Latest News

January 29, 2014

Nominations are sought for 2014/2015 academic year and will be accepted until 5 PM EST on April 30, 2014.

January 24, 2014

Two Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences graduate students are building upon their international experiences by conducting a new graduate seminar series on tropical entomology. The students are enrolled in the International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) dual-title degree program. According to Deanna Behring, the college's director of international programs, the program provides students with international perspectives and expertise to strengthen their primary graduate degree.

According to Alexandra Lukasiewicz, the island of Bonaire prides itself on having the best diving in the Caribbean, with the best protected marine area and most 'pristine' reefs. Image: Penn State
December 18, 2013

Alexandra Lukasiewicz got an up-close look at the oceans' mysteries while she studied abroad in Bonaire. A senior environmental resource management major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, she spent four months -- from August to December 2012 -- in a program offered by the Council on International Educational Exchange designed to get students to work independently on the Caribbean island.

December 18, 2013

Ten Penn State students have been selected as College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society 2013 Internship Award winners. The award, which includes a $760 stipend, was established to encourage students to enroll in internship courses offered within the College of Agricultural Sciences. Three of these awards went to students who completed international internships in Poland, Kenya, and Italy.

Worker eggs laid by workers in the hive. Image: Bernardo Niño/Penn State
November 25, 2013

Queen bees convey honest signals to worker bees about their reproductive status and quality, according to an international team of researchers, who say their findings may help to explain why honey bee populations are declining.

Doctoral candidate Yetkin Borlu's study of the social dynamics of corn production in his native Turkey has implications for farmers internationally. Image: Patrick Mansell
November 14, 2013

We've all heard versions of the story, and many of us have relatives or ancestors who were a part of it. Small farmers, the story goes, are being squeezed out of business by large-scale, "industrial agricultural" corporations. Forced to buy patented, more expensive but higher-yielding hybrid seeds and the fertilizer and pesticides they require from multinational conglomerates, farmers harvest larger crops but at the price of rising debt. It is sometimes portrayed as a David and Goliath morality play -- with Goliath winning -- but the reality is much more complicated.

Common beans are an important source of nutrition across the developing world, but yields often are limited by heat and drought stress and poor soils. Image: Neil Palmer, CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)
November 14, 2013

With support from a $5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, an international team led by Jonathan Lynch, professor of plant nutrition in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will establish the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Beans. The project will employ novel techniques to accelerate breeding programs for the common bean aimed at conferring traits that can increase yield under heat and drought stress.

Participants in a haymaking workshop in Uganda display a bale of hay made with baling technology introduced to the region by Penn State agronomy extension specialist Sjoerd Duiker (background in the red striped shirt).
October 30, 2013

A project spearheaded by scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Uganda's Makarere University is helping African youths establish businesses and generate income. And these young people, in turn, are providing services that can help farmers improve dairy nutrition and increase milk production.

Theodore Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental and regional economics, showed a radio collar that he suggests could be used to track feral hogs in Pennsylvania to get a better handle on their population.
September 23, 2013

According to the latest estimates, Australia has more wild hogs than human beings, perhaps more than 23 million. No one is certain how many wild hogs roam Pennsylvania -- mostly escapees from commercial hog-hunting preserves and their offspring. But both commonwealths need to control and perhaps eliminate feral pigs, which are a highly destructive species, according to Theodore Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 2, 2013

We are pleased to announce the second annual offering of the College of AgSci’s International Programs Speaker Series for Fall 2013. This year the series will be Tuesday mornings, with coffee at 8:15am, a short presentation starting at 8:30am and ending at 9am, with the opportunity for those who want to and are able to continue discussing over coffee after 9am.

August 12, 2013

Want to rub shoulders with world leaders? Want to hear cutting-edge debates on international agriculture from world-renowned experts? Want to attend the World Food Prize in October? Apply now! The College of Agricultural Sciences is providing an opportunity for two undergraduate students and two graduate students to receive funding towards the costs of attending the World Food Prize, October 16-18, 2013.

August 12, 2013

On July 15th and 16th, the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development was inaugurated at Penn State with Dr. Mark Brennan, Professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences, as the holder of the Chair. There are 706 UNESCO Chairs world-wide. Eighteen are at U.S. universities, but until now, none was in a college of agriculture.

July 19, 2013

Drought resistance is the key to large-scale production of Jatropha, a potential biofuel plant -- and an international group of scientists has identified the first step toward engineering a hardier variety. Jatropha has seeds with high oil content. But the oil's potential as a biofuel is limited because, for large-scale production, this shrub-like plant needs the same amount of care and resources as crop plants.

July 19, 2013

Beetles with unusual "green thumbs" for growing fungi are threatening avocado crops and could transform into a more destructive pest, according to an international team of researchers. Ambrosia beetles are insects that bore into trees and cultivate fungi to use as a food source for their young. The fungi -- species of Fusarium -- carried by types of the Ambrosia beetle can damage or even kill trees, making the beetle and its fungi a threat to avocado production in the U.S. and Israel, according to Matthew Kasson, who recently received his doctorate in forest pathology from Penn State.

July 19, 2013

Mark Brennan, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Chair and Penn State professor, delivering the keynote lecture, “Achieving Education for All, Realizing Engaged Communities, and Creating Global Citizens for Change through the UNESCO Chairs Program.” His lecture, which was a call to action for groundbreaking research, teaching and applied programs for the betterment of young people and communities worldwide, capped a two-day symposium, "Shaping the Future of International Development," held July 15-16 on Penn State's University Park campus.

July 19, 2013

The Call for Applications for the 2014 AWARD Fellowships is now open. Application forms can be found on the AWARD website. The deadline is August 9, 2013. The competition is stiff: last year 1,094 top women scientists from 11 eligible African countries applied for 70 available fellowships.

June 17, 2013

A doctoral degree candidate in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a scholarship to present her sensory science research at a conference in Brazil. Nadia Byrnes, of Doylestown, Pa., who is pursuing a doctorate in food science, was named winner of the Rick Bell Memorial Travel Award by colleagues of Bell and the co-chairs of the Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium. The honor includes a $3,000 award for her to travel to Rio de Janeiro in August to present her research at the organization's biennial gathering.

May 29, 2013

Two scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are part of a research team that recently was named the winner of the 2013 Africa Collaboration Challenge Prize. Sjoerd Duiker, associate professor of soil management and applied soil physics, and Ephraim Govere, research support associate and manager of the college's Soil Research and Cluster Laboratory, are part of a joint Penn State-Global Knowledge Initiative team that was awarded a $20,000 prize.

May 29, 2013

How do you get a child to eat his or her vegetables? This is just one of the problems that Erica Pilgram tackled during a summer stay in France. After graduating from high school, Pilgrim studied culinary arts. She was well aware of the excellent reputation of Penn State's Food Science program, growing up in nearby Philipsburg, Pa. So she decided to enroll as a Food Science/Nutrition Science double major.