UF/IFAS Extension moves to Newberry this week

The Alachua County UF/IFAS Extension Office will be closed temporarily from Sept. 20 through Sept. 24 as the Alachua County UF/IFAS Extension Office will spend the week moving to new headquarters in Newberry.

According to a press release from Alachua County Assistant County Manager/Chief of Staff Gina Peebles, in addition to faculty and staff, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County has approximately 100 4-H members and 125 Master Gardener volunteers.

“Since Alachua County is home to the University of Florida, we are thrilled to open a state-of-the-art extension office and auditorium to host agricultural and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, environmental horticulture, commercial horticulture, and livestock trainings, as well as community and private events,” Peebles said.

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The new facility is located at 22712 W. Newberry Rd. adjacent to the Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center in Newberry.

“The City of Newberry purchased the 5-acre site and leased it to the County for 99 years,” Peebles said. “They also invested more than $1 million and the State provided a $400,000 Department of Agriculture grant toward the project.  Through the County’s Public Art program, a beautiful stained glass window was installed in the Auditorium and a 3-D mural and sculpture will be installed soon.”

The auditorium will allow ample seating space for 300 to 400 citizens to attend extension programs, master gardener training, 4-H educational events, and youth fair training.

Alachua County Extension Director and Livestock Agent Dr. Cindy Sanders added that she expects the facility to start offering classes after the move is completed in late October.

The space can also be divided into three meeting rooms allowing for different programs to happen simultaneously.

In 2019, the Alachua County Extension Office offered 450 educational programs to the citizens of Alachua County, and 27,282 citizens participated in these events. In addition, over 328,000 educational contacts were reached through Extension programs.

On Oct. 15, 2020, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, City of Newberry Commissioners and state representatives celebrated the groundbreaking of the project.

Alachua County and UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County is a partnership between the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida IFAS. The mission of the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County is to provide scientifically based agricultural, human, and natural resource knowledge that citizens use in making informed decisions, which contribute to an improved quality of life in Alachua County.

For more information, contact the Alachua County UF/IFAS Extension Office at 352-955-2402 or Alachua@ifas.ufl.edu.

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