Although Ray’s specialization is in soil & water sciences, his program areas are broad. Gulf County is a small populated, rural county. A multi-focal teaching philosophy is required to meet the mission of UF/IFAS Extension, as a land grant institution, as well as meeting the needs of citizens of Gulf County. Therefore, his program areas encompasses not only marine, but agriculture and natural resources, environmental horticulture, county leadership and 4-H youth development support. Regarding Sea Gant, I have planned, implemented and evaluated programs in scallop restoration, coastal water quality, sea turtle-friendly lighting and mangrove expansion.
Gulf County Extension Programming
Gulf County is a rural, ocean-facing county in the Panhandle of Florida. The current U.S. Census states the population of Gulf County is approximately 15,000. The population is mostly found along coastal areas of the county near the city of Port St. Joe. Natural resources are an Extension focus need in this area as ecotourism and recreational fisheries are the primary industries. In the northern, more rural agricultural region of the county near the city of Wewahitchka, small farming operations and beekeeping have historically been the Extension focus.