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News from the Media

  • 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. (, 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;, 6/4/14;, Nanowerk, 6/3/14)

  • Researchers from UMass Amherst will discuss bee health and pollination issues

    May 29, 2014

    Researchers from UMass Amherst will discuss bee health and pollination issues at the fourth annual Bee Fest from 10 a.m. to noon, June 7, on the town common in Greenfield. (Recorder, 5/29/14)

  • Compact orchards growing in Greater Boston

    May 27, 2014

    Today, with the fresh emphasis on local food and sustainability, experts say they are seeing a renewed interest in planting backyard orchards. For an investment of about $400 for a 10-tree orchard and a little time, urban and suburban dwellers can discover the joys of growing their own fruit — even in small backyards. (Globe 5/27/14)


  • A Gathering With Mother Nature

    May 21, 2014

    When it comes to promoting sustainable local agriculture, what could be more sustainable than preparing the next generation to understand and act on issues that affect local farms?  (Leominster Champion 5/9/14)

  • In these games, Earth’s the big winner

    May 19, 2014

    At Leominster’s Sholan Farms, student competitors bring Massachusetts Envirothon front and center.

    (Sentinel  & Enterprise 5/16/2014)

  • Efforts to combat winter moth

    May 19, 2014

    Joseph Elkinton, UMass Extension, comments in two stories about efforts to combat the winter moth, a destructive insect that is damaging trees in eastern Massachusetts and has now been found in part of Connecticut. (The Day [New London, Conn.], 5/16/14; Wicked Local Marlborough, 5/10/14)

  • The emerald ash borer spreading throughout region

    May 8, 2014

    The emerald ash borer, an insect that kills ash trees, is spreading throughout the region and kills the trees in about two or three years, says Paul Catanzaro, UMass Extension. The insect is spread primarily by humans who move infected firewood from one region to another. (WWLP-TV 22, 5/6/14)