Showing posts with label CAFS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CAFS. Show all posts

Friday, June 09, 2017

FAMU faculty member uses innovative teaching methods

By FAMU CAFS Magazine Staff

The 2016-2017 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) junior faculty Teaching Innovation Award (TIA) was presented to Jenelle Robinson, Ph.D., of the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS).

The award, which is given to a senior and junior faculty member, recognizes an outstanding faculty member who has demonstrated and implemented the use of non-traditional teaching strategies, approaches, techniques, or tools to produce measurable gains for student outcome.  It also exemplifies their respective efforts on exploring new ways of teaching that impacts the capacity of the students to think critically.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

USDA completes transfer of 3,800 acres in Brooksville to FAMU

By Kim Kaplan
USDA Public Affairs Specialist

On Oct. 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) marked the transfer of more than 3,800 acres of land and facilities of the former Subtropical Agricultural and Research Station to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).

The ceremony celebrated one of the largest single land transfers ever to one of the 19 historically black land-grant universities established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890.

Monday, October 05, 2015

CAFS research team publishes patent on protecting grapes from pathogen attacks

FAMU Professor of Plant Biotechnology Mehboob B. Sheikh
By Cynthia M. Lamb Portalatin
College of Agriculture and Food Sciences

FAMU inventors Mehboob B. Sheikh, Devaiah Kambiranda, and Hemanth KN Vasanthaiah recently published their patent on genes from muscadines and Florida hybrid grapes. This invention relates to protection against, and resistance to, pathogen attacks in grapes. Their patent number, 9,051,381, was issued June 9, 2015.

Sheikh is a professor of plant biotechnology at the FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences’ (CAFS) Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research. Kambiranda and Vasanthaiah are research associates.

The field-grown muscadine and Florida hybrid bunch grape cultivars maintained at the Center’s vineyard were used for field and bioassay studies.

Friday, August 14, 2015

FSU-FAMU partnership nets $2.1M to study plant genome

A long-standing partnership between Florida State University (FSU) and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) researchers has led to a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program that will allow them to better understand one of the country’s most important crops — corn.

FSU Associate Professor of Biological Science Hank Bass and FAMU Professor of Agronomy Oghenekome Onokpise, who have collaborated since the late 1990s, are working together along with a team of other investigators to map key functional regions of the genome of maize, more commonly referred to as corn.

“We essentially are setting out to develop a genomic chromatic structure of five tissues as a community service for the plant genetic research community,” said Bass, who is the lead investigator on the project.

Monday, July 20, 2015

2014: Robinson, Vilsack sign historic deal to transfer 3,800 acres of federal land to FAMU

Back in 2014, FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack signed a historic agreement to transfer 3,800 acres of federal land to FAMU.

Robinson and Vilsack made the deal official with a Memorandum of Understanding on March 1, 2014. FAMU is set to receive the property from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by September 30, 2015.

The land is located in Brooksville, Fla. and was formerly used as a research station that focused on beef cattle. That research station closed in 2012.

According to a FAMU press release from last week, “this transfer will be one of the single largest to a historically Black college or university in history.”

Saturday, June 20, 2015

FAMU agribusiness student places second in national research competition

Kendall Strickland, a senior agribusiness major at FAMU recently placed second on a research project presented at the 30th Annual Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Career Fair and Training Conference held in Houston.

Strickland received national recognition in the poster category of the competition for a project titled “The Economic Value of Palm Trees in Hotel Landscaping.”

The primary focus of the research is to determine the value of palm trees at hotels in areas such as Aruba. Since visitors travel to places like Aruba for its tropical environment, Strickland’s study addresses whether a low amount of palm trees could ultimately mean fewer visitors for hotels.

Monday, June 08, 2015

FAMU and Siaya County sign MOU to promote collaboration and research exchange

FAMU Provost Marcella David and Siaya County, Kenya Governor Cornell Rasanga Amoth recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will open the door to enhancing educational and research opportunities between FAMU and Siaya County as well as provide a roadmap for further expansion by FAMU in Kenya and East Africa. 

