Fifth Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference 2020

Date:February 27, 2020, 9:00am-4:30pm
Location: University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Citrus Hall Lake Alfred, Florida 33850 (location map)

Cost: General Registration: $50.00
IFAS Faculty, Staff and Students: $35.00
Registration includes lunch
  For further information contact:
Dr. Derek Farnsworth @
or 352-294-7698 


9:00 am

Welcome and Introductions: 

Dr. Lisa House, UF-IFAS Food & Resource Economics

  Managing Florida's Natural Resources
9:15 am 

Dr. Damian Adams, Associate Professor, UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation

9:45 am 

Gary Ritter, Florida Farm Bureau

10:15 am

Dr. Tatiana Borisova, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Water Economics and Policy, UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics

10:45 am  Break

Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana

11:00 am

Holly Bell, Director of Cannabis, Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services

11:30 am

Jerry Fankhauser, Assistant Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, UF/IFAS Office of the Dean for Research

12:00 pm  Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm 

Dr. Tyler Mark, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics


State, Federal, and International Agricultural Policy

1:30 pm

John Walt Boatright, Florida Farm Bureau

2:00 pm 

Dr. Luis Ribera, Associate Professor and Extension Economist, Texas A&M Department of Agricultural Economics

2:45 pm  Break

Roundtable Discussion

3:00 pm 

Moderator Bill Messina, Economic Analyst, UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics

3:45 pm  

Wrap-up and Conference Evaluation

4:00 pm Adjourn

Speakers for the Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference 2020

Dr. Lisa House is Chair and a Professor in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. She serves as Director of the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center. Dr. House holds a teaching and research appointment. She teaches classes in food and agribusiness marketing and management, survey research for economists, and comparative world agriculture. Her research interests focus on consumer preferences and demand for food products. Dr. House earned her B.S. in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, followed by M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University.

Dr. Damian Adams is an Associate Professor in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation with a joint appointment in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. His research primarily focuses on understanding how people value ecosystem goods and services, the impact of attitudes and preferences on those values, and translating that information to inform policy decisions. Previously, Dr. Adams has worked at Oklahoma State University, the British House of Commons, the US House of Representatives, and the UF Agricultural Law Center.

Gary Ritter is the Assistant Director of Government and Community Affairs with the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. He represents agriculture in south Florida on water and natural resource issues at the local, state and federal level.  He also helps local governments with issues involving the Right to Farm Act, Agritourism and the important role small farms play in helping educate the public about agriculture. He worked at the South Florida Water Management District for 36 years conducting research on nonpoint source runoff, designing water quality monitoring networks and working with rural governments on water and natural resource issues. He also served as a member of the Okeechobee City Council from 2014-2018.

Tatiana Borisova is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Water Economics and Policy in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. Her extension and research programs address a range of topics related to water economics and policy, including expenditures needed to meet future water demand in Florida; the value of ecosystem services provided by water resources; costs, benefits, risks, and adoption patterns of innovative conservation practices for agriculture; and impact evaluation for urban water conservation programs. She joined the University of Florida in 2008. Dr. Borisova holds a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Economics from Pennsylvania State University.

Holly Bell is the Director of Cannabis in the Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services. In her role as Director of Cannabis, Ms. Bell oversees the development of rules, works directly with scientific experts, and ensures Commissioner Fried's vision for cannabis in Florida continues moving forward. Ms. Bell works closely with the Department's Division of Plant Industry, Food Safety, and AES on developing Florida's hemp industry, including the production, processing, inspecting, and manufacturing of industrial hemp. She also works with the Florida Department of Health as it relates to medical marijuana edibles and consumer issues.  Ms. Bell also works closely with the Commissioner's industrial hemp and medical marijuana advisory committees as well as the Hemp Advisory Council.

Jerry Fankhauser is the Assistant Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (FAES), the research arm of UF/IFAS. He provides administrative support for the UF/IFAS Research enterprise including facilitating programmatic impact for the FAES’ statewide agricultural land resources, research activities, and investment. Representing FAES, Jerry engages with statewide commodity organizations, state agencies, and other stakeholders across Florida.

Tyler Mark is an Associate Professor of Production Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky. His applied research interests include broadband availability in rural areas, precision agriculture, precision dairy, dairy policy, renewable energy feedstocks, and hemp economics. Current projects include factors that impact the profitability of farmers, broadband internet's impact on precision agriculture data transmission, and the economic aspects of hemp production.

John Walt Boatright is the Director of National Affairs at Florida Farm Bureau Federation and has served as the national affairs staffer since May 2017. He handles most federal legislative and regulatory issues that affect Florida agriculture on behalf of the Federation’s 147,000 member-families, specifically trade, labor, sugar, and Farm Bill policies. In addition, John Walt manages congressional affairs for Florida Farm Bureau, establishing working relationships with Florida’s 29-member delegation in Washington, DC. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Resource Economics and a minor in Agricultural and Natural Resource Law.

Dr. Luis A. Ribera is a Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. Dr. Ribera is the Director of the Center for North American Studies and also serves as the Program Director for International Projects with the Agricultural and Food Policy Center. His areas of expertise are international trade, transportation, economic impacts, and risk analysis. Dr. Ribera has been an invited speaker in over 300 conferences around the world and has brought over $30 million in research and extension funding for his programs.

Bill Messina is an Economic Analyst in the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He works on a wide range of international agricultural trade, policy, development, and marketing issues. As the founding co-Director of the Department research initiative studying Cuba’s agricultural sector (conducted in collaboration with the University of Havana since 1994), he regularly makes presentations on the topic throughout the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These presentations have included testimony before U.S. House and Senate committees and the U.S. International Trade Commission, as well as briefings to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. State Department.