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Vanden Heuvel recognized for grape, wine research

Vanden Heuvel

Vanden Heuvel

Cornell Chronicle [2017-03-14]

In recognition of her major contributions to the state’s wine and grape industries, Justine Vanden Heuvel has earned this year’s research award from the New York Wine and Grape Foundation (NYWGF).

The foundation recognized Vanden Heuvel, associate professor of enology and viticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, for her research optimizing flavors and aromas in wine grapes, and for improving the environmental and economic sustainability of wine grape production in cool climates. She received the award March 1 at the annual NYWGF unity banquet, part of the three-day B.E.V. New York organized by Cornell and held near Rochester. …

Research by Vanden Heuvel has provided guidance for vineyard management decisions to improve economic outcomes and reduce environmental impacts. A series of papers published during the summer demonstrated that planting cover crops beneath vines reduces nutrient and agrochemical leaching from vineyards while reducing production costs.

In addition to research and outreach work, Vanden Heuvel teaches undergraduate courses on the science of viticulture and enology, as well as a course on wine culture.

“New York has earned its reputation as one of the world’s premier grape and wine producers, but that success can only be sustained through a continued commitment to research,” said Vanden Heuvel. “Growers face uncertainty as climate shifts, and rely on robust research programs to guide sustainable innovation. I am proud that my research helps growers prosper and maintains New York’s reputation as a grape and wine powerhouse.”

Read the whole article.

Giving Day

CALS Annual Fund: Make a Gift. Change the World.


Each year, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Annual Fund helps direct financial resources to where they are needed at the college—from helping students meet the cost of tuition, to supporting cutting-edge research that will prevent crop disease, alleviate food insecurity issues or improve interpersonal communication, to hiring faculty members who will inspire students in new ways.

Your gift to the CALS Annual Fund has a direct, positive effect on our college’s world-class education and research that works daily to solve our shared global problems.

Learn more. Make a gift.

Outstanding work, advocacy earn Excellence in IPM award for Cornell Cooperative Extension educator

Christy Hoepting

Christy Hoepting

From the NYSIPM Program:

GENEVA, NY, March 8, 2017: Christy Hoepting grew up on a small farm north of Toronto, Ontario. Enrolling at the University of Guelph, a top-tier ag school, was a natural fit. And though she focused on onion production while doing applied research for her master’s degree, she never dreamed she’d make a career of it. But then her advisor told her that a job with cooperative extension had opened up in western New York. She suggested that Hoepting apply. The interview, after all, would be a good learning experience.

“What’s extension?” Hoepting remembers asking. But exceptional preparation and delivery were second nature for Hoepting. She got the job.

Now, for her exemplary work on behalf of farmers, not just in the rich muck-soil region of western New York but statewide and nationally, Hoepting has earned an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University. IPM weaves together a broad range of tactics that minimize the environmental, health and economic risks of pests and pesticides both.

“Christy is a star in Cornell Cooperative Extension,” says Brian Nault, a professor of entomology at Cornell. “She’s a gifted educator and advocate, more passionate and successful in promoting IPM practices than just about anyone I know.” While onions are Hoepting’s main research focus — they’re a high-value crop for New York, with annual sales upward of $40 million — growers in western New York also welcome her expertise in cabbage, broccoli and garlic.

Read the whole article.

PCCW symposium looks at food ethics, small farms

Andrew Chignell, visiting associate professor in the Sage School of Philosophy, left, and Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, speak at the 2017 President’s Council of Cornell Women Symposium, “Feeding the World Sustainably." (Photo: Chris Kitchen/University Photography)

Andrew Chignell, visiting associate professor in the Sage School of Philosophy, left, and Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, speak at the 2017 President’s Council of Cornell Women Symposium, “Feeding the World Sustainably.” (Photo: Chris Kitchen/University Photography)

Cornell Chronicle [2017-03-07]

Roughly 100 Cornell alumnae gathered March 4 as part of the 2017 President’s Council of Cornell Women Symposium, “Feeding the World Sustainably.”

Highlights included presentations on food ethics by Andrew Chignell, professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and visiting associate professor in Cornell’s Sage School of Philosophy, and on small farms by Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. …

Rangarajan discussed her work with small farms and what communities can do to ensure such farms are supported. She said 90 percent of the world’s farms are small farms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a small farm as an operation making less than $350,000 in gross revenue per year. Rangarajan said a small farm is also an operation in which the majority of the labor is provided by the family or one principal operator.

Rangarajan also noted that the majority of world’s farmers are women. “Just as reminder,” she said, “that is the real face of agriculture.” Women represent a growing percent of the farmers in the U.S. as well, she said.

Read the whole article.


Ag-Tech Symposium March 10

symposium flyerLand O’Lakes will be visiting campus to host two presentations and a panel discussion Friday morning on a precision tool they have developed, the R7.

