College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Departments News

IAA Super Student: Lillian Kahl

IAA - Mon, 2017-04-24 15:00
Apr 24, 2017Author: Glori Hyman

Lillian “Lilli” Kahl may not be faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound; yet the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) student is likened to Superwoman by her classmates and instructors.

“Nothing scares her,” says Kahl’s advisor Meredith Epstein. “She climbs trees, wields chainsaws, operates tractors, drives snowplows, and welds like a pro.”

But those are not the only reasons Kahl was named this year’s Outstanding Two-Year Student by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (AGNR) Alumni Association. With a 3.97 GPA, Kahl also happens to be one of the IAA’s top performing students. During her time as a Terp, this Sustainable Agriculture student has excelled in the classroom, provided service and leadership to the campus, and implemented a cut flower enterprise at the University’s Terp Farm.

^^Lilli Kahl accepts her Outstanding Student award at the 2017 AGNR Alumni Awards Banquet.

According to Kahl, she entered the IAA with a love for the environment and a desire “to be a positive aspect of our community and Earth.” And she meant it. During her first semester at the IAA, she increased the UMD Campus Pantry’s food supply by thousands of canned goods. As the recipient of a $4,000 grant, Kahl procured canned goods which she used as building material to “can-struct” a Testudo the Terrapin sculpture. The sculpture served to bring awareness to the Campus Pantry, which provides emergency food to members of the campus community who are in need.

Kahl’s initial interest in growing specialty crops led her to the Community Learning Garden, where she planted tomatoes, peppers, basil, zinnias, and cosmos. Then, she landed an internship at Terp Farm, where cut flowers won her heart.

Kahl took charge of Terp Farm’s cut flower production during her internship, but felt that one summer was simply not enough time. She continued to work at the farm for academic credit during the fall semester so she could expand the cut flower production for on-campus sales at the Farmers Market at Maryland. She developed an extensive project proposal that included survey results and a marketing plan, in addition to a crop plan. This semester, Kahl is completing the IAA’s Cooperative Education program at the Terp Farm as she implements the new project, which includes a cut-flower CSA.

As a high school student in Makawao, Hawaii, Kahl may not have envisioned herself as an entrepreneur in Maryland, but that is now her vision. After graduating from the IAA in May, Kahl plans to launch her own specialty cut flower business in Maryland.

Congratulations to Lillian “Lilli” Kahl, the IAA’s 2017 Outstanding Student.

LillianGlori Hymansustainable agricultureagricultural business managementMeredith EpsteinTerp FarmCut Flower CSAfarmers market at marylandUMD Community Learning GardenLillian "Lilli" Kahl - A super student and budding entrepreneur at the IAA.Image Credit: Meredith Epstein
Categories: Departments News

The Art of Climate Change

AREC - Fri, 2017-04-14 19:50
Apr 14, 2017

Students in Anna Alberini’s Economics of Climate Change course (AREC454) took a break from deriving equations and evaluating policy this past Wednesday to hear Dr. Brendan O’Donnell speak about the intersection of climate change and art.

O’Donnell is based at Ecologic Institute in Washington, DC, where he works on local initiatives to communicate the adverse effects of climate change on the planet and in our own lives. He noted that so much information on climate change is not having the impact on people that it truly ought to. For example, people are likely to find a “2 ° C temperature increase” or “sea level rise” difficult to grasp.

O’Donnell knows that these issues are real, and he acknowledged that the communication of these crises could be improved—if for example it were possible to convey notions that normally appear in peer-reviewed scientific papers through art.

Walking the class through several striking pieces of art, he identified each artists’ unique representation of climate change. While several were visual, some used sound as the medium. Some of the pieces of art even promoted sustainable energy use through solar and wind power production.

One of the many examples given was Ice Watch, which featured actual two-meter-tall chunks of ice from a glacier melting on a street corner in Paris. They melted in a matter of days in December of 2015 during the UN Climate Change Conference that led to the Paris Agreement, putting the audience face-to-face with the impact of global warming.

