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News from the Media

  • Assuring Good Nutrition for Astronauts

    October 8, 2014

    AMHERST, Mass. – Maintaining the nutritional value of astronauts’ food in space over long periods without refrigeration is a challenge, particularly for the essential vitamins. Now University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientists Hang Xiao and colleagues have received a three-year, $982,685 grant from NASA to investigate the degradation of essential vitamins over time in spaceflight foods, and develop strategies to minimize loss. (10/8/14 UMass News Office)

     

  • Rice is growing in Franklin County

    October 7, 2014

    It may not sound entirely astounding, since Franklin County agriculture yields everything from hops and barley and wheat to barramundi, but rice, a crop that’s believed to have little historical precedent in Massachusetts, has been alive and well as a crop here for decades.

    Sue Bridge, who created an edible permaculture garden surrounding a home she built in Conway about seven years ago to demonstrate sustainable living practices, has about 450 square feet of rice ready for harvest probably sometime this week. (Recorder 10/7/14)

  • For the DeMoranvilles, cranberries run in the family

    October 5, 2014

    WAREHAM — UMass Amherst's Cranberry Station in Wareham is full of DeMoranvilles. That's the name of a variety of cranberry grown there and named after the station's former director, Irving DeMoranville.

    Though Irving died in 1998, his daughters are keeping the cranberries in the family, working at the station on One State Bog Road. His eldest daughter, Carolyn, has directed the station since 2002. Nancy, his younger daughter, currently works as a technician combatting predatory weeds at the bog.

    "He was pretty happy when I decided to work here," Carolyn said. "He liked having us close to home." (SouthCoastTODAY.com 10/5/14)

  • 100th anniversary of UMass Extension Celebrated

    September 26, 2014

    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)

  • UMass celebrating Cooperative Extension Service founding Friday

    September 24, 2014

    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)

     

  • Western Mass tomatoes stricken with blight

    September 5, 2014

    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)

  • Recent cooler, rainier weather in Valley creates problems for some crops

    August 22, 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)

  • Youth do all the leg work for 74th annual Berkshire County 4-H Youth Fair

    August 17, 2014

    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)
     

  • Senate bill includes $5 million for UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham

    August 6, 2014

    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)

  • UMass farm showcases field rotation, solar innovations, bee research

    July 30, 2014

    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)

  • UMass Professor: Farmland, Solar Arrays Can Co-exist

    July 16, 2014

    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)

  • Boston on the Barbie: Searching for New England’s Spot in the BBQ History Books

    July 3, 2014

    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)

  • 4-H Science Camp Attracts Students Across Commonwealth

    July 1, 2014

    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)

  • UMass Amherst faculty members named “Highly Cited Researchers 2014”

    June 30, 2014

    A new list announced recently by Thomson Reuters names four UMass Amherst faculty members associated with the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment among “the world’s leading scientific minds.” Their publications are among the most influential in their fields. They include Eric Decker, David Julian McClements, Yeonhwa Park, all of food science and Baoshan Xing, environmental soil and chemistry. (Recorder, 6/29/14; News Office release)

  • Scientists discover new tick-borne illness

    June 30, 2014

    People have another reason to watch out for the tiny deer tick that transmits Lyme disease.
    Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst this spring detected the presence of a newly recognized disease in 12 deer ticks found on or near state residents — including six people from Cape Cod.
    Still so new it doesn't have its own name, Borrelia miyamotoi is being known by the species of bacterium that causes a relapsing fever type of illness. (Cape Cod Times 06/30/14)

  • Hundreds Gather for Largest Beekeeping Event in Northeast

    June 24, 2014

    Beekeepers from across Massachusetts and NE states meet at UMass Agronomy Farm for annual field day. (Recorder, 6/23/14; WGGB-TV 40, WSHM-TV 3, 6/21/14)

  • Home gardeners can help save the bees — and our food supply

    June 24, 2014

    Many people who are interested in gardening and sustainability have become familiar with the term “colony collapse disorder.” While no single cause has been identified, local bee experts attribute the loss of bees in recent years to a mix of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and more typical predation by mites and diseases that destroy hives. (Hampshire Gazette 6/20/14)

  • Recent Federal National Climate Assessment Report Discussed

    June 24, 2014

    Professor Michael Rawlins, Manager Climate system Resource Center at University of Massachusetts discusses recently released federal National Climate Assessment Report. (WGBY 5/19/14)

  • State Initiative Shows Brockton Residents How to Eat Better

    June 23, 2014

    An event, which kicked off a healthy food initiative by Mass in Motion Healthy Market Program, is intended to promote the importance of eating healthy.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NIFA awards $495,950 grant to improve food safety

    June 4, 2014

    A research team led by UMass Amherst food scientist Sam Nugen has received a $495,950 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to improve food safety by developing faster methods for detecting and separating microbial contamination out of food. New techniques designed by Nugen and fellow food scientists Amanda Kinchla and doctoral student Juhong Chen, with nanochemist Vincent Rotello, should help food manufacturers avoid costly waiting for safety tests before products can be sold.  (Springfield Republican/MassLive, 6/4/14; Azonano.com, 6/4/14; Phys.org, Nanowerk, 6/3/14)

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