Penn State alumnus hits a homerun as head groundskeeper for minor league team

Penn State alumnus Jordan Barr is living his “field of dreams” as head groundskeeper for the Burlington Bees, a Los Angeles Angels-affiliated baseball team in southeastern Iowa.

Merit-based NSF grant extension supports expansion of gene-editing technology

Researchers who developed an improved method of gene editing for the study of arthropods will expand the technology for use in vertebrate species such as mice, fish and birds after receiving new funding from the National Science Foundation.

Cover crop mixtures must be 'farm-tuned' to provide maximum ecosystem services

Penn State researchers, in a recent study, were surprised to learn that they could take the exact same number of seeds from the same plants, put them in agricultural fields across the Mid-Atlantic region and get profoundly different stands of cover crops a few months later.

Spotted lanternfly task force brings together expertise of scientists, agencies

Slowing the spread of the spotted lanternfly is the charge of the Cooperative Spotted Lanternfly Program in Pennsylvania. The task force includes scientists and extension specialists from the College of Agricultural Sciences, and government regulatory officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Ag Progress Days online expo features live webinars, virtual tours, education

The novel coronavirus pandemic will not stop Penn State's 2020 Ag Progress Days — scheduled for Aug. 9-12 — from providing educational activities, research tours and commercial interactions, even as the event shifts to a virtual format due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to organizers in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Researchers aim to create thriving agricultural systems in urbanizing landscapes

A team led by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences researchers is almost a year into a five-year study aimed at creating economically and environmentally sustainable agricultural systems in the face of development pressures and other challenges of urbanization.

Novel cutting mechanism devised for automated, robotic apple-tree pruning system

The first robotic cutting mechanism — or “end-effector” — for a fully automated, computerized pruning system for modern apple orchards has been designed by a Penn State research team, an early step in the creation of a technology aimed at easing challenges facing tree-fruit growers.

Animal science embedded course gets creative with virtual experience

Although the travel portion of their study abroad class was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, animal science students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences still experienced a “virtual” Ireland while learning about the equine industry in Pennsylvania.

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of 'Spy vs. Spy'

Over time goldenrod plants and the gall flies that feed on them have been one-upping each other in an ongoing competition for survival. Now, a team of researchers has discovered that by detecting the plants’ chemical defenses, the insects may have taken the lead.

Sensation seekers, risk-takers who experience more bitterness apt to drink IPAs

People who seek novel and powerful sensations and are more prone to taking risks — and who perceive bitter tastes more intensely — are more likely to prefer bitter, pale-ale-style beers and drink them more often, according to Penn State sensory researchers, who conducted a study that involved blind taste tests and personality assessments.

Sunnier but riskier

Conservation efforts that open up the canopy of overgrown habitat for threatened timber rattlesnakes are beneficial to snakes but could come at a cost, according to a new study by researchers at Penn State.

Asian giant hornets currently not a concern for Pa., eastern North America

Recent alarming news reports aside, Asian giant hornets — sometimes referred to, hyperbolically, as "murder hornets" — are not an immediate concern in the Northeast, nor are they likely to be for a long time, if ever, according to an entomologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Master Gardeners grow interest in home gardening through Victory Garden series

The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners are growing interest in home gardening through their 'Victory Garden Reinvented' webinar series.

Penn State's Ag Progress Days expo cancelled in wake of coronavirus pandemic

Penn State's 2020 Ag Progress Days exposition, which was scheduled for Aug. 11-13, has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, organizers in the College of Agricultural Sciences announced.

General Assembly maintains Penn State's funding levels for 2020-21 fiscal year

The Pennsylvania General Assembly today (May 28) passed a partial state budget that maintains Penn State’s current funding levels for the entire 2020-21 fiscal year. This includes level funding of $242.1 million for Penn State’s general support appropriation, $54.96 million for Penn State Agricultural Research and Extension, and $26.74 million for Pennsylvania College of Technology.

