Skip to main content

University of Florida IFAS Extension Records

Identifier: Series 093

Scope and Content

The University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension Records are divided into four Subseries.

Subseries 1: Dean for Extension Administrative Policy Records is further divided into four further subseries chronologically by accession including:

Subseries 1a “1934-1975” contains the administrative files of Marshall O. Watkins, Director/Dean for Extension for the years 1964-1969, and includes administration and extension biennial reports as well as documents regarding Farm Management, the Florida Farm Bureau, the Soil Conservation Service, and efforts to assist low-income groups. Files on various subcommittees usually consist of a statement of purpose, a plan of action (ranging in quality from generalizations about the future of farming to lists of specific objectives), minutes of meetings, narrative reports, and a yearly assessment of progress.

Operation DARE (Developing Agricultural Resources Effectively), begun by Agricultural Provost E. T. York in 1964, inaugurated some organizational realignment within the extension service and a re-evaluation of the technical competency of staff. DARE's stated objective was to delineate emerging trends in agriculture so as to design effective marketing strategies for Florida growers amid intense national and international competition, and to forecast market trends to offset disparities between consumer demand and commodity production. A more important underlying objective of DARE was that of closely synchronizing IFAS and industry policies and goals. A strong effort was undertaken to involve industry in the conceptualization and implementation of the DARE program at every level. DARE consisted of a principal Coordination Committee and subordinate county committees whose responsibility it was to ascertain both the availability of natural resources and labor for farming, and the current adequacy of market outlets.

Several files document the activities of the labor subcommittees and the material and social conditions of rural workers including dilapidated housing, poor health, and inadequate medical facilities as well as family instability.

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject, with larger individual files broken down by year.

Subseries 1b “1950-1983” contains the administrative files of Dean Joe N. Busby for the years 1970 to 1976, and those of Dean John Theodore Woeste for the years 1976 to 1979. The subseries includes correspondence and annual reports for the various departments within the IFAS framework, and correspondence between IFAS and federal agencies related to extension services.

Extension activities expanded rapidly in terms of scope and diversity, but were tightly monitored through the DARE program (See Subseries 93b.) The bulk of the files concern DARE's subcommittees, whose work ranged from recreational urban forestry, to wildlife ecology, water resources, and transportation. New programs inaugurated during the 1970s included the Farm to Market Project designed to facilitate sales of agricultural products directly from farmers to consumers--bypassing middleman retail outlets--and the Integrated Pest Management Program. Further, the Rural Development Committee promoted DARE's impetus to organize North Florida growers, pressing for vocational education and cooperation among local farmers.

Also of interest is the Low Energy Technology Program initiated in the 1970s to pursue alternative forms of energy that would better utilize Florida's renewable resources.

The files for this subseries are arranged alphabetically, with larger files broken down by year.

Subseries 1c: “1976-1985” contains the administrative files of Dean John Theodore Woeste for the years 1979 to 1985. It includes records of the various IFAS departments, the Community Resource Development Committee, the Energy Extension Committee, the Marine Advisory Program, and other programs. Most committee files consist of a statement of purpose, a plan of action (ranging in quality from generalizations on the future of farming to specific measures), and a yearly assessment of progress.

For IFAS, the year 1980 marked an important milestone on the road to computer technology. In September the W.W. Kellogg Foundation awarded IFAS over $280,000 to design and implement a computer soft-ware package that would retrieve and disperse information and recommendations related to crop and pest control management. Also during the 1980s, IFAS confronted the exigencies of economic survival as federal support declined. IFAS searched for alternative sources of funds and opted for an integrated approach to extension work that involved agencies outside the agricultural framework in their efforts to assist small (or "family") farms in North and Central Florida.

This subseries is arranged alphabetically, with larger files broken down by year.

Subseries 1d: "1999-2004" contains correspondence from District II Extension Director and Assistant Director for County Relations, Rod Clouser. Most administrative policy records from post 1985 to present have not yet been transferred to the University Archives.

Subseries 2: Florida Cooperative Extension Service is further divided into five subseries that include Annual Reports, Federal, State, and Campus Correspondence, Financial Reports, Minutes (Faculty and Staff), and Mimeograph Work.

Subseries 3: Family Resources (Home Demonstration and 4-H) is further divided into two further subseries that include General Records and Scrapbooks.

Subseries 4: Publications contains various publications produced by the UF IFAS Extension Service.


