World Food Prize laureate to speak at public event at Mitchell Hall

March 28, 2013 under Events

Daniel HillelDaniel Hillel, winner of the 2012 World Food Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of Agriculture,” will be the featured guest in the DENIN Dialogue Series at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 4, in Mitchell Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

The DENIN Dialogue Series engages experts from around the world in conversation with a knowledgeable host and with the public through an on-stage interview format and audience question and answer session. Robin Morgan, professor of animal and food sciences and former dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will lead the dialogue with Hillel.

For an Iowa Public Television video about Hillel, click here.

At the dialogue, Hillel will be asked about his formative life of learning to farm in Israel’s Negev Desert, his pioneering scientific work, his role as an ambassador for sustainable agriculture around the world, and his studies of water as a force shaping the cultures and conflicts of the Middle East, past and present.

In addition to his talk on Thursday evening, Hillel will present a seminar titled “The Challenge of Managing the Environment Sustainably in a Changing World” on Wednesday, April 3, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. The seminar is open to the entire UD community.

DENIN is also sponsoring an informal breakfast question-and-answer session for students with Hillel on Friday, April 5, at 9 a.m. in the Collins Room of the Perkins Student Center. Both graduate and undergraduate students are welcome; bagels, pastries, fruit, juice and coffee will be provided.

About Daniel Hillel

In awarding Hillel its annual award in 2012, the World Food Prize Foundation said it was honoring him for “his role in conceiving and implementing a radically new mode of bringing water to crops in arid and dry land regions — known as ‘micro-irrigation.’

“Dr. Hillel’s pioneering scientific work in Israel revolutionized food production, first in the Middle East, and then in other regions around the world over the past five decades. His work laid the foundation for maximizing efficient water usage in agriculture, increasing crop yields, and minimizing environmental degradation.”

Hillel was born in the United States but was moved to Israel as a young child and raised on a kibbutz in a farming environment. He was educated at both American and Israeli universities as a soil scientist.

First drawn to the critical needs of the water supply in arid regions during his years of living in a small settlement in the highlands of the Negev Desert, the new approach Hillel developed and disseminated provided for a low-volume, high-frequency water supply directly to plant roots. This research led to a dramatic shift from the prevailing method of irrigation used in the first half of the 20th century: applying water in brief, periodic episodes of flooding to saturate the soil, followed by longer periods of manufactured drought to dry out the soil.

Hillel proved that plants grown in continuously moist soil, achieved through micro-irrigation, produced higher yields than plants grown under the old flooding or sprinkler irrigation methods. Using less water in agriculture per unit of land not only conserves a scarce resource in arid and semi-arid regions, but also results in significantly “more crop per drop,” with the successful cultivation of field crops and fruit trees, even in coarse sands and gravel.

Hillel’s development and promotion of better land and water management clearly demonstrated that farmers no longer needed to depend on the soil’s ability to store water, as was the case when using the previous method of high-volume, low-frequency irrigation. The technology he advanced, including drip, trickle and continuous-feed irrigation, has improved the quality of life and livelihoods throughout the Middle East and around the world.

By integrating complex scientific principles, designing practical applications and achieving wide outreach to farmers, communities, researchers and agricultural policy makers in more than 30 countries, Hillel has impacted the lives of millions.

He has written or edited 26 books on the roles of soil and water in healthy agro-ecosystems. His work includes historical scholarship on the roles of water, geology, geography and food production on the development of ancient civilizations of the Middle East and how environmental influences shaped the cultures and religious beliefs of people in the region.

Recently he has been working on ways to adjust agricultural techniques to adapt to increasing water stress resulting from climate change in order to meet the food and water requirements of a rapidly growing world population. He divides his time between the Center for Environmental Studies in Israel and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

This event is part of the “Challenges and Choices” series of events being hosted by DENIN in 2013 to focus attention on four major environmental challenges facing Delaware: sea level rise and extreme weather events, food and water security, land use and energy.

