Extension Connection
Pasco County Master Gardeners

Check out our New Blog!
A new article on Olive Pests by Dr. Whitney Elmore and Dr. Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman



USDA Designates Eight Counties in Florida as Primary Natural Disaster Areas



El Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos Designa Ocho Condados de Florida Como Zonas Primarias de Desastre Natural



Welcome our new Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent, Stacey Struhar!



    I am proud to announce the addition of Ms. Stacey Struhar, as our new Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent. Stacey will be fully on board starting Monday, April 24, 2017 and located at our office in Dade City. Soon, Stacey will be reaching out to many of you to begin forming advisory committees, seeking volunteers, and promoting new Extension programs throughout the county. Here’s a little bit about Stacey:
    Stacey Struhar has worked for Pasco County University of Florida IFAS Extension since 2014 and is currently a University of South Florida Public Health graduate student in the department of Community and Family Health. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Madonna University, located in Livonia, Michigan. ​Her professional interests include nutrition, food safety, wellness coaching, cooking demonstrations and family education. Stacey likes to spend her free time exploring local areas and cooking homemade meals for her family.

Welcome our new Community Gardens Program Assistant, Eden Santiago-Gomez!



    Eden Santiago-Gomez, a graduate from the University of South Florida, joins the UF/ IFAS Pasco County Extension office as the Community Gardens Program Assistant. Majoring in Environmental Science and Policy, her interests concentrate on small food production systems. Interning at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm in Tampa, Florida, she learned to propagate, plant, maintain, and harvest vegetable plants. She is returning to Florida after working as a Restoration Horticulturist in the high desert mountain ranges of Patagonia, Arizona. Her main focus at UF/IFAS Pasco is to create sustainable community gardens throughout east Pasco County by engaging and involving the community; thus helping low-income communities diversify and increase their nutrition intake, while also increasing financial security. Along the way, she is indulging her gardening passion by planting pollinator gardens at home.

Jim Moll recieves Star Performer Award! Congrats Jim!


    Pictured from left to right (Michele Baker, County Administrator; Jim Moll, Dr. Whitney Elmore, County Extension Director; and Cathy Pearson, Assistant County Administrator for Public Services).
    Jim Moll, Pasco County Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator, was awarded the Star Performer Award from Pasco County Government. Congratulations, Jim!!!

USDA Announces Rurual Energy for America Program

Thank you Betsy!


    Betsy Crisp (pictured right), Pasco FCS Agent for 29 years, has retired. A party was held to honor her accomplishments and dedication to Extension on February 2 at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center. Family and Consumer Sciences Agents, friends and family joined her for the day. Brenda Rogers (pictured left), South Central Extension District Director for UF/IFAS, attended the celebration and presented Betsy with a plaque marking her years of service. Thank you, Betsy!

Pasco County Poultry Judging team takes third place overall at the National Poultry Contest and third place in the BBQ contest in Louisville, Kentucky!


    Pictured from left to right, Pasco County Deanna Brock 3rd in Poultry BBQ, Poultry Judging team( Pasco County ): Emily Jennings, Kaylee Cummings, Tierani Johnson, Bailey McKendree,take third place overall and Nathalie Yoder( Jackson county)
    National Poultry Contest Results
    Pasco County Poultry Judging team take third place overall at the National poultry contest in Louisville, Kentucky!

    Final results for Team Pasco: Team- 1st in market eggs, 3rd overall team. They did a Great job representing Florida and Pasco County!

    Individual results:
  • Emily Jennings- 3rd overall, 1st in market eggs, 7th in production hens.
  • Kaylee Cummings- 2nd in market eggs, 33rd overall.
  • Bailey McKendree- 5th in market eggs, 23rd overall.
  • Tierani Johnson- 26th overall.
  • Nathalie Yoder( Jackson county) 11th olverall
  • Deanna Brock also from Pasco County Places 3rd in the National Poultry BBQ contest.
  • UF/IFAS Pasco Extension is so proud of their 4-Hers!

Bromeliads and Mosquitoes

Pasco County 4-H Students Win at Florida 4-H Tailgate Cookery Competition!



    Pasco Heritage of Pasco County Florida 4-H students placed in several categories at the First Annual Florida 4-H Tailgating Contest sponsored by Sonny’s BBQ & Winn Dixie Supermarkets. The purpose of this new contest was to promote the use of animal protein in the diet by teaching the art and science of safely preparing beef, pork, poultry, and seafood in an outdoor setting. Investment in this activity provides 4-H youth with life skills, including decision making, healthy lifestyle choices, and communication.

    Congratulations to all winners!
  • Beef Grand Champion - Dalton Brock
  • Pork Grand Champion - Montana Rose
  • Poultry Grand Champion - Deanna Brock
  • Shrimp Reserve Grand Champion - Colton Hambrick

  • Deanna Brock will be going to the National Poultry Competition in November.

Pasco 4H Poultry Judging Team Wins State Competition!



