GIVE

Allen F. Wysocki (Al), Associate Dean and Professor

My extension program extends knowledge generated by my teaching and applied research programs to address problems of extension agents and end-user clientele. Leadership and coordination is provided for statewide extension educational efforts in two specific program areas: (1) Global Trends in the U.S. Food System and its Impact on the Florida Food System, and (2) Developing Florida's Human Resources.

Programs

Extension Program
  • Annie's Project (social styles and marketing components)
  • Branding (how to create and advertise your brand)
  • Business financial tools (essential financial tools every business needs)
  • Consumer Trends (what they are and why you should care)
  • Cooperatives (basics and how to get involved)
  • FFA Sales CDE (coordinate the Florida FFA Sales CDE)
  • Florida MarketMaker (how to sign up and use)
  • Pricing for Profit (how to establish a price for your product/service)
  • Sales (why should I buy from you and sales techniques)
  • Small Farms (from adopting a business plans to zeroing in on succession planning)
Global Trends and their Impact on the Florida Food System
      The food wholesaling and food retailing sectors of the U.S. food system continue to grow in size and overall contribution to our nation's GDP. Grocery store sales (food at home) rang up $625.5 billion in sales in 2010, while eating and drinking establishment sales (food away from home) totaled more than $544 billion (USDA – ERS
1
      ). Consolidation and change continue to be the driving forces in these two important food system segments. Input suppliers, producers, initial handlers, wholesalers, and retailers need to be made aware of the economic impacts of the changing structure in the food wholesale and retail sectors of the U.S. and Florida food systems. The preferred situation would be to have all food system participants be aware of, and understand how to take advantage of these changes in the food system. The total profits for these important food system players could be increased if they were to better understand the trends and forces that impact them. As of the 2007 Census of Agriculture, there were a total of 47,400 farms in Florida. Over 69% of these farms are 50 acres or less in size, which makes Florida the state with the 4
th
      largest percentage of farms of less than 50 acres (EDIS document FE 806). In contrast, Florida only has 2.9% of farms greater than 1,000 acres. Smaller producers, in particular, are hungry for educational programs that help them to "plug-in" to the ever-changing food systems described above. Consumer demand for products that are locally produced, marketed, and consumed has generated increased interest in local food throughout the United States. The target audiences of this extension program includes: input suppliers, producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers in the Florida food system.

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1 http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/cpifoodandexpenditures/Data/Expenditures_tables/table1.htm
Developing Florida's Human Resources

When managers and supervisors are asked what their most valuable resource is, the overwhelming response is their human capital. That is, the sum of the skills, abilities, and knowledge possessed by the employees and management of an individual or an organization. Florida had an estimated workforce of over 9.3 million people in January 2012 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Given the weakness of the national and Florida economies over the past three years, and the relatively larger proportion of middle-age and older people, employers are finding it difficult to keep and develop "productive" employees. Rising employee wages are particularly devastating on the agricultural sector of our state's economy. Minorities and immigrants will constitute a larger share of the Florida population by the year 2015 than they do today. According to a report published by the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation; agriculture, forestry and fishing employment will continue to be the second fastest-growing major industry division in the goods-producing sector. Growth in this major industry segment will come almost entirely from the agricultural services industry as compared to the agricultural production sector. Firms operating in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors of our state economy would do well to effectively manage their human resources in the 21st century. The primary target audience for this program area include: input suppliers, producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers in the Florida food system.

TEACHING/OUTREACH PHILOSOPHY

My teaching/outreach philosophy: "I hear and I forget; I hear and see, and I remember; but, when I hear, see, and do, I understand and succeed." My teaching/outreach philosophy is executed through three principles: passion, caring, and commitment. Passion: I love to teach. My personal mission is to make a difference in students'/clients' lives. I don't teach for the money. My passion has a price, but one I am more than willing to pay. Caring: I care about students/clientele as individuals, not just delivering course/extension materials. Learning names personalizes the learning process and sends a clear message to the students/clientele that you care about them. When you care, they care. Commitment: I am committed to the facilitation of learning, to becoming familiar with theories behind teaching and learning, and to constantly stretch my teaching/outreach comfort zone. I am committed to incorporating reading, interactive lectures, group work, and written/oral presentations.

Courses Taught
  • AEB 3300 Agricultural and Food Marketing
  • AEB 3341 Selling Strategically
  • AEB 5757 Strategic Agribusiness Human Resource Management
  • AEB 6385 Management Strategies for Agribusiness
Research Narrative

Applied research informs my programmatic areas in teaching and extension. The two primary research areas are: (1) global trends in the U.S. food system and their impact on the Florida food system, and (2) curricula development and enhancing the quality of academic programs.

Global Trends and their Impact on the Florida Food System

The challenge for researchers is to identify trends in a changing global economy and their impacts on participants (input suppliers, producers, distributors, brokers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers) in the food system. Research emphasis is on: (1) an interdisciplinary approach (active participation in the UF Center for Food Distribution Research with faculty from Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Animal Sciences, Food and Resource Economics, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Horticultural Science studying the adoption of new technology and best management practices), (2) a multi-state, multi-institution approach (active member in regional coordinating research committees that study similarities and differences across states relating to trends and their impacts), (3) a connection between research, teaching, and extension programs (USDA-Beginning Farmer/Rancher grant where investigators are identifying sustainable production practices in university fields as part of curricula for students and extension clientele), (4) cost-benefit analysis (projects studying the adoption of changes to existing technologies and practices by food system participants, focusing on situations where adoption or lack of adoption runs counter to the economic analysis), and (5) testing of concepts in the marketplace as they relate to global trends (consumer focus groups, taste panels, and surveys to ascertain consumer preferences and attitudes towards specific products including orange juice and seafood, with the results and recommendations provided).

Curricula Development and Enhancing the Quality of Academic Programs

As students and the food system evolve, the need to evaluate existing college curricula increases. Research emphasis is on: (1) relevancy of existing curricula (USAID-HED partnership with FAMV in Haiti where a skill gap analysis is the starting point for changes to existing curricula to build and strengthen partnerships between the FAMV faculty and the Haitian Business Community, to upgrade and update course content and to improve the teaching-learning environment, resulting in a market-responsive curricula that is timely, relevant and representative of actual business conditions in Haiti), (2) the role of external advisory committees in curricula development (the USAID-HED partnership in Haiti has a goal to establish and effective external advisory committee for FAMV), (3) the synergies between research, extension, and teaching (the beginning farmer rancher project and the USAID-HED partnership in Haiti are explicitly studying linkages and recommendations will have research, extension, and teaching components that will assist in developing human capital, through both formal university education with targeted outreach/extension training).

Current Projects
  • Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission: Implementing MarketMaker for the Gulf-Based Seafood Industry in Florida
  • FDACS Specialty Crop Block Grant: Positioning Florida-grown Fresh Produce as a "Local" Choice: Measuring Economic Impact, Measuring Consumers' Perceptions, and Enhancing the Use of MarketMaker
  • FDACS Specialty Crop Block Grant: Bringing MarketMaker to Specialty Crop Growers in Florida and Extending it to Ornamental Crops
  • USDA-BFRDP: Growing More Small Family Vegetable Farmers in Florida
  • USDA-FSMIP: Identifying the Attitudes and Preferences of Parents and Children for Seafood and Aquaculture Products
  • USDA-SCRI: Increasing Consumption of Specialty Crops by Enhancing Their Quality and Safety
  • USAID-HED: UF-Haiti FAMV Partnership: Delivering High-Quality Academic Programming in Agribusiness

Allen F. Wysocki (Al), Associate Dean and Professor