The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) held its summer conference at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory (CLEREL) on July 25th.

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Potato and tomato farmers beware: The blight is back, at least in some parts of the state.

Christine Smart, associate professor of vegetable pathology in the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, confirmed last week that samples taken from Erie and Madison counties showed plant tissue infected with the pathogen.

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“I studied fruit. I wanted to be a plant breeder. I loved the ornamental aspect, but I wanted to do something to combine the food with feeding people. Fruit production really has both aesthetics. The flowers are really gorgeous, but they feed people.”

— Susan Brown, associate director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, explains to the Finger Lakes Times why she became a fruit breeder.

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Olga Padilla-Zakour, associate chair and associate professor of food science, received the 2013 Elizabeth Fleming Stier Award for promoting new food businesses and economic development in New York through her work as director of the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship. She was also recognized for her efforts to develop educational programs to meet the evolving needs of New York’s food processors, and for her dedicated efforts as an adviser and mentor of graduate students. The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists.

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Just because school’s out for summer doesn’t mean it’s time to hit the beach in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). In fact, our faculty, staff and students have been as busy as bees learning, teaching, exploring, and discovering.

Visit the CALS Notes blog to get the latest “buzz” from campus and:

  • climb trees in Ecuador with this CALS undergrad on a mission to understand the impact of sustainable agriculture on the jungle;
  • sample herbs from CALS own self-sustaining garden;
  • examine the science behind the controversy of GMO foods with Dean Boor;
  • celebrate 100 years of Plant Biology at Cornell;
  • savor the flavor of an important new partnership dedicated to building an artisanal cheese industry in New York;
  • meet the young alumna who’s the new President of the CALS Alumni Association;
  • raise your glass to CALS and the Dyson School at the Hudson Valley’s “flagship” winery;
  • smell the art, as CALS experts help one of the world’s foremost sculptors make his pieces bloom;
  • tour the sparkling new Stocking Hall;

…and so much more! Check back regularly for updates and make sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CALS Notes

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The annual FRU  4th of July Picnic was held on Wednesday, July 3rd. The hungry crowd included the picnic’s  founder, Joe Shail (bottom right).

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The research of Food Science Summer Scholar Ellen Hallberg and Ph.D. candidate Diane Schmitt on wine tannins was spotlighted in a recent article in the Finger Lakes Times:

The work done in the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station’s Food Science and Technology program does more than solve problems. It furthers knowledge used by other industries.

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A July 9 article in the New York Times features the work of Thomas Bjorkman:

There it sits, a deep-green beauty at the farmers’ market: that sweet, crisp nutritional dynamo we know as fresh local broccoli.

And then there’s this: a bitter, rubbery mass that’s starting to turn yellow around the tips, all bumped and bruised from its long trip from the field to the supermarket.

Thomas Bjorkman, a plant scientist at Cornell University, examined the store-bought specimen like a diagnostician, unflinchingly but with a certain compassion.

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A new crop is brewing at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva. A one-acre hop yard was established June 30 as a research planting to bolster the hops revival in New York.

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Congratulations to Lindsay Springer and Alejandra Aguilar Solis for their awards at the annual meeting of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture in Monterey, California!

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Cornell University will host the 2013 Fruit Field Day at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, on Thursday, August 1st, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Submitted by Dave Rosenberger

Late on Friday afternoon, June 21, folks at the Hudson Valley Lab gathered for a special celebration that, due to biological rhythms, can be replicated only a few times during one’s career. Brood II of the 17-year periodical cicada (Magicicada sp.) had emerged in all its glory.

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In a June 21 article on Geneva as haven for foodies, Democrat and Chronicle food writer Karen Miltner leads off with a nod to the contributions of  NYSAES and insights from Susan Brown:

No matter from which direction you approach the city that anchors the northwest end of Seneca Lake, you’re bound to see a lot of food in the making. Dairy farms, orchards, family-run vegetable operations, livestock grain and, increasingly, vineyards make up the landscape that surrounds this small city and surrounding town of about 16,300.

It sounds quaint and bucolic, but Geneva is also headquarters to one of the country’s most prolific agricultural and food science research institutions.

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Members of our Station community and other family and friends of Kathy DeRosa took part in the Geneva Relay for Life at Geneva High School on Saturday, June 15. Our team was Kathy’s Crewsaders and we came together in honor of Kathy DeRosa and other family and friends who have been touched by cancer.

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The Administrative Service Center’s 2013 Service Recipients were recognized at a special coffee break on June 14th for their years of dedication to NYSAES. Congratulations to Kathy DeRosa (30 years), Gemma Osborne (20 years), Holly King (20 years), and Shelly Cowles (15 years). Let’s thank them for their service to the Station!

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