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2011

Team earns national award for work on database of 4-H research
October 12, 2011
A team composed primarily of Penn State faculty and staff members has won a national award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a project that began as an effort to locate and document the body of research undergirding the 4-H youth development program. Led by Jan Scholl, associate professor of agricultural and extension education in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the team received the Partnership Award for Effective and Efficient Use of Resources from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Forest resources professor part of huge biofuels research project
October 6, 2011
A forest products researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is playing a role in a national effort to gauge the viability of wood and wood waste as feedstocks for jet fuels and other high-value co-products. As part of a multi-institutional consortium, Paul Smith, professor of forest products marketing at Penn State, will lead a group that will quantify environmental and social values and determine how those values influence purchasing decisions for biofuel-based products. "This is an exciting opportunity to work with a world-class team of industrial, academic and government researchers to address one of society's most pressing challenges," said Smith, who before coming to Penn State worked for five years as an industrial forester in Colorado and Montana, and for two years as operations manager for a wood products export-trading company in the Pacific Northwest.
Foliage expert: La Nina may dampen fall leaf colors
October 6, 2011
The extreme climatic conditions Pennsylvania experiened in 2011 may not cause less brilliant foliage this autumn, according to a forest expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Ironically, the display may be limited by tamer weather that is occurring right now. "It's true 2011 has been an extraordinary year for climate -- going from one extreme to another," said Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology. "Some counties in the eastern part of the state are now 1 to 2 feet above their average precipitation. An eastern Pennsylvania also suffered the impacts of strong winds from Hurricane Irene. But despite all these extremes, I am still somewhat optimistic about a good display of fall leaf colors this year, because most trees are in good physiological condition going into October, due to late-summer rains."
Penn State offers risk-management education for women in farming
October 6, 2011
Of the 3.3 million U.S. farm operators counted in the 2007 Census of Agriculture, about 30 percent, or more than 1 million, were women. Responding to a critical need for education specifically designed to help women manage business risks and enhance the financial viability of their agricultural operations, Penn State Extension will offer a workshop series to be held at six locations across Pennsylvania.
Marcellus Shale science target of $2.5 million NSF grant
October 6, 2011
A science- and energy-based program focusing on Pennsylvania counties with natural gas exploration and production, and developed by a multidisciplinary team of Penn State researchers, is part of a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Komarneni honored for outstanding published research
October 6, 2011
Sridhar Komarneni, distinguished professor of clay mineralogy, has been chosen to receive the Marilyn and Sturges W. Bailey Distinguished Member Award from the Clay Minerals Society.
Penn State Ag Sciences offers open house for high school seniors
October 6, 2011
Choosing which college to attend can be a difficult decision for high school students, but Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is trying to make it a little easier with its Open House and High School Senior Day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday Oct. 10, at the University Park campus.
Webinars will focus on business opportunities related to Marcellus gas
August 24, 2011
A series of Web-based seminars aimed at helping local businesses prosper from natural-gas drilling and development will be offered this fall by Penn State Extension's Marcellus Educational Consortium.
Ag Progress Days highlights advances, achievements in agriculture
August 24, 2011
Penn State's 2011 Ag Progress Days highlighted many of the latest advances in agricultural and natural sciences. The three-day event provided visitors a wide range of exhibits and demonstrations while also offering some fun activities.
Researchers from Penn State's Center for Reproductive Biology and Health Recognized at Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction
August 11, 2011
Dr. Karen Racicot won the trainee platform oral presentation competition, Xi Tian was selected for presenting one of the top six posters at the meeting, and Xi along with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Samar Maalouf received the USDA-NIFA Merit Awards for their abstracts.
Pate Receives Distinguished Service Award from SSR Recognized for her outstanding leadership and service
August 11, 2011
Penn State Professor Joy Pate, Ph.D., has been recognized with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Society for the Study of Reporduction (SSR).
Tips for protecting your family from Salmonella in ground turkey
August 9, 2011
As officials track a recent Salmonella outbreak from ground turkey, consumers can take some simple precautions to protect their families, advises a food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The most important tip is to acquire a food thermometer and use it when you cook burgers -- whether they are made from ground poultry or ground beef. "It's really that simple," said Martin Bucknavage, extension food-safety specialist. "It is critically important that consumers realize that anytime they prepare any type of raw-meat product, it must be cooked to the correct temperature. And whether cooking whole turkey or ground turkey, the proper cooking temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit."
