Robert (Bob) Hochmuth
Extension: Regional Specialized Agent, Vegetables
Robert (Bob) Hochmuth serves as the Center Director for the UF/IFAS Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center as well as a Regional Specialized Extension Agent for commercial vegetable crops serving the Northeast Extension District of Florida. Bob serves both greenhouse and field vegetable growers.
Bob has developed and implemented Extension programs in a wide variety of areas including: plastic mulch and drip irrigation culture, alternative specialty vegetable crops, nutrient management, adopting, best management practices (BMPs), integrated pest management (IPM) and whole farm IPM strategies, farm food safety an Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), greenhouse vegetable production, protected ag and hydroponic systems, and small farms and alternative enterprises. Bob also serves as a primary UF/IFAS contact with the Florida Watermelon Association.
Bob Hochmuth has a UF/IFAS faculty appointment of 100% Extension and serves as a Regional Specialized Extension Agent for Commercial Vegetables (50%) in the Suwannee Valley Region and NE Florida Extension District as well as SVAEC Center Director (50%). To implement his Extension program, over the years, Bob developed a network of relationships with key UF/IFAS specialists who have a portion of their position with a research appointment. These relationships have led to great opportunities in successfully securing significant research and extension grants. Bob’s contribution to this process is to identify research needs in the communities served and to facilitate the development of highly productive grant teams. In addition, contributions include facilitating stakeholder support, letters of support for research projects, coordinating the commitment from farmers to host on-farm research, commitments to educational outreach scope of work for projects including field days and EDIS documents, etc. Bob’s contributions to the research discipline include work in the following key areas: Water and Nutrient Management, Whole Farm Integrated Pest Management, Small Farms Food Safety, New and Emerging Specialty Vegetable Crops, and Protected Agriculture for Vegetable Crops.
Bob Hochmuth supports the overall Land Grant University mission by helping teach University of Florida students in traditional and nontraditional settings. Bob has served as a guest lecturer for several UF/IFAS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences courses including:
- HOS 4283C "Advanced Organic and Sustainable Crop Production” Lecture Topic: Whole Farm IPM Strategies. Instructor Dr. Xin Zhao.
- HOS3222C/HOS6932: 03CD /04E4, “Greenhouse and Protected Crop Production” Three Lecture Topics: Protected Ag Structures, Soilless Media, and Integrated Pest Management. Bob also hosts an all-day field trip for this class each year. Instructor Dr. Xin Zhao.
- Department of Agronomy: Applied Field Crop Production Course, Lecture Topic: Whole Farm IPM Strategies that Work. Guest Lecturer in (Instructors: Rowland and Farrell)
- Host the students in the Doctor of Plant Medicine course, Integrated Plant Medicine ALS 6925, DEPX for six years. This is a capstone course and R. Hochmuth has hosted the class for a full day instructional tour at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center (SVAEC) and area farms. The focus has been on integrated pest and cultural management systems related to greenhouse vegetables
Bob Hochmuth has also supported students by other methods including:
- Hosted various individual students at SVAEC to provide information on class projects for ABE6933
- Hosted a fourth-year UF English Department undergraduate student at UF recording of a video thesis “Lettuce Begin”
- Served as a member of the graduate committee for Maxine Floyd, candidate for MS degree in the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, 2014.
- Bob Hochmuth has hosted and advised three student interns, one from France, one from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and one with the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication funded by UF Water Institute
- Bob Hochmuth hosted entomology students (and their families) in the Doctor of Plant Medicine for an insect collecting activity known as “Black Lighting”. This event was hosted at the SVAEC on Saturday, September 29, 2012 and was attended by 10 UF graduate students and 25 other family members and guests. The lead faculty member is Dr. Amanda Hodges, UF Dept. of Entomology and Nematology.