Food and Resource Economics Department News

FRE faculty member receives a UF research award and grant

May 1, 2018

Dr. Gülcan Önel, FRE assistant professor, was one of 16 recipients of the 2018 Research Opportunity Seed Fund Awards, a University-wide competitive award and grant funded by the UF Office of Research.  The award targets interdisciplinary, faculty-initiated research initiatives with high potential for extramural support.  Dr. Önel is the first FRE principal investigator to receive this award since 2005.

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FRE student awarded "Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year"

April 4, 2018

Xuqi "Ricky" Chen received the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year from the UF Graduate Student Council (GSC).  Chen received the award based on his research and its significance to the field of food and resource economics. 

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'Gluten-free water' shows absurdity of trend in labeling what's absent (The Conversation)

August 29, 2017

The food labeling craze coupled with banner headlines about the dangers of gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hormones are leading to increasingly absurd results.

For example, you can now buy “premium” water that’s not only free of GMOs and gluten but certified kosher and organic. Never mind that not a single drop of water anywhere contains either property or is altered in any way by those designations.

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Consumers will normally pay more for organic products - but not wine

April 19, 2017

You swish around a sip of organic wine in your mouth and it might tempt your taste buds, but that doesn’t mean you’ll pay more for it, a new University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows.

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FRE faculty earn university-wide research awards

April 17, 2017

Five Food and Resource Economics Department faculty members earn awards for their research contributions.

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Grapefruit for dessert? South Korea could be a lucrative market for Florida growers

February 28, 2017

How about grapefruit as a dessert or snack? That is how many South Koreans, especially younger ones, view the fruit.  Therefore, Florida grapefruit growers may want to expand their shipments to that Asian nation, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers say.

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Multiple industry sectors benefit from Florida agriculture, UF/IFAS economic impact report shows

February 3, 2017

Many Floridians may view agricultural production in Florida as just farms, but Florida agriculture is so much more.  In Florida, there are 45 individual sectors that are primarily engaged in processing agricultural commodities that rely upon the success of Florida agricultural production.

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Science focused on policy solutions

January 26, 2017

There’s science that guides your choices – when to water, how to fight pests, and what to give your soil. Then there’s the science of consumers’ choices.

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Florida conference plans to discuss agricultural labor and immigration

January 25, 2017

To what extent are immigrant farmerworks affecting the economic opportunities of native farm workers?  Learn more about what will be discussed at the 2nd Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference.

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UF/IFAS conference highlights innovation economy for agriculture

January 18, 2017

Innovation is not new to agriculture.  Traditionally, producers have created innovative ways to improve quality, cut costs and prosper by embracing technology, but innovation goes beyond computerized technology.

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McFadden awarded seed research funding

January 6, 2017

received $49,715 in seed research funding from UF/IFAS Early Career Scientist Fund program for a study that will use eye tracking to determine the effectiveness of the updated Nutrition Facts Panel on food packaging.  UF/IFAS Dean for Research office, in partnership with the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Vice President for Research presented a total of 15 awards to UF/IFAS scientists.


Moss analyzes the impact of a development program on coffee production in Rwanda

January 3, 2017

Dr. Charles Moss co-authored an article published in Applied Economics analyzing the impact of the Sustainable Partnerships to Enhance Rural Enterprises and Agriculture Development (SPREAD) program on coffee production in Rwanda.  View the article via University of Florida libraries ...


FRE PhD student awarded scholarship

January 2, 2017

FRE PhD student, was awarded the 2016-17 Gerondelis Foundation Scholarship of $5,000.  Maria will use the scholarship for her academic studies to pursue research in natural resource economics, production economics and productivity analysis.


McFadden presents at One Health

December 7, 2016

Dr. Brandon McFadden recently spoke at a One Health talk, an interdisciplinary strategy for advancing health in humans, animals, and the environment through communication and collaboration with the realization all are connected. Dr. McFadden shared an overview of his research about consumers’ perceptions of genetically modified food. Consumers face many challenges when making decisions about food and new food technology only further complicates the decision framework. Dr. McFadden also discussed the future direction of research about consumer perceptions of GM food.

Hodges appointed as a UF/IFAS faculty chairperson

December 7, 2016

Dr. Alan Hodges was appointed as the next faculty chairperson for the UF/IFAS Extension Initiative on commercial agriculture.  He will oversee a committee of 18 to coordinate extension program teams in animal, plant and food systems, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), farm economics, and citizen awareness of agriculture.


FRE undergraduate student speaks at the 12th UN Conference of Youth in Morocco

November 30, 2016

Rock Aboujaoude Jr., a University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) undergraduate student in the food and resource economics department, presented to more than 2,000 colleagues from around the world at the 12th U.N. Conference of Youth in Marrakesh, Morocco. This international event was held as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in November.

UF/IFAS researchers head to Cuba for scientific exchange to benefit Florida agriculture

October 20, 2016

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is sending an inter-departmental team of scientists to Cuba as part of a grant that is believed to be the first federally-funded project for scientific field research in Cuba.

UF/IFAS researcher: Study shows federal school lunch guidelines lead to healthier choices

October 13, 2016

Federal school lunch guidelines enacted in 2012 are improving nutrition choices for school-age children and show the potential to reduce childhood obesity over time for children who participate in the program, according to a new study co-authored by a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member. 

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FRED faculty win extension awards

September 22, 2016

Two UF/IFAS food and resource economics department faculty were selected for the UF/IFAS Extension Professional and Enhancement awards.

'Nudges' help students select healthy lunches

August 30, 2016

A newly published UF/IFAS study finds that children who received a message on their computer while pre-ordering their school lunches will select meals with more of the nutritious food groups. These messages are called “nudges,” and they’re approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

UF/IFAS Extension in Suwannee Valley region helps watermelon growers save water, fuel, fertilizer

August 18, 2016

Robert Hochmuth remembers about 30 years ago when researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Suwanee Valley Agricultural Extension Center showed watermelon growers how to use transplants instead of direct seeding. Read more ...

Fruit fly outbreak cost growers $4.1 million; could have been much worse

July 7, 2016

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences economists estimate the Oriental fruit fly outbreak last year caused at least $4.1 million in direct crop damages in Miami-Dade County, but the damage could have been far worse, UF/IFAS researchers say.

Consumer knowledge gap about blueberry health benefits

June 17, 2016

Consumers know some of the benefits blueberries provide, but they’re less aware of the advantages of reverting aging, improving vision and memory, a new University of Florida study shows.   Read more ...

Agriculture and food industries in Palm Beach County generated $16.85 billion in industry output

May 31, 2016

View hightlights and presentation slides about the economic contributions of agricultural, natural resources and food industries in Palm Beach County, Florida.  

Plants labeled as 'pollinator friendly' attract consumers, UF/IFAS study finds

May 25, 2016

By: Samantha Grenrock, UF/IFAS

If you’re browsing plants in a nursery or home-improvement store, labels such as “pollinator friendly” will likely influence which plants you end up buying, according to a recent study by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers. Read more ...