The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. While extending into every community of the state, UF/IFAS has developed an international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and extension. Because of this mission and the diversity of Florida’s climate and agricultural commodities, IFAS has facilities located throughout Florida.
History of IFAS
While the University traces its roots to 1853 and the establishment of the state-funded East Florida Seminary, UF/IFAS traces its roots to the Morrill Act of 1862, which established the land-grant university system. On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law what is generally referred to as the Land-grant Act. The new piece of legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont granted to each state 30,000 acres of public land for each senator and representative under apportionment based on the 1860 census. Proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in a perpetual endowment fund that would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each of the states. The establishment of Florida Agricultural College at Lake City in 1884 under the Morrill Act marked the beginning of what became the College of Agriculture of the University of Florida in 1906.
Florida’s governing body for higher education created the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in April 1964, by reorganizing UF’s College of Agriculture , School of Forestry, Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Cooperative Extension Service into a single unit. Today, UF/IFAS includes extension offices in each of the state’s 67 counties, 13 research and education centers with a total of 19 locations (including demonstration sites) throughout Florida, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Center for Tropical Agriculture, portions of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant Program, and International Programs.
Pest Management University Then and Now
It is hard to believe that we started the journey in 2000 to build Pest Management University. Our mission and vision started out as a request by members of the pest control industry to the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the University of Florida, IFAS Extension, to assist in training in order to avoid the costly consequences of litigation due to failed termite treatments, an outcome that was also detrimental to consumers. The physical facility was partially funded by Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the form of a challenge grant. The pest management industry answered the challenge loud and clear by exceeding the initial challenge and as a result, we have a state-of-the art training academy that is used more than any other facility of its kind in the US.
Pest Management University could not be built by one person. We are proud of the team that we have assembled. Our advisory board is comprised of leaders in the pest management industry who understand that increased professionalism and skill lead to increased profits and reduced customer conflict, FDACS and UF/IFAS. One of the goals of our board has been to incorporate technology more efficiently into training. Our partnership with Deltak for CEU delivery is one step in that direction.
One of our goals has been to create a “transcript” where pest control professionals could electronically track their coursework and CEUs required for renewal. The platform provides the proof that you and your employees have received verifiable training.
We have come full circle in the pest control industry. We started with hands-on training, stumbled through lecture only methods and have realized that we need both education (lecture) and training (hands-on). PMU at Apopka MREC provides the ideal combination of both education and training, but we are now able to move forward. What if you have taken all of the in-person offerings from PMU? Check out our online offerings if you just need a refresher class or an update for courses you received at PMU. Is there a topic that you would like to see covered as a CEU? Email us. We always love to hear from you!