The MOU will enhance access to quality education for the people of Siaya County. It will also provide for joint educational and research activities, exchange of students and scholars, and increased funding opportunities for the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) from agencies such as USAID, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other global organizations.

Friday, April 10, 2015

FAMU celebrates 125th anniversary of Second Morrill Act

The FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) recently held a commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, which established FAMU as an 1890 land-grant university. The event was a research forum on theme “A New Season for Agriculture Research.”

More than 200 participants representing the agriculture research community, farming industry, government agencies, and the private sector attended the event. Special guests attending the forum included Adam Putnam, Florida commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Chavonda Jacobs-Young, administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Research Service.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

FAMU Farm in Quincy expands with new nature trail and recreational area

4-H Youth Pavilion at the FAMU Farm
By Amelia C. Davis
FAMU Cooperative Extension Program

The FAMU Research and Extension Center, also known as “The FAMU Farm” has begun expansion near the 4-H Pavilion and Lake Fredrick. Thanks to the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA) Project under the leadership of Dr. Lawrence Carter, FAMU Extension Director of Outreach Activities, the expansion includes a nature trail and space for recreational activities.

The FAMU Research and Extension Center is located in the city of Quincy, Florida, which is in the North Florida District of Gadsden County near the Florida-Georgia State line. The center consists of over 260 acres of farmland, pines, lakes and animal research labs. “The FAMU Farm” is operated by the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) Cooperative Extension Program, wherein the Veterinary Technology Program and Small Ruminant Program are also housed.

From the FAMU Extension SDA Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 9

Friday, December 26, 2014

FAMU Center for Biological Control pairing plant “buddies”


Dr. Susie Legaspi at the FAMU CBC satellite lab in Tallahassee
By  Jan Suszkiw
USDA Agricultural Research Service

People generally don’t go out of their way to attract insects. But on a few small farms outside Tallahassee, Florida, that’s precisely what some growers are doing—with guidance from scientists from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Florida A&M University (FAMU).

Through the scientists’ field demonstrations and technical presentations, the growers are learning how to pair their crops with “companion plants.” Some of these, like sweet alyssum, a flowering annual, attract and bolster populations of beneficial insects that prey on costly crop pests. Other plants, like giant red mustard, repel the pests and “push” them away from the main crop. Then, there are so-called “trap crops.”

“These are companion crops you can plant next to the main crop to lure pests away to where it can be controlled with pesticides, biocontrol agents, or other means,” explains ARS entomologist Susie Legaspi in Gainesville, FL. Legaspi co-directs FAMU’s Center for Biological Control (CBC) in Tallahassee.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FAMU student scientist first to clone muscadine grape gene

FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences student Jasmine A. Hall is the first young scientist
to clone the Flavanone 3' Hydroxylase (F3’H) gene from muscadine grapes

Hall’s groundbreaking accomplishment is a part of ongoing research at FAMU’s Center of Viticulture and Small Fruit Research that has uncovered the multiple health benefits of the super food.

“Muscadine grapes, or ‘bullets,’ are a common fruit that many people in the South grew up eating,” said Hall, a fourth-year food science student. “This research enables us to capitalize on the nutritional benefits of the muscadine grape, which has one of the highest antioxidant levels amongst fruits.”

Saturday, July 05, 2014

FAMU CAFS Youth Summit highlights agriculture and food science careers

FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) hosted parents, students and faculty during the CAFS Youth Development Summer Institute’s 2014 Summit held June 21.

The Summit allowed pre-college students and parents across CAFS Youth Development Summer Program areas to showcase what they learned about career opportunities related to STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics). The theme for this year’s summit was “Need Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Technology? There’s an AG for that!”

“Most students come to the program with a specific major or career path in mind and a general concept of what agriculture and food sciences is all about, ” said Program Director Gilda Phills. “However, in most cases, their career paths have not been well thought out, and they have a misconception of these disciplines because of little or no exposure to the various career options in their specific areas of interest.”

