UF IFAS Extension & Sustainability

UF IFAS Extension & Sustainability

As a partnership between the University of Florida and Sarasota County Government, one of our core missions at UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County is youth development. We embrace this mission, offering and implementing an array of standards-based educational opportunities and hands-on activities across a wide spectrum of topics, from agricultural practices to water conservation. Highlights include:

  • Radish Growing Project: helped third-grade teachers showcase plant science, scientific methods, technical writing and more for nearly 800 county students.
  • Tropicana Public Speaking Program: reached more than 1,500 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders in Sarasota County schools, providing them skills to communicate with clarity and comfort.
  • School Gardens: now includes more than 60 schools in the county, and allows roughly 80 teachers unique opportunities to reach more than 1,600 students with education about food systems, science and nutrition.
  • Family Nutrition Program: led nearly 25,000 nutrition and health lessons/activities in elementary and middle schools, and partnered with school district and state staff on Farm-to-School program
  • Water Resources: provided citizen science opportunities, like the Florida Microplastics Awareness Project, to 16 teachers and more than 250 students
  • Sea Grant and Ecology/Natural Resources: developed and delivered a wildlife conservation and marine ecology program that reached more than 200 students, with plans to expand the effort.

While we continue to develop new programs, we also offer an array of learn-by-doing lessons that educators can bring to classrooms from pre-K through high school, with curricula areas including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), business, citizenship, creative arts, and healthy living. Finally, each year we provide for teachers and others engaged with students a suite of professional enrichment opportunities, such as our ‘School Gardens 101’ workshop, Florida Master Naturalist training, Project Wild classes, the Florida Water Stewardship Program, Agriculture in the Classroom, and a host of others.




  6700 Clark Road, Twin Lakes Park, Green Building, Sarasota, FL 34241



4-H Radish Growing Project- virtual

Program description

Teachers register in the Fall. Seeds and booklets are distributed in January with judging in late February or early March.

Third grade classrooms are provided with seed packets and printed booklets. Youth grow radishes and return them to be judged along with their project books that tracked their results.

This project will help you understand how food is grown in Florida and introduce youth to the concepts of agriculture and record keeping. Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Most of the food we eat comes from farms. “Agriculture has been around for a long tine; and, whether you know it or not, it’s an important part of your everyday life.” In Florida, farms are spread throughout the state. Florida farms produce beef, milk, chicken, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, and more! (Source: Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Drive Through Florida)

The purpose of this radish growing project is to learn about growing an edible plant, including learning what plants need to thrive. Caring for plants requires dedication. To grow well, plants require the right balance of nutrients, space, sunlight, water, and attention.

Booking / scheduling contact

Sarah Davis, 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent



Program detail
Artistic discipline:
Cultural Origin: Array, Array
Program type: In-School Exploration, Online Virtual Exploration
Population served: 3-5
Subject: Science
Bilingual: No


Is transportation needed for this exploration?: No
Is financial assistance offered?: No

Program info

Summer or Family Programs Offered?: yes