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News from the Center

Crop Research Showcased at UMass Farm in South Deerfield
Mass Ag Field Day research updates
Jul 29, 2014

Enjoy watching pigs run alongside foraging crops? Bumble bees being examined for disease-transmission effects from flowers? Examples of energy-efficient food storage? If so, you would have enjoyed UMass Agricultural Field Day on July 29th. Held under clear skies just twelve hours after an impressive thunderstorm, about 80 farmers, organizational representatives, researchers and others gathered in South Deerfield at the Crop and Animal Research Farm on North River Road from 10:00 to 4:00.

Down to Earth: Nursery and Flower Growers Cover Lots of Ground at Annual Conference
Dr. Michael Dirr, keynote speaker at MNLA conference
Jul 24, 2014

Beautiful weather, a wonderful setting, a plethora of flowering plants, soft turfgrass and knowledgeable speakers all came together perfectly to make the annual joint summer meeting of the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association (MFGA) a valuable event for all who attended. UMass Extension coordinated the day’s educational program, bringing in a variety of speakers and topics for the landscape, nursery and greenhouse industries. 

Massachusetts Fruit Growers Convene at Cold Spring Orchard
Jon Clements explains IPM at Mass Fruit Growers Assoc meeting
Jul 14, 2014

On July 9, Massachusetts fruit farmers convened at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association, held at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown. More than 100 orchardists from all over Massachusetts came together to learn about new methods for growing many of the varieties of fruit they make available to buyers on their orchards and at farmers’ markets.

Fruitful Partnerships: Two Eastern Mass. Farms to Continue Working with UMass Amherst
Pollinator Workshop at Powisett Farm
Jul 1, 2014

On the heels of a successful Spring 2014 Mass Aggie Seminar series held with two new partners in eastern Massachusetts, key organizer Sonia Schloemann (Extension Educator and Fruit Specialist at UMass Amherst), is already planning another set of programs next year with the two farms. Powisett Farm in Dover, Mass. and Tangerini Farms in Millis have been model collaborators, according to Schloemann.  “Powisett and Tangerini Farms were great co-hosts. They share similar values regarding investment in community education and we are delighted to be putting ideas together with them for spring 2015.”

Teens Focused on Sustainable Local Agriculture at This Year’s Massachusetts Envirothon
Berkley 4-H team competes at MA Envirothon
May 21, 2014

The setting for this year’s high school Envirothon, Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass., could not have been more beautiful, nor more appropriate. The hard work, curiosity and environmental passion of 31 teams of high school students and their teacher-coaches was obvious from start to finish.  The all-day environmental competition showcased serious student investment in learning about this timely issue. All schools gave a 15-minute presentation on Sustainable Local Agriculture to a panel of judges.
 

Green Stormgears, Westford Youth Robotics 4-H Club, Place First Statewide
Massachusetts 4-H Robotics Team at World Festival
May 6, 2014

Massachusetts 4-H has yet another reason to be proud. The Green Stormgears from Westford, MA, took first place in the Champions Award Category as the best in judging and robot categories in the state. This afforded them the privilege of representing the Commonwealth in the Championship at the 2014 World Festival in St Louis Missouri on April 28.

Bee Smart, Amherst!
Sonia Schloemann, Extension Educator and Fruit Specialist, educates visitors about beehive choices.
May 6, 2014

A “beehive of activity” had the campus “abuzz” on April 23 at one of the public events held during Pioneer Valley Bee Week, a western Massachusetts initiative to raise awareness about bee health, bee hives and bee habitat.  The event was also one in a series of 2014 events commemorating a century of Extension service and education across the nation.

Mass Agricultural Day at Boston State House
Rich Bonanno, President, MFBF presents Kelly Erwin with Mass Ag Day Award

Farmers! Legislators! Organizations! Local Food!
If you were roaming the marble halls of the Massachusetts State House on March 26, 2014, you would have experienced a barrage of foods, sights and aromas that tout the Baystate’s finest agricultural provisions.The prestigious Agricultural Day Award was presented by Mass. Farm Bureau Federation President, Rich Bonnano, to Kelly Erwin in recognition of her support for the viability and sustainability of the agriculture industry in Massachusetts as former Executive Director of the Mass. Farm to School Project. She was honored as the “Mother of Farm to School” for her heroic efforts over 12 years to bring fresh food into schools all across the Commonwealth. Well done, Kelly!

4-H Summer of Science new video
4H camper sharing his tech project

4-H Summer of Science rolls out exciting new video! Learn about the new adventures young students have on campus as they discover new worlds through the lens of science, engineering and technology. Watch it here.

Durfee Conservatory Sports New Website
Passion flower grows at Durfee Conservatory

Looking for a breath of spring somewhere....anywhere? Visit Durfee Conservatory’s new website as well as the greenhouses!  This information-packed website with lovely floral images will help you remember that spring is arriving soon.

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