Article by Beth Chajes

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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Natalie Stevenson transitions from conventional to conscious at eco-summit

January 3, 2013 under CANR News
Stevenson, pictured on the left of the middle row, and the other Green University finalists

Stevenson, pictured on the left of the middle row, and the other Green University finalists

Natalie Stevenson, a senior studying in the College of Arts and Sciences  who is working on her senior thesis with Robin Morgan, professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was one of 14-finalists chosen to take part in the Project Green 3-day Green University Eco Summit sponsored by Teens Turning Green in Marin County, California. The finalists were flown into San Francisco and the aim of the summit, according to the Teens Turning Green website, was to have the finalists learn from eco leaders and work together with mentors to create platforms for social action.

Project Green was a 30-day event where participants were sent daily challenges by e-mail throughout the month of October with different themes, all aimed at transitioning high school and college students from conventional to conscious living to get them committed to sustaining a healthy and just planet. The 30-day event culminated with Green University, where participants shared their experiences about the 30-days.

Stevenson said she heard about Project Green from an e-mail sent out by the University of Delaware Students for the Environment club. “I completed challenges throughout the month of October and because I earned enough points, I was invited to apply for Green University,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson, an environmental science and biological sciences double major, not only had to complete the 30-day challenge but also had to put together an essay and a video submission before being interviewed and finally being selected as a finalist for Green University.

She said that her favorite part about the summit was “meeting so many incredible people. Not just leaders in the environmental community like the CEO of Whole Foods, but the other challenge finalists were inspirational as well.”

Stevenson added that she “loved meeting the Teens Turning Green Team. Judi Shills, executive director and founder of Teens Turning Green, and everyone were amazing and put so much work into getting us together.”

As to why undergraduates should participate in these summits, Stevenson stressed that it connects “like minded people, and helps you forge life-long connections. There was a very inspirational atmosphere that carried through the summit. I learned even more about how to continue my transformation from conventional to conscious.”

Article by Adam Thomas

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In Memoriam: Hiram N. Lasher

October 11, 2012 under CANR News

Hiram N. Lasher, 92, a pioneer in avian vaccine development, died Oct. 7 after a short illness. To the end of his life, Dr. Lasher was intellectually active, corresponding with colleagues and actively participating in professional activities.

Dr. Lasher was a generous benefactor to the University of Delaware. In 1997, the University dedicated the Lasher Laboratory in his honor in Georgetown, Del. The laboratory, formerly owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was transferred to UD when the USDA decided to close it. A $250,000 gift from Dr. Lasher allowed the University to update and renovate the lab.

At the dedication, then UD President David Roselle said the gift enabled the University “to continue the vital support of the work that has marked Hiram’s career in Southern Delaware and the world.”

Also speaking at the dedication, the late John E. Burris, a UD trustee, said that Dr. Lasher had “dedicated his life to the advancement of poultry health on the Delmarva Peninsula and throughout the world.”

In 2008, Dr. Lasher was awarded the University of Delaware Medal of Distinction. Robin Morgan, then dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, read a citation that noted his importance to the poultry industry worldwide and also noted his extraordinary contributions in Delaware to education, youth development and public service. “Hiram Lasher is a scientist, businessman, public servant, educational advocate and philanthropist who contributed significantly to the lives of many Delawareans.,” she said.

Dr. Lasher was born Feb. 8, 1920, and was raised on his family’s farm (Sunrise Farms) in Catskill, N.Y., during the Depression. After graduating from high school, he worked his way through college graduating from Cornell University in 1942 with his doctor of veterinary medicine degree. His early professional years were spent in expanding poultry health in Delaware where he settled with his wife, Bertha, and started their family. He later established a succession of two poultry vaccine manufacturing concerns in Millsboro, Del. which were acquired by multinational biopharmaceutical concerns. He went on to found Lasher Consulting Inc. in 1982 and until recently served as president, providing technical advice and support to vaccine producers in the U.S and the international arena.

