College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ organizations host HungerU

October 15, 2013 under CANR News

Volunteers gather for stop hunger now eventStudents from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) hosted HungerU on Monday, September 30 and Tuesday, October 1 as the organization made its first visit to the University of Delaware. The event was co-sponsored by Alpha Zeta (AZ), Sigma Alpha (SA) and Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR), as they share a common special interest in agriculture and food sustainability.

HungerU, a national awareness campaign that educates on the global food crisis, is currently on tour visiting college campuses along the east coast, engaging students in conversations about world hunger and food security via a mobile, interactive exhibit. The organization is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DuPont, Famers Feeding the World, Stop Hunger Now and Universities Fighting World Hunger.

The tractor-trailer arrived on campus and stationed itself between Drake Hall and Colburn Lab. It included interactive, touch-monitor screens that displayed information from the Food Security Index for 107 different countries. Students also got the opportunity to spin a wheel for free merchandise if they stopped to engage in a conversation with the three crew members at the trailer. Merchandise ranged from mugs and phone chargers to iPads and t-shirts.

On the evening of October 1, Stop Hunger Now, a partnering program collaborating on events with HungerU, hosted a meal-packaging event in the Perkins Bacchus Theatre where about 100 volunteers–ranging from students and professors to young children–came out to package and box 21,600 meals in about an hour and a half. Stations included a box making and labeling station, a funnel station for scooping rice, soy meal, vitamin packets and vegetables into baggies, and a weighing and sealing station for the bags.

“HungerU works in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now, which is an optional event, ” said Sabrina Sterlacci, a junior in CANR and the chapter assessment program chair for AZ and primary student liaison for the event. “I decided to organize it because I figured it would be silly to have HungerU come to campus to educate students without providing those students an opportunity to do something with what they learned.”

The meals packaged during the event will be sent overseas to orphanages or schools in impoverished areas.

Before the meal packaging event began, a Stop Hunger Now representative gave a small speech on global hunger facts. Volunteers learned that 2.6 million children, about one child every 6 seconds, die each year from being under-nourished. They were also told that there is enough food on the planet to feed every human 4.3 lbs per day, just in crop-foods. Spreading awareness of those statistics is the hope Stop Hunger Now and HungerU have for enacting change.

Being personally inspired by HungerU’s mission, Sterlacci said “My expectation was that HungerU would educate students about the global hunger crisis and help students gain further perspective about how fortunate most of us are in the United States.”

Before Stop Hunger Now could come to campus, AZ, SA and AGR were charged with the task of raising $1,200 to bring them and the supplies to hold the packaging event. In just under one month, the groups were able to surpass that goal. The organizations thank the efforts of their own members for their hard work in fundraising, all those that donated, the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and Greek Council for their support.

AZ, SA and AGR plan to make the affair an annual and collaborative event, to ensure no child be stripped of their potential because they do not have enough to eat and to spread their common mission of increasing agriculture-related literacy in the United States.

Article by Angela Carcione


HungerU heads to UD campus, Stop Hunger Now event to follow

September 25, 2013 under CANR News

HungerU will visit the University of Delaware campus on Monday, Sept. 30, and Tuesday, Oct. 1, bringing its mobile classroom to inform students about global hunger issues and the critical role modern agriculture plays in putting food on people’s tables.

The event will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, with the trailer set up between Drake Hall and Colburn Lab, off Academy Street.

HungerU is sponsored on campus by Alpha Zeta, a co-ed honors agricultural fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha, a professional agricultural sorority.

After the event, the student groups plan to engage students by having a Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging event from 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Room 209/211 of the Trabant University Center.

Those planning the event said the goal is to raise $2,500 as a University and to get 80-100 volunteers to participate in packaging meals to send overseas. Each meal costs 25 cents to package, and HungerU will match the donation up to $2,500 for a total of $5,000 to package 20,000 meals.