“All art is but imitation of nature,” said O’Donnell quoting Lucius Seneca. It’s fitting that we now see art giving back.

ARECIce Watch by Olafur Eliasson and Minik Rosing, Place du Panthéon, Paris, 2015Image Credit: Martin Argyroglo © 2015 Olafur Eliasson
Categories: Departments News

Publication Spotlight: The World Food Problem

AREC - Fri, 2017-04-14 15:59
Apr 14, 2017

A new edition of the book by Prof. Howard Leathers, The World Food Problem: Toward Understanding and Ending Undernutrition in the Developing World, is now available.

The fifth edition of The World Food Problem reflects nearly a decade of new research on the causes and potential solutions to the problems of producing and distributing food in developing countries.

With extensively updated data and new case studies throughout, this edition includes new or expanded discussions of such issues as:

     • genetically modified food
     • the impact of climate change
     • the quality of agricultural land and water
     • the significance of globalization
     • implications of changes in demographic policy, such as the reversal of China's "one-child rule"

Categories: Departments News

Congratulations to Pamela Jakiela

AREC - Fri, 2017-04-14 15:44
Apr 14, 2017

AREC would like to congratulate Prof. Pamela Jakiela on her promotion to associate professor with tenure at the university.

Jakiela began working at the university in 2011 as an assistant professor. She earned her doctorate in economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her primary areas of interest include development and experimental economics. Jakiela has taught several courses, including AREC345 (Global Poverty and Economic Development), ECON626 (Empirical Microeconomics) and AREC815 (Experimental and Behavioral Economics).

She currently is working on several projects, including papers that analyze micorenterprise in Africa and risk preferences in low-income settings.

Categories: Departments News

AREC Students Recognized at AGNR Alumni Dinner

AREC - Fri, 2017-04-14 15:19
Apr 14, 2017Author: Sarah FielderPhoto: AGNR Alumni Chapter President Robert Morris, AREC alumnus Mason Grahame, AGNR Dean Craig Beyrouty

Current and former AREC students were recognized with awards at the Alumni Dinner on April 6 in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center.

Tessa Kavanaugh, a senior AREC major, received an honorable mention for outstanding senior student, and recent graduate Mason Grahame received an award for Outstanding Student in a 4 year program.

Initially Kavanuagh planned to be a business major, but she wanted to incorporate her interest in  the environment and natural resources into her school career. Her adviser recommended she look into AREC.

“She explained to me that I could tie in my passion for the environment, natural resources and land use with my interest in business and economics all within one major, and I knew it would be the perfect fit for me,” said Kavanaugh.

She joined the major during her sophomore year in spring 2015. Since then, Kavanaugh has been a part of the AREC advisory board and has also been an AGNR ambassador.

“Receiving an honorable mention really makes me feel like a valuable member of the community and that all my hard work and dedication to my major and my college are being recognized,” said Kavanaugh.

She currently interns as an environmental crimes law clerk at the U.S Department Of Justice. After graduation, Kavanaugh plans to work as a paralegal before deciding whether or not to go to law school.

Grahame came to the university as an AREC major, knowing that he wanted to be involved in agriculture, but in a less traditional sense.

“Having grown up on a farm I felt I knew a good bit about how to farm, but I was intrigued with the economics behind commodities, and agriculture as a whole,” said Grahame. His family farms brangus cattle, grain, melons and vegetables.

At AREC, Grahame has been a part of the advisory board, worked at the front office and now works with Paul Goeringer, a legal specialist.

“I would like to thank the faculty, staff, and professors that helped my along my way; also my parents for being awesome,” said Grahame. “There was not one professor that was not willing to help me succeed, and I owe a great amount of my success to those people. ”

In the fall, Grahame will be heading to Texas A&M to pursue a master’s degree in agribusiness.

