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August 26, 2010

Ramping up biofuels production to replace fossil fuels and provide a significant portion of the nation's energy will require nothing short of a transformation of the U.S. agricultural, transportation and energy sectors in the next few decades, according to a bioenergy expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

August 26, 2010

At a time when two of the nation's largest egg producers have issued a 550 million egg recall because of reports of potential salmonella contamination, it is clear that the issue of vulnerability in America's agricultural and food production systems remains a vital concern. Salmonella bacteria, like other human disease-causing organisms, can cause physical harm and death, as well as economic devastation. Safeguarding the nation's agriculture and environment from natural and intentional threats is the goal of Penn State's new online agricultural biosecurity education program.

August 26, 2010

The introduction of species like "Frankenfish" or "Rock Snot" into Pennsylvania waters doesn't sound pretty, and it's not. These are just two of the more colorful nicknames for aquatic invaders, but the innocent-sounding ones -- such as parrot feather or water chestnut -- also have the capacity to spell doom for some local ponds and streams.

August 19, 2010

Turns out, for most people, eating between meals may not be such a bad thing after all. Healthy snacking is a great way for kids and adults to keep up energy levels, avoid overeating at main meals and ensure that they are consuming enough essential nutrients, according to a registered dietician in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "Nearly all children need at least one healthy snack a day," said Katherine French, a nutrition, diet and health educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension in Mercer County. Younger children may require two to three snacks per day, while other children may never need one.

August 18, 2010

Penn State is creating an education and research center focused on the Marcellus Shale to help state agencies, elected officials, communities, landowners, industry and environmental groups protect the Commonwealth's water resources, forests and transportation infrastructure while advocating for a science-based and responsible approach to handling the state's natural gas deposits.

August 13, 2010

Pennsylvania harvested $34.5 million worth of potatoes in 2009. It's no surprise, then, that with the state's proximity to population centers in the Northeast, potato farming is a big deal -- big enough to warrant research through the Penn State Potato Variety Trials, which will be showcased with displays and demonstration plots during Ag Progress Days, Aug. 17-19.

August 13, 2010

In the last several years, beekeepers across the country have seen the overall number of pollinator bee colonies drop dramatically. By each winter's end, about three out of every 10 colonies die out. Penn State experts gathered colleagues from around the world to try to figure out what is causing the death and disappearance of honeybees and other pollinators and ultimately threatens the vitality of much of our nation's food supply. Watch the video to hear more about the first International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy and Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research.

August 12, 2010

Seven members of the faculty and staff in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences received an Honor Award from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Aug. 3 for their efforts in helping to wipe out plum pox virus in Pennsylvania. USDA Honor Awards recognize accomplishments that help ensure access to safe, nutritious and balanced meals for America's children.

August 9, 2010

The diversity of teaching, research and Cooperative Extension programs offered by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will be on display at Ag Progress Days, Aug. 17-19. The College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building and Theater at the Ag Progress Days site will allow visitors to explore energy; entrepreneurship; food, diet and health; pest prediction and response; and water quality and quantity.

August 1, 2010

Penn State is well known for its traditional excellence in dairy and animal science education, and some of that expertise will be exhibited at the Animal Sciences Facility at Ag Progress Days, August 17-19, 2010.

July 29, 2010

The garden demonstration plots at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 17-19 at Rock Springs, will be abuzz this year not just with gardeners championing the importance of pollinators, but with many of the actual pollinators themselves, drawn to the vicinity by the specialized plantings designed to do just that.

July 26, 2010

Visitors to Penn State’s Ag Progress Days Aug. 17-19 can learn about the hazards of confined-space manure storages and how to reduce the risks associated with entering them. Addressing the health and safety of farmers, Ag Progress Days also will feature farm accident rescue simulations involving agricultural equipment, including demonstration of emergency scene stabilization and patient-extrication techniques. And attendees can get information about several types of farm safety programs and agricultural emergency response resources from on-site specialists.

July 21, 2010

A study conducted by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has shown that eggs produced by chickens allowed to forage in pastures are higher in some beneficial nutrients. In the research, titled "Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens," which was published online this year in the January issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, researchers examined how moving pastured hens to forage legumes or mixed grasses influenced hen egg omega-3 fatty acids and concentrations of vitamins A and E.

July 21, 2010

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently presented its Young Faculty Award to Howard Salis, an assistant professor in Penn State's colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering.

July 17, 2010

The Pennsylvania IPM Program recently received a multi-year grant to continue its mission to reduce pesticide use in agricultural and urban settings.

July 15, 2010

Jellyfish moved into the oceans off the coast of southwest Africa when the sardine population crashed. Now another small fish is living in the oxygen-depleted zone part-time and turning the once ecologically dead-end jellyfish into dinner, according to an international team of scientists.

July 13, 2010

With Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale-gas epoch still in its infancy, some experts doubt we have seen one-tenth of what is yet to come and recommend that municipalities brace themselves for rapid change. "People who are not in the Marcellus areas have no clue how big this is going to be," said Kurt Hausammann Jr., planning director for Lycoming County. "This has the possibility to change our whole way of life."

July 13, 2010

Pennsylvania farmers were reeling from the effects of the recent heat wave plaguing the Northeast, according to experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "The cows aren't getting a break -- even the nights are hot," said Michael O'Connor, professor emeritus of dairy science, during the peak of the steamy spell. "The hot weather is causing animals to reduce their appetites, resulting in a significant drop in production, and combined with the direct effect of increased body temperature, there is a substantial reduction in reproductive performance."

July 12, 2010

The 2010 edition of Penn State's Ag Progress Days exposition will take place from August 17-19, and organizers are planning a variety of activities of interest to agricultural producers, consumers and families, according to manager Bob Oberheim ....

July 12, 2010

A researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will lead a seven-year, $14.5-million project to fight malaria in Southeast Asia. Liwang Cui, professor of entomology, is the principal investigator for the Southeast Asia Malaria Research Center, one of 10 International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research announced July 8 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.