Ag Progress Days welcomes youngest visitors with kid-friendly events

July 22, 2024

Ag Progress Days is a great way to introduce kids and teens to the wide world of agriculture, and the 4-H Youth Building has a slate of activities planned for youth of all ages on all three days of the expo, Aug. 13-15.

Penn State tests dairy herd for bird flu in support of state surveillance effort

July 22, 2024

Animal health experts in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have announced that — out of an abundance of caution — they will test the University’s dairy herd for highly pathogenic avian influenza, under a voluntary state testing program.

Q&A: Will H5N1 avian influenza evolve to become more dangerous to humans?

July 19, 2024

H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was first detected in dairy cattle in Texas on March 25 and has since spread to several additional states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed multiple human infections in which the individuals were exposed to infected dairy cattle. Penn State News spoke with Ruth Nissly, assistant research professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences, to learn more about how scientists are monitoring the H5N1 virus. 

Solar farms with stormwater controls mitigate runoff, erosion, study finds

July 18, 2024

As the number of major utility-scale ground solar panel installations grows, concerns about their impacts on natural hydrologic processes also have grown. However, a new study by Penn State researchers suggests that excess runoff or increased erosion can be easily mitigated — if these “solar farms” are properly built.

Discovery of a hybrid lineage offers clues to how trees adapt to climate change

July 15, 2024

The discovery of a hybrid population of poplar trees in western Wyoming has provided insight into how natural hybridization informs the evolution of many plant species, according to a team led by Penn State researchers. They also said their discovery, which was published in the journal Molecular Ecology, suggests that genetic exchange between species may be critical for adaptation to environmental change.

Emerging research areas refocus Institute of Energy and the Environment themes

July 11, 2024

The Institute of Energy and the Environment has revamped its research themes to better align them with the energy and environmental research being done at Penn State and to recognize the importance of community and justice.

Animal Diagnostic Lab names new head of virology, molecular diagnostics sections

July 9, 2024

Mathias Martins has been named head of the virology and molecular diagnostics sections in Penn State's Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, effective July 15. Martins will join Penn State from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station, Texas.

American diets got briefly healthier, more diverse during COVID-19 pandemic

July 8, 2024

American diets may have gotten healthier and more diverse in the months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. They published their findings in PLOS ONE. 

Researchers compile Cacao Gene Atlas to help plant breeders boost chocolate tree

June 26, 2024

Cacao, the chocolate tree, is one of the world’s most important economic crops, generating hundreds of billions of dollars annually. However, cocoa is affected by a range of pests and diseases, with some estimates putting losses as high as 30% to 40% of global production. Now, a team led by researchers at Penn State has created a genetic information resource to help plant breeders develop resistant strains of cacao that can be grown sustainably in its native Amazon and elsewhere, such as the tropical latitudes of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

Women may face unique obstacles while seeking treatment for opioid use

June 25, 2024

Women experiencing opioid-use disorders may face unique challenges accessing treatment, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. The study provides new insight into how pregnancy and parenting can make getting medications for these disorders particularly difficult.

High-speed internet linked to more farms offering agritourism

June 25, 2024

The availability and adoption of high-speed broadband appears to boost the number of farms offering agritourism activities, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. Their findings, the researchers said, bolster the argument for expanding broadband availability in support of farm operators who want to benefit from the growing consumer interest in on-farm experiences.

Pennsylvania private forest landowners value fire as tool to manage woodlands

June 13, 2024

Fire can help shape ecosystems, and after a century of suppressing naturally occurring fire that has thrown forests out balance, some states — including Pennsylvania — are using controlled burns to help manage forests on public lands. Now, a new four-state study by a team of Penn State researchers shows that many private landowners in the Keystone State value controlled burns and are willing to pay for them on their woodlands, too.

Study suggests Holstein dairy cows not harmed by producing beef crossbred calves

June 11, 2024

Facing economic challenges, dairy farmers are increasingly crossbreeding some of their Holstein cows with beef breed bulls to add value to surplus calves born in their herds. In an analysis of almost 40,000 cows, a team of Penn State researchers found that carrying and birthing the larger crossbred beef calves generally does not negatively affect dairy cow health.

New exhibit will showcase complex lives and impacts of insects

June 11, 2024

A new exhibition will help visitors to the Bellefonte Art Museum explore the symbiotic relationship between humans and insects. Created by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, “Entwined Worlds” will shine a spotlight on the crucial role insects play in sustaining ecosystems; pollinating plants; inspiring art, music and literature; and contributing to advancements in medicine, biofuels and construction materials. The exhibition will be on display from July 5 to Aug. 25. 

