Lovestrand named new county extension agent

Eric Lovestrand, left, was introduced to the county commission May 6 by Dr. Pete Vergot, northwest d Photo available for purchase

Eric Lovestrand, left, was introduced to the county commission May 6 by Dr. Pete Vergot, northwest district director for University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Lois Swoboda
Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 08:37 AM.

Wildlife biologist Erik Lovestrand will take the role of regionalized special agent for the Franklin County extension service on next week.

Lovestrand, well-known to county residents as an environmental specialist at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR), has been a familiar face there since Oct. 1991 and has helped with numerous community outreach projects including the annual Estuaries Day celebration.

His new title is regional specialized extension agent and county extension director, replacing Bill Mahan. Under his new job description, Lovestrand will work, beginning May 23, with a regional team of agents to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive SeaGrant extension program.

In a telephone interview, Lovestrand said his main focus would be on educating the seafood industry in the areas of food safety, marketing, processing, and related areas.

As the local SeaGrant agent he will provide leadership for other areas of SeaGrant and marine education, including programs that assist seafood workers and provide information about sustaining commercial fisheries; sea turtle education; sea level rise; climate variability; enhancing and conserving natural resources and environmental quality.

Lovestrand said now that he has been briefed about his main duties, he is “trying to wind things up at ANERR.”

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