College of Agriculture and Natural Resources announces Ag Day date

February 24, 2014 under CANR News

Ag Day 2014Ag Day, an annual tradition of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware, will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The theme of Ag Day 2014 is “Feed the World. Protect the Planet.” In keeping with this theme, the Food Bank of Delaware will be on hand accepting donations of non-perishable food items.

Members of the campus community, and the surrounding community, are encouraged to join the college for a day filled with music, exhibitors, great food, and fun on UD’s South Campus.

Celebrating all that the college has to offer, visitors can experience everything from bird shows to bee demonstrations, livestock exhibits, 4-H arts and crafts, farm tours, plant sales, and much more.

The event will be held at CANR’s Townsend Hall, located at 531 South College Avenue in Newark. Both admission and parking are free and the event is open to the public.

Ag Day is family friendly, however, for the safety of the live animal demonstrations, organizers ask that all pets be left at home.

Registration for exhibitors and vendors is now open and runs until March 14. Registration is available on the Ag Day website.

The website also features additional information, announcements, and schedules, and will be updated as the event approaches.

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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UD graduate Acciacca serves as military veterinarian at Camp Lejeune

August 26, 2013 under CANR News

Rachel Acciacca serves as a military veterinarianBefore enrolling at the University of Delaware, Rachel Acciacca knew that she wanted to accomplish two things in her professional life — serve the nation in the military and become a veterinarian. Once she heard about the Army Veterinary Corps, she knew her path was set.

Acciacca, a Veterinary Corps officer in the U.S. Army, was a UD Honors Program student who studied animal science as a pre-veterinary major in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR). She also minored in biology and completed four years in Army ROTC.

At CANR, Capt. Acciacca served as an Ag Ambassador, was a member of Sigma Alpha and assisted with Ag Day. She was also a member of the women’s ice hockey club team and rode and trained horses and competed in eventing, an equestrian sport that involves dressage, cross-country and show jumping.

After being commissioned as a second lieutenant out of ROTC and receiving an educational delay to postpone her active duty service obligation until after veterinary school, Acciacca earned her doctor of veterinary medicine degree from North Carolina State University in 2011.

Following graduation, she was assigned to the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and after completing her internship she was assigned to her current position as branch chief of Veterinary Services at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.

As a military veterinarian, she provides around the clock emergency, medical, and surgical support to the military working dogs (MWDs) throughout coastal North Carolina. “I am responsible for ensuring that these MWDs are medically fit for short-notice deployment, and managing their routine preventive care,” said Acciacca. “I am also responsible for managing our veterinary treatment facility, which provides routine veterinary care for service members’ privately owned animals.”

Acciacca said that she also provides veterinary support to the base horse stables and works closely with the installation’s public health and preventive medicine teams on issues such as “disease control, rabies prevention and control, animal control, and epidemiological studies.”

Being an Army veterinarian is not simply limited to taking care of animals, as Acciacca explained there are many facets to the job.

“Military veterinarians need to be prepared to manage and respond to an extremely wide variety of mission requirements, environments and unpredictable situations,” she said. “You may get tasked with developing an agricultural support mission in a developing country, respond to a food-borne disease outbreak in your area of operations, develop casualty evacuation procedures, or respond to a foreign animal disease risk.”

In her role as branch chief at Camp Lejeune, her overall mission is to lead and supervise military and civilian staff.

“I oversee our unit’s training and mission readiness to ensure that all soldiers are competent in the basic soldier skills and their job-specific tasks. Our veterinary services mission here at Camp Lejeune has two main categories — veterinary medical services and public health and veterinary food inspection and quality assurance for the surrounding installations.”

Their food inspection and quality assurance mission involves inspecting all sustenance that is delivered and sold on base to ensure that it is wholesome and safe for the consumers.

While Acciacca has no set day-to-day routine, as each day presents its own unique challenges, she does try to dedicate one day a week to privately owned animal surgeries, two days a week to military working dog medicine and surgery, and a day to handle managerial and branch leadership issues.

The soldiers of Camp Lejeune veterinary services also dedicate one day a week to training to ensure they stay up-to-date on general military skills such as marksmanship, land navigation, leadership skills, and resiliency training.

