Robert (Bob) Hochmuth
Assistant Center Director & Regional Specialized Extension Agent - Vegetables
Robert (Bob) Hochmuth serves as the Center Director for the UF/IFAS North Florida Research & Education Center - Suwannee Valley 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.
Professional Service and Awards
- 1982-Present. National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA)
- 1982-1988. Delaware Association of County Agricultural Agents
- 1988- Present. Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents (FACAA)
- 2000-Present. American Society for Horticultural Sciences
- 1988-2009. American Society for Plasticulture
- 1988-Present. Extension Professionals Association of Florida
- 1995-Present. Epsilon Sigma Phi
- 1990-Present. Florida Farm Bureau
- 2019. Live Oak Rotary Club
- 2011-2012. University of Florida IFAS Tenure and Promotion Committee Member
- 2015, 2016. University of Florida, Academic Promotion Board Member
- 2018. Florida State Horticultural Society. 2018 Florida Horticultural Society's Vegetable Section Best Paper Award: Comparing Petiole Sap Nitrate-nitrogen and Leaf Nitrogen Concentrations as a Predictor of Watermelon Nitrogen Status (R. Hochmuth Co-Author)
- 2017. Florida Farm Bureau Federation. Extension Professional of the Year
- 2017. Prudential Productivity Award. Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center Team.
- 2016. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. National Winner: Search for Excellence in Young, Beginning, or Small Farmers (Florida Drip Irrigation School. M. Bauer, A. Gazula, R. Hochmuth, D. Fenneman.)
- 2015. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Search for Excellence in Young, Beginning or Small Farmers (R. Hochmuth, M.E. Henry, D.D. Treadwell, S. Galindo, A. Bolquez, D. Barber, F. Beckford, J. Bosques-Mendez, J. Devalerio, A. Fluke, A. Gazula, L. Johnson, R. Kluson, M. Lollar, D. Nistler, E. Skvarch, J. Sullivan, B. Thaxton, E. Toro, R. Tyson, J. Walter.)
- 2012. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. National Winner, Search for Excellence-Farm Health and Safety, “Teaching Farmers to Build Their Own Food Safety Manual" (Hochmuth, Landrum, Toro, and Fenneman team award).
- 2014. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Search for Excellence in Crop Production, “Improving the Competitiveness of the Watermelon Industry in the Suwannee Valley” (Hochmuth, Gazula, Fenneman, Bauer, McCoy and Toro, team award).
- 2013. UF/IFAS Extension. Mentor of the Year Award.
- 2012. Florida Entomological Society. 2012 Achievement Award for Extension.
- 2012. Epsilon Sigma Phi. Extension Team Award (Co-winner for Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference, Kelley and Hochmuth, team award).
- 2012. Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. Best Poster Award- First Place (Poster presented with authors: A. Gazula and W. Laughlin, Greenhouse Lettuce Cultivars). Primary author A. Gazula.
- 2012. Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. Best Poster Award- Third Place (Poster presented with authors: A. Gazula, and E. Simonne). Primary author A. Gazula.
- 2012. NAE4-HA. Search for Excellence, Team Award- Fall Harvest Experience. (Estevez, Toro, et al.).
- 2012. Nutrients for Life Foundation. Florida FFA Helping Communities Grow Chapter Recognition. This first place in FL award was presented to Ft White Chapter for program where Extension partnered in the project. My role in the team was the overall design and implementation of the project and assisting with training the students.
Other Significant Honors Prior to 2012
- 2010. Sustainable Florida. Co Leader of Team Award: The Collins Center Best Practice Award – Government Category, Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference.
- 2007. Florida State Horticultural Society. Best Paper Award-Vegetable Section Co-Author, Monitoring Nitrate Concentration in Shallow Wells Below a Vegetable Field.
- 2006. National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC). Excelence in Extension, Southern US Regional Winner.
- 2003. National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Distinguished Service Award
- 1995. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Award for Superior Service
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 North Florida Research & Education Center - Suwannee Valley (NFREC-SV) 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 NFREC-SV 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.