SIPS faculty member David Wolfe testified Wednesday to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research in a public hearing entitled, “Increasing Resiliency, Mitigating Risk: Examining the Research and Extension Needs of Producers”. Wolfe led the expert testimony by outlining challenges presented by recent extreme weather events and ways in which farmers are responding. He went on to list areas of need such as improved regional climate data, digital agriculture infrastructure, and greater access to capital.
The entire witness panel strongly emphasized the importance of public sector research to develop regionally adapted cultivars and address pest and pathogen challenges exacerbated by climate variability. Cooperative extension and collaborative research with USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) were also hailed. Followup questions from representatives covered topics as diverse as the benefits of gene editing, efficacy of cover crops to mitigate both flooding and drought, international competition in the realm of biotechnology, to concerns about the proposed move of USDA headquarters.
Other experts testifying at the hearing included Robert W. Godfrey, Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at University of the Virgin Islands, Brise Tencer, Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, CA, Sam Godwin of Godwin Family Orchard in Tonasket, WA, and Fred Gmitter of the Citrus Research and Education Center at the University of Florida.
Wolfe’s program in the SIPS Horticulture Section focuses on the accounting and management of carbon, nitrogen, and greenhouse gases in agroecosystems. He is also a project coordinator of the recently released New York Soil Health Roadmap.
Snowdon, R.J., Stahl, A., Wittkop, B., Friedt, W., Voss-Fels, K., Ordon, F., Frisch, M., Dreisigacker, S., Hearne, S.J., Bett, K.E., Cuthbert, R.D., Bentley, A.R., Melchinger, A.E., Tuberosa, R., Langridge, P., Uauy, C., Sorrells, M.E., Poland, J., and Pozniak, C.J. 2019. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116:10623-10624.
We are fortunate to have lots to celebrate this month!
Congratulations to our 2019 graduates! The five graduate fields had a total of 30 PhD, 4 MS and 2 MPS students graduate this spring! There were also 26 Plant Sciences and 32 Agricultural Sciences students graduate. Thanks to the many faculty, staff and students that participated in the recognition ceremonies. More information here
Congratulations Matt Ryan who was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!
Congratulations Mike Gore who was promoted to Full Professor!
Congratulations Susan Brown who was named a Fellow in the American Society of Horticultural Science.
Congratulations SIPS grad students that were awarded USDA NIFA predoctoral fellowships; Jenny Wilson, Dustin Wilkerson, Jenna Hershberger, Daniel Evanich, Zoe Dubrow, Taylor Cyle, Chase Crowell, Taylor Anderson. More information here
Active Learning Update. We are interviewing candidates for the two active learning postdocs now and hope to bring folks on board over the summer.
Faculty search updates:
Assistant Professor: Grape Disease Ecology & Epidemiology. Katie Gold has accepted our offer and will start as an Assistant Professor Feb 2020
Assistant/Associate Professor: Specialty Crop Systems. Lynn Sosnoskie has accepted our offer and will start as an Assistant Professor September 2019
Assistant/Associate Professor: Digital Agriculture: Agronomy. On-campus interviews of the top candidates will be interviewing in the next month.
Assistant/Associate Professor: Breeding for Sustainable Forage Cropping Systems. There will be a new search for this position.
Congratulations to the following people who were recognized with a SIPS Kudos in the last month! Thanks for your effort and passion in support of SIPS.
Leslie Larsen (going above and beyond)
Cindy Twardokus (going above and beyond)
Tatyana Dokuchayeva (inspirational leadership)
Craig Cramer (going above and beyond)
Andrea Gilbert (going above and beyond)
Cheryl Wunder (going above and beyond)
Chris Smart (inspirational leadership)
Jenn Thomas-Murphy (going above and beyond)
Eric Fabio (going above and beyond)
Isabel Gareau (building mastery and skill)
Kari Richards (going above and beyond)
Leah Cook (going above and beyond)
Mandy Kafka (going above and beyond)
Tara Reed (going above and beyond)
Alicia Caswell (going above and beyond)
PLEASE remember to recognize people in our SIPS community that have gone out of their way to enhance our School. All you have to do is complete the brief form here
Nine SIPS graduate students drawn from four of our graduate fields have been awarded predoctoral fellowships from the USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The program is focused on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. Congratulations to all our awardees!
Analysis of Pathogen Distribution and Virulence Patterns at a Continental Scale for Improved Management of Hop Powdery Mildew
Awardee: Bill Weldon, Gadoury program, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Award amount: $119, 447
Investigating a role for plant virus silencing suppressor proteins in virus transmission
Awardee: Jenny Wilson, Heck program, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Award amount: $120,000
Dissecting Resistance to Willow Leaf Rust (Melampsora spp.) in Shrub Willow (Salix spp.)
Awardee: Dustin Wilkerson, Larry Smart program, Plant Breeding and Genetics Award amount: $120,000
Understanding the Epidemiology and Infection Biology of Melampsora americana Willow Rust in the Northeast United States
Awardee: Chase Crowell, Chris Smart program, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Award amount: $120,000
TAL effector targeted susceptibility genes in black rot of cabbage caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris
Awardee: Zoe Dubrow, Bogdanove program, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Award amount: $120,000
Integrating transcriptomics for the improvement of genetic dissection and prediction of provitamin A and vitamin E in fresh sweet corn kernels
Awardee: Jenna Hershberger, Gore program, Plant Breeding and Genetics Award amount: $120,000
Leveraging Digital Phenotyping and Genomics to Develop Durable Resistance to Early Blight in Tomato
Awardee: Taylor Anderson, Mutschler program, Plant Breeding and Genetics Award amount: $120,000
Tracking the Fate of Low Molecular Weight Organic Substrates in Solution-Microbe-Mineral Systems
Awardee: Taylor Cyle, Martínez program, Soil and Crop Sciences Award amount: $120,000
Understanding the Contribution of DNA Demethylation to Ripening Initiation in Tomato
Congratulations to the 36 graduate students and 58 undergraduates recognized by SIPS as part of the 2019 Commencement Ceremonies. It is with great pride that we send them forth to use their talents to address the needs of the world. As SIPS Director Chris Smart said in her opening remarks, “You are not imposters, you are here for a reason, and your voice is critical!” Future plans include research as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty, industry positions, teaching, farming, and engagement in international policy and food production. Best wishes to them all!
Horticulture: 4 PhD, 2 MS, 2 MPS
Plant Biology: 5 PhD
Plant Breeding: 9 PhD, 1 MS
Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology: 10 PhD
Soil and Crop Sciences: 2 PhD, 1 MS
26 Plant Sciences graduates: 5 cum laude, 3 magna cum laude, 4 summa cum laude
32 Agricultural Sciences graduates: 8 cum laude, 5 magna cum laude
Ring Memorial Awards: Jonathan Price, Tommi Schieder, George Stack
Selected future plans for undergraduates:
MAT, Agricultural Education
Extension Aide, Weed Science, Cornell
Agricultural Investment Analyst, MetLife
Technician, CaroVail, Inc
Consultant, Ernst & Young
Owner-Operator, Gasko Family Farm (family nursery business)
Orchard Manager, Fishkill Farms
Field Technician, Champlain Valley Agronomics
Intern, Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum
Technician, Cornell’s Soil Health Lab
Manager, Central NY organic dairy
Credit Analyst, Farm Credit East
Assistant Grower, hydroponic urban farm, Seattle
Winery Operations Manager, E & J Gallo
Winemaking Intern, E & J Gallo
Category Specialist, Jet.com and Walmart eCommerce
Assistant Grower, Ryder Farm
Silva’s Holstein Dairy
PhD program, Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Breeding, UMN
Research Assistant, Boyce Thompson Institute
Technical Representative, AgroFresh
Technician, Agbotic Inc.
MS program, Penn State University
Garden Education Director, Camp Hudson
Landscaper, Schumacher Companies, West Bridgewater, MA
PhD program, Soil and Crop Sciences, Cornell
Agronomist, Sterman Masser Potato Farms
PhD program, Computational Biology
PhD program, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell
Greenhouse Intern, Walt Disney World
PhD program, University of Wisconsin
PhD program, Crop Science, University of Illinois
Selected future plans for graduate students:
Arboretum Director, Connecticut College
Postdoctoral Researcher, Cambridge MA
Postdoctoral Researcher, NIH
Postdoctoral Researcher, applied quantitative genetics
Postdoctoral Researcher, CIMMYT
Oat and Potato Breeder, PepsiCo
Assistant Professor, Clemson University
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Minnesota
Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
4-H Youth Development Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Postdoctoral Researcher, Cornell AgriTech
Technical Advisor, Davey Tree Expert Co., Houston TX
Postdoctoral Researcher, Environmental Defense Fund
Tuesday, July 2, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
New York Seed Improvement Project (NYSIP) Foundation Seed Barn 791 Dryden Road (Rt. 366), Ithaca NY
A field tour that will highlight Cornell research on small grains, forages, biofuel species, and industrial hemp. Topics to include breeding, varieties, pathogens and pests, seed production, and seed treatment. This event aims to provide timely updates for seed treatment and seed industry professionals, seed growers, educators, and researchers who work with these crops and their seeds and seed treatments.
Thursday, July 11
Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd, Aurora, NY 13026 (lunch included)
The annual Cornell Field Crops field day is held at Musgrave Research Farm in Aurora, NY. Topics typically covered include assessments of wheat, soybean, and forage crops under different management regimes in addition to pathogen and pest management for corn, malting barley and other crops.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (lunch included)
Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd, Aurora, NY 13026
Connect with fellow farmers and Cornell researchers, while you check out our new no-till planter and get the latest information about rolled cover crop organic no-till soybean production. Learn about our organic cropping systems experiment and crop breeding for organic production. The NY Soil Health Trailer will also be on-site with demonstrations to show participants how healthy soil compares to degraded soil. This event is part of a Summer Field Day Series organized by NOFA-NY, Organic@Cornell, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
Wednesday, July 31
Plant Science Building in Ithaca
The latest in pest management methods for commercial greenhouse producers. Topics will include best practices for beneficial insects, greenhouse sanitation to prevent pests, diseases and weeds and hydroponic green and herb production.
Wednesday, July 31, 3:00 – 7:00 pm (Vegetable tastings and light meal included)
Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm, 133 Fall Creek Rd, Freeville, NY 13068
Join Cornell researchers and Cornell Cooperative Extension for field tours of ongoing organic research. Learn about soil health, perennial cover crops, hemp production, tarps for weed suppression, variety trials, and vegetable breeding for organic production. The NY Soil Health Trailer will also be on-site with demonstrations to show participants how healthy soil compares to degraded soil. This event is part of a Summer Field Day Series organized by NOFA-NY, Organic@Cornell, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
Thursday, August 1, 3:00 – 7:00 pm (Light meal included)
Cornell Orchards, 709 Dryden Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Join us for an afternoon and see how mulch compares to tillage and allowed herbicides in terms of weed suppression and soil health in a block of ‘Honeycrisp’, and how ‘Modi’ performs on different rootstocks in a high-density tall spindle orchard. Advances in organic management of insect pests and diseases will also be discussed. The NY Soil Health Trailer will also be on-site with demonstrations to show participants how healthy soil compares to degraded soil. This event is part of a Summer Field Day Series organized by NOFA-NY, Organic@Cornell, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
Cornell Hemp Field Day
Times and other details will be added as they become available
Wednesday, August 14, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Lunch included)
Twin Oaks Dairy, 3185 NY-13, Truxton, NY 13158
Description: Join Kirk and Kathie Arnold and learn about mixed intercropping, interseeding into corn, and double cropping with triticale and sorghum sudangrass. Cornell researchers will discuss improving soil health and other ways farmers can increase resilience to extreme weather events. The NY Soil Health Trailer will also be on-site with demonstrations to show participants how healthy soil compares to degraded soil. This event is part of a Summer Field Day Series organized by NOFA-NY, Organic@Cornell, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
Cornell CBD Hemp Field Day
Times and other details will be added as they become available
Peace, C.P., Bianco, L., Troggio, M., van de Weg, E., Howard, N.P., Cornille, A., Durel, C.-E., Myles, S., Migicovsky, Z., Schaffer, R.J., Costes, E., Fazio, G., Yamane, H., van Nocker, S., Gottschalk, C., Costa, F., Chagné, D., Zhang, X., Patocchi, A., Gardiner, S.E., Hardner, C., Kumar, S., Laurens, F., Bucher, E., Main, D., Jung, S., and Vanderzande, S. 2019. Horticulture Research 6:59.