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WUFT and Report for America announce new hire for agriculture, water and climate change beat

Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local communities to report on under-covered issues, named nearly 60 reporters to new positions at newsrooms around the country on Wednesday, including an agriculture, water and climate change beat for WUFT.

Rose Schnabel

Rose Schnabel, who grew up on her family’s farm in Indiana, graduates next month with dual degrees in biology and Spanish from Indiana University. Her reporting experience includes covering science and the environment for the Spanish language El Nuevo Día in Puerto Rico.

“Agriculture and the environment are sizable economic drivers in our region and it’s our responsibility to share stories along these themes that have traditionally been under-covered,” said Harrison Hove, interim director of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications' Innovation News Center.

The new corps members join hundreds more who will continue reporting on under-covered communities for a second or third year. Since its launch in 2017, Report for America has matched more than 650 journalists with local newspapers, public radio stations, digital platforms and broadcast outlets.

Two graduating seniors who specialized in environmental reporting at UF are also part of this year’s Report for America corps. Fernando Figueroa will cover environment and climate change for “The Ithaca Voice” in upstate New York. Elise Plunk will cover water and its impact for the Baton Rouge-based “Louisiana Illuminator.”

“Report for America extends a welcoming hand to journalists from diverse backgrounds, encouraging them to add their experience, perspective, and talent to local newsrooms nationwide. These storytellers help ensure that under-covered communities and issues receive the attention they deserve,” said Earl Johnson, vice president of recruitment and alumni engagement at Report for America.

“Here, journalists find not just a job but a calling—a chance to make a profound difference where it matters most.”

In north central Florida, Schnabel will cover a major agricultural region, immigrant stories and environmental issues along one of the least-developed coastlines in Florida. She will play a key role as a mentor to student journalists.

The partnership with Report for America “will better help us serve the community and build trust on critical issues,” Hove said, “while allowing students journalists to watch and emulate a working professional who adheres to high journalistic standards, nurtures relationships and builds trust.”

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news