Ready for your spring planting? Planting is one of the most critical steps that leads to good yields in the future, and Penn State University Extension has you covered by discussing what factors matter most:
Check out more of Penn State University Extension’s tips here to get the most out of your planting.
What if farmers and consumers could see how much local food was bought, where produce is bought the most, and which local partners help increase access to local food? That’s exactly what North Carolina State University tracked with their new online dashboards describing local food spending in the state.
With these dashboards, farmers can figure out the best outlet to capitalize their produce, consumers can compare prices, and local community leaders can effectively plan for increasing access to local food sources in their area.
North Carolina encouraged businesses and individuals to use 10% on local produce – did they reach the goal? Find out here.
Most new homes don’t come with a manual. Luckily, the University of Florida Extension has created a class to help new homeowners navigate maintenance, saving energy, and being a good neighbor.
The program, called Homeflow, was originally created to help Habitat for Humanity candidates learn the basics of home maintenance, but is open to all Florida residents. The “flow” of the program relates not only to better home improvements, but better communication between occupants and between neighbors. The program will soon have 60 graduates statewide.
Utah State University’s equine program helps war veterans and their families through animal therapy with horseback riding.
War veterans and their families have adjustments to make once their loved ones return from deployment. Utah State University developed this program a year ago, and they realized through animal therapy and nature, individuals are able to express themselves more.
Read more and check out the video here!
The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity University of Connecticut’s recent study confirms that modifications made in 2009 in the federal Women, Infants, and Children food assistance program (WIC) are notably positive.
Revisions for the program were created to provide healthier food alternatives to increase the nutrition of low-income expecting mothers, new mothers and their children. The availability of healthier food options has helped transition families that rely on WIC to purchase healthier food products.
WIC’s modifications increased the volume of healthy food purchased by WIC households by 3.9 percent, while purchases of moderation decreased 24.7 percent in volume. Cost-neutral revisions were made possible without the increase of taxpayers costs.
Family meals are one of the most important things that a parent can do for their children. Conversations with adults build a child’s vocabulary, and the open communications can help create family memories.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is encouraging parents to make more time for family meals to help contribute to their children’s health and mental development. They point out that as an added benefit home cooked meals tend to be healthier than meals prepared in a restaurant.
Read about more of the benefits here!
In many ways agriculture is a perfect match for veterans looking for the next stage of their career. The work is peaceful and meaningful, and there is a trained farm labor shortage in many parts of the country.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension is working to connect veterans with jobs on the farm through their Small Farms Program.
Read more here!
In the wake of Hurricane Matthew some scientists are wondering if the deadly storm could have been better predicted.
Scientists at Rutgers University Agricultural Experiment Station are working on just that – they are studying historical storms to understand and predict future natural disasters.
Read more here!
Many millennials are experiencing underemployment in the workforce. College graduates receive their degree and instead of obtaining jobs in their preferred field, they are often forced to settle for outside occupations that have little to do with their interests and strengths.
It’s a different story when it comes to career opportunities in agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts continued long-term job growth in the industry.
Land-grant universities like the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State offer programs that help students develop the skills required to get into agriculture. These programs aim to bridge the gap between those familiar and those unfamiliar with the abundant job opportunities in the field.
Read more here!
Therapeutic horsemanship uses horseback riding as a tool to help people with special needs develop attention, confidence, and motor skills. It can be really helpful for clients like mentally disabled kids or veterans with PTSD. The only problem is that there aren’t enough therapists trained in the technique to meet demand.
The SUNY Cobleskill College of Agriculture just started offering a special major to train the next generation of horse therapists. According to the Daily Star, students “will take classes in equine science, education, psychology, sociology and business.”
Read more about this heartwarming program here!
Drones are a revolutionary technology that has a myriad of applications in agriculture, forestry and environmental stewardship.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension aims to introduce the next generation to drones in a three part engineering challenge that had youth diving into the world of drone engineering at the 4H National Youth Science Day. Children got to experiment with fixed and rotary wing designs and explore the concept of remote sensing.
The drone challenge is part of a larger 4-H STEM initiative that has 5 million kids every year complete projects in agricultural science, robotics, environmental science, and other fields.
Read more about the event on the National Youth Science Day webpage.
Innovet is St. Louis based construction company that seeks to employ as many veterans as possible. As of 2015, there were 495,000 unemployed veterans in the United States.
Innovet reached out to the Missouri Business Development program (an UM Extension initiative) for help obtaining new government contracts. Now, business “is working out real well and sales have been increasing” said Charlie McCarty, co-founder of Innovet.
Read more about the Innovet success story here.
Experimenting with new vegetables in your garden is an exciting, if sometimes challenging enterprise. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln put together a helpful guide to help you consider seed selection, location and maintenance needs for your new plants.
With these tips (and a little hard work) you can enjoy fresh vegetables all summer.
Read more here!
Farmers Markets across the nation are facilitating new connections between urban dwellers and rural farmers. According to the USDA, over one million Americans visit a farmers market every week.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources recently published a blog post with tips on how to select fresh and healthy food when you go to a farmers market.
Read more here!
The University of Florida – Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has rolled out a new app to help gardeners determine the optimal time to plant various types of produce. The user-friendly app, “Florida Fresh”, can be downloaded for free on any smart phone device. After downloading, just enter your zip code to get up-to-date planting information.
Not only does the app include planting tips, but it also provides information on the availability and nutritional value of different fruits and vegetables. This makes it easier to both grow and buy fresh, local produce.
Read more here!
An assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources (UNL-IANR) has developed a free, web-based program that condenses the latest climate, soil and crop modeling technologies into an interactive tool farmers can use to help plan their business. Guillermo Baigorria, in his role as a Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute Faculty Fellow, has launched CropClimate which allows users to input the data of different environmental situations and so maximize yields.
With CropClimate’s potential to increase production, reduce risk and conserve resources, this launch will be of great interest to a number of groups, from farmers and policymakers through to seed agrochemical and insurance companies.
Find out more here!
Winter is lambing season on California sheep ranches – a perilous time of year. Babies are vulnerable prey for wildlife like coyotes. With non-lethal methods of controlling wildlife now in place, University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center is researching ways to protect sheep farms.
UC’s research will not only estimate the wildlife population, but will use GPS collars on prey to gain insight into their interactions. UC Hopland will also test fencing installed by producers to protect sheep from carnivores. This research will contribute to finding effective, non-lethal ways to protect sheep.
Read more here!
New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension is offering free cooking class for adults with diabetes. This program will be offered four dates in February and each session includes four classes taught by a registered dietician.
Students will learn how to meal plan, read food labels, measure portion sizes, and balance carbohydrates. NMSU says these are key ways to keep blood sugar levels normal and diabetes under control.
Check out the dates and times these classes will be offered here!
University of Maryland Eastern Shore has recently received $1.2M in grant money from the USDA’s NIFA. The grant will be divided between UMES faculty members Robert Dadson, Anugrah Shaw and Eric May to fund their research projects.
Dadson’s research helps farmers bring safe and nutritious salad greens to market.
May’s research addresses environmental concerns about the cause of Urea in aquatic ecosystems, which poses a threat to human life.
Shaw is founding the International Center for Personal Protective Equipment for Pesticide Operators, which will focus on worker safety by developing new standards and clear communications.
Read more here!
Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has unveiled a new app for nature enthusiasts. The app, First Investigation of Stream Health (FISH), gives nature lovers the opportunity to see how the health of local streams and surrounding habitats change over time while doing the outdoor activities that they love.
The app makes it easy to be citizen-scientist by observing and recording environmental and ecosystem changes with only a pencil and smartphone. All ages can participate, and FISH can be especially useful for landowners with streams on their properties.
Read more here!
As farmers across America are preparing for the 2016 production year, the University of Tennessee’s Extension program is offering tips to make marketing products easier. UT suggests that farms select a marketing approach that best suits their experience and expertise.
Farmers markets and roadside stands are a great entry-level marketing technique, where consumers can become familiar with new products and the farm’s selection. Retail stands and “pick-your-own” strategies require more expertise due to the higher level demand.
Read more on how to grow your farm through smart marketing here!
We all learn the importance of calcium in our diets from basic nutrition, but Alabama Cooperative Extension is highlighting just how vital this mineral for our well-being. Not only is calcium needed for bones and teeth, but it also regulates our nerves, blood clotting, and muscle tone.
A major issue in with calcium intake is that most people do not get the amount they need, especially between the ages of 9 to 18 when the rate of calcium absorption is highest. The report states that 54 million Americans suffer from bone loss through Osteoporosis due to low calcium.
Alabama Cooperative Extension is reminding people that drinking a glass of milk is not the only way to get calcium. Aside from dairy products, calcium can also be found in kale and other dark, leafy greens.
Read more here!
Virginia Tech professor Susan Duncan has been named associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station.
Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, created in 1886, is at the forfront of key, innovative research in the ag sector. It also works in conjunction with Virginia Cooperative Extension to create and maintain science-based applications to guarantee the use of agricultural, natural, and community resources in an economic and environmentally sound capacity that enhances the quality of life.
Not only will Duncan be overseeing the experiment station and 11 Agricultural Research and Extension Centers around the state, she will also be heading major research initiatives through the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station in her new role.
Read more here!
Oregon State’s Extension Service has released a guide on how to properly care for tender perennial plants throughout the winter. These include fuchsias, geraniums, and dahlias, which are often difficult to keep alive during winter months.
The tips and tricks include bringing your potted plants indoors for winter, but to adhere to each plant’s different living conditions. For geraniums, this means being stored in a sunlit room with 70 degree or below temperatures. Fuchsias, however, need to be kept in a 40 to 50 degree temperature with little sunlight. Dahlias best survive when their tubers are stored in dry, dim spots.
Oregon State’s guide is tailored to each plant to help ensure their survival year round.
Read more here!
With a recent increase in the spread of rabies amongst domestic animals, researchers at Kansas State University’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory have released a helpful guide to the viral disease. Kansas State’s tips on this spreading viral disease include how to recognize the disease in cattle and what to do after rabies is detected.
While most picture a rabies-positive animal as behaving madly, Kansas State points out that there are two forms of rabies, furious and dumb, which have varying symptoms. Signs of rabies in an animal include behavioral changes, anorexia, head pressing, bellowing, unproductive defecation, and rear-limb lameness.
Because rabies can be easily spread to humans, it is important to allow a veterinarian do a proper assessment rather than inspecting the animal yourself. While rabies can cause rapid degeneration and death, there are vaccinations for cattle and other domestic animals to prevent the contraction of the disease.
Read more on how to detect and treat rabies in animals here!
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service will be holding a workshop for grape growers on February 3 at the Beaumont Horticultural Unit in Beaumont, MS.
The workshop will cover pruning techniques and vine anatomy of both grapes and muscadines. In-field demonstrations will be available to help participants learn the correct way to prune grapes.
Read more on the event details here!
Although much has changed in the nutrition world since WWII, North Dakota State University Extension Service has detailed techniques from the 1940s that we can still apply to today’s world. Some of these include conserving food, growing our own produce, and ensuring we eat a diverse variety of food groups.
NDSU Extension also compares and contrasts the food groups of the 1940s with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. One notable difference between the two is that butter was considered a food group in the the 1940s “Basic 7 Food Groups”.
Included in the article is a 1943 wartime recipe for Queen of Rice Pudding, which serves as a great wintertime comfort food.
Read more here! bit.ly/1SdETrf
Rich Collins graduated from UC Davis in 1983 and now operates a successful business, California Endive Farms. In a recent profile, Collins attributes part of his success to the start he got at the California agricultural college.
In particular, Collins remembers a feasibility study he undertook his freshman year that focused on the farming operation he dreamed of one day creating. Today, Collins is the only commercial grower of the Belgian variety of endive in the U.S. His farm employs 65 people year round.
Read more here!
With freezing temperatures and predicted snowfall beginning to move into many regions, Kansas State University has provided a helpful guide to fire safety.
Do you know how to keep your indoor fireplace in working condition? What regulations are there in your region on outdoor fires? If you need a refresher, Kansas State has covered essential fire wise thinking that is sure to keep you safe and warm this winter.
The tips include how to properly maintain a fireplace to prevent house fires, how to safely warm your car before you start your day, and how to successfully plan a controlled burn outdoors. Using these important tips, you can safely stay warm this winter.
Read more here!
Did you know that the garbage disposal is a commonly misused kitchen device? Mississippi State University’s Extension Center for Government and Community Development gives this and other helpful tips to keep your home’s pipes clear.
Fats and oils can sit in the bottom of a drain pipe and cause blockages. Protect your pipes by disposing of them and other waste in the garbage.
Read more here!
The North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) has released a new study, prepared in conjunction with the research organization Battelle, that showcases the importance of Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension.
FCS Extension offers programming by Cooperative Extension, which provides non-formal education from the nation’s land-grant universities to help Americans develop skills to live healthier and more productive lives.
Read more here!
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities has named Auburn University the winner of the 2015 Innovation and Economic Prosperity University prize. The award recognized several innovative projects, including an effort to establish an off-bottom oyster-culture industry along the Alabama coast.
Auburn won in the “place” category for excellence in the field of community, social and cultural development work.
Auburn University contributes $5.1 billion per year to Alabama’s economy, and supports 23,600 jobs. Auburn was one of 18 universities named to the APLU third annual class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities.
Read more here!
Terence Centner, an instructor at University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, won national recognition from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and USDA.
The award recognizes professors with outstanding scholarship and exemplary pedagogy.
“To be recognized as one of the top teachers in all American colleges of food, agriculture, natural resources, human sciences and related fields is a tremendous honor,” said Josef Broder, interim dean and director for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Dr. Centner’s dedication to teaching excellence and his personal commitment to student success are most appreciated by the college and university.”
Read more here!
To combat obesity challenges in Alaska, the University of Alaska Fairbanks worked with the USDA to develop a curriculum for both adults and students across several communities. As a result of the programs, which included SNAP-Ed, 86% of the youth surveyed had improved their food selection process and 67% of the adults improved in at least one of their nutrition practices.
Read more here!
Iowa State University Extension and outreach is offering free online nutrition lessons so that older Iowans can learn more about what to eat, how to keep food safe, and how to increase their physical activity. “Almost one-quarter of older Iowans are at-risk for malnutrition or are malnourished,” said Sarah L. Francis, a nutrition and wellness extension state specialist and associate professor in the College of Human Sciences. Three of the online lessons address nutrition, and others focus on the importance of physical activity, food safety, an other topics.
Read more here!
Oregon is home to many smaller and less commercialized farmers looking to sell their locally raised and processed meats. Lauren Gwin of Oregon State University Extension plays a big role in helping these smaller farmers increase their profits and get information they need. Gwin offers consulting and workshops that focus on both starting a business or expanding one. Gwin has also helped connect members of this market via the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network and enable them to communicate with each other via a listserv to help solve each other’s problems. Her contributions have been recognized, and she has been invited to legislative hearings to provide technical expertise.
Read more here!
Family and Consumer Science Extension Staff at the University of Kentucky are working with Master Gardeners to empower youth in Kentucky to make smarter food choices. The staff held a “Try-A-Thon” to encourage students to consume fruits and vegetables. Master Gardeners also offered a variety of educational activities to teach children about parts of seeds, composting, planting, watering, weeding, and looking for insects.
Read more here!
UC Berkeley is giving students the chance to take their agricultural education outside of the classroom. Berkeley has what they call the Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA) garden, which places students in charge of the university’s 44-year-old urban garden. The garden, which grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers, helps students to “build off the lecture-based education we receive and get their hands in the dirt with hands-on experience,” according to one of SOGA’s managers. The garden has also served as a source of produce for locals in the community, during occasional harvest giveaways, as well as food pantries in the Berkeley area.
Read more here!
At the University of Kentucky, students can now take a course related to wine, brewing and distilled spirits. The students will learn and apply the concepts of the brewing for the wine and distilled products industry. The program’s objective is not just to offer an education on the current concepts, but also to instill key technical methods and analytical skills in their students. They will become well versed in all of these areas, particularly in their application to human culture.
Read more here!
50 youth Mississippi State University 4-H members taking part in the State 4-H Congress toured Kenya, India and Japan without leaving their campus. The 4-H pledge includes commitments for the club, communities, country, and the world. Representatives from each of these countries hosted tour groups in three separate rooms. In each room, the representatives were dressed in outfits from those countries and offered samples of authentic foods and teas. MSU students responded positively to this cultural experience, especially since most of them said they have an interest in traveling the world.
Read more here!
New England area high schoolers who are interested in learning about agricultural science can attend a new summer camp offered by UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. The camp runs from August 2-8, and participants must be between the ages of 15 and 17. This camp will educate students about agriculture and its relationship to the natural and human-impacted environment . “Our goal is to expose high school students to the exciting worlds of agricultural and environmental sciences. Students will learn a great deal about their local food system and what processes are in place that enable food to arrive to their plates each day,” says Andrew Ogden, a horticulture expert at UNH and organizer of the camp.
Read more here!
Farmer’s Markets are a tradition marking the beginning of spring and summer in most states. Thanks to the Kansas State Research and Extension service along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, an updated “Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices” is now available for new and veteran farmers market vendors of Kansas. The purpose of this guide is to ensure the safety of the food being bought and consumed as well as the reputation of the vendors and the farmers market as a whole. The updated guide is available for free download at Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices.
Read more here!
A team of University of Kentucky researchers aiming to reach out to homeless or unstable youth have received a five-year grant on behalf of the Children,Youth and Families at Risk program in the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The team will collaborate with YMCA’s Safe Place Services to offer housing, food, transportation, counseling, and other rehabilitative services to local youth in need.
Read more here!
Aggies Go Global funded a trip for 10 New Mexico State University students to travel to India and research water-based issues. Most of the students were drawn to the case due to interest in the field of water conservation. NMSU is pointedly attempting to secure valuable experiences for their students, particularly in regards to detrimental agricultural issues.
Read more here!
Nourishing Boomers and Beyond is a four part program created by Oregon State University Extension services. Extension family and community health educator, Glenda Hyde, started the course and has high hopes of the program developing in other countries. The program was created to help Baby Boomers take preventative action against chronic disease. It helps rejuvenate parts of the brain, skin, digestive system and heart, by activities such as dancing, cooking, and creating theraputic facial masks.
Read more here!
Kansas State Research and Extension experts commented on the Olathe flood by advising the importance of food safety. The water is often contaminated, which could lead to sickness. In an interview, K-State researcher Londa Nwadike suggested throwing out all damaged food, with the exception of commercially produced products such as cans or retort pouches, unless they are damaged as well.
Read more here!
New Mexico State graduate student Jacqueline Alford has proven that hard work and dedication will not go unnoticed. Named last year as an Outstanding Senior of the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Alford is now a graduate student studying ruminant nutrition, aiming to expand on her undergraduate animal sciences education. Alford explains that she ran into some challenges in her undergraduate years, but she feels that they’ve all helped her get to where she is today.
Read more here!
Vermont is currently experiencing an influx of migrant workers. The draw to Vermont is the availability of land and access to healthy, inexpensive food that they can eat themselves and sell for a profit. The University of Vermont has created a New American Farmer program to meet the demand for the new refugees’ farming needs. The program conducted a survey to identify future needs for land and technical assistance. Interpreters were hired to improve communication and increase access to support. Workshops and discussion groups were implemented to identify best marketing strategies and niche markets. New American Farmer has led to more than 50 farmers being able to adapt to Vermont’s climate and establish productive farms. These farming communities let migrant workers stay in touch with their culture and community, while also continuing their trade and saving money.
Read more here!
University of Maryland animal science students spent all night waiting for the birth of a filly in the Campus Barn on March 30th. When they noticed the mare going into labor, they raced to her side, and luckily so, because the filly was unable to breathe. Students and faculty jumped into action just as the filly began having seizures. They administered oxygen while they waited for an equine veterinarian to arrive on the scene. With the help of a professional, the students were able to stabilize the foal and transport her to an intensive care unit at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Equine Medical Center. The filly experienced neonatal maladjustment syndrome, which cannot be diagnosed before birth. She received the necessary treatments and therapies and will continue to be cared for by the students.
Read more here!
The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Berkeley School of Public Health have been awarded $2 million to create technology that can be used in public middle and high schools to prevent childhood obesity. The San Francisco Unified School District will be using “SmartMeal,” a virtual menu filled with healthy options that students can order on iPads for lunch. Sixty percent of the district’s students are eligible for the free lunch program. Improving the diets of these low-income youth is essential in reducing the risk of childhood obesity, and school meals are a critical part of their overall nutrition. The program will be using mobile food carts and vending machines stocked with healthy options, and an app that can be used to pre-order meals to increase convenience. These practices are expected to improve student participation.
Read more here!
Recently, a local vegetable clinic from Arkansas educated local commercial farmer about crop disease risks, weed and insect control in vegetables, U.S Department of Agriculture agencies’ updates and production information for various crops. This was one of a number of programs the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension has hosted lately; the hope is that events like this will help stimulate the local agriculture economy and raise interest in gardening in general.
Read more here!
Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. And one of the biggest factors behind this wave is the limited access to affordable, healthy foods. Food environments in Davidson County, the second largest “food desert cluster” in Tennessee, is being researched by Tennessee State University scientists. Their goal is to identify the most telling factors among availability, accessibility, and socioeconomic characteristics when determining the impact of the environment on the demand for healthy foods. If all goes according to plan, this research will help reshape behavior, affordability and availability of healthy foods.
Read more here!
For growers looking to find the ideal channel for small-scale producers to sell their crops, farmers markets are the way to go. Those who enjoy insect- and pesticide-free vegetables should turn to farmers like Leon Eaton, who sells his crops at farmers markets. Eaton grows tomatoes and other vegetables hydroponically on his Mount Olive, Mississippi farm without soil in a greenhouse. The interest in naturally grown produce has increased demand for locally grown crops, according to a Mississippi Extension specialist, and more local farmers are getting on board with the trends.
Read more here!
Louisiana is home to some of the unhealthiest youths in the nation, with 36% of 10-17-year-olds overweight. Also in Louisiana, 40.5% of African Americans are considered overweight or obese. Southern University Ag Center’s Nutrition and Health Program received a grant to combat childhood obesity. They conducted a study with 26 African Americans participants, in which the 15 participants in the treatment group drank Whey Protein shakes for breakfast for 24 weeks and lost a total of 190 pounds. This study shows promise in decreasing health risks and medical expenses related to obesity.
Read more here!
Thanks to the North Dakota State University Extension Service, the “calcium crisis” among children in elementary classrooms is finally being addressed. The program, Banking on Strong Bones, is based on MyPlate recommendations and is a multi-week effort that includes classroom nutrition lesson, educational materials, supplementary activities and taste testing. Following the program, about 51 percent of parents reported positive changes in their child’s eating habits as a result of this program.
Read more here!
An assistant professor in the Mississippi State University Extension Service will serve as the chair of the chronic disease prevention and management action team for a larger, nationwide effort to improve health factors in the U.S. David Buys’ role as the Extension state health specialist gives him important insights to share with national leaders eager to address America’s growing health crisis. Action items include health literacy, positive youth development for health, health insurance literacy and health-policy issue education.
Read more here!
The Kansas Adolescent Health Project Team at Kansas State University completed a study to discover health needs in adolescents and identify any barriers when it comes to adolescents receiving health care. The online survey and focus groups throughout the state, representing both youths and adults, showed that top issues included obesity, substance abuse, and overall stress. Barriers of receiving healthcare included: cost of services and adults being unaware of adolescent needs. The report is already being used to implement community initiatives and has been submitted to KDHE in hopes of receiving funding.
Read more here!
Gardening trends are on the rise, especially in Kansas communities. Agents and specialists from K-State Research and Extension play a key role in developing the 110 farmers markets and provide expertise to growers through classes, workshops, and conferences. Many individuals and families are improving their diets, trimming grocery budgets, and having fun thanks to vegetable, fruit, and herb gardening.
Read more here!
Montana is one of the fastest growing states in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. However, middle and high school 4-H students often lack exposure to research and awareness of STEM careers. Montana State University created the BioScience Montana project in 2012 to bring science programs and mentors to students all over the state. Focusing on the development of STEM related career skills, the year-long program includes an intensive campus visit and online lab meetings. Following the program, participants’ interest in STEM increased.
Read more here!
The University of Kentucky will be partnering with the USDA to build the Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center. Over 26 percent of children live in poverty in Kentucky alone and 85 percent of persistently poor counties in the US are in rural areas, making children one of the most vulnerable groups for food insecurity. The center’s purpose is to use solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in some of the poorest rural counties throughout the country.
Read more here!
OSU Extension Service created the website Food Hero. When OSU surveyed about 1,200 Oregonians eligible for federal food assistance, over 80% said they wanted to more balanced meals and nearly half wanted to find healthy food information online. As a result, Food Hero was created as a resource for affordable and easy recipes as well as cooking tips. The website is hugely popular with nearly 327,000 visits in 2013.
Read more here!
Kansas State Research and Extension and Master Food Volunteers provided programs and workshops to educate Kansans on good nutrition. Programs included classes such as: Emotional Eating, Cook Once – Eat for a Month, and Dining with Diabetes. Following the program, 97 percent of a survey of 516 participants indicated that they had gained knowledge on eating healthy and improving their health.
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Winter is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to lace up your running shoes and go outside! Kansas State Research and Extension is hosting “Walk Kansas”, and eight week program designed to promote better health and activity levels. With a total of 203,250 participants over the first 13 years, “Walk Kansas” is considered one of the most successful Kansas State Research and Extension programs in its history.
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Through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Challenge 2050 Project, University of Florida Professor Tony Andenoro wants to help solve the problem of feeding the world’s population when it grows to 9 billion in 2050. Challenge 2050 utilizes research, leadership and education, and will be presented at the upcoming One World summit at UF and via the web. The summit is designed to bring together innovative thinkers to discuss new ideas that might, literally, save the world.
Read more here!
Strength training is just as important in your younger years as it is as you age. This type of exercise does not mean that you will get “bulky” if you don’t want to; rather, strength training simply helps you to maintain muscle as you age. Kansas State has published training videos on the Walk Kansas website, which details the eight-week fitness program designed to promote activity and better health for Kansas. About 16,500 people participate each year.
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Farmers’ markets in Kansas stimulate the local economy. Because the number of active farmers’ markets in the state has grown from 26 in 1987 to 130 today, Kansas Department of Agriculture’s From the Land of Kansas trademark program has decided to conduct workshops for current or prospective vendors. The workshops have been taking place since January and go through the end of this month. Workshops will go over topics like vendor best practices, safe food practices, and sales tax and Kansas webtax online.
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Everyone has that secret family recipe that has been passed down through generations. It’s always delicious, and all your friends ask for it. Cydney Martin, a home economist at New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service encourages people to collect those recipes and create a family heirloom cookbook. “Creating a cookbook is fun,” she said. “You can add family memories and stories, pictures and letters. It can be any theme. It could be what we had for Thanksgiving since 1960.” Not only is this a great way to record our cultural history, but it’s a useful thing to have on a cold day like today!
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Tired of strolling through the grocery store looking at bland, overripe vegetables under a flickering fluorescent light? Alabama Extension recommends you try a farmer’s market. The food is tastier and more nutritious, and it helps support and build your local community. By giving farmers the money directly, you are cutting out the middleman and ensuring they get the retail price that they deserve. Learn more about how a farmer’s market might be the perfect place for you:
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As 2015 begins to roll along, many of us are finding it hard to stick to our new year’s resolutions. The most common among these is weight loss, which has been adopted by mainstream media as a lucrative advertising tool. It’s easy to get seduced by the thrilling stories of people losing life-changing amounts of weight, but the North Dakota State University Extension Service cautions against buying in to false promises. The most difficult part of getting healthy is sticking to a realistic timeline, and not getting discouraged if you don’t see results right away. There is a plethora of helpful information out there, including online weight management resources, licensed nutritionists available by appointment, and community support programs. If you are dedicated to losing weight this year, make sure you don’t fall victim to “ads” or misinformation by spending some time vetting your sources. But above all, try to find people who are committed to helping you keep the weight off, not just lose it.
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Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito? Where has it been? Before mosquitoes bite humans, they feast on birds. This is where a lot of viruses originate. Researchers can now determine what animals the mosquitoes are biting before humans. This allows researchers to see which animals being bit can carry certain diseases. The next time you go on a hike, you should put bug spray on to reduce the amount of mosquito bites you receive. You never know where the mosquito has been.
Kelsey Sebastian always knew that after college, she wanted to move back home. Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, Sebastian was a member of her local 4-H club. She attended the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Throughout her college experience, she would encounter many different routes that she could take. Since graduating, Sebastian has opened Kelsey’s on Main, which serves many family recipes. Some are so secret that Kelsey will not allow anyone in the kitchen when she is making them.
University of Kentucky students have successfully launched their own campus kitchen that is serving residents of Lexington. As a part of the Campus Kitchens Project, a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their community, UK students are providing free meals to people with food that would otherwise go to waste. Students have been collecting food from different locations: dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants and farms. The current estimate is that there will be enough food collected to serve several hundred meals a week.
Due to the increased size of farming equipment, it is becoming more and more dangerous to drive in rural areas. University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist Todd Lorenz offers a few simple safety tips for motorists, most of which emphasize deliberate, patient, and cautious driving around rural areas. Among other things, he cautions that tractors require extra room to make turns and that a driver’s hearing may be impaired by the sound of the equipment. MU Extension safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch offers guidelines for farmers as well, including pulling over to the shoulder of the road whenever there is a buildup of traffic, and recommends having someone follow or precede the farmer to warn of incoming drivers. Find the entire list below.
In commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is sharing a sampling of its efforts to reach California Hispanics and Latinos.
An interest and knowledge in the native plant life in your area can lead to the development of a deep relationship with one’s ecosystem, says Ed Jenson, a professor at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. Jenson recently authored a full-color, easy-to-use field guide for identifying any of the 100 species of shrubs found in the Pacific Northwest. The book is available for just $12.00, and would surely be useful to hikers and armchair botanic-fanatics alike in Oregon, Washington, northern California, southern British Columbia, the panhandle of Idaho and even adjoining parts of western Montana. With over 500 color photographs and an illustrated glossary, this guide is sure to answer any question you may have on your next adventure.
The National Extension Association honored two Mississippi State University Extension Service professionals for Family and Consumer Sciences for their work done in the field of early childhood health. Jenna Schilling and Natasha Haynes won the national Early Childhood Child Care Training Award for the TummySafe program, which is a food certification course for childcare providers. TummySafe teaches about food safety and is delivered online and in the classroom. The program was created because of the demand for childcare providers across Mississippi. TummySafe focuses on subjects such as diapering, handling breast milk and formula, safe serving practices, cooking, storing and holding food.
Mississippi State Extension assistant professor Ryan Akers was recently honored for his effort to develop and implement emergency practices that help families prepare for disasters. His program, Mississippi Youth Preparedness Initiative (MyPI), aims to assist communities to become more resilient and reactive in times of emergency. Through MyPI outreach, students work with their families plus six others to develop emergency supply kits and family communication plans. Akers will have an opportunity to speak at the White House and the FEMA headquarters about his program, which will offer youth an insight into a career they may not have previously considered.
Mississippi holds the unfortunate title as the national leader in obesity. Mississippi State University, in partnership with Rust College and the United Methodist Church, is working hard to address unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles in the community. Tara Howell, Holmes County (Miss.) Extension agent says, “Extension’s role is to provide education. We are ready to help this community make healthy choices.” Just like Mississippi agriculture, the solution to the obesity problem must be a sustainable one. MSU Extension is offering classes, group meetings, information sessions, and more to address and remedy this ongoing problem. See the results, and how they may help your community, after the jump.
In recognition of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, 4-H has recognized 24 North Dakota 4-H clubs for their dedication to healthy food choices and regular exercise. With the help of the North Dakota State University Extension Service, these clubs were awarded recognition and a small prize for emulating and promoting healthy lifestyles. NDSU Extension teaches the children about preparing healthy recipes through hands on activities. Some clubs do food drives, while others bake items to hand out in their community. The slogan “Eat Smart. Play Hard.” has been impactful with these North Dakota clubs since NDSU Extension first implemented it back in 2005, and continues to be a driving force in the 4-H chapter.
Locally grown produce has been on the rise lately, and it’s not hard to see why. Through farmers markets and co-ops, small-scale producers are finding ways to venture into the farm-fresh scene to the applause of local consumers. Rick Snyder, vegetable specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station says, “This segment of agriculture is growing, and I think we are only going to see the need for small-scale producers increase in the coming years.” Farmers markets offer a place for the community to gather and exchange knowledge, especially from the farmers to consumers, about why only certain offerings are available compared to the grocery store where one might find all sorts of out-of-season produce. Learn what other benefits this growing trend brings with it, after the jump.
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The month of September was National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and in Mississippi, the ongoing effort against childhood obesity is showing some promising results. Recently released statistics show a steady decline in childhood obesity rates from 2009-2013. Down from 18% to 15%, experts at the Mississippi State University Extension Service are encouraged by the educational efforts and adjustments schools have made in both physical fitness programs and school lunches. As part of a larger statewide effort, public schools have mandated 150 minutes per week of exercise for kindergarten to eighth grade students, while high school students are required to complete 70 hours of a physical education in order to graduate. MSU Extension Service members are encouraging parents to set healthy eating habits for their children, limit their screen-time, and promote outdoor activities when they are away from school as well.
The Escambia County 4-H club of Barreneau Park is celebrating their 100th Anniversary. It is the longest continuously operating 4-H chapter in Florida and one of the oldest in the country. Since its inception in 1914, hundreds of boys and girls have been able to gain knowledge and develop skills in leadership, citizenship, livestock, horses, food and nutrition, environmental education, marine science, shooting sports and public speaking. To celebrate the centennial event, current and old members will perform 100 hours of community service and donations including reading materials to nursing homes, food and shoes to the needy, baking goods to give to local firefighters, and writing thank you cards for the men and women who serve in our military.
Ninety-three percent of trees planted by University of Florida students are still living after five years. The Florida Forest Service began a program in 1990 to encourage cities to plant more trees for the benefits of energy savings, better air and water quality, and higher property values. Trees were planted in parks, parking lots, private properties, along streets and in highway medians. Researchers want to know how long the trees will survive in urban environments. Florida is not the only state that is trying to restore the wilderness in an urban setting; Philadelphia and New York City have success rates at or above 95 percent for the life of a planted tree reaching at least five years of age.
For the past 70 years and counting, Cornell Cooperative Extensions 4-H Youth Development program has been preparing youth for college. This year is no different. Through guided seminars and one-on-one encounters, faculty and staff impart their knowledge to college hopefuls of nearly all ages in attempts to better inform the numerous opportunities available to them in the years to come. 4-h Career Exploration programs such as this “allow youth to have fun while learning about science, technology, humanities, and yourself.”
It’s no secret that external, international aid is necessary in certain parts of Africa. But what form that aid takes to make the most difference can be a mystery. With help from the US Agency for International Development, North Dakota State University has been able to put boots on the ground (perhaps ‘shovels in the ground’) in Ethiopia through Catholic Relief Services’ Farmer-to-Farmer program. NDSU Extension agronomist Hans Kandel showed Ethiopian farmers how best to space, rotate, and treat their crops; this is vitally important, as a family may only have a couple acres of land they must maximize it’s potential use value.
Since 1930, North Dakota has held an annual potato festival, affectionately called “Potato Days.” North Dakota State University Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist Julie Garden-Robinson has recently written an entertaining and informative guide and review of this, one of North Dakota’s fondest past times. Potatoes aren’t just fun, though! Accordingly, “the complex carbohydrates in potatoes provide energy to fuel our muscles and brain.” Read more about this yearly exciting event, after the jump.
As with fires at home, prevention and preparation are key to avoiding field fires that can potentially destroy entire harvests, University of Missouri Extension specialist Kent Shannon notes. One tip he has is to make sure each piece of equipment is accompanied by at least one 10-pound all-purpose dry chemical extinguisher. Also, perhaps less obviously, if a fire does erupt, you should call 911 prior to attempting to extinguish the flames yourself. For more tips to being proactive about your harvest’s safety, follow the link.
Frank Wideman the University of Missouri Extension natural resources engineer has taught firefighters to use GPS technology, which provides faster emergency service in Iron and Madison counties in Missouri. Wideman and volunteers located and mapped about 300 fire hydrants. Firefighters are sent the location of fire hydrants once they are dispatched. The GPS data system has cut minutes off of the response time of the emergency responders, since they already know where the nearest fire hydrant is located.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of University of Missouri Extension, provides non credit learning opportunities for seniors. Mizzou recently announced that classes will extend to five rural regions this fall. Lessons include topics on literature, technology, travel and even how to publish a family history book. Outstate seniors also have access to video streamed courses from the Columbia campus, giving them new opportunities for growth and engagement. Expansion of this program encourages more seniors to improve upon lifelong skills including critical thinking and socialization.
