UD Botanic Gardens selected as partner for Woodburn Garden Project

December 17, 2013 under CANR News

University of Delaware Botanic Gardens’ (UDBG) own gordlinia, a rare tree characterized by large “fried egg” white flowers and deep maroon fall foliage, has been donated to the Woodburn Garden ProjectSome say a rose by any other name is just a rose; a gordlinia by any other name, however, is far from just another gordlinia. During this season of giving, University of Delaware Botanic Gardens’ (UDBG) own gordlinia, a rare tree characterized by large “fried egg” white flowers and deep maroon fall foliage, has been donated to the Woodburn Garden Project as plans unfold to establish the historic grounds at Woodburn, the governor’s residence in Dover, as a public garden.

UDBG has been selected as one of several official partners for the project, which is being coordinated in two phases by Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

Landscape architect Rodney Robinson, a UD alumnus who hails from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, heard about the plant this September through a colleague at work and visited UDBG to purchase the unique species, which is a hybrid between two native trees (Franklinia and Gordonia).

When he later became involved with plans for phase one of the Woodburn Garden Project at the home of Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Robinson knew the gordlinia was the “last piece of the puzzle.” A call to Melinda Zoehrer, assistant director of UDBG, followed quickly to see if the botanic gardens would be interested in donating the tree to what will one day be a popular garden focal point in the Dover area.

Ken Darsney, state horticulturist for Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, visited campus recently to secure the tree, which has wowed many by its beauty and rarity. “The gordlinia will be used during phase one of the planting,” he said. “We are going to interpret the garden from different angles to tell stories. It has been a lot of work, but we are happy. Phase two will be a formal garden located in the back of the residence.”

“The Woodburn Garden Project is an important way for our students and faculty to help tell the state’s botanical story,” said Mark Rieger, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “We are particularly honored to have been asked to contribute to this important effort and look forward to our continued partnership.”

A formal ribbon-cutting for the garden is slated for spring 2014 at Woodburn. Woodburn has served as the official residence of the governor of Delaware since it was purchased by the state in 1965. The Georgian mansion is considered to be one of the finest examples of late-18th century architecture in Delaware.

The house was built by Charles Hillyard III around 1798. Hillyard bought the land at a sheriff’s sale for 546 pounds, 4 shillings and six-pence in 1784. At the time of purchase, the estate measured approximately 29 acres and was located outside the town limits of Dover.

Article by Nancy Gainer

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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Jack Gelb awarded 2012 Worrilow Award

January 23, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Worrilow Award winners (from left to right) Ted Haas(2001), Wesley Towers (1990), Jack Gelb (2012), U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Walter Hopkins (1997), Joanne Whalen (2011), Buzz Klopp (2000) and Ed Kee (1995). Present but not pictured was Keith Carlisle (1998).

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper spoke to a large gathering at University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Friends of Ag Breakfast in Harrington on Friday, Jan. 20, concluding a successful Delaware Ag Week. The breakfast also served as the occasion to present the 2012 George M. Worrilow Award to UD’s Jack Gelb, Jr.

Gelb is chair of UD’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of the Avian Bioscience Center in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

The award is presented annually by the UD Agricultural Alumni Association to an individual, in recognition of exemplary service to agriculture. The honor is named for Dr. George M. Worrilow, who served as dean of the college from 1954 to 1965.

Past Worrilow Award honorees Ted Haas (2001) and Spangler (Buzz) Klopp (2000) saluted Gelb’s five decades of excellence and his significant contributions to CANR, Delaware agriculture and, in particular, to the Delmarva poultry Industry.

“Jack is known to Delaware, nationally and internationally for his research and emphasis in avian respiratory diseases, avian influenza, and for his major role in the discovery of Gumboro Disease,” Klopp said.

The economic benefits of his research have been significant, saving the Delaware poultry economy $250,000 a week, Klopp told the large audience.

“This is an incredible honor for me,” Gelb said. “I did not have the opportunity to meet this fine gentleman (George Worrilow) but I have heard so many stories how he set things up and got things done. He inspired people about agriculture. That’s what it is all about, isn’t it?”