  • Creation: 1910 - 2014



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Biographical / Historical

The Morrill Act of 1862, also called the Land Grant Act, gave states tens of thousands of acres of land; proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in an endowment fund that would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each state, known as land grant colleges. In Florida, this school was Florida Agricultural College, established in Lake City in 1884.

In 1905, the Florida Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which consolidated Florida Agricultural College, the East Florida Seminary of Gainesville, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School at St. Petersburg, and the South Florida Military College at Bartow to form the University of the State of Florida, which was moved to Gainesville. The school was renamed University of Florida in 1909.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension System, a partnership between land grant colleges nationwide, including the University of Florida, and the US Department of Agriculture, in order to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public through educational programs

In 1964, Florida’s higher education governing board created the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences by combining UF’s College of Agriculture (now the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences), School of Forestry (now the School of Forest Resources and Conservation), Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (now Florida Agricultural Research and Education Center), and the Cooperative Extension Service into a single unit.


UF IFAS Extension Website:

Agricultural Experiment Station Directors:

J. Kost: 1887-1889 James P. DePass: 1889-1893 O. Clute: 1893-1897 W.F. Yocum: 1897-1901 T.H. Toliaferro: 1901-1904 Andrew Sledd: 1904-1906 Peter Henry Rolfs: 1906-1921 Wilmon Newell: 1921-1943 Harold Mowry: 1943-1950 Willard Fifield: 1950-1956 Joseph R. Beckenbach: 1956-1968 John W. Sites (Dean of Research, IFAS): 1968-1976 [Note: all people listed after this point are Dean of Research, IFAS] Howard Wilkowske: 1977-78 Francis Aloysius Wood: 1978-1986 Vernon Perry: 1986-1987 James M. Davidson: 1987-1992 Neal Thompson: 1992-1994 Joseph Joyce: 1994-1995 Richard Jones: 1995-2007 Mark McLellan: 2007-2011 John Hayes: 2011-2014 Douglas Archer and Mary Duryea (co-Research Deans): 2014-2014 Jackie Burns: 2014-2018 Robert Gilbert: 2018-

Director of the Agricultural/Cooperative Extension Service/Dean for Extension:

Peter Henry Rolfs: 1914-1921 Wilmon Newell: 1921-1943 Harold Mowry: 1943-1944 Arthur Spencer: 1944-1947 Harold Gray Clayton: 1947-1957 Marshall Watkins: 1957-1970 Joe Busby (Dean for Extension): 1970-1976 [Note: all people listed after this point are Dean for Extension, IFAS] John Woeste: 1976-1995 Christine Stephens (became Christine Waddill): 1995-2004 Larry Arrington: 2004-2009 Millie Ferrer-Chancy: 2009-2012 Nick Place: 2012-2020 Thomas Obreza: 2020-2021 Andra Johnson: 2021-


104 Linear feet (75 boxes, 18 volumes, 1 microfilm)

Language of Materials



Series 93 contains the administrative records of the University of Florida Dean for Extension (previously designated Director of Extension), Florida Cooperative Extension Service Records, and Family Resources (Home Demonstration and 4-H) Records, and publications documenting major trends in the Florida Cooperative Extension Service's role as a disseminator of information to the agricultural communities of Florida.

Physical Location

Please note that portions of this collection are housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.

Processing Information

Series 93, 91, 21, 30, 94, 97, 96, 158, 28, and 105 were merged together in April 2022.

This finding aid was revised in August 2022. Recognizing that historical terms do not always completely or directly map to contemporary terms, that historical terms can be offensive or inaccurately describe a person or group, and that the presence of both historical and contemporary terms may be useful for researcher discovery, the archivist has attempted to employ historical terms as they originally appear in the context of the collection, in the description, along with contemporary terms in brackets.

A Guide to the University of Florida IFAS Extension Records
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
October 2010 (Updated April 2022)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • October 2021: Added two folders Fiftieth anniversary of agricultural extension work, 1953, and Freeze damage, 1958, on behalf of Carl Van Ness to Subseries 1. He said these came from Sam Proctor's papers, he likely borrowed them and did not return them.
  • April 2022: Series 93, 91, 21, 30, 94, 97, 96, 158, 28, and 105 were merged together. The boxes were also rehoused into records boxes from doc boxes and moved off campus, except for Series 105, 28, and 158.
  • August 2022: Revised to incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) changes. "Negro" to "Black"

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America