The University of Florida (UF), founded in 1853, is a public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university on a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) in Gainesville, Florida. It is the eighth largest single-campus university in the United States with an enrollment about 55,000 students.

The University of Florida is home to sixteen academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes, and offers more than 100 master's degree programs and seventy-six doctoral degree programs in eighty-seven schools and departments.

In 2018, the University of Florida is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 10 public research universities in the United States. UF is one of sixty-two elected member institutions of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the association of preeminent North American research universities, and the only AAU member university in Florida. With more than 10,000 active research projects and over $650 million in research awards, UF is classified as "R1: Research University" (institutions with the highest research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

University research strengths/ areas of expertise related to activities in Consortium

  • Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Value Chains
  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering: Biosensors
  • Agricultural and Life Sciences Extension Programming and Program Evaluation
  • Community Development
  • Materials Sciences and Engineering
  • Organic, Sustainable and Renewable Agriculture
  • Rural Poverty: Household and Community well-being
  • Sustainable Economic Development
  • Youth Sciences: entrepreneurship and empowerment

University Consortium Team Members

Pilar Useche

Team Leader, Associate Professor, Food and Resource Economics; and Center for Latin American Studies - Dr. Useche is an applied economist with expertise in international development and sustainable agricultural economics, who has extensive research and field experience in the Latin American region.

Kathy Colverson

Associate Director UF-IFAS Global, International Office Agricultural College

Julie Fesenmaier

Associate Director, International Center - Julie joined the OGRE team as Associate Director in November 2016. She brings more than 20 years of experience in connecting faculty research and practice and in supporting collaborative research. Her background in community development, strategic planning, asset mapping, and evaluation design is focused on stakeholder-defined outcomes and building communities of interest and communities of place.

Rose Koenig

Director UF-IFAS Global, International Office Agricultural College

Eric McLamore

Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering - My research group focuses on development and application of sensor/biosensor technology for solving hypothesis driven research questions in the life sciences.

Juan Claudio Niño

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Jorge Ruiz Menjivar

Assistant Professor, Family, Youth and Community Sciences - Dr. Ruiz-Menjivar is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Economics and State Specialist in the area of Family Financial Management for the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida.