4-H Youth Congress

December 6, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Ten Delaware youth were selected to participate in the National 4-H Youth Congress, which was held recently in Atlanta. This leadership development conference is considered the flagship event of the 4-H program, providing youth with an unparalleled opportunity to learn about community involvement, culture diversity and service to others.

“I am very proud of the Delaware 4-Hers who represented our state at Youth Congress,” says Jan Seitz, associate dean and director of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. “I know these students will take the knowledge they have gained and put it to good use in community service projects and other activities here in Delaware.”

Two youth from Kent County participated in the Youth Congress: McKenzie Ivory and Trevor Maloney. Eight youth from Sussex County attended: Bethany Killmon, Stephen Mervine, Jr., Joe Anderson, Jenna Hitchens, Nathan Bradley, Mary Catherine Lagano, Hunter Murray and Isabel (Izzy) Wharton.

Ivory is a 16-year-old member of the Harrington Sunshine 4-H Club. Her 4-H project areas of concentration include livestock and the fashion revue. Ivory is the daughter of Stephanie and Matt Ivory of Harrington. She attends Lake Forest High School.

Maloney is also a 16-year-old member of the Harrington Sunshine Cub. His 4-H project areas include goat, swine, woodworking and photography. He attends Milford High School and is the son of Timothy and Kelley Maloney of Houston.

Killmon is a member of the Dublin Hill 4-H club. She is in her eighth year of 4-H and attends Sussex Technical High School.  She has focused on raising and showing sheep and also has been involved in horticulture and photography projects. She is the daughter of Carla and Garry Killmon of Bridgeville.

Mervine is a 16-year-old member of the Dublin Hill 4-H Club. He enjoys photography projects but his favorite thing about 4-H is state camp. Mervine’s grandfather was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame and he hopes to follow in his footsteps someday. He is the son of Stephen and Polly Mervine of Bridgeville and attends Sussex Technical High School.

Anderson, 16, of Milton, is a member of the Hollymount 4-H Club. He is in his 10th year of 4-H and attends Sussex Technical High School. He has raised and shown dairy cows for eight years and also has been involved in swine and photography projects. He is the son of Sharon and Paul Anderson.

Hitchens, 17, is a member of Dublin 4-H Club. She is in her sixth year of 4-H and attends Sussex Central High School. She has raised and shown sheep for six years. She is the daughter of Tracie and Randy Hitchens of Georgetown.

Bradley has been in 4-H for eight years and is a member of the Seaford Blue Jays 4-H Club. The 16-year-old attends Sussex Technical High School. In 4-H, he has been active in fishing, shooting sports and food projects. He is the son of Jacalyn and Steven Bradley of Seaford.

Lagano, 17, also attends Sussex Technical High School. As a member of the Country Clover 4-H Club, she has been involved in robotics and clothing and textiles projects. She also enjoys being a counselor at 4-H camps. She lives in Frankford with her parents, Joe and Debbie Lagano.

Murray, 17, is a member of the Dublin Hill 4-H Club. He is in his ninth year in 4-H and attends Sussex Technical High School. He has raised and shown sheep for 9 years and has been involved in foods and arts and crafts projects. He is the son of David and Melissa Murray of Greenwood.

Wharton is a member of Buttonwood 4-H Club. The 17-year-old attends Sussex Technical High School and lives in Laurel with her parents, Wendy and Kip Wharton. She has raised and shown livestock for eight years and also has been involved in clothing and textiles and animal science projects.

For more information about Delaware 4-H, contact the state 4-H office at 302-831-2509.

Article by Margo McDonough

This article can also be viewed online on UDaily by clicking here.

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Department of Plant and Soil Sciences cultivates next leaders

November 28, 2011 under CANR News

University of Delaware-trained plant and soil scientists continue to build on the institution’s stellar reputation, with six winning recent national honors.

One graduate student and five graduate alumni of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were presented awards by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) at the national meetings of the societies in San Antonio, Texas.

Honorees are alumni Josh McGrath, Chad Penn and Amy Shober, who were advised by Tom Sims, CANR deputy dean and T.A. Baker Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry; Daniel Strawn and Kirk Scheckel, who were advised by Donald L. Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute; and Sudarshan Dutta, who recently completed his doctorate under the direction of Shreeram Inamdar, associate professor of plant and soil sciences.

Josh McGrath, a distinguished young CANR alumnus who earned his doctorate degree in plant and soil sciences in 2004, received the SSSA S6 Young Scholar Award, which recognizes young scientists who have made an outstanding contribution in Soil and Water Management and Conservation within seven years of completing their Ph.D.

McGrath is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, and his research interests include nutrient management and environmental sustainability. McGrath leads an active research and extension program aimed at providing science-based, reliable and cutting-edge information in the arena of agricultural nutrient management, nutrient use efficiency, non-point source nutrient pollution and water quality protection.

