Agriculture briefs


Penn State sets date

for open house

Prospective students and their families are invited to explore the 17 academic majors and 22 minors of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences during a spring open house on April 16 at the University Park campus.

During the open house, attendees will have the chance to learn more about the college and hear first-hand experiences from current students. Time will be dedicated for students to speak with advisers from the majors offered so that they can better understand the academic requirements, potential career pathways and learning opportunities that are available.

Afternoon tours will highlight research labs, food science facilities, livestock barns, the student farm, greenhouses and other locations connected to the College of Agricultural Sciences.


School FFA seeking grant

from Tractor Supply Co.

The Tyrone Area High School FFA has applied for a grant through the Tractor Supply Company Grants for Growing Campaign.

Tyrone has received such grants in the past.

“We received enough funds to purchase a Growing Tree (hydroponics system) and the growing lights and extenders to grow plants indoors. This system is used to show students how one can grow vegetable- and fruit-bearing plants in a small apartment without the use of soil,” Tiffany Hoy, Tyrone Area High School agricultural educator and FFA adviser, said in a statement.


Ag education lab visits elementary school

The Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, a division of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and Tyrone Area Agricultural Education Program recently brought hands-on agricultural education lessons to the Tyrone Area Elementary School.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab created an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture in a hands-on way.

Once stationed at the school, students entered the lab to perform science experiments that taught lessons focused on farm, food, fiber and the environment. Students in first and second grades participated in the “Thirsty Stem” lesson, which allowed them to create a model of a plant, observe the effects of capillary action and make predictions. Third- and fourth-graders received a hands-on lesson called “Snack Attack.”


Researchers join forces for bee research

The Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State University, in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Davis, the University of Minnesota and Dickinson College will receive more than $2 million from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research and the United States Department of Agriculture to translate basic research into online decision support tools to help beekeepers and land managers maintain and expand populations of managed and wild bees.

“We know that pollinators are in decline due to multiple, interacting stressors,” said Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology, director of the Center for Pol­­linator Research and principal investigator, in a statement. “However, many of these stressors are out of the control of individual beekeepers, growers or gardeners.”

The team of researchers plans to develop national maps of forage quality, nesting resource quality, pesticide use and climatic conditions. Together with data provided by a network of cooperating beekeepers and from their own studies, the researchers will use these landscape factors to develop models that allow them to predict how managed and wild bees will fare in a particular location.


Documentary looks

at food technology

A screening of the acclaimed documentary “Food Evolution” will be held at 7 p.m. April 19 in the State Theatre in downtown State College.

The film takes an in-depth look at a number of controversial food issues across the globe, including genetically modified organisms.

Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy, “Food Evolution” travels the world from Uganda to Iowa, with narrator Neil deGrasse Tyson delivering the facts on one of today’s most vital issues, and stories from the people most affected. The film is presented by the Penn State Council on Agricultural Innovation: Scientific, Ethical, Legal, Social Issues.

For more information, or to reserve seats for the film, visit