Pumpkin day in Tennessee has come and gone, but pumpkin season is here alive and well. University of Tennessee Extension Horticulturist Carol Reese helps provide valuable information to attendees of “Pumpkin Field Day,” where visitors can see “the newest and best varieties for the pumpkin patch…as well as learn about insect, disease and weed control.” As pumpkins are such a fall staple (pumpkin spice latte, anyone?), the more information available to growers, the happier consumers will be. Luckily, each year seems to only get better for pumpkins because of events such as UT’s Pumpkin Field Day.
With the help of the UK Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H was able to take part in a shoe party for the organization Sole Hope. Sole Hope is a nonprofit that uses denim and plastic to create closed-toe shoes for children in Uganda. For the event, 4-H accepted denim donations from local consignment stores. In return, Sole Hope constructs shoes to help keep harmful bugs that burrow into an unprotected foot. The project offers kids a valuable lesson on recycling and sewing, exposes them to the cause and information about where the shoes are going in Uganda.
The University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is extending it’s efforts to eradicating hunger from surrounding communities. At the Milan No-Till Field Day, farmers presented with various management practices as well as tips to improve food security. An effort titled “Farmers vs. Hunger” was featured at the field day program in which volunteers assembled and packaged thousands of meals for local food banks. The meals were packed with soy protein and vitamins for increased nutritional value. This year’s No-Till Field Day prepared over 28,000 meals for the community.
Kansas State University offers some insight to parents on best practices to raising a child with higher self-esteem. Early child development specialist, Bradford Wiles says that ridiculing and shaming a child will lead to more damaging effects down the road than most parents realize. He also says that a healthy relationship starts with the parent. Wiles provides tips for parents to use better words when talking to their children as well some pointers for staying calm when they get upset.
Every day in the weeks leading up to the 4th of July, over 200 individuals visit emergency rooms due to firework related injuries. This year, Mississippi State University suggests families, especially those with young children, indulge in other festivities such as glow sticks, confetti, and their local fireworks show put on by trained professionals. Even sparklers, which may seem innocent, can leave lasting injuries. In fact, MSU notes that sparklers are the leading cause of firework related injuries, as they can reach a temperature of 1,200 degrees – hot enough to melt metal. So, keep your kids and yourself safe this year, and enjoy the 4th responsibly!
The Elizabeth A. Howard 4-H Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center (TRAC), Mississippi State University Extension Service’s equine therapy camp for children, recently received international accreditation. TRAC offers numerous therapeutic riding activities to both adults and children with cognitive and physical challenges. The center plans to offer services to individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder as they grow in the state. International accreditation will help TRAC to reach more people, allowing Mississippi State University Extension to develop more riding centers throughout Mississippi.
A wildland fire specialist from New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension has made acknowledgements towards the vast wildfires set to descend on the state. He explains that many of the houses that may fall prey to the same fires need not to – if only they prepare themselves adequately. Embers, sometimes traveling up to a mile or more, are often responsible for house fires during wildfire season, rather than encroaching flames. By removing or hiding flammable materials from your house, the chances of falling victim to this type of natural disaster is greatly reduced.
Experts from the University of Florida are helping communities stand their ground in dreaded anticipation of hurricane season. Cooperative Extension encourages proper planning to avoid the costs of deadly indecision. They point out that the season begins in June, stressing immediate urgency for a sit down discussion with families in case of an emergency. While forecasters may offer predictions, proactive precaution is the best measure in case of emergency evacuation.
Alabama Extension is commemorating May 8, 2014, the centennial anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. Considered by many to be one of the most important educational reforms in history, the Act established a national network of grassroots educators charged with extending the resources of land-grant institutions to local communities. This program came to be known as the Cooperative Extension System, which set out to provide practical research-based knowledge to improve the lives of citizens.
In 1914, U.S. Senator Hoke Smith of Georgia and U.S. Representative A. F. Lever of South Carolina authored the Smith-Lever Act to expand the “vocational, agricultural and home demonstration programs in rural America.” The act assured delivery of research-based knowledge of the land-grant universities to people where they live and work.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Smith-Lever, and the 100th anniversary of Kansas State University’s agricultural extension program, which has improved the lives of countless Kansans. But KSU extension’s work is far from over.
Kansas State wants to continue it’s tradition of improving the community by tackling some of the most important environmental and agricultural issues of our time, including water resource management, sustainability, food systems, community development, and much more. So here’s to 100 more years of excellence!
Although states differ on their designated day of celebration, National Arbor Day is customarily held across the United States on the last Friday of April. It is customary to plant a tree on Arbor Day. Clemson Extension honors this day as they plan to revive a historic pecan grove on the university’s campus. These 5 acres will serve as an outdoor classroom to farmers and homeowners.
You can do mostly anything from your smartphone these days, and now you can do something else. Botanists at Oregon State University have designed a new mobile app that can be use to identify wildflowers from all over the Pacific Northwest. The app, available on iPhones and Androids, has pictures and other multimedia along with information on about 1,000 different kinds of wildflowers, shrubs and vines that are commonly found in Oregon and adjacent areas. Once the app is downloaded, it can even be used without Internet connection. Users can use illustrations of geographic region, flower features (color, number of petals), leaf features (type and shape), plant size, and habitat to help identify unknown plants.
UC Cooperative Extension is launching its first ever crowd-sourced science project, planned for May 8, to celebrate the organization’s 100th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, Extension is asking Californians to help them collect data so that there is an improved understanding of the natural, agriculture and urban communities. “One of the most profound ways in which UC touches people’s lives is through the work of Cooperative Extension,” says Janet Napolitano, President, University of California.
Farmers have important choices to make in light of the new farm bill. One of the decisions is the choice between two safety net programs, the Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage. The Agriculture Risk Coverage covers what farmers would have lost before normal crop insurance is added, and offers protection if crop revenue is to fall more than 14 percent an average benchmark. Price Loss Coverage will give farmers payments if their crop prices fall below a predetermined “reference” price. “ARC is effectively a free revenue insurance guarantee and the PLC is a free put, with the government paying the entire premium costs,” said Art Barnaby, who is a risk management specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “At current crop prices, the market is saying the ARC has more value than PLC, but that does not guarantee that ARC will pay more than PLC on corn and soybeans.” He noted that it isn’t clear which is the best plan, because farmers sign up only later this fall. “The program that will pay the most will be determined by price and yield. By sign-up, we will know the wheat yield and half of the marketing year average wheat price on the 2014 crop. We will also have a good estimate of the yields for spring-planted crops, so all this could change.”
The National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research hill seminar returns on Monday April 8th and will be offered through two venues at Senate and House locations. The topics covered during the presentations will focus on recent research and outreach efforts in regards to home food processing that emphasizes food safety and improving related scientific understanding of basic principles. The Hill Seminar Series helps to demonstrate the value of public investment in food and agricultural research. The workshop will include a morning “Briefing” Seminar at the Senate location followed by a “Lunch-N-Learn” event at the House Office. RSVP is requested by COB on Friday, April 5.
Fresh for Florida Advocacy and the University of Florida joined together to educate about a thousand people on the importance of agriculture. With young kids today their fathers and grandfathers aren’t farmers, so therefore no one is fostering them with the knowledge of how important agriculture really is. “Agriculture affects all of us, including elementary students. If adults don’t do their part teaching young people how agriculture affects all of us, there could be serious consequences in the future,” FFA Advisor Perry Byars said.
The University of Florida is set to hold a centennial celebration for its Cooperative Extension division. Extension has helped millions of Floridians by tapping the latest information from the research engines of the University of Florida and Florida A&M University and converting it into practical knowledge. The 100th Anniversary will be held on Thursday, April 17 and will feature food, guest speakers, activities and exhibit.
Cornell University has recently earned its third consecutive gold STARS rating from Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Cornell has pushed continually towards efforts to save energy, increase sustainability research and education. “Cornell’s dining procurement choices have significant impacts on our regional economy and environment, as well global implications. Cornell gets its milk products and apples from the university’s own farming operations. In fact, we use fair trade coffee, and that has huge implications for growers in coffee regions around the world,” says Dan Roth, director for campus sustainability.
Purdue University, agriculture department, has awarded $1 million in state-funded grants for a range of projects intended to advance Indiana’s dependence in animal and plant agriculture development. Nineteen projects received grant money under the AgSEED initiative, intended to help drive economic growth and job development. Purdue is in a unique position to lead these efforts by sharing its research with the public and providing programs throughout the state to improve quality of life.
With spring coming up soon, people may be starting to plan what trees they want to plant in their home gardens. Mississippi State University Extension offers some useful tips on tree selection that many people may not know. For example, customers may look for fast-growing trees, but these trees are the same ones that tend to have weak wood and suffer in extreme weather conditions. Careful selection in the early stages will help reduce future problems once the trees start to grow.
With spring and St. Patrick’s Day coming up, Mississippi State University horticulturist Gary Bachman suggests trying to plant some traditional plants. “Shamrocks are more of a florist specimen rather than an outdoor plant,” he says. Bachman advises what kind of shamrocks to buy and how to plant them properly. “So bring some home this year and you will be able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in authentic, historic fashion.”