Experience at UD

Acciacca said she enjoyed her time at UD, and said that CANR helped set her on the road to success. “The close-knit community at CANR was very supportive and encouraging,” she said. “I still remember individual professors who went out of their way to support me and prepare me for veterinary school. Everyone there was always so approachable, and I truly felt that they were dedicated to seeing me succeed.”

For any UD students currently interested in applying to veterinary school after graduation, Acciacca said, “Don’t ever doubt your ability to become a veterinarian — if you want it badly enough, you will make it happen. Work hard, seek out many different types of animal or veterinary-related experience you can, and keep your mind open. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a blast and I wouldn’t trade my job for anything.”

Article by Adam Thomas

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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Largest crowd ever turns out for Ag Day 2013 festivities

May 2, 2013 under CANR News

Ag Day Bird showBeautiful weather, great entertainment and a variety of agricultural and environmental exhibits combined to make Ag Day 2013 the largest in history, with more than 8,000 visitors in attendance.

The record crowd of visitors gathered at the 38th annual Ag Day were able to see over 90 interactive exhibits and witness a variety of demonstrations including a beehive demonstration, a free flight bird show, a Seeing Eye dog demonstration, a tree climbing exhibition, live bands featuring University of Delaware faculty and professionals, and the unveiling of a portrait of Robin Morgan, former dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

New to Ag Day this year were horse-drawn wagon tours of the UD farm put on by Circle C Outfit from Bridgeville, Del., which featured Rick, one of the horses from UD’s herd.

Always popular at Ag Day are the many plant sales by the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens (UDBG), UD Horticulture Club and New Castle County Master Gardeners, and the ice cream from the UDairy Creamery. This year the UDairy Creamery sold ice cream to over 3,600 patrons, practically doubling the amount that they sold at Ag Day 2012.

Also popular was the free flight bird show, which is put on by a CANR alumnus. “One of the unique things that we’ve been able to offer the past few years is we have an animal science alum who does animal training and behavior, who travels around the U.S. to train educators to conduct live bird shows,” explained Katy O’Connell, communications manager in CANR. “At Ag Day, he offers two free flight bird demonstrations where he has macaws, vultures, hawks and even chickens that he trains to do live demonstrations.” The crowd for the 2 p.m. showing topped 500 audience members.

CANR Dean Mark Rieger, having been hired in August 2012, was on hand for his first Ag Day and welcomed those in attendance, saying, “We hope that you learn something about agriculture, and we also hope that you learn something about natural resources — that’s the other part of our name. If you take the farm tour and you go on the carriage ride, you’re going to see wetlands, you’re going to see streams, you’re going to see woods, you’re going to see songbirds. If you go inside, you’re going to have a wildlife display in there, an entomology display, and things like that. So there’s a lot of different things here today; make sure you get around and see all those things.”

Rieger also thanked O’Connell, who led the organization of the event, along with eight undergraduate students, Kim Yackoski, CANR assistant dean, and Latoya Watson, CANR academic adviser, before handing the microphone over to Tom Sims, CANR deputy dean, who had a special presentation for Morgan.

Robin Morgan’s portrait

The portrait — a CANR tradition that sees each dean get their portrait painted and hung in Townsend Hall — was unveiled by Rieger and Sims.

Of Morgan, Sims said, “It was my privilege to work with [Morgan] as associate dean and deputy dean for nine years. She really was committed to our students, our undergraduate students, she was committed to our faculty, she built our faculty by hiring many of our current faculty members and was committed to agriculture and natural resources as she demonstrated throughout her tenure as dean.”

After unveiling the portrait, painted by Kellie Cox, a UD alumna, Sims continued saying, “This is just a small way of saying thank you to Robin for all that she’s done. She’s now back on the faculty getting ready to teach a big class this fall so her commitment to agriculture and our students just goes on and on.”

Rieger echoed these sentiments adding, “I want to thank Robin for coming out today and all the things that she did for the college. It makes my job a lot easier having to step into her shoes when she has done so much for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.”

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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Volunteers Needed for Ag Day 2013

April 14, 2013 under CANR News, Events

Ag Day is an annual tradition held by the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This year, on April 27th from 10 am to 4 pm, people will be visiting from all over the area to experience agriculture and the natural world through hands on education exhibitors, live demonstrations, as well as great food and music. Oh, and let’s not forget about that amazing ice cream from the UDairy Creamery!

