College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Departments News

Produce Marketing Association Immersion Academy

NFSC - Mon, 2017-09-18 09:22
Sep 18, 2017

Our student Marc Blitzstein has been accepted to attend the Produce Manufacturers Association's Immersion Academy in Dallas, TX November 7th -9th. This is a University sponsored program and will gather qualified college seniors in STEM, marketing, business, and other disciplines with industry leaders who can inspire, mentor and connect them to career opportunities.

Learn more

Categories: Departments News

Rebecca Bell Wins IAA Internship Photo Contest

IAA - Fri, 2017-09-08 09:16
Sep 8, 2017Author: Randie HovatterInternships are a prized component of the Institute of Applied Agriculture's (IAA) hands-on learning process. So much, in fact, that each student is required to complete an internship in order to earn a Certificate in Applied Agriculture.

Over the course of every internship, IAA advisors visit their students on-site. The advisors take excellent photos, but it is the moments captured by students that drive our annual IAA Internship Photo Contest. The photo contest is an opportunity for IAA students to submit their most unique images of the summer. This year, the contest was held on Instagram using the hashtag #myiaainternship.

Our 2017 photo contest winner, Sustainable Agriculture student Rebecca Bell, interned at Heyser Farms in Colesville, Md. Aside from propagating perennials, harvesting ripe peaches, and managing the cut flower operation, she also operated a tractor; a photo of Bell driving a Ford tractor with the caption, "Let me take you for a ride," was the winning entry.

As the photo contest winner, Bell will receive a $100 scholarship and lunch with IAA Director Glori Hyman. Congratulations, Rebecca Bell!
>>View more 2017 internship photos on Facebook.  ---Maryland agriculturefarmingsustainable agricultureRebecca BellGlori HymanRandie HovatterIAA Scholarshipsiaa internshipsIAA Internship Photo Contest2017umdHeyser Farmstwo-year programCollege ParkCertificate in Applied AgricultureColesvilleMarylandscholarshipstractor operationRebecca Bell submitted this year's winning photo from her internship at Heyser Farms.
Categories: Departments News

VIDEO: Join Us at the Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA - Tue, 2017-09-05 12:36
Sep 5, 2017

The Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) is excited to announce its newest video project. This piece serves to demonstrate the IAA's commitment to student success in the classroom, career opportunities and networking, and hands-on training in applied agriculture.

It is our hope that you will enjoy watching this video as much as we enjoyed making it.

institute of applied agriculturevideoUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkMarvin Martinezbobby blakeJames ThomasMaggie PoppGlori HymanBecky Joneshands-on agriculturetwo-year programAgriculture CertificateAGNRMaryland agriculture
Categories: Departments News

New carpet in 3304 Marie Mount Hall!

NFSC - Fri, 2017-09-01 11:23
Sep 1, 2017At the request of some students and faculty members, NFSC replaced the carpet in MMH 3304 recently. Our students now have a cleaner and safer environment to study. 
Categories: Departments News

Register for an IAA Open House

IAA - Tue, 2017-08-29 10:21
Aug 29, 2017Author: Randie Hovatter
Come see what we're all about!

This fall, the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) is hosting three Open Houses! That is three opportunities to visit us in Jull Hall, get to know the faculty and students, learn about financial aid and scholarships, and tour the University of Maryland, College Park campus. 

Spaces are limited, and registration is required. You are welcome to register for one or more events. IAA Open Houses are free to attend.

Open House will be held from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM in Room 1123 of Jull Hall on the following dates:

  • Friday, September 22, 2017
  • Friday, October 20, 2017
  • Monday, November 13, 2017

For GPS purposes, our address is 4196 Stadium Drive in College Park, Md. Room 1123 is on the first floor of Jull Hall. Get more information prior to your visit by using these links:

Questions? Please contact Student Services Coordinator Randie Hovatter.


IAA Open Houseinstitute of applied agriculturetwo-year programagriculture certificate programbeginning farmer trainingsustainable agricultureAgricultural Leadership and Communicationagricultural business managementornamental horticultureLandscape Managementgolf course managementsports turf managementturfgrass managementBe a TerpFuture TerpsUniversity of MarylandCollege Park
Categories: Departments News

New graduate student orientation

NFSC - Fri, 2017-08-25 15:17
Aug 25, 2017

New graduate student orientation was held in Skinner Hall 0101 on August 25.

