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Peters on the Morrill Act, land grant mission

Scott PetersScott Peters (right), associate professor of education in the Department of Horticulture, reflects on the land grant mission in a Cornell Chronicle article marking the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created the land grant system. (See Higher ed researcher: Land-grant act’s 150th is an occasion to revitalize mission for the future.)

A sampling:

“In the land-grant system, communities inform research as much as research informs the community.

“Instead of simply being experts prescribing solutions to peoples’ problems, scientists and scholars at Cornell work in collaboration with anyone, from farmers and business owners to policymakers and schoolchildren, Peters said. They play important civic roles, sometimes even engaging in “shuttle diplomacy” as they help opposing factions work together on public issues and problems.

“‘Extension is about more than just fixing technical problems and ramping up the economy; while important, these things are only part of what we do today, and have done historically,’ he said.”

Other articles in the Chronicle’s sesquicentennial celebration package:

Cornell University Library is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act with exhibits is both Olin and Uris of related photographs, manuscripts and other artifacts from the university archives through Dec. 21. See online exhibition: Senator Justin S. Morrill, the Land-Grant College Act and Cornell: Opening the Doors of Education to “Any Person”

News from ASEV

From left, Vinay Pagay, Abraham Stroock and Alan Lakso

From left, Vinay Pagay, Abraham Stroock and Alan Lakso

News from last week’s American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) meeting in Portland, Ore., via Alan Lakso:

Cornell had five ASEV scholarship winners, the most of any university: Lindsay Jordan (Horticulture, Vanden Heuvel Lab), Amanda Sims (Horticulture, Lakso Lab), Paola Leonor Barba Burgos (Plant Breeding, Reisch Lab), Charles Frohman (Food Science and Technology, Mira Lab) and Melissa Aellen (undergraduate, Viticulture and Enology). (See Jordan sweeps 3 V&E awards.)

Vinay Pagay won the award for best student oral presentation in viticulture.

Martin Goffinet was a special invited speaker giving the first in a series of “master classes” for research and teaching. His review of grapevine anatomy, morphology and development was attended by more than 250 attendees who stayed for nearly three hours. A true “tour de force” that astounded many with the depth of Martin’s knowledge and the relevance to so many environmental and cultural issues in viticulture. Our students have been fortunate to have received this level of understanding in his section of the grapevine biology class.

NYSIPM program seeks Vegetable, Community IPM specialists

From Jennifer Grant, Ph.D., Co-Director & Community IPM Coordinator, New York State IPM Program:

The NYS IPM Program is excited to announce 3 professional job openings.

These appointments are for 6-9 months. However, there is potential for extension into long term positions. A Masters or PhD degree in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, natural resources or a closely related field is required. These positions are being announced in June 2012, and will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found. If interested in multiple positions, please indicate in the cover letter.

Follow links above for more information about each position.

Jordan sweeps 3 V&E awards

Lindsay Jordan

Lindsay Jordan

Lindsay Jordan, M.S. candidate in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, has won the prestigious 2012-2013 Michael Vail scholarship from the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV), an American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship, and an ASEV Eastern Section scholarship.

“I’m thrilled with Lindsay’s sweep of the three major viticulture and enology scholarships,” says Justine Vanden Heuvel, assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture and Jordan’s advisor. “Her solid experience in the industry combined with her demonstrated strength in viticultural research made her the perfect candidate for these awards. It’s great to see that it’s not only the Graduate Field of Horticulture that’s wowed by her skills.”

Jordan’s research is examining the use annual cover crops in Finger Lakes vineyards to reduce vine vigor and improve Riesling wine quality.

Other Cornell students receiving 2012-2013 ASEV scholarships:  Amanda Sims (Horticulture, Lakso Lab), Paola Leonor Barba Burgos (Plant Breeding, Reisch Lab), Charles Frohman (Food Science and Technology, Mira Lab) and Melissa Aellen (undergraduate, Viticulture and Enology).


New minor in horticulture

Undergraduates can now add a passion for plants to their Cornell credentials by minoring in horticulture.

The Minor Program of Study in Horticulture aims to increase students’ knowledge and skills for managing fruits, vegetables and landscape plants for the purpose of improving the quality of life for individuals and communities. A minor in horticulture can complement many areas of study, from art history to biological engineering to hotel management.

To satisfy the requirements for the Minor in Horticulture, the minor candidate must successfully complete these two courses from the Horticulture Sciences Core (7 credits):

  • HORT 1101: Horticultural Science and Systems (fall, 4 credits)
  • HORT 1115: The Nature of Plants (spring, 3 credits)

Plus a minimum of eight additional credits at the 2000-level and up, for a minimum requirement of 15 credits in horticulture coursework.

Special topic courses, seminar courses, and courses without regular instruction cannot be counted toward the credit requirement without prior written approval of the program advisor. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and a grade of “C” or better must be received to count toward the minor.

Any undergraduate student, except those majoring in Plant Sciences, may enroll in the minor. Transfer students are encouraged to apply for a minor in horticulture.

Interested students should visit the Minor in Horticulture webpage for more details, instructions and an application form.

Steve McKay earns George Peter award

Steve McKay, farm manager, left, and Glenn Evans, director of operations at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Dave Burbank photo.

Steve McKay, farm manager, left, and Glenn Evans, director of operations at the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Dave Burbank photo.

From Cornell Chronicle article 6/14/2012.

Steve McKay, farm manager at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, has been chosen as the 178th recipient of the George Peter Award for Dedicated Service.

McKay’s supervisor, Glenn Evans, director of operations for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES), in his nomination letter wrote of McKay’s “outstanding ability to collaborate with faculty, field assistants, students, research technicians and the administration” of the CUAES, noting especially his work with local food banks, service on the CUAES Sustainability Action team and “exceptional day-in and day-out service and support” to faculty.

“He constantly makes suggestions to individuals, departments and college leadership about ways to improve the status quo. … I doubt there is a single faculty person or graduate student who would not give Steve their highest marks for professionalism and support,” wrote Marvin Pritts, chair of the Department of Horticulture, in his nomination letter.

The longest running and most prestigious universitywide, peer-nominated award, the George Peter Award for Dedicated Service is given by the Employee Assembly to staff members who consistently demonstrate a high degree of excellence in doing their jobs and who extend themselves to help others and go above and beyond the normal expectations of their job responsibilities.

Read the whole article

In the news

Armyworms arrive – Walt Nelson, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Monroe County, is featured in this WHAM Channel 13 Rochester news story.

Expect slim pickings for apples and peaches [Syracuse Post-Standard 6/5/2012] – Deborah Breth, a fruit specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension for 27 years ago, said crops are in the worst shape she’s seen since she began her job.

2012: The End of Organic Tomatoes? [ 6/14/2012] – Says Meg McGrath, plant pathologist at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center of late blight: “This is a community disease because it is so contagious and destructive. We all need to work together to manage it.”

Fall online courses announced

Two horticulture 6-week distance learning courses will be offered this fall for educators and volunteers who want to enhance their garden-based learning program:

Planning and Organizing Sustainable Gardening Programs – Starts Sept. 4.
Looking to start a school or community-based garden program, but do not know where to begin? This course focuses on the foundations and benefits of garden-based learning, and provides the tools, resources, and collaborative support needed to plan, organize and develop a successful and sustainable gardening program that fits your organization’s needs.

Teaching and Learning in the School Garden – Starts Oct. 8.
Focusing on the foundations, benefits, and teaching strategies of garden-based learning (GBL), participants will build a toolbox of resources for developing a school gardening program that meets cross-curricular needs. Case study, research, and GBL resources are evaluated through group discussion, learning activities, and reflective journals. Educational theory will be put into practice using real-world tools, through collaboration, practicum, small and whole group discussion, lesson plan assignments, and the final portfolio project.

For each of these course, participants who receive a cumulative outstanding or satisfactory grade Cornell University will award 3 Continuing Education Units and a certificate.

Find out more about these and other distance learning courses offered by the Department of Horticulture.

New organic fruit and vegetable storage guide

storage guide coverProduction Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Chris B. Watkins and Jacqueline F. Nock, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

NYS IPM Publication No. 10

Funded through a grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

67-page guide is targeted for commercial growers and available free online.

Other titles in the NYS IPM Program series include organic production guides for apples, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, beans, carrots, cole crops, cucumbers and squash, lettuce, peas, potatoes and spinach .

Perrine, Shaulis award winners announced

Yang Bai, Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Field of Horticulture, is the recipient of the 2012 Perrine Award. David Perrine (Pomology ’22), a prominent orchardist from Centralia, Ill., established the award in memory of his wife, Fanny French Perrine. The award supports research by an undergraduate or graduate student in pomology. Bai is investigating apple genomics in Kenong Xu’s lab.

Kenong Xu, Perrine Award winner Yang Bai, and Department of Horticulture associate chair Susan Brown

Kenong Xu, Perrine Award winner Yang Bai, and Department of Horticulture associate chair Susan Brown

Lucas Hartman, a rising junior with a double major in Applied Economics and Management and Viticulture/Enology, is the recipient of the 2012 Nelson J. Shaulis Fund for the Advancement of Viticulture Summer Research Scholarship Award. The award was established in 1978 to honor then retiring viticulturist Nelson J. Shaulis, who pioneered research in grapevine physiology, integrated management systems, and vineyard mechanization. The goal of the scholarship is to encourage students to enter the field of viticulture as a career by directly working with Cornell grape research and extension faculty. Hartman’s research interests include the effects of genetics on grape physiology.

Alan Lakso (Cornell liaison to the grape industry committee that funds the scholarship), Shaulis Award winner Lucas Hartman, and Department of Horticulture associate chair  Susan Brown

Alan Lakso (Cornell liaison to the grape industry committee that funds the scholarship), Shaulis Award winner Lucas Hartman, and Department of Horticulture associate chair Susan Brown

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