HOMESTEAD — For 92 years, University of Florida scientists, faculty, graduate students and staff have collaborated with growers and businesses in South Florida from the grounds of the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS TREC).
Cultivating and promoting sustainability of tropical and subtropical fruit crops to traditional and tropical vegetables, tropical ornamental crops, agronomic crops and natural resources in the warm subtropics, UF/IFAS TREC is the place growers, businesses and locals depend on to sustainably cultivate food for a growing population and to conserve our environment.
TREC’s rich history of research and Extension outreach has consistently focused on an extensive list of commodities — from avocadoes to hemp — that make South Florida a tropical paradise. Its mission is also rooted in finding solutions to environmental and agricultural challenges that plague our communities today, from sea-level rise to water quality and natural resource conservation.
On Nov. 6, UF/IFAS TREC will host One Night in the Tropics, now in its seventh year. The event will take place amid tropical fruit-filled orchards and ornamental plants that grace the grounds of the campus at 18905 SW 280 St. in Homestead. Silent auctions and live music will set the stage from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. for an evening of local flavors in food and live entertainment. Sponsorship opportunities are still available from this link www.tinyurl.com/onit2021.
As TREC’s premier fundraising event, proceeds are dedicated to the Graduate Housing Campaign. Launched in 2019 with a goal of $600,000 to be met by 2022, the plan is to build a new dormitory. The dormitory is vital to recruiting talented and qualified graduate students who support scientists as they develop crucial solutions to sustainably cultivate food for a growing population, protect our environment and conserve our natural resources. Now in its third year, the campaign has raised more than half of the goal.
The role of graduate students goes beyond conducting research at UF/IFAS TREC, as is the case at many institutions of higher education. They expand and develop on the faculty’s ongoing inquiries, they collaborate with students in different disciplines to ensure that their research is academically sound and they make south Florida home, explained Edward “Gilly” Evans, a longtime agricultural economist at UF/IFAS and director at UF/IFAS TREC.
“To attract the most talented and qualified graduate students, TREC seeks to provide modern accommodations for students who decide to live on-site,” he said. “Since there are neither federal nor state funds allocated to complete the proposed accommodations, we must raise funds for the new construction at our property.”
For more information on the event, use this link www.tinyurl.com/onit2021.