We have four new graduate students coming to NFSC in Fall 2017. They are: 

Zhangyi Song  - Dr. YuTim Muruvanda - Dr. MengNidhi Gupta -Dr. Pradhan
Taryn Horr -Dr. Pradhan Welcome to NFSC family! And go grad terps! Check out our Facebook!
Categories: Departments News

Happy retirement, Dr. Castonguay!

NFSC - Fri, 2017-08-25 10:45
Aug 25, 2017

Dr. Thomas Castonguay, Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, is retiring after 29 years of service to the University of Maryland. 

Dr. Castonguay has been an NFSC faculty for nearly 30 years. He started here in 1988 and rose through the ranks to Professor. He has served the department in a variety of capacities and has also acted as an Associate Dean in the Graduate School.

Categories: Departments News

Congratulations – 2017 IAFP Awards

NFSC - Wed, 2017-08-23 14:28
Aug 23, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Hao Pang! Dr. Pang won the third place for the technical competition of the J. Mac Geopfert Developing Scientist Award at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) 2017 annual meeting that was held in Tampa, Florida in July, 2017. He also received the IAFP Student Travel Scholarship Award to attend and present his research at this meeting. Last year, he received the Developing Scientist Award (3rd place) in poster presentation competition at the IAFP annual meeting that was held in St. Louis, Missouri, in August, 2016. Dr. Pang graduated in Spring, 2017. Currently, he is working at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), College Park, Maryland. Dr. Abani Pradhan is his advisor.

Categories: Departments News

The Risks of Summer Heat

AREC - Tue, 2017-08-22 16:19
UMD AREC to Study Climate Change and Its Impact on Vulnerable Persons in MarylandAug 22, 2017Author: Martina Salvador an Anna AlberiniThe department is pleased to announce a new undergraduate research project about climate change and vulnerable persons in Maryland funded by and conducted within AREC. Look for more information on this web site in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here's what summer heat may mean...


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) warns that as the earth gets warmer we can expect temperate regions to experience more frequent and intense heat waves. Excessive heat episodes are also expected to last longer, and may be accompanied by poor air quality. The associated health risks are most serious for people with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, persons with inadequate housing, children, persons who must take certain types of medication, the poor and people who must work outdoors.

Heat worsens pre-existing conditions more often than it kills. People end up at the hospital because of extreme heat, but there’s an undercount of cases where heat is a factor. In fact a lot of cases are coded as something else.

The High Country News, a periodical about environmental, social and economic issues in the American West, recently published an article entitled “The Danger of Urban Heat,” that documents the experience of Latino families in relatively poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The author of the article, Molly Peterson, describes the difficulties of 17-year-old Edwin Diaz, who suffers from debilitating migraines that tend to get worse when the temperature climbs into the 90s. Diaz does not have air conditioning at home and his home is poorly insulated. Many other dwellings in the neighborhood were created by dividing existing homes or converting garages. They often lack windows, let alone air conditioners, and are surrounded by paved surfaces, which tend give out heat even as the sun sets. Mayor Eric Garcetti has set the goal to lower the city’s urban heat island’s temperature by 3 degrees in 20 years, and the Los Angeles Office of Sustainability is studying landscaping solutions to help reach this goal.

This summer Southern California has experienced a number of extremely hot days and the same extended heat wave that affected Phoenix and much of Arizona.  The Maricopa County Health Department in Phoenix has tracked heat-related deaths for more than 10 years. All the cases are broken down by different criteria such as age, ethnicity, etc. Together with the Arizona State University and Los Angeles, it is trying to understand how counteract heat-related sickness and death. Peterson reports that deaths caused by heat are climbing in Phoenix, but the reasons are still unknown. Without knowing the causes behind it, officials say, it’s almost impossible to find a strategy to defeat it. See the Arizona Department of Health web site about extreme weather and public heath for more information.

And most recently temperatures have been in the double digits in the Pacific Northwest, where it is estimated that only some a small share of the homes have air conditioning.  

So what do local governments do to protect residents when the weather is too hot? The District of Columbia issues heat advisories, which are posted on the city’s web site and sent via text messages to residents who subscribe to the city’s alert system. Here’s an example of one such text from this summer:

“The National Weather Service (NWS) reports the temperature is 89 degrees with a HEAT INDEX of 98 degrees. The Department of Human Services (DHS) has activated the Heat Emergency Plan. MPD, FEMS, DDOT and the Ward Outreach have been notified. 

As temperatures rise, the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and DC Water urge those in the District to beat the heat without tampering with fire hydrants. Unauthorized hydrant use can hamper firefighting, damage the water system and cause injury. It can also flood streets, creating traffic dangers and it can lower the water pressure for everyone on the block.

Residents and visitors in the District can keep cool by staying in shade or air conditioning and drinking plenty of water. When the temperature or heat index reaches 95, residents are encouraged to take extra precautions against the heat. If they do not live in an air-conditioned building, they may take refuge at a District indoor swimming pool, spray parks, cooling center, recreation facility, senior center or other air-conditioned building. More information, and locations, can be found at or by contacting the heat hotline at 202-399-7093.”

The web site provides a list of swimming pools, spray parks (with misters), and “cooling centers” (usually public buildings or libraries with air conditioning where people can take a break from the heat). The city of Baltimore offers similar options.  

Some cities have a proactive approach to managing heat-related health risks, and encouraging neighborhood “captains” (contact persons) to keep track of the elderly, those with physical impairments, those with no air conditioning, and other vulnerable persons. They often encourage the so-called “buddy system,” where elderly persons call on each other on a regular basis on the hottest day to make sure that they are doing fine.

But the heat is not the only cause for concern. Heat waves are often accompanied by bad air quality episodes. As with heat waves, cities and the National Weather Service post warnings to help residents stay healthy. In the Washington DC and Baltimore area, bad air quality means unhealthful levels of tropospheric ozone, a pollutant that is created when nitrogen oxides (emitted by power plants and cars) and volatile organic compounds (emitted by cars and certain manufacturing facilities) react to ultraviolet radiation and heat. Here is an example of a warning: 

“This is an important message from the District of Columbia AlertDC system.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports the Air Quality Alert is in effect for Friday, July 21, 2017. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in association with Maryland Department of the Environment, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and District Department of Environment has issued a Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert for the DC metro area.

A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.”

Categories: Departments News

The Economic Impact of Aflatoxin Contamination

AREC - Fri, 2017-08-18 10:40
UMD AREC Alumna Narayan Receives Award for Research Leading to Improved Food Safety and HealthAug 18, 2017Author: Katherine Faulkner

Aflatoxins are carcinogens that are a major problem for agriculture and health worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The naturally occurring toxins are produced by fungi that are present in soils; the fungi thrive in the hot, humid conditions that is typical of most countries in Africa. Aflatoxins contaminate staple crops, such as maize, sorghum, millet, rice, oilseeds, spices, groundnuts, tree nuts, and cassava.

Aflatoxins cause liver cancer with chronic exposure and death with acute exposure. They are also associated with stunting. Children are the most susceptible to malnutrition and illnesses related to aflatoxins, but adults are susceptible, as well. Aflatoxins are sometimes referred to as an invisible food hazard or a silent killer. Due to the challenges related to quantifying, detecting, and controlling the toxins, aflatoxins research is in great demand.

UMD AREC alumna Tulika Narayan (Ph.D. 2002) has been researching aflatoxins and the negative nexus between agriculture production and public health for several years. Dr. Narayan led the development of a conceptual framework to estimate economic impact of aflatoxins in health, agriculture and trade, to galvanize country-led actions to control aflatoxins.

This framework has now been adopted by the pan-African entity Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa as the methodological approach to conduct these assessments. Dr. Narayan applied this framework to Tanzania, where her work led to the creation of a national-level body to implement policy actions which is operating to date.  Now Tanzania serves as a model and leader to other countries to initiate similar actions.  Currently Dr. Narayan is providing technical support to several African countries that are conducting these assessments.

The department is pleased to announce that Tulika Narayan and her colleague, Lauren Brown, were recently awarded the Clark Abt Prize for their research and for raising awareness of the health consequences of aflatoxin intake, which led to new dietary guidelines in Tanzania thus reducing the risk of liver cancer and childhood stunting in Tanzania.

Narayan is a Principal Associate with Abt Associates. She was instrumental in creating and now leads the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Analytics practice for International Economic Growth at Abt Associates. According to its web site, Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development.

“The work involved developing a conceptual framework to assess aflatoxin impacts in any country rapidly, applying it in Tanzania (and Nigeria) and garnering policy action around it,” said Narayan. “[The Clark Abt Prize] is a big honor here at Abt, so I am certainly happy that my most satisfying work at Abt got awarded.... This work was also my first in Africa.”