Ag Day is an amazing experience, but with a crowd of over 5000 people, Ag Day would not be able to operate without the help of volunteers! Volunteers will work for periods of 2 hours and 10 minutes over the course of the day (from 8 am to roughly 6 pm).

Here is the breakdown of the volunteer time slots:
8-10:10 am
10 am -12:10 pm
12-2:10 pm
2-4:10 pm
4-6(ish) pm -clean up- Anyone who stays for the cleanup shift will receive FREE PIZZA!!

This is a great way to earn some of those community service hours you may need! Plus, all volunteers receive a FREE colorful volunteer t-shirt, and when your shift is over, we encourage you to go explore the rest of Ag Day!

Can’t make it on that Saturday but still want to be a part of this amazing experience? Have no fear! There is also a shift on Friday April 26th from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm to help with setup.

Please remember, Ag Day is not successful without the help of volunteers! It’s you that makes Ag Day so special! So we encourage you to come on out and help us make Ag Day the best it can be!

If you are interested in helping out, please contact the Ag Day team at AgDay2013Volunteers@gmail.com with any time conflicts, and we will sign you up for a shift. Please respond by April 23rd.

If you are an Ag Ambassador, part of UDET or apart of any other special club, please let us know as well.

Hope to see you at Ag Day!

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Ag Day to feature interactive exhibits, demonstration, music, food and more

April 10, 2013 under CANR News, Events

AG Day 2013 set for April 27Ag Day, the annual event held by the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), is once again fast approaching. Students, faculty and the greater Newark community are encouraged to come out from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, April 27, for great food, music and, of course, interactive educational exhibits and demonstrations about agriculture and natural resources.

Organized by staff and students of CANR, Ag Day works with more than 90 organizations to bring hands-on exhibits, demonstrations and activities for kids and adults alike. From petting a farm animal or racing cockroaches, to listening to local bands and enjoying the UDairy Creamery’s newest flavors, there is plenty to keep visitors busy all day.

Ag Day will be held at CANR’s Townsend Hall, located at 531 South College Ave. in Newark. Admission and parking are free, with minimal charges for food, crafts, vendor sales and hayrides, with the profits going back to student and community organizations.

Those who attend are encouraged to visit the popular Ag Day plant sales offered by the UD Botanic Gardens, New Castle County Master Gardeners and Horticulture Club.

New this year are an Insect Zoo offered by the UD Entomology Club, horse=drawn wagon rides, a live herpetology display and more demonstrations than ever before. Live demonstrations throughout the day include two free-flight bird demonstrations from Behavior and Training Solutions, tree-climbing demonstrations from Bartlett Tree Services, dairy cow showmanship, sheep shearing, beekeeping, food canning and preservation, Seeing Eye dog demonstrations, gardening tips and more.

Bands performing all include at least one member who works for the college, and include Tater Patch, Dodging Cupid, The Hook and The Essentials.

Visitors are encouraged to use parking lots at UD’s Science and Technology Campus, ice arenas, Delaware Field House and Delaware Stadium, and also to use SEPTA/DART parking lots. Please use cross walks and obey all signs and signals. Those with handicapped tags are encouraged to enter near the Delaware Field House and proceed toward the UDairy Creamery for designated parking.

For the safety of the live animal exhibits, visitors are asked to leave their pets at home.

Ag Day 2013 is made possible through the support of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ag College Council, Delaware Livable Lawns and additional sponsors.

For general information, FAQs, a full list of exhibitors and the day’s music and demonstration schedule, visit the Ag Day website.

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College of Agriculture and Natural Resources announces Ag Day date

March 6, 2013 under CANR News

Ag Day 2013 date announcedAg Day, an annual tradition of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at the University of Delaware, will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Members of the campus community, and the surrounding community, are encouraged to join the college for a day filled with music, exhibitors, great food, and fun on UD’s South Campus.

Celebrating all that the college has to offer, visitors can experience everything from bird shows to bee demonstrations, livestock exhibits, 4-H arts and crafts, farm tours, plant sales, and much more.

The event will be held at CANR’s Townsend Hall, located at 531 South College Avenue in Newark. Both admission and parking are free and the event is open to the public.

Ag Day is family friendly, however, for the safety of the live animal demonstrations, organizers ask that all pets be left at home.

Registration for exhibitors and vendors opened on March 4 and will be available on the Ag Day website. The website also features additional information, announcements, and schedules, and will be updated as the event approaches.