“I think, as someone that wants to remain in agriculture, it is vital that there are individuals that can convey the economics of agriculture to the average farmer, allowing them to focus on what they are good at, yet providing an understanding of how their operating fits into a broader market,” said Grahame.

Categories: Departments News

Congratulations to the UMD Food Science College Bowl Team on Their Third Place Win!

NFSC - Wed, 2017-04-12 11:32
Apr 12, 2017Author: Kristi KanRelated Photos:  Food Science Club--2017 College Bowl

On April 8th, UMD Food Science students placed third in the mid-Atlantic IFTSA College Bowl Competition at Pennsylvania State University. Undergraduate and graduate students from participating universities competed in an It’s Academic style trivia contest, answering Food Science related toss-up and bonus questions. In the first round, UMD beat North Carolina State, the team with the most wins in College Bowl history. The six-member team included Kaitlyn Davey, Angela Ferelli, Kristi Kan, Xingchen Liu, and David Shaya. Graduate student Andrea Gilbert served as team captain.


Gilbert is a College Bowl veteran; this is her fourth year competing. She said, “It was great to compete with everyone again.”


Govindaraj Dev Kumar, Ph.D, coached the team. He said, “Our team was great on stage and off [...] It was heartwarming to see them shake hands and congratulate the other team and display sportsmanship.”


In addition to the competition, participating students toured Penn State’s Food Science facilities, including their pilot plant and sensory kitchen.


Gilbert added, “I really enjoy both the competition and meeting since they are great opportunities to expand our knowledge and networks.”

Categories: Departments News

Join Us on Maryland Day!

AREC - Mon, 2017-04-10 15:04
Apr 10, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

On Saturday, April 29,the university will host Maryland Day. AREC will have activities and a table located near the university’s farm, either in the courtyard of the Animal Sciences building or in the foyer of the building. There will be an information booth at the entrance of the courtyard where you can ask for the exact location of the AREC table.

Anyone can come and create sustainable handbags from t-shirts or participate in the bean bag toss.

Maryland Day begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.  Parking is free.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Categories: Departments News

UMD AREC Hosts Research Poster Session and Welcomes Prospective Students

AREC - Tue, 2017-04-04 16:45
Apr 4, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Graduate students, faculty and 23 prospective graduate students attended the AREC graduate student research poster session on Monday, April 3, hosted in the department’s conference room.

Four graduate students presented their research. Guanghui Que, a fourth year, had a poster about Consumer Behavior and Household Electricity Demand Estimation Under Nonlinear Pricing: Evidence from China. His research concluded that consumers are rational in their consumption of electricity.

A third year graduate student, M. Mehrab Bin Bakhtiar, also had a poster at the session titled Training Mentors? Experimental Evidence from a Two-Stage Training/Mentorship Program. Based on his research, Bin Bakhtiar found that the first stage of formal training had no significant effect on profit, sales or number of employees within a business. However, the second stage of the mentorship program had stronger effects.

“It’s cool to see what I would be able to do in a year or two,” said Zedeliah Higgs, a prospective student who was visiting the department and attended the session.

Second year graduate student Tihitina Andarge presented on her research about Maryland farmers who comply with the Maryland Water Quality Improvement Act and create a Nutrient Management Plan.

“Overall there is a 65 percent compliance rate, which isn’t good,” said Andarge. The title of her poster was Determinants of Compliance with Nutrient Management Laws under Target Enforcement.

“The purpose of the paper was to investigate the determinants of the plan, ” said Andarge. She found that farm size significantly increases compliance and have a Nutrient Management Plan while the receipt of cost-sharing and slope had no significant impact.

Youpei Yan, a fourth year graduate student, spoke about her poster Strategic Polluters in China: Geographic Spillovers in Water Pollution.

“Basically I examine firms to see if firms closer to downstream export more pollution,” said Yan. Her research confirmed that pollution levels have a significant geographic pattern.

“The session is great,” said Yan. “Students get the chance to talk to professors and learn what they are working on.”

