Penn State student finds community as an Agricultural Advocate

Inspired by the students who helped her when she was new at Penn State, Benelli Risser is paying it forward by participating in the Agricultural Advocates program, where she can apply her schoolwork and passion to help others.

Penn State pollinator experts author a new book that explores the lives of bees

Two renowned pollinator scientists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences have co-authored a book that sheds light on one of the Earth’s most invaluable resources: bees. Christina Grozinger, the Publius Vergilius Maro Professor of Entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, and Harland Patch, assistant research professor in the Department of Entomology and director of pollinator programming at the Arboretum at Penn State, wrote, “The Lives of Bees: A Natural History of Our Planet’s Bee Life.” The book is the latest in the series, “The Lives of the Natural World.”

NSF grant to fund research on genetics and physiology of corn kernel development

A research team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received a grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation to fund a novel project investigating the molecular and physiological processes that support corn kernel development.

Spring selected as Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences student marshal

Jacquelin Spring has been named the 2024 student marshal representing the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State’s spring commencement.

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences honors outstanding alumni

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently honored three of its alumni with 2024 Outstanding Alumni Awards: Vijay Nandula, Shah Chowdhury and Hunter Swisher.

'Fertilizer Recommendation Support Tool' to digitize crop nutrient management

A nationwide team of agricultural scientists, including researchers at Penn State, has launched a decision aid that provides an unbiased, science-based interpretation of soil test phosphorus and potassium values for crop fertilization, with an eye toward potentially saving farmers millions of dollars annually while reducing excess nutrient losses to the environment.

College of Ag Sciences recognizes students, faculty for exceptional achievements

During its annual meeting on April 3, the Penn State chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society, honored faculty and students from the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Creating a buzz about agriculture

For third-year Penn State student Cheyenne Bastian-Brown, advocacy for the agriculture industry has become more than a passion. It’s now her professional path. Leveraging her background combined with opportunities and experiences made possible through Penn State — including her role as the 2024 Pennsylvania State Honey Queen — Bastian-Brown is committed to helping the public understand the importance of agriculture in their daily lives and to helping advance agricultural education.

Penn State-hosted summit highlighted collaboration on climate-smart ag projects

At the inaugural “Pennsylvania Partners for Climate Smart Commodities Summit,” held in February on Penn State’s University Park campus, a diverse group of stakeholders came together to discuss how climate-smart agriculture offers innovative solutions to help farmers adapt and safeguard their livelihoods.

Hidden Gems: Frost Entomological Museum

The wide world of insects is open for exploration at the Frost Entomological Museum at Penn State. Visitors to the facilities can get up-close and personal with weird and wonderful creatures from around the world, ranging from Pennsylvania pollinators to fossils or invasive species.

Cyber-physical heating system may protect apple blossoms in orchards

Spring frosts can have devastating effects on apple production, and a warming climate may be causing trees to blossom early, making them more susceptible to the damaging effects of extreme cold events. Growers’ attempts to prevent the flowers from freezing by attempting to heat the canopies of their orchards largely have been inefficient. To deal with the worsening problem, Penn State researchers devised a frost protection cyber-physical system, which makes heating decisions based on real-time temperature and wind-direction data.

No place like Antarctica: Students take study abroad trip of a lifetime

For the first time, Penn State students could experience Antarctica’s wonders through an embedded course, “Antarctica: Human Impacts on a Fragile Environment,” offered this past fall.

Novel, interdisciplinary training program launched for doctoral degree students

A team comprised of faculty from five departments in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Biology in the Eberly College of Science, funded by a $262,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has created a novel program to train doctoral degree students to conduct interdisciplinary research on the relationship between soils, plants and consumers.

Why are bees making less honey? Study reveals clues in five decades of data

Honey yields in the U.S. have been declining since the 1990s, with honey producers and scientists unsure why, but a new study by Penn State researchers has uncovered clues in the mystery of the missing honey.

Penn State students secure first place at national entomology games

A team of Penn State graduate students recently secured first place in the national 2023 Entomology Games, marking the first time a school from the eastern division earned the honor.

USDA grant to support training for beginning farmers in Pennsylvania

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will enable Penn State Extension to offer a program designed to bring together beginning and retiring farmers in Pennsylvania, with an eye toward facilitating the transition of farms from one generation to the next.

Penn State senior aims to create positive impact through agricultural education

Senior Brandon Bixler has packed a lot of experiences into his four years at Penn State. From conducting undergraduate research in Nepal to being named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, Bixler credits the support of faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the agricultural and extension education major with making his journey possible.

NSF program takes environmental resource management student to Montana

Second-year student Sylvie Alexander, an environmental resource management major in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, spent last summer conducting research on the Flathead Indian Reservation located in western Montana. Her work was sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

College of Ag Sciences team receives $1.9 million grant for dairy cattle study

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and collaborators from the University of Minnesota have received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study parasite issues related to organic dairy cattle.

Food pantry in the College of Ag Sciences aims to curb food insecurity on campus

Food insecurity often remains a hidden struggle among college students, including those attending Penn State. However, a new initiative in the College of Agricultural Sciences is aimed at tackling this issue — a food pantry designed to provide support.

College of Agricultural Sciences names 2023 Harbaugh Scholars

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has awarded three faculty members with funding to support the development of innovative course curricula through the college’s Harbaugh Faculty Scholars program.

Penn State-led team to study climate-threatened Colombian Paramos’ soil microbes

Some scientists believe the Paramos, a grassland ecosystem found in the northern Andes Mountains of South America, are “the world’s fastest evolving and coolest biodiversity hotspot,” according to Estelle Couradeau, assistant professor of soils and environmental microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. This ecosystem — which is the prime headwater for lower tropical ecosystems and downstream urban centers in the Andean and the Orinoco-Amazon regions — is in jeopardy, she explained. Couradeau will lead a National Science Foundation-funded international team conducting research on how climate change will affect soil microbes in the ecologically fragile and important Paramos ecosystem in Colombia’s Andes Mountains.

Penn State receives $3M grant to address insect biodiversity crisis

A team of Penn State researchers has received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to spearhead a new initiative to create novel monitoring systems for insect populations, many of which are experiencing dramatic changes across the globe due to changes in land use, pollution and climate change.

Microbe-stuffed soil crusts menaced by climate change

Using a novel method to detect microbial activity in biological soil crusts, or biocrusts, after they are wetted, a Penn State-led research team in a new study uncovered clues that may lead to a better understanding of the role microbes play in forming a living skin over many semi-arid ecosystems around the world. The tiny organisms — and the microbiomes they create — are threatened by climate change.

CDC funding propels Penn State as leader in addressing vector-borne diseases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named Penn State as the lead institution for one of five new Vector-Borne Disease Regional Training and Evaluation Centers.

Under the canopy: Penn State researchers study beech leaf disease in PA forests

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are studying the effects of beech leaf disease, spearheading efforts to learn more about the disease and how to combat it.

Penn State graduate named 2023 Campus Sustainability Champion

Isabella Briseño, a recent Penn State graduate who double majored in environmental resource management and political science, was selected as a 2023 Campus Sustainability Champion by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium.

Pa. winemakers uncork new possibilities with help of Penn State researchers

Pennsylvania winemakers are uncorking new possibilities with the help of Penn State Extension and the College of Agricultural Sciences. Their expertise serves as a vital ingredient in elevating wine quality and diversity, while fueling the growth of the state’s $1.4 billion wine industry. A notable area of focus is the exploration of non-Saccharomyces yeasts, which can unlock new flavors and aromas.

Lynch lauded as Research Innovator of the Year by College of Ag Sciences

Jonathan Lynch, distinguished professor of plant nutrition, is the 2023 recipient of the Research Innovator of the Year Award, presented by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to recognize faculty and staff who have made notable efforts to commercialize their Penn State research.

‘Nature is messy': Pioneers in landscape transcriptomics study genes in the wild

An interdisciplinary team in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences — in an initiative aimed at better understanding the implications of climate change for animal and plant life and agricultural systems — is focusing on an emerging field of study called landscape transcriptomics.

Media Contacts

  • Senior Public Relations Specialist/News Editor
  • Associate Director of Communications
  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer
  • Science and News Writer
  • Penn State Extension Writer (Marketing Communications Specialist)

Media Contacts

  • Senior Public Relations Specialist/News Editor
  • Associate Director of Communications
  • Public Relations Specialist/Science Writer
  • Science and News Writer
  • Penn State Extension Writer (Marketing Communications Specialist)