News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Novel tools such as this GFP-labeled strain of the coral pathogen    V. coralliilyticus   (shown as a green aggregate) are being used to clarify the role of individual microbes in the onset and spread of coral diseases that have altered Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. A new Penn State research center will provide a focal point for the study of such communities of microorganisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere.
February 3, 2017

A University-wide effort to promote the study of microbiomes at Penn State has led to the creation of a center for microbiome research, a fast-growing area of scientific inquiry. Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms that live on or in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere.

Collin Meyers, an alumnus of Penn State's turfgrass science program, helps prepare a practice field for the Atlanta Falcons preseason training camp in the summer of 2016. Meyers will accompany the team to the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston.
February 1, 2017

Collin Meyers, a 2010 graduate of the turfgrass science program in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will accompany the Atlanta Falcons as they take the field at the Super Bowl in Houston on Sunday. Meyers, a State College native, has been a grounds assistant for the Falcons for the past three seasons.

February 1, 2017

The Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs at Penn State is holding a professional development workshop, "CAREERS: Exploring Options Afforded by a Penn State Graduate Education" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Faculty Staff Club Room at the Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus.

January 31, 2017

What Pennsylvania local governments and their residents need to understand about getting developments such as houses, businesses and community facilities built will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Casey Baxter, second from left, demonstrates quick reflexes to answer a question during the Penn State Forage Bowl team's recent win in Roanoke, Virginia.
January 27, 2017

Representatives from the Penn State Agronomy Club, a student organization in the College of Agricultural Sciences, took first place at the National Forage Bowl competition at the American Forage and Grassland Conference, held Jan. 23-24 in Roanoke, Virginia. The competition requires students to identify forage and weed species and answer questions about many aspects of forages, from seeds to animal health, in a format similar to the popular game show "Jeopardy!"

Hayly Hoch, left, and Alyssa Gurklis completed a 10-week summer internship with Penn State Extension-Allegheny County in 2015.
January 26, 2017

Although Alyssa Gurkis and Hayly Hoch are both students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, they didn’t know each other when they embarked on a 10-week food-system internship last summer with Penn State Extension-Allegheny County. Now they’re close friends, roommates, and collaborators on a food-system project of their own.

Jonathan Lynch, Distinguished Professor of Plant Nutrition
January 26, 2017

Jonathan Lynch, professor of plant nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences, was one of 15 Penn State faculty members to be named distinguished professors by the University in January 2017.

Multimedia artist Aurora Robson, who was commissioned to create outdoor sculptures for The Arboretum at Penn State, looks at a potential location for her work.
January 18, 2017

The Palmer Museum of Art and The Arboretum at Penn State have received a $30,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help support the creation and installation of outdoor sculptures at the Arboretum, June-Oct. 2018. The commissioning project will take place in conjunction with a Palmer Museum of Art exhibition, "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," which will be on display in spring 2018.

Dead pupa
January 16, 2017

A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops — such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits — to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The researchers found that, in an area of India that has a high burden of malaria, most of the mosquitoes that are known to transmit malaria rest in cattle sheds and feed on both cows and humans. In these areas, cattle sheds are often next to and sometimes even connected by a shared wall to human houses.
January 16, 2017

The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers.

A team led by plant scientist Jonathan Lynch will combine technologies such as root modeling, robotics, 3-D imaging of root architecture and anatomy, X-ray fluorescence and gene discovery, to assist in the breeding of corn varieties with deeper and more efficient root systems.
January 15, 2017

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $7 million dollar grant to design a low-cost, integrated system that can identify and screen for high-yielding, deeper-rooted crops. The interdisciplinary team will combine a suite of technologies designed to identify phenotypes and genes related to desirable root traits, with the goal of enhancing the breeding of crop varieties better adapted for nitrogen and water acquisition and carbon sequestration.

Penn State students who received 2017 Farm Show scholarships are shown with (standing, from left) Barbara Christ, senior associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Tracy Hoover, the college's associate dean for undergraduate education; and (standing, far right) Michael Smith, executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
January 15, 2017

Seventeen Penn State students, including 13 enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences, were among 28 who received scholarships from the Pennsylvania Farm Show Scholarship Foundation during the 101st Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. The foundation awards scholarships to young people who are registered in a post-secondary educational institution and who have exhibited at the Farm Show. To be chosen, students must exhibit leadership qualities and excellent academic performance, according to the foundation.

Participants from multiple universities, including Penn State, attend the kickoff meeting at Stanford University to discuss the $20 million, five-year project with the U.S. Department of Energy.
January 10, 2017

Penn State researchers have received a $20 million, five-year project with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) looks to create a state-of-the-art framework of computational tools that will help to assess the impacts of weather-related variability and change.

Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
January 10, 2017

"The Quest for One Healthy Planet" is the 2017 theme of the annual Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science -- a free public minicourse that does not require registration or exams. The lectures take place on six consecutive Saturday mornings beginning at 11 a.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the University Park campus.

Intern Hayly Hoch is harvesting an early crop of Red Russian kale at the Student Farm.
January 9, 2017

New, part-time internships are available through Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. The Sustainability Institute, founded in 2012, integrates sustainability into the University’s research, teaching, outreach and operations to prepare students, faculty and staff to be sustainability leaders. The institute executes and oversees initiatives such as the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, the Student Farm, Green Paws and Green Teams programs, educational initiatives, and public events.

Cacao seed pods in Costa Rica display symptoms of fungal black pod disease. A National Science Foundation grant will enable researchers to study the genetic basis of disease resistance in cacao.
January 6, 2017

A $3.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support a new research project aimed at pinpointing the genes that confer disease resistance in cacao. The ultimate goal of the four-year study is to develop a new approach that plant scientists and breeders can use to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in a variety of perennial crops.

When evaluating farms, Dairy of Distinction program judges look for factors such as clean and attractively finished buildings; neat landscaping, ditches, roads and lanes; and well-maintained fences.
January 6, 2017

Pennsylvania dairy producers are invited to apply for the Dairy of Distinction award from the Pennsylvania Dairy of Distinction program. The award is based on the concept that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the wholesomeness of milk and stimulate milk sales and public support for the industry.

Livestock producers can learn profit-enhancing management practices by taking home-study courses offered by Penn State Extension.
January 6, 2017

Beef, sheep, meat-goat and swine producers looking for information on how to make their livestock enterprises more profitable can take advantage of four home-study courses offered by Penn State Extension this winter.

Early morning sun shines on the Nittany Lion Shrine
January 6, 2017

Fourteen Penn State faculty members have been honored with the title of "distinguished professor" in recognition of their academic contributions to the University.

Bats exhibiting characteristic traits of White-Nose Syndrome.
December 27, 2016

A newly discovered virus infecting the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats could help scientists and wildlife agencies track the spread of the disease that is decimating bat populations in the United States, a new study suggests.