News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Examining 1,000-year-old corn cobs from an ancient ruin in Arizona, researchers found a previously unknown virus — the oldest plant virus ever reported.   Image: Courtesy of Roossinck laboratory / Penn State
December 13, 2018

Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.

A gallery of photographs reflecting on events, people and special moments at Penn State during 2018 can be viewed at   Image: Michelle Bixby
December 12, 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we review a small, representative selection of achievements and visual reflections on the year at Penn State, from among the many University-wide accomplishments in academics, research, athletics, student life and entrepreneurship. View a photo gallery and collection of news highlights at

December 12, 2018

Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, recently was appointed president-elect of the North American Regional Science Council.

A cornfield underwater due to flooding.   Image: Adobe Stock, Robert Hoetink #123449964
December 11, 2018

To identify sound scientific methods to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, Penn State researchers led a Pennsylvania watershed workshop that explored ways to increase the number of riparian buffers in Pennsylvania. Riparian buffers have been used to improve water quality in both local streams and in larger watersheds.

The field of cell-cultured tissue production has been well established in bioengineering and pharmaceutical production; however, the application of this technology in food production has grown exponentially since a widely publicized product taste test in 2013. Since that time, companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in cell-culture-based food production.    Image: Getty Images
December 11, 2018

According to a team of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences livestock experts and food scientists focused on cellular agriculture, the progress of this technology requires thorough evaluation and discussion to address the multitude of questions surrounding it.

The Penn State Woodsmen Team provides students of all majors the opportunity to learn collegiate timber sports skills.   Image: Penn State
December 11, 2018

The Penn State Woodsmen Team provides students of all majors the opportunity to learn collegiate timber sports skills such as chopping, sawing, throwing and climbing, and then test their skills in several competitions.

Members of a ServSafe Food Safety Manager Course study for the examination following completion of the course. After they pass the test, they become certified food protection managers.   Image: Penn State Extension
December 11, 2018

To help the state's businesses comply with the certified food protection manager regulation, Penn State Extension is offering the ServSafe Food Safety Manager Course at 38 locations during the first half of 2019.

Melissia Grant, an agricultural educator from Indiana who participated in AgEd2Malaysia, helps students create a poultry digestion mural at Dato Lela Maharaja Vocational College in Pedas, Malaysia.    Image: Penn State
December 7, 2018

Preservice teacher candidates and current teachers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan learned about agriculture and agricultural education in July as part of the AgEd2Malaysia Human Development Project, a collaborative effort among Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa.

Researchers have developed the first carbon budget for North American coastal waters for the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report.    Image: PIXABAY / PUBLIC DOMAIN
December 6, 2018

Penn State researchers were among a team of international scientists whose work on a new climate assessment of North America provides a better understanding of the carbon cycle.

A grant awarded to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences will support research on preventing grain bin entrapment. In addition to research, the Penn State Agricultural Rescue Training Program, as part of the Penn State Farm Safety Team, conducts outreach and training, including this grain entrapment simulator demonstration, which was held at the University Park campus and sponsored by TAM Systems, Brock, Sudenga Industries and GSI Group. Davis Hill, retired senior extension associate, center, conducted the training.    Image: Penn State
December 4, 2018

A $160,000 grant awarded to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will support research aimed at reducing the potential for injury and death due to grain bin entrapments.

Yolanda Brown, Study Away Philadelphia participant and Penn State World Campus student, attends a community action meeting at Farm for the City, a public agricultural project in downtown Philadelphia.   Image: Penn State
December 4, 2018

Penn State World Campus students Jamie Parke and Yolanda Jackson are experiencing their possible career paths in urban sustainability through Penn State’s Study Away program. The program is facilitated through Penn State’s urban centers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Study Away is designed to give students a real-world experience in an urban setting prior to their degree completion.

Graduate students in the EGR training program's inaugural group.   Image: Penn State
December 3, 2018

A new $2.4 million-dollar program to train graduate students in the area of eukaryotic gene regulation has been established at Penn State.

Penn State has become the 55th educational institution in the nation to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strength of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.   Image: Penn State
December 3, 2018

Penn State has become the 55th educational institution in the nation to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strength of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.

A holiday display adorns the entrance to the Childhood's Gate Children's Garden during a previous Winter Celebration at The Arboretum at Penn State.   Image: Kathleen Reeder
November 29, 2018

The Arboretum at Penn State invites the campus and community to welcome the holiday season at its annual Winter Celebration on Friday, Dec. 7.

November 29, 2018

Domestic and international students can join a new community for global exchange in Beaver Hall starting Fall 2019.

Lesson topics include meat goat production basics, nutrition, health, reproduction, marketing and financial issues. This course is a great way for producers to learn new information without having to rearrange their schedule to accommodate a meeting.   Image: Penn State Extension
November 28, 2018

Meat-goat producers looking for information on how to make their livestock enterprise more profitable can take advantage of a home-study course offered by Penn State Extension this winter.

Colleagues, former students, friends, and family members created endowments to honor the memories of two ag sciences professors, Harold "Doc" Harpster, left, and Arun Kilara.   Image: Harpster and Kilara families
November 28, 2018

Endowments created to honor the memories of Harold "Doc" Harpster, professor of dairy and animal science, and Arun Kilara, professor of food science, quickly surpassed their goals with contributions from colleagues, students, friends and family.

Farmers in Angonia, Mozambique, happy with the performance of new varieties of common bean developed by an international partnership of plant scientists that included researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, pose among plants in a bean field. Plant breeding field trials have been conducted with bean growers in multiple regions of the country in southeast Africa.   Image: Jimmy Burridge
November 28, 2018

In the culmination of more than a decade of research on root traits conducted by Penn State plant scientists, about three tons of seed for common bean plants specifically bred to thrive in the barren soils of Mozambique will be distributed there Dec. 11.

November 28, 2018

Describing himself as a “Virginia Tech duck in a lion country pond,” William “Bill” Achor, vice president of York Ag Products in York, Pennsylvania, said creating a scholarship at Penn State was an easy decision. York Ag Products has a history of being generous to Penn State, and Achor wanted to honor a past president —and Penn State alumnus — who was instrumental in his career.

 Large produce farms (those with annual sales of more than $500,000) were to begin complying with requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act in January of this year. Medium-sized farms (those with annual sales between $250,000 and $500,000) have until January of 2019, while smaller farms (annual sales between $25,000 and $250,000) have until January of 2020.     Image: Jeff Stoltzfus
November 27, 2018

Is your farm in compliance with new federal food safety standards? The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule requires that at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training. The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course is one way to fulfill this requirement.