In just a few short years, McGrath’s work has become widely recognized for its impact on sustaining agricultural productivity and improving environmental quality in the mid-Atlantic region.

Chad Penn, who earned his master’s degree in 2001, received the SSSA S-11 Young Investigator Award, which recognizes worthy professionals who have made an outstanding contribution in soils and environmental quality research within seven years of completing their terminal degree. The award comes with a certificate of recognition and $500.

Penn has worked at Oklahoma State University since 2005 as an assistant professor of soil and environmental chemistry. His current research is focused on water quality, the re-use of industrial by-products in agriculture and for environmental protection, nutrient and animal waste management, transport of phosphorus to surface waters, and thermodynamics of sorption and other soil chemical processes via isothermal titration calorimetry.

Amy Shober, who received her doctorate in plant and soil sciences from UD in 2006, won the ASA Environmental Quality Section Inspiring Young Scientist Award, which is awarded to professionals who have made an outstanding contribution toward sustaining agriculture through environmental quality research, teaching, extension or industry activity within seven years of completing their terminal degree.

Shober works as an assistant professor of landscape soil and nutrient management in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida. Her research and Cooperative Extension appointments focus on nutrient management in Florida’s urban landscapes.

Daniel Strawn, who received his doctorate from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in 1999, received the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Soil Science Award. Strawn is a professor of soil chemistry at the University of Idaho and his program focuses on research and teaching of soil chemistry and mineralogy with a special emphasis on the discovery of chemical and mineral speciation in soils. He is an associate editor for the Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Strawn joins a long list of UD plant and soil sciences graduates who have received the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson award. Sparks was the first recipient of the award in 1991 and since then five graduates of the department have received the distinguished award.

Kirk Scheckel, who received his doctorate from UD in 2000 and won the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson award in 2010, was named a fellow of the ASA and SSSA.

Scheckel is a research soil scientist in the National Risk Management Research Laboratory of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He is an adjunct faculty member at Ohio State University and his research focuses on element speciation in soils, sediments and water to elucidate reaction mechanisms that influence fate in the natural environment. He served as associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality and as chair of S-11, a division of SSSA. He is active in SSSA, ASA and the American Chemical Society.

Sudarshan Dutta, who recently completed his doctorate in the department, was awarded the SSSA S-11 Soil and Environmental Quality Graduate Student Award.

Dutta received a certificate and $500 for his achievement, and impressed the award committee with his research record and the contributions he has made in the area of soil and environmental quality.

Sparks said of the awards and what they mean to the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, “They’re just a testament to the quality of our graduate studies programs and the training the students get. It also indicates the reputation the University’s programs have built — people recognize that those who come out of these programs are really first rate. Over the years we’ve developed a strong program in soil science that is recognized nationally and internationally.”

Part of this strength, according to Sparks, is derived from the ability to attract outstanding students to the graduate program. “You attract good students and then you give them a fair amount of freedom,” he said. “It is a combination of having bright students working on significant research problems, and giving them the flexibility and the freedom to pursue knowledge.”

Sparks also pointed out the outstanding equipment, facilities, grant support and faculty members who have been “good role models and mentors for these students.”

Sims said of the awards, “We’re very proud of the accomplishments of the graduates of our soil science program. It’s rewarding to see so many of our former graduate students become very successful faculty at top-ranked universities and to have their successes recognized by these prestigious awards. Their research and extension programs are cutting-edge and address some of the most important areas we face today as we to ensure a safe and secure food supply for more than 7 billion people worldwide and protect our environment for future generations.”

Article by Adam Thomas

This article can also be viewed on UDaily > >

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Barber awarded honorary FFA Degree

November 1, 2011 under CANR News

Patricia Barber, associate professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics, was awarded an Honorary American FFA Degree at the 84th National FFA Convention that took place in Indianapolis from Oct. 19-22.

The award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America, through outstanding personal commitment. All recipients will receive a certificate and medal and their names will be permanently recorded.

In a release accompanying the announcement of her honorary degree, Barber was cited as having a huge influence on the training of current agricultural teachers in Delaware and other states. The assistance that she has provided to the Delaware FFA through acting as a judge and through hosting state and national officer visits during her time at UD was also highlighted.

Always wanting to help make her students better teachers, the release states that her students consider her much more than a teacher. “They consider her a mentor and someone they can call on outside the classroom. Many continue to call on Pat as they begin their teaching careers. Her easy manner, upbeat, and caring attitude have helped many a beginning teacher get through that first year. Many stay in touch with her as they get married and begin their own families. This is a testament as to how much she cares for students.”

The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agricultural education. Without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall wellbeing of the national organization. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond the valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists.

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members—all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture—as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The 84th National FFA Convention drew over 50,000 FFA members, advisors, and guests from across the country. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.ffa.org for more information.

Members of the National FFA Board of Directors approved the nomination.

