University of Connecticut

CAHNR in the news

newsprintSeveral CAHNR people and a center appeared in the news recently. The hyperlinked names will take you to the articles.

The Day of New London. 11-9-14. Mentioned that “a plan for enhancing the state’s recreational and commercial shellfish resources is being developed by Connecticut Sea Grant,” which Tessa Getchis, a Connecticut Extension instructor in residence, said will be completed early next year.

Hartford Courant. 11-16-14. Quoted Mike Darre, a professor in animal science, in an article about the debate over what size cages egg-laying chickens need. He said that increasing the cage size “isn’t necessarily changing the welfare of the animals.”

The Day of New London. 11-16-14. Reported about damage to North Stonington athletic fields by animals that dig holes to access the high population of grubs present there. A state pesticide ban complicates the situation. Two Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture faculty members studied the problem, Steven Rackliffe, who was quoted in the article, and Jason Henderson. (more…)

UConn Extension Agriculture Team wins Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Education Award

Bonnie Burr, Mike O'Neill, Jiff Martin and, Greg Weidemann

Left to right: Bonnie Burr, head, Department of Extension; Mike O’Neill, associate dean;  Jiff Martin, associate extension educator; and Greg Weidemann, dean

The UConn Extension Agriculture Team was the recipient of the Farmland Preservation Pathfinder Education Leader Award at the Working Lands Alliance Annual Meeting on Tuesday, November 18, at the State Capitol in Hartford. The award recognizes significant contributions in the area of educating the public about the importance of farmland preservation.

Through the work of the Agriculture team, UConn Extension has advanced farmland preservation in Connecticut by assisting farmers with economic viability, leadership in the agriculture field, advocacy for agriculture, planning and educational programs. Without economically viable businesses, it would be impossible for farmers in Connecticut to remain in business. UConn Extension Agriculture team programs give farmers the tools they need to enhance their agricultural businesses, playing a direct role in the success of the industry and farmland preservation. Farmers we work with include those who have already preserved their farmland and those considering it as an option.

Agriculture team members serve the efforts of farmland preservation in a variety of methods. Programs include Scaling Up for Beginning Farmers, Farmland ConneCTions, Buy 10% Local, Connecticut Food System Alliance, Agriculture Risk Management, Crop Insurance, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Food Safety, Agriculture Nutrient Management and more.

Through its team approach to agriculture outreach and education, UConn Extension has created a vibrant network of professionals to meet the needs of our state’s versatile agricultural industry. For the past 100 years, UConn Extension has been tying research to real life for Connecticut farmers and agricultural producers. Efforts have had a direct impact on farm viability and preservation in Connecticut.

Agricultue Team members are Joe Bonelli (team leader), Leslie Alexander, Joan Allen, Sheila Andrew, Sarah Bailey, Candace Bartholomew, Jude Boucher, Boris Bravo-Ureta, Sandra Bushmich, Anoushka Concepcion, Mary Concklin, Dennis D’Amico, Michael Darre, Sal Frasca Jr., Tessa Getchis, Diane Wright Hirsch, Mazhar Khan, Jiff Martin, Richard McAvoy, Joyce Meader, Richard Meinert, Jenifer Nadeau, Dawn Pettinelli, Leanne Pundt, Carol Quish, Rosa Raudales, Guillermo Risatti, Carl Salsedo, Joan Smyth, Deborah Tyser, Paulo Verardi, Vickie Wallace, Ben Campbell, Alejandro Chiriboga, German Cutz, Ana Legrand, Donna Ellis, Jason Henderson, Jude Hsiang, John Inguagiato, Jessica Lubell, Steve Rackliffe, Tom Meyer, Deborah Lee, Deb Prior and Stacey Stearns (program coordinator).

Historical image of the week

Horse Clinic

1966 Horse Clinic

Meet undergraduate Jacob Gardner


Jacob Gardner

When sophomore Jacob Griffith Gardner of Madison, Connecticut could not find a major that perfectly matched his interests, he decided to create his own. Jacob now has the individualized major of integrated crop management (ICM) through biotechnology, and he is involved in research and a fraternity on campus. Here is what he said in an interview.

What attracted you to UConn? At first, UConn was not my top choice. However, my mothers, aunt and uncle are all UConn alumni, and, financially, UConn made the most sense. When I chose UConn, I based my decision on logic. Once I arrived, however, I fell in love with the school.

Why did you choose your particular major? I started out as a psychology major and then quickly switched to economics. During the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences orientation, however, I learned that research is one of the best ways to have a positive impact in one’s area of study. I realized that I could not picture myself doing research with people. Rather, I loved being outside and working with food and plants, and so I began to consider studying food crops. In a weird way, my CLAS orientation inspired me to switch to CAHNR. (more…)

Funding for a song

Stephen Swallow, center, with PhD students Pengfei Liu, left, and Anwesha Chakrabarti. Photo by Cameron Faustman.

Stephen Swallow, center, with PhD students Pengfei Liu, left, and Anwesha Chakrabarti. Photo by Cameron Faustman.

How much is the sound of bird song worth? Can we place a monetary value on the heart stopping-sight of a bobolink in flight? Should neighbors invest in the possibility that their dollars might preserve a species so fragile that it might fail to reproduce at all?

These are just a few of the questions Stephen Swallow, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, has been testing as part of the Bobolink Project, a joint effort by faculty and students at the University of Rhode Island and UConn.

Swallow, who grew up in Missouri and proudly displays a photo of President Harry Truman on his office wall, wanted to apply market practices to environmental problems. He is interested in how to link supporting the public good; in this case, the preservation of habitat conducive to supporting nesting bobolinks, to what people will invest in the process. Swallow is “creating, inventing and testing rules of exchange that reduce the advantage a person has from being a ‘free rider in the environment’.” By paying—Swallow calls it the “willingness to sacrifice” —a donor can demonstrate their values for environmental benefits.