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News from the Center

  • Mass Ag Field Day research updates

    Crop Research Showcased at UMass Farm in South Deerfield

    July 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.
  • Dr. Michael Dirr, keynote speaker at MNLA conference

    Down to Earth: Nursery and Flower Growers Cover Lots of Ground at Annual Conference

    July 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. 
  • Jon Clements explains IPM at Mass Fruit Growers Assoc meeting

    Massachusetts Fruit Growers Convene at Cold Spring Orchard

    July 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.
  • Pollinator Workshop at Powisett Farm

    Fruitful Partnerships: Two Eastern Mass. Farms to Continue Working with UMass Amherst

    July 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.”
  • Berkley 4-H team competes at MA Envirothon

    Teens Focused on Sustainable Local Agriculture at This Year’s Massachusetts 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.  
  • Massachusetts 4-H Robotics Team at World Festival

    Green Stormgears, Westford Youth Robotics 4-H Club, Place First Statewide

    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.
  • Sonia Schloemann, Extension Educator and Fruit Specialist, educates visitors about beehive choices.

    Bee Smart, Amherst!

    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.
  • Rich Bonanno, President, MFBF presents Kelly Erwin with Mass Ag Day Award

    Mass Agricultural Day at Boston State House

    April 14, 2014
    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!
  • 4H camper sharing his tech project

    4-H Summer of Science new video

    April 1, 2014
    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.
  • Passion flower grows at Durfee Conservatory

    Durfee Conservatory Sports New Website

    March 20, 2014
    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.
  • 4-H camp

    Massachusetts 4-H Camps: 2014 Spring & Summer

    April 1, 2014
    Join one of the many camp offerings for youth in Massachusetts. Camps are educational and interactive, a great way to encourage the love of animals in young people ages 8-18.
  • Amanda Kinchla teaches class

    Farmers and Food Producers Gain Food Safety Training

    March 26, 2014
    UMass Food Science Extension recently held an intensive 3.5-day course called “Better Process Control School” to train existing and would-be food producers in the fundamentals of food safety processing techniques and in meeting FDA requirements.
  • Student in Winter School

    UMass Winter School for Turf Managers: A Tradition of Excellence

    February 4, 2014
    You might think a lot has changed since 1927, and you would be right in many respects. One thing that has not changed is the top-quality training that turf professionals have received at UMass Amherst’s prestigious ‘Winter School for Greenkeepers.’ Established at Massachusetts Agricultural College in the same year that Charles Lindbergh made the first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic, Winter School maintains the same rigorous standards as it did then, through classroom, laboratory and discussion activities in a seven-week intensive format.
  • VASCI to host NESA annual meeting

    January 30, 2014
    The Northeast Student Affiliate (NESA) of the Student Affiliate Division (SAD) of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) annual meeting will be hosted by the Veterinary and Animal Sciences (VASCI) faculty and students on Saturday, February 8.
  • Sonia Schloemann discusses rasperries at Powisett Farm, Dover, MA

    Extension IPM: Second Century of Boots on the Ground

    December 22, 2013
    Since its beginnings early in the twentieth century, UMass Extension has always brought new methods, new research, information and best practices to farmers across Massachusetts. Today, UMass Extension continues this tradition by reaching out, finding and training growers across the Commonwealth about methods in Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Dean Goodwin receives Paris Award

    Dean Goodwin receives Paris Award

    December 20, 2013
    Dean Steve Goodwin, of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst, received the Guy L. Paris Award from Jim Ward, President of the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers’ Association and owner of Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, Mass. This prestigious award was presented at the 2013 New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference in December, 2013 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • Gretchen May, retired from Extension Service

    Reflections on 36 Years of Extension Work

    December 18, 2013
     While much has changed since Gretchen May first started coming to work in the courthouse in Greenfield for the Franklin County Extension Service in 1977, a lot has stayed the same. While the geography and the subject areas of May’s work have changed over the years, her overall goals and style of work have remained consistent. “My work has always been centered on responding to people’s needs. We learned what was needed and then went out and helped people. With newspaper columns and radio shows, newsletters, workshops, and more, we brought information on how to respond to family issues to people in whatever way we could.”
  • Scott Jackson

    Jackson Named Conservationist of the Year by The Nature Conservancy

    December 16, 2013
    Scott Jackson, Extension associate professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation, has been named the 2013 Conservationist of the Year by The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts to recognize his efforts in conserving the Bay State’s lands and waters. The award was presented Dec. 12 at the organization’s Boston office. “Scott Jackson has been a tireless advocate for science-based conservation for more than 20 years,” said Wayne Klockner, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. “Honoring him as our 2013 Conservationist of the Year provides just a small portion of the recognition he deserves for his countless contributions to the health of Massachusetts’ natural environment.”
  • Weeds on a cranberry farm being treated by Katherine Ghantous with the type of open flame cultivation tool used in the study.

    Flame Cultivation promising as weed control method for cranberry

    December 2, 2013
    Cranberries are important agricultural commodities in states such as Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon. But cranberry-growing operations are challenged by weeds, which compete for precious resources and often decrease fruit yields and revenues. Producers currently rely on weed management strategies such as flooding and sanding cranberry beds, hand-weeding, or applications of pre- and postemergence herbicides.
  • Kathleen Draper addresses Biochar Conference

    Harvesting Hope

    October 25, 2013
    For four days in October, the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts became the hub of the biochar universe, as 300 researchers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers from across North America and the world met for the 2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium. Focused on the Symposium’s theme – Harvesting Hope: The Science and Synergies of Biochar – participants from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, France, Mexico, Cameroon, Wales, and Germany attended plenaries, workshops, keynote addresses, a Tech Field Day, videos, and a Biochar Banquet.

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