Our mission

The UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education conducts and disseminates objective interdisciplinary research and educational programs to increase public understanding of and engagement in agricultural and natural resources issues.

Our vision

The UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education will be the preeminent research and education organization on the social science perspectives of agricultural and natural issues to promote a more informed and engaged public.
2015-17 strategic plan

2015-17 strategic plan

PIE Center faculty and staff, with input and approval from the advisory board, created a strategic plan to focus its various research, education, outreach and extension efforts through the next three years. The goals and objectives established in the strategic plan will be the driving force behind the PIE Center's continued growth.

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  • Focus groups

    Identify current and forecast emerging agricultural and natural resources issues.

    • Conduct research with industry stakeholders and the public to identify issues forecasted within agricultural and natural resources sectors.
    • Develop an interdisciplinary scientific advisory team to strategize and partner on pivotal research addressing agricultural and natural resources issues.
    • Invite an annual distinguished scholar for a workshop on research related to particular issues.

    Gather public input on agricultural and natural resources issues and assess trends and impacts.

    • Annually conduct four statewide public opinion surveys.
    • Create a process to identify appropriate and relevant topics for future surveys.
    • Assess the longitudinal trends in public opinion for each issue every five years.
    • Secure long-term funding for public opinion survey research.
    • Develop a framework to collect data on a national scale.

    Enhance PIE Center research products and contribute to the academic body of knowledge.

    • Develop one journal article that examines public opinion survey data to identify relevant comparisons between issues and demographics.
    • Submit 15 academic manuscripts for publication or presentation per year.
    • Seek extramural funding that provides sufficient resources to fulfill the PIE Center mission by selecting funding opportunities that align with the mission.
  • Equip agricultural and natural resources professionals, Extension faculty, academic scholars, opinion leaders and the general public with the knowledge and skills to engage, participate in and coordinate public discourse and deliberation on agricultural and natural resources issues.

    • Develop four outreach programs based on PIE Center research initiatives and disseminate to target audiences.
    • Inventory and organize existing outreach components to identify programmatic needs and relevancy.
    • Implement a formal and applied evaluation process for each outreach program.
    • Create four workshops for Extension faculty and agricultural and natural resources professionals on two topics that align with the PIE Center mission.
      • Two Extension in-service trainings in a different district each year for three years.
      • Two workshops with agricultural and natural resources professionals at a different association meeting each year for three years.
    • Create two online Extension in-service trainings each year to complement the in-person programs.
    • Foster two communities of practice to encourage new partnerships among participants.

    Increase visibility and prominence of the PIE Center.

    • Pursue and foster relationships with media, Extension, industry professionals, opinion leaders, and other researchers.
    • Conduct a social network analysis to determine potential new audiences and partners. Investigate participation in at least one new organization a year.
    • Increase website page views, add affiliate faculty and professional members, and grow subscriber base for email and social media channels.
    • Attend five industry events each year to promote PIE Center partnerships and initiatives.
    • Host a large-scale summit or speakers series that enhances attendees’ awareness of and engagement in agricultural and natural resources issues.
  • Community gardening education

    Equip future communicators, researchers, and educators with the knowledge and skills to approach agricultural and natural resources issues with a balanced perspective.

    • Develop a culture that encourages graduate students’ critical thinking of agricultural and natural resources issues and the public’s perceptions of these issues. Develop students’ ability to apply the knowledge through extension, research, and education.
    • Encourage graduate students’ participation in issues-related discussions.
    • Develop or assist in the creation of educational resources centered on agricultural and natural resources issues to enhance learners’ critical thinking and knowledge of these issues.
    • Develop and foster relationships with agricultural education programs, such as departments of agricultural communication and education, youth organizations, industry professionals, and affiliate faculty, to assist in the creation of issues-based educational resources.