2019 Extension Advocate Award

Brittany Lee Is Honored for Her Dedication, Tireless Advocacy for UF/IFAS

Blueberry Extension coordinator Doug Phillips may not have a bigger supporter than Brittany Lee. In fact, she’s one of the main reasons the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences employs Doug Phillips.


For years, Lee had asked me to create a statewide blueberry Extension position. Not just me either. She made her request known throughout UF/IFAS. 


She was persuasive enough that I had horticulture professor Kevin Folta create the position. Since Phillips started last year, Lee has provided him with industry introductions, use of the association’s listserv, and now a front-and-center Extension tab on the new web home page, floridablueberrygrowers.org


We honored Lee in September with the 2019 Extension Advocate Award at the UF/IFAS Dinner of Distinction. Dean of Extension Nick Place presented her with the award as a video tribute to Lee played on large screens with a narrator saying, “She is an important advocate and defender of the work UF/IFAS does to support the agriculture industry.” 



She is a defender because UF/IFAS has its critics. As exemplified in her campaign for the Extension position, Lee is not shy about letting us know when she sees ways for us to improve. Yet she also comes to our defense when those criticisms are off base.


We still hear from Lee frequently. Her input – delivered through Phillips – was key to having blueberry growers’ needs addressed in a current pollination study. She’s also been a valuable contributor on the Wedgworth Leadership Institute Advisory Board.


Congratulations to Brittany Lee on receiving one of the highest honors UF/IFAS bestows on partners and stakeholders.




Jack Payne is the University of Florida’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JackPayneIFAS

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