DPI Diary, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

Gainesville symposium focuses on giant African land snail

Experts and program administrators gathered April 9-10 at DPI headquarters in Gainesville for the Giant African Land Snail Science Symposium, which had as its goal acquiring the latest scientific information on GALS to better ensure a successful, efficient and timely eradication program. The symposium attracted the attention of local reporters, who helped educate the north-central Florida audience about the snail and the eradication efforts going on in Miami-Dade.

FDACS has a new seal

SealColorThe Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services debuted its colorful, new seal this week.  We are incorporating it into our social media and other print products.

 Our blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts, which this week included:

  • April is Invasive Plant Pest Disease and Awareness Month. FDACS/DPI is a partner in the “Hungry Pests” initiative, launched by the USDA to create nationwide awareness of the issue and empower people to take action. We are supporting the effort with blog posts, tweets and posts on our Facebook account.  The program has a full tool-kit available at www.HungryPests.com/partner-tools.
  • The FDICS/DPI blog, “500 Years of Florida Flora Firsts,” this week posted a history of the FDACS Division of Plant Industry. The division’s roots go back to the early twentieth century and the formation of the Florida Plant Board following the discovery of citrus canker in a nursery in Monticello. In 1961, the Plant Board was absorbed into the Florida Department of Agriculture and in 1967 DPI occupied its headquarters facility, the Doyle Conner Building, in Gainesville. More here.
  • The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Traveling Exhibit is making its way through Florida this year, educating residents and visitors about the exponential growth of the agriculture industry during Florida’s 500 year history. It is currently at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, where Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam moderated a learned panel on the history of Florida citrus on April 11. Here is the current schedule for the balance of the year.

Commissioner speaks on Florida ag history

Commissioner Putnam has narrated a series of essays on Florida’s agricultural history. Horticulure is featured this week. Hear it here. The entire series is posted on the department’s home page.

DPI’s social media following continues to grow

We are pleased to report our Twitter account, @FLPlantiIndustry, has grown to 977 followers. We would like to reach the nice round number of 1,000  and invite DPI employees to become followers and to encourage the people we serve to do so. Our posts are timely and, of course, succinct (140 characters or less). It’s an efficient way to keep up with developments at DPI and FDACS.

By the way, the DPI blogs can be accessed at fldpi.wordpress.com. Posts can be sorted by category and offer a trove of information about DPI activities as well as pests and diseases. It’s easy to subscribe to receive new postings by email as soon as they go up, as almost 1,000 followers have done. Of course, we encourage posting of comments.

On the Calendar:

  • May 1 is the deadline for nominations for the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, presented annually since 1994. The program spotlights the environmentally innovative farming practices of the state’s growers and ranchers. Click Here  for a nomination form and additional information.
  • Ag Literacy Day is April 30. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. is urging volunteers to register to read in classrooms to tell agriculture’s story to elementary school students.  Volunteers can register, teachers can request a reader, and books can be requested and downloaded at:  http://www.flagintheclassroom.com/agliteracyday.html.



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