Archive for the “Events” Category

The votes have been tallied. Rachel Hestrin, PhD candidate in the Graduate Field of Crop and Soil Sciences (Johannes Lehmann lab) won ‘Best Poster’ at the School of Integrative Plant Science retreat October 14.

Congratulations Rachel!

Rachel Hestrin

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More than 130 faculty, academics, staff, grad students and others attended the first School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) Retreat in Kennedy Hall Tuesday.

That morning, after a welcome from SIPS director Alan Collmer, speakers from each section gave short presentations on their work:

  • Michael Scanlon (Plant Biology), Ontogeny of the grass ligule: how to draw a line on a leaf. (View video.)
  • Courtney Weber (Horticulture), The art and science of berry breeding. (View video.)
  • Michael Gore (Plant Breeding & Genetics), Progress towards building a genetic foundation for biofortification of maize.
  • Harold van Es (Crop and Soil Science), Adapt-N: cloud computing technology to achieve agronomic and environmental objectives. (View video.)
  • Fabio Rinaldi (Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology), Hitting the Sweet Spot: TAL effectors as tools for targeted gene activation in plants.
Speakers Scanlon, Weber, Gore, van Es and Rinaldi.

Speakers Scanlon, Weber, Gore, van Es and Rinaldi.

Following lunch, a poster session fueled discussion and sharing.

Following lunch, a poster session fueled discussion and sharing.


Speaker Weber brought raspberries from his variety trials for sampling at lunch.

Speaker Weber brought raspberries and blackberries from his variety trials for sampling at lunch. (Carol Grove photo.)

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Marvin with berry-themed cakeFaculty, friends, family, staff, students and others gathered Friday to help Horticulture Section chair Marvin Pritts celebrate his 30 years at Cornell.

Congratulations Marvin!

celebrating 30 years of Marvin

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Stop-Hunger-NowCALS and Cornell Dining are partnering with Stop Hunger Now on Thursday, October 16 from 2-5 p.m. in the Trillium Dining Hall to package 30,000 meals for crisis relief and school feeding programs.

Sign up now at:

And please share this with friends, clubs and organizations!

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If you missed yesterday’s horticulture seminar Targeting vegetable crop improvement in East Africa with Phillip Griffiths, it’s available online.

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Nearly 50 growers, educators and others attended the Berry Open House hosted at Cornell Orchards and the East Ithaca Research Facility last Friday. Topics covered by faculty and graduate students from several departments,  NYSIPM Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators included day-neutral low tunnel strawberry systems, cranberries, bird deterrents, spotted-wing drosophila management, biopesticides, soil health, trellising systems, berry varieties, pollinators and more.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Click on thumbnails for larger view.

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pawpawsHave you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical fruit-like flavor that has been described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. They are rarely found in markets because the fruit is easily damaged when ripe.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County is offering a Pawpaw Production Workshop on Wednesday evening, November 6, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Vince’s Park at the intersection of Rt 314 and Rts 5+20 in Seneca Falls, NY.

Steven Gabriel, from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY will be the presenter. Steve has recently co-authored a book called Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge. The workshop will cover various topics related to growing pawpaws including pawpaw management, site selection and sourcing pawpaw trees.

Cost is $15 per Farm or Family

More information and online registration.

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willow harvestLarry Smart is among the presenters at the Willow Biomass Energy Short Course, Nov. 18-19, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse N.Y.

The two-day conference includes classroom and field training in sustainable production and multiple end-uses of shrub willow for heat, power, & environmental benefits!

  • Discover exciting opportunities for rural development with willow biomass energy
  • See how willow is being applied to reduce environmental impacts
  • Learn the latest best practices and applied research for commercial willow crops and how this is improving returns on investment
  • Familiarize yourself with new financial analysis tools for willow biomass crops
  • Tour innovative demonstration projects on the SUNY ESF campus showcasing cutting-edge biomass conversion technologies
  • See willow harvesting equipment available through the NEWBio equipment access program ( in action at commercial willow operations and NEWBio demonstration site in northern New York.

Early registration discount deadline is Oct. 18

More information: Willow conference website.

Or  contact: or 315-470-6775.

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low_tunnel_strawberriesx450Friday, October 3, 2014
12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cornell Orchards, Ithaca, NY

Part 1 of the program will be held at Cornell Orchards, located on Route 366 in Ithaca across from the College of Veterinary Medicine parking lot. Part 2 of the program will be held at the East Ithaca Farm located just around the corner from Cornell Orchards on Maple Ave. A refreshment break will be provided between program sessions.

Topics include:

  • Low tunnels
  • Cranberries
  • Bird and spotted wing drosophila management
  • Biopesticides
  • Soil health
  • Trellising systems
  • Variety Q&A
  • And more.

The open house is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required to ensure adequate transportation, handouts, and refreshments. Please register by phone or e-mail by contacting Cathy Heidenreich,, 315-787-2367 no later than Friday, September 26 30, 2014.

Full program line-up and more information.

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From the Dilmun Hill student organic farm near campus, Peter DelNero will pick a pentad of prime, plump pumpkins for the upcoming Big Red Pumpkin Regatta at Beebe Lake on Oct. 4. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

From the Dilmun Hill student organic farm near campus, Peter DelNero will pick a pentad of prime, plump pumpkins for the upcoming Big Red Pumpkin Regatta at Beebe Lake on Oct. 4. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

Via the Cornell Chronicle [2014-09-24]:

Relay teams hope to squash their competition at the first Big Red Pumpkin Regatta on Beebe Lake Saturday, Oct. 4. Hosted by Cornell Flotilla, a graduate student club, racers will decorate their giant pumpkins at noon, while the paddling starts at 2 p.m.

The racers must be out of their gourd – or, actually, the racers must stay in them. Five teams each with four people will have enough room in a 300-pound pumpkin to fit a single paddler. In a relay, the paddlers will race 100 meters four times around Beebe Lake. The grand prize: bragging rights.

Since the spring, Peter DelNero, a graduate student in the field of biomedical engineering, and his club colleagues, have been lovingly cultivating giant pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima) on several acres of the Dilmun Hill student organic farm. “I can’t wait to get out into the pumpkin boats. It’s going to be a riot,” says DelNero.

Read the whole article.

Cornell Flotilla on Facebook.

How’d it work out? See A tradition is born: the Big Red Pumpkin Regatta [Cornell Chronicle 2014-10-07].

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