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News from the Center

  • 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.
  • Zika virus logo

    Zika Virus

    March 7, 2016
    The Zika virus has been in the national news in recent weeks, and many people are wondering whether this disease is likely to become established in Massachusetts. According to Dr. Stephen Rich, Director of the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, it is highly unlikely that citizens of Massachusetts will contract the disease while in Massachusetts.
  • Green grapes

    2016 Mass Aggie Seminars

    February 26, 2016
    Each year the UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment offer a workshop series for homeowners and small scale farmers. All workshops have a hands-on component that will help participants gain new skills that they can use in their own gardens or landscapes. Locations and registration fees vary.
  • Cow with robotic milking machine

    Dairy Event

    February 11, 2016
    Are you wondering if a robotic milking machine is right for your farm? If so, be sure to attend a one-day conference on Wednesday, February 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield. This event will share perspectives from both farmers and industry representatives on robotic milking to help you decide whether or not robotic milking is a viable option for your farm. Come and speak with farmers who have the system in place.  In addition, presenters from a multi-state collaboration will discuss some options for improving productivity and profitability of forage production. Attendees will enjoy interactive presentations, panel discussions, lunch and refreshments with presenters from UMass, UVM, and UMaine faculty and Extension educators.  Email Kelly at kkraemer@umass.edu to register, fee is $20 per person; including lunch.
  • Rick Harper, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation, checks stress on trees

    Community Tree Conference: Work Safe, Stay Safe

    January 12, 2016
    Got trees? Plan to attend a one-day conference on Tuesday, March 8  from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  at Stockbridge Hall, UMass Amherst. This conference is designed for tree care professionals, volunteers, and enthusiasts including arborists, tree wardens/municipal tree care specialists, foresters, landscape architects and shade tree committee members. The theme of this year's conference will pertain to safe work practices. Topics will include: OSHA and the Tree Care Industry, Climbing Tips for Long-term Physical Health & Safety, and PPE, Deer Ticks and Their Management in the Landscape.  
  • Massachusetts Food System Plan logo

    Massachusetts Local Food Plan Action Completed

    December 15, 2015
    The Mass. Local Food Action Plan has been completed, and has been accepted by the Massachusetts Food Policy Council. After two years of work, and input from more than 1,500 people, the plan offers a set of goals and recommendations to increase production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown and -made foods, create good jobs within the food system, protect natural resources, and reduce hunger. Now, it's time to make the plan a reality.
  • Brook Trout, iconic Massachsuetts fish.photo USFS

    Make Plans for Climate Change

    November 24, 2015
    AMHERST, Mass. – Now it is easier than ever to make plans to adapt to climate change. A coalition of research institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the state’s fish and wildlife agency, this week unveiled a new online tool for use by local decision-makers, conservation managers, land trusts, regional planners, landowners and community leaders in Massachusetts who are interested in taking action in response to climate change. 
  • H. Dennis P. Rayn receives new award

    UMass ECO Professors Ryan and Harper Receive Awards

    November 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.  
  • UAVs demonstrated by Professor Charles Schweik and graduate students, Ryan Wicks and Seth Englebourg

    2016 Massachusetts Envirothon: High-tech devices complement field-based learning

    November 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.
  • Mass Ag Commissioner, John LeBeaux, Sonia Schloeman, UMass Extension and Rich Bonanno, UMass Extension

    Massachusetts Food System Plan released and open for comments

    October 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.
  • Japanese knotweed

    End of Season Wrap-Up for Landscapers: Updates from UMass Extension

    October 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.
  • Carolyn Demoranville at cranberry bog

    UMass Amherst Faculty and Staff Present Programs at Boston Public Market

    October 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.
  • Wes Autio leads NC-140 Rootstock study

    National Award Recognizes Excellence of Rootstock Research

    September 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.
  • Henry Cadorette lll receives 4-H award

    Berkshire County 4-H celebrates 75 years

    September 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 visits Atlas Farm with owner, Gideon Porth

    Congressman Jim McGovern: Farm Tour 2015

    August 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.
  • WRRC 50 year Logo

    Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center’s (WRRC) 50th Anniversary

    August 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.
  • "Thanks, Joe" cut into turf

    Turf Research Field Day Brings Professional Community to UMass Facility

    July 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.
  • SET campers hold 3-D printed items

    4-H’ers Try 3D Printing at On-Campus Camp

    July 8, 2015
    Remember the Replicator on Star Trek? This summer’s 4-H campers are a little young to remember that (they’ll have to wait for next year’s Star Trek Beyond movie to be released). Ok, while we may not yet have that Replicator, we are definitely getting closer. 3D printing technology is rapidly becoming commonplace at work, in schools and at home. 4-H campers discovered this for themselves during their recent Science, Environment and Technology (SET) Camp at UMass Amherst.   
  • Plant Nutrient Regulations in Effect

    New Massachusetts Plant Nutrient Regulations in Effect

    June 20, 2015
    Agricultural producers as well as turf and landscape practitioners in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are advised to keep informed about nutrient management regulations. Statewide plant nutrient regulations are now in effect for turf care and are scheduled to take effect for agricultural production on December 5, 2015.

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