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Agriculture briefs

Harrisburg

Farm Bureau members meet with senator’s staff

Farm Bureau members from Cambria, Clearfield and Bedford counties met with members of state Sen. Wayne Langerholc’s staff as part of the annual Pennsylvania Farm Bureau State Legislative Conference.

Some priority issues discussed were the need for state pension reform and property tax reform, adequate funding of the state Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Veterinary School and Penn State Extension and Research, gas well lease laws and Sunday hunting laws.

Penn State Master Gardeners offer garden line

The Penn State Master Gardeners of Cambria County will answer gardeners’ questions on their “Garden Line” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays.

Those interested can call the extension office at 472-7986 to speak with a master gardener.

Martinsburg

Event planned to thank women in agriculture

As a thank you to women in agriculture in Blair, Bedford and Huntingdon counties, CBT Bank and the Penn State Extension Dairy Team are partnering to provide a day of networking, learning and relaxation from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 12 at the Blair County Extension Office, 266 Aviation Way.

Participants will travel by bus to Briar Valley Winery and Vineyard to learn about wine production from grape varieties, pruning, pest management and harvest. Then they will visit the processing facility and the tasting room in downtown Bedford.

The event is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be on your own at Hoss’s Steak & Sea House.

For more details or to register, visit http://extension.psu.edu/animals/

dairy or call Amber at 643-1660 or Jill at 381-2221.

Tyrone

FFA chapter receives Grants for Growing funds

The Tyrone Area High School FFA chapter has received a Grants for Growing grant from Tractor Supply Co. and the National FFA Foundation.

In 2016, the Tyrone chapter was granted a Tractor Supply Co. grant to purchase a Tower Garden, a vertical, hydroponics system.

The Tyrone Area FFA Chapter applied for the grant again this year to secure funds to purchase indoor lights made for the Tower Garden system, a dolly to make it easier to move from one location in the school to another and a submergible heater to keep the water at a 75-79 degrees, said Tiffany Hoy, adviser.

University Park

Penn State Extension names associate directors

Penn State Extension has appointed two individuals to statewide leadership posts.

Tara Mondock is the new associate director for client relations, and Jeffrey Hyde was named associate director for programs. Together with the director of extension and a soon-to-be-named associate director for business operations, the four positions comprise Penn State Extension’s executive leadership team.

University Park

‘Great Pumpkin Project’

participants sought

A researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences is reaching out to master gardeners, teachers, students and others to participate in a citizen-science project that ultimately could benefit growers, crops, pollinators and the environment.

Margarita Lopez-Uribe, assistant professor of entomology, is working with collaborators at North Carolina State University on “The Great Pumpkin Project,” which is aimed at describing the geographic distribution of important crop plants and the insects and microbes with which they interact. Data collected could help farmers one day to improve plant health and crop yields.

“By examining the complex associations among plants, herbivores, pollinators and pathogens, we hope to gain a better understanding of how crop domestication for food production is changing ecological interactions across the landscape,” she said.

The project is focusing on cucurbits such as pumpkin, squash, cucumber and melon, which explains its name, Lopez-Uribe said.

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