Improving food safety knowledge, practices in Africa is focus of research

Improving food safety knowledge and practices in Africa is the focus of research conducted by Catherine Cutter, professor of food science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Manure application changes with winter crop can cut nitrogen loss, boost profits

Dairy farmers in the Northeast can improve water quality and boost the profitability of their operations by changing the timing and method of applying manure to their fields in the fall, along with planting rye as a cover crop between corn crops — or by double-cropping rye and corn, according to Penn State researchers.

Invasive round gobies may be poised to decimate endangered French Creek mussels

The round goby — a small, extremely prolific, invasive fish from Europe — poses a threat to endangered freshwater mussels in northwestern Pennsylvania's French Creek, one of the last strongholds for two species of mussels, according to researchers.

Introducing Beescape: A new online tool and community to support bees

Beescape.org provides a tool for beekeepers, gardeners, growers and land managers to assess the quality of their landscapes for supporting managed honey bees and wild bees. It was developed through a partnership led by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Center for Pollinator Research and Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Building starch backbones for lab-grown meat using Lego pieces

A new technique to spin starch fibers using Lego pieces could have future applications for lab-grown "clean" meat, according to a team of food scientists from Penn State and the University of Alabama.

College of Agricultural Sciences prepares for annual Ag Day celebration

Showcasing the diversity of agriculture, from crops to animals to forestry and wildlife, is at the heart of the annual Ag Day celebration, hosted by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. This year’s event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 10 on the lawn adjacent to the Penn State Berkey Creamery.

NSF grant supports development of robotic frost protection in orchards

A system that helps tree-fruit growers avoid frost damage to their crops by using unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, and ground-based robots could be on the horizon, thanks to Penn State researchers, supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Promoting economic resilience in Appalachia: Lessons from successful communities

The Appalachian communities that enjoyed persistent economic growth following the 2008 Great Recession have a number of factors in common, according to researchers who analyzed all 420 counties in the Appalachian region. Their findings will help guide future economic development strategies across Appalachia.

Bug off! Penn State takes proactive approach in dealing with pesky pests

Penn State in 2009 established an Integrated Pest Management Committee, the members of which are tasked with monitoring, tracking and responding to pest problems ranging from ant infestations to groundhog invasions and everything in between.

New graduate ecosystem management program combines science and leadership

Penn State's new graduate program in ecosystem management, offered online, brings together environmental science, management and leadership skills.

Avocado seed extract shows promise as anti-inflammatory compound

An extract from the seeds of avocados exhibited anti-inflammatory properties in a laboratory study, according to Penn State researchers, and it represents a potential source for novel anti-inflammatory compounds that could be developed as a functional food ingredient or pharmaceuticals.

Flavor Madness contest returns at Penn State Berkey Creamery

Penn State Berkey Creamery is bringing back Flavor Madness, the online tournament in which ice cream fans can vote weekly for their favorite flavors. The contest was held last in 2017, when Death by Chocolate took home the trophy.

Agribusiness student talks lab-grown meat with industry leaders

Tony Rice, a senior agribusiness management student in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, studied “meat” made in the lab and not from animals, and grew increasingly committed to understanding its potential to enhance agricultural production.

Harper to take the reins at Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has named Jayson Harper, professor of agricultural economics, as interim director of the college's Fruit Research and Extension Center, effective March 1.

Assessment details impact of pests and pathogens on world’s major food crops

Pests and diseases are taking a substantial bite out of the world’s five major food crops — in some cases, up to 40 percent — according to a recently released publication, one of the first to inventory the impact on a global scale.

Material that shields beetle from being burned by its own weapons, holds promise

Carabid beetles produce caustic chemicals they spray to defend themselves against predators, and the compound that protects their bodies from these toxic substances shows promise for use in bioengineering or biomedical applications, according to Penn State researchers.

College of Agricultural Sciences faculty member named distinguished professor

Penn State's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs has named Alexander Hristov, professor of dairy nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences, as a distinguished professor. Hristov is an internationally recognized scholar in livestock greenhouse gas mitigation and production and in amino acid nutrition of dairy cows.

Penn State Berks center supports spotted lanternfly research

It all began when Penn State Berks Professor Michael Fidanza was approached in 2018 by researchers from the College of Agriculture Sciences who needed a site to conduct a preliminary investigation on the biology and life cycle of the spotted lanternfly.

Undergraduate students engage with Latino farmworker community through course

Because of significant labor shortages, Pennsylvania's dairy farms rely on Spanish-speaking immigrants as a key source of labor. However, cultural differences and language barriers can leave employers and workers lost in translation. A new, innovative community service-learning course — "Service-Learning with Pennsylvania Farmworkers" — offered by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is aimed at breaking down those barriers.

Manure injection offers hope, challenge for restoring Chesapeake water quality

Widespread adoption by dairy farmers of injecting manure into the soil instead of spreading it on the surface could be crucial to restoring Chesapeake Bay water quality, according to researchers who compared phosphorus runoff from fields treated by both methods. However, they predict it will be difficult to persuade farmers to change practices.

'A fungus among us': Penn State Mushroom Spawn Lab aids industry

Commercial mushroom farms, academic researchers and mushroom hobbyists from near and far rely on the Penn State Mushroom Spawn Lab in the College of Agricultural Sciences to advance their operations.

College of Ag Sciences senior gets a 'kick' out of Penn State Horse Barn living

When Paulina Oleinik, a senior in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, started her college career at the University's Altoona campus, she had no idea that one day she would call a horse barn her home.

Without habitat management, small land parcels do not protect birds

Designating relatively small parcels of land as protected areas for wildlife with no habitat management — which has frequently been done in urban-suburban locales around the world — likely does not benefit declining songbird species, according to a team of researchers who studied a long-protected northeastern virgin forest plot.

Unraveling of 58-year-old corn gene mystery may have plant-breeding implications

In discovering a mutant gene that "turns on" another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future.

Report: Pennsylvania population trends mirror employment changes since 2000

Changes in the distribution of Pennsylvania's population — largely toward the state's southeastern quadrant — reflect challenges that policymakers need to address to promote and maintain statewide prosperity, suggests a new report compiled by economists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Wake up and smell the coffee: Research shows freezing beans can preserve aroma

As a food science major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Andrew Cotter conducted research on the storage of coffee beans. He showed that storing roasted coffee beans in the freezer — a popular preservation method — can help preserve the aroma of certain varieties of beans.

Cellular protein a target for Zika control

A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

A 'bran' new way to preserve healthy food with natural ingredients

A natural antioxidant found in grain bran could preserve food longer and replace synthetic antioxidants currently used by the food industry, according to researchers at Penn State.

Annual, biological rhythms govern milk production in dairy cows

The amount and composition of milk produced by dairy cows appears to be more regulated by internal, annual biological rhythms than by environmental factors such as heat and humidity, according to Penn State researchers who studied more than a decade of production records from herds across the country.

Unique graduate student cohort will explore gender and agriculture

Faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are spearheading an initiative that will provide selected doctoral students with the opportunity for extensive study on gender and its relationship to agricultural production.

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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)