Saturday, June 07, 2014

FAMU’s veterinary technology program receives AVMA accreditation

The FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences Veterinary Technology Program has received initial accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

The CVTEA grants accreditation in recognition of institutions that exhibit proficiency in providing quality education for veterinary technicians.

“This accreditation represents a milestone for FAMU's animal science program and it also displays that one of the nation's most respected credentialing bodies supports what we are doing here at FAMU,” said Glen Wright, director of veterinary technology.  “The hard work of many went into reaching this significant moment and we appreciate everyone's contributions.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

FAMU graduate student makes award-winning discovery in Apalachicola Forest

FAMU graduate student Latasha Tanner, who is pursuing her master’s degree in entomology at the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, recently received top accolades from the National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

Tanner ranked No. 3 in the nation in the MANRRS graduate poster competition for her research on the impact of invasive beetles in the Apalachicola National Forest. Her research uncovered millions of dollars worth of possible damage to Florida’s forestry and agricultural industries.

She discovered that the Redbay ambrosia beetle coupled with the laurel wilt fungus had become a serious threat to Florida’s forestry industry and is a potential $13 million a year problem for Florida’s avocado crop, which could have commercial and residential impacts.

Friday, May 09, 2014

World-renowned scientist Donald Sparks speaks at FAMU

FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) recently hosted world-renowned scientist as a component of its 2014 lecture series.
Donald Sparks

Sparks is recognized internationally for his landmark research and writings on the kinetics and mechanisms of metal, oxyanion, and nutrient reactions at the biogeochemical interfaces. His pioneering studies on kinetic processes in soils and minerals include: the development of widely used and novel kinetic methods; the elucidation of rate-limiting steps and mechanisms over a range of spatial and temporal scales; and the coupling of real-time kinetic studies with in-situ molecular scale investigations.

“Dr. Sparks lecture at FAMU was significant to our administrators, faculty and students as they were afforded the honor of having a world-class scientist, arguably the best soil/environmental chemist in the world, come to CAFS to share his vast knowledge,” said CAFS Dean Robert Taylor about the impact of Sparks’ April 28 presentation.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Taylor reappointed to USDA NAREEE advisory board

FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) Dean Robert W. Taylor has been Tom Vilsack to the National Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economic (NAREEE) Advisory Board.
reappointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

As a member of the advisory board, Taylor will represent the National Crop, Soil, Agronomy, Horticulture or Weed Science Society.

“We are very excited to have you on board in order to continue our work for the USDA and the [NAREEE] mission. The participation and engagement of folks like you make our work that much more impactful,” said Michele Esch, NAREEE executive director, in a letter announcing Taylor’s reappointment.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FAMU awarded more than $1.3M in USDA grants



FAMU has been awarded three grants worth more than $1.3 million from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

FAMU was among a select group of land-grant institutions whose proposals were accepted under the grant program.

“For nearly 125 years, [FAMU] has played a vital role in ensuring access to higher education and opportunities for underserved communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These competitively-awarded grants support high-quality research, teaching and extension activities, and support the continued leadership of 1890 institutions in the fields of agriculture, the environment and public health.”

Two of the grants, which together exceed $450,000, were awarded through the 1890 Institution Research, Extension and Teaching Capacity Building Grants Program. The grants will support the university's agricultural science programs while strengthening the linkage between other 1890 land-grant institutions, the USDA and private industry.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

FAMU professor appointed to USDA advisory committee

Jennifer Taylor, associate professor and coordinator of Small Farm Programs at the FAMU College
of Agriculture and Food Sciences, has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (ACBFR).

The committee will provide guidance to the Secretary on expanding opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced Taylor’s appointment during a recent event at the University of Delaware.

“The next generation of America's farmers and ranchers are more diverse than ever before, have new market opportunities and continue to bring innovative ideas to the agriculture industry," Harden said. "The Secretary and I look forward to working closely with this advisory committee to continue supporting the promise of agriculture's future."

Taylor also serves as a member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The NOSB advises the Secretary on which substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic farming and processing, based on criteria under the Organic Foods Production Act.