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News from the Center

  • Dr. Rakesh Chandran, NEWSS Past-President presents award to Dr. Hilary Sandler

    UMass Amherst Cranberry Expert Wins Lifetime Achievement Honor

    February 15, 2017
    Dr. Hilary Sander, extension associate professor at the UMass Cranberry Station, has received the Northeastern Weed Science Society’s (NEWSS) highest award on January 4, 2017 at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Plant, Pest, and Soils Conference in Philadelphia. She was elected “Fellow,” the highest honor that can be conferred upon a member. This life-time achievement award recognizes her steadfast dedication to research in the field of weed science.
  • Eve Vogel and Christine Hatch at Deerfield River for release of River Smart Report

    Confronting New England's Legacy of Devastating Floods: River-Smart Recommendations

    December 5, 2016
    On a quiet Friday afternoon in early December, two UMass Amherst professors, authors of the just-released booklet Supporting Communities to Become River-Smart, discussed their policy recommendations with a gathering of planners, state officials from Massachusetts and Vermont, community members and others. Celebrating the new publication at a location alongside the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls, site of significant flood damage during Hurricane Irene in 2011, seemed particularly appropriate. Eve Vogel, UMass associate professor of geography and lead researcher, along with Christine Hatch, extension assistant professor of geology, shared five target policies from the new 90-page report, “Supporting Communities to Become River-Smart.”
  • UMass Amherst Turfgrass Expert Wins National Honor

    December 1, 2016
    The Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (GCSAA) has named Patricia Vittum, associate director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment and professor in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a 2017 recipient of its Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award, the first woman to receive it in the organization’s history. It recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding and significant contribution in both substance and duration to the advancement of the golf course superintendent’s profession. Vittum and two other honorees will be formally recognized at the 2017 Golf Industry Show (GIS) in Orlando in February.
  • Joe Perry's workshop about tree identification

    Teens Kick-Off Year of Envirothon on UMass Campus

    November 21, 2016
    On a warm morning in November, coaches and teams of students from 18 Massachusetts high schools arrived on the UMass Amherst campus to get started on this year’s “Envirothon.” The 210 students came from across the state to attend a full day of environmental workshops to prepare for the 2017 Massachusetts Envirothon competition. Students participating in the Envirothon process across North America focus on one current issue for the year; for 2017 the topic is agricultural soil and water conservation. Considering our severe drought this year--connected to the ability of soil to retain limited water-- this issue is certainly timely here in Massachusetts.
  •  onions drying in greenhouse

    UMass Vegetable Winter School: A New Workshop Series

    November 15, 2016
    The University of Massachusetts is rolling out a new workshop series designed specifically for vegetable farm owners, managers and employees. UMass Vegetable Winter School kicks off on January 10, 2017, with two main goals:  to provide education that will help farmers with regulatory compliance and to improve efficiency and overall farm management. This ‘one-stop shopping’ option will allow farmers to learn about and begin to implement many of their regulatory needs at once. 
  • Dr. John Spargo, Director, Agricultural Analytical Services Lab, Penn State University answers a question during the Q&A session at the conference

    Managing Phosphorous (P) in Organic Residuals Applied to Soils

    November 7, 2016
    Responding to the increased need for education on the science behind soil phosphorus, how phosphorus works with organic residuals applied to soils, and the protection of precious water resources, UMass Amherst Extension Agriculture and Commercial Horticulture Program organized and presented a full-day symposium in Marlborough on November 2. Over 140 regulatory officials, scientists, agricultural producers, turf and grounds management professionals, industry experts, and organic residuals distributors participated. 
  • Linda MacIntosh variety

    How About Them Apples?

    September 21, 2016
    Location, location, location. Apparently, this factor for success applies to both real estate and apple trees. Considering the many challenges that fruit tree growers faced during the summer of 2016 with a decimated peach crop and extended drought, at least there is good news for apple aficionados. Jon Clements, UMass Extension educator and fruit specialist, keeps a close watch on orchards across the state. He said, “The overall crop in Massachusetts is down about 20% from average, but it varies widely from orchard to orchard.
  • Drought resistant cultivar lower right corner

    Worried About Watering Your Lawn in the Drought?

    September 1, 2016
    At UMass’s Joseph Troll Turf Research Center in South Deerfield, the researchers are doing some of the worrying for you. When most people they drive by the Research Center, what they see is a lush green lawn. What they may not realize is that these 20 green acres are home to an extensive field of research that many of us benefit from without even knowing it. The primary focus of UMass research at the Research Center is the conservation and protection of one of our most precious natural resources: water.
  • Clubroot gall in Nepal

    Curbing the Spread of Clubroot Disease in Nepal

    August 23, 2016
    Rob Wick, professor of plant pathology and nematology in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, was invited by USAID and Winrock (a leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on agricultural issues) to help farmers curb clubroot disease of brassica crops in Nepal. Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease that affects brassica crops. Farmers cannot easily eliminate this disease, but they can learn methods for controlling the spread of infested plants and soil. This is a serious growing issue that needs systematic intervention and Wick was tapped to help them.
  • Your Future Starts Now Team

