Extension News from the West
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and the South Valley Rose Society are collaborating and offering educational meetings throughout the fall. Free and open to the public, October’s meeting topic is:
October 24, Rose Oil Production and Distillation, Bob Morris, Emeritus Faculty of University of Nevada and Garden Columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal
Rose oil provides the base for many products. Certain types of roses produce the oils. What are they and what countries grow these types? What are the processes used in extracting these oils and the types of distillers?
All educational meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning Center located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas (I-215 and Windmill Lane). For more information, please call or email the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555.
PROSSER, Wash. – The public will have an opportunity to see what’s new in automated and precision farming technologies at the Second Annual CPAAS Expo. The free event will take place Oct. 8, 2013 1-3 p.m. at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Wash.
“At the top of our to-do list is making our research useful to growers and the industry. The Expo is a chance for growers, industry professionals, and members of the public to see what we do and explore possibilities,” said Qin Zhang, Director of the WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems.
The Expo will offer demonstrations and presentations of technologies aimed at developing and improving harvesting technologies, labor management systems, input delivery systems, and worksite safety.
Demonstrations will include:
- a blossom thinning device
- shake and catch cherry harvesting
- 3D sensor technology
- over-the-row sensor platforms
- bin-dog technology
- a solid set canopy delivery system and more.
This is the second year CPAAS will host the Expo which was attended by more than 80 people in 2012. The Center serves as a venue for the incubation and development of new ideas for researchers, entrepreneurs and others seeking to advance and commercialize automated and precision agriculture technologies.
RICHLAND, Wash. – The Cougar flags blowing majestically in the breeze were ideal for the site of the Wine Science Center at Washington State University Tri-Cities, noted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
“Red and white are the colors of the best wine we make in Washington state,” he quipped to the audience of 200 community, university and grape and wine industry attendees at this morning’s groundbreaking ceremony in Richland.
“We believe in wine and we believe in science. We are marrying those two things today,” Inslee said. “The Wine Science Center symbolizes the power of partnerships.”
A creative collaboration with the Port of Benton, which owns the land, and the City of Richland, which provides administrative support, resulted in formation of the Wine Science Center Development Authority.
Construction is to start immediately on the 39,300-square-foot, LEED silver facility at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive. Employing up to 75 construction workers, the building is expected to be complete in early 2015.
The conceptual design by Lydig Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects, both of Spokane, includes a research and teaching winery, state-of
-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms and a 3,500-bottle wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery floor and outdoors toward the Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
The $23 million project is designed to attract world-class researchers and students who will focus their efforts on the challenges and opportunities faced by Pacific Northwest grape growers and winemakers. More details on the project and its unique partnerships are at http://www.tricity.wsu.edu/wsc.
Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, explained how the grape and wine industry has experienced explosive growth since it started 30 years ago. Now with nearly 800 licensed wineries and an economic impact of $8.6 billion, Washington wines consistently outperform wines from other regions of the world, he said.
“If we’re this good in 30 years, how great can we be in the future?” Warner said. “The Wine Science Center will take us to new heights.”
New donors to the Wine Science Center were announced today by Ted Baseler, a WSU regent, chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine and president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. They include:
• Chris and Amy Figgins, Leonetti/Figgins Family Wines, $50,000
• Rick and Darcy Small, Woodward Canyon, $25,000
• Dave and Deb Hansen, Cougar Crest, $25,000
• Greg and Stacy Lill, DeLille Cellars, $10,000
Fundraising efforts for the Wine Science Center are in the final stretch, with $2 million needed to complete construction and $2 millio
n needed to fully equip the building. A total of $19 million has been raised since the campaign started about three years ago.
WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s and is the only university in the Pacific N
orthwest offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees in viticulture
and enology, plus a wine business management program and a distance education program to earn professional certificates.
Thomas Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the viticulture and enology program (V&E), which has about 33 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser and Pullman – nearly the same size faculty as at the University of California Davis.
“This is much-needed space for researchers and students,” Henick-Kling said, noting that the V&E program enrolls about 50 undergraduate, 29 graduate and 120 certificate program students. “The Wine Science Center will allow us to expand our research capacity to address the challenges and opportunities for industry growth.”
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will offer a free walking tour of the Demonstrations Gardens on October 12 at 10 a.m. Throughout the tour, “Now’s the Time to Plant,” Master Gardeners will explain what to grow in the fall. Cooperative Extension’s Demonstration Gardens are located at the Lifelong Learning Center, 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89123 (I-215 and Windmill Lane).
The Demonstration Gardens contain over 500 species of desert-appropriate landscape plants, including: trees, shrubs, perennials, palms, cacti and agaves. Plants are identified by botanical and common names. In addition to scheduled tours, the grounds are open for self-guided, walk-a-bouts weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To join this tour, meet in the Courtyard by 10 a.m. Walking shoes, sun protection and water are suggested. For more information call the Master Gardener Help Desk at 702-257-5555 or visit the Facebook page.
An “electronic tongue” at Washington State University is hard-wired to taste wines in a way that human tongues cannot.
Unlike human taste buds, this so-called “e-tongue” never tires or takes a day off, even after hours of around-the-clock sampling, said Carolyn Ross, associate professor of food science and viticulture and enology, who runs the sensory evaluation lab on the Pullman campus.
Ross is evaluating wines produced in the state of Washington, which is the second largest producer of premium wines in the United States. Working with Ross is her Ph.D. student, Charles Diako, originally from Ghana, who is a super-taster himself.
Diako appears to have met his match, though, working with the e-tongue to evaluate Washington wines.
While humans can detect flavor attributes, the e-tongue identifies taste compounds at the molecular level, said Ross. “The e-tongue gives an objective measurement of taste profiles and we try to correlate that to what happens in human sensory evaluation,” said Diako.
The e-tongue works by dipping its “tongue” into a beaker filled with wine on a rotating platform called an autosampler. Then it reads a profile of sensory attributes ranging from metallic and savory to sweet and bitter. After the tongue recoils from the sample, the platform turns to present it with the next beaker of wine.
While human taste buds can get saturated and lose their keen ability to accurately distinguish taste features, the e-tongue never gets fatigued. But that doesn’t mean human taste testers and sommeliers will find themselves out of work. Many companies and institutions, including WSU, use tasters –some volunteer, some professional and paid—to sample products and provide feedback that fine-tunes the development process. “Human evaluation is more sensitive and integrates a huge amount of information and perceptions in response,” said Ross. “This new technology won’t replace human evaluation.”
For example, the e-tongue might be able to give some information about the mouthfeel of a wine, but it isn’t designed to do this, said Ross. A wine’s mouthfeel provides sensations of physical and chemical interactions among the human palate, often described in terms like tannic, aggressive or “chewy.”
And while the e-tongue interprets data by using biosensors and statistics, Diako uses his taste buds and brain. “The human tongue is the primary taste organ of the body,” said Diako. “Being a living tissue and being integrated with the most sophisticated computer the world has ever known — the brain — its perception of taste is absolutely matchless.”Flesh-and-Blood Wine Taster
Just as fortuitous as pairing a good wine with the right cheese, the new e-tongue has been paired with the right scientist. Diako joined Ross’s lab a year ago, shortly after WSU purchased the e-tongue for its expanding role in Washington’s wine research. While there’s no way to know if the e-tongue enjoys its work, it’s clear that Diako loves what he does in the lab. Always smiling and often laughing, Diako knew little about wine or e-tongue technology when he came to WSU, he said.
“I didn’t even know there was a difference between Washington the state and Washington, D.C.,” he said, throwing his head back in laughter. But he does know sensory science and, now, what makes a good wine. Diako’s research history includes work on aromatic rice, an important staple food in his native African country. Diako plans on applying his expanded sensory skills to the research and higher education needs of his country upon returning home.
“I love research. I love teaching,” he added.
Diako is often sought out by lab members for his ingrained expertise at detecting precise tastes. Advanced taste sensitivity is often genetic and he was born with finely-tuned taste buds, he said. “You need that to be able to work in this field.”Raising a Glass
The sensory lab is evaluating 60 red wines from Washington state, including a planned follow-up-study on the same number of Washington-produced white wines.
“The use of the e-tongue for assessment of this many red wine samples hasn’t been undertaken before,” said Ross.
The information gathered from the evaluations is important to the Washington grape growers and winemakers to guide fruit and wine flavor development, said Diako. After all, a great bottle of wine begins in the vineyard. Will the e-tongue know if that bottle does contain, in fact, a good wine?
Absolutely, by providing it with a gold standard, said Diako, adding with a smile, “But it doesn’t know the price.”
Learn more about WSU sensory science and research at http://sfs.wsu.edu/sensory/ or visit wine.wsu.edu.
-Chelsea PickettWine Down Under
Join Thomas Henick-Kling, the director of the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program, on an incredible vineyard and winery tour of Australia, March 30 through April 15, 2014.
Travelers will experience insider tours and tastings with more than 20 winemakers. Together, they’ll visit Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Tasmania, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and McLaren-Vale. Enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world.
Henick-Kling spent a total of six years in Australia, first as a graduate student in Adelaide and later as director of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Wagga Wagga. He will take tour members to meet with some of the industry leaders he knows well and also meet with emerging innovators.
For the full itinerary visit: http://bit.ly/17PjR8w.
-Theresa BeaverLost in Transportation: Where Do Sugars Go?
Grapes have a circulatory system that is not so different from the one in the human body. Both are responsible for promoting healthy growth by shuttling valuable nutrients to and from cells. And in grapes, the systems that deliver valuable sugars and water can make all the difference when it comes to proper maturing and ripening.
For grapes, the logistics are critical: sugar molecules that help wine grapes ripen and acquire a sweet taste need to “find a ride” across every cell’s bag-like membrane and into the body of each cell.
Yun Zhang, a research viticulturist at WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (WSU-IAREC), is learning more about this “ride” sugars take, with her research on genes that prescribe proteins, called sugar transporters, that shuttle the sugar molecules across cell membranes. She spent three months in France at the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux, looking at the genetic blueprint of sugar transporters in grape pedicels (the tiny stem that connects the berry to its cluster framework).
She wanted to know whether there is a mechanism in the pedicel that could help retrieve any sugars that might potentially escape via the grape’s water pipeline called the xylem. Her visit was made possible by a travel grant from the University of Bordeaux and by funds from WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program.Getting Back to the Backflow
Where humans have veins and arteries, plants have xylem and phloem. They each serve different purposes. The xylem is a plant’s water pipeline, moving water up through the plant’s roots and into the leaves and fruit, to help grape develop. The phloem, by contrast, moves sugar and other nutrients around the plant, pumping it from the sugar-producing leaves into the sugar-accumulating berries. That sugar is dissolved in water, though, so the two end up in the berries together. To permit sugar storage while maintaining proper pressure inside the grape, water “backs out” of berries through a recycling process Zhang refers to as xylem backflow. The prevailing thought is that grape berries are efficient at retaining the valuable sugars they need for ripening, but scientists at the WSU-IAREC suspect that berries might lose sugars with water that flows out through the backflow system. If there was a mechanism to help sugar recycling happen, Zhang would find evidence for it in the genes.
Just like with human cells, sugar transporter proteins in grapes are prescribed by different genes whose expression can be detected through RNA sequencing in the lab. Ultimately, Zhang found ten sugar transporters in the pedicel from Syrah and Merlot grapes, which suggests the molecular machinery for the recycling is, indeed, present in the pedicels.Implications for Irrigation
How and, crucially, when grapevines use and transport water and sugar has been the twin focus of Zhang’s research and that of her advisor, professor Markus Keller, as well. Zhang graduated in July with her doctorate in horticulture, but it isn’t the end of her work at WSU. She began post-doctorate work at WSU-IAREC this summer and continues to build upon years of research that has major implications for irrigation and vineyard management.
