News & Information

Latest news from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
November 8, 2017

Several weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) provided Penn State and the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) with the transcripts from the PLRB hearings that were held on the petition filed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) to unionize Penn State graduate students.

Penn State senior Aaron Blakney is an Ag Advocate and held an internship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past summer.
November 8, 2017

Schreyer Scholar Aaron Blakney hopes to create policy solutions that will help protect the environment but are also fiscally responsible.

The offspring were not directly exposed to BPA, but received exposure to the chemical from their mother through the placenta and in the milk. This exposure may lead to long-lasting health problems, according to the researchers.
November 8, 2017

A chemical used in plastic packaging may get passed from mother to offspring during pregnancy, affecting the gut bacteria of the young. Researchers suggest this could increase the possibilities of inflammation-related conditions, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, for the offspring later in life.

A new website is a "one-stop shop" for dairy sustainability information.
November 7, 2017

Farmers can see sustainability principles in action with just a few mouse clicks, thanks to an interactive "virtual farm" web site developed by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension, in partnership with the project's lead, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cornell University and the Dairy Innovation Center.

The spotted lanternfly threatens agricultural sectors worth nearly $18 billion to Pennsylvania's economy.
November 7, 2017

As populations of the invasive spotted lanternfly explode — and the state-imposed quarantine area in southeastern Pennsylvania expands — researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are looking for solutions to help stop the insect's spread and save agricultural crops from serious damage.

This image is a 3-D reconstruction of an ant mandible adductor muscle (red) surrounded by a network of fungal cells (yellow).
November 7, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A fungal parasite that infects ants and manipulates their behavior to benefit the fungus' reproduction accomplishes this feat without infecting the ants' brains, according to a study led by Penn State researchers.

The researchers demonstrated that glow sticks — cheap, self-contained, short-term light-sources -- attract Eastern newts, Jefferson salamanders, spotted salamanders and wood frogs to funnel traps set in vernal pools where they come to reproduce in the spring.
November 7, 2017

With amphibian populations declining around the world and funds to find the causes scarce, a team of Penn State researchers has shown that an unorthodox tactic will make it easier and therefore less expensive to capture adult salamanders and frogs.

Students who participated in an internship in China for those interested in veterinary studies were able to travel and see some of the country in addition to performing research.
November 6, 2017

A new summer internship, which will be available to undergraduate students with a veterinary research interest, is the most recent in a series of collaborations spanning a century-old partnership between Penn State and South China Agricultural University.

Mannaa I. Mannaa, right, conducts a lab test under the supervision of Jack Vanden Heuvel, professor of molecular toxicology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. Mannaa credits Vanden Heuvel — and many others — with helping him during his academic journey at Penn State. Mannaa’s goal is to begin medical school next year.
November 6, 2017

Student Mannaa I. Mannaa he has had more than his share of challenges during his academic journey at Penn State. Instead of giving up, the alumnus of the College of Agricultural Sciences continued on and hopes to attend medical school.

November 2, 2017

Thomas Mischen, of Gibsonia, and Sylvester "Sy" Tanner, of Turtlepoint, were randomly placed together as roommates during the fall of 1966 -- the first semester of their freshman year at Penn State -- and have been close friends ever since. To commemorate their enduring friendship, the friends recently established the Mischen/Tanner Scholarship Fund in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

E. coli, shown here in an agar plate, is the best studied bacterium on the planet. It is often responsible for outbreaks of foodborne illness. Scientists at Penn State and around the world are discovering, through DNA sequencing, new serotypes of E. coli, but there is insufficient agreement for how to get these new types approved by the international community. It is hoped the workshop here can lead to a consensus.
November 1, 2017

With its 50-year-old E. coli Reference Center, Penn State long has been at the forefront in isolating bacteria from animals, humans and the environment. The University will continue its leading role Nov. 6-8 when it hosts an international group of experts to propose how to transition one of the most fundamental tests for E. coli into a genomics-based assay.

Carolee Bull, head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, center, received a Notable Alumni Award from Ohio University, her alma mater. Shown with Bull prior to the ceremony and a workshop she presented are, from left, Morgan Vis, professor and department chair, and Phil Cantino, emeriti faculty, both representing Ohio University's Environmental and Plant Biology Department.
November 1, 2017

Carolee Bull, head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences received a Notable Alumni Award from her alma mater, Ohio University, for her professional achievements.

William Elmendorf, Ibberson Chair in Urban and Community Forestry
October 31, 2017

William Elmendorf, professor and extension specialist in urban forestry in the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named the first holder of the Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Urban and Community Forestry. The endowed chair was made possible by a gift from the late Joseph E. Ibberson, a 1947 forestry graduate of Penn State who retired in 1977 from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry as chief of forest advisory services.

Four workshops will be held in November and December in Greene, Washington, Indiana and Somerset counties. There is no cost to attend.    
October 31, 2017

Southwestern Pennsylvania provides an ideal environment to raise sheep and goats. Rolling hills may not be suitable for crop production but can provide high-quality pasture for sheep and goat production.

A member of the Penn State Roots Lab monitors root system development inside a rainout shelter
October 27, 2017

Penn State President Eric J. Barron and a pair of University professors will discuss how a Penn State group is helping fight global hunger during the next episode of WPSU Penn State’s “Digging Deeper” on Nov. 5. The show will air on WPSU-TV at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Penn State agribusiness management students observe a potato production line during a tour of a processing facility at Sterman Masser Potato Farms.
October 26, 2017

Sterman Masser, Pennsylvania's largest potato producer, knows consumers aren't reaching for 5- and 10-pound bags of raw potatoes like they used to, and growing its business means developing new value-added products. So students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are working on finding solutions to this market challenge.

October 26, 2017

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Penn State’s 2017-18 non-preferred appropriations bill on Oct. 25 after a delay of more than three months. As proposed by Gov. Tom Wolf in February, the bill includes level funding of $230.4 million for Penn State’s general support appropriation. The bill also includes increases of $2 million for Pennsylvania College of Technology and $500,000 for Penn State Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension, for a total appropriation of $318.2 million.

Maka Murvanidze (far left) and Nikoloz Meskhi (second from left) visited Penn State from the Republic of Georgia, where they have been tasked with mitigating the country's invasive stink bug problem.
October 25, 2017

Entomologists from Penn State are working to apply what they have learned by studying the Mid-Atlantic region's brown marmorated stink bug infestation — which peaked between 2010 and 2013 — to similar recent problems impacting the Republic of Georgia in eastern Europe.

People should not eat caramel apples that have not been stored at refrigerated temperatures, according to a food scientist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
October 24, 2017

A food scientist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences warns of the potential health risk of eating caramel apples that have not been stored at refrigerated temperatures.

Introduced to the market in the 1990s, the flesh of Honeycrisp is crunchier than other apples — and the snap from a bite releases a burst of flavor that makes consumers prefer them over other kinds of apples. However, that quality comes at a price because the variety is extremely susceptible to bitter pit, a disease that is induced in the fruit by a calcium deficiency.
October 19, 2017

A test to determine whether bitter pit — a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking — will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of Penn State researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit.