by Jon M. Casey
While the unseasonably cool weather took center stage at this year’s Ag Progress Days Wednesday Aug. 14, the Government and Industry Day luncheon was warm and friendly where approximately 300 members of Pennsylvania’s Ag community gathered at midday for an update on the latest in agriculture. Barbara Christ, Sr. Associate Dean at the College of Agricultural Sciences, who is currently serving as interim Dean began by saying that despite the changes in funding and departmental leadership, the overall effort continues under her leadership at the same level of “ownership, pride and passion” as it did in the past. She said the support of local and state governmental officials during the restructuring of the PSU Ag Extension Service, has been excellent and appreciated by all within the university system. These changes are the result of reduced funding.
Penn State President, Rodney Erickson, said while there have been a number of challenges during the past year including federal financial sequestration, at the same time, Penn State University has been named as one of the top 10 universities for Agricultural and Forestry education, worldwide. He noted the efforts of researchers at the university who are looking for a solution to the ongoing problem with the disappearance of pollinators like the honeybee and certain butterflies, continues as well. At the same time as this year’s Ag Progress Days, there is an international conference on Pollinator Biology taking place at the nearby Nittany Lion Inn. According to Penn State information, “Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research is a consortium of more than 25 faculty members involved in research, education and extension efforts focused on improving pollinator health, conservation and ecosystems services.” Continue reading
by Jon M. Casey