Personal Column

Taylor Clem
Environmental Horticulture Agent
University of Florida
Alachua County

The demographics of Alachua and other surrounding counties are incredibly diverse. With rural and urbanizing areas, gardening is a consistent trend among the diverse population. This bi-weekly gardening column with the Gainesville Sun and Ocala Star-Banner connects 105,000 subscribers to important environmental or horticulture-related topics.


Column articles are standalone pieces or are part of a multi-article series. Topics have included content about specific plant material, sustainable landscape management, landscape design, hurricane resilient landscapes, ecosystem services, or vegetable gardening. Every column is timely, relevant to the reader, and connects readers to UF/IFAS Extension for more information. A column example includes the “Beyond the Air We Breathe” series, which was a five-article series covering the different types of ecosystem services and their important role in Florida. Another example, the holiday publication, “We Kiss Under a Parasite: An Enigmatic Holiday Tradition,” discusses the history of mistletoes and their role within the environment.


Each publication is between 500-750 words and is submitted to the news desk editor for the two publications. Images are seldom accepted by the editor, but many of the posts are reposted on the agent's blog to include imagery and additional information from the university. Every article elicits a response from readers. After each publication, the extension agent receives emails and phone calls from an interested public.