At World Food Prize: Penn State educator discusses next generation of ag leaders

November 11, 2021

Melanie Miller Foster, co-founder of the Global Teach Ag Network in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, discussed the role of educators in preparing the next generation of agricultural leaders as an event panelist at the 2021 World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium. Miller Foster participated in a panel led by the secretaries of agriculture from countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Mexico Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Victor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula, and Canada Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Penn State awarded nearly $39M for global research on threats to crops

November 8, 2021

Reducing the negative effects of pests, diseases and weeds on crops in a climate-changed world is the goal of a multi-institution team led by Penn State and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the organization’s initiative to end global hunger. The award was announced today (Nov. 6) by Administrator Samantha Power of the United States Agency for International Development at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The grant — up to $39 million total over five years — will establish the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats to Crops at Penn State.

Fulbright award recipient in College of Ag Sciences conducting research in Ghana

October 28, 2021

In rural Ghana, where most rely on farming for survival, families face many challenges, including scarcity of food, running water and electricity. Women carry a hefty workload because they are responsible not just for child-rearing and household tasks but also for farm chores. Though their contributions often leave women with less free time than men, their work is undervalued, and most women are not equal partners in financial decision-making, according to Kaitlin Fischer, a doctoral degree candidate in rural sociology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Penn State alumnus furthers agricultural education abroad despite pandemic

October 8, 2021

After his plans to serve with the Peace Corps were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Manny Catala pivoted quickly to continue his service to students abroad. Catala, a 2019 graduate of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, will teach in Ghana this year as part of the International Agricultural Education Fellowship Program.

Berks professor to aid global research focused on uplifting smallholder farmers

September 30, 2021

A professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will lend her expertise in gender studies to an interdisciplinary, multi-university team of researchers as they explore methods to advance fruit and vegetable production in Africa, South/Southeast Asia and Central America. Janelle Larson, associate professor of agricultural economics at Penn State Berks, will serve as the gender specialist for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture at the University of California, Davis.

Small but mighty: Microgreens go from trendy vegetables to functional food

September 30, 2021

Starting decades ago as fashionable, high-value gourmet greens, today microgreens have gained popularity among consumers for their nutritional profile and high content of antioxidant compounds. Now, a new study suggests that the tiny plants have the potential to help provide global nutrition security.

Windon to lead Ukraine Rural and Agricultural Development program at Penn State

September 27, 2021

Suzanna Windon, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been appointed director of the college’s Ukrainian Rural and Agricultural Development Program. Windon, a native of Ukraine, has 16 years of experience in research and teaching at Ukrainian institutions, including several years as an associate professor at Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics.

Plant pathology professor receives Excellence in Teaching Award

August 25, 2021

María del Mar Jiménez-Gasco, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, received this year’s Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the American Phytopathological Society. The honor came during the group’s annual meeting, Plant Health 2021, held virtually Aug. 2-6. The award recognizes an American Phytopathological Society member for excellence in teaching plant pathology. Preference is given to active teachers with responsibility for one or more courses in plant pathology.

Study of structural variants in cacao genomes yields clues about plant diversity

August 25, 2021

An exhaustive and painstaking comparison of the genomes of multiple strains of the cacao tree by a team of researchers has provided insights into the role genomic structural variants play in the regulation of gene expression and chromosome evolution, giving rise to the differences within populations of the plant.

Global food security professor named to 'Most Creative People in Business' list

August 16, 2021

Penn State entomologist David Hughes has been added to the magazine Fast Company's, list of "The Most Creative People in Business 2021." Fast Company is a publication dedicated to the power of disruptive innovation, and added Hughes due to his PlantVillage work at Penn State

Researchers identify a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn

August 4, 2021

The discovery of a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn is a new tool to enable the breeding of deeper-rooting crops with enhanced ability to take up nitrogen, according to an international team of researchers, led by Penn State.

'Sweet' scholarship takes Penn State food science student to Austria

July 20, 2021

Aaron Wiedemer, a senior majoring in food science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has an envious area of study: chocolate. He will be taking his research abroad in fall 2021 with the help of the Marshall Plan Scholarship. The Marshall Plan Scholarship is designed for students working on part of their bachelor’s or master’s degree thesis. Students enrolled in any American university are eligible to apply.

CT scans offer new view of Lake Malawi cichlid specimens in Penn State museum

July 19, 2021

Computed tomography — CT scanning — which combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around an organism and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images of its bones, is providing new insight into an old initiative to characterize fishes in Africa’s Lake Malawi. The process, demonstrated in a new study using the high-resolution X-ray computer system in Penn State’s Center for Quantitative X-Ray Imaging, is important because it will lead to the identification and management of more of the fish species in Africa’s second largest lake, according to lead researcher Jay Stauffer Jr., distinguished professor of ichthyology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Course empowers students from Penn State, Ukraine to act on food security

July 19, 2021

A virtual international agriculture course is helping students at both Penn State and Lviv Polytechnic National University in Lviv, Ukraine, grow a deeper understanding of local and global food security.

PlantVillage team lauded for projects to protect food supply amid COVID, locusts

July 19, 2021

Penn State researchers responsible for PlantVillage, a mobile app that helps farmers diagnose crop diseases and monitor pests, have been lauded for their work to help African farmers overcome challenges related to desert locusts and COVID-19.

Dr. Ruth Mendum partners with CGIAR to contribute to resilient landscapes and livelihoods in refugee settings

June 23, 2021

Penn State, University of Freiburg partner to form Virtual Classroom Project

May 11, 2021

Penn State and the University of Freiburg launched a pilot program to create collaborative, integrated virtual classroom courses by providing development and implementation money to faculty teams. Two projects were selected. The first project focuses on declines in insect biodiversity and abundance, while the second focuses on implications, challenges, and solutions for integrating renewable energy systems into the grid.

Cutter named recipient of 2021 Kopp International Achievement Award

April 27, 2021

Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and assistant director of food safety & quality programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences, is the recipient of Penn State's 2021 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award. Nominators praised Cutter’s dedication to international food safety and improving public health.

College of Ag Sciences alumna is part of U.N. team that receives Nobel Prize

April 5, 2021

A Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences alumna is a senior member of an organization that has received the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

College of Ag Sciences courses aim to broaden cultural understanding

April 1, 2021

Faculty in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences continue to develop novel courses designed to increase cultural awareness and knowledge of food systems here in central Pennsylvania and throughout the world. Two of these courses will be offered in the fall 2021 semester.

Ottar Bjørnstad elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

March 22, 2021

Ottar N. Bjørnstad, distinguished professor of entomology and biology and J. Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Epidemiology at Penn State, have been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Bjørnstad was recommended as a result of his significant contributions to the fields of population ecology and quantitative epidemiology.

College of Agricultural Sciences faculty member to host Marie Curie Fellow

March 22, 2021

Estelle Couradeau, assistant professor of soils and environmental microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will host a Marie Curie Fellow. The award will fund postdoctoral scholar Jose Raul Roman to study for two years in Couradeau’s Penn State lab and a third year in Fernando Maestre’s lab at the University of Alicante in Spain. Roman recently finished his doctoral degree, working on biocrust restoration.

Record-breaking Global Teach Ag Network event reaches 50 states, 40 nations

March 17, 2021

The conference, known as “GLAG21,” featured educators representing diverse contexts from all over the world who discussed the event's theme, “Taking Action,” in the context of advances in global food, fiber and natural resources. This year’s event had record attendance, noted Foster, drawing 948 participants from all 50 U.S. states and 40 nations.

Penn State, National University of Battambang project will aid food security

March 17, 2021

Improving the economic and household nutrition prospects of women farmers and their families in Cambodia is a key focus of a new partnership between Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, the National University of Battambang and the World Bank.

Agricultural Sciences student research highlighted in virtual Global Gallery

March 11, 2021

Faculty and graduate students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will showcase their international research during the third annual Global Gallery, a symposium hosted by the international agriculture and development dual-title graduate program, known as INTAD, and its student association.

Alliance provides platform for faculty, graduate students to solve global issues

February 26, 2021

In support of its mission to provide sustainable solutions to world problems — while preparing the next generation of leaders — Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has joined the Global Challenges University Alliance 2030. The alliance, referred to as GCUA, is a network of more than 15 universities worldwide that have a shared vision of contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through international collaboration and research.

College of Ag Sciences announces recipients of CURAD Virtual Fellows Program

February 24, 2021

A technology that uses dielectric heating and radio frequency energy to destroy destructive pests lurking within wood products is closer to reaching the marketplace after a recent commercial trial at Penn State’s University Park campus.

Newly discovered trait helps plants grow deeper roots in dry, compacted soils

February 3, 2021

A previously unknown root trait allows some cereal plants to grow deeper roots capable of punching through dry, hard, compacted soils, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest that harnessing the inherited characteristic could lead to crops better able to deal with a changing climate.

Discovery of chemical clue may lead to solving cacao's black pod rot mystery

January 19, 2021

The finding of relatively high levels of the antimicrobial compound clovamide in the leaves of a disease-resistant strain of cacao has significant implications for breeding trees that can tolerate black pod rot, according to Penn State researchers who conducted a novel study.

'Incider' information: Workshops in Ukraine support growth of cider industry

January 12, 2021

Providing the country’s apple farmers and cider producers with information on cider production technologies and marketing, global trends and developments, and consumer preferences was at the core of three yearly seminars in Kiev, Ukraine, led by Penn State Extension.

Ag Sciences Global


106 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802

Ag Sciences Global


106 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802