    On Saturday June 4, 2016, five Pasco County 4-H Youth claimed 1st place in the Florida State Poultry Judging Contest conducted on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. The competition consists of grading whole egg exterior quality, interior egg grades by candling, interior egg quality in broken out eggs, evaluating and placing live laying hens, providing verbal justification for placing live hen classes, grading whole ready to cook chicken, and identifying ten retail chicken meat cuts. Team members pictured are Austin Dykas, a Junior at Land 'O Lakes High School, Bailey McKendree, a Sophomore at Pasco High School, Kaylee Cummings, a Sophomore at Pasco High School, Tierani Johnson, a Junior at Land 'O Lakes High School, and Emily Jennings a Freshman at Zephyrhills High School (left to right). Individually, the team members excelled with Emily placing 1st in the state, Kaylee 3rd, Austin 4th, Tierani 5th and Bailey 6th. The University of Florida/IFAS Pasco Extension Office is proud to have these students represent Pasco 4H at the National Competition.

Pasco Master Gardeners Hit the Road with New Mobile Plant Clinic

~ Expert plant advice can now be found at many festivals and special events ~


    Pictured from left to right: Pasco County Master Gardeners - Deb Hamilton, Dorothy Moore, Liz Angelini, Dr. Whitney C. Elmore (Pasco County Extension Director & Master Gardener Coordinator), Lorne Becker, Adah Weitzel, Jim Moll (Master Gardener Instructor) and Corrine Goodman.
    The University of Florida/IFAS Pasco County Master Gardeners are proud to announce the addition of a new Mobile Plant Clinic. The Mobile Plant Clinic, funded by Pasco County Master Gardeners, the UF/IFAS South Central Extension District, UF/IFAS Communications, and sponsored by Local Wraps, Inc. of Pasco County, will be available at various festivals, special events, and activities held throughout the year. Pasco County Master Gardeners will be on hand to assist homeowners with plant and landscape related issues wherever the Mobile Plant Clinic is seen. Special thanks go to the sponsors and to Michele Wood, with UF/IFAS Communications, for designing wonderful graphics for all to see. Stop by the Mobile Plant Clinic for expert plant advice and to learn more about Florida Friendly Landscaping™.



UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County Receives USDA Grant to Develop a Community Garden at the Boys & Girls Club of Lacoochee


    Students attending the Boys & Girls Club of Lacoochee, in Pasco County, now have their own community garden and 4-H Club. Students are learning to grow their own veggies and enhancing their knowledge of food systems. Students are working with UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Agents Dr. Whitney Elmore (Urban Horticulture) and Jean Hink (4H and Youth Development) and Pasco Master Gardeners as well as Tabitha Villa and Linda Tesar (Program Assistants) from the UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Food and Nutrition Program to enhance their knowledge of healthy eating and physical activities. Jim Moll, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator, is also teaching the students how to conserve and protect valuable water resources.


Just the Facts: What you need to know about the Zika virus


    Many of you have no doubt read about the Zika virus, and you may be a bit concerned. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly by those within the Aedes genus common to our area. The virus is very similar to dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, etc. but it’s not a new virus. In fact, it’s been known throughout the tropics since the 1940’s. It has an interesting history with the name referring to a forest in Uganda, the Zika Forest. Sporadic outbreaks have occurred for years, but in 2015 the virus had spread into South and Central America and the Caribbean.Read More...


Grace Reich receives Star Performer Award


    Congratulations to Grace Reich for receiving the Star Performer Award by Pasco County Government for her leadership and innovative ideas at the Extension Office.




 

The Pasco County Reclaimed Water System Reuses 22 Million Gallons of Water Every Day


    With statistics like that, it’s not surprising that The Pasco County Reclaimed Water System is saving approximately 7 billion gallons of potable water (drinking/well water) every year. Pasco County reclaimed water reservoirs, which include a 100 million gallon reservoir and a 500 million gallon one in design, store irrigation water during low demand periods of wet weather and supply water for periods of high demand during dry weather. Reclaimed water can safely be used for irrigation on golf courses, school grounds, agricultural lands, industrial complex grounds, and rapid-rate infiltration basins (RRIBs) based on Florida Department of Environmental Protection rules and guidelines. While reclaimed water is great for irrigation, it is not suitable for consumption by humans, bathing, cooking or flushing toilets in homes, recreational use such as swimming or outdoor showers, irrigation of vegetables or other edible crops that are not peeled or cooked prior to consumption, interconnection with other water sources, or in areas where above-ground hose connections might be used or confused with hoses used for any of the above. With drinking water levels at a critical low point, alternative sources of water must be efficiently employed. The use of reclaimed water for irrigation is obviously an important alternative. However, we all must do our part to eliminate wasteful use of drinking water. The most important thing you can do is to use the following watering guide, and always keep in mind that irrigation is prohibited between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. If you have a property with two or more acres and use reclaimed water irrigation sources, you may irrigate between the hours of 12:01 AM to 10:00 AM or 4:00 PM to 11:59 PM using the schedule below. Remember to only water once on your designated day. WATERING DAYS AND TIMES