Agriculture Press Release

July 12, 2001

Students Win Awards For Ag Science Projects

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced that two students have been awarded $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for their agricultural projects presented at the 46th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair competition held recently in Fort Myers.

Hannah M. Kaufman of Newberry High School in Newberry, won a $1,000 Savings Bond for her project in the Senior Division. Yahya M. Mohammed, of Ruckel Middle School in Niceville, was the Junior Division winner and also received a bond.

"I was impressed with the sophistication of the projects undertaken by these young people and I applaud their efforts," Bronson said. "The agricultural sciences offer challenging career opportunities, and I hope these and other young people pursue careers in these fields."

The purpose of Kaufmans project examined the effect of various bactericidal washes on eradication of Listeria monocytogenes and MS2 bacteriophage on tomatoes. Mohammeds project identified the type and total load of bacteria in fresh seafood, comparing amounts, if present, to Food and Drug Administration thresholds.

To aid students in selecting a topic and carrying out their science fair projects, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services developed and maintains "Planet Ag," an Internet web site that features ideas and information.

Planet Ag provides students with an explanation of the scientific method, from choosing a topic and stating the hypothesis, to deciding on a procedure and recording the results. The web site also provides a sample project for students to review, a look at previous winners projects, and links to other agriculture- and science-related sites. Planet Ag is accessed on the Internet at www.fl-ag.com/PlanetAg .

The State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida is a three-day display of science project exhibits prepared by aspiring scientists and engineers in grades six through 12 from throughout the state. The Florida Foundation for Future Scientists administers the fair and promotes activities that encourage young people to pursue careers in science, engineering and research.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is among numerous government agencies, businesses and organizations that contribute awards for the fair. Department specialists involved in food safety, entomology and plant pathology selected the winners of Department awards.


For more information:
Donald Coker
(850) 487-4322 

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