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HYDROPONICS What is it and how does it work?

FERAL SWINE: Pigs Gone Wild?


Quarterly Outreach Magazine Your quarterly update and look into what’s going on at the FAMU Cooperative Extension Program. We remain dedicated to reaching out to serve farmers, rural and urban families, elderly, youth, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and underserved communities.

FAMU Cooperative Extension Program Main Location:

1740 S. Martin Luther King Jr, Blvd., 215 Perry-Paige Building South Tallahassee, FL 32307 Voice: 850-599-3546 / Fax: 850-561-2151/ TDD: 850-561-2704 Web:

Research and Extension Center :

4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy FL 32352 Voice: 850- 875-8555

Teleconference Center:

2010 Pinder Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32307 Voice: (850) 599-3572

Community Garden:

400 West Orange Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Administrator Vonda Richardson Director, FAMU Cooperative Extension Program

Administrative Staff Renysha Harris Hakeem Holmes Monique Hudson

Rhonda Miller Cedric Spradley

Amelia C. Davis Editor, FAMU CEP Quarterly Outreach

Agriculture and Natural Resources Alejandro Bolques, Ph.D. Jean Beaudouin, Ph.D. Charles Brasher# Gerry Bryant Lawrence Carter, Ph.D. Cassel Gardner, Ph.D. Samuel Hand Freddie Harris Glyen Holmes Trevor Hylton*# David Jones Carmen Lyttle-N’Guessan Angela McKenzie-Jakes Ray Mobley, DVM

*Contributing Writer

Community Resource Development Sandra Thompson Falan Goff Donna Salters Glyen Homes II Linda Sapp

Family Consumer Sciences Dreamal Worthen, Ph.D. Gail Browning Jevetta Stanford, Ph.D. Eunice Stevenson James Moten Fanny Ospina Robert Purvis, DVM* Gilbert Queeley*# Keawin Sarjeant, Ph.D. Norman Scarbrough Jennifer Taylor, Ph.D. ZaDarreyal Wiggins* Glen Wright, DVM* Julie-Ann Valliant* Walter Zanders

#Contributing Photographer

Sommer Kilpatrick Ciara Holloman Jenelle Robinson, Ph.D.

4-H Youth Development Program Tondalaya Nelson Kimberly Davis* Lester Gaskins Sabrina Hayes*

Conchita Newman*# Allen Vanerson

Follow us on the web:

@FAMUExt 2



Features 4

HYDROPONICS By: Amelia C. Davis

What is it and how does it work?


USDA Newsroom


Feral Swine: Pigs Gone Wild!


Marine Turns Farmer: Thanks to FAMU Extension

The latest news releases from USDA agencies

By: Samuel Barnes

Published by Havana Herald newspaper– By Sandi Beare

Highlights 12 20 21

Photo Gallery Extension Spotlight Extension Kitchen What’s cooking in the demo kitchen at FAMU Extension!



Columns 8 Herb Trend

By: Trevor Hylton and Linda Sapp

Cover page: Variety of lettuce, grown in the hydroponics, at the FAMU REC in Quincy, FL. (Photo credit: Amelia Davis)

FAMU Cooperative Extension’s Quarterly Outreach, Summer 2017, Volume 1 issue 2. Published quarterly by FAMU Cooperative Extension Program 1740 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, South, 215 Perry Paige Building South, Tallahassee, Florida 32307. The Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program is an equal employment/educational opportunity access organization which provides research-based educational information and other services only to eligible individuals and institutions regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, martial or veteran status. 3

HYDROPONICS What is it and how does it work?

Red Leaf Lettuce grown via hydroponics at the FAMU REC in Quincy, Florida. (Photo credit: Amelia Davis)


[Amelia Davis]

Before working in Agriculture, I had no idea what hydroponics were. Who would have thought you could grow vegetables and fruits without soil? Probably like me, you questioned any “new age” farming operation. However, hydroponics is hardly new, it has been around and used for years. The earliest modern reference to hydroponics is documented by William Frederick Gericke, while working at the University of California, Berkeley, he began to popularize the idea that plants could be grown in a solution of nutrients and water instead of soil. ( Hydroponics, or growing plants in a nutrient solution root medium, is a growing area of commercial food production and also is used for home food production by hobbyists. There are many benefits and advantages to growing your produce this way; one of the biggest advantages that hydroponics has over soil growing is water conservation. When growing plants in soil, a grower has to be very experienced to know how much water to give his plants. Too much and the plant’s roots are not able to get enough oxygen. Too little and the plant can dry out and die. Hydroponics solves this problem in two different ways. First, the water reservoir can be constantly oxygenated, making sure that the plant’s roots obtain the optimum level of oxygen. Additionally, the problem of watering is solved by the fact that the plant’s root system no longer has soil surrounding it, blocking oxygen uptake by the roots. Second, hydroponics uses much less water than soil farming because it can be recirculated. In traditional farming, water is poured over the ground and seeps into the soil. Only a small fraction of the water actually gets used by the plant. Hydroponics allows for the unused water to be recycled back into the reservoir, ready for use in the future. In dry and arid areas, this is a massive benefit. The last major benefit of hydroponics is the amount of control a grower has over the environment. Pests and diseases are much easier to deal with – your environment is often times portable and raised off of the ground. This makes it hard for bugs to reach your plants. Any soil-related diseases are completely written off in hydroponics as well. Lastly, you’re able to control the amount of nutrients provided to your plant precisely, saving on nutrition costs. If you would like to get more information on hydroponics and the process to start your own , feel free to contact your local County Extension office. If you are a resident of Leon or Gadsden county, your Extension Agents can be reached at the numbers below: Trevor Hylton (Leon/Wakulla) (850) 606-5200

DJ Wiggins (Gadsden) 850-875-7255

Good Luck!

References: Http:// Http://


USDA Certifies Another Rural Business Investment Fund


Fund to Help Capitalize Small Rural Businesses

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 – Acting Deputy Under Secretary Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA has certified the Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV LP as an investment pool for small and startup rural businesses. “This certification is another tool USDA provides to help rural businesses, to create jobs and to attract private-sector capital to rural communities,” Glendenning said. “Geography should not be a barrier to economic success. This pool will offer rural business owners the same access to capital as their counterparts in metropolitan areas.” The fund will support 30 to 45 companies that have the potential to generate more than $200 million in economic activity and create 600 jobs. It will provide capital for high-growth companies in the biosciences, technology and agricultural technology industries. The fund is the second USDA has certified under the Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP). RBIP funds support USDA’s strategy for rural economic growth. For a fund to receive USDA certification, its managers must demonstrate that they have venture capital experience and that they have successfully worked with community development organizations. The Ag Innovation Fund is being managed by Innova Memphis RBIC, LLC. Innova has three other funds that are not part of the Rural Business Investment Program. Those three funds collectively have invested $20 million in 75 startup companies, attracted $90 million of outside capital and created approximately 250 jobs. Farm Credit System members are contributing $31 million to the Ag Innovation Fund. The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of banks and lenders specifically chartered to serve agriculture and the U.S. rural economy. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

Press Release Release No. 0042.17 Weldon Freeman (202) 690-1384


Spanish Thyme

Creeping Thyme

Sweet Basil

Purple Basil

Purple Sage

Flat Parsley

Aloe Plant 7


[Trevor Hylton and Linda Sapp]

Growing Lemon Verbena, (Aloysia citrodora) Lemon Verbena is a perennial shrub with glossy pointed leaves that are slightly rough to the touch. It emits a powerful scent reminiscent of lemon when bruised. This herb makes a refreshing tea that may be taken as a hot or cold brew. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall by 7 feet wide. When crushed the leaves release a refreshing fragrance making it a great herb for planting near a window or a pathway where you can enjoy its lemony scent. However, you can easily grow it in a container, so that you can carry it indoors during the winter months. You will need a well-drained soil rich in organic matter. We have used a mixture of mushroom compost and top soil and have had plants that grew rapidly with lots of vigor. These plants do not require much water, so be careful not to overwater. Because the plant grows rapidly, you should ensure that the container is big enough to allow the roots enough room to spread. Lemon verbena grows best in full sun but will still perform well in partial shade. The leaves are more flavorful when grown in full sun. Harvest leaves throughout the growing season. Each time you snip a stem, new growth will emerge beneath the cut area.


[Samuel Barnes]

Photo courtesy of

One of the biggest problems facing the state of Florida is feral swine. These animals are also known as wild hogs, wild boars, wild swine, feral swine, feral pig, feral hog, old world swine, and razor backs. They are descendants of escaped or released pigs and known as the world’s most invasive species, brought to the U.S. from Spain by early explorers and settlers as a source of food.

In 1493, Christopher Columbus introduced eight hogs into the West Indies. In 1539, 13 hogs were introduced to Charlotte Harbor, Florida. The geographical range of the animals has rapidly expanded over the last 30 years. The animals have been found in 44 states in America, as they have free range or roam across the United Sates. Although several states are estimated to have six million of the creature living in them, the main states harboring the creatures are Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and California. They are highly adaptive, prolific breeders, very destructive, omnivorous, and compete with native wildlife. The overall estimated damage is $1.5 billion a year in control and cost. The National Wetland Research Center estimates crop loss cost $5.9 million in Florida and $ 190 million throughout the SE U.S. Wildlife Services. (Wildlife Services) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a National Feral Swine Damage Management Plan. Universities around the country are invited to participate in a survey concerning the damage. Florida Agriculture and Photo courtesy of Mechanical University (FAMU) participates in the agricultural development plan. Over a course of workshops throughout various counties, FAMU’s results concluded 125 responses, 24% had pigs on the farms, 45% grew crops in the last years, and 50 % had/ have livestock in last three years. The program has hired multiple biologists to further dedicate research concerning the feral swine. The priority of the program is to use funding as leverage to hire more technicians. (Wildlife Services) Feral Swine Management includes lethal control, trapping, sharpshooting, and aerial gunning. The animals are very dangerous and carry different diseases; these animals should only be handled or trapped by licensed professionals. Licensed farmers from the USDA are permitted to trap and hunt the wild animals. People must be licensed to shoot or trap the animals because the animals carry different diseases, such as swine fever, leptospirosis, and broccolis. All these diseases are treatable but can be fatal, if not treated properly. The management plan for the animals is still in development but has a promising upside to combat the feral swine problem. (Wildlife Services) 9

Reprint from article originally published by the Havana Herald newspaper by Sandi Beare , May 19, 2017.

MARINE TURNS FARMER THANKS TO FAMU EXTENSION SERVICE Thirty-four-year old Gerhart H. Lewis, Jr. had one thing he wanted to do after he left the U.S. Marine Corps: become a farmer. The veteran of four years' service with two tours in Iraq and Japan returned home to his family compound in Havana and sought help in learning how to best take care of a proposed organic vegetable and herbal garden. After going online for research on establishments that offer agrarian assistance, Lewis reached out to the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)'s Extension Service. He told FAMU's Vonda Richardson, Director of the Extension Service, that he would like some help getting started. Soon he was in touch with D.J. Wiggins, The extension service brought in a tractor, driven by Walter Zanders, Gadsden County's extension agent, telling him that the to help with the planting. land had been farmed by his family for several generations. His great-great-grandfather had raised hogs on the land near US 27 that runs some five-plus acres, he said. Wiggins followed Alex Bolques, PhD, who served as the county's agent for over two decades. Lewis had served in the Marine Motor Transport Service Battalion 35-33, moving large-size logistical vehicles, ammunition, Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), cargo, water and other foods. Now his charge is about 40' x 65.' He plans to plant vegetables and herbs organically without harmful chemicals. Thursday morning, May 11th, he stood with Wiggins and observed as FAMU reps brought in heavy equipment to loosen the soil and begin tilling it into rows suitable for planting. He hopes to be able to share some of his crops with his relatives who live in homes around the compound, to enable all to eat healthier, and looks forward to the day he can sell some, too. The land preparation was extensive, with machines and labor provided by FAMU through the extension service. Gerhart H. Lewis, Jr. will plant carrots and sweet potatoes in the sunshine. Tomatoes and other vegetables will be planted under plastic, he said. Lewis said he was ready to start planting. Wiggins said he'd follow up with the Marine farmer for any additional advice he could give or help that Gerhart H. Lewis, Jr. (l) and D.J. Wiggins, FAMU’s Gadsden Co. Ag FAMU can deliver. extension agent. Photos courtesy of Havana Herald newspaper.