Congratulations to Dr. Narayan for receiving this award in recognition of the significant positive impact of her research into the economic impact of aflatoxin contamination.

Categories: Departments News

Congratulations, Fall 2017 Scholarship Winners!

IAA - Thu, 2017-08-17 15:09
Aug 17, 2017Author: Randie Hovatter

It is that time again - the exciting time in which we award IAA scholarships! The following exceptional students were awarded scholarships through the IAA for the Fall 2017 semester:

IAA Enhancement Fund Scholarships
Rebecka Jones
Agricultural Business Management
Sunderland, MD

Cameron Smith
Sustainable Agriculture
Laurel, MD

Mason Banner
Sustainable Agriculture
Dayton, MD

TESCO Scholarship

Robert Jeffrey
Golf Course Management
Waldorf, MD

Cecil Massie Scholarship

Noah Varnell
Sports Turf Management
La Plata, MD

Edward M. Bowman Family Scholarship

Brandy Walterhoefer
Agricultural Leadership and Communication
Ellicott City, MD

Congratulations, winners!

All applications are reviewed by the IAA scholarship committee on a variety of criteria, including major, cumulative IAA grade point average, financial need, extracurricular involvement and professional activities.

Read more about IAA scholarships and apply at this link.

IAA Enhancement FundIAA ScholarshipsRebecka JonesCameron SmithMason BannerTESCOTurf Equipment and Supply Co.Robert JeffreyNoah VarnellBrandy WalterhoeferCecil Massie ScholarshipEdward M. Bowman Family ScholarshipTop row: Rebecka Jones, Cameron Smith, Mason Banner. Bottom row: Noah Varnell, Robert Jeffrey, Brandy Walterhoefer.
Categories: Departments News

NSF Award - Congratulations Dr. Rahaman!

NFSC - Tue, 2017-08-08 11:06
Aug 8, 2017

Dr. Shaik O. Rahaman (PI, 90% effort), Assistant Professor at The Department of Nutrition and Food Science, has been awarded a $398,499 grant (3 years) from the National Science Foundation for his grant proposal entitled “Substrate Rigidity and Long Non-Coding RNA Expression: Role of TRPV4 Ion Channel.” Dr. Li Ma (10% effort), Assistant Professor at the Department of Animal & Avian Sciences, is the Co-PI in the project. The objective of this proposal is to identify and characterize matrix stiffness-sensitive LncRNAs (Long Non-Coding RNA) using global expression analysis, and to determine the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) channel of the vanilloid subfamily, TRPV4, a matrix stiffness-sensitive, calcium-permeable channel in matrix stiffness-induced LncRNA expression and epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT). By enhancing our understanding of how matrix properties regulate gene expression in cells, results of this proposal will have broad-ranging impacts in fields as diverse as cell mechanotransduction, and molecular and cell biology of gene regulation. Matrix stiffness, LncRNAs, and EMT are essential to numerous fundamental processes including development, tissue maintenance/regeneration, oncogenesis, and fibrosis; thus, understanding the mechanosensing role of TRPV4 in regulating LncRNA expression and EMT is likely to provide a basis for designing next generation biomaterials to aid wound healing and to target TRPV4 therapeutically in diseases including fibrosis.

Categories: Departments News

IAA Courses Recognized by Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

IAA - Tue, 2017-08-08 11:01
Aug 8, 2017

Launched in Spring 2013, the University of Maryland's Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AIE) was founded with the mission of impacting all 35,000+ UMD students. Specifically, AIE collaborates with faculty to explore methods and techniques that can help students create and explore innovative solutions to problems. 

The result is a roster of dozens of innovation and entrepreneurship courses available in many different disciplines across the UMD campus. With the addition of six courses to the Academy's roster, the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) can now proudly say that it is contributing to the mission of AIE.

As of July 2017, the following IAA courses have been added:

  • INAG 102: Agricultural Entrepreneurship
  • INAG 103: Agricultural Marketing
  • INAG 132: Agricultural Leadership and Teamwork
  • INAG 203: Agricultural Finance
  • INAG 204: Agricultural Business Management
  • INAG 205: Analyzing Alternative Enterprises

Full descriptions of these courses are available at this link. IAA Terps and students from across campus are encouraged to engage in these opportunities to hone their entrepreneurial skills.

