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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Tarrah Geszvain is the advising coordinator for the plant sciences and landscape contracting undergraduate programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State.
June 26, 2017

Tarrah Geszvain, advising coordinator for the plant sciences and landscape contracting undergraduate programs, has received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences for 2017.

A researcher in the College of Agricultural Sciences is participating in a national project identifying key barriers that must be overcome throughout the jet-fuel supply chain to annually produce and effectively market 1 billion gallons of alternative jet fuel in the near term and 10 billion gallons in the longer term.
June 26, 2017

Slowed as much by extremely low oil prices as supply-chain and technological challenges, the effort to integrate biofuels into the nation's aviation fuel supply is nonetheless progressing, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State researchers Greg Roth and Alyssa Collins examine European malting barley varieties at Penn State's Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lancaster County.
June 22, 2017

The popularity of the craft beer industry has caught the attention of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, including Greg Roth, who's spearheading research in malting barley -- a key ingredient in craft beer production -- with a goal of helping Pennsylvania farmers benefit.

Tina Hennessey, left, and Mark Theiss have been selected to fill executive director positions in Penn State’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations.
June 21, 2017

Tina Hennessey and Mark Theiss have been selected to fill executive director positions in Penn State’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

Red-backed salamanders are particularly sensitive to thermal changes, so researchers are using them as a model species to understand how warming conditions will affect organisms in the future. Scientists are becoming increasingly confident about how the climate will change, but they don't know how wildlife will respond.
June 19, 2017

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are spearheading a four-year-old collaborative effort to assess the impact of a warming climate on the Eastern red-backed salamander, a creature that lives on or under the forest floor.

Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, leads a research study interested in targeting stem cells with grape compounds. Theory suggests that cancer stem cells drive cancerous tumors.
June 19, 2017

A compound made from grape skins and grape seeds killed colon cancer stem cells in mice, according to researchers. The study, along with previous studies on the low incidence of colon cancer in populations that tend to eat plants, may also offer clues to the role that foods play in suppressing and treating cancer.

The cumulus-oocyte complex, consisting of the oocyte — the cell from which an ovum develops — and surrounding cumulus granulosa cells, is the target of researchers for development of novel contraception technologies.
June 15, 2017

Francisco Diaz, associate professor of reproductive biology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Pak Kin Wong, professor of biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering, have received a grant through the Grand Challenges Explorations program — an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — to develop a novel approach to contraception.

Laszlo Kulcsar will become head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education on Aug. 1.
June 14, 2017

Laszlo Kulcsar, professor of sociology and head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Kansas State University, will join Penn State as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, effective Aug. 1.

A USDA grant will enable scientists to assess how pest-management tactics of varying intensities affect the health and functionality of soils in corn-soybean crop rotations.
June 14, 2017

An entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study and compare how various pest-management regimes affect the health of soils. John Tooker, associate professor of entomology, will lead the project, which is titled "Exploring Soil Health and Pest Management Trade Offs to Maximize Crop Productivity."

Penn State Extension educators have developed food-safety training programs to accommodate the cultural norms of plain sect farmers.
June 13, 2017

Penn State Extension educators have developed food-safety training programs to accommodate the cultural norms of plain sect — Amish and Mennonite — farmers.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, leaders of both the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission say they are highly dependent on the high-quality and timely research information provided by the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit related to deer and other species.
June 12, 2017

The Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received the Excellence of Science Award from the U.S. Geological Survey.

June 12, 2017

While Pennsylvania shale gas permits hit an eight-year low in 2016, issues relating to leasing, operations, air quality and royalties have been in the news, and numerous legislative bills and regulatory changes have been proposed to respond to these issues. A web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension will provide a current legislative and regulatory update pertaining to shale energy.

People often have the mistaken idea that backyard birds and their eggs are free from Salmonella, but a recent study at Penn State showed a small percentage of positive eggs exist even in this sector. In fact, any poultry can be carriers of Salmonella, and they usually have no outward symptoms of disease.
June 9, 2017

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this spring reports that there are eight ongoing outbreaks of Salmonella in 47 states linked to backyard poultry in the United States. As of May 13, 71 people had been hospitalized — 36 percent of those infected are children under the age of 5. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

The transition period just before and after calving is the most critical period in the life of a dairy cow, so anything that can decrease metabolic diseases during that time could prove to be significant, researchers say. Nutritional strategies that improve animal health and immune response in transition cows are important. 
June 9, 2017

Americans drink more than 6 billion gallons of milk per year, and another 10 billion gallons are used to produce cheese, not to mention the milk that goes into products such as ice cream and yogurt. Yet, it's safe to say, most consumers take the wellbeing of dairy cows for granted. But the country's 65,000 dairy farmers don't -- they can't afford to.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Judith L. Schwank, D-11th District, will receive the 12th annual Friend of Penn State Legislative Award on June 15. 
June 8, 2017

Pennsylvania state Sen. Judith L. Schwank, D-11th District, will receive the 12th annual Friend of Penn State Legislative Award for the significant role she has played in the continued improvement of Penn State.

Melanie Miller Foster, assistant professor of international agriculture in the Office of International Programs, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, received the 2017 Young Professional Award from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development.
June 7, 2017

Melanie Miller Foster, assistant professor of international agriculture in the Office of International Programs, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, received the 2017 Young Professional Award from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development.

Miguel Saviroff
June 7, 2017

Three individuals have received the 2017 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

Francis Alvaré participated in a multi-part prescribed fire experience for the National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap as part of his major in forest ecosystem management.The National Guard conducts controlled fires to maintain the safety of its grounds and practice how to deal with wildfires.
June 6, 2017

Francis Alvaré, a forest ecosystem management major with a minor in military studies, assisted the National Guard's forestry department in a series of prescribed fires on training facilities as part of an independent study program in the spring of 2017.

Blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, often carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
June 6, 2017

Recent media reports have suggested that tick populations in Pennsylvania may be particularly high this year, leading to an increased risk of Lyme disease in the state. Although it is unclear whether the number of ticks actually is higher this spring — and if so, why — it nonetheless is always a good idea to take precautions to avoid ticks and the diseases they can transmit, according to entomologists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 6, 2017

In keeping with Penn State's recent focus on microbiome research, the University will join the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research as a sponsoring partner, both organizations announced on June 6. An international, nonprofit consortium of academic institutions, large and small companies, and governmental agencies, the Phytobiomes Alliance was established in 2016 to coordinate public-private research projects on various aspects of agriculturally relevant phytobiomes.