The Everglades Research and Education Center (EREC, http://erec.ifas.ufl.edu) is an 800-acre facility located in Belle Glade within the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), near the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee in western Palm Beach County. The EAA is a dynamic, agriculturally diverse region with major production of sugarcane, rice, commercial sod, and winter vegetables (sweet corn, leafy and leafy green vegetables, celery, and radish). The EREC has 11 faculty members that represent Agronomy, Entomology and Nematology, Horticultural Sciences, Plant Pathology, and Soil and Water Science Departments. Regional Extension Agents specializing in sugarcane, rice, sod and fresh market vegetables are located at the EREC and other offices in the EAA. Approximately 80 additional personnel and students support faculty research and extension programs. The EREC facilities include offices, laboratories, greenhouses, 700-acre research farm, and residential dormitories and housing for graduate students and visiting scientists.
Belle Glade is located west of the metropolitan West Palm Beach area, a region with a population of 1.5 million. The area is supported by an excellent subtropical cl...imate, exceptional Atlantic coast beaches, and the cultural advantages of a medium-sized city, including year-round outdoor recreational activities, cultural events, and professional sporting venues.
The University of Florida (http://www.ufl.edu) is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (http://ifas.ufl.edu) includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (http://cals.ufl.edu), the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (http://research.ifas.ufl.edu), the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (http://extension.ifas.ufl.edu), the College of Veterinary Medicine (http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu), the Florida Sea Grant program (http://www.flseagrant.org/ ), and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain). The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 salaried faculty and 1,400 permanent support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.