“What we need to study next and more specifically is where these sugar transporter proteins are located in the pedicel,” she said. “Then we’ll continue to gain a fuller understanding of the grape’s structure and functions.”
Read about Zhang’s previous work see “Going with the Flow” in an archived Voice of the Vine article by Brian Clark. Learn more about wine science research at WSU at wine.wsu.edu.
-Rachel WebberGovernor, Industry Leaders to Break Ground for Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities
Washington Governor Jay Inslee will join wine and grape industry leaders, economic development and government partners, generous donors, community supporters, and Washington State University officials at 10 a.m. Sept. 26 to break ground for the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive, at the entrance to the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland.
Research and teaching conducted at the Wine Science Center will be specifically tailored to the challenges and opportunities faced by grape growers and wine makers in Washington state, and is projected to help triple the economic impact of this $8.6 billion industry to reach more than $20 billion by 2020.
“Having this research facility is critical to the continued growth of our Pacific Northwest wine industry,” said Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, WSU Regent, and chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine.
The Wine Science Center Development Authority selected Lydig Construction, Inc. and ALSC Architects of Spokane to design and build the facility. The $23 million building will have approximately 39,300 gross square feet and is being designed to LEED Silver standards.
The conceptual design includes a research and teaching winery, state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, and a regional and international wine library. A dramatic central lobby will provide views of the research winery production floor as well as of the nearby Columbia River and the WSU Tri-Cities campus.
“Research will ensure that we produce the best wine grapes. Research will then help us make great wines with distinct flavors that become sought after internationally,” Baseler said. “This facility and the teaching program at WSU will produce a workforce pipeline of trained WSU graduates – for our vineyards, for our wineries, and for all the allied industries that work with us.”
The Wine Science Center Development Authority is a unique partnership managed by the City of Richland. The land is donated by the Port of Benton. The fundraising and financing is led by Washington State University. FLAD Architects and Meier Engineering serve as the program architects, and Hill International is the project management firm.
For more details, including a video about the value of the Wine Science Center, visit http://wine.wsu.edu/campaign/
-Melissa O’Neil PerdueFall Issue of Viticulture and Enology Extension News Now Available
If we have learned anything from this vintage, it is that timing is everything. In this issue of VEEN, we have a few updates on just that: the timing of different practices. After learning about mite research in Washington, read up on how the timing of water influences vine bud break, followed up with an update on the new and improved Irrigation Scheduler Mobile, designed to help you determine the timing of irrigation. We also have a brief update from the Wine Microbiology lab in Pullman, with a discussion on managing Brettanomyces in wine; and of course, timing of additives and temperature play an important role. Download your copy here.
When a young girl named Rosie found a Monarch butterfly resting on the garage door of her house in Bolinas, California, last year, she noticed it had a small, white tag on its wing with a WSU e-mail address and identification number.
She sent a message to WSU entomologist David James, and he recorded that in six weeks the butterfly had made a 600-mile journey from its release in Yakima, Washington, to the coastal town north of San Francisco. The Monarch was one of 12 recaptures from a rearing and tagging research project conducted by a small group of inmates—nicknamed the “Butterfly Wranglers”—at Washington State Penitentiary in collaboration with WSU.
After a successful first year of the butterfly rearing program at the prison, hundreds of Monarch butterflies will be released in September as part of a WSU study answering the question: Where do Monarchs in the Pacific Northwest go? The results will be applied to address a growing concern about decreasing populations.Snowbirding Butterflies
Earlier this year the iconic butterfly made headlines when their numbers in Mexico hit a record low. The new data was based on decades of documentation on Monarchs spending their summers in the eastern United States and traveling south to Mexico for the winter. There is less research on Monarchs that head south from the Pacific Northwest, but several studies shows this smaller population also seeks milder climates once temperatures and day length start to drop. Prior to James’ study, there had only been one or two Pacific Northwest monarchs tagged and recaptured. And they also landed in California.