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CANR Students Honored

November 1, 2011 under CANR News

CANR students were among those honored at the UD Office of Equity and Inclusion‘s annual Women of Promise dinner and Students of Distinction Awards Breakfast.

Kasia Dinekloo (PLSC), Laruen Stewart-Brown (ANR), and Shanetta Walker (ANS) were named Undergraduate Women of Promise.  Kun Huang was named a Graduate Student Woman of Promise.  They join more than 100 other UD women students, nominated by UD faculty as exceptional students.

Shani Craighead (PVAB) was named an African American Student of Distinction and Kyle McCormick (PVAB) was named a Latino Student of Distinction. Students were honored based on a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

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CANR alumni honored on UD Wall of Fame

June 20, 2011 under CANR News, Events

At the Alumni Wall of Fame induction ceremony are (seated, from left) Patricia Orris Robertson, Rita Mariani Landgraf, Nancy Karibjanian and Suzanne McMahon Sears; and (standing, from left) Alumni Association President Alan Brayman, Edgar N. Johnson Jr., Theresa Catherine Adams Masek, who spoke on behalf of her late father Leon W. Adams Sr., Douglas Blonsky and UD President Patrick T. Harker. Not present were John E. Eckerson, James H. Miller and John W. Morgan III.

Two CANR alumni were among ten University of Delaware alumni who were honored for their exceptional achievements by being inducted into the Alumni Wall of Fame in a ceremony on June 4, 2011 as part of Alumni Weekend festivities. Leon W. Adams Sr. earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1941. After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he returned to Delaware, eventually opening an insurance agency in Newark. In 1986, he earned the industry’s highest honor, “Agent of the Year” by the Travelers Insurance. He was a lifelong supporter of the University and Blue Hen football. Mr. Adams died in 2009. Douglas Blonsky earned his bachelor’s degree in plant science from UD in 1981. Since 2004, he has served as president of New York City’s Central Park Conservancy, with official oversight of the park’s day-to-day operations and maintenance, including $350 million in capital projects. Under his leadership, a number of noteworthy restoration projects have been completed at the park. He serves as host to UD students and faculty visiting Central Park and has returned to campus several times to meet with students.

Learn more about the honorees by reading the full UDaily article posted online.

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A UDairy farewell

June 13, 2011 under CANR News

Graduation day was a bittersweet ending for Rachael Dubinsky and Amanda Prudente. The day marked a great milestone in their academic careers, but also meant that their time as student managers at the UDairy Creamery was coming to a close.

Both Dubinsky and Prudente played a pivotal role in the plans for and development of the creamery. Now, as graduates of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), they have positions that fall directly in line with what they learned as student managers.

Dubinsky, who served as the creamery’s communications manager, graduated with a dual degree in agriculture and natural resources and interpersonal communication, with minors in food science and food and agribusiness marketing and management. In her time at UD, she was a member of the UD Color Guard, the Food Science Club, Sigma Alpha (the professional agriculture sorority), and gave tours to prospective students and families as an Ag Ambassador.

In her role as the communications manager, Dubinsky was responsible for promoting the creamery to the University and Newark community, as well as developing marketing plans for the future of the business.

Using her skills and knowledge in both agriculture and communications to educate others about the “cow to cone” process, Dubinsky stated, “Not only was it exciting to see this project come to fruition but by being on the management team, I really do feel as though I have left my mark here at UD”.

Dubinsky is staying on at CANR as the special assistant to the deputy dean. In this position, she will continue to work on public relations and advertising ventures for the creamery.

Prudente served as the dairy and food science manager for the creamery and is now pursuing a career as a flavor technician at David Michael and Co. in Philadelphia. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science, with minors in chemistry and food and agribusiness marketing and management. In addition, she served as the vice president of the Food Science Club, was a member of the Delaware Repertory Dance Company and was an Ag Ambassador.

As the dairy and food science manager, Prudente was responsible for securing health permits for events and ordering supplies for the store. Prudente was integral in making the creamery’s first batch of ice cream with the new equipment and also used her food science knowledge to create herb-themed ice cream toppings for the annual “Spring Fling” event in March, which celebrates the Garden for the Community, a partnership between the CANR and the Food Bank of Delaware. Prudente’s unique background in both food science and business management has prepared her for a successful career in the flavor industry.

She said, “I really think this position helped merge both my science and business interests.  Ultimately, I was able to apply the things I learned in the classroom to a real world business setting.”

The creamery had many milestones this past year, including the construction of the storefront and the ribbon cutting ceremony on Ag Day. Dubinsky and Prudente were able to use their internship experience to hone in on their individual strengths and ultimately play an integral role in the development and success of the creamery.

To learn more about the creamery student managers, visit the UDairy Creamery website.

This summer, the creamery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. And, don’t forget to “like” UDairy Creamery on Facebook for information on upcoming events and special promotions.

This article can also be viewed online on UDaily.

Article by Jenna Byers

Photo by Danielle Quigley

 


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