July’s All in For Citrus podcast episode focuses on online educational opportunities for growers as in-person events continue to get canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Citrus Research and Education Center Director Michael Rogers begins the program with an update on the phased reopening of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Rogers says more researchers are being allowed to return to their laboratories in a scaled-back manner while adhering to social-distancing guidelines. He says it’s exciting to see some movement toward normalcy, but the health and safety of staff is the top priority. Faculty continue to move research projects forward, are providing new online educational opportunities, and remain available to growers when they have issues.
Tripti Vashisth, UF/IFAS assistant professor, describes how information normally presented at Citrus Expo will be made available to growers online. Vashisth was organizing the educational sessions prior to the cancellation of the in-person 2020 Citrus Expo. She says presenters are now in the process of recording their talks, which will be included in the virtual Citrus Expo debuting online Aug. 19-20. She previews some of the session topics and speakers on the agenda.
Citrus Expo is not the only digital education program UF/IFAS is developing. Five presentations from the 2020 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute, which was canceled back in April, are now available online. Citrus Extension Agent Chris Oswalt says the presentations have been approved for continuing education units (CEUs). Growers can find the information and how to apply for the CEUs at the 2020 Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute webpage.