Vegetable and small-fruit growers will have a chance to gain knowledge that can enhance their operations during a series of monthly, Web-based seminars that will kick off Dec. 18. Presented by Penn State Extension in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, the webinars will provide timely updates in vegetable and small-fruit production for extension educators, producers and industry representatives in Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states.
A project spearheaded by scientists in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Uganda's Makarere University is helping African youths establish businesses and generate income. And these young people, in turn, are providing services that can help farmers improve dairy nutrition and increase milk production.
Reducing the risk of injury or death for young people on farms is the goal of a new project aimed at developing a coordinated national approach to youth farm safety education. Led by safety experts in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, the Safety in Agriculture for Youth project will serve as an umbrella for curricula, programs, activities and expertise across the country, with an eye toward increasing safety and health knowledge and reducing hazard and risk exposure to youth on farms and ranches.
William Kleiner, interim associate director of Penn State Extension since July 2012, has been named to the post on a standing basis, effective Oct. 1. Kleiner will provide organizational and operational leadership in support of the strategic objectives of Penn State Extension and will be a key member of the College of Agricultural Sciences administrative group.
A new website developed by Penn State Extension specialists is designed to be a one-stop resource for those seeking information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was created under the federal Affordable Care Act. The "Health Insurance Literacy" website provides extensive resources for Pennsylvania shoppers who want to do their homework before deciding which policy to buy.
If you've ever wondered about some of the creepy crawlies you find in your backyard, you may want to attend Penn State's Great Insect Fair. With the theme, "Backyard Zoo -- The Bugs Around You," The 20th edition of the event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus.
Jonathan Laughner, an extension educator based in Beaver County, has been named district director for Penn State Extension's District 1, which encompasses Erie, Crawford and Mercer counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. The appointment is effective immediately.
According to the latest estimates, Australia has more wild hogs than human beings, perhaps more than 23 million. No one is certain how many wild hogs roam Pennsylvania -- mostly escapees from commercial hog-hunting preserves and their offspring. But both commonwealths need to control and perhaps eliminate feral pigs, which are a highly destructive species, according to Theodore Alter, professor of agricultural, environmental and regional economics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Whether you picked a basket of tomatoes from your own garden or purchased a peck of cucumbers from your favorite farm stand, you can continue to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year by properly preserving them.
Three new agricultural resource centers funded in the recently passed Pennsylvania state budget will be unveiled to the public during Ag Progress Days on Aug. 13-15 at Rock Springs. The centers, a collaborative effort between Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, will address the hot button issues of food safety, animal care and plant health.
Joseph Conklin, of Pittsburgh, has been named district director for Penn State Extension's District 10, which encompasses Washington, Greene and Fayette counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. The appointment was effective Aug. 1.
Much of the equipment, technology, goods and services that drive the state's agricultural economy will be on display during Penn State's Ag Progress Days exposition, Aug. 13-15 at Rock Springs. The event will feature nearly 500 exhibitors and a variety of field demonstrations, giving agricultural producers a marketplace where they can learn, shop and compare, according to Bob Oberheim, Ag Progress Days manager.
A new series of Web-based seminars offered by Penn State Extension will cover issues related to land use. Kicking off July 17, the 75-minute, monthly webinars will be offered from noon to 1:15 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. The sessions will include time for questions and answers.
Two new, youth-oriented online presentations from Penn State Extension explore the role of water in shale-gas drilling and production in the mid-Atlantic region. These self-running presentations were designed for use by educators in both formal and informal educational settings.
A recently completed study of water supplies on Pennsylvania dairy farms found that about a quarter of those tested had at least one water-quality issue. And average milk production for these farms was about 10 percent lower than farms with good water quality.
A Web-based Penn State Extension course designed to help beginning and experienced beekeepers gain the knowledge they need to be successful has been recognized for online excellence. Beekeeping 101 was named an official honoree in the 2013 Webby Awards. The course was one of 11 honorees in the Education category.
One of the world's most mysterious insects is about to invade the skies over wooded areas in eastern Pennsylvania and other states, but an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says it's not a cause for alarm. Residents of 17 Pennsylvania counties soon will see an emergence of periodical cicadas, commonly but mistakenly called 17-year locusts.
It's time to plant, prune, prepare beds and spruce up the landscape. Residents from around the region can get a head start by visiting the Garden Fair and Plant Sale hosted by Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County on May 18 at the Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs.
Possible shale-gas development in the Loyalsock State Forest in Lycoming County will be the focus of a free, Web-based seminar sponsored by Penn State Extension. To be offered at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 25, "Information on Potential Loyalsock State Forest Natural Gas Development" is a special presentation recently added to a monthly series of one-hour webinars.
The explosion in popularity of water gardening has resulted in the proliferation of aquatic invasive species, according to Diane Oleson, a Penn State Extension educator based in York County, who created an educational program that shows water gardeners how to avoid giving aquatic invaders a free ride.
The tours and presentations have been finalized for Penn State's first statewide Private Forest Landowners Conference, and the program promises to be unparalleled for providing forest stewardship information to Pennsylvania citizens.
Matthew Royer, an environmental attorney, with experience working for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been named as the new director of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Penn State Extension will offer a Web-based seminar showing community leaders how to better engage local citizens in issues surrounding land-use planning.
To be presented at noon and 7 p.m. on April 17, "Developing More Effective Citizen Engagement: A How-To Guide for Community Leaders," will give participants thoughtful suggestions for dealing with and involving citizens in land-use decision making.
A Penn State team has received accolades for developing research databases related to 4-H and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, also known as EFNEP. Led by Jan Scholl, associate professor of agricultural and extension education, and Amy Paster, associate librarian in the Penn State University Libraries, the team was selected to receive the 2013 Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences from the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Pennsylvania has a strong tree-fruit industry, led by the nation's fourth largest apple crop. But diseases that damage fruit can severely limit production, causing potentially millions of dollars in losses annually. Helping growers manage these diseases and minimize associated costs is the job of tree-fruit pathologist Kari Peter, who began work in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences on March 1.
Investigations into natural gas from shale development migrating into groundwater will be the focus of a free, Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension. To be presented at 1 p.m. on March 21, "A Geochemical Context for Stray Gas Investigations in the Northern Appalachian Basin," is part of a monthly series of one-hour webinars.
Penn State Extension will offer a Web-based seminar focusing on the potential pros and cons of land-use planning related to renewable energy projects. To be presented at noon and 7 p.m. on March 20, "Renewable Energy Implementation and Land Use Regulations -- Is There Conflict?" will give participants a look at the different categories of typical renewable energy projects, zoning and permitting challenges, and how municipalities have been responding.
As anticipated, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett today (Feb. 5) presented his 2013-14 budget, which included level funding of a little more than $214 million for Penn State's annual state appropriation. Also contained in his budget proposal is level funding at nearly $13.6 million for Penn College and $44.7 million for Agricultural Research and Extension.
"In this difficult budget environment, the governor's offer of level funding is a clear sign that higher education is critical for Pennsylvania's economic recovery and for our next generation of workers. The governor's budget proposal is the beginning of a long process of legislative review and we are pleased that he has recommended no cuts in our appropriation this year," said Penn State President Rodney Erickson.