UMD InnovatesAcademy for Innovation and Entrepreneurshipumdinstitute of applied agricultureUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkDiscover your inner entrepreneur through Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship coursework at the University of Maryland.
Categories: Departments News

Food Security and Climate Change in Colombia

AREC - Mon, 2017-07-31 13:57
Risk Adaptation and Decision Making among FarmersJul 31, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder & Samantha Watters

Food security and climate change are two very dire issues confronting the world today, especially given that so many people still live in rural areas where their livelihoods depend on agriculture. The United Nations recently set a Sustainable Development Goal to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, and adapting to climate change to ensure sustainable agriculture and food sources is a major piece of that puzzle. Professor Lori Lynch with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is doing her part to address these critical issues with her current research project.

Dr. Lynch has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and will be conducting research based in Cali, Colombia beginning in August 2017. She has been awarded approximately $26,000 and plans to be in Colombia for 9 to 10 months. The country’s farmers are known for accepting adaptation approaches that can later be implemented by other countries, according to Lynch.

During this trip, she plans to conduct an economic experiment assessing farmers’ attitudes towards risk. Participants will be given an opportunity to hypothetically invest in farming practices that would benefit them in the long run, but cost more upfront.

“The practices are designed to increase resilience and average overall yields over time, but not every year,” said Lynch. “If there is an extreme weather event, they are more protected. But there has not been a lot of adoption. I’m looking for an explanation as to why. Are they risk averse, or do they prefer to stick to what they know [rather] than adapt to a situation?”

She will collaborate with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), which is the lead center of CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). CCAFS has developed a paradigm for decision-making around climate change, evaluating each possible practice in three major areas: productivity, adaptability, and risk mitigation. CCAFS has also started" style="text-decoration: none;"> climate smart villages in Colombia. These villages are all located in high-risk areas and are chosen to receive information and guidance about practices that will improve food security and resilience.

Dr. Lynch is using these climate smart villages in her research, comparing the responses of farmers here as opposed to those in other villages. For her, the research is about truly understanding the participants’ decision making processes.

“It’s great that the Fulbright Program provides these types of opportunities,” said Lynch. “I hope I will be a good ambassador from the US, and that it will benefit my family and the people I work with.”

Dr. Lynch is excited to be returning to Colombia, where she previously taught a seminar, and to have her children coming with her. Both of Lynch’s children will be attending an international school in the region.

Dr. Lynch is striving to make a real impact with her research and make sure the results are widely available and useful. She emphasizes the use of videos to further the reach of this and other parts of her study. Local, national, and even international media have been interested in tracking results related to the adaptation of small-scale farmers to climate change conditions. The College is proud to support this effort and be a part of the fight against food insecurity.  

Categories: Departments News

AREC Professors Receive IFREE Grant; Will Study Markets, Commodities, Policies

AREC - Thu, 2017-07-27 11:31
Jul 27, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

The International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE)  awarded Professor Neslihan Uler a grant for $10,000.

Uler applied for the grant along with Professor Stephen Salant, an AREC research professor at the University of Maryland, and Professor William Shobe, of the University of Virginia. The grant will support their research into Government Buyback Programs for Commodity Markets: An Experimental Investigation of the Subtle Effects of Floor Price Changes.

They want to use the grant to further generate funding for laboratory experiments, according Uler. She first became interested in market experiments while at graduate school at New York University.

“We use a laboratory experiment to study how government interventions, in particular buy-back policies, influence commodity prices,” said Uler. “In addition, by conducting a controlled laboratory experiment that mimic the markets closely, we can uncover behavioral factors that might affect individuals’ behavior.”

Results will help refine related theories and market regulations and policies. She hopes that the research will benefit government interventions that influence the supply of commodities in a variety of markets, including agricultural goods, currencies, emission allowances, petroleum and electricity.

The grant will cover the expenses for subject fees in the experiment, according to Uler.

Originally inspired by Mary Caslin Ross and the work of Vernon Smith, a nobel prize winner, the IFREE supports experimental economics research to gain a better understanding of market and personal exchange systems.

In the future, Uler plans to build a strong research agenda to study related topics.