James believes Monarchs from the western United States may be in alignment with their eastern counterparts in choosing Mexico as their destination. One Monarch from last year’s release was spotted in Utah—so, while off course if trying to reach California, James said it was “tantalizing evidence” that it may have been on its way to Mexico.Building Value
It will take several years to raise and release the thousands of butterflies needed to gather enough data to make any firm conclusions, said James, but utilizing the Butterfly Wranglers’ time and skill has greatly contributed to the amount of this research.
James also pointed out that the inmates benefit from the project too. “The interest and the motivation from rearing the butterflies help them become invested in bettering themselves and contributing to scientific research,” he said.Program Expanding to Wine Industry
It’s been such a successful program, he said, that they are introducing a new project with benefits to the Washington wine industry. Now, the Butterfly Wranglers are counting mites and insects on grape leaf samples and will be rearing smaller, more delicate native butterflies as part of a project to integrate native plants and pollinators into vineyards.
While most of the Monarch butterflies will be released outside of the penitentiary this month, the Wranglers tagged and released a few hundred of the butterflies from inside the penitentiary during the third week of September. As the butterflies head into the wild this month, only time, and a sharp eye from citizen scientists, will tell where they’ll land next.
Report sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit the Monarch Butterflies in the Pacific Northwest Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/MonarchButterfliesInThePacificNorthwest. For more about the Department of Entomology visit http://entomology.wsu.edu/.
-Rachel WebberNo Lentils Left Behind
It’s harvest season and the Palouse is a patchwork of amber and bronze. Quick, before it’s gone–look closely and you’ll see an understated wonder of our landscape: lentils.
The Palouse pumps out more than a million pounds of them annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And though the so-called “Lentil Capital of the World” celebrates this tiny, lens-shaped legume each August with a national festival, far more people consume it overseas than here in the United States. In fact, 75 percent of the crop grown in this region is exported to lentil-loving places such as Spain, India, Italy, and Mexico.
“Lentils have an identity problem that they don’t deserve,” said USDA plant geneticist Rebecca McGee, an adjunct professor at WSU Pullman who oversees the nation’s lentil breeding program for the federal Agricultural Research Service.
“Unfortunately, a lot of Americans don’t realize how versatile they are,” she said, plucking pods off the spindly, honey-colored plants to get at the more recognizable seeds grown at WSU’s Spillman Agronomy Farm a couple miles from campus. In France, cooked lentils are integral to a variety of dishes. In India and parts of the Middle East, they are a cornerstone of cooking fare.
In the United States, they’re often associated with hippie food and winter soups.
“I think we’re getting beyond that,” said McGee. Thanks to marketing efforts of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council in Moscow, Idaho, lentils are slowly earning a bigger place at the kitchen table, she said.Cultivating Desire
Lentils are the seeds harvested from the plant’s pods. Photo by Linda Weiford, WSU.
In her job as a plant breeder, McGee tinkers with the crop’s genes to make the seeds taste better, pack more nutrients, and produce higher yields to feed the hungry around the globe. She also works to make the plants less vulnerable to foes such as disease, cold temperatures, hungry insects, and certain herbicides.
Inspecting her plant rows at the Spillman farm, McGee split a pod with two finger tips, removed two seeds, and tossed them into her mouth. As one of the nation’s top lentil breeders, it’s clear that she savors the subject of her research. Moving from one variety of lentil plant to another, she bit into the seeds and chewed, sampling them the way a viticulturist might taste subtle differences between wine grapes…Read more.
Learn more about legumes and other vegetable research at: http://agsyst.wsu.edu/grainLegumes.html.
-Linda WeifordSneak Peek at New Agricultural Automation Technologies
The public will have an opportunity to see what’s new in automated and precision farming technologies at the second annual Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) Expo. The free event will take place Oct. 8, 2013, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser.
Automated fruit weighing system designed to improve labor management. Photo by Matt Whiting, WSU.
“At the top of our to-do list is making our research useful to growers and the industry. The Expo is a chance for growers, industry professionals, and members of the public to see what we do and explore possibilities,” said Qin Zhang, director of CPAAS.
The focus will be on technologies aimed at developing and improving harvesting technologies, labor management systems, input delivery systems, and worksite safety.