Article by Kelsey Schwenk

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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UDairy Creamery gets birthday cake, new flavor at Ag Day 2012

May 1, 2012 under CANR News

The unseasonable cold did not stop people from making tracks to Ag Day 2012. This year’s event featured a free flight bird show, a beehive demonstration, a tree climbing exhibition, live bands and a special birthday party for the UDairy Creamery, which celebrated the opening of its doors one year ago at Ag Day 2011.

At the birthday celebration, Robin Morgan, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), welcomed everybody to Ag Day 2012 and thanked those responsible for organizing the event.

Morgan then focused on the UDairy Creamery birthday celebration, saying, “We broke ground two years ago, last year we cut the ribbon and today we’re going to have a birthday cake.”

Katy O’Connell, communications manager for CANR, spoke next, thanking all those in attendance and taking a moment to recognize Morgan, who will be stepping down as dean and returning to the faculty at the end of this academic year.

O’Connell thanked Morgan for everything that she has done for CANR, saying, “She has just been such a wonderful support for Ag Day and the team. And anytime we’ve had a new idea, she’s supported us wholeheartedly.  She’s always here every Ag Day from the minute we open until the last table is taken down. She’s really been great and we wanted to thank her especially at this Ag Day.”

Morgan was then in for a surprise treat as O’Connell handed over the microphone to Melinda Litvinas, UDairy Creamery manager, who informed Morgan that the creamery has created a special flavor in Morgan’s honor.

Litvinas said, “We don’t know if Dean Morgan has noticed this yet, but in honor of her support of the UDairy Creamery in the past years, we’re now selling ‘Robin’s Egg,’ which is vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks and toffee pieces.”  The flavor was inspired by a submission by Mark Barteau, UD senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives, in the fall Blue Hen Signature Flavor Contest.

Litvinas went on to announce that the creamery will now be making and selling their very own ice cream cakes, which will be available in different sizes in the store, and can be ordered on-line at the creamery website.

The birthday cake, made by Leigh Ann Tona, a management major with an entrepreneurial studies minor who works at the creamery, was then unveiled and Jacob Hunt, a senior in CANR and assistant manager of the UDairy Creamery, led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

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Ag Day visitors can do the ‘waggle dance’ at beehive exhibit

April 27, 2012 under CANR News

There’s something for almost everyone at Ag Day, this Saturday, April 28, at the University of Delaware. There’ll be pony rides, farm tours, the UD Botanic Gardens plant sale, sheep-shearing demos and free-flight bird shows. And, at one of the most popular attractions, a chance to see an open beehive and learn how to do the “waggle dance.”

Debbie Delaney, a UD assistant professor of entomology and wildlife ecology, is responsible for the Ag Day bee exhibit, which is staffed by her graduate and undergraduate students.

“Visitors do seem to like the bee exhibit,” acknowledges Delaney. “In recent years, I think people have become more aware of the critical role that bees play in pollinating crops – here in North America they’re responsible for pollinating some 90 crops.”

Beyond that, notes Delaney, “bees are fascinating social insects. People want to learn more about them. Take the ‘waggle dance,’ performed by honeybees. With this figure-eight dance, honeybees are able to tell their hive mates where to find patches of flowers, water, new housing locations and more. The direction of the dance demonstrates the angle other bees should fly to find the nectar source.  And the speed of the movements indicates the value of the source.”

At Ag Day, waggle dances and open beehive demonstrations (by veiled beekeepers in a cage) get the most attention. But visitors who check out the rest of the exhibit will discover that UD’s bee program is abuzz with activity.

“It’s an exciting time to be a bee researcher at UD,” says Delaney. “We have lots of going on, from the addition of a second apiary to several innovative research projects.”

Delaney is starting the second year of a research study to see if bumblebees improve crop productivity. Before this project, bumblebee research hadn’t been conducted in Delaware since the 1940s. But Delaney and her co-researcher, Gordon Johnson, a Cooperative Extension fruit and vegetable specialist, see potential in bumblebees.

“Over the past decade, managed honeybee populations have been in decline due to colony collapse disorder and other factors,” says Delaney. “In response, growers and researchers have started to pay a lot of attention to native pollinators, and in particular, to bumblebees.”

Delaney also is excited that the University will soon be home to two apiaries — the existing 22-hive teaching apiary and a new research apiary operated in collaboration with Penn State University and supported by the Environmental Protection Agency. Delaney and other researchers will use this apiary to study non-chemical ways to manage parasites in colonies.