Ag-Tech Symposium
Friday, March 10
148 Stocking Hall

  • 8:00-8:45 a.m.: Harnessing Innovation to Feed the World – Mike Macrie ’99, Senior VP and Chief Information Office, Land O’Lakes
  • 8:45-9:30 a.m.: Winfield’s Innovative Ag-Tech Journey – Teddy Bekele, Vice President, IT at Winfield
  • 9:30-10:15 a.m.: Panel Interview and Q&A – Mike Macrie ’99, Teddy Bekele, and Joel Wipperfurth, facilitated by Jan Nyrop

No RSVP necessary.

More About the R7 Tool:

Winfield Solutions, the seed and crop protection products arm of Land O’Lakes, has introduced a web-based precision planning tool that allows farmers to get a start in variable-rate seeding and fertility programs. The R7 tool uses satellite imagery as a stand-in for actual yield and soil test data. Working with retailer agronomists, farmers used the tool to develop crop plans on millions of acres scheduled for planting. It is a tool for farmers without extensive yield and grid soil sampling records to use to get started in precision ag. It also improves Winfield’s ability to convey information about crop genetics it gathers from its 200 locations across the U.S.

Horticulture honor society inducts 29 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 29 new members at a March 6, 2017 ceremony held in the H. H. Whetzel Room in the Plant Science Building on the Cornell University campus.

This set a record for the number of inductees in a single year since the chapter was revived at Cornell in 2013.  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.

2017 PAX inductees

2017 PAX inductees

PAX members graduating in May -- Lauren Fessler, Jeremy Pardo, and Karl Kunze -- received their honor cords.

PAX members graduating in May — Lauren Fessler, Jeremy Pardo, and Karl Kunze — received their honor cords.

PAX faculty advisors Mark Bridgen, Neil Mattson, Betsy Lamb and Tom Weiler.

PAX faculty advisors Mark Bridgen, Neil Mattson, Betsy Lamb and Tom Weiler. Lamb was a 2017 inductee.

2017 PAX inductees:

  • Cairo Archer
  • Jessica Barbini
  • Hauk Boyes
  • Nana Britwum
  • Yuqi Chen
  • Myles Collinson
  • Allison Coomber
  • Kellie Damann
  • Aliza Doyle
  • Emily Follett
  • Hannah Fuller
  • Garrett Giles
  • Catherine Hanss
  • Sarah Hetrick
  • Bailee Hopkins-Hensley
  • Elizabeth Lamb
  • Margaret Lovier
  • Sarah Marino
  • Kady Maser
  • Roxana Padilla
  • Jonathan Price
  • Nina Sannes
  • Tommi Schieder
  • Samantha Schultz
  • Cynthia Sias
  • George Stack
  • Amanda Sudilovsky
  • Benjamin Sword
  • James Winans
  • Xuying Zheng

Seminar video: Chilean Plant Biodiversity

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar Chilean Plant Biodiversity with Mark Bridgen, professor, Horticulture Section, and students from PLHRT 4950 (Plant Biodiversity), it  is available online.


Learn more about the group’s trip at the Biodiversity in Chile blog.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Online organic gardening course starts May 8

Raised bed vegetable gardenThe Horticulture Sections’s online Organic Gardening course is designed to help new gardeners get started and help experienced gardeners broaden their understanding of organic techniques for all kinds of gardens.

The course runs May 8 to June 25, 2017, and covers one topic each week. (See course outline below.) With a strong foundation in soil health and its impact on plant health, we then explore tried-and-true and cutting-edge techniques for all different kinds of garden plants including food plants, trees and shrubs and lawn.

Participants read assigned essays and book excerpts, participate in online group discussions with other students, complete reflective writing/design work and take part in some hands-on activities. 
Most students spend 3 to 4 hours each week with the content, though there are always ample resources and opportunity to do more.

Questions? Please contact the instructor, Fiona Doherty:

Course outline:

  • Week 1:Introduction: What is Organic Gardening?  Knowing Your Site.
  • Week 2: Soil, Compost, and Mulch
  • Week 3: Vegetables and Flowers: Site Design & Planning for the Season
  • Week 4: Vegetables and Flowers: Early, Mid, Late Season Crops; Harvesting, Herbs
  • Week 5: Maintenance & Managing Pests Organically
  • Week 6: Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Perennials: The Long-Term Landscape
  • Optional Extra Readings: Advanced Topics for the Adventurous Gardener
More information:

The Secret to a Really Crisp Apple

Susan Brown

Susan Brown

Why are some apples mealy while others are crisp?

Cornell apple breeder Susan Brown answers that question in this New York Times science Q&A.

The differences are partly genetic, she explains. Some varieties can be stored longer before they get mushy.

But proper storage at home will help you keep your apples crisp. “If consumers store fruits at room temperature, rather than in the refrigerator, they will soften and get mealy sooner,” she says.

Read the whole article.

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