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West Florida Research and Education Center

West Florida Research and Education Center


The University of Florida is a land-grant university and an Association of American Universities member. Our faculty are committed to the UF/IFAS research mission while also assuming Extension and teaching responsibilities. Findings from their research are used as the basis for Extension programs taught statewide via publications, distance education, and field day events, and are the foundation for many of the classes taught by our faculty.

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Advisory Committee

Barbara Almario

Barbara Almario is an Area Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). She has been responsible for directing wildlife habitat management activities on Blackwater and Yellow River Wildlife Management Areas since 2006. Originally from Wisconsin, Barbara received her B.S in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.S. in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology from Frostburg State University in Maryland. She moved to Florida in 2005, working for a short time at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf Ecology Division lab in Gulf Breeze and at Eglin Air Force Base Jackson Guard before transitioning to her current position.

Billy Danielson

Billy Danielson is the Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager for Smith Tractor Company, a John Deere dealership. He is involved in community events including Farm to City and the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and is on the board of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce. He has a passion for bringing awareness to the communities of all ages, the different aspect of agriculture, and the impact it has on our economics as well as everyday life. He is married to Brandy Danielson and has a daughter named Bailey.

Jerry Davis 8April2020

Jerry Davis


Mickey Diamond

Mickey Diamond is a third-generation farmer at JM Diamond Farms in Jay, FL. JM Diamond Farms consists of cotton, peanuts, soybean, wheat, and timber. Mickey is married to Lisa and has a daughter named Lauren.

Doug Hatfield

Doug Hatfield has a cattle and hay farm in Santa Rosa County. He is retired from the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center after 35 years of service.

Jimmie Jarratt

Jimmie Jarratt graduated in 1998 from the University of Florida with a BS degree in Natural Resource Conservation. She currently serves as an Urban Forester & County Arborist under the direction of Escambia County’s Water Quality and Land Management Division. As the County Arborist, Jimmie works with other County departments on protected tree issues, directs urban tree planting projects, coordinates land management activities and promotes a watershed approach to the development of a quantifiable and sustainable urban tree canopy. She received her ISA Arborist Certification in 2006 and became ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified in 2013.

Trent Mathews

Trent Mathews is a 2002 graduate of the University of Florida with a BS in Forest Natural Resources.  He is a District Conservationist for the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service and the owner/operator of Sweet Season Farms LLC. Trent is active in many community and agriculture organizations and has held leadership positions in the Escarosa Young Farmers and Ranchers, Florida YF&R State Leadership Group, Santa Rosa Young Professionals and served on Advisory committees for Farm Credit of NWFL. He has been married to Sharon for 12 years and they have four children Morgan, Lucas, Laney and Caleb.

Joe Meeks

Joe Meeks is the President of Coastal Machinery Company, a local farm and construction equipment dealer covering the Florida panhandle and lower Alabama.  He is a board member on Kubota Tractor Corporation’s national strategic planning board. Joe and his wife Donna enjoy living and working on their small 20 acre farm in Beulah.



Rick Paschall

Rick Paschall is a franchise owner and financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial since 1999. Prior to that, he was a Chief Petty Office in the US Navy. He serves on the board of directors for Independence for the Blind of West Florida and the Santa Rosa County Fair. He also is member on the Agri-Plex Oversight Committee. He is a member of the Black Water Pyrates, Milton Lions Club, and the Navy League. Rick is married to Terry Paschall and has two daughters, Nick and Rebecca, and four grandchildren.

.Nick Simmons 9April2020

Nick Simmons

Nick Simmons serves as the County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Extension in Escambia County Florida. Nick is the administrative lead for all faculty, program assistants and staff for Escambia County Extension. He provides guidance and vision for programmatic planning and to serve as the liaison between faculty & staff and county government as well as university administration. Nick completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal & Dairy Sciences from Mississippi State University in 2009. He completed his Master of Science degree in Animal & Dairy Sciences from Mississippi State University in 2012.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas is the owner of Milton Tastee Freez and a co-owner of Grover T’s BBQ Restaurant. He is also the owner of Pathway Learning, a leadership, team-building, and assessment organization. He also owns the Blackwater Olive Grove.

Other Advisory Committee Members