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Winter/Spring 2010

After 25 years of publishing Penn State Agriculture, the magazine underwent a redesign and this is the premiere issue of Penn State Ag Science Magazine.

In this issue you’ll find a story of a young woman whose life was tragically cut short in the light of a growing professional and personal life. We’ll also visit five alumni who work to manage the Moshannon State Forest and deal on a day-to-day basis with the challenges of modern forestry. And last, a story on how Extension helps grow the wine industry in Pennsylvania.

Steve Williams

Over the past year I’ve shared plans for our redesign with anyone who would listen. Usually, at some point during the conversation I’d hear, “But I like Penn State Agriculture magazine.” So I thought I’d explain the change.

Golden retriever (photo by Steve Williams)

Instructor Nancy Dreschel studies the physiological and behavioral symptoms of storm-stressed dogs to research solutions, such as applying a dog-appeasing pheromone emitted from the mammary glands of mother dogs to soothe puppies.

Cellulose bandage (photo by Tom Laird)

Professor Jeffrey Catchmark develops a new bandage made from a nanofiber type of cellulose combined with a cellulose-degrading enzyme that breaks down the bandage into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream.

Honey bee

The E. B. O’Keeffe Foundation recognizes Penn State with a $100,000 gift for its work on honey bee decline and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The award will fund a competitive graduate fellowship.

Planet Earth (iStock photo)

Professor Matt Thomas and his Penn State research team study the link between temperature change and the spread of malaria and dengue to determine how changing environmental conditions will affect diseases as the world warms.

Dave Filson (photo by Howard Nuernberger)

Penn State Cooperative Extension and EDEN co-develop Pandemic Preparedness for Business, a free, two-hour online course to help extension educators nationwide advise businesses on how to prepare for a pandemic.

Corn field (photo by Steve Williams)

Two USDA grants support programs to help would-be farmers figure out personal goals and resources, a market, and the best product for it and beginning women farmers overcome barriers like capital costs.

Peaches (photo by Howard Nuernberger)

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture certifies the state as plum pox free when the stone fruit quarantine on peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and cherries in four counties is lifted.

Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide

Extension programs in the 12 north-central Pennsylvania counties designated as the Pennsylvania Wilds give towns an opportunity to taste each other’s accessibility, hospitality, history, and character.

Penn State graduate and mascot (photo by Jason Jones)

Drs. Dennis and Janet Scanlon donate $50,000 to create the Scanlon Trustee Scholarship for students majoring in agricultural and extension education with financial need.

Bruce McPheron (photo by Steve Williams)

Dean Bruce McPheron Tweets about his ideas and experiences and offers a glimpse of the college through his Dean’s Desk site, an online view of the college, agriculture, and emerging issues through words and pictures.

ERM students (photo by Gary Abdullah)

Ten environmental resource management students each receive $5,000 Teva Pharmaceuticals “Green Dream” Science Scholarships to help fund their solutions to environmental problems.

Glen Cauffman (photo by Steve Williams)

Teams from the Ukraine, Honduras, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Iraq visit Penn State to learn agriculture as a means to building democracy.

Young Sarah Donaldson (photo courtesy of Donaldson family)

After graduating from Penn State, becoming engaged to a fellow Penn Stater, and contributing nearly nine years of research on mastitis and milk quality, food safety, and public health, Sarah Donaldson’s life was tragically cut short at age 28. Now, Sarah Donaldson’s friends and family keep her spirit, curiosity, and love for Penn State alive with a new scholarship in her name.

Centrice Martin (photo by Steve Williams)

Centrice Martin, parent and graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in youth and family education, receives 2009 Outstanding Adult Student Award for her undergraduate career as an agribusiness management major.

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Become a fan of the College of Ag Sciences on Facebook and stay current with your friends and classmates and share information, updates, pictures, and more.

Old Main

The University recognizes Avery August, Thomas Baker, Douglas Beegle, and Jeffrey Peters as Distinguished Professors for their exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research, and service.

Winemaking as a Hobby

The college provides free and for-sale fact sheets, grower guides, and other publications on a wide variety of topics through the Publications Distribution Center and online.

Philip Bachman (photo by Steve Williams)

Philip Bachman, sophomore in animal science, assistant cheese-maker, and fourth-generation dairy farmer, and his parents rebound from industry-wide economic woes to make healthy, high-quality cheeses.

Alumni Mentoring Workshop (photo by Steve Williams)

The college’s alumni society pairs students with alumni mentors to discuss career paths, professional fields, and educational options in their field of interest.

Doug Mohney beside ax cut

Six Penn State alumni foresters sustainably manage the future of the Moshannon State Forest. Combining their Penn State studies with their day-to-day experience in the forest, collective knowledge of previous timber management foresters, and ongoing conversations with Penn State researchers, these alumni make judgment calls on how to regenerate the forest.

Kelsey Hafer (photo by Steve Williams)

Senior and Schreyer Scholar Kelsey Hafer explains the value of starting her undergraduate research project early and credits her research as a critical element in her success as a student.

Little League baseball (iStock photo)

Four Penn State turfgrass science students donate their $4,000 competition winnings and work with State College Spikes groundskeepers to overhaul two Little League baseball fields.

Food (photo by Steve Williams)

The Institute of Food Technologists recertifies Penn State’s undergraduate program in food science, verifying that the program—one of the nation’s best—delivers core competencies and continues to improve its curriculum and student learning.

eLearning course (photo by Steve Williams)

The college releases a request for proposals for course and program development in an effort to build the eLearning initiative, which provides online course offerings for undergraduate, graduate, and advanced certifications.

St. Matthew's Elementary students (photo by Steve Williams)

Tiffany Hoy takes students from St. Matthew’s elementary school in Tyrone on a hands-on educational trip that involves handling cockroaches, conducting a forensic science lab, and showcasing insects at the Frost Entomological Museum.

Fruit of the Vine

Viticulturist and extension educator Mark Chien helps Pennsylvania winegrowers learn how to go from simply growing grapevines to transforming themselves into people who really understand how to nurture their grapevines to produce fine wine grapes. Collaborating with College faculty, Chien is able to help both new and established growers reach their goals.

Howard Salis

Ag Science editor Steve Williams discusses engineering synthetic microbes with Howard Salis, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Reproductive Biology Group (photo by Steve Williams)

USDA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and industry and institutional support provide more than $5.8 million in grants to faculty hired as part of the Reproductive Biology Initiative.