Say it ain’t so! Another beautiful summer in Delaware is coming to a close. On the bright side, this year’s hot weather means that we’ll be in for summer fun until a bit later this year. But the heat hasn’t kept our College of Agriculture and Natural Resources from an active summer on the Newark campus.
Record numbers of student interns worked in our dairy, creamery, organic garden and botanical gardens this summer, along with many Extension Scholars spread across the state. A large crew of students worked with Mark Isaacs on the Thurman Adams Farm in Georgetown (below).
As we get ready for another academic year beginning in just a few days, here are the latest summer highlights in the CANR community.
Incoming Class. Imagine being a member of the Class of 2020—great expectations to be sure! We will welcome the new class to UD on August 29. Before you know it, we will watch them head out to change the world in June of 2020 (with 20-20 vision for their futures!).
The size of this incoming CANR class matches last year’s number. Importantly, the class is our most diverse ever, with about 20% of our students coming from underrepresented groups. In fact, CANR led all other UD colleges in this respect.
To ensure the best educational experience possible for the Class of 2020, we’ve made some improvements to the Fischer Greenhouse complex, Townsend Hall, the O.A. Newton Building, the Animal Anatomy Lab and our Newark Farm. Our students will enjoy some upgrades both in and out of the classroom as they dive into their studies.
Creamery Expansion. Speaking of upgrades, one of many exciting developments the Class of 2020 can look forward to is the build-out and opening of the UDairy Creamery expansion. Thanks to the Unidel Foundation and generous donors, we’ll move forward on a $1+ million construction project that will provide both greater production capabilities for the Creamery and a great “maker space” for our Food Science and related programs.
We will create about 2,000 square feet of food-grade workspace in Worrilow Hall, and over time, we will build infrastructure to make new dairy products like cheese and yogurt. We’ll also use the space for brewing beer and other fermented beverages as part of our Fermentation Science and Science of Wine courses, and we’ll be able to pasteurize and bottle beverages such as teas and lemonade.
In addition, we are in the developmental stages of a beverage management minor that we’ll offer jointly with UD’s Department of Hospitality Business Management (formerly Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management) to give the students a place to put their studies into practice.
With the Delaware craft beer industry skyrocketing, as exemplified by Dogfish Head, Iron Hill, 16 Mile and other breweries, we’re partnering with industry to develop relevant academic programs. We will even be growing hops on our farm next year, again thanks to a generous donor who provided funding to install a hop yard. The learning opportunities are endless.
A New Tradition: Fall Fest. College life is full of traditions. From Homecoming weekend to Spring Break to Ag Day, the academic year is punctuated by events that began decades ago. This year, we’re starting a new tradition—Fall Fest—when we will welcome students back to campus as we enjoy the bounty that our farm has produced over the summer from grass-fed beef to fresh, organically grown vegetables. As we take time to celebrate the harvest tradition with our students, this event reinforces the fact that they are an important part of the CANR family.
Departures. This summer, several CANR folks have moved on to the next chapters of their careers. We are grateful for their time, talents, knowledge and service.
- In June, the legendary “Dr. T,” Carl Toensmeyer, began his retirement leave year. Throughout his career, Dr. T influenced many students. Thanks to his tireless efforts with the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), some have gone on to run their own successful agribusinesses or achieve executive status in major companies.
- Larry Cogburn III, one of our poultry science faculty, also began his retirement leave in June. Our pre-vet students will remember him for the physiology course that he taught; although tough, it prepared them well for the challenges of veterinary school.
- Richard Taylor, an Extension specialist in agronomy, retired in June. He received an outstanding Extension educator award at the Northeastern Extension Directors annual meeting in Pittsburgh in June, a fitting tribute to an impactful career.
- Chuck Mason, one of our agricultural entomologists, retired in June after 40+ years of service. Aside from being a great scientist and teacher, Chuck gave much time and effort helping to grow Alpha Gamma Rho, the agricultural fraternity at UD.
- John Pesek will begin his retirement leave year at the end of this month after a successful career as a professor of statistics. John, a great research collaborator, taught several courses in our vibrant MS-STAT program.
- On August 16, we held a wonderful retirement reception for Tom Sims, our former T.A. Baker Professor of Soil Science. Tom had a stellar career as a professor and then served the college as deputy dean for almost a decade and a half—as a fantastic colleague and friend. He and his wife Connie will retire to beautiful Watkinsville, Georgia, near the University of Georgia. He’s pictured here at the center of a group of former students and colleagues. (Apparently, they all share a love of hats!)
- Cathy Kinney, the dean’s administrative specialist, retired on July 29 after serving four CANR deans over many years. Most of all, I will miss her warm smile and pleasant disposition.
New Additions. On the incoming side, we have a few new faces to announce, even as we’re vigorously seeking to fill several positions.
- Ivan Hiltpold, an entomologist, is our newest faculty member; he will start on September 1. Ivan is from Switzerland originally, worked briefly in Missouri, and is now moving all the way from Australia to join us. He brings a wealth of talent and experience to our Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology even at this early stage of his career.
- Catherine Conrad will join us on September 6 as an administrative specialist following Cathy Kinney’s departure. She’ll be working next to Kathryn Thoroughgood, Kathy Lyons, and Catherine Hamrick in the dean’s suite. I’m not kidding. So if you drop by the dean’s suite asking for “Catherine,” you may get a lot of attention! We’ll have to come up with some nicknames….
CANR in the News
Below is a list of recent stories from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Originally published on UDaily, they were picked up by national and international news organizations either organically or through coordination with UD’s Communications and Public Affairs Office:
Link to original UDaily story: Clean Produce: UD professor develops UV light oven to fight off foodborne pathogens
Picked up by:
- Smithsonian Magazine: Summer Produce Could Last Longer With These Five New Technologies
- Food Safety News: UV light oven has potential to decontaminate produce at home
- TakePart: Your Reusable Shopping Bags Are Teeming With Bad Bacteria
Link to original UDaily story: Cat Scat: UD research examines food habits of snow leopards
Picked up by:
- The News Journal: Leopard poop a clue for UD researchers (USA Today also published this version of the story).
- Delaware Public Media: Feline feces: UD researchers examine scat in effort to protect snow leopards
- Phys.org: Food habits of snow leopards
Link to original UDaily story: Wooden Breast Chickens: UD researchers investigate wooden breast in broiler chickens
Picked up by:
- World Poultry.net: US team identify wooden breast biomarkers
- Feedstuffs: New clues found in wooden breast syndrome
- Morning Ag Clips: Delmarva edition
The News Journal ran an article on recent graduate Sarah Morrissey’s work on poultry lighting which was covered on UDaily back in February and was also featured in the Morning Ag Clips: Delmarva edition.
The News Journal also featured John and Jeanne Frett’s work making blankets, and Limin Kung was profiled in the New Zealand Dairy Exporter.
In addition, the following stories were featured in the Delmarva edition of Morning Ag Clips: