29th Annual


November 2 4, 2009

Hilton Ocala
Ocala, Florida

Welcome Go Green Conference Sponsors
Florida Yards & Neighborhoods County Displays/Exhibits Travel & Area Information
Tentative Agenda Registration Information Related Sites of Interest
General Session Speakers Meeting Site & Hotel Accommodations Program Committee

Conference Proceedings (PDF)

Master Gardener Program - Main Web Site

Dear Master Gardeners,

The planning for the 29th Annual Master Gardener Continued Training Conference is mostly complete and I feel the education committee did a great job of putting together a conference filled with great learning opportunities and dynamic presenters. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Florida Master Gardener Program and we will be recognizing the founding fathers of the Florida Program and maybe even a volunteer from the very first class.  The conference includes a learning field trip to the Horticulture Teaching Unit and of course our horticulture auction filled with great items donated from each county program.  

Don’t forget to assemble your team to participate in the 4H Plant ID and Judging Contest.  The winning county is listed on a plaque located in the Dean’s office each year. Come and increase your knowledge, celebrate the past year’s great work at the awards banquet, meet new friends and have at great time at this year’s conference. 

I look forward to seeing you in November.


Tom Wichman
Florida Master Gardener Coordinator

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Florida Yards & Neighborhoods

55643895_125.jpgThe Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program was developed to address serious problems of pollution and disappearing habitats by enlisting homeowners in the battle to save our natural environment. This program provides special educational and outreach activities directed at the community to help residents reduce pollution and enhance their environment by improving home and landscape management.

Master Gardeners who have received additional FYN training in their county can become Florida Yard Advisors and help homeowners evaluate and reduce the environmental impacts of their landscapes. All Master Gardeners play a key role in educating homeowners about the nine Florida Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN) principles:

  • Right Plant, Right Place
  • Water Efficiently
  • Fertilize Appropriately
  • Mulch
  • Attract Wildlife
  • Control Yard Pests Responsibly
  • Recycle
  • Reduce Stormwater Runoff
  • Protect the Waterfront

All conference participants will attend concurrent sessions sponsored by Florida Yards & Neighborhoods.

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Tentative Agenda

Printable Agenda (PDF)


Monday, November 2, 2009  


Registration Open in Belmont Room


UF/IFAS Bookstore Open


4H Hort Judging Competition in the Arlington Salon


Welcome and AnnouncementsTom Wichman, Dr. Arrington and Dr. Nell

General Session 1Butterflies and Native Plants: Diversity, Connections and OpportunitiesJaret Daniels, UF  [Presentation]


General Session 2 – From the Outhouse to the Brick House: A Few Possums Short of a LoadWalter Reeves, Author and Host of Your Southern Garden  [Presentation]


Lunch on Own

View County Displays and Exhibits


3 Concurrent Sessions


Horticultural Therapy 101 – Learn what is involved in the profession and ways that volunteers can get involved. – Leah Diehl and Lesley Fleming, Florida Horticultural Therapy Association


Alternative Vegetable Gardening – Learn about fun ways to grow vegetables without having to dig-up the back yard. – Sydney Park Brown, UF


Designing and Delivering Perfect Presentations – Learn tips and tricks for designing effective presentations and visual aids. – Ricky Telg, UF  [Presentation]


Refreshment Break


3 Concurrent Sessions


How to Have a Champagne Landscape on a Beer Budget – Learn Tips and Tricks to Make Your Garden Stand Out without Emptying your Wallet. – Erin Alvarez, UF  [Presentation]


The Beautiful and Versatile Bromeliads – Learn How To Best Use These Beautiful And Underutilized Plants In The Landscape And Home. – Tom Wolfe, Bromeliad Societies of Florida



What’s New in Newsletters – Learn to design modern newsletters that effectively deliver information and that your readers want to read. – Ricky Telg, UF  [Presentation]


3 Concurrent Sessions


FAWN – The Florida Automated Weather Network – Learn about the available resources and tools that you can share with homeowners. – Rick Lusher, UF  [Presentation]


The Amazing Cycads – Learn about these amazing ancient plants.  There are even many that can be added to our landscapes. – Bart Schutzman, UF  [Presentation]


What’s New in Communication – Learn about blogging, tweeting and other new and trendy means of electronic communication. – Emily Eubanks and Kim Taylor, UF  [Presentation]


Welcome Reception


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Registration Open


UF/IFAS Bookstore Open


Continental Breakfast


General Session 3The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program
Don Rainey, UF
Esen Momol, UF
Brian Niemann, UF
Kathy Malone, UF


Refreshment Break


3 Concurrent Sessions (FYN)


Stormwater Strategies for the Homeowner – Learn about various ways to deal with stormwater in the home landscape. – Joe Sewards, UF  [Presentation]


ButterflyScaping Communities – Learn how to attract butterflies throughout new and existing communities using the nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Principles to create butterfly-themed communities. – Kathy Malone, UF  [Presentation]


Yard Recognition Program – Learn about the updated Yard Advisor Handbook and Yard Recognition Checklist. – Barbara Edmonds and Brian Niemann, UF  [Presentation]


3 Concurrent Sessions (FYN)


Florida Water Star 101 – Learn what strategies you can use to save water. – Teresa Watkins, SJRWMD  [Presentation 1]  [Presentation 2]  [Presentation 3]  [Presentation 4]


Converting a Traditional Yard to a Florida-Friendly Landscape – Learn a step by step approach to converting to a Florida-Friendly Landscape. – Gail Hansen, UF  [Presentation]


Importance of Mulch and Soil in the Landscape – Learn how mulch and soil contribute to the success of your landscape. – Geoffrey Denny, UF  [Presentation]


Boxed Lunches


Bus to Environmental Horticulture Landscape Teaching Lab


Tour Research at the Environmental Horticulture Landscape Teaching Lab – in Gainesville


Return to Hotel


Horticultural Auction and Light Hor’deurves


Wednesday, November 4, 2009




UF/IFAS Bookstore Open


Continental Breakfast


General Session 4Good Plants Gone Bad-How You Can Make Sure Your Garden Behaves.Gary Knox, UF


General Session 5Epcot Flower & Garden Festival-behind the Scenes Eric Darden, Disney Horticulture




Awards of Excellence and MG Professorship  [Presentation 1]  [Presentation 2]


Plated Awards Lunch


General Session 6Edible Landscapes for EveryoneTom MacCubbin, Extension Agent Emeritus UF  [Presentation]


Conference Concludes


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Go Green!

As a participant of the 29th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference, you have the opportunity to play a vital role in making our event sustainable. Below is a list of suggested actions that you can take to help make the Florida Master Gardener Conference green:


Travel to and from the conference:

  • Offset green house gas (GHG) emissions associated with your travel by visiting www.carbonfund.org and clicking on “Offset Your Footprint”

  • Book your travel via the most direct route possible as multiple take-offs and landings cause substantial increases in emissions

  • Utilize shuttle services from the airport to your accommodations to reduce GHG emissions

At the conference:

  • Recycle your bottles, cans and paper at recycling stations throughout the conference and to reduce waste

  • When printing or copying materials, make sure to print double-sided versions

  • Bring your own reusable mug, water bottle, pen, pencil and paper

  • Collect business cards of presenters and have them e-mail reports and other information rather than collecting printed hand-outs

At your hotel room:

  • Turn off any lights, TV, air conditioner or heaters when you leave your hotel room for the day to decrease energy consumption

  • If your accommodation offers this service, take the option of not having sheets and towels changed every day to reduce consumption of energy, water and soap

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General Session Speakers

General Session 1: Jaret C. Daniels


Jaret C. Daniels is an IFAS Assistant Professor of Entomology and Assistant Curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. He holds an affiliate position with UF's School of Natural Resources and Environment. Jaret received his B.S. in Biology from Saint John's University in Minnesota and Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. He completed his Postdoctoral training in insect conservation at the Florida Museum in Gainesville. His research focuses on insect ecology and conservation, with particular emphasis on Lepidoptera, seasonal ecology, population biology, and behavior. He has over 16 years of experience working with imperiled Lepidoptera in the U.S. and Caribbean. These projects have involved various aspects of research, recovery and public education. He is the founder and director of the Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network, a multi-agency program that brings together volunteers, AZA institution staff and scientists to promote and survey the health of butterfly populations throughout Florida. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the steering committee for the Butterfly Conservation Initiative, a national coalition of organizations across North America dedicated to the conservation of threatened, endangered, and vulnerable North American butterflies and the habitats that sustain them, with a focus on recovery, research, and education. He has authored more than 50 scientific papers, popular articles, and books dealing with butterflies, conservation, integrated pest management, and wildlife landscaping.


General Session 2: Walter Reeves


Walter is retired from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, where he worked for 29 years. He grew up on a farm in rural Fayette County, Georgia.

He hosts a radio call-in show on NewsTalk 750 WSB-AM every Saturday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m.; has done radio gardening call-in for twenty years. “The Lawn and Garden Show with Walter Reeves” is among the most listened-to radio shows in Atlanta, competing with 30 other radio stations.

He also writes a weekly column of garden tips and questions & answers for the Thursday Living section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has just completed his eighteenth year of this effort.

Walter hosts “Gardening in Georgia” on Georgia Public Television. The weekly broadcast airs each year beginning in April and ending in October. This is the tenth year of the show. The show will expand to Florida in 2010 and will change its name to “Your Southern Garden”.

Walter manages the website www.walterreeves.com, which contains over 6000 of his news articles and answers to garden questions. He edits and publishes “The Georgia Gardener” e-mail newsletter for WSB radio, which has grown in three years to 25,000 subscribers.

He is the author of the following books:

“501 Garden Questions and Answers for Georgia” (2008) “Month by Month Gardening in Georgia” (with Erica Glasener) 2006 “The Georgia Gardener’s Guide, Revised Edition” (with Erica Glasener) 2003

“Jackson and Perkins Beautiful Roses Made Easy (with Teri Dunn) 2003 “Jackson and Perkins Selecting, Growing and Combining Perennials (with Teri Dunn) 2003 “Georgia Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Nuts” (with Felder Rushing) 2002

“50 Best Flowering Plants for Georgia” (2004) “50 Best Trees for Georgia” (2004) “50 Best Shrubs for Georgia” (2004)

Walter has served on the Board of Southface (www.southface.org ) for sixteen years. Southface promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, research, advocacy and technical assistance and he is an Honorary Master Gardener and an enthusiastic promoter of environmentally responsible landscaping.



General Session 3: Don Rainey


Prior to the recent transition to GI-BMPs State Coordinator in August of this year, Mr. Rainey was the Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent for Sarasota County where he was responsible for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of a number of Extension horticulture outreach programs. He specializes in the Best Management Practices (BMPs) directing those within the Green Industry as well as supporting commercial production nurseries and pesticide applicator’s licensure training and testing.

He also supports various Green Industry professional and organizations assisting with horticulture issues such as palm tree disease identification and treatment and is in the process of developing a new continuing education course supporting local commercial irrigation management companies, technicians, designers and installers as part of a new Water-Efficient Landscaping Code currently under development by Sarasota County.


Mr. Rainey graduated from the University of Georgia in 1995 with a B.S.A. degree in Landscape and Grounds Management and a minor in Agricultural Economics. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Science program in Environmental Science at the University of Florida.

He currently resides in Port Charlotte, Florida with his wife, Tracy, an elementary school special education teacher and their two children, Allison, age nine and Hayden, age five.



General Session 3: Esen Momol


Esen MomolEsen Momol is the latest addition to the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture faculty, joining as the director of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program which consists of three program areas: Florida Yards and Neigborhoods (FYN) Home Owners, FYN Builder & Developers and Green Insuctries Best Management Practices. She completed her graduate work here at UF in the Department of Plant Pathology, and spent seven years working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Esen, her husband Tim, daughter Laura, son-in-law Matt are all longtime Gators. The Momols survived among the Seminoles in Tallahassee for ten years before returning to Gainesville!



General Session 3: Brian Niemann

Brian NiemannBrian Niemann has been Statewide Homeowner Coordinator for the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program since December 2007. Prior to joining the FFL Statewide Office, he worked for a private landscape architecture firm in the Tampa Bay area. Brian earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree from UF in 2006 and is considering pursuing a Master’s Degree. Some of Brian’s duties include working with Homeowner Coordinators around the state to ensure the recognition program runs smoothly, processing all material orders that come into the state office, and developing new materials. Brian and his wife Susan had their first child, a girl, at the beginning of May, so they are very busy learning how to be parents. Brian also enjoys gardening, running, and disc golf in his free time.


General Session 3: Kathy Malone


Kathy MaloneKathy is the state builder & developer coordinator for the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program. Prior to joining the FFL team, Kathy worked at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. She co-authored a national 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology curriculum, Project Butterfly WINGS (Winning Investigative Network for Great Science)--a citizen science program--for youth ages 9 - 13. Kathy worked at the South Florida Water Management District for 18 years, four of which were in the Land Stewardship Division where she wrote the District's award-winning public lands recreational guide. Kathy is an avid butterfly photographer and recently was awarded first place in the Association of Tropical Lepidoptera's 2009 pollinator photography contest. She conducts surveys of rare butterflies on the weekends as a volunteer for the Florida Natural Areas Inventory. Kathy has a bachelor's in journalism with a minor in environmental science from the University of Florida and a master's in education from Palm Beach Atlantic University.



General Session 4: Gary Knox


Gary Knox is a long-time gardener in Tallahassee and a Professor of Environmental Horticulture with the University of Florida at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy. He has a professional interest and personal obsession with collecting and evaluating plants. From a research standpoint, he is evaluating plants for their invasive potential as well as their growth under nursery production and their performance in north Florida landscapes. Current plant passions include crapemyrtle, magnolia, hydrangea, rain lilies, hardy palms, succulents, ornamental grasses, ornamental vines and many other plants (so many species, so little time . . .).


General Session 5: Eric Darden


Eric Darden graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Agriculture. He joined Disney’s Horticulture in 1988 working as a gardener at the Walt Disney World Nursery. During the next 12 years he held many roles at the Nursery including managing the facility from 1997-2001. During the first Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival he was a gardener helping to create the Disney topiaries and has been involved with every festival since. In 2003 he was given the role of Horticulture Manager of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, helping to insure that each year the show is better than ever. He currently serves in that position as well as co-managing the Walt Disney World Nursery.


General Session 6: Tom MacCubbin

Tom MacCubbin is known to gardeners in Florida through his radio, television, and newspaper contributions.  A retired extension environmental horticulturist with the University of Florida in Orange County, MacCubbin has degrees in Horticulture from the University of Maryland.  Readers are familiar with his question-and-answer gardening columns and feature articles for The Orlando Sentinel, while others may recognize him as a co-host of Orange County Gardening on cable television and weekly horticulture reports on Central Florida News 13.  His radio program Better Lawns & Gardens is broadcast over twenty Florida stations.

 The National Association of County Agriculture Agents has recognized his media contributions with numerous awards, including awards for the best state personal column, best news photo story, best news column, and best television program.  Most recently, his Better Lawns & Gardens radio program was judged best in the nation for 1998 & 2000; in 1999, he was presented the AT&T Communications Award in the Best Videotape/Television category as a regional winner for his role as co-host of Orange County Gardening; in 2001 he received an ‘Award of Excellence’ for work as a county horticulture agent and for effective involvement with media programming, from the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.  He has been honored with the Best Horticulture Writer Award by the Florida Nurseryman and Growers Association, and was granted the Garden Communicators Award by the American Nurseryman’s Association. In  June 2007 Tom was recognized nationally as the teacher of the year by the American Horticultural Society.

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County Displays/Exhibits Information

What great projects and programs have been happening in other counties this year?

Display Size: you will receive a 6′ x 30″ table for your display. We have a limited amount of space so please keep your display to the assigned table-top space. Please contact Tom Wichman (twichman@ufl.edu) to sign up for display space.

Setup Instructions: The County Display Room (Keeneland/Aquaduct) will be open beginning Sunday, November 1st at 3:00pm for setup. Each display table will have an ID card for you to locate your table. If you arrive after 6:00pm on Sunday night, please plan to setup on Monday, November 2nd beginning at 7:00am – 9:30am. Viewing for participants will begin at 12:15pm.

Removal Instructions: All Displays should be removed no later than Wednesday, November 4th immediately following the conclusion of the conference.

Any additional questions, please contact Sharon Borneman (spb@ufl.edu)


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Registration Information

NOTE: The guest room block and group rate negotiated with the hotel includes costs incurred to provide us with the large quantity of meeting space we require for our meetings. If we do not occupy a sufficient amount of guest rooms throughout the meeting, we will incur additional costs for meeting room rental charges. Therefore, we encourage all meeting participants to stay in the host hotel. Consequently, guests not staying at the Hilton Ocala during the conference will be charged a $100 facilities fee to cover their portion of meeting room rental charges incurred. [Explanation of Facilities Usage Fee]. See registration fees below. Please note: If your residential address is in Marion County, you are exempt from the Facilities Usage Fee stated above.


Early Reduced
(by 9/28/2009)

Regular and Onsite
(after 9/28/2009)

Attendee Registration (staying at host hotel -or- reside in Marion Co.)



Attendee Registration (not staying at host hotel)



Guest Registration



One-Day Registration for Mon. 11/2 or Tue. 11/3



One-Day Registration for Wed. 11/4




The Registration fee includes: 2.5 days of educational program, conference materials, a proceedings book of Speaker Handouts, a Monday Welcome Reception, daily refreshments breaks, the Tuesday Field Trip and boxed lunch, Horticultural Auction, and the Wednesday Awards Luncheon. If you decide to not stay at the Hilton Ocala during the conference, your registration fee will include a facilities usage fee to cover your portion of the meeting room rental charges. Please see the Explanation of Facilities Usage Fee above.

A “Guest Registration Fee” is available this year that allows participation in the Monday Welcome Reception, Tuesday Horticultural Auction and the Wednesday Awards Luncheon. Please note that ‘guests’ are not permitted to attend the daily educational sessions or refreshment breaks. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

We are also pleased to announce “One-Day Fees” that allow full participation in all events for that day only. Each day will have a different colored nametag to help identify the one-day attendees. We hope that this will help those attendees that can only come for one day’s educational sessions and networking.

Register early to ensure participation!

Refund Policy: Requests for registration refunds will be honored if a written notification of cancellation is received by the Office of Conference & Institutes on or before October 12, 2009. A $50.00 processing fee will be deducted from each registration refund. Sorry, no refunds will be honored for cancellation after October 12, 2009.

Special Needs: Participants with special needs can be reasonably accommodated by contacting the Office of Conferences & Institutes at least 10 working days prior to the conference. We can be reached by phone at 1-352-392-5930, by fax at 1-352-392-4044, or by calling 1-800-955-8771 (TDD). The TDD number can only be accessed from within the State of Florida.

Register Online Now!

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Meeting Site & Hotel Accommodations

The hotel is almost FULL!  Please contact the hotel TODAY and make your reservation.

