Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

Scroll to top

Top

university sustainable agriculture

WSU Extension Offers Home Food Production Program for those Limited by Financial or Physical Hardship

March 28, 2013 |

A new educational program in Cowlitz County, Wash., is taking the fear out of gardening and enabling people who are limited by financial or physical hardship to experience the rewards of having their own garden. In the program’s first year, there were 22 applicants vying for 10 spots; this year, there are 61.

“You really get to know these people after reading the application,” says Gary Fredricks, the director of the WSU Extension office for Cowlitz County. From this year’s 61 applicants, he and the committee of Master Gardeners selected the 10 applicants that are the next cohort of the Home Vegetable Educational Garden (VEG) program. Read More

Two Young Farmers Discuss Their Sustainable Farming Enterprise, Offer Advice to Aspirants

January 21, 2013 |

Sarah Wertz and Matt Hyde of Rabbit Run Farm in Skull Valley, AZ. Photo Credit: Rabbit Run Farm.

The following is a candid conversation with young farmers, Matt Hyde and Sarah Wertz about their operation, Rabbit Run Farm in Skull Valley, Arizona.

What compelled you, especially as a young couple to get into sustainable farming?

We both enjoy working outdoors and eating good food.  The farming lifestyle represents our values and beliefs. Also, we took the class Small Scale Agriculture at Prescott College held at Whipstone Farm in Paulden, Arizona. Following the class, we talked with the farmers Cory and Shanti and asked if we could work for them the following season. We really enjoyed it! The next season, Byrnie at Ridgeview Farms offered us land to use as kind of a trial for farming on our own The next season we were offered the farm manager position at Jenner Farm in Skull Valley and moved our farming operation there. We’ve been farming ever since. Read More

University of Wisconsin-Madison student awarded one of nation’s first organic plant breeding fellowships

November 8, 2012 |

News Release – The story of how Tessa Peters ended up snagging one of the nation’s first graduate fellowships in organic plant breeding begins in an unlikely place: the middle of the ocean.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in physics, she set out as a geophysicist, mapping the ocean floor aboard a large ship, working five weeks on, five weeks off. During her time off, she traveled widely and stumbled upon her new career path. Read More

Chocolate genome research good for farmers, environment, sweet lovers

November 8, 2012 |

News Release – UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – With the help of information technology (IT), Penn State professor Mark Guiltinan makes the world a sweeter place.

Guiltinan is a professor of plant molecular biology in the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He currently runs the Guiltinan Lab, where he studies crop improvement and sustainable farming methods. Guiltinan was a key player in The International Cocoa Genome Sequencing Consortium, a worldwide effort to sequence and analyze the genome of the Criollo variety of the Theobromo cacao plant, the key ingredient in high-quality chocolate. Using genome sequencing programs and computer clusters at Penn State and abroad, Guiltinan and his colleagues have mapped the cacao genome and are working to breed better, more disease-resistant cacao plants. Read More

Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center Receives $6.5M Grant for Biogas, Bioenergy Research

November 1, 2012 |

News Release — WOOSTER, Ohio – Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) has received a $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy to test and expand a university-developed technology that can produce biogas from a variety of solid organic wastes and bioenergy crops.

Awarded through the Biomass Research Development Initiative (BRDI), the three-year grant will also allow researchers to develop technology for converting biogas to liquid hydrocarbon fuels, with the aim of further diversifying the country’s currently available suite of renewable transportation fuels. Read More

LSU Scientists Examine Potential Value of Switchgrass to Louisiana

October 31, 2012 |

Michael Blazier, LSU AgCenter forestry researcher, holds a sample of switchgrass taken from a field near Archibald, La., in Richland Parish. Blazier is looking at the yield potential of switchgrass on marginal crop lands for use as a biofuel. Photo by Craig Gautreaux.

News Release – ARCHIBALD, La. – Michael Blazier is familiar with growing trees. As an LSU AgCenter forestry researcher, he has been involved in many timber-related projects that have helped determine the most efficient methods for producing quality lumber. Now, he is working on growing switchgrass, a fast-growing native plant that shows promise as a biofuel feedstock.

“Switchgrass is native to nearly the entirety of North America. In Louisiana, it is native to the Cajun prairie ecosystem,” Blazier said. Read More

Ohio State University Study Examines How Residents of Rural Food Deserts Access Fresh Produce

October 29, 2012 |

News Release — WOOSTER, Ohio — “Food deserts” are normally thought of as low-income, blighted urban neighborhoods with little access to fresh, reasonably priced fruits and vegetables.

But rural areas, despite their wide-open spaces and fertile farmland, can be food deserts, too.

An Ohio State University Extension community development specialist worked with two student interns to examine this seeming paradox to discover more about people who live in rural food deserts and how they access fresh produce. Read More

Penn State Led Research Project Receives $10 Million Grant to Develop Perennial Feedstock Production Systems

October 28, 2012 |

News Release — UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Northeast could help lead the way to a renewable-energy-based economy by utilizing marginal and abandoned land to grow energy crops such as perennial grasses and fast-growing woody plants.

That’s the goal of a new research and education project led by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and supported by a $10 million grant, Read More