    “Your Future Starts Now": A New 4-H Collaboration

    July 14, 2016
    A new collaboration has formed to offer a positive path for a group of young men currently in detention. Called, “Your Future Starts Now,” this four-week program is organized in partnership with UMass' Extension 4-H program, Center for Human Development (CHD),  the Department of Youth Services, and the UMass Student Bridges organization.  4-H Extension Educator Lauren DuBois, along with Stacy Tchouanguem, Alisha Ross and Khalif Nunnally-Rivera of Student Bridges will facilitate this program.
  • Physics camp teaches logic

    4-H Summer of Science Camp

    June 28, 2016
    The wide-ranging menu featured unlikely matches: strawberry jam, physics, horses and movies. It must be summer at 4-H. The UMass Extension 4-H Youth Development program was in full gear June 26-28 as they engaged 59 students from across the state in active hands-on learning on the campus at UMass Amherst.
  • Riverwatcher exhibitor

    Fish Passage 2016: International Conference on River Connectivity

    June 22, 2016
    June 20-22, UMass Amherst hosted an important international forum for researchers and practitioners. The event was at capacity with attendees who have an interest in advancements in technical fishways, nature-like fishways, stream restoration and stabilization, dam removal and road ecology participating from around the world.  Social issues surrounding connectivity projects were also explored including the myriad of funding opportunities, safety concerns, climate change, and more.
  • Lebeaux, Skyrm, Sieger hold full bee frames

    Opening of New State Apiary to Celebrate Pollinator Week in Mass.

    June 21, 2016
    Amherst, MA—June 20, 2016. Governor Charlie Baker declared June 20–26, 2016 as “Massachusetts Pollinator Week.” In support of this declaration, a celebration was held at UMass Amherst’s Agricultural Learning Center (ALC), 911 North Pleasant Street, to open the first state apiary. John Lebeaux, MDAR Commissioner; Daniel Sieger, Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for the Environment; and Kim Skyrm, State Apiary Inspector, examined full Langstroth bee frames. The purpose of the apiary is to serve as a vessel for education, outreach demonstrations and research related to agricultural sustainability, pollination, honey bee health and hive management. This apiary is also considered to be a critical component of the Stockbridge School’s student farm pollinator habitat conservation project.
  • Bay State Legacy

    UMass Hadley Farm Revitalizes the Bay State Morgans

    June 15, 2016
    Hadley, MA – June 13, 2016 – UMass Hadley farm announces its newest arrival, “Bay State Legacy,” a Morgan filly named in memory of alumni and long-time supporter Susan B. Roberts, who passed away unexpectedly last year. The Bay State Morgan line was established in 1951 when the U.S. government disbanded its cavalry horses.
  • Bombus on thistle

    Massachusetts Pollinator Week

    June 13, 2016
    Massachusetts Governor Charles Baker has declared the week of June 20th as MA Pollinator Week. Government officials will visit and learn more about the state apiary located at UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the Agricultural Learning Center, 911 North Pleasant St. The declaration recognizes the impacts of pollinators on agriculture and encourages the public’s support of pollinators. The kick-off is on Monday June 20 at 10 am, and the event is open to the public.
  • Robotics camp

    Summer of Science with 4-H on June 26-28 at UMass Amherst

    June 2, 2016
    Massachusetts 4-H Program expanded its traditional one-day science program to a 3-day 2-night science opportunity on the UMass Amherst Campus.  Each year youth have an exciting opportunity to select a track of study where they spend the day exploring a field of science with faculty, staff or a professional in the field.
  • Student at microscope in laboratory

    Summer Scholar Program Kicks Off

    May 27, 2016
    The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (CAFE) has kicked off its Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program. This new program provides summer employment internships for UMass Amherst undergraduate students in the labs and offices of University faculty and in communities where professional Extension educators are engaged with citizens. The program will provide substantive professional or academic training and also enhance the goals and objectives of research and extension initiatives associated with CAFE.
  • create make connect logo

    UMass Design Center Hosts "Make-it Springfield"

    May 12, 2016
    The UMass Design Center together with MassDevelopment's Transformative Development Initiative [TDI] are hosting  "Make-It Springfield", a temporary "pop-up" makerspace in downtown Springfield during June 2016. The Springfield makerspace is the latest downtown revitalization project implemented by Michael DiPasquale, Director of the UMass Design Center, as part of CAFE's  ongoing efforts to spur economic development and revitalization in the state's third largest city.
  • Garden Clippings: May is the Month to...

    May 4, 2016
    Home lawn and garden tips for the month of May, 2016 include practical and timely advice. Read this monthly resource to know when to set out transplants, harvest asparagus, deal with invasive Japanese knotweed, develop a watering routine, and more.
  • Maple syrup- colors and grades on shelves

    Maple Sugaring: Tapping into climate impacts, study tours, and new grading system

    March 9, 2016
    If you are a devotee of New England sugar houses and their distinctive seasonal crop, you may soon be eating your syrup-drenched pancakes along with a side order of concern. Kristina Stinson, plant ecologist at the University of Massachusetts, recently received a two-year, $149,800 grant to study the impact of climate change on the quantity and quality of sugar maple sap, including its chemical composition.

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