The AREC Graduate Student Organization hosted the session. The Department would like to thank the Graduate Student Government (GSG) at the University of Maryland for the financial support for the poster session.


Image Credit: Paige Gance
Categories: Departments News

UMD Collegiate Farm Bureau Delegation Holds Legislative Day in Annapolis

IAA - Mon, 2017-04-03 13:19
Apr 3, 2017Author: Ed Priola, Ph.D.

While most students at the University of Maryland (UMD) made a Spring Break beeline to the beach, Institute of Applied Agriculture student Becky Jones and her three determined colleagues traveled to the state capital in Annapolis on March 23 for a day-long visit with legislators and lobbyists involved in the state’s agricultural industry. Jones was accompanied by Gracie Brinsfield, Gabrielle Cory, and Emily Solis, and IAA faculty members Ed Priola, Larisa Cioaca, and Meredith Epstein.

^Taking in 245 years of legislative history: Gracie Brinsfield, Gabrielle Cory, Becky Jones, Emily Solis (front row), Parker Welch, Meredith Epstein, and Ed Priola (back row) on the steps of the Maryland State House.

According to Jones, President of the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at UMD and a first-year Agricultural Business Management student at the IAA, her group made the trek because they were “determined to become the fresh voice of Maryland’s agricultural community.” Jones underscored this point by noting that, despite having just received its official university recognition in February, the UMD Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter has been active in a number of Farm Bureau and campus initiatives, including Collegiate Discussion Meets in Ocean City, Md. and Pittsburgh, Pa. The Annapolis visit was their first legislative engagement activity, she added.

UMD Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter was formally recognized on the floor of the Maryland State Senate chamber by Senator Gail Bates of District 9, which includes rural parts of both Howard County and Carroll County. Subsequently, Jones and her colleagues sat down for a working breakfast with Parker Welch, the Maryland Farm Bureau’s Eastern Shore Regional Director and Young Farmers Committee Staffer. Welch briefed the students on the Farm Bureau’s advocacy resources, state and federal rule-making processes, and the chief policy priorities of Maryland’s farming community.

Once up to date, Jones and her colleagues met with Delegate Trent Kittleman of District 9A in her legislative office. Kittleman facilitated a discussion on the current challenges facing Maryland’s food production community.

While waiting to attend legislative hearings, the UMD group met with Colby Ferguson, the Maryland Farm Bureau’s Government Relations Director, outside the Maryland Senate’s Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee. During the encounter, Ferguson provided a detailed appraisal of relevant committee events and his organization’s related efforts. The students pledged to take an active role in promoting agriculture on the College Park campus and beyond.

The Collegiate Farm Bureau at the University of Maryland helps students build professional networks, discuss issues impacting agriculture, understand the legislative processes, promote agriculture as an industry, and gain experience in agricultural leadership and communication. Lecturers from the IAA serve as faculty advisors.

>>View and download photos on Flickr.

University of MarylandCollege ParkCollegiate Farm BureauEd PriolaLarisa CioacaMeredith EpsteinGracie BrinsfieldGabrielle CoryBecky JonesRebecka JonesEmily SolisParker WelchMaryland State HouseGail BatesDelegate Trent KittlemanColby FergusonThe student delegation was accompanied by IAA Lecturers Ed Priola, Meredith Epstein, and Larisa Cioaca during their visit to Delegate Kittleman’s legislative office.
Categories: Departments News

UMD Develops Model to Prevent E. coli Outbreaks in Leafy Greens

NFSC - Tue, 2017-03-28 15:01
Mar 28, 2017

It is widely recommended that adults and children eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to round out a healthy and nutritious diet. However, leafy vegetable consumption poses a unique problem in that they are generally consumed raw, which increases the risk of transmitting foodborne illness. Read more

Categories: Departments News

IAA Alumnus Chosen for Prestigious Program

IAA - Mon, 2017-03-27 11:20
Mar 27, 2017

In 2014, when Julia Thomé graduated from the Institute of Applied Agriculture with her Certificate in Ornamental Horticulture, she was named the IAA’s Outstanding Student. Three years later, she continues her outstanding ways.

This spring, Thomé was chosen as one of five Fellows in Longwood Gardens' inaugural Longwood Fellows Program. The Longwood Fellows Program focuses on building the leadership capacity of high-potential public horticulture and cultural professionals, thereby increasing the pipeline of talent available to the industry in the coming years.

Currently Thomé is the Assistant Manager of Gardens and Grounds at the Chevy Chase Club, a private and distinctive social institution in Maryland. She holds a certificate in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maine, and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Massachusetts where she graduated with honors.

Previously, Thomé served as the Director of Corporate Affairs for Lutheran World Relief and was also a Senior Coordinator at the Community Training and Assistance Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Thomé has extensive national and international travel experience and is fluent in Portuguese.

Thomé was selected by a distinguished panel of seven jurors that included directors of prominent public gardens across the globe. The five Fellows were selected based on their commitment to professional excellence, deep intellectual curiosity, and desire to serve in a leadership capacity within the public horticulture industry while representing diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

During the 13-month, fully funded, cohort-based residency at Longwood, Thomé will delve into topical issues relevant to public horticulture today such as leadership, board relations and governance, communication skills, change management, innovation, and human resources management. A two-month international field placement provides a deeper understanding of these issues, equipping Fellows to lead organizations into a vibrant and sustainable future.

Alumni of the Fellows Program join the prestigious Society of Fellows, a global network of public garden professionals.

Julia ThoméGlori HymanIAA Outstanding StudentLongwood GardensLongwood Gardens Fellows Programornamental horticultureCertificate in Applied AgricultureSociety of FellowsJulia Thomé poses in front of Jull Hall.
Categories: Departments News

University of Maryland Develops Model to Prevent E. coli Outbreaks in Leafy Greens

NFSC - Thu, 2017-03-23 11:53
Contamination of soil with wild pig and cattle feces has direct correlation to E. coli prevalence in California leafy greens Mar 23, 2017Author: Graham Binder

College Park, MD -- It is widely recommended that adults and children eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to round out a healthy and nutritious diet. Leafy vegetable consumption poses a unique problem in that they are generally consumed raw, which increases the risk of transmitting foodborne illness. California is responsible for more than 75% of leafy greens grown in the U.S. and during 1999-2008, it has produced leafy greens with a significant concentration of E. coli outbreaks from July to November. In order to understand the pathway of E. coli in leafy green production, University of Maryland researchers have developed the first dynamic system model which simulates the effects of soil, irrigation, cattle, wild pig and rainfall in a hypothetical farm.

Results of the system model conclude that the peak July to November timeframe is consistent with the prevalence of E. coli in cattle and wild pig feces in the Salinas Valley, a major leafy greens producing region in California. This finding was the most evident after examining results of various scenarios. From this, the research team has concluded that the concentration of E. coli in leafy greens can be significantly reduced if feces contamination is controlled. By measuring the numerous factors associated with leafy green contamination in a farm setting, UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers a significant contribution to the science-based process of preventing leafy greens outbreaks in the future.  

“Leafy vegetables were associated with over 600 outbreaks in the U.S. from 1973-2012, causing more than 20,000 illnesses and 1,000 hospitalizations. Among the bacterial pathogens, E. coli, which was responsible for about 50 outbreaks, more than 1,600 illnesses, and 450 hospitalizations, is of more concern. Results of our study can help prevent crop contamination at the preharvest stage, reducing the number of leafy green related illnesses in the future,” said Abani K. Pradhan, Ph.D. of UMD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “We are excited that this research blends our team’s knowledge of food safety and computational microbiology, and allows us to estimate the impact of various sources of contamination which pose threats to our food supply and security.”

This result has implications for future research directions, for the team here at UMD and elsewhere. According to Pradhan, this model can be extended or adopted to examine other crops that are affected by harmful pathogens, aside from E. coli. Pradhan’s team is currently exploring system models for tomatoes and cucumbers in the Mid-Atlantic region.

In collaboration with a researcher from Rutgers University, Pradhan and his team completed a manuscript titled “A System Model for Understanding the Role of Animal Feces as a Route of Contamination of Leafy Greens before Harvest,” which was recently"> published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 



Categories: Departments News

Come to Our Graduate student appreciation party!

NFSC - Mon, 2017-03-20 14:31
Mar 20, 2017

The Graduate Program in Nutrition and Food Science is having a party to thank the graduate students for all the work that they do for the department.

 Come and talk to our students!

Where: Skinner0101

When: Wedesday April 12, 2017 from 1-2:00p

Categories: Departments News

Celebrating Women in Agriculture - Women's History Month

NFSC - Wed, 2017-03-15 12:55
Featuring Several Women Faculty Members Throughout MarchMar 15, 2017Author: Graham Binder

This March, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources celebrates Women's History Month by paying tribute to several of our women faculty who are making exceptional strides in their research and for their stellar reputation as educators and mentors for our students and state residents.

We will feature four faculty members from now until the end of March, each with a graphic and quote that represents their contributions to the field of agriculture, to our college and the University as a whole. 

To kickstart our "Celebrating Women in Agriculture" campaign, we hope you enjoy getting to know Lisa Taneyhill, an associate professor in our Animal and Avian Sciences department. 

We will follow with Margaret Udahogora, the Dietetics Program Director in our department of Nutrition and Food Science, Manami Brown, Baltimore City Extension Director and 4-H educator and Victoria Chanse, an associate professor in our deparment of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. 

Categories: Departments News

Food Science Club Welcomes Class of 1999 Alumna Sheila Jones!

NFSC - Tue, 2017-03-14 11:23
Mar 14, 2017Author: Heather DolanRelated Photos:  Food Science Club Welcomes Class of 1999 Alumna Sheila Jones!

On March 9, 2017, Food Science alumna Sheila Jones returned to campus to pay the Food Science Club a visit. Since graduating in 1999, Sheila has worked for Nestle, Campbell’s, and Walmart. Currently, she is the director of research and development at Advanced Food Products.

Sheila first held a product development workshop, delving into the technical aspects of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Students learned about the manufacturing processes for four styles of chicken noodle soup: condensed, ready to serve, sippable, and microwavable.

The soup talk left a deep impression on students, such as senior Keqin He.

“I was amazed at how every detail in a product was repeatedly modified to target the market, such as the star shape of noodles in a microwaveable [...] soup product! I've learned a lot and will definitely pay more attention to details in my future interactions with food” said Keqin.

First year graduate student Abby Gao also enjoyed the examples Sheila gave, describing them as “vivid” and “informative.” “I never really got a chance to know how [the] industry applies the concepts [we learn] from books and lectures” she added.

Following the product development workshop, Sheila gave professional development advice. She encouraged students to expand their network, explore IFT, and work with headhunters. She urged students to adapt the mindset of “no one is going to beat me out of this job.”

“I got fantastic professional advice from her, [like] how to network with alumni. Additionally, I learned how to bring up my involvement with Food Science Club in job interviews” said senior Kassa Belay. He added, “I am going to leverage that experience to make myself stand out as a candidate in the future.”

Categories: Departments News

AREC Student Advisory Board Hosts Alumni Career Panel Event

AREC - Fri, 2017-03-10 17:10
Mar 10, 2017Author: Katherine Faulkner

The AREC Student Advisory Board hosted an AREC Alumni Career Panel event on Thursday, March 9th at the University Career Center.

This was a valuable networking opportunity for the AREC undergrads in attendance - they had the opportunity to hear about the professional experiences of several recent alumni.

The alumni panelists were (left to right in the photo above):

  • Dennis Guignet, US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Benjamin Whitfield, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Dan Hauser, United States Department of Justice 
  • Hayley Moss, Creative Financial Staffing

The Department would like to thank everyone involved for making the event a great success.

Categories: Departments News

Women in Agriculture Program Staff Travel to Ethiopia

AREC - Fri, 2017-03-10 15:23
Mar 10, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Staff members traveled to Ethiopia in January and evaluated the Women in Agriculture (WIA) projects set up at three universities.

During the trip, Melekte Truneh, the Director of Financial Services for AREC, and Taryn Devereux, Faculty Specialist in AREC, met with partner university administrators and faculty members in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Truneh met with the respective finance directors for the program and worked on strengthening their finance reporting.

“It had been a year since the last time I had been there,” said Devereux. “We set up budget reporting a year ago, now we see new challenges and we are working together to find solutions.”

The University of Maryland works with Wolkite University, Debre Berhan University and Bahir Dar University to implement the WIA program in Ethiopia. The University of Maryland and the three colleges have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which is a working agreement between the institutions.

Every few months, the universities submit program and financial reports in exchange for the next installment of funds.The Rotary Club International funds the program, with support from the College Park chapter. The chapter featured the progam in the March issue of the newsletter The Cogitator. 

In Ethiopia, WIA focuses on integrating fish farming systems and introducing new chicken breeds to local women who sell the eggs in their communities, among other low-input agricultural activities.

“Women use their own cash to set up their chicken coops, then the project provides the chickens and training,” said Devereux. “It is a cost share.”

During the visit, each university also presented on the progress of their projects. The group visited Debre Berhan University and saw demonstrations and field sites the college had set up in women’s homes in the community.

“I think there have been challenges, funding is small, there’s no in-country project manager so everyone shares responsibilities and the universities are doing their best,” said Devereux.

Women in Agriculture (WIA) is a program within the University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC), that aims to “...prepare female extension educators and leaders to work with poor or vulnerable women so as to improve family food security,” according to their website.

In Ethiopia, food insecurity is a barrier to development, with low land productivity and subsequently low income. The goal of the program is to strengthen the abilities of higher education institutions in Ethiopia to improve family food security and livelihood through community service outreach programs for women, according to WIA’s website.

It is also a requirement in Ethiopia for faculty members at universities to dedicate 25 percent of their time to community outreach, according to WIA.

The program is set to end in Ethiopia next year. WIA hopes to replicate the program in another developing country, possibly in Zambia or Somaliland. They are currently applying for additional grants and are interested in further collaborations.

Categories: Departments News

Giving Day -- Help support AREC and AGNR

AREC - Wed, 2017-03-08 10:40
Mar 8, 2017Author: Katherine Faulkner

Today, March 8, is Giving Day UMD. Consider making a gift in support of the department and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources during this annual event to help us toward our Fearless Ideas campaign goal.

You can donate through this link -

The College is focusing on five funds. You are also welcome to select "Other" and write in the title of the fund of your choice. A list of AREC funds is on the Giving to AREC web page.   As an added incentive to faculty and staff, from 11am - 12pm, the unit with the most gifts from faculty and staff will win $3,000.   Thank you for your support!
Categories: Departments News

UMD AREC Alumnus Mark Schnebly Named Senior VP of Loan Operations for MidAtlantic Farm Credit

AREC - Mon, 2017-03-06 16:05
Mar 6, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

AREC alumnus Mark Schnebly (B.S. 2001) was named the new Senior Vice President of Loan Operations at MidAtlantic Farm Credit on Jan. 1, 2017.

With his promotion, Schnebly now oversees all Underwriting and Processing functions for MidAtlantic.

He first began working for the company in 2002 as a loan officer. Schnebly later transitioned into the role of an Underwriter, which required him to make loan approval decisions by analyzing people’s personal and business finances.  

After growing up on his family’s dairy farm in Clear Spring, Maryland, Schnebly knew he wanted to be involved in local agriculture.

“Farm Credit had a strong reputation of serving the farm community and I saw that as a good role for me,” said Schnebly in an email interview.

Working on the farm was Schnebly’s first job. His family milked 80-head of Guernsey cattle. The farm is run today by his uncle and cousins.

“I feel that I am able to have compassion for the cooperative members that we serve at MidAtlantic, because of how and where I grew up,” said Schnebly. “I didn’t choose to continue working on the farm, but I respect the work ethic that it takes to manage a farm business. By that same token, the work ethic that I learned from my parents and grandparents on the farm, has served me well in my career.”

Schnebly’s experience working on the farm gave him an idea of the field he wanted to work in. After receiving several agricultural scholarships, the University of Maryland was the most economical choice.

“I was always interested in the business-side of Agriculture and the AREC major seemed to fit my interests very well,” said Schnebly. “I really enjoyed my first general Economics courses during my Freshman year, and that solidified for me that I had made the correct decision.”

In choosing the University of Maryland, Schnebly followed in the footsteps of his brother, Brian Schnebly, and mother, Susan Schnebly. His father, William Schnebly, was also a graduate of the university system from Frostburg State University.

Categories: Departments News

IAA Alumni Hits a Career Homerun

IAA - Tue, 2017-02-28 08:59
Feb 28, 2017Author: Michelle Molinaro

When enrolling at the Institute of Applied Agriculture, many sports turf students dream of being offered a job at a well-known stadium: M&T Bank Stadium, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, or FedExField. But few imagine being offered jobs at two professional stadiums at the same time.

That’s what happened to IAA alumni Justin Patenaude, a 2012 Sports Turf Management graduate. Patenaude received an offer as the Grounds Crew Supervisor at Dodger Stadium and another as the Head Sports Turf Manager at the LA Coliseum. Ultimately, he accepted the Dodgers’ position because “baseball is my first love and I love working for this organization. It was a tough decision but I think the correct one.” Plus, Patenaude was well aware that the LA Rams will only be at the Coliseum for two more years.

This season marks Patenaude’s third season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but his first as the Ground Crew Supervisor. He previously worked as the Assistant Sports Turf Manager at the LA Memorial Coliseum and at UC Irvine. Patenaude accredits his success in being able to be offered both positions to his time at the IAA.

“When I graduated 4 years ago, I never thought I would have the opportunity to manage an MLB or NFL stadium this quickly or ever, he said. “It's a testament to the wonderful job that Doc [Dr. Kevin Mathias] and the IAA faculty do in preparing us to become turfgrass managers. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for [the IAA faculty] and the rest of the staff.”

Like so many IAA graduates, Patenaude reminisces about his classes and time spent in Jull Hall. “My favorite course was Diseases of Ornamentals and Turfgrass,” said Patenaude, but he is quick to admit that it has only now become his favorite class. “It probably wasn’t my favorite course at the time. However, it is probably the most important course I took at the IAA. The identification and control of diseases is a very important tool that I have to use far more than I would like.”

When asked about his favorite memory while at the IAA, he spoke of the 2013 Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Student Challenge, adding that it was “Doc’s first-ever win!”

^UMD team members pose with their first place trophy after winning the 2013 STMA Student Challenge. From left to right standing: Scott Hosier and Matt Park. From left to right sitting: Ryan Higgins and Justin Patenaude.

Patenaude offered advice to incoming students as well as those who are graduating. “Take the time to get to know the staff. Everyone at the IAA is there to help you succeed. Anyone can grow grass and rake dirt. How you manage your staff will play a huge role in your success. Your crew will be your best asset or your worst.” 

Justin Patenaudeinstitute of applied agricultureiaa alumniAlumni Spotlightgrounds crew supervisorsports turf managerDodger StadiumLA ColiseumMichelle MolinaroDr. Kevin MathiasDiseases of Ornamentals and TurfgrassSTMA Student ChallengeSports Turf Managers AssociationJustin Patenaude with Magic Johnson, part-owner of the LA Dodgers.
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