The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences dedicated 17,000 square feet of new research greenhouse space and an arsenal of plant propagation laboratory equipment–a gift to IFAS from Roseville Farms that, along with additional funds for laboratory renovation, is valued at more than $100,000.
The dedication of the Roseville Farms Research Greenhouse and Roseville Farms Innovative Propagation Technology Laboratory was scheduled to take place Sept. 29, at the UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka, Fla.
Apopka-based Roseville Farms, originally founded by CEO David Raab as a propagation nursery, is today a large producer of clematis varieties in North America.
“Not only has this given us more research space, it’s allowed us to update facilities that are more than 40 years old, which is incredible, especially given the current economic environment,” says Wayne Mackay, the center’s director.
The laboratory space and equipment will be used to find new ways to culture and develop new varieties of foliage plants, along with other research. Mackay says the space is an especially valuable boon to researchers seeking grants.
“When you have the tools and the space, it’s a lot easier to attract further funding,” he says. “David has more than given us more than his support; he’s given us a way of attracting additional resources.”