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Boor: Increased Ag Research Funding Needed To Provide A Bright Future For Our Next Generation

Dean Kathryn J. Boor

Dean Kathryn J. Boor

In  a post for FedByScience, Kathryn J. Boor, Ph.D., the Ronald P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, cites CALS’ controlled environment agriculture (CEA), apple and honeybee research as examples of how publicly funded food and agriculture research that is so critical to our future.

Agriculture faces grand challenges on a global scale, with a projected two billion more mouths to feed by mid-century. Some estimate that we will need to double our current food production capacity in the next 30 years to ensure that the global population has enough healthy and safe food to eat.

Yet, since the early 2000s, federal spending on U.S. agriculture and related research has declined. The United States has slipped from our position as the world leader in food and agricultural research. China has outpaced us in public support for agriculture research and development since 2009, and Brazil and Argentina now outspend us on agriculture R&D entirely.

Read the whole article.

Join Hortus Forum for garden and greenhouse tour this weekend

From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Director, Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center:

You are invited to spend this Saturday and Sunday with the Hortus Forum (Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club) and Pi Alpha Xi (the honor society for plant science) on a weekend bus trip to Long Island and New York City to tour gardens and greenhouse.

All students and staff in CALS, and their friends and family, are invited to participate.

The itinerary includes:

The cost to students for this trip is only $53 per person ($23 of this cost is for an admission ticket to the NYBG). The cost for staff members and non-students is $75.  The registration fee includes 1 night of cabin accommodations, luxury bus transportation, admission to the NYBG, and dinner on Saturday night.

I hope to see you there.

More information:

Online botanical illustration courses start May 29

Hellebore watercolor by Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Learn botanical illustration online.  Three courses taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly start May 29, 2018:

You can view works by students in previous classes on display in the cases in the west wing of the first floor of Plant Science Building. The course webpages also have links to previous students who have posted their works online.

Seminar video: The rhizosphere microbiome …

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, The rhizosphere microbiome: sources of variation and links to plant function with Bryan Emmett, Boyce Thompson Institute, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: Mineral Nutrition of Phalaenopsis, with focus on nitrogen

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Mineral Nutrition of Phalaenopsis, with focus on nitrogen with Yao-Chien Alex Chang, National Taiwan University, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Michael Dickson, breeder of orange cauliflower, dies

Michael Dickson

Michael Dickson

CALS News [2018-04-05]:

Michael Hugh Dickson, professor emeritus in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, died March 28 at age 85.

Dickson gained fame for his work as a breeder of orange cauliflower, a variety high in beta carotene, which is used by the human body to make the essential nutrient vitamin A.

“Although Mike was known worldwide for his cauliflower work, he did so much more,” said Steve Reiners, professor and chair of the Horticulture Section. “He was a great collaborator; he worked with plant pathologists to develop disease-resistant snap beans and cabbage and he worked with entomologists to develop insect-resistant crucifers. He also developed beans that grew better in our cool New York soils.”

Read the whole article.

 

Horticulture honor society inducts 28 new members

pax key

Phi Alpha Xi key

From Mark Bridgen, Professor and Pi Alpha Xi advisor:

Pi Alpha Xi (PAX), the national honor society for horticulture, inducted  a near-record 28 new members at a March 23, 2018 ceremony held in the H. H. Whetzel Room in the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus. Only the best students in the plant sciences are invited to join this national honor society.

Pi Alpha Xi was founded in 1923 at Cornell University and Cornell is the Alpha Chapter. Originally, it was the national honor society for floriculture, landscape horticulture and ornamental horticulture. In recent years it has changed and now honors excellence in all aspects of horticulture.

Since its founding, PAX has grown to 36 chapters at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Its mission is to promote scholarship, fellowship, professional leadership, and the enrichment of human life through plants. PAX was very active at Cornell University for many years, peaking in the 1970s. But the chapter went dormant for several years until its revival in 2013.

PAX inductees and officers with advisors Mark Bridgen (seated left) and Neil Mattson (seated right).

PAX inductees and officers with advisors Mark Bridgen (seated left) and Neil Mattson (seated right).

Graduating PAX seniors received their honor cords.

Graduating PAX seniors received their honor cords.

Also inducted into PAX: Karl NIklas, professor, Plant Biology Section (left) and Ed Cobb, research support specialist in the Plant Biology Section. Also pictured: Bridgen, Horticulture Section chair Steve Reiners, and Mattson.

 

Seminar video: Diversified weed management in NY vegetable crops

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Diversified weed management in NY vegetable crops – Challenges and opportunities with John Wallace, Horticulture Section, Cornell University, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: Malus collection in the US National Plant Germplasm System

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar, Malus collection in the US National Plant Germplasm System with C. Thomas Chao, USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, N.Y., it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

New seed company restores vegetable flavor to savor

Row 7 Seed Co. founders, from left, Matthew Goldfarb, Michael Mazourek and Dan Barber.

Row 7 Seed Co. founders, from left, Matthew Goldfarb, Michael Mazourek and Dan Barber.

Cornell Chronicle, CALS News [2018-02-27]

Cornell plant breeder Michael Mazourek, Ph.D. ’08, noted chef Dan Barber and seed producer Matthew Goldfarb have launched a new vegetable seed company and catalog. The freshly minted Row 7 Seed Co. offers seeds that can turn a container garden or backyard plot into a summer vegetable bounty any foodie will crave.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned working with breeders is that there’s a huge link between flavor and nutrition, and the craziest part is that no one talks about it. Flavor and aroma compounds – the same ones that make tomatoes and melons mouthwatering – often derive from essential nutrients. It’s nature’s way of telling us what we should be eating,” said Barber, of Blue Hill, a farm-to-table restaurant in New York City, who frequently collaborates with Mazourek.

“Similar to how the farm-to-table movement increased public awareness around the provenance of ingredients, with Row 7 we want to shift the culture around food to drive people toward more flavorful ingredients and define nutrition in terms of diets, not single ingredients,” he said.

Read the whole article.

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