          3600 SW 36th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474
          Tel: 352.854.1400 • Fax: 352.854.4010
          Toll-Free Reservations: 877-602-4023

The Hilton Ocala is offering participants of the 29th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference, a very special rate of $99.00 per night, with a two-night minimum required, (plus 8.5% state and local taxes), for up to 4 people in a room. The group rate will be honored three days prior and three days following the conference dates, based on availability.

NOTE: The guest room block and group rate that has been negotiated with the hotel includes costs incurred to provide us with the large quantity of meeting space we require for our meetings. If we do not occupy a sufficient amount of guest rooms throughout the meeting, we will incur additional costs for meeting room rental charges. Therefore, we encourage all meeting participants to stay in the host hotel. Consequently, guests not staying at the Hilton Ocala during the conference will be charged a $100 facilities fee to cover their portion of meeting room rental charges incurred. [Explanation of Facilities Usage Fee].

If your residential address is in Marion County, you are exempt from the Facilities Usage Fee stated above. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Wichman (twichman@ufl.edu) or Sharon Borneman (spb@ufl.edu). 

To Make a Reservation:

  • Reservations must be made by Monday, October 5, 2009 in order to receive this group rate. Please be aware the block of rooms may fill before the deadline, so we urge you to make your reservation as soon as possible. After Monday, October 5, the discounted rate is not guaranteed on possible remaining rooms.

  • You may also call the Hilton Ocala reservations direct line at (352) 854-1400 and identify yourself as a participant of the 29th Annual Florida Master Gardener Continued Training Conference to receive the reduced rates.

  • Florida government participants: Florida government participants: To receive tax exempt status, payment must be made in the form of a government issued check or credit card and be accompanied by a Florida sales tax exemption certificate presented at check-in). Note: The Hilton Ocala has received its Green Lodging certification. For information about Florida’s Green Travel Policies, click here.

Please note:

  • All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. The hotel will not hold any reservations
    after 6:00pm on the day of arrival if not secured with a major credit card.

  • The hotel check-in time is 3:00pm and check out is 11:00am.

  • The hotel is offering participants of the 29th Florida Master Gardener’s Conference complimentary
    high-speed wireless internet. 

Click here for directions and map to the Hilton Ocala.

Update: Overflow Accommodations

In the event the Hilton Ocala is full over the dates you are requesting accommodations, The Hampton Inn - Ocala is offering guest rooms to Master Gardener conference attendees at the same $99 per night rate, plus taxes. Please use Code FMG to receive the special rate. The Hampton Inn – Ocala is only a few blocks from the host hotel.

Hampton Inn - Ocala
3434 SW College Road
Ocala, FL 34474
Tel: 352-854-3200
Website: www.ocala.hamptoninn.com 

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Conference Sponsors

All the Master Gardeners and County Extension
Offices who donate material for the Plant Auction

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Travel & Area Information

Jacksonville Airport Authority

Map of Florida

Click for Gainesville, Florida Forecast

Mileage Chart

Click for Ocala, Florida Forecast

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Related Sites of Interest

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Program Committee

Dan Culbert
– Okeechobee County

Charles Fedunak
– Lake County

Kim Gabel
– Monroe County

Lisa Hickey
– Manatee County

Rebecca Jordi
– Nassau County
Ruth Micieli
– Flagler County

Norma Samuel
– Marion County

Holly Shackelford
– Charlotte County

Tom Wichman
– Alachua County

Larry Williams
– Okaloosa County

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Conference Program Organizer

Tom Wichman
Florida Master Gardener Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS
Environmental Horticulture Department
PO Box 110675
107 Mehrhoff Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-0675, USA
Phone: 352-392-1831, ext. 331
Fax: 352-392-1413
Email: twichman@ufl.edu

Conference Coordinator

Sharon Borneman
Conference Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS
Office of Conferences & Institutes
PO Box 110750
Mowry Road Building 639
Gainesville, FL 32611-0750
Phone: 352-392-5930
Fax: 352-392-4044
Email: spb@ufl.edu

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