At UD, Gelb earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology in 1974 and a master’s degree in animal virology in 1976. He received his doctorate in microbiology and avian medicine from the University of Georgia.

“I came to the college in the 1970s, riding that first ecology wave and then, as now, students were welcomed, nurtured and developed there,” Gelb said.

He recalled, “As students, we got to work with leading veterinarians and researchers and work with farmers directly.”

Gelb marveled at the value of being able to put what was learned in the classroom and lab to practical use in the field.

Remarks on behalf of Gov. Markell

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, former UD Extension specialist and Worrilow Award recipient in 1995, brought remarks from Gov. Jack Markell and kudos for Gelb.

Kee said previous recipients review the resumes and make recommendations for the award. “You set a high bar,” Kee said.

Kee shared remarks of behalf of the governor and the administration’s efforts to promote Delaware agriculture and its continued competitiveness in a global market.

“Gov. Markell appreciates the economic importance of agriculture, as a way of life and for the cultural traditions that are a part of Delaware,” Kee said.

Kee cited the success of the Young Farmer’s Program, which offers zero percent interest to enable the purchase of land and assists the next generation of farmers in the settlement process.

“The governor understands the need to sustain our profitability and keep on the competitive edge in ag,” Kee said.

Through a strategic fund, the Markell administration supports infrastructure and businesses that are agricultural fixtures in Delaware, including Perdue, Mountaire, Vlasic and Hanover. “We want to keep them here and allow them to compete in a global economy,” Kee said.

At the breakfast Kee shared that Markell acknowledged the Delaware Rural Irrigation Program (DRIP) in his recent State of the State address. Through the investment of strategic funds, Delaware farmers are able to invest in new irrigation systems. In the past, Delaware has gone from 25,000 acres to 130,000 acres of irrigated cropland. “Farmers made that investment. That is why agriculture works in Delaware,” he said.

Nutrient management

Also at the event, Carper saluted Delaware agriculture and its willingness to face inland bay pollution head on by taking the lead in the formation of the Nutrient Management Commission in the 1990s.

Dave Baker, chair of the commission, and William Vanderwende, vice-chair, were recognized for their efforts and were presented with framed copies of Congressional Record statements issued on Dec. 14, 2011.

“In our state the ag community stood up really tall,” Carper said. He recognized the leadership of Baker and other farmers who created an enviable model for the nation to follow.

“It is incredible what you put into it,” Carper said. “It is amazing what we accomplish when we work together.”

Article by Michele Walfred, also viewable on UDaily

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Jan. 20: Friends of Ag Breakfast

December 13, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper will speak at a Friends of Ag Breakfast on Jan. 20, beginning at 7:15 a.m. This special Friends of Ag Breakfast is being held in conjunction with Delaware Ag Week, which runs Jan. 16-21.

The breakfast will take place at the Harrington Fire Company, located near the Delaware State Fairgrounds, where most Ag Week activities will be held.

In his talk, Markell will emphasize the important role that Delaware agriculture plays in the state’s economy and in its quality of life. He also will acknowledge the Young Farmer’s program, a brand-new initiative that reduces the capital investment for young people looking to set up an agribusiness.

Carper has chosen to reflect on the accomplishments of Delaware’s Nutrient Management Commission and the role that the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the University of Delaware have played in creating one of the most effective nutrient management programs in the nation.

Ag Week is presented annually by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. The Friends of Ag Breakfast is held three times throughout the year and is sponsored by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

Ag Week, now in its seventh year, draws farmers, agriculture industry professionals, Cooperative Extension specialists, research scientists and others together to exchange information and ideas. This year, presentations will be made on bumblebee pollination research in Delaware’s watermelon crop, labor issues for produce growers, grain marketing, maximizing forage utilization, and much more.

This season’s Friends of Ag Breakfast series ends on March 16 with a presentation by state Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. He will speak about the state of agriculture in Delaware and give an update about state Department of Agriculture activities. This breakfast will be held at the Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Avenue in Dover.

Both Friends of Ag Breakfasts begin at 7:15 a.m. and registration is $20. To register for one or both events, call Alice Moore at 302-831-2504. For more information about Ag Week programs, visit this website.

Article by Margo McDonough

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