Categories: Departments News

UMD AREC Contributes to International Extension Convention in Scotland

AREC - Thu, 2017-07-27 11:23
Jul 27, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Agricultural Law Education Initiative (ALEI) Legal Specialist Paul Goeringer and Faculty Specialist Mayhah Suri recently attended the 21st International Farm Management Association’s (IFMA) Congress in the City of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The conference took place from July 2 to 7, and focused on farm management and extension education.

Over 400 people attended the conference, according to Suri. Participants travelled from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and from across Europe for the conference.

“The meeting was an enriching experience due to the diversity of my fellow conference-goers," said Suri. "I think I learned more just from chatting with people about their work and perspectives.... Seeing how extension work is done in other countries made me appreciate the strong support we have at University of Maryland extension.”

Both Goeringer and Suri presented posters at the conference. Goeringer focused on the question of how data should be owned, and how there are various challenges related to this prominent issue. In her poster, Suri discussed community-supported agriculture.

“I think the most significant part of the presentation was telling people about ALEI and our mission to provide legal extension education,” said Suri. “Most people I talked to from outside of the U.S. were surprised and impressed that Maryland has a legal extension program.”

The conference was a week long, starting on a Sunday evening. On Tuesday and Thursday, participants went on farm tours.

“The program was interesting because it highlighted a diversity of crops, and the farm tours were fascinating,” said Goeringer.

One farm visited was a Christmas tree farm that also had produce, a restaurant and was near a nature trail, bringing in a variety of people and revenue.

“On the second day of tours, our last tour was about nutrition and production oriented.” said Suri. “There were sheep, potatoes and wheat. The countryside was so beautiful. There were lots of green rolling hills.”

Planners of the conference incorporated the farms tours and cultural events for the participants so that they could learn more about agricultural practices in Scotland.

Scotland extension agencies are different from those within the United States because they are created and controlled by private agents, rather than through universities, according to Goeringer.

The conference also highlighted relevant issues for Scottish farmers, including Brexit. Goeringer stated that none of the farmers know what the outcome of Brexit will be and how it will influence the agricultural trade policies.

“All in all, the conference was a good trip,” said Goeringer. As a result of the trip, he plans to incorporate what he learned about various laws and cultures to improve his farm succession workshops.

Categories: Departments News

Fresh Food for Terps in Need: Community Learning Garden Donates to Campus Pantry

IAA - Fri, 2017-07-21 08:58
Jul 21, 2017Author: Salvador Fawkes and Meredith Epstein

Visitors to the University of Maryland’s Community Learning Garden often ask the question: where does all the food go? Until this summer, the answer has always been the same: the bounty of cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, herbs, and more go home with the volunteers who help maintain the garden. Now the garden has become so productive, that often the volunteers cannot eat it all.

The Institute of Applied Agriculture's (IAA) Sustainable Agriculture instructor, Meredith Epstein, has been in charge of maintaining the space as a teaching garden for the IAA since 2013. As the de facto produce distributor for the garden, she can recall numerous occasions when crates full of peppers or salad greens were left after harvest. “I always figured out something to do with it, whether asking random passers-by if they’d like to have salad for dinner or canning chutney for the holidays,” says Epstein, “But we’ve always known there is a better solution – donating directly to those struggling with food access in our community. We just didn’t have a system in place to make it feasible.”

Enter the Community Learning Garden’s first-ever summer intern. Through a collaborative effort between the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden, UMD Dining Services, and the IAA, Salvador Fawkes was hired in June 2017 as the Campus Food Garden Intern. A first-year Sustainable Agriculture major at the IAA, he has seen firsthand the necessity of a food bank for students, faculty, and staff. “Quite a few students on campus struggle to afford healthy meals while balancing a budget,” remarks Fawkes.

His daily routine involves caring for food gardens across campus, coordinating harvests and deliveries to the UMD Campus Pantry, and distributing that food to the pantry’s clients. “The most rewarding aspect of this internship is seeing the anticipation from people and knowing the food you grow goes to people that might not have had a meal that day otherwise.”

The harvest changes weekly throughout the season, allowing pantry clients to access a variety of fresh foods and giving Fawkes the opportunity to hone his harvest and post-harvest handling techniques for dozens of different types of produce. First, all harvest tools and containers must undergo thorough cleaning and disinfection to prevent foodborne pathogens. Harvest takes place on Thursdays and is refrigerated overnight at the 251 North dining hall to allow for the freshest quality produce to be distributed at the pantry on Fridays. 

