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News from the Center

Congressman Jim McGovern: Farm Tour 2015
Congressman Jim McGovern visits Atlas Farm with owner, Gideon Porth
Aug 27, 2015

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA 2nd District) has an appetite for ending hunger. In late August, 2015, he took time from his hectic schedule to tour 13 small to medium-sized farms in his district. Among agenda items, he wanted to learn what was happening with local agriculture, how people are getting fed and how he could be helpful with issues faced by farmers. McGovern easily pulls together threads of connection between healthy food as medicine, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries and sustainable agricultural economies. An aspect of several local farms that interested him is their contribution of local produce to food banks and survival centers with some farms offering discounted CSA shares to low-income people.

Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center’s (WRRC) 50th Anniversary
WRRC 50 year Logo
Aug 25, 2015

To help make one-half century of water research at the University of Massachusetts, the public is invited to attend WRRC’s 50th anniversary dinner and a weekend of water-related talks and presentations.  The dinner is Friday, September 11th, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm in the Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall, UMass Amherst Campus. Although dinner is free, registration is required.

Turf Research Field Day Brings Professional Community to UMass Facility
"Thanks, Joe" cut into turf
Jul 30, 2015

Every two years, a Turf Research Field Day is hosted by the UMass Turf Program at the UMass Joseph Troll Turf Research Facility in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. This year’s program, held on July 15, featured discussions and demonstrations of ten ongoing research projects. Over 200 municipal turf managers, lawn care professionals, school field superintendents and others from the “green industry” spent the day under the shadow of Mount Sugarloaf learning about new research developments.

4-H’ers Try 3D Printing at On-Campus Camp
SET campers hold 3-D printed items
Jul 8, 2015

Remember the Replicator on Star Trek? This summer’s 4-H campers are a little young to remember that (they’ll have to wait for next year’s Star Trek Beyond movie to be released). Ok, while we may not yet have that Replicator, we are definitely getting closer. 3D printing technology is rapidly becoming commonplace at work, in schools and at home. 4-H campers discovered this for themselves during their recent Science, Environment and Technology (SET) Camp at UMass Amherst.   

New Massachusetts Plant Nutrient Regulations in Effect
Plant Nutrient Regulations in Effect

Agricultural producers as well as turf and landscape practitioners in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are advised to keep informed about nutrient management regulations.  Statewide plant nutrient regulations are now in effect for turf care and are scheduled to take effect for agricultural production on December 5, 2015.
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Slovenian Bee Expert Visits UMass Amherst to Promote World Bee Day
Slovenian Professor Bozic discusses pollinators and World Bee Day
Jun 18, 2015

Janko Božič, professor of animal behavior and beekeeping at Ljubljana University, Slovenia  visited the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on June 15, 2015. Professor Božič recently met with officials at the United Nations about bee conservation and to establish a World Bee Day in recognition of the importance of these insect pollinators to food crops and agriculture around the globe.

UMass Agricultural Field Day set for June 24
grains
Jun 17, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. — The UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment will be hosting their annual Agricultural Field Day on Wednesday, June 24th from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. It will be held at the University of Massachusetts Crop and Animal Research Center located at 89-91 North River Road, South Deerfield, MA

University of Massachusetts has a 358-acre agronomy and vegetable farm that conducts research on vegetable crops, agronomic and bioenergy crops, organic agriculture and pasture. The farm has a both a student-run vegetable project as well a project that researches cattle, offering students hands-on experience with livestock. Faculty, extension staff, and graduate students conduct applied research and are assisted by technicians, field staff and undergraduate students.

Ruth Hazzard, Longtime Extension Educator for Vegetable Farmers, to Retire
Ruth Hazzard teaching vegetable farmers
May 27, 2015

When Ruth Hazzard’s name is invoked on farms across the Commonwealth, the very image of a dedicated agricultural specialist comes to mind.

Since she joined UMass Extension in 1989, her commitment to the work of UMass Extension’s Vegetable Program has grown and evolved as techniques and new developments have emerged and evolved as the nature of Extension itself has changed.  During these decades full of change, what has remained constant is Extension’s ability—and Ruth Hazzard’s commitment--to serve an industry with science-based research and education.

Massachusetts 4-H Foundation Celebrates 60 years
Board Chair Kent Lage talks wtih Plant-A-Smile 4H Newton Club
May 26, 2015

Since 1955, the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation has been focused and clear about their mission: fostering youth development.  During their 60th annual meeting held this May, a gathering of staff, trustees, volunteers, supporters and 4-H club members took the opportunity to applaud the work of six decades.

Board Chair Kent Lage, conducted annual Board business, and then acted as Emcee for this festive event.  Joanne Brown received special recognition for her boundless energy and enthusiasm as a volunteer working with two 4-H clubs as well as regional and statewide organizations.  All five summer 4-H camps were awarded monetary gifts from The Yawkey Foundation. And those who benefit directly from efforts of MA 4-H Foundation were there: participating students. Plant-A-Smile 4-H Club members from Newton wowed the audience with a presentation about their tech-savvy GIS mapping project.

2015 Mass. Envirothon winners announced
Students examine water at MA Envirothon
May 18, 2015

A school year of preparation paid off for local teenagers who were rewarded for their knowledge of the environment at the 28th annual Massachusetts Envirothon. They were among more than 250 high school students from 30 Massachusetts communities from Boston to the Berkshires who descended on the Quabbin Reservoir on Thursday, May 14, 2015, for the outdoor field competition.

"These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment," said Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Will Snyder of the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

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