• a blossom thinning device
• shake and catch cherry harvesting
• 3D sensor technology
• over-the-row sensor platforms
• bin-dog technology
• a solid set canopy delivery system and more.
CPAAS serves as a venue for the incubation and development of new ideas for researchers, entrepreneurs, and others seeking to advance and commercialize automated and precision agriculture technologies.
For more information on CPAAS and the 2013 Expo, see http://cpas.wsu.edu/.
It’s just a fact: most of us outlive our dogs. Indeed, for people who are dog owners throughout their lives, a lot of grieving is guaranteed. Fido #1 dies, is replaced by Fido #2 who also dies, and so on down the long line of dogs in our households.
I was reminded of how short a dog’s life is compared to ours when I read Ted Kerasote’s book, Pukka’s Promise. Kerasote is the best-selling author of Merle’s Door, a book about the relationship he had with a mixed breed dog named Merle. At the end of that book, Merle died of cancer. After an interval of a few years, Kerasote got a purebred puppy he named Pukka.
As Kerasote explains, dogs don’t live for a long time because they are basically wolves, and wolves are short-lived. In the wild, wolves tend to live only three or four years because they prey on animals that can injure and kill them. Because of the difficult conditions of their lives, wolves breed earlier than animals like grizzly bears, and they have more offspring each year.
The domestic dog, which is a wolf in friendlier clothing, follows this same pattern, reaching sexual maturity rapidly and having litters of squirming puppies that may number eight or ten. What works as a survival strategy for wolves as a species guarantees us dog-lovers that we will grieve for the death of our canine companions at multiple times during our much longer lives.
But not all dogs are created the same. Different breeds of dogs have different longevities. In general, the giant breeds like the Great Dane live shorter lives than smaller dogs. And because they avoid certain genetic problems, mixed breed dogs (the honest mutts that fill dog pounds from coast to coast) tend to live longer than their purebred counterparts of the same weight.
So far, so good. But can we say more about specific expectations of canine lifespans? Enter Dr. Kelly Cassidy, the curator of Washington State University’s Conner Vertebrate Museum. In her free time and as a hobby, Cassidy has considered the longevity issues of dogs. She made a study of sources that list how long different breeds live versus what breeder surveys report about their own dogs. Surveys like that aren’t the hardest of scientific evidence, but they do give some data for us dog-lovers to look at.
Cassidy’s work suggests that quite a number of dog breeds don’t appear to live as long as people like to believe. For example, German Shepherds are often said to live about 13 years. But Cassidy’s reading of breeder surveys indicated a more realistic number might be a bit less than ten years.
“That’s really quite a difference,” Cassidy said to me.
Selective memory and wishful thinking may result in the difference between expectations of a dog’s life and what actually is likely to unfold for Fido.
In any event, the wolf heritage of dogs guarantees they won’t live as long as we’d like. That’s the basic fact we all know, and it’s the bottom-line I take away from Kerasote’s book and from talking with Cassidy.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offering testing at Washoe County office
With many Nevadans choosing to grow more of their own food, they are also doing their own canning. And, "pressure-canning," using a pressure canner, is becoming increasing popular. However, in order to ensure food safety and prevent botulism, those using this canning method should have their pressure canners inspected each year, including having the canners’ dial gauge that measures the pressure tested. This fall, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering this service at its Washoe County office.
"We think more people are using the pressure canners these days because they are thought to maintain foods’ nutrients and flavor longer," said Christina Turner, Cooperative Extension nutritionist. "Also, it is the safest method for canning low-acidity foods, such as meats, dairy and poultry; as well as lower-acid fruits and vegetables, such as beans and corn."
Turner recommends that those using pressure canners make an appointment with her to have their canners inspected and the canner’s pressure gauge tested.
"Many times the gauges are not accurate," she said. "They may be reading 15 pounds of pressure when they are actually at 12 pounds of pressure, or vice versa. This presents a real hazard to the safety of the food being canned, and the canner would have no way of knowing."