Researchers develop model to guide milk processors’ food safety decisions

June 10, 2024

Certain strains of bacteria can withstand heat treatments such as pasteurization of milk and possess the potential to induce foodborne illness. To help minimize and predict the magnitude of this risk, a team led by Penn State researchers developed a model that can guide processors to improve food safety.

Haiku may shine a light on humans’ relationship with insects, study suggests

June 10, 2024

Penn State researchers analyzed which insects were mentioned the most in haiku — with butterflies, fireflies and singing insects such as crickets topping the list. Andrew Deans, professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences, director of the college’s Frost Entomological Museum and corresponding author on the study, said the findings shine a light on the insects that inspire emotion and awe in humans.

Q&A: What do I need to know about avian flu?

June 7, 2024

Multiple states since March 2024 have reported dairy herds displaying symptoms caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza, raising questions about how the virus spreads, how producers can protect their animals, the risk of infection in people, and the safety of milk and meat supplies. Extension veterinarian Ernest Hovingh, clinical professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, answers these and other questions related to the this avian flu outbreak in dairy cattle.

Guiltinan named director of the Penn State Plant Institute

June 6, 2024

Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology and J. Franklin Styer Professor of Horticultural Botany, has been named director of the Penn State Plant Institute.

IEE seed grants awarded to 11 interdisciplinary projects

June 6, 2024

Eleven interdisciplinary research teams have been awarded funding through Penn State's Institute of Energy and the Environment’s Seed Grant Program for 2024.

Mushroom stump waste could be inexpensive, healthy chicken feed supplement

June 4, 2024

Feed costs for producing broiler chickens accounts for 60% to 70% of total production costs, and stump waste from the production of button mushrooms comprises nearly 30% of total mushroom weight. Marrying the two has the potential to reduce both cost and waste, especially in Pennsylvania, which is a national leader in the production of broiler chickens and button mushrooms. To learn whether the two are compatible, a team of Penn State researchers conducted a new study to determine how supplementing the feed of broilers with mushroom stump waste affected the growth and health of the chickens.

Combining pest treatments may be key to helping honey bees survive the winter

June 3, 2024

A new study by Penn State researchers has found that using not one but multiple pest treatments may help honey bees survive the winter and make it to spring.

Architecture team receives grant to study 3D-printed sustainable materials

June 3, 2024

With the support of a seed grant from the Living Multifunctional Materials Collaborative Seed Grant Program through the Convergence Center for Living Multifunctional Material Systems at Penn State, an interdisciplinary Penn State team is working with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany to explore the durability and strength of sustainable 3D-printed building components made with mycelium, the root of fungus. 

Architecture professor receives grant to study 3D-printed sustainable materials

June 3, 2024

With the support of a seed grant from the Materials Research Institute, an interdisciplinary Penn State team is working with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany to explore the durability and strength of sustainable 3D-printed building components made with mycelium, the root of fungus. 

College of Ag Sciences professor honored by national microbial research network

May 30, 2024

Edward Dudley, professor of food science and director of the E. coli Reference Center in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, has been awarded the 2023 J. Roger Porter Award by the United States Culture Collection Network in recognition of his outstanding leadership to support novel life science discoveries. 

Virtual training may be an effective, cost-efficient option for child educators

May 24, 2024

Teachers and other child educators can benefit from regular professional development, but in-person training can be expensive. In a new study, researchers at Penn State and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that virtual training can be a budget-friendly alternative — and especially effective for certain groups of educators.

College of Agricultural Sciences professor named a top scientist by

May 23, 2024

A faculty member in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences has been named recipient of’s Plant Science and Agronomy Leader Award for 2024 and is included in the academic platform’s 2024 Ranking of Best Scientists in the Field of Plant Science and Agronomy.

Type 2 diabetes treatment found to impact fungal community in human gut

May 22, 2024

Research led by scientists at Penn State's One Health Microbiome Center have found that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, has impacts on fungal elements of the human gut microbiome.

Technology in agriculture initiative kicks off with collaborative symposium

May 21, 2024

Attendees from within and beyond the University recently convened at Penn State for the Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Symposium, where they had the opportunity to learn about current research, share ideas for collaboration, and grow networks.

Penn State Sustainable Labs Program concludes second year, expands on successes

May 21, 2024

The Sustainable Labs Program provides educational support and networking opportunities to labs across Penn State, helping them implement changes to become more energy and resource efficient. Actions taken by participating labs are estimated to result in over $155,000 in savings for the University and reduce about 490 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

GAP funding paves the way for research to move from lab to market

May 21, 2024

Four projects were recently awarded Penn State Commercialization GAP funding. The GAP Fund, formerly known as the Fund for Innovation, aims to accelerate the development of promising research across the University by closing the funding gaps between proof-of-concept research and readiness for commercialization.  

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600