Sabrina Sterlacci, a junior wildlife conservation major in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Alpha Zeta chapter assessment program chair, said of the event, “In the past we have done fundraisers for events such as UDance and Relay for Life, but sponsoring HungerU has given us the awesome opportunity to help educate UD students about agriculture. We are especially excited about the Stop Hunger Now event, where students can actively make a difference by packaging meals for those in need.”

For more information on the Stop Hunger Now event, visit the website.

The corporate partners of HungerU include Farmers Feeding the World, the Farm Journal Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DuPont, Stop Hunger Now and Universities Fighting World Hunger, among others.


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.


UD’s Williams spends summer as intern on Herr Angus Farm

August 20, 2013 under CANR News

Kathryn Williams spends summer interning at Herr'sAs an animal and food science major, University of Delaware senior Kathryn Williams was looking for a summer internship that incorporated both of those elements. Luckily for Williams, her adviser, Lesa Griffiths, knew just the place.

Griffiths, professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has a long history with the Herr company – based in nearby Nottingham, Pa., and a leader in the snack food industry — and she suggested that Williams apply for a summer internship.

Williams took the advice and met with Dennis Byrne, manager of the Herr Angus Farm and a UD alumnus who received the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Distinguished Alumni Award, and he offered her an internship on the spot.

Williams has now been working at the cattle farm since May 28, and said she is enjoying the hands-on experience the internship offers.

“I’m basically a farm hand — even though I’m technically the intern,” said Williams. “The first day I was thrown right in with everything. They were running cows through the shoot, doing a lot of medical checks and giving a lot of timed breeding shots. There was no, ‘Oh, you’re the intern, you can just sit and watch us.’ They put me right to work and it’s been great. I’m learning so much.”

Williams said that she usually arrives at the Herr farm around 8 a.m. and stays until 4 p.m. or later. Her daily routine consists of riding around the fields with her boss to check on the cows and make sure that they are well and, if not, bring them in for a medical check. She helps out with shots and other basic medical procedures, as well as lending a hand for any miscellaneous jobs that need to be performed — like fixing fences or mowing lawns.

One of her favorite parts of the internship has been learning to drive the tractors and getting to climb to the top of the silo.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, but there’s an enclosed ladder and it was worth it. I got to the top and got my camera out and was taking pictures,” said Williams.

Williams admitted that when she first took the internship, she did so in order to broaden her horizons, but now after working with beef cows for the summer, she can see herself doing it as a career. “Now that I’ve gotten into it, I’ve really enjoyed working with beef cows. It’s a lot different than working with dairy cows and I’ve actually come to enjoy it a lot more.”

And of course, interning at the Herr farm does have the added bonus of being close to their famous and flavorful potato chips, especially the salt and vinegar or the kettle cooked chips, which are Williams’ favorites.


Williams is preparing for a busy senior year, as she performs her duties in the Sigma Alpha sorority and serves as president of the Animal Science Club. But multi-tasking is nothing knew to Williams.

In addition to interning on the farm this summer, Williams also volunteers at Pet-Assisted Visitation Volunteer Services (PAWS) for People with her dog, Riley.

The organization visits nursing homes, hospitals and children’s hospitals and volunteers sit and talk with people one-on-one. Williams has been volunteering by visiting an adult day center, with Riley in tow.

“I’ve been visiting the one place for so long, I’ve developed relationships with each person, so I’m able to just sit and chat with them and they’ll sit there and pet Riley the whole time we’re talking, and it’s just really nice,” said Williams. “A lot of the time you get feedback from them, and it’s just so wonderful to see how much they enjoy it.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Photos by Danielle Quigley

Video by Adam Thomas and Danielle Quigley


Come Help Decorate “The Mitten Tree”

November 28, 2012 under CANR News

Alpha Zeta, Alpha Gamma Rho and Sigma Alpha are looking for your help to decorate the Mitten Tree that is located in the Townsend Commons. The decorations should be new gloves, hats and scarves to benefit the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

Please join us at this time of year, to help the less fortunate keep warm during the winter!

All donations will be picked up on Thursday, December 13th.

If you have any questions, please contact Robyn White at, Max Manse at, or Lindsey Cook at