The teaching apiary, tucked below mature black locust and tulip poplar trees, is the hands-on classroom for Delaney’s beekeeping class. Her students steward their own hives and learn bee biology and beekeeping skills. Plus, the honey that these students collect can now be purchased. “Dare to Bee Honey” is sold exclusively at the UDairy Creamery. The first batch of the 2012 season should be available for sale in late July or August.

Grad student Katherine Darger doesn’t utilize either UD colony for her bee research. Working closely with Delaney, Darger is testing for Africanization tendencies in unmanaged colonies from Florida to Maine. However, since Darger says she is “happiest when knee-deep in a colony,” she tries to get out to the UD hives as much as she can.

She will be showing off her hive-handling skills at Ag Day, performing several of the caged demonstrations, which take place at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Darger likes Ag Day and other public events almost as much as she likes being in the apiary. “I love doing outreach,” she says. “I hope to inspire more people to become beekeepers, plant gardens to attract and support native insects, and reduce the fear that draws people to insecticide cans.”

Article by Margo McDonough

Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily

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Come Make Tracks and Volunteer at Ag Day 2012!

April 16, 2012 under CANR News

Ag Day is an annual tradition held by the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This year, on April 28th from 10 am to 4 pm, people will be visiting from all over the area to experience agriculture and the natural world through hands on education exhibitors, live demonstrations, as well as great food and music. Oh, and let’s not forget about that amazing ice cream from the UDairy Creamery!

Ag Day is an amazing experience, but with a crowd of over 5000 people, Ag Day would not be able to operate without the help of volunteers. Volunteers will work for periods of 2 hours and 10 minutes over the course of the day (from 8 am to roughly 6pm). This is a great way to earn some of those community service hours you may need! Plus, all volunteers receive a FREE colorful volunteer t-shirt, and when your shift is over, we encourage you to go explore the rest of Ag Day! There is also shift on Friday, April 27th from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm to help with set up. An important note: those who sign up for the cleanup shift on Saturday from 4 pm to about 6 pm will also receive FREE pizza!

Please remember, Ag Day is not successful without the help of volunteers! It’s you that makes Ag Day so special, so come make your mark on April 28th! If you are interested in helping  out, please contact the Ag Day team at agday.volunteers.2012@gmail.com with any time conflicts, and we will sign you up for a shift. If you are an Ag Ambassador please let us know!

Thank you,

The Ag Day Team

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Register now for Ag Day 2012

March 2, 2012 under CANR News, Events

Exhibitor and vendor registration for AG DAY 2012 is now OPEN!

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 10am-4pm rain or shine.  Due to record breaking attendance over the past few years, a few changes were made to the 2011 event which were well received.  The Ag Day team is continuing to improve the event based on last year’s changes and feedback that they receive on a continual basis.

Registration is ONLY available online this year.  Please visit the Ag Day website to register:  http://ag.udel.edu/agday

Registration is DUE BY FRIDAY MARCH 23, 2012 AND is subject to approval by the Ag Day Planning Team.  Only organizations/entities with missions relevant to the University of Delaware, agriculture and/or natural resources are accepted.  Once registration has closed, you will receive confirmation of your request.

Completion of an Ag Day 2012 Registration Form constitutes compliance with these guidelines.  This document is also available on the Ag Day website.  We recommend printing a copy for your reference.

Registration is NOT considered complete until payment is received.  Payment for Ag Day registration is due NO LATER THAN APRIL 2, 2012.   Please include the name of your organization with payment so that we can properly track your registration.  Late payment and registration will be subject to a $25 fee this year.  We have deadlines that we must meet for our own orders and late payments and registrations impose additional fees for us.

Payment (checks made payable to the University of Delaware) can be mailed to: AG DAY 2012, ATTN: Registration, 104 Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19716.

UD entities who wish to pay by Journal Voucher must contact Carol Brower at cbrower@udel.edu or 302-831-2501 to obtain the speed type and account code.  You MUST cc cbrower@udel.edu and kvo@udel.edu on the JV.

ATTENTION FOOD VENDORS! Please be sure to see the special section on the registration information page specifically for you.

If you have any questions, please reference the Ag Day website or contact Katy O’Connell at kvo@udel.edu or 302-831-1355.

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