If a pressure gauge is found to be faulty, the canner can make adjustments in cooking time to make up for the inaccurate gauge; or, better yet, the canner can replace the gauge for about $10 to $20. Pressure canners can also have other problems, such as cracked seals, that Turner can identify.
"The inspection and the testing of the pressure gauge only takes five to 10 minutes," she said. "It is well worth it for home-canners to have their canners checked annually."
The inspection and pressure gauge testing costs $5 and is conducted at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. Those interested in getting their canners checked should contact Turner for an appointment at 775-336-0274 or email@example.com.
Fall Festival, which was held on Sept. 12. has become a signature CAHNRS event to kick off the academic year for our community. Nearly 1,100 people attended this year, which smashed the previous attendance record of 900. We had more student booths and activities on site this year than ever before, which created an outstanding atmosphere for the event. We gave out four $1,000 scholarships this year. The undergraduate scholarships went to Taylor Esvelt (Animal Sciences) and Sara Adams (Ag and Food Systems), and the graduate scholarships went to Robert Zinna (Entomology) and Sean McCotter (Plant Pathology). We also had the opportunity to thank two donors, Chuck Olsen from CoBank and Ken and Sue Christianson, alumni and great friends of CAHNRS, for contributing to an initiative to create a Center for Transformational Learning and Leadership in the college. The ground swell of external support we are receiving to create value-added opportunities for our students to have extraordinary “beyond the classroom” experiences before they graduate has truly been remarkable.
I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to this event including our chairs and directors, who advertised for us, showed up in support and served ice cream to many, many people, and our program coordinators who got the word out, organized the displays and put bookmarks in the hand of every CAHNRS student. I thank all of the instructors who distributed bookmarks to students in their classes and made repeated announcement to encourage students to attend. The CAHNRS Student Senators, our club advisors, students and faculty did an outstanding job of manning the displays. I am also extremely grateful to all of the faculty who showed up to talk with students, and to connect with colleagues and friends. I greatly appreciate the support we received from our Alumni and Friends colleagues not only for supplying the ice cream, but also for making major contributions to planning the event this year. The essence of CAHNRS is defined by who we are, not just what we do, and it was simply a delight to see so many of us show up in force to support our college, our students and each other.
This event would not have come to be without the dedicated effort of the Academic Program staff, the CAHNRS student Ambassadors and the CAHNRS Student Senate. Thank you to everyone who attended and who helped make this festival such a resounding success!
Executive Associate Dean, CAHNRS
Associate Dean, Academic Programs
I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce that Tatum Weed’s last day here in the CAHNRS Dean’s Office, and in her capacity as Assistant to the Dean, will be October 15, 2013. Those of you who have interacted with Tatum know her to be a magnificently competent, efficient, and all-around pleasant person who will be greatly missed here in the Dean’s office, as well as by anyone who worked with or knows her. However, I am excited to inform you that she will remain at WSU and within CAHNRS! Tatum will be assuming the role of Assistant Director at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center beginning November 1st. We all wish her the best in her new position on the west side! Please watch your inbox for an announcement regarding an “Appreciation and Going Away Reception” for Tatum.
I am also pleased to announce that Lisa Janowski will assume the role of Assistant to the Dean of CAHNRS effective October 1st. Lisa is a highly skilled and accomplished individual who comes to us with over 18 years of experience at WSU. Most recently, Lisa was the Dean’s Assistant for the College of Liberal Arts for four years and is currently Randy Baldree’s assistant for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Unit. Lisa and Tatum will work together over the next month to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Moving forward, until October 15th, please be sure to copy Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org), and continue copying Tatum (email@example.com) on any correspondence that you intend the Assistant to the Dean to receive. You will begin receiving emails out of the Dean’s Office from Lisa and she will be copied on all Dean’s Office communications moving forward. Please give Lisa a warm welcome as she transitions into this new important role for CAHNRS.
-Ron Mittelhammer, Interim Dean, CAHNRSMeet the 2013-2014 CAHNRS Student Ambassadors
The CAHNRS Student Ambassadors is a student leadership organization that encourages students to pursue higher education and serves as a liaison between the college and the greater community. Learn more about each one of this year’s ambassadors and what they love about being a CAHNRS Coug here.WSU Class Explores Insects’ Impacts on World Cultures
No insect drew more gasps than the parasitoid wasp during a field trip of undergraduate entomology students at Washington State University’s organic farm. But it wasn’t the wasp’s sting that made some step away with their eyes wide. It was the insect’s bizarre attack on an aphid on the underside of a just-picked kale leaf.
Reminiscent of a famous scene in the 1979 horror film, “Alien,” when a baby space creature bursts out of a human’s gut, wasp larvae that had hatched inside the aphid were busting their way out. Read more in WSU News.Kudos
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Animal and Food Sciences annually recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the department and to Kentucky animal agriculture. This year the department awarded the Distinguished Alumna Award to WSU’s Margaret Benson. Benson, who earned a doctorate degree in ruminant nutrition at UK in 1984, currently serves as the chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at WSU. Benson’s nominators said one of her greatest contributions was initiating and steering a conference focused on funding livestock research and outreach for the future. Known as Innovate 2012, it was held in October to discuss novel funding models and to develop a framework for future funding for animal research, education and extension activities.
Michael Neff, director of the Molecular Plant Sciences Graduate Program and associate professor in crop and soil sciences, was recently awarded a USDA-NIFA Foundational Grant for the project “Increasing seed size and plant biomass via manipulation of the AHL gene family.” The award is for $498,000 for three years.Upcoming Events
2013 School of Food Science Faculty Seminar Series. This seminar series is to share what research is happening in the SFS, and to foster future cooperative research/teaching/outreach opportunities. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. The seminars will be held on Mondays at 1:10 PM in FSHN 103/155; and a light lunch will be provided to those in attendance. Here is next week’s seminar: Sept 23rd: Carolyn Bohach: “Cattle: The Silent Reservoir of E. coli 0157:H7.”
Visit this link on our website to see a listing of all of our faculty seminars this fall.
WSU Organic Farm on the Mall: Fresh-picked organic produce from WSU’s Organic Farm will be offered for sale at a farm stand on WSU’s Terrell Mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, running through early October. The farm accepts cash and checks only.
Friday Fruit Sales! The Tukey Horticulture Orchard will begin its Friday “ONLY” and “Already Picked” fruit sales September 6th from 12 to 6 pm. Friday “ONLY” sales will continue through September. Saturday sales and U-Picks will be added in October. For more information visit the Orchard website (http://horticulture.wsu.edu/orchard).Recent News Releases
September 11- Keeping Seafood Safe
September 19- Washington state summer brings the heatIn eNews
The September 4 issue of Green Times features poplar trees for fuel, quinoa, and harvest dinner updates.
The September 11 issue of On Solid Ground features stories about safer seafood, Chile, and spuds.
“LIKE” us on Facebook! Our School of Food Science now has an official page on Facebook, so be sure to “like” the page to stay updated on activities here. Also, be sure to invite your Food Science friends and alums to like the page too! You can find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolofFoodScienceUIWSU
Check out the latest on the CAHNRS Facebook page, too: http://facebook.com/cahnrs
Do you have a social media site you’d like to share in CAHNRS News? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PROSSER, Wash.- Only three words are needed to describe this summer in Washington state: hot, hotter and hottest.
In Prosser, August ended with the hottest temperature since 1991, and the June to August period was the second warmest on record.
“Low temperatures in August were the warmest on record as a result of last month’s humid and periodically cloudy conditions,” AgWeatherNet Meteorologist Nic Loyd said. “In a broader context, however, this summer is just the latest noteworthy episode in a continuing warm period that has persisted in central Washington for a year and a half.”Warming up
Summer 2013 marks the sixth consecutive season of warmer than average temperatures, while August represents the thirteenth of the last 14 months to feature above normal temperatures. The 2.1 degree rise above normal summer temperatures makes this the most significantly above-normal season in more than a decade.
“Despite