Field demonstrations highlight business side of Ag Progress Days
August 1, 2011
Demonstrations of the latest agricultural technology and machinery will highlight the commercial portion of Penn State's Ag Progress Days exposition, Aug. 16-18 at Rock Springs. New field demonstrations this year will feature equipment used in corn chopping, planting of cover crops and overseeding standing corn with cover crops.
Cover the wide-open spaces of Ag Progress Days with research tours
August 1, 2011
Penn State's 2011 Ag Progress Days, set for Aug. 16-18, assembles a wealth of cutting-edge information spread over the 1,500 acres of the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs. You can be transported to research plots and demonstrations on free research bus tours leaving at regular intervals at the site.
Questions on crops, soils, conservation answered at Ag Progress Days
July 25, 2011
Folks with questions about managing their crops or forest can get answers at the Crops, Soils and Conservation Tent at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18.
Trees, shrubs, flowers allow gardeners to 'paint' a landscape
June 27, 2011
Many homeowners live in envy of those neighbors who seem able to turn a few trees, flowers and even rocks into an inviting outdoor scene. But you, too, can do it by following a few basic guidelines, according to a horticulturist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Recent weather, disasters show importance of emergency readiness
June 27, 2011
With an earthquake in Philadelphia, tornadoes in Massachusetts and elsewhere, wildfires in Arizona and massive flooding in the Midwest, spring 2011 has been marked by rare disasters and extreme weather. As June ushers in the hurricane season, an extension specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences said people should prepare themselves for the next outbreak of the unexpected.
Penn State's Ag Progress Days to be held Aug. 16-18
June 27, 2011
Preparations are in full gear for Penn State's 2011 Ag Progress Days exposition, which will be held Aug. 16-18 at Rock Springs, on state Route 45, nine miles southwest of State College. Bob Oberheim, Ag Progress Days manager, said the event's diversity will appeal to a wide audience.
Slowing the spread of drug-resistant diseases is goal of new research
June 27, 2011
In the war between drugs and drug-resistant diseases, is the current strategy for medicating patients giving many drug-resistant diseases a big competitive advantage? A research paper that will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues for new research efforts to discover effective ways for managing the evolution and slowing the spread of drug-resistant disease organisms. The research is led by Andrew Read, professor of biology and entomology and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University. The ultimate goal is to develop a new science-based model for drug-resistance management that will inform treatment guidelines for a wide variety of diseases that affect people, including malaria and other diseases caused by parasites, MRSA and other diseases caused by bacterial infections, AIDS and other diseases caused by viruses, and cancer.
Global health minor links biomedical science degrees to 'human impact'
May 2, 2011
A large group of students majoring in toxicology or in immunology and infectious disease in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are flocking to the new global health minor.
Radiation from Japan not damaging nation's food supply
May 2, 2011
Radiation spewing from Japan's severely damaged nuclear facilities following the recent earthquake and tsunami is not endangering the United States' food supply, according to a food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Penn State study assesses state taxes on Marcellus Shale Production
April 25, 2011
The ongoing utilization of Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits has the state weighing the pros and cons of taxing the drilling activity. A study recently released by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences used state tax information in an effort to begin an objective analysis of the drilling's impact on local economies and state tax collection.
Pennsylvania forest products expo returns to Penn State
April 25, 2011
The Pennsylvania Forest Products Association is bringing its bi-annual trade exposition and educational workshops back to Penn State, June 3-4. Hosted in partnership with Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and School of Forest Resources, the event will be held at the Ag Progress Day site at Rock Springs, on Pennsylvania Route 45, nine miles southwest of State College.
Penn State ag economist says rising food prices not the farmers' fault
April 4, 2011
Wholesale food prices rose last month by the most in 36 years, and experts can't say how high they'll ultimately go. As the effects appear everywhere from the supermarket to fast-food restaurants, an economist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences said farmers probably won't reaping much of the increase.
'Food of the gods' genome sequence could make finest chocolate better
January 3, 2011
The production of high quality chocolate, and the farmers who grow it, will benefit from the recent sequencing and assembly of the chocolate tree genome, according to an international team led by Claire Lanaud of CIRAD, France, with Mark Guiltinan of Penn State, and including scientists from 18 other institutions.
Infant hydrocephalus, seasonal and linked to farm animals in Uganda
January 3, 2011
Hydrocephalus in Ugandan children and other developing countries is seasonal, linked to farm animals and in part, caused by previous bacterial infection, according to an international team of researchers from Uganda and the United States, who believe that the best approach to this problem in prevention.