PIKETON, Ohio – Berry growers looking for ways to diversify their farming operations can learn the practical and essential skills needed to be successful in the blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and strawberry industries at a workshop held by Ohio State University horticulture and viticulture experts March 14.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will soon begin studying whether nurses who are exposed to horses and partake in activities with horses are able to develop better emotional intelligence skills. The follow-up to a pilot study conducted earlier, this study will have nurses take part in activities like grooming, moving horses through obstacle courses, and observing them in general. “The basic premise of equine-guided education is that horses provide in-the-moment feedback about leadership skills, and therefore allow the development of insights that can be applied both in professional and personal lives.”
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources has created a three step plan to help Californians prepare for their upcoming summer gardens. By planning ahead of time which crops to grow, gardeners can avoid unnecessary expenses and qualms with unfamiliar plants. Prioritizing valuable crops for each family is also key. Finally, taking a UC Master Food Preserver class will enable gardeners to learn how to save their harvests for use throughout the year.
A researcher from New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is studying the biology of a common cockroach pest as well as ways to limit its presence, particularly in the American South West. “When they invade homes, they become an important problem because they cause allergies, asthma in some people, can contaminate food and transmit diseases.” They can also cause harm to other animals and pets. NMSU’s goal is to increase available information about the pest and study pest management possibilities.
Over 1,000 people attended the South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo at the Florence Civic Center to see the latest farm products and services. At the event, Clemson University’s Extension Service offered educational programs on various agricultural topics, including workshops for small farms and food entrepreneurs. Over 120 vendors, university officials and public agencies were in attendance.
As the population of farmers in Arkansas continues to grow older, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is encouraging farmers over 55 to begin planning the future of their farms. The question of what happens to farms after the sole proprietor has passed away can be a confusing process that if not planned for ahead of time, can leave the state of the farm in jeopardy. “Farmers can protect their family legacy by creating a will, says Dr. Fernandez, who recommends consulting a professional estate planner and attorney to create a document fair and equitable to all heirs.” In order to keep farms in the family, it pays to plan ahead.
The day-to-day happenings of livestock operations don’t usually allot much time to analyze the operation or connect with peers for learning or social interactions. Iowa State Extension specialists hope to change this. The Beginning and Young Livestock Producer Network, an Extension and Outreach initiative hopes to connect farmers and ranchers who may be independent by nature and sometimes reluctant to seek advice. By networking and sharing ideas and practices, producers will begin to see benefits related to the business side of livestock production and management.
In honor of its 100th anniversary, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) will host a free educational speakers’ series accompanied by hands-on family-friendly activities at the World Ag Expo, Feb. 11-13. The event will bring together nineteen UC academics to partnerships with local communities to solve economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development and nutrition issues. Throughout 2014, UCCE will host special events to celebrate the organization’s 100 years of science and service.
While many people only associate the local food movement with local produce and farmers markets, Kentucky producers of beef, chicken and pork are also seeing the demand for local products increase. The Extension program at the University of Kentucky has uniquely positioned itself to help educate producers entering into local foods and consumers as to what each can offer and what to expect out of local foods. Local producers are seeing a wide range of benefits to extension’s involvement with higher sales and increasing demands for locally raised meats.
On February 2, 2013, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will team up with the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office and other Production Associations to offer the 2013 Kentucky Small Ruminant Grazing Conference. This event will offer information for producers at all levels of experience. “We have learning opportunities for anyone who is interested in raising small ruminants,” said David Ditsch, director of the UK Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in Quicksand. The conference will include topics such as environmental stewardship for small ruminant production, and small ruminant reproduction, with presentations by many industry experts.
Purdue University Extension is hosting a two-day conference next February “to educate women on farming practices while also offering them the opportunity to build relationships with other farm women.” Various speakers will address issues that impact farm women and their families, such as raising agricultural awareness and how Purdue Extension can help educate and inspire farm families. Since farming is a traditionally male-dominated career, it is important to educate women and relay how getting involved in leadership roles within agriculture at an early age can improve women’s roles in the industry.
Farming in New York State is on the upswing, as evidenced by growth in maple syrup sales, yogurt production, and the fact that New York has “more winter farmer’s markets than any other state” as confirmed by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Despite these advances, affordable farmland is becoming increasingly harder to procure for young farmers. State officials and politicians realize the potential for economic development through new farms and are therefore looking for solutions to subsidize farmland.
Purdue Extension offers resources to help homeowners cope with storm-damaged trees. According to Purdue specialists, homeowners evaluating tree damage due to recent storms will need to decide weather it can be taken care of by themselves, or if they require professional service. Safety is noted as the biggest concern when dealing with this maintenance and cleanup.
The University of Georgia College of Agriculture is preparing to host it’s annual Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest in 2014. Past events have been a widely successful for food entrepreneurs to raise commercial awareness for their products and to establish their brands. According to a survey, nearly 90 percent of the 2013 finalists reported that they met new and useful business contracts through the event. Not only does the contest raise profiles for food entrepreneurs and their products, but it also helps boost local farming industries in surrounding areas.
University of Kentucky shares a video of Donnie Appelman, a Kentucky farmer and participant of the AgrAbility Project. Thanks to the program, Donnie is able to continue to assist his brothers with the family farm. University of Kentucky Extension has received funding from the US Department of Agriculture to provide education and technical assistance to agriculture operators and farm families who face the challenges of a disability. With the help of Kentucky AgrAbility, producers can overcome injury or disability limitations.
Ohio State’s Aquaculture Research Program is looking to find aspiring fish farmers to mentor and help grow. The university is offering new farmers hands-on opportunities to learn about fish farming techniques at its Piketon facility. As consumers look to fish as a healthy alternative to other sources of protein, it is important that farmers are able to meet demand.
When Todd Leeson began his job as an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent for the University of Georgia, the seed for a new locally grown food community was planted. Leeson helped to initiate a funding project in collaboration with the Chattahoochee Hill Country Conservancy in south Fulton County to promote the sustainability of local agriculture. The project aims to assist farmers in providing Atlanta citizens with access to more locally grown food and provide a model for responsible agricultural techniques.
On November 8th, the University of Missouri´s Department of Agriculture will host the Farm financial skills workshop for women, which seeks to inform guests about farm management and production. The two-day event features many guest speakers and successful business professionals in the farming industry. With so many hobby farmers who want to scale up their businesses, it is important to gain insight towards efficient farming operations and ways of financing to increase yield and profit.
Missouri Extension raises the awareness of mowing leaves as an alternative to raking them. Sharing results from studies conducted by Michigan State University Extension, experts at Missouri Extension are saying that maintaining a consistent mowing schedule in the fall could save time and reduce the volume of yard waste. Some of the benefits associated with this tactic include: less time, environmental benefits of reduced smoke, less landfill waste, minimization of bag usage, and lower transportation costs.
University of Kentucky extension plant experts offer that to minimize risk of disease, home gardeners should consider selecting disease resistant cultivars. This preventative measure comes about because many home gardeners are not prepared for the ambush of diseases that annually flood apple trees. Even with backyards lacking the immense disease pressure experienced in commercial orchards, a proactive maintenance program is still essential to protect from insects according to UK Extension experts.
With the help of the University of Missouri Extension program, Marcy Webber has been living a life in recovery from her drug addiction. In an effort to pay it forward, Marcy has involved herself with fundraising efforts towards a community demonstration garden tended by participants in county rehabilitation programs. The program’s gardens are used to teach horticulture, nutrition, cooking and food preservation practices. Through this engagement, participants learn the value of teamwork and responsibility while establishing a stronger support system.
Two Mississippi State University horticulture scientists furthered their outreach efforts by helping locals answer home improvement questions on the PBS show “Ask This Old House”. The scientists Gary Bachman and Christine Coke helped a resident of Biloxi with the installation of a high tunnel, an unheated greenhouse that extends the growing season. During the show, both Bachman and Coker assist and implement their thoughts for projects and offer a solution to the challenge of growing year-round vegetables in Mississippi.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky have found a new way to control mosquitos and the EPA has allowed them to begin field trials on their new method. The testing will be conducted on the Asian tiger mosquito, which is especially invasive. These new methods of biological testing for mosquitos offer hope for solutions to many infections carried by mosquitos, including heartworm and other viruses. Watch this video from University of Kentucky to learn more about controlling these mosquitos:
Kenny Seebold of the University of Kentucky Extension program explains the best way to harvest and store pumpkins for the fall. Downy mildew has the potential to not only harm pumpkins but other crops as well. With this knowledge, Seebold observes weather patterns to predict where the downy mildew will hit next. Scientists hope that this early forecasting will help prevent further farm damage.
The University of Maryland’s prides itself on the running dairy farm at the Central Maryland Research and Education Center (CMREC). The farm runs an active experience for students, as well as a research facility for staff. UMD’s farm is now installing a new high-end milking facility, which will create large changes to the farm’s current routines. The farm continues to earn respect for the quality of its cattle and milk production.
On September 28th, the University of California´s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and its 4-H Youth Development Program will participate in the Farm to Fork Festival, in Sacramento. At this event, attendees will have the chance to learn about various important topics, such as food preservation and gardening techniques, and will be able to participate in workshops. Informing the public about where their food comes from is crucial as it raises awareness about local farming practices in the US.
On October 25th, the University of Wisconsin-Madison´s Dairy Science Department will host a visit day for prospective students interested in enrolling in the program. There, attendees will have the chance to learn about the current state of the dairy farming industry as well as take part in workshops to get hands-on experience. The Dairy Science Department, one of the most reputable dairy science departments, plays a vital role in helping dairy farmers overcome today’s challenges.
Starting September 23rd, the University of Missouri´s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will reopen its “Tiger Garden“ student-run floral shop with a new facelift. From September 23- 28 there will be various in-store special events. By running this shop, the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources enables students to get more involved in their area of study while strengthening the bond between the general public and those involved in the farming and agriculture business.
An article from Kansas State University voices the cost implications of more specific country-of-origin labels on meat products. Although they state that the ruling, upholding more specific labels, could allow meat consumers to have more information on these products, they conclude that the label specifications would add more costs and lead to economic loss for certain countries.
Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension services will be holding a free open house on October 5th, featuring presentations and demonstrations about various topics, including water conservation and gardening. Guests can learn tips on more efficient gardening practices and will hear from Water Wise about conservation practices and techniques. The event lasts from 9 am to 1 pm, and is located in at 1600 B Smith Road in Austin, Texas.
Arthritis poses a big problem for farmers by limiting mobility, strength and the ability to complete routine tasks. As a part of Kansas Farm Safety and Health Week, Extension experts are reminding farmers to place focus on their health and safety. Producers affected with the condition are encouraged to develop an effective treatment plan with a medical professional in order to avoid further joint damage.
Ohio State’s Chow Line offers some advice to novices who may find themselves in a pickle when trying to ferment or ‘pickle’ cucumbers. From lactic acid fermentation to quick-process pickles, OSU extension offers a guide to creating the best product. In addition to the USDA Guide to Home Canning, Ohio State University Extension offers two fact sheets, “Making Fermented Dill Pickles” and “Quick Process Pickles” to make the process easier for people at home.
The Hutchinson Correctional Facility boasts about one and one-half acres of neatly-kept rows of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes and other produce to greet visitors. The Garden for Good project offers a positive outlet from the harsh realities of life behind bars for inmates. The prison’s administration approved a proposal for the project, provided the land, and helped to set up classes with K-State Research and Extension’s Master Gardeners program. In 2012, the Garden for Good donated more than 6,700 pounds of produce and $2,500 to such community groups as the Christian soup kitchen and the food bank of Reno County. This year, the group set a goal to donate 10,000 pounds of produce, and donate $5,000 to area groups.
Using donations from the public and land sponsorship from UNL’s agronomy and horticulture department, a group of environmental studies majors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln helped to bring an organic farming experience to students. The university shared half an acre of land to the students who replaced the asparagus plants with a cover crop designed to reintroduce nutrients into the soil for future production. The project provided a new angle for students and novice growers to view agriculture and horticulture.
The eXtension Foundation National Leadership Council was recently awarded a gift in the amount of $150,000. This generous CHS Foundation support is being provided to develop and implement a national online eXtension Women in Agriculture National Learning Network. It will be the first national network focused on women in agriculture that brings together the vast Cooperative Extension resources to one online location.
Ray and Patricia Geyer are regular visitors to the property, which sits between East Brunswick, New Brunswick and North Brunswick, and includes gardens of annual flowers, vegetables, shrubs, evergreens, hollies, rhododendrons and shade trees, along with a bamboo grove. There is also a hardwood forest and fields. “It’s inspirational; you see what they do here,” Ray Geyer said. “There’s no way I could do it in my yard, but it gives you ideas.” “It’s educational,” said his wife Patricia, as a camera hung from her neck.
Clemson University’s Edisto Research and Education Center held its wettest Watermelon and Vegetable Field Day Thursday since the event began in 2002. Reportedly about 22 inches of rain have fallen through the fields. Since April 1st. As a result, yields are half of what they were last year. This year’s growing season has also witnessed four well-known diseases in South Carolina: powdery mildew, gummy stem blight, downy mildew and anthracnose. Rain and cloudy weather are the primary reasons for mildew.
After the discovery of large deposits of shale in eastern Ohio, researchers at Ohio State University believed a housing shortage was in the cards for areas near shale deposits. But after a recent report analyzing the effects of shale development on housing in Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2011, which were the first four years of the boom period, they found that counties experiencing the most shale-related development saw little change in fair market rents. The report found that, among many reasons, housing shortages were not a problem because of the increase of hotels being built, providing temporary housing to workers, as well as a lower positive economic impact of the shale development than was expected.
Botanica Caroliniana, a project taken on by a team of researchers from Clemson and Furman University, gives botanists anywhere in the world a more complete picture of the ecological history of the Carolinas and Georgia. This project makes original plant specimens collected in the Carolinas centuries ago by seminal naturalists, available to the public through an online database of high-resolution images. Before Botanica Caroliniana, the only way to study these specimens was to travel to London. “Through Botanica Caroliniana, researchers can now view in detail the original specimens without traveling to London, and use this primary source material to do taxonomic work these naturalists did not have the resources to do themselves at the time,” said Amy Blackwell, a research associate at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.
The University of Georgia and Bainbridge State College have signed three Memorandums of Understanding that will allow students who graduate from BSC to automatically gain acceptance into a bachelor’s degree program in agriculture at the UGA campus in Tifton. Since agriculture plays an imperative role in the region’s economy, this new partnership ensures that students from the region who want to work in this field will have the opportunity to complete the training they need. “Tifton is in the heart of the state’s agricultural area,” said Scott Angle, dean and director of the UGA CAES. “Their educators are world-class scientists who will provide great benefit to the students in this program,” he said.
Construction is underway on six hoop houses for the High Desert Farming Initiative, a University of Nevada, Reno farming demonstration project. The business-oriented collaborative will provide applied research and demonstration in hoop-house, greenhouse and organic farming in high desert climates for local growers and the agriculture industry, as well as assessment of various options to support economic development – primarily to support agriculture. Educational opportunities are also available to students interested in agriculture and business.
Adult mole crickets emerge from the soil and begin to feed and mate as temperatures warm. During these periods of mating, populations in an area can increase significantly in a very short period of time. Mole crickets damage turf by feeding on plant roots, stems and leaves and tunnel through the soil. Their feeding is not considered as damaging as their tunneling, however, significant feeding injury does occur in pastures. The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has found that homeowners can test their lawns for mole cricket using dish soap but it is best to apply insecticides as late in the day as possible because mole crickets are most active at night.
According to a new report, building new meat processing plants won’t necessarily produce more local meat unless farmers and processors change how they do business with each other. Lauren Gwin, lead author and researcher at Oregon State University said, “Farmers say there aren’t enough processors, but how can processors stay open, let alone grow, without enough steady, consistent business to pay their bills?” Further, this report focused on the challenges and innovations facing the local meat processing industry and examined efforts around the country where various groups are working together to provide technical assistance to local processors and their farmer-customers. The USDA’s Economic Research Service published the findings this week under a cooperative agreement with Gwin and OSU.
Graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources are working to make the Enns Museum collection of more than 7 million insect specimens available to the world through an online museum. The students are working to allow standardized and curated digital photos of the museum’s collection to become available to scientists, researchers, educators and the public.
On Friday, June 7, from 6 – 11 a.m. the ISU Dairy will be hosting its fifth annual open house at the ISU Dairy Farm, located south of Ames, Iowa.Visitors will be able to learn about the different commodities in the Ag Discovery Center, while sampling free dairy products. The open house includes demonstrations on current technologies and best practices in animal care and comfort, product quality and safety, and environmental stewardship. The ISU Dairy Farm had 394 milking cows, 438 total cows and a youngstock of 314 at the end of April. Each cow produces around 78.5 pounds of milk per day, with a protein percentage of 3.1 percent and a fat content of 3.9 percent. The objectives of the current dairy farm facilities, which opened in 2007, is to provide teaching, research and outreach opportunities.
With an increasing world population, the need to produce safe and nutritious food has never been of greater concern. To add further strain to the issue is the limited funding available for vital agricultural research. The University of California, a land-grant university, is making strides to alleviate this obstacle by conducting critical food, agricultural and natural-resources research as well as public outreach initiatives. The results of such studies have spurred economic innovation, especially in agriculture that could lead to a solution towards a healthy food supply for the planet.
Ohio State University is providing a great opportunity for growers to learn how to improve soil health and increase crop yields. By introducing multi-functional cover crops, farmers can reduce input costs while improving water consumption, reducing soil erosion and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The hands-on workshop is suited for both beginning and veteran farmers and will offer strategies and tips for growers on everything they’ll need to know about using cover crops and the soil, water and air quality benefits that it provides.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Art and science aren’t always birds of a feather, but a new University of Florida project has them flocking together.
Students from UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences recently worked with UF’s Harn Museum of Art to identify Brazilian birds and plants illustrated by famed naturalist painter Jean-Theodore Descourtilz.
A website detailing their work was launched earlier this year. It can be found here: http://descourtilz.wordpress.com/.
“The museum needed to know the names of the birds and plants depicted, whether they were accurately rendered, and if they were biologically realistic,” said Emilio Bruna, an associate professor in UF’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
Bruna and John Blake, a professor in the department, co-taught the graduate-level class that led the project. Both are members of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Students in the class, An Introduction to Tropical Ecology and Conservation, examined five prints – each portraying three to five birds and a plant species upon which the birds are perched. And while some of the birds were labeled by Descourtilz, none of the plants had identification.
