Cocoa CRISPR: Gene editing shows promise for improving the 'chocolate tree'

May 9, 2018

Use of the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 could help to breed cacao trees that exhibit desirable traits such as enhanced resistance to diseases, according to Penn State plant scientists.

Graduate student excellence celebrated at awards luncheon

April 30, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron presented 11 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn. The following students received awards. Articles about this year’s award recipients are linked below, by award category. Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award: Kirsten Lloyd, doctoral student in horticulture.

Graduate student excellence celebrated at awards luncheon

April 30, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State President Eric Barron presented 11 awards to more than 30 graduate students in recognition of outstanding achievement during the annual Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held April 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn. The following students received awards. Articles about this year’s award recipients are linked below, by award category. — Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal: Mitchell Hunter, doctoral student in agronomy.

Penn State Extension provides clients with 'study-abroad' opportunities

April 18, 2018

Penn State Extension organized a recent trip to study state-of-the-art crop management in Brazil — one of the world's leading producers of soybeans — for Pennsylvania soybean growers and industry representatives.

White joins Penn State's Department of Plant Science

April 10, 2018

Charles White, assistant professor and extension specialist in soil fertility and nutrient management, recently joined the Department of Plant Science in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

College of Agricultural Sciences welcomes landscape contracting professor

April 3, 2018

Margaret Hoffman recently joined Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences as assistant professor of landscape contracting.

Scholarship will aid Penn State New Kensington student in reaching goals

March 26, 2018

Daniel Stawowczyk, a landscape contracting major at Penn State New Kensington, was the recipient of a scholarship from Pucketos Garden Club that will help support his studies and dream of one day creating his own landscaping company.

Author and chocolatier to visit College of Agricultural Sciences

March 19, 2018

Greg D'Alesandre, vice president of research and development and chocolate "sourcerer" of Dandelion Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco, will be among the panelists for an in-depth discussion on chocolate research.

Coming to a garden near you: An award-winning, Penn State-bred tomato variety

March 15, 2018

Valentine's Day may have passed for this year, but if you're in love with sweet, firm, antioxidant-rich — and award-winning — tomatoes that will perform well in your garden this season, you're in luck, thanks to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "Valentine," a new variety of grape tomato that germinated in the breeding program of plant scientist Majid Foolad, now is available commercially after nearly two decades in development.

College of Agricultural Sciences offers look at ag careers for STEM program

February 21, 2018

Faculty and staff from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences provided students at Harrisburg High School's SciTech campus with a comprehensive look at the variety of disciplines that students can pursue in the agricultural sciences.

Penn State Forage Bowl Team brings National Championship back to Happy Valley

January 24, 2018

For the second year in a row, representatives from the Penn State Agronomy Club, a student organization in the College of Agricultural Sciences, took first place in the National Forage Bowl competition.

Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer

January 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Bean plants that suppress secondary root growth in favor of boosting primary root growth forage greater soil volume to acquire phosphorus, according to Penn State researchers, who say their recent findings have implications for plant breeders and improving crop productivity in nutrient-poor soils. The increase in the length of the root is referred to as primary growth, while secondary growth is the increase in thickness or girth of the root. Because root growth confers a metabolic cost to the plant, bean plants growing in phosphorus-depleted soils that send out longer, thinner roots have an advantage in exploring a greater volume of soil and acquiring more phosphorus.

Landscape contracting student blazes his own trail

December 1, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Elliot Redding, a junior in landscape contracting, is taking full advantage of his time at Penn State to dig into the world of agriculture and find a career he is passionate about. From landscape competitions to networking to mountain biking, Redding is getting hands-on experience doing what he loves. Redding’s interest in landscape contracting began with a job he held between high school and college with Boyer Nurseries and Orchards Inc., a small family-owned business in Biglerville, Pennsylvania. “Working for Boyer helped me realize that I really did want to go into horticulture as a career,” said Redding. He had the opportunity to work with a group of people who were always willing to answer his questions and help him learn about the industry. It also gave him a wide range of experiences including working with design plans, observing day-to-day operations and spending time in different parts of the company.

