News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Gillian Warner, a rising junior in community, environment, and development at Penn State, is a lifelong horsewoman and a member of the small and exotic animals club.    Image: Gillian Warner
June 18, 2019

Gillian Warner, a rising junior in community, environment, and development, is passionate about animals, food security and learning. She found a place for all these interests -- and more -- in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Cows in the study at the Penn State dairy barns, to eat a sweet treat, put their heads in devices that measure methane they belch. The average dairy cow burps about 380 pounds of methane a year. Early studies show that supplementing their feed with seaweed could mitigate 80 percent of the potent greenhouse gas.   Image: Hristov Research Group/Penn State
June 17, 2019

Supplementing cattle feed with seaweed could result in a significant reduction in methane belched by livestock, according to Penn State researchers, but they caution that the practice may not be a realistic strategy to battle climate change.

New breeding strategies based on research into genes that help chickens survive Newcastle disease may help farmers build flocks that are hardier and more productive.   Image: Wikimedia Commons
June 17, 2019

An international team, led by Penn State researchers, may have identified genes that could help farmers, especially ones in low- and middle-income countries, breed chickens that can resist one of the biggest disease threats facing poultry today.

June 14, 2019

Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, recently received PennFuture’s 2019 Woman of Lifetime Achievement in Conservation Award in recognition of her lifelong work to protect natural resources.

At left, Ben Bianco plants a tree at a 2013 ceremony hosted by Koodu Trust, an organization in Nilgiris, India. He returned in 2017 to find it had grown strong and healthy. He said he can’t wait to see how big it gets by his next visit. Bianco, a Penn State alumnus, is a business-development professional with DAI Global, an international development company with offices in Washington, D.C.   Image: Ben Bianco
June 13, 2019

The best-laid plans often go awry, and sometimes that is a good thing, as it was for Ben Bianco, who now has his “dream job” in international development thanks to a chance encounter, an epiphany moment and Penn State.

Despite Pennsylvania's strong overall employment picture, manufacturing -- one of the state's top-three employment sectors -- lost 80,000 jobs between 2008 and 2018.   Image: MichaelGaida via Pixabay
June 13, 2019

With the U.S. economy on track for potentially the longest expansion on record after the Great Recession of 2008-09, employment in Pennsylvania overall is strong. But the rosy statewide job numbers can mask persistent decline in various industries and regions across the state, according to economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program have funded 25 new and ongoing research and extension projects conducted by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension.   Image: Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong via Pexels
June 13, 2019

New and ongoing tree-fruit research in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences received a boost with the recent awarding of funds totaling more than $261,000 by the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program.

For chocolate specifically, oral texture is a critical quality attribute, with grittiness often being used to differentiate bulk chocolate from premium chocolates. Because chocolate is a semi-solid suspension of fine particles from cocoa and sugar dispersed in a fat base, it is an ideal food for the study of texture.   Image: © Getty Images / Image Source
June 13, 2019

Food's texture affects whether it is eaten, liked or rejected, according to Penn State researchers, who say some people are better at detecting even minor differences in consistency because their tongues can perceive particle sizes.

Male black carpenter ant — Camponotus pennsylvanicus    Image: Bruce Marlin
June 12, 2019

Ants adjust their social interactions to accommodate changes in population density, according to researchers at Penn State and Georgetown University. The findings suggest that ant colonies are capable of maintaining their sophisticated social organization despite potentially drastic changes in their environments.

June 10, 2019

Gains in U.S. chemical production, resulting from record-high oil and natural gas production, will be the subject of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 20.

Wolbachia bacteria (stained red) inside mosquito cells (with nuclei stained blue)   Image: Cassandra Koh / Monash University
June 10, 2019

Viruses, spread through mosquito bites, cause human illnesses such as dengue fever, Zika and yellow fever. A new control technique harnesses a naturally occurring bacterium called Wolbachia that blocks replication of viruses and breaks the cycle of mosquito-borne disease, according to an international team of researchers.

Over the last decade or so, David Walter's research group in the College of Agricultural Sciences has been studying how the movement, behavior and genetics of wild deer are affecting the spread of chronic wasting disease.   Image: Joe Kosack / Pennsylvania Game Commission
June 6, 2019

Some deer are more susceptible to chronic wasting disease that is spreading through herds of white-tailed deer across much of the United States, according to Penn State researchers, who have identified a panel of genetic markers that reliably predict which animals are most vulnerable to the contagious neurological disorder.

June 5, 2019

The inspiration behind a person’s philanthropy can come from a variety of sources. For alumnus Dr. Roger Simon, it stems from two places: the Penn State Department of Entomology and his father, Sam Simon.

One of the oldest and largest flower trials in the world – the annual Penn State Flower Trials – is underway.   Image: Alyssa Collins
June 5, 2019

Each May, Sinclair Adam, Alyssa Collins, and a pack of faithful staff and volunteers at Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center pull off a logistical — and exhausting — feat, all for the love of flowers.

Penn State Berkey Creamery is one of the stops on the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail.   Image: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
June 5, 2019

Penn State Berkey Creamery has been designated as one of the sweet stops on the Pennsylvania Ice Cream Trail, a collaboration among, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, PA Preferred, the Center for Dairy Excellence and, of course, local cows, including those from the Penn State Dairy Barns.

June 4, 2019

Brent Hales, senior associate dean and chief financial officer of the University of Minnesota Extension, has been named director of Penn State Extension and associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, effective Sept. 3.

Gabriela Ferrer and Gabriel Somarriba were among a group of students from Zamorano University in Honduras who studied at Penn State during the spring semester.   Image: Penn State
June 3, 2019

Students from Zamorano University in Honduras experienced a taste of American culture and college life by studying at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences during the spring 2019 semester.

The Student Farm at Penn State will host its third annual Summer Solstice Celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 21.   Image: Alyssa Marie Gurklis
June 3, 2019

The Penn State Student Farm will host its third annual Summer Solstice Celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 21. The event will have local food trucks selling dishes made with produce grown at the farm. Aside from food trucks, there are several activities for guests to engage in, including live music, face painting, corn hole and planting. The celebration is open to the public and there is no cost to attend.

Penn State graduate students Richard Caneba, Christian Kelly Scott and Ryan Naylor have been selected as the recipients of the 2019     Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards   .   Image: photos provided
June 3, 2019

The Interinstitutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge has selected the winners of its 2019 Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards, funded by the M. G. Whiting Endowment for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge. Applicants must be Penn State students planning to conduct research related to an approved topic for an undergraduate capstone course, honors thesis topic, master’s or doctoral thesis, or similar.