About UF / IFAS SWFREC
Established in 1958 as a University of Florida support facility, the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) was dedicated in 1986 as a UF/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) station.
The Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) is located one mile north of Immokalee and approximately 35 miles southeast of Fort Myers, and is 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, which has internationally recognized tourism beach destinations (Sanibel, Captiva, and Marco islands). Presently, SWFREC supports thirteen faculty programs and a staff of more than 90 people. Active research programs in citrus horticulture, vegetable horticulture, irrigation and water resource management, precision agricultural engineering, pest management, plant pathology, citrus pathology, agricultural and natural resource economics, soil microbiology, plant physiology, weed science, soil science, and agricultural economics occur on 320 acres of land at SWFREC. The faculty and staff of SWFREC serve a vibrant commercial agricultural region.
The SWFREC is situated at the intersection of agricultural, urban, environmental interests within the iconic landscapes of Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve. Farm gate sales for the region average more than one billion dollars each year. The region has intensive production in citrus, beef cattle, fresh market vegetables, and sugarcane. The area has a unique blend of agriculture, a rapidly growing urban area, and protected ecosystems. Agriculture in the region faces environmental challenges including water supply and quality and competes with ever-increasing land values.