The University of Central Florida (UCF) blazes a new trail with the Materials Innovation for Sustainable Ag Center of Excellence (MISA).


When you think ag education in Florida, you immediately think the University of Florida (UF) and Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (Florida A&M). Thanks to the new Ag Center, you may soon be adding the University of Central Florida (UCF) to that list. An article on outlines how the Materials Innovation for Sustainable Ag Center of Excellence (MISA) was started by Dr. Swadeshmukul (Swadesh) Santra, an Associate Professor in UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center and Department of Chemistry. Read the details below.

UCF’s New Ag Center


The article quotes Santra as explaining, “MISA is a training platform for our young faculty and younger generation. We have many undergraduates who never thought about selecting agricultural research as their profession, so MISA will motivate them to follow this career path.” The Ag Center started as part of a $1.9 million research grant from the USDA, awarded to Dr. Santra.

The Ag Center was initiated after a student came to Dr. Santra, asking to study citrus canker. Their investigation into the issue, and others like it, put them in contact with ag industry experts like retired Professor of soil microbiology, Dr. Jim Graham, and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation’s (CRDF) Dr. Tom Turpen, among others.

Since coming together, the Ag Center has:

  • Allowed Santra to create a new product that contains high surface copper particles in order to improve copper bio-availability, which spawned an agreement with Gowan Co. to manufacture the product.
  • Led to Santra’s creation of a zinc-based antimicrobial called

Many more projects are planned with the MISA Center. Dr. Graham, the retired soil microbiology Professor who inspired Santra and his students, said, “Dr. Santra has extraordinary insight on what is needed to overcome existing limitations of chemical formulations for plant pathogen control.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.


Image courtesy of Nemesis63.