The Florida Mango Forum has donated $17,998 to the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead to establish the Florida Mango Forum Endowment.
Colleen Griffin, president of the forum, presented the check to Van Waddill, senior director of the TREC. UF will donate additional funds to establish a permanent endowment of $20,000. Funds from the gift will be used to support graduate student and faculty research and extension programs at the center.
“We are honored that the Florida Mango Forum wants to establish this endowment so that our faculty can continue the years of research, extension and academic programs in the area,” Waddill said.
The Florida Mango Forum first met in 1938 and formally organized a constitution and by-laws in 1946. The forum publishes proceedings of its annual meetings, supports research on mango culture and promotes the development of the Florida mango industry and mango consumption throughout the United States. The forum has established student scholarships in the name of Olga Kent and John Himburg.
In addition, the organization has funded UF faculty on projects concerning mango culture.
The annual submission of seedling mango fruit from dooryard plantings all over south Florida to the forum’s Mango Variety Committee became a primary arena for evaluating, selecting and promoting new mango cultivars for the industry. Florida cultivars have become well known to mango growers throughout the world, including Mexico, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia.
In 1994, the Florida Mango Forum Board of Directors voted to join the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida as one of its independent commodity groups. This was done in an effort to increase participation in the group and to contribute and participate in the generic educational and promotional efforts of the TFGSF on behalf of tropical fruit growers of Florida.
Today, there is an estimated 1,300 acres of commercial mangoes in Florida and successful producers have found new niche markets for mangoes.
Citrus Research and Education Center
Research conducted in Arnold Schumann’s lab is site-specific soil and water management for improving the profitability of citrus. This research includes: (1) identifying soil spatial variability, its causes and impacts on the environment, citrus growth, nutrition and yield; and (2) managing agrochemical inputs with variable rate technology coupled with canopy and soil sensors to reduce their consumption and protect the environment. www.crec.ifas.ufl.edu