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News from the Center

UMass ECO Professors Ryan and Harper Receive Awards
H. Dennis P. Rayn receives new award
Nov 9, 2015

Conway, NH--A new award minted the 'Dr. H. Dennis P. Ryan III Award’ was presented to its charter recipient, Dennis Ryan, of the UMass Department of Environmental Conservation (ECO), before an audience of over 200 tree care professionals, enthusiasts and researchers. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), New England. Rick Harper was also presented with the International Society of Arboriculture’s Award of Achievement for outstanding contributions to ISA.  

2016 Massachusetts Envirothon: High-tech devices complement field-based learning
UAVs demonstrated by Professor Charles Schweik and graduate students, Ryan Wicks and Seth Englebourg
Nov 5, 2015

The 29th annual Massachusetts Envirothon kicked off in high gear on November 4 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. Over 200 high school students from 22 Massachusetts communities gathered to attend educational workshops led by UMass professors, graduate students and leaders from environmental organizations throughout the state. Many of the 26 workshops were centered on this year's topic: invasive species.

Massachusetts Food System Plan released and open for comments
Mass Ag Commissioner, John LeBeaux, Sonia Schloeman, UMass Extension and Rich Bonanno, UMass Extension
Oct 27, 2015

Massachusetts state officials released a plan for boosting locally grown food – the first such plan since 1974. This plan (still in draft form) presents goals, recommendations, and actions for our state’s food system that have been developed through an extensive public process directed by the Massachusetts Food Policy Council. Final edits and a thorough review is still in process. Your feedback is important. Comments will be received until Friday, November 6 at 5:00 pm. Comments will be included with responses as part of the final document when it is presented to the Council in December.

End of Season Wrap-Up for Landscapers: Updates from UMass Extension
Japanese knotweed
Oct 27, 2015

This season presented new and recurring hurdles for the maintenance of healthy and attractive landscapes.  Factors such as variable weather and pest outbreaks have compelled changes in day to day approaches as well as modifications to longer-term management plans.  Join UMass Extension educators on November 12 at their home base – the UMass Amherst campus – for a detail-oriented day of learning about the latest management challenges and pest problems.

UMass Amherst Faculty and Staff Present Programs at Boston Public Market
Carolyn Demoranville at cranberry bog
Oct 19, 2015

AMHERST, Mass. – This fall faculty and staff from the University of Massachusetts Amherst are presenting educational programming at the new Boston Public Market (BPM), a 28,000-square-foot, self-sustaining market featuring all locally sourced food.

The market, which opened July 30, is the first of its kind in the nation and offers products that are produced or originate from New England. Participating faculty and staff will present in BPM’s demonstration kitchen, a community engagement area that offers classes, workshops and events.

National Award Recognizes Excellence of Rootstock Research
Wes Autio leads NC-140 Rootstock study
Sep 24, 2015

Dr. Wesley Autio of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst leads tree fruit research trials at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center in Belchertown, Mass.  Professor Autio’s efforts are an important component of an ongoing large multi-state tree fruit research program supported by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that began in 1976. The project was recently awarded the 2015 Excellence in Multistate Research Award from U.S.D.A.’s Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy at a Washington D.C. ceremony.

Berkshire County 4-H celebrates 75 years
Henry Cadorette lll receives 4-H award
Sep 16, 2015

The fair “run by youth for youth” just reached a milestone: fostering youth development for three-quarters of a century.  On August 15, 2015, several hundred attendees experienced classic 4-H fair events featuring goat-milking, rabbit-judging, an equestrian competition and an exhibit of local agricultural photography, among others.

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.

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