Dr. Lasher was instrumental in developing and commercializing a number of significant vaccines through his own efforts and through cooperation with colleagues in industry and academia.

In addition to his gifts to the University of Delaware, he also supported Cornell University. He participated in professional associations, including the American Association of Avian Pathologists, and contributed to a number of funds to support students and other activities.

His civic and professional accolades included induction into the Poultry Hall of Fame, designation as an honorary diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and medals and awards from universities and his adopted home state of Delaware.

Dr. Lasher served as a founding board member of Delaware Technical Community College, served for 12 years on the Delaware State Board of Education and the Board of Directors of Beebe Hospital, as well as numerous other civic boards. Additionally, he and his wife served and financially supported the Boy Scouts of America, and he was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver Award by the Del-Mar-Va Council for his service.

Dr. Lasher was devoted to his family, including seven children, three grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Dr. Lasher’s business partner and close friend, Dr. Vergil Davis, wrote about him: “When the task appears too large or the time too short, one need search for an implementer no further than Hiram, a hero in his own right with very few peers. He reminds us all that the secret to fruitful longevity is activity, and not just any activity, but one that we love.”

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Bertha Lasher of Millsboro, Del.; children; Douglas Lasher and his wife, Carolyn, of Decatur, Ala.; Sandra Gordon and her husband, William, of Big Pine Key, Fla.; Dennis Lasher and his wife, Debbie, of Milford; Denise Lasher of Lutz, Fla.; Michael Lasher of Millsboro, Del.; Michele Lasher of Millsboro; grandchildren, Sean, Elizabeth and Sarah and one great grandchild, Hiram.

A memorial service celebrating Dr. Lasher’s life will be held at 12:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12, at the Watson Funeral Home, 211 South Washington St., Millsboro. Friends may call from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, at the funeral home. Burial will be private.

Contributions can be made in memory of Dr. Hiram Lasher to the BV Rao Poultry Scholarship fund at the University of Delaware, which he helped establish in honor of his friend and colleague from India. Contributions may be sent to Office of Gifts Processing, University of Delaware, 83 East Main St., Newark, DE 19716.

Letters of condolence may be emailed via www.watsonfh.com

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Emergency Poultry Disease Response workshop considers biosecurity, rapid response

June 26, 2012 under CANR News

The University of Delaware hosted its fourth annual Emergency Poultry Disease Response (EPDR) certificate program June 18-21. The workshop, which was held on the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) campus, was aimed at teaching both local and international participants about preparedness planning, biosecurity and assessment, and rapid response techniques and technology with regard to avian disease outbreaks.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Avian Influenza Coordinated Agriculture Project 2, this year’s workshop included participants from all over the globe. Thirteen countries were represented, including Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Bolivia, Mexico and Japan.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons spoke at the opening of the event, talking about the importance of having strong measures in place to curb any avian disease outbreaks and praising UD for its role in helping educate local and international audiences on the topic.

“I am thrilled that the University of Delaware continues to sponsor and support this unique program,” Coons said. “As we’ve learned, avian influenza and other challenges to poultry health and poultry management are truly global. They spread quickly, they spread globally and they present a threat to all of us.”

Coons talked about the importance of collaboration, saying there are important technical aspects in the management of modern poultry flocks that can and should be shared. “My hope is that you will go home having had a great four-day experience and saying to folks, ‘You ought to sign up, because this was an amazing experience,’ and then sharing ideas about how we can continue to strengthen and broaden a global community that is committed to feeding the many, many people who need what poultry brings.

“I just want to thank the University of Delaware for hosting this and for having such a positive global orientation, and for [their] national leadership role in making sure that we’re all able to deliver a secure poultry future,” Coons said.

Eric Benson, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences (ANFS), explained that the course came about during international efforts in Romania and Bulgaria and that it is adjusted every year based on changes in avian disease understanding.

Benson said feedback from past participants in the course has been positive, with many saying it “really helped them to make changes” in their understanding of the subject.

George Irvine, of UD’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies, explained to the participants that they will soon be joining a group of poultry and veterinary professionals from across the world who are alumni of the program, and that they will need to “engage now, but engage also with each other later, because we can only work together on these problems, which are global. Disease doesn’t define borders, it steps right across them.”

During the intensive four-day workshop, participants received instruction from UD faculty members on things such as influenza viruses and detection, hands on surveillance swabbing and learned about equipment disinfection.

The workshop wrapped up on Thursday, June 21, with Robin Morgan, dean of CANR, and Jack Gelb, chair of ANFS, handing out certificates to the participants, signifying that they had completed the course and that they are now official alumni of the EPDR program.

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

 

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UD announces Food Bank effort at employee appreciation picnic

June 6, 2012 under CANR News

The University of Delaware held its fourth annual UDidIt! employee appreciation picnic on Monday, June 4, to celebrate the recently completed academic year. At the event, an announcement was made about a partnership between UD and the Food Bank of Delaware.

Robin Morgan, who is returning to the faculty after 10 years as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Kathy Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, announced a BlueHensCAN partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware.

Morgan said that during the 2012-13 academic year, UD, which already has a wide range of programs geared to assist the Food Bank, will undertake its first coordinated effort. During the fall semester, a Food Bank truck will come to campus to collect and transport donations and UD volunteers will help unload items at the organization’s facilities.

The concerted BlueHensCAN effort “can make a huge impact on the Food Bank,” Morgan said, also inviting employees to the Aug. 9 Evening in the Garden at the Garden for the Community on the CANR campus to support the Food Bank. The college has had an ongoing partnership with the Food Bank through the garden, which produces fresh fruits and vegetables and provides service learning opportunities for UD students.

“We are excited to partner with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in pulling together this food drive,” Matt said, noting that the Food Bank of Delaware serves more than 240,000 people annually, nearly half of them children.

Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO, said the organization could not accomplish its mission without the support of institutions such as UD. “On behalf of the Food Bank of Delaware, we thank you so very much,” she said.

To view the full article on the UDidIt! picnic, visit UDaily

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Georgetown research farm named for late Senator Thurman Adams

May 18, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The late State Sen. Thurman Adams, Jr., of Bridgeville has often been called a champion of Delaware agriculture, both personally and professionally, for his advocacy during his 37 years in the State Senate. In honor of Sen. Adams and his legacy, the University of Delaware has named its research and education farm in Georgetown, Del., the Thurman G. Adams Agricultural Research Farm.

“Thurman Adams was simultaneously committed to preserving Delaware’s farm heritage and to ensuring that Delaware farmers were leaders in adopting new technologies,” said Robin Morgan, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “He cherished his friends and colleagues and was quick to credit them and recall their successes. Surely a giant in Delaware agriculture, he touched so many people across generations.”

Lynn Adams Kokjohn, Polly Adams Mervine and other family and friends of Sen. Adams joined UD officials and state legislators on Tuesday, May 15, for the naming announcement at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, which Sen. Adams affectionately referred to as the “Substation.”

“This place [the Substation] had a special place in Thurman’s heart,” said Mark Isaacs, director of the Carvel Research and Education Center, as he recalled the tireless efforts of Adams advocating for agriculture as well as the associated educational research component. “Sen. Adams was committed to making sure that the Substation had all the resources it needed to address the agricultural needs of Delaware. He stated time and time again, that his goal was for the substation to be the showcase for the east for research and Extension programs meeting the challenges for agriculture for years to come.”

Adams was also a steadfast supporter of other programs, including the Cooperative Extension and Delaware 4-H.

“Agriculture was number one to him,” said Mervine, one of Sen. Adams’ daughters. “He absolutely would be thrilled about this but more thrilled to see how the agriculture community has moved forward with all the advances they are making.”

A resolution on the naming passed by the University’s Board of Trustees at its recent spring meeting credits Sen. Adams for sponsoring “critical legislation to preserve Delaware’s farm heritage and strengthen the state’s agricultural economy.”

