The University of Massachusetts celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the extension service Friday. More than 125 extension workers, area farmers and descendants of those original Polish farming families attended. Food, speeches and music, marked the event along with a sharing of history, exhibits and the collection of memorabilia for a time capsule. (MassLive, Septeember 26, 2014)
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AMHERST - Richard Sullivan, Gov. Deval Patrick's chief of staff, will speak Friday at the ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the University of Massachusetts' Cooperative Extension Service.
Sullivan, the former secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, will speak at 2 p.m. with the program beginning at 1:30 on the Student Union north lawn. Many academic and community leaders, farmers and business people keeping the service moving forward plus staff and faculty will participate.(MassLive 9/24/14)
Many tomato growers are finding it impossible to catch up with the harvest after a blight ruined their crops. “It has been very serious, particularly for organic farmers,” said Ruth V. Hazzard, vegetable specialist for the UMass Extension, explaining that the fungicide they can use for late blight is more limited and not as effective in controlling the spread of the disease as those that can be used more broadly by non-organic farmers. The blight is affecting farmers and home gardeners in Massachusetts. (MassLive, September 5, 2014)
Area farmers are once again on the front lines of weather patterns that in recent weeks have brought cooler, rainier weather to the region. That’s translated into problems for some growers of potatoes and tomatoes as well as for those growing vine crops such as pumpkins and squash, says University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension vegetable specialist Ruth Hazzard. (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/22/14)
It's not every day you see a whole fair run by young people. But that's exactly what the attendees of Saturday's 74th annual Berkshire County 4-H Youth Fair experienced. The whole event was organized by a group of less than a dozen young people who raised funds, booked entertainment and set up pens and tents.
"This is by the kids and for the kids," Angelica Paredes, UMass Extension Educator and local 4-H adviser, said. "They do it all." (Berkshire Eagle 8/17/14)
The Senate unanimously passed a bill last week providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy that includes $5 million for the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Research Station at East Wareham. The money would go toward the design, construction, retrofitting and outfitting of enhanced laboratory space to include associated equipment and support to improve research performed by the station, Senate President Therese Murray, D-Plymouth, said.(Wareham Wicked Local 7/17/14)
Pigs and bumblebees were there, as were biochar, solar collectors and energy-saving coolers.
Agricultural field day at the University of Massachusetts Crop and Animal Research Farm is an annual chance for farmers to see the latest innovations in crop research, and Tuesday’s event drew more than 60 people to view 18 ongoing trials, including one that integrated pig and vegetable production. (Recorder 7/30/14)
What if you could use open space to generate solar electricity and farm it at the same time?
Stephen Herbert, a professor of agronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says this is more than a pipedream. A demonstration plot at a research station in South Deerfield is doing just that. "We have shown that we can get 90 percent of the yield of a pasture with solar panels compared with not having them as long as we leave enough space between clusters of panels,” he said. (Hampshire Gazette 7/16/14, Recorder 7/17/14)
David Sela, a professor of food science at UMASS Amherst, comments in a story about the popularity of barbeque in the Boston area. He points out that grilling, cooking on an outside grill, and barbeque, slow cooking, are two different ways to prepare food. (DigBoston.com, 7/3/14)
More than 50 young 4-H members from around western Massachusetts are spending three days at UMass Amherst for “4-H Science Days,” June 29 through July 1. One of four tracks they can choose is “Exploring Veterinary Sciences,” which introduces them to animal sciences and pre-veterinary student activities and discussions. The events take place at the Hadley Farm. (WGGB-TV 40, 6/30/14; News Office release)