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Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Dan Eichenlaub, owner of Eichenlaub Inc., explains to Penn State agribusiness management students how his company is evaluating autonomous lawnmower technology to service lawn-maintenance customers. Students are helping Eichenlaub evaluate the mowers as an experiential-learning case study.   Image: Angela Barr, courtesy of Eichenlaub Inc.
November 5, 2018

Will customers of lawn-mowing services accept robotic, autonomous lawnmowers cutting the lawns at their homes with no human operator nearby? Eichenlaub Inc., an upscale landscape firm in Pittsburgh, is counting on agribusiness management students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences to find out.

This research is a first step in exploring opportunities and challenges to developing animal agriculture in western Pennsylvania in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. The region of Pennsylvania drained by the Ohio River provides additional opportunities for new animal agriculture facilities and related manure-management activities.   Image: Upsplash / Kelly Sikkema
November 5, 2018

To comply with nutrient-reduction goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Pennsylvania may want to consider the establishment of animal agriculture operations in the western part of the state, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

The benefits of having a live Christmas tree outweigh any risks associated with pests, according to a Penn State Extension educator.   Image: Pexels
November 2, 2018

"Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, and there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree, and the spotted lanternfly is no exception," said Tanner Delvalle, a horticulture extension educator based in Berks and Schuylkill counties. "However, the risk is small and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree."

The researchers assessed food safety behaviors at Pennsylvania farmers markets using direct concealed observations and state sanitarian observations. They checked select samples of leafy green produce and meat obtained from vendors for the presence of hygiene indicators such as fecal coliforms, Listeria, and E. coli.   Image: Joshua Scheinberg / Penn State
November 1, 2018

Many vendors at farmers markets take inadequate precautions to prevent the spread of foodborne illness, and they should be trained to reduce food-safety risks, according to Penn State researchers who completed the final phase of an innovative five-year study.

November 1, 2018

Tony Rice, a senior in agribusiness management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, was one of a select group of students who was given the opportunity to develop leadership skills and gain experience in the public-service sector as an intern at the White House and in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

November 1, 2018

How extensive shale gas development has affected agricultural communities will be the subject of a web-based seminar presented by Penn State Extension at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Penn State, powered by the Penn State Small Business Development Center, will be held Nov. 6-15, 2018. Events will take place throughout the week at participating Penn State Commonwealth campuses and surrounding communities.   Image: Trish Hummer
October 31, 2018

Penn State student innovators and community entrepreneurs are invited to explore their potential by connecting with collaborators, mentors and investors during Global Entrepreneurship Week Penn State, presented by the Penn State Small Business Development Center, Nov. 6–15.

October 31, 2018

Jacob Johnson, a doctoral candidate in forest resources and in international agriculture and development in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, has received a Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Award in recognition of his service to others.

This heat map shows the volume of calls from refugees to non-refugees in Turkey from January to early March, 2017.   Image: Beichen Tian
October 30, 2018

Clio Andris, assistant professor of geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, is analyzing a year’s worth of phone calls to find the clues to help address the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey.

Jennifer Desplat (left) and Katelyn Schiffer, both seniors in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, demonstrated with their research that biomass — shrub willow and miscanthus — torrified and ground into fine particles, was very effective at removing lead from water.   Image: Michael Houtz
October 30, 2018

When Penn State student Katelyn Schiffer got an email notice from her landlord a few years ago warning that she and her apartment mates should not drink water from their unit's taps unless it was filtered to remove lead, the sophomore agricultural and biological engineering major started thinking about the problem.

Spotted lanternfly has a preference for Ailanthus altissima   ,  commonly known as tree of heaven, a rapidly growing deciduous tree that is abundant in the Northeast.   Image: Emelie Swackhamer
October 30, 2018

Citizens are important allies in the fight against the spotted lanternfly, a war that is being waged in 13 counties -- Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.

October 29, 2018

Penn State has named alumnus, philanthropist and volunteer leader James Ingram as its 2018 Fundraising Volunteer of the Year.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, left, is shown with students Dylan Schoemaker, second from left, Katelyn Zembrzycki and Isaac Clements from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The students were among those selected to attend the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.   Image: Penn State
October 26, 2018

Three students from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, in September for the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Mandela Fellows Boubou Sangho, left, and Gladys Freeman, spent six weeks at Penn State's University Park campus in August and September.   Image: Sarah Fusco
October 25, 2018

Boubou Sangho and Gladys Freeman, recipients of the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, spent six weeks of professional development at Penn State's University Park campus in August and September.

Penn State students in Megan Marshall's class toured State College's compost facility to get background for their work assisting Bellefonte.   Image: Penn State
October 25, 2018

The Borough of Bellefonte has received a grant of $388,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its municipal compost facility. The grant application was based on Penn State students' work as part of the Sustainability Communities Collaborative, an engaged scholarship program facilitated by Penn State’s Sustainability Institute.

Image: Patrick Mansell
October 25, 2018

The Penn State Mushroom Short Course recently marked its 60th year of providing mushroom growers with researched-based information and expertise aimed at advancing the industry.

Researcher Cameron Stephens, a former graduate student in plant science, is shown in the laboratory with dollar-spot fungus isolates from Pennsylvania golf courses. Researchers tested isolates from more than 40 Pennsylvania golf courses to assess fungicide resistance.   Image: Kaminski Research Group/Penn State
October 24, 2018

Dollar spot — the most common, troublesome and damaging turfgrass disease plaguing golf courses — is becoming increasingly resistant to fungicides applied to manage it, according to Penn State researchers.

Phospholutions CEO and Penn State alumnus Hunter Swisher.   Image: Penn State
October 19, 2018

Licensing a technology created in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State startup Phospholutions developed a soil-amendment product called RhizoSorb. The product aims to reduce phosphorus runoff and enhance plant root depth, decreasing the amount of both water and fertilizer needed to have healthy plants.

From 2011 to 2018, the EFSNE project engaged more than 40 partners at universities, nonprofits, and government agencies to explore the extent to which a more robust regional food system in the Northeastern U.S. could improve food access in low-income communities and improve the long-term food security of the entire Northeast.     Image: Katey Burke, Penn State.
October 18, 2018

After seven years of analyzing a number of consumption, distribution, production, and other aspects of the Northeast U.S. food system, researchers from Penn State and 10 other universities and organizations have made significant gains in understanding the extent to which the region can increase production of certain foods, and potentially better meet the food needs of low-income populations in the locations they studied.

Students in the horticulture course -- Walking in the Footsteps of the Irish during the Irish Potato Famine: Examinations of New World Crops in Old World Societies -- traveled across Ireland in May, where they studied the history of Irish Potato Famine of 1845, and how the country and agriculture were affected. Here, they are shown in Doolin, near the Cliffs of Moher.    Image: Penn State
October 15, 2018

Penn State students can learn about a world of opportunity by attending the Education Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 17 in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park.