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Bruce Ward


Bruce Ward has served as University of Florida, Walton County (DeFuniak Springs) Extension Director since 1987.  He was born in southern Alabama and grew up on a peanut, cotton, corn, swine and cattle farm.  He holds BS and MS degrees in agriculture.  Bruce has conducted more than 1300 radio and television presentations and annually works with more than 750 growers.  He has been a full-time farmer, crop reporter, cotton pest management scout and farmer's market developer.  Typical of many FAVACA volunteers, Bruce has many allied skills that serve him well in the field.  He is knowledgeable in acetylene torch welding, farm machinery repair, gasoline and diesel engine maintenance and repair and electrical wiring.  Mr. Ward has served as a peanut production expert in Guyana and St. Kitts.  



ST. KITTS PEANUT FARMERS EXPLORE HARVESTING, POST-HARVESTING TECHNIQUES. In St. Kitts during  the 1970's and 1980's peanut production far exceeded demand; however, there has been a recent decline in peanut production.  Dr. Barbara Graham, IICA representative for the Eastern Caribbean States, requested assistance to review and analyze current peanut production and marketing systems and to lead a workshop for peanut farmers in St. Kitts. Veteran volunteer Bruce Ward, University of Florida Walton County Extension Director in DeFuniak Springs, conducted the training June 15-23, 2001. The peanut farmers also sought suggestions and identification of appropriate technology to address the restraints identified in the training.

GUYANA PEANUT HARVEST FOLLOW-UP. InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Representative Jerry La Gra requested follow-up assistance in peanut harvest and post-harvest techniques on behalf of Randy Gilbert and the North Rupununi District Agricultural Producers Association.  This consultation is part of an ongoing series of trainings that started with Corps veteran Jim Rich's August 1999 mission. Volunteers John Rich, Collins, Georgia, and Bruce Ward, DeFuniak Springs, Florida, trained local farmers to assemble, operate, maintain and repair the peanut thresher that was donated by Jim Rich and his colleagues. John and Bruce also trained local farmers in post-harvest techniques to decrease disease and pests. Bruce traveled November 10-18, 2000. Ward is the county extension director and extension agent III in the University of Florida Walton County Extension Office. The National Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock and the Guyana Marketing Corporation also participated in this project.

PEANUT PROCESSING & MARKETING. As a follow up to his visit in August 1999 veteran volunteer Jim Rich, Quincy, returned to the Rupununi region of Guyana to provide more in-depth training for local farmers on peanut production. Rich traveled with fellow University of Florida faculty David Wright, Quincy, and Bruce Ward, DeFuniak Springs. The team participated in  a workshop on the production, processing and marketing of peanuts in the Rupununi, Feb. 22-25, 2000. The event was organized by IICA Representative Jerry La Gra and Randy Gilbert of the North Rupununi District Agricultural Producers Association. Professionals from the National Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock and the Guyana Marketing Corporation also participated. The FAVA/CA team brought together over 150 years of combined peanut growing experience and made important contributions to the development of a plan of action for the development of the peanut industry.

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