental Impact of Beef Cattle Production Systems

herd of beef cattle on a Florida ranchThis 6-page fact sheet discusses beef demand in the context of a growing population, beef production’s greenhouse gases and their effect on the environment, the great advantage of ruminants, generating accurate greenhouse gas emissions estimates, greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector, and mitigation strategies. Written by Nicolas DiLorenzo, G. Cliff Lamb, Jose Dubeux, John Arthington, Joao Vendramini, and Phillip Lancaster and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, November 2014. (UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright)

2014 ROA information

Annual Statistics for 2014 reports will be available November 17th. More...

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EDIS is the Electronic Data Information Source of UF/IFAS Extension, a collection of information on topics relevant to you. More...

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