News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
A view of the habitat element printed by the team as part of Level 2 as it is being subjected to a hydrostatic leak test. This is done by filling the structure with water to a specified depth and measuring the leakage rate by documenting the rate of the drop in the water level.    Image: Penn State
January 19, 2019

NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization, will be on the University Park campus Jan. 22 to film the Penn State interdisciplinary team that has advanced to the third phase of NASA’s $3.1-million 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge.

Early morning sun shines on the Nittany Lion Shrine   Image: Patrick Mansell
January 18, 2019

Seven Penn State alumni selected by the Penn State Board of Trustees will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the University's highest honor presented to its alumni.

A Penn State Strategic Plan seed grant is helping the Beaver campus to expand agriculture and food-related initiatives, including a campus garden, community-supported agriculture, and a 96-foot-long high tunnel.   Image: April Johnston
January 18, 2019

The idea of the campus garden is evolving at Penn State, with gardens serving as living laboratories for interdisciplinary learning and hubs of activity for community engagement. With the University implementing a funding model to develop initiatives that align with Penn State’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, a two-year, $158,000 seed grant was awarded in 2017 to pilot the Sustainable Food Systems Program at the Beaver and Behrend campuses, in support of the plan’s priority to transform education.

The mystery involved a spontaneous gene mutation that causes red pigments to show up in various corn plant tissues for a few generations and then disappear in subsequent progeny.   Image: Surinder Chopra Research Group/Penn State
January 17, 2019

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.

A growing share of Pennsylvania's total population resides in 15 southeastern counties, while much of the rest of the state continues to lose population, according to a new report by economists in the College of Agricultural Sciences.   Image: B_Me via Pixabay
January 17, 2019

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.

Izaiah Bokunewicz, a plant sciences major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, at right, and Greg Roth, professor emeritus of agronomy, stand in a maize demonstration plot outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, managed by Water Efficient Maize for Africa, which is an organization funded by the Gates Foundation.    Image: Penn State
January 16, 2019

This past summer, Izaiah Bokunewicz, a plant sciences major in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, had a unique opportunity to advance his knowledge of food security and global hunger by participating in a prestigious program sponsored by Land O'Lakes.

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.    Image: Pexels
January 15, 2019

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.

Steve Sampsell, director of strategic communications in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, and his wife Susan, director of administration in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are both lifelong Penn Staters and staunch supporters of the Centre County United Way.   Image: Penn State
January 14, 2019

“It matters, when you’re in a community, to be part of that community, and this is a tangible way. If you live in Centre County and you don’t know exactly what you want to do, but you want to be in a better community, you can be part of that. Between the network of partner agencies and the volunteers that drive the United Way, you should give to the United Way because that network works.”

This image shows a cell infected with Zika virus (green). The red is heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), which appears to play a role in enabling Zika infection of host cells.   Image: Rasgon laboratory / Penn State
January 14, 2019

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.

An aerial shot of earth   Image: Anders Jildén, Unsplash
January 9, 2019

A forum focused on the University’s Strategic Plan and one of its thematic priorities, Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources, will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, in Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center. The purpose of the forum is to provide updates on Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources as well as seek input on the direction and focus of the priority.

Image: John Gomez/
January 8, 2019

The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC) to enhance suicide prevention efforts in the U.S. Air Force.

Students can learn about education-abroad opportunities during Study Abroad Week, slated for Jan. 14-18. Shown are students who traveled to India to study global perspectives on agriculture and food science.   Image: Penn State
January 8, 2019

For students who haven't yet reaped the benefits of international learning -- and even for those who have -- Penn State's Office of Global Programs will showcase education-abroad opportunities during Study Abroad Week, slated for Jan. 14-18 at various times and locations on the University Park campus.

Bill O'Connell, Lou Shain, and Chuck Strauss, members of the Penn State Mont Alto Forestry Class of 1958, reconnected during their 60th Reunion in June, when their classmates and others decided to support an Open Doors Scholarship.   Image: Penn State
January 3, 2019

Twelve members of the Forestry Class of 1958 recently celebrated their 60th reunion at the Mont Alto campus. Besides reconnecting with each other and the campus, their time together also resulted in a group gift of $34,233 that transformed into a $102,669 Open Doors Scholarship which will support Mont Alto students who are facing financial hardships and are at risk of not completing their degrees.

The various stages of processing rye, from berries to alkylresorcinols (top left to bottom right): rye berries, rye chops (coarsely ground rye berries), rye bran, and alkylresorcinols (extracted and purified from rye bran).   Image: Ben Chrisfield / Penn State
January 3, 2019

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.

It is important for community leaders to create a civil environment to explore the issues at the heart of polarizing conversations, whether those difficult discussions focus on community planning, resource development or other "hot button" topics.   Image: Carol Loveland
January 3, 2019

To help community leaders, municipal officials and others who work in the public and nonprofit sectors, Penn State Extension is offering a video series titled, "Community Conflict: Finding Middle Ground."

January 3, 2019

Dealing with claims of conflict of interest, bias or bad faith leveled against municipal planners in zoning and land-development proceedings will be the topic of a web-based seminar presented by Penn State Extension.

Roadside judging will take place in May and June, and farms will be evaluated on factors that can be controlled by the dairy producer, such as clean and attractively finished buildings, neat landscaping and well-maintained fences.   Image: Penn State
January 3, 2019

Pennsylvania dairy producers are invited to apply for the Dairy of Distinction award from the Pennsylvania Dairy of Distinction Program. Applications must be submitted by April 15.

The findings of the study are important because they better inform producers what to expect from their cows, according to researchers in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Being more precisely aware of their cows' rhythms allows dairy farmers to better judge the effectiveness of management strategies.   Image: Lee Simpson / Flickr
December 20, 2018

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.

Student workers at Penn State's Berkey Creamery took part in a holiday fund drive to benefit local children. Students involved include, standing from left: Alexis Bucha, Sam Smerbeck, Mitch Colpetzer, Mariah Stuck, Madeline Cherry and Stacy Smerbeck. Kneeling are Zach Watson and Natalie Gonzalez.   Image: Lauren Hassinger
December 19, 2018

Throughout the year, student workers at Penn State's Berkey Creamery make life sweeter for patrons, but during the holiday season, they channel their spirit of service into helping local children.

Celize Christy and Christian Scott, at right, students in the International Agriculture and Development dual-title graduate degree program in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, observe food preparation at La Colorada Community Center, Mexico, during a study abroad trip last year.    Image: Michael Houtz
December 19, 2018

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.