New institute to help address complex food-energy-water-land challenges

The seed for Penn State’s Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science was planted well before the COVID-19 outbreak. The concept had been growing in the College of Agricultural Sciences for about two years when the pandemic emerged.

Animals should not pose coronavirus threat to pet owners, farmers

Farmers and pet owners who may be concerned that they can contract COVID-19 from domestic animals — such as livestock, dogs and cats — have little to worry about, according to a virologist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The 'new normal': Extension educator offers tips to help families stay on track

With stay-at-home orders in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, many families are wrestling with how to adjust to being at home all day, every day — together. Maintaining a daily schedule can help, noted a Penn State Extension educator.

Fruit may mask taste of dark green vegetables in commercial baby foods

Commercially prepared baby foods that purport to be loaded with dark green vegetables are sweetened with fruit puree and often don’t contain a high percentage of dark green vegetable content, according to a team of researchers. The resulting lack of dark green vegetable taste matters, said team leader John Hayes, associate professor of food science at Penn State.

Penn State Equine Science program continues 'hands-on' learning -- online

The 18th annual Penn State Equine Science Showcase and Quarter Horse Sale will take place this year — but in a new, virtual format. The online auction and sale will take place with the help of Professional Horse Services LLC, with bidding open from April 27 through May 2.

Extension educators offer tips on managing spring spotted-lanternfly egg hatch

The hatch of spotted lanternfly egg masses likely will begin in mid- to late-April in southern counties, with northern counties to follow soon after, noted Beth Finlay, Master Gardener area coordinator for Penn State Extension.

Potential link between COVID-19 and loss of smell, taste to be explored

When Caela Camazine realized that she had suddenly lost her ability to taste and smell on March 17, she thought it was “really weird” because she was not congested.

Penn State Extension, College of Ag Sciences 'open' virtually for business

The ever-evolving, novel coronavirus situation has prompted additional changes to Penn State Extension programming and operations across Pennsylvania, as well as other public services offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences. However, college officials stress that the college's research will continue in support of Pennsylvania agriculture, the state's food system and the well-being of citizens in the commonwealth.

Experts: Continuity of food system critical during COVID-19 pandemic

Maintaining a stable food supply in the United States is critical in the battle against the novel coronavirus. And that means each sector of the food supply chain must take measures to ensure that they can continue to operate, according to food scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported

Pesticide-coated seeds — such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects — are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. The lack of data may complicate efforts to evaluate the value of different pest management strategies, while also protecting human health and the environment.

Berkey Creamery closes retail store until further notice; online sales continue

Given the nation’s, Pennsylvania’s and the University’s focus on social distancing in helping to combat coronavirus to protect our community, Penn State’s Berkey Creamery is closing its retail store on campus until further notice.

Penn State Extension adapts, remains a resource during coronavirus pandemic

The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, known as COVID-19, has disrupted the operations of businesses, governments and other organizations across the country, including Penn State. But Penn State Extension, the educational outreach arm of the College of Agricultural Sciences, will continue to fulfill its mission during this unprecedented time, according to its statewide director, Brent Hales.

Technique used to suppress soil pathogens, pests in high tunnels can work in Pa.

A biological technique used to suppress soilborne pests and pathogens already used in warmer climates, with some modifications, will work in Pennsylvania and other more northern locations, according to a team of researchers.

Spot on: Efforts to stop spotted lanternfly are ongoing for Penn State, agencies

For residents of southeastern Pennsylvania, winter provides a brief respite from the spotted lanternfly, an insect invader that has impeded their warm-weather enjoyment for the past several years. But for scientists, extension specialists and government regulatory officials, putting a stop to the pest is a year-round endeavor.

Penn State responds: App aids UN efforts to control Africa's locust infestation

Billions of locusts are tearing across East Africa, destroying crops and putting some 19 million people at risk of severe food insecurity. The United Nations has called for a rapid response to this food-security threat. Through a memorandum of understanding with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., David Hughes, Penn State professor of entomology and biology and creator of PlantVillage, an initiative to empower farmers with agricultural knowledge and technologies, is answering this call.

Media Contacts

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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)