The Campus Pantry opened its doors in October, 2014 under the management of Allison Tjaden, Dining Services’ Assistant Director for New Initiatives. The program is a collaboration between the Department of Dining Services and the University Health Center and receives support from countless campus departments, student groups, local businesses, and alumni. The UMD Campus Pantry’s mission is to alleviate food hardship among UMD students, faculty, and staff by providing emergency food. This is achieved through taking in donations and then distributing goods in a socially conscious manner. Donations in the form of non-perishable goods are accepted weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Dining Services South Campus Administrative Office, South Campus Diner. For fresh food items, pantry manager Larry Tumlin shared that “It’s meaningful to have multiple gardens, as well as Terp Farm, donating local produce to the Pantry for more nutritious options.”

Clients are welcome to access the Pantry on Fridays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Helisa Room (0143) on the bottom floor of the UMD Health Center. Clients may choose up to 10 non-perishable items and as much fresh produce as needed. Fresh herbs are often available as seasonings and other veggies and greens provide great ingredients for salads. Clients are provided anonymity when using the Pantry.

IAA Director Glori Hyman is pleased with this new initiative. “This year the University of Maryland became the nation's first Do Good campus, inspiring all of us to do better, to do more, to help each other,” she says. “The garden to food pantry project is one way we can ‘do good.’ Plus it's gratifying that IAA faculty are doing such a good job teaching students to grow their own food that there is an abundance to share.”

For more information visit and

Salvador FawkesMeredith EpsteinUniversity of MarylandCommunity Learning Gardenfood securitysustainable agricultureteaching gardeninstitute of applied agricultureUMD Campus PantryAllison Lilly TjadenLarry Tumlinfood accessUMD Arboretum and Botanical GardenUMD Dining ServicesCampus Food Garden Internfood bank251 North Dining HallUniversity Health CenterSouth Campus DinerGlori HymanDo Good campusIAA Faculty
Categories: Departments News

Nutrition researchers outreach and training

NFSC - Thu, 2017-07-20 12:28
Jul 20, 2017Author: Dr. Jackson

NFSC researchers and students reached out to assist clinicians in a low-income community clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Image Credit: Dr. Jackson
Categories: Departments News

Visiting Scholar

NFSC - Thu, 2017-07-20 12:23
Jul 20, 2017Author: Dr. Jackson

Dr. Lilly Hsin-I Hsiao, from the Department of Food Science of National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) visited NFSC to foster collaboration between herself and her colleagues at NTOU and Dr. Pradhan and other Food Science faculty in NFSC. Dr. Hsiao will also join us for the Food Science Summit that will occur in later October 2017.

(From left to right) Dr. Jackson, Dr. Pradhan and Dr. HsiaoImage Credit: Dr. Jackson
Categories: Departments News

AREC Graduate Dewey receives Sportsmanship Award

AREC - Thu, 2017-07-13 11:38
Jul 13, 2017Author: Sarah Fielder

Hannah Dewey, a 2017 spring graduate from AREC, recently received the Big Ten Outstanding Sportsmanship award.

The award is presented by the Big Ten, and recognizes one male and one female athlete from each school for their sportsmanship and competitiveness. At the University of Maryland, Dewey was a team captain of the softball team.

She played for the team for four years, primarily as a pitcher. Dewey was also the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee from 2016 to 2017.

After graduation, Dewey plans to play professional softball oversees in Mannheim, Germany for the Mannheim Tornados. She will be in Germany from early July for just over three months, competing against other professional teams across Europe.

“During this time I’m also gaining some work experience remotely in college athletics working with LEAD1, an up-and-coming Political Action Committee focused on improving current policy for the NCAA,” said Dewey.

While at college, Dewey became an AREC major after speaking with her adviser. She wanted a major that combined her passion for economics and data analysis with environmental sustainability. AREC ended up being the perfect fit for her interests.

“AREC has definitely prepared me for my future in many different ways,” said Dewey in an email interview. “It has allowed me to research and come up with new ways to look at various economic models in our ever-changing society. I’ve been able to work on various group projects about key economic agreements involving all kinds of policies from all over the world, and how we could implement them into our own legislation.”

She plans to apply for graduate schools after returning from Germany, and study for a master’s degree in either business or sports administration.

“I’m looking to pursue a career in college athletics, and one day hope to be a Division I athletic director!” said Dewey.

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