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October 16, 2012

The Northeast could help lead the way to a renewable-energy-based economy by utilizing marginal and abandoned land to grow energy crops such as perennial grasses and fast-growing woody plants.

September 24, 2012

This summer was notable because of drought conditions in June and July, and searing heat in July, but that won't limit the beauty of Pennsylvania's fall foliage.

September 24, 2012

Across the Appalachian Plateau in Pennsylvania, 50 to 70 percent of shale-gas pads are being developed on slopes that could be prone to erosion and sedimentation problems, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 17, 2012

A commonly held belief that college students are only interested in courses where they can earn an "easy A" is not supported by a Penn State research study. What college students really value is how much they feel they learn in a course, according to recent findings from a survey. "In our surveys of students at University Park, we found the single best predictor of how much students liked and positively evaluated the quality of instruction in courses was how much they had learned," said Fern K. Willits, distinguished professor emerita of rural sociology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, one of the members of the research team. "The belief that difficult courses and too much classwork will result in low student ratings is not supported by our data."

June 11, 2012

The recent deaths of three Pennsylvania farm-family members in a manure-storage pond in Maryland is a stark reminder of the need for safety precautions when working around such facilities, according to a farm-safety specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 11, 2012

One source of income for Pennslvania dairy farmers has hit its lowest point in three years, according to a dairy market expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

June 11, 2012

Late blight, the same disease that caused Ireland's potato famine in the 19th century, was confirmed in three Pennsylvania counties this past week.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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."