The students were asked to accurately classify the birds and plants using modern taxonomic nomenclature and to prepare a report that outlined what the birds eat, where they live and in which part of the tropical forest canopy they reside.
Smartphone technology is far exceeding social networking and entertainment value. An increasing number of applications are taking advantage of this applied science to help farmers do their jobs. Producers can utilize these apps for everything from staying up to date on agriculture news to diagnostic information on equipment. Having this tool in the work field is making farm-work more efficient and effective.
The Ohio State University Fruit and Vegetable Safety Program is hosting three new workshops on the topic of good agricultural practices, or GAPs, for produce growers. Lessons at these seminars will teach ways to reduce the risk of food-borne illness from fresh produce. Discussions will relate to soil safety, water safety, worker training, worker hygiene, recordkeeping, traceability, good handling practices and standard operating procedures.
The Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to support rural communities. The program, Stronger Economies Together (SET), provides training, in-depth regional socio-economic data and technical assistance to help provincial communities implement economic growth strategies. SET works on the premise that isolation from nearby counties is ineffective and pushes for cooperation to build on assets and economic strengths.
To support the rising popularity of home canning and other food preservation methods in American households, The University of Georgia Extension program is offering valuable tips and resources to make the process safe and successful. With support from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, UGA Extension provides a source of current research-based recommendations which aims to reduce risk from foodborne illness and spoilage. Many participants hold on to traditional methods of food storage but UGA Extension points out the necessity to apply science-based recommendations in order to defend against modern day threats. Adhering to health precautions will act to further the presence of locally grown foods and artisan interests in today’s consumer food world.
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. Cool-season vegetables let the well-organized gardener enjoy harvest bounty in the spring and again in the fall. These early-season vegetables can tolerate light frost, so they’re a perfect addition to your spring garden. As with all things gardening, everything starts with the soil. “Be patient and wait until the soil is ready to be worked,” said Jennifer Schutter, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. “The soil is ready when a handful of soil crumbles when gently pressed.”
This is the time when you add nutrients and amendments to the soil. Schutter said phosphorus is important because cool soils tend to limit the availability of the mineral to early-planted vegetables.
Perennial cool-season vegetables-Plant perennial cool-season vegetables at the edge of the garden because they’re going to be there for some time. Schutter said rhubarb and asparagus are two of the most commonly planted cool-season perennial vegetables.
Annual cool-season root vegetables-This group includes radishes, beets, carrots, turnips, rutabagas and parsnips. Schutter said they require well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter.
Annual leafy cool-season vegetables-This group includes broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, mustard greens, collards, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts. While these can be planted by direct seeding, Schutter recommends using transplants.
Spring has sprung! The Michigan State University (MSU) Horticulture Club’s annual spring show and plant sale is slated for April 20-21 at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building (at the corner of Bogue and Wilson avenues on campus).
This year’s show, entitled “Sensory Overload,” will take place from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. April 20 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 21.
The funds raised at the plant sale will allow students to participate in numerous community service projects, including a student-designed sensory garden installed and maintained at the Heartwood School in Mason, Mich.
For the second consecutive year, the club has sent several volunteers to plant trees with the Greening of Detroit project, which is replacing trees lost to Dutch elm disease and emerald ash borer along Detroit’s residential roadsides.
The Cooperative Extension program at the University of California will reunite with the National Shearing Program to offer two sessions of their popular sheep shearing school. The five-day course is designed to show participants how to maintain a quality wool clip and minimize stress for both the sheep and shearer. The school is directed towards both beginners and advanced shearers.
The University of Florida and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science held an open house at the UF Dairy Farm in Hague. The event allowed attendees to tour the farm, have their questions addressed regarding milk production and the research conducted by UF faculty and students. The program provides a firsthand encounter of the dairy process, allowing the public to see ‘Where Milk Comes From’.
In an aim to connect people with the food they eat, the University of Florida’s Cooperative Extension program hosted an egg production seminar. The workshop is part of the UF AGRItunity 2013 Conference. With the popularity of backyard poultry rising, attendees of the conference were treated to an abundance of information on raising chickens and flock management from field experts.
The University of Florida extension program held a Beef/Forage Day at the North Florida Research and Education Center just North of Marianna. The workshop shared some of the latest information pertaining to beef production and forage to those on hand. Attendees of the event were given an opportunity for interchange from experts and have their questions addressed.
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 scarred its people and its landscape. Cornell graduate student Bryan Sobel is trying to help heal both — using mushrooms. Sobel, a graduate student in the field of horticulture, recently spent two weeks promoting mushroom cultivation to women farmers in the Central African Republic. The short-cycle, high-yield crop could offer a profitable complement to traditional crops in an economy largely driven by subsistence agriculture – and could also replace increase organic matter lost to deforestation, possibly increasing the capacity to plant more permanent crops.
On December 14, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture honored five distinguished graduates by inducting them into the inaugural class of the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. This year’s inductees are Louis J. Boyd, Maurice Cook, David Switzer, Harold Workman and Joe Wright. These honorees have had outstanding careers and continue to serve as important members of their fields and in their communities. Their many accomplishments include outstanding mentorship, achievements of drastic increases in funding, important contributions to the horse breeding industry, and great strides in soil and water conservation management.
The Cooperative Extension Service, of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announces its 2012 Extension Excellence Award winners. “These awards are an opportunity to showcase the best in the broad range of work done by faculty and staff at the Cooperative Extension Service,” Tony Windham, associate vice president-agriculture-extension for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said on Monday.Some of this years’ distinguished award-winners include the peanut production team composed of Randolph County Staff Chair Mike Andrews and Lawrence County Staff Chair Herb Ginn, as well as Samy Sadaka, assistant professor and extension engineer, who earned this honor for the development of a novel auger gasification/pyrolizer system to convert bio-renewable resources to syngas or bio-oil.
This month, the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Imperial Valley celebrates a century of innovation. Since the facility’s establishment in 1912, tremendous strides in agricultural research have included the development of new plant varieties with increased tolerance to drought, heat, and pests, as well as development of bio-energy crops. Revenue of the valley’s crops has grown from $2 million annually to $2 billion annually in just one century, largely thanks to the great innovations coming out of UC.
Students at Colorado State University harvest and sell organic produce grown right on campus. Their effort provides students with local, pesticide-free vegetables, and creates a learning opportunity for budding agriculture students.
Iowa State University Agriculture students can now apply for a highly unique chance to study agricultural marketing in Greece. Because most agriculture and life sciences students do not receive course work related to agriculture and marketing, the new study abroad program will help students gain real life experience, as well as help them obtain useful skills for future job prospects.
University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is offering a new course throughout the state for students in the process of, or interested in, setting up a livestock operation. The class will be offered through the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, and will provide lectures from local grazing specialists and experiences farmers, opportunities to tour farms and intern, and learn about business planning in farming.
Kansas State University will be one of few major land grant universities to host the HungerU mobile exhibit, sponsored by the Farmer Journal Foundation, in order to raise awareness about world hunger and the merits of advanced agriculture. The event is free and open to the public, and will inform local citizens about the complexities of addressing hunger and food insecurity.
This coming spring semester, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will have an on-site dairy herd open for new research and teaching. Doug Sabatke, CALS assistant dean for facilities, mentions how this remodel of this Dairy Cattle Research and Instruction Center will demonstrate the importance of dairy research through hands-on learning and recruitment.
Of the 22 professionals selected for the prestigious Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture program, supported by University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, a heavy number of UGA Cooperative members were represented. These chosen leaders will play an integral role in continuing growth for Georgia’s agricultural and forestry industries, which are the largest economic drivers in Georgia.
Doug Masser, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences graduate and future teacher, advocates for the importance of agricultural education through explaining the unique opportunities he received as a student.
Auburn University College of Agriculture, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, and Alabama Cooperative Extension host the free AG Discovery Adventure Event September 29th. The event provides local citizens with interactive games designed to explain the importance for bioenergy and sustainability in agriculture in unique and fun ways.
Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences undergraduate enrollment has reached record numbers. The steady increase reflects well on the college’s quality programming, but also its success in recruiting students to fill the demand for graduates in agricultural and life sciences careers. “We’re thrilled to set this historic record, but more importantly we are fulfilling our mission to provide an educated work force that will fuel economic development in Iowa and the nation,” said David Acker, associate dean at Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The most impressive aspect of the enrollment demand is Iowa’s placement rate for graduating seniors was 97.6 percent as of 2011 and within six month of graduation 70 percent of graduates had careers in Iowa, in turn helping to fuel the state’s economy.
Watch John Jemison, Soil and Water Quality specialist from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, as he counts the ways one can obtain local foods, become more involved in local food production and help support the local economy in the process.
Emily G. Adams, extension educator for agriculture and natural resources at the Ohio State University Extension in Coshocton County, describes the Central Ohio Local Foods Week (August 11-19) and its mission to help local farmers move their products into mainstream retail outlets and onto consumers’ tables efficiently, safely and cost-effectively.
Agriculture and Natural Resource agent Gary Cross reminds us of the role cooperative extension services have played in promoting the use of innovative technologies among local farmers and the transformative effects their efforts have had on our nation’s productivity and profitability levels.