Nutrition is a vital part of living a long and healthy life! Women of Color Empowerment Summit Cost: TBD Location: TBD

Stay tuned for upcoming events, hosted by Jenelle Robinson, PhD, that will focus nutrition and health!

Dates: Fall 2017

Online Nutrition Seminars Starting Fall 2017 Cost: Free Location: Online Dates: Fall 2017

To get access to the monthly seminars, please e-mail 11










4H Youth Day At the Capitol



Feral Swine Workshop-Brooksville, FL


Cogongrass/Silvopasture Workshop-Brooksville, FL


by Lester Gaskins Miracle Hill Nursing Home

Oak Ridge Elementary School


by Lester Gaskins



Congrats to Hakeem Holmes! Hakeem, FAMU CEP student employee, will earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness, in August 2017!

Congratulations! We would like to congratulate the following FAMU Cooperative Extension Program employees for successfully defending their dissertation and earning their PhD: Gilbert Queeley Carmen Lyttle-N’Guessan Sandra Thompson

CEP welcomes Florida A&M School of Journalism student, Samuel Barnes to the communications team!

Samuel W. Barnes, originally from La Grange, GA, was raised in Marianna, Florida. Samuel is a Public Relations major at FAMU and upon gradation, he plans to pursue a career in public relations/branding. “I decided upon this major because I have all always been interested in building and expanding brands. Brands are all around us and many of the products we enjoy have a brand attached to it. None of these brands are able to reach the consumer’s market without someone promoting the best values of the brand amongst the public. Public Relations require good listening skills and asking questions. These two attributes, I’m very good at.” We welcome Samuel and look forward to reading his contributions to the FAMU CEP Quarterly Outreach magazine. 20

Extension Kitchen

Chevon Meatloaf Ingredients 2 eggs, beaten ¾ cup milk ¼ cup onion, finely chopped ½ cup dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons parsley, snipped 1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sage ⅛ teaspoon pepper 1 ½ lb. ground chevon ¼ cup ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Directions Mix together eggs, milk, crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, sage, and pepper. Add ground meat and mix well. Pat into a loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350°F. Skim off excess fat. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard and spread over meatloaf. Bake for 10 more minutes.



EVENTS June June 3rd: FAMU Farm Fest, Time: 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. FAMU Research and Extension Center, 4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy, FL 32352 Registration: $5 adults 18 and over, kids are free Contact: FAMU Extension Program, (850) 599-3546

June 5-9th : Food Science Summer Enrichment Program (FSSEP) Application deadline passed- May 19, 2017 Fee: $125/ per student. Middle /High School Florida A&M University campus, Tallahassee, FL Contact: Conchita Newman, (850) 599-8110 June 11-24th : Ag Discovery Summer Camp Application deadline passed- March 10, 2017. Free, Ages 14-17 Florida A&M University campus, Tallahassee, FL Contact: Carmen Lyttle-N’Guessan, Ph.D. (850) 412-5363 June 12-16th : FAMU Entomology Insect Camp Application deadline passed: May 26, 2017 Fee: $100/ per student. Ages, 8-11. Florida A&M University campus, Tallahassee, FL. Contact: Sabrina Hayes, (850) 625-1009 June 19-30th : FAMU Forestry and Conservation Education (FACE) Summer Program Application deadline passed May 15, 2017 FAMU Campus– Perry-Paige Building. Tallahassee, FL Contact : Kimberly Davis (850) 412-6515

July July 16-21st : AgTech Century 21 Summer Enrichment Program, Application deadline: June 9, 2017. Free, Ages 13-17. Florida A&M University campus, Tallahassee, FL. Contact: Carmen Lyttle-N’Guessan, (850) 412-5363 July 24-28th :FSSEP and FACE B-WET Summer Program (Apalachicola Residents only). Fr ee event Contact: Conchita Newman (850) 599-8110

August Date: TBD: 2017 Grape Harvest Festival, 8 AM– 4 PM FAMU Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research 6505 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32317 23



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FAMU CEP Quarterly Outreach Magazine  

Summer 2017

FAMU CEP Quarterly Outreach Magazine  

Summer 2017