Phospholutions selected for Innovation Showcase on Capitol Hill

December 1, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State was recognized for its leadership among land-grant universities for its work in entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development at the recent annual meeting for the 237-member Association of Land Grant Universities (APLU) in Washington D.C. At the meeting, Penn State President Eric Barron was named the new chair of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP). Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey was acknowledged as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity (ICEP) University Award finalist. Sharkey was a featured speaker, sharing institutional strategies driving the success of the Invent Penn State initiative.

Stephens recognized for outstanding leadership by Penn State Ag Council

November 30, 2017

Jon Stephens, a senior studying plant sciences in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, was the recipient of Penn State Agricultural Council's Youth Leadership Award, which honors outstanding young leaders in the agricultural community in Pennsylvania.

Penn State group’s role fighting global hunger to be discussed on WPSU on Nov. 5

October 27, 2017

Penn State President Eric J. Barron and a pair of University professors will discuss how a Penn State group is helping fight global hunger during the next episode of WPSU Penn State’s “Digging Deeper” on Nov. 5. The show will air on WPSU-TV at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Research yields test to predict bitter pit disorder in Honeycrisp apples

October 19, 2017

A test to determine whether bitter pit — a disorder that blindsides apple growers by showing up weeks or months after picking — will develop in stored Honeycrisp apples was developed by a team of Penn State researchers, promising to potentially save millions of dollars annually in wasted fruit.

College of Agricultural Sciences professor honored by alma mater

October 18, 2017

Marvin Hall, professor of forage management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, recently was lauded by his alma mater, Bluffton University.

Distinguished Alumni Award Seminar - Dr. Bruce Bugbee

October 11, 2017

Dr. Bruce Bugbee's Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 10:30am in 101 Agricultural Science & Industries Building, University Park Campus. His seminar is titled " Turning Photons into Food: on Earth and on Mars”, or “What Mark Watney Would Have Learned from a Horticulture Degree at Penn State.”

Warming unlikely to have major impact on animal agriculture in Northeast

October 3, 2017

Climate change will not significantly impair animal agriculture in the Northeast region of the United States, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who point out there are many variables in the future scenario they envision.

Barb Stettler among honorees at university homecoming

September 26, 2017

Exceptional Bluffton University alumni and faculty are honored each year during Homecoming weekend at the President’s Banquet. During the event, alumni and faculty who have reached milestones of achievement, service and giving are recognized. This year, alumni awards will be presented to Dr. Marvin H. Hall, a 1977 graduate who will receive the Professional Achievement Award, and Barbara Stettler, associate professor emerita of family and consumer sciences, who will receive the Faculty/Staff Service Award.

The Final Ag Frontier: Plant sciences student looks to the skies

September 15, 2017

Plant sciences student Laura Reese spent her spring semester working for NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida. She performed research in conditions meant to emulate growing plants in space.

Leaf sensors can tell farmers when crops need to be watered

August 30, 2017

Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Post-doctoral Research Associate Position Available in Plant Science

August 29, 2017

Post-doctoral position to coordinate and conduct research and extension activities in a multidisciplinary project on approaches to reducing tillage in an organic, cover crop-based feed grain production system in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Penn State pilot program for hemp research is yielding production insights

August 24, 2017

Penn State was one of 16 sites approved by the state Department of Agriculture as a pilot program for industrial hemp growth and cultivation research following Gov. Tom Wolf's signing of the Industrial Hemp Research Act last year.

Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pa. forests

July 20, 2017

Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.

Geszvain receives 2017 Excellence in Academic Advising Award

June 26, 2017

Tarrah Geszvain, advising coordinator for the plant sciences and landscape contracting undergraduate programs, has received the Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences for 2017.

Research focuses on reclaiming strip-mine sites for biofuel crop production

May 23, 2017

Marvin Hall, a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, is currently working a project to bring highly productive life back to damaged land by planting a crop — switchgrass — that can be used as an alternative fuel source.

Penn State researchers hope to extend berry growing season in Northeast

May 15, 2017

Researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are among a group of researchers examining how the use of high and low tunnels and plastic coverings extend the growing season for strawberries and raspberries, and as a result, increase yields while also reducing pesticide use and improving berry quality and shelf-life.

Student landscaping team builds outdoor space for local Stormbreak house

May 9, 2017

Penn State’s landscape design and landscape construction classes are known for their incredible community projects. But with this year’s undertaking, the courses have gone above and beyond.