IFAS Governmental Affairs

The UF/IFAS Office of Governmental Affairs secure funding and affect legislation that allow UF/IFAS to continue serving the people of Florida through education, research and extension. 

Our office works closely with local, state and federal governments to educate policy-makers and staff on issues that are vital to the mission of IFAS. We help communicate key political issues to internal and external stakeholders. We also work closely with the University Office of Government Relations to help serve the University mission and community.

Mary Ann Gosa-Hooks, director of governmental affairs for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), is responsible for educating state and federal legislators on IFAS programs and issues. She monitors and affects legislation that impacts the IFAS budget, programs and other initiatives. Gosa-Hooks also acts as a liaison to the agriculture industry and other IFAS stakeholders.

Her professional background has focused heavily on the legislative process, water, land use, growth management and environmental policy.

Gosa-Hooks served as director of government and community affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation from 2005 until 2009. In that position, she was a liaison between Farm Bureau members, state and federal agencies, legislators and local governments.

She had been with the Florida Farm Bureau Federation staff since 1996 and, until 2005, was assistant director of government and community affairs.

Before joining the Farm Bureau, Gosa-Hooks was a legislative assistant to state Rep. Bert Harris Jr., D-Lake Placid, from 1989 until 1995, managing legislation, tracking it from committee to final vote, writing speeches and handling constituent inquiries.

From 1988 until 1989, she was an assistant to state Sen. Don Childers, D-West Palm Beach, handling similar duties.

Gosa-Hooks is a Florida native who grew up in the cattle industry in Lorida, FL.

Valerie Jones, legislative assistant for the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, assists Mary Ann Gosa-Hooks at the office of governmental affairs. She helps monitor legislative issues that affect IFAS and related industries. She also manages and coordinates the IFAS Council on Agriculture, Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET).

She graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. While in Gainesville, she was a public relations intern for the UF Harn Museum of Art.

Valerie grew up in Blountstown, Fla., where she participated in Calhoun County 4-H and volunteered at the Calhoun County Extension Office.

Contact Us

Office of Governmental Affairs
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
215 South Monroe Street, Suite 110
Tallahassee, FL 32301
850-681-2500 (Fax)

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