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News from the Center

Summer Scholar Program Kicks Off
Student at microscope in laboratory
May 27, 2016

The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) has kicked off its Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program. This new program provides summer employment internships for UMass Amherst undergraduate students in the labs and offices of University faculty and in communities where professional Extension educators are engaged with citizens. The program will provide substantive professional or academic training and also enhance the goals and objectives of research and extension initiatives associated with CAFE.

UMass Design Center Hosts "Make-it Springfield"
create make connect logo
May 12, 2016

The UMass Design Center together with MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative [TDI] are hosting  "Make-It Springfield", a temporary "pop-up" makerspace in downtown Springfield during June 2016. The Springfield makerspace is the latest downtown revitalization project implemented by Michael DiPasquale, Director of the UMass Design Center, as part of CAFE's  ongoing efforts to spur economic development and revitalization in the state's third largest city.

Garden Clippings: May is the Month to...
May 4, 2016

Asparagus Home lawn and garden tips for the month of May, 2016 include practical and timely advice. Read this monthly resource to know when to set out transplants, harvest asparagus, deal with invasive Japanese knotweed, develop a watering routine, and more.

Maple Sugaring: Tapping into climate impacts, study tours, and new grading system
Maple syrup- colors and grades on shelves
Mar 9, 2016

If you are a devotee of New England sugar houses and their distinctive seasonal crop, you may soon be eating your syrup-drenched pancakes along with a side order of concern.

Kristina Stinson, plant ecologist at the University of Massachusetts, recently received a two-year, $149,800 grant to study the impact of climate change on the quantity and quality of sugar maple sap, including its chemical composition.

Zika Virus
Zika virus logo
Mar 7, 2016

The Zika virus has been in the national news in recent weeks, and many people are wondering whether this disease is likely to become established in Massachusetts. According to Dr. Stephen Rich, Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, it is highly unlikely that citizens of Massachusetts will contract the disease while in Massachusetts.

2016 Mass Aggie Seminars
Green grapes
Feb 26, 2016

Each year the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment offer a workshop series for homeowners and small scale farmers. All workshops have a hands-on component that will help participants gain new skills that they can use in their own gardens or landscapes. Locations and registration fees vary.

Dairy Event
Cow with robotic milking machine
Feb 11, 2016

Are you wondering if a robotic milking machine is right for your farm? If so, be sure to attend a one-day conference on Wednesday, February 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield. This event will share perspectives from both farmers and industry representatives on robotic milking to help you decide whether or not robotic milking is a viable option for your farm. Come and speak with farmers who have the system in place.  In addition, presenters from a multi-state collaboration will discuss some options for improving productivity and profitability of forage production.

Attendees will enjoy interactive presentations, panel discussions, lunch and refreshments with presenters from UMass, UVM, and UMaine faculty and Extension educators. 

Email Kelly at kkraemer[at]umass[dot]edu to register, fee is $20 per person; including lunch.

Community Tree Conference: Work Safe, Stay Safe
Rick Harper, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation, checks stress on trees
Jan 12, 2016

Got trees? Plan to attend a one-day conference on Tuesday, March 8  from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  at Stockbridge Hall, UMass Amherst. This conference is designed for tree care professionals, volunteers, and enthusiasts including arborists, tree wardens/municipal tree care specialists, foresters, landscape architects and shade tree committee members. The theme of this year's conference will pertain to safe work practices. Topics will include: OSHA and the Tree Care Industry, Climbing Tips for Long-term Physical Health & Safety, and PPE, Deer Ticks and Their Management in the Landscape. Pre-registration.

 

Massachusetts Local Food Plan Action Completed
Massachusetts Food System Plan logo
Dec 15, 2015

The Mass. Local Food Action Plan has been completed, and has been accepted by the Massachusetts Food Policy Council. After two years of work, and input from more than 1,500 people, the plan offers a set of goals and recommendations to increase production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown and -made foods, create good jobs within the food system, protect natural resources, and reduce hunger. Now, it's time to make the plan a reality.

Make Plans for Climate Change
Brook Trout, iconic Massachsuetts fish.photo USFS
Nov 24, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – Now it is easier than ever to make plans to adapt to climate change. A coalition of research institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the state’s fish and wildlife agency, this week unveiled a new online tool for use by local decision-makers, conservation managers, land trusts, regional planners, landowners and community leaders in Massachusetts who are interested in taking action in response to climate change. 

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