Isaacs said that Sen. Adams’ contributions in the Senate and Delaware accounts for millions of dollars of funding for the poultry industry, cooperative extension as well agricultural research and education at UD as well as other organizations. “Sen. Adams’ support was critical in providing the facility and equipment needs of the Substation, as well as the staffing to make sure research and extension programs were cutting edge,” Isaacs said.

Sen. Adams earned his bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from UD in 1950, and joined his father in family farming and their grain brokerage business, T.G. Adams and Sons, Inc., of which he later served as longtime president.

Article by Meredith Chapman

Video by Katy O’Connell and Bob DiIorio

Photos by Danielle Quigley

To view a video that accompanies this story, visit the CANR Youtube page

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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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University reaches articulation agreement with Longwood Gardens

January 13, 2012 under CANR News

The University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens have reached a five-year articulation agreement that will allow students who graduate from Longwood’s Professional Gardener Program to complete their bachelor of science degrees in the agriculture and natural resources major in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

The Professional Gardener Program at Longwood Gardens is a two-year, tuition-free program offered every year to approximately eight individuals who have obtained at least a high school diploma and have one year of horticulture experience. The program trains students to be gardeners skilled in the art and science of horticulture. Students work in all areas of the garden and receive classroom instruction from Longwood staff and outside instructors, some of whom are professors at UD.

Kimberly Yackoski, assistant dean of student services in CANR, was heavily involved in the process for the University and said she is excited for the benefits that the program offers for both the University and Longwood Gardens.

Concerning the benefits for UD, Yackoski said she is excited to have students from the Professional Gardener Program attending the University and bringing their real-world experiences to the classroom. “For the students who choose to continue at UD, I’m confident they will make a positive impact on other UD students by sharing their horticulture knowledge and the experiences they had during their time at Longwood.  It’s a win win for everyone involved.”

Doug Needham, the head of the education department at Longwood Gardens, Robin Morgan, dean of CANR, and UD Provost Tom Apple signed the agreement by the beginning of December, 2011, which delighted Yackoski. “Our goal was for the articulation to be approved by the end of 2011 and we were thrilled when that goal was accomplished.”

Working with Yackoski on getting the agreement finalized were individuals from UD and Longwood Gardens. They included Tom Sims, deputy dean of CANR and the T.A. Baker Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences; Bob Lyons, professor in UD’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences; and Needham and Brian Trader, Longwood’s coordinator of domestic and international studies.

Lyons said he is “very excited about this new articulation agreement because it adds an undergraduate dimension to the already strong graduate program relationship between Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware.  It also recognizes a high standard of rigor by Longwood’s course work instructors who are committed to excellence in the classroom.”

Said Needham of the agreement, “Education is deeply embedded in our mission at Longwood Gardens, and we are passionate about providing our students with a rigorous academic experience, coupled with experiential learning through rotational work internships in the gardens.”

Because of this, Needham said, “It is critical to us that our students have the option to continue their education toward a baccalaureate degree, and we are very pleased to further our ongoing educational partnership with the University of Delaware through this articulation agreement. Graduates of our two-year Professional Gardener Program now will be able to transfer their coursework and complete a B.S. in agriculture and natural resources at UD.”

Trader, who is also an adjunct faculty member at UD, said that his role in the agreement was to meet with faculty from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and familiarize them with the classes being taught in the Professional Gardener Program to make sure the courses were of the same caliber as the courses being taught at UD.

Of the Professional Gardener Program, Trader said that it is “really a program that allows students to couple academic learning in the classroom with an immersive hands-on applicable experience in the gardens.”

Longwood currently has an articulation program with Temple University, and Trader said that about a dozen students from the Professional Gardener Program have received their degrees from Temple or are currently taking advantage of the opportunity. He said that after the success with the Temple articulation program, it only made sense to try to form one with UD.

“Longwood already has a strong association with UD because of the Longwood graduate program and because most of the Ph.D. staff here at Longwood are adjunct faculty at UD,” said Trader. “Some of the students in the program come from Delaware and the opportunity CANR provides is very attractive to our students.”

Trader also sees the benefits for both sides, saying that for Longwood, “It shows the caliber or the strength of the academics that we’re delivering here. It will allow us to recruit better and it could potentially increase some of the diversity and enrollment in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, not necessarily in number but in background and experience.”

Now that the agreement has been finalized, Yackoski said that she looks forward to seeing the relationship between Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware grow even stronger. “We’ve had a relationship with Longwood for quite some time, but this has made it even stronger. They have a lot of the same goals that we have, which includes helping students grow and be the best they can be.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Photo by Evan Krape

This article was originally published on UDaily

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CANR Dean Search

December 15, 2011 under CANR News

The University of Delaware has formally launched a nationwide search for a new dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The new dean will replace Robin Morgan, who announced in September that she will be stepping down effective at the end of the 2011-12 academic year, when she completes her second five-year term as dean. Morgan will return to the CANR faculty.

UD will begin advertising for the position, and a review of applications will begin Feb. 15 and will continue until the position is filled. The proposed start date for the successful candidate is July 1, 2012.

“We look forward to an inclusive, nationwide search to identify the next dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, a person whose dynamic and entrepreneurial leadership will continue to strengthen and expand the research, teaching and extension work of the college,” said Charles G. Riordan, UD vice provost for graduate and professional education and chair of the search committee.

The search committee was convened by Provost Tom Apple.

In addition to Riordan, committee members are: Mohsen Badiey, deputy dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and professor of marine science and policy; Kelebogile Setiloane, associate professor of behavioral health and nutrition; Blake Meyers, Edward F. and Elizabeth Goodman Rosenberg Professor and chair of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences; Calvin Keeler, professor of animal and food sciences; Joshua Duke, professor of food and resource economics; Judy Hough-Goldstein, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology; James Glancey, associate professor of bioresources engineering; Pam Green, Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair of Plant and Soil Sciences; Susan Garey, Cooperative Extension agent; Carissa Wickens, assistant professor of animal and food sciences; Mark Isaacs, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences; and James C. Borel, DuPont executive vice president and a member of the UD Board of Trustees.

Information is available at the CANR dean search website, and a copy of the dean search advertisement is available in PDF format.

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Mexico delegation visits UD Extension

September 21, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

A delegation representing the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) recently visited the University of Delaware to get a firsthand look at how agriculture extension works in the First State and how that might be useful in establishing similar programs in Mexico.

The daylong sojourn included meeting with Robin Morgan, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and UD Cooperative Extension program leaders and county extension directors. A tour of the UD farm hosted by Scott Hopkins, farm superintendent, and a flavorful visit to the UDairy Creamy complemented morning and afternoon information sharing sessions held in Townsend Hall.

“We are delighted to have you here,” Morgan told members of the delegation. “We are always trying to promote Cooperative Extension.”

Morgan noted UD’s status as a land-grant university with a three-part mission that includes teaching, research and outreach.

“Celebrating that outreach component is very important to us,” Morgan said. “Cooperative Extension has really changed agriculture in America, and if we have anything to do with it, that will continue as we go forward.”

Jose de Jesus Alaya Padilla, director general of Mexico’s National Institute for the development of Capacities of Rural sector (INCA Rural), said that convincing faculty members that is to their benefit to participate in university-based extension programs represents a significant challenge.

“We find that some researchers in the universities say they don’t have enough incentives to go out there and do extension services,” Padilla said. “We worry about that.”

Morgan noted that a similar situation exists at American universities, where faculty members are promoted based on their publications and the grants they receive.

“What we have done here is to give people very clear appointments, and to let those people do scholarship in extension and document that,” Morgan said. “We have had really good success because individuals have done stellar work. We then document this with outside peer reviews.”

The remainder of the story can be viewed online on UDaily by clicking here.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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