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History of MREC

The Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC), part of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) was originally established as the Central Florida Research & Education Center (CFREC) in the fall of 1986 by administratively combining research centers at Apopka, Leesburg and Sanford. The three units now occupy a new multi-million dollar research and education facility on land next to the old Apopka center.

The original units of MREC were established at various times to address industry concerns:

  Apopka 
1968
Conduct research on environmental horticulture crops in the areas of nutrition, water use, breeding, plant pathology, entomology, economics and general plant culture.
  Leesburg 
1929
Conduct research on vegetable and fruit crops in the areas of breeding, plant pathology, entomology, developmental biology and horticulture.
  Sanford 
1933
Conduct research on ornamental plants, vegetable crops on sand and organic soils and ecology of midges. Research areas include plant pathology, horticulture and entomology.

Today, however, industry and urban concerns about the environment have led to a melding of industry and urban needs which have contributed to the need for the unit's consolidation. The total MREC staff of about seventy including thirteen faculty focus on agricultural research to address crop production, environmental plant use in urban communities, and effects of midges on Florida life-styles.

 

Mid-Florida Research & Education Center