News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
April 21, 2017

As part of recently announced changes to its organizational structure, product development and program delivery, Penn State Extension has appointed two individuals to statewide leadership posts. Tara Mondock is the new associate director for client relations, and Jeffrey Hyde was named associate director for programs.

Penn State researchers identified 832 genes that have low coverage across multiple whole-exome sequencing platforms. These genes are associated with leukemia, psoriasis, heart failure and other diseases, and may be missed by researchers using whole-exome sequencing to study these diseases.
April 20, 2017

Whole-exome DNA sequencing -- a technology that saves time and money by sequencing only protein-coding regions and not the entire genome -- may routinely miss detecting some genetic variations associated with disease, according to Penn State researchers who have developed new ways to identify such omissions.

Office for General Education Seed Grant Logo
April 20, 2017

The Integrative Studies Seed Grant Program, offered through the Penn State Office for General Education, will support 71 different course development projects this summer. In response to the large volume of highly qualified proposals, the budget was generously increased by more than 50 percent by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, left, and Mark Brennan, UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State.
April 19, 2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has renewed for another five years its support for the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State. Mark Brennan, a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will continue in his role as chair and provide leadership to the program.

Pipeline right of way in Lycoming County, Pa. breaks up the core forest.
April 19, 2017

Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians — driven by pipeline and access road construction — is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat.

April 19, 2017

Spring 2017 produced a record-breaking number of applications for Global Programs Travel Grants.

April 19, 2017

Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones presented 10 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Aarushi Rana, an economics major with a minor in mushroom science and technology, prepares a log with spawn to produce shiitake mushrooms. Rana plans to take what she has learned home to Mumbai, India, where she will teach women about how to produce mushrooms.
April 17, 2017

Rana, an economics major, is minoring in mushroom science and technology, and plans to use what she has learned to improve living conditions for people in her home city of Mumbai, India.

Ag Springboard keynote speaker Todd Erdley, founder and CEO of Videon in State College, Pennsylvania, inspires student entrepreneurs to be comfortable with the risk-fail-pivot process common to entrepreneurship during the Ag Springboard Awards Banquet Thursday, April 13 at the Nittany Inn.
April 17, 2017

Risk. Fail. Pivot. Repeat. This is the advice of Todd Erdley, the co-founder and CEO of Videon, to student entrepreneurs.

Pasta 2050 first place:   Pasta 2050’s pitch for pasta made with cricket flour won first place and $7,500 April 13 in the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest. From left are Mark Gagnon, entrepreneurship coordinator, and Richard Roush, dean of the of Agricultural Sciences, with members of the Pasta 2050 team: Weslie Khoo, doctoral degree student in food science, Haoshu Zhang, doctoral degree student in food science and Lauriel Stewart, master's degree student in food science. 
April 17, 2017

A team of food science graduate students won the Ag Springboard student business pitch contest and $7,500 grand prize after pitching and serving judges pasta made with cricket flour.

Two male squash bees join a cucumber beetle in a pumpkin flower. Through the "Great Pumpkin Project," researchers are hoping to learn more about the interactions among cucurbit crops, insect pests, pollinators and microbes.
April 16, 2017

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to Master Gardeners, teachers, students and other interested parties to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment. "The Great Pumpkin Project" is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact.

Cover crops growing among olive trees in Spain. Lessons learned from cover cropping in Europe and the United States show that the strategy may help agriculture deal with a warming world.
April 16, 2017

Cover crops long have been touted for their ability to reduce erosion, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce nitrogen leaching and improve soil health, but they also may play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change on agriculture, according to a Penn State researcher.

April 16, 2017

Deanna Behring, assistant dean and director of international programs for the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the 2017 recipient of the Commission for Women's Achieving Women Award in the administrator category.

April 16, 2017

Penn State will be hosting the second annual Energy Days conference on May 22 and 23 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. The conference is free and open to the public.

Erika Kraus (middle) traveled to Morocco twice after completing the STARTALK Arabic Academy.
April 14, 2017

Senior Erika Kraus said she always had an appreciation for different cultures but that her life was forever changed after enrolling in the STARTALK Arabic Academy at University Park following her freshman year. The academy, to be held this year from June 19-July 14, is an intensive summer study designed for undergraduate and high school students who wish to gain introductory knowledge of the Arabic language and its people and cultures.

Institute for CyberScience Director Jenni Evans at a strategic planning forum on "Driving Digital Innovation." The ICS Seed Grant Program is one of the ways in which ICS advances this strategic goal.
April 12, 2017

The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) has announced that 20 Penn State faculty are recipients of 2017 ICS Seed Grant Program awards. The awards, ranging from $4,000 to $25,000, support researchers doing innovative interdisciplinary research, laying the groundwork needed to apply for large external funding awards.

Members of the Penn State Food Science team that recently took first place in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Central Atlantic College Bowl are, from left, Lauriel Stewart, Lisa Caprera, Vijay Varma Indukuri, Venkata Charepalli, Xiaoqing Tan and Jaye Aster Broder. 
April 12, 2017

A student team representing the Food Science Department in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently took first place in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Central Atlantic Area College Bowl competition.

April 12, 2017

A little less than two years after the launch of the Fund for Innovation, Invent Penn State has backed nearly 50 emerging Penn State technologies and has provided startup funding to promising new ventures that were born out of the program.

April 11, 2017

Blue-White Weekend attendees and the general public are invited to the Penn State Blue-White Science Expo, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the HUB. The expo offers the community a chance to show their support for research while learning about the newest work from 17 of Penn State’s research faculty. A complete schedule and registration form for tickets is available at

Penn State's Cathy Bowen, professor of agricultural and extension education and consumer issues, has spent nearly 30 years at the University, helping Pennsylvanians and students to become financially literate and to manage their resources.
April 10, 2017

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has acknowledged the partnership among the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Penn State as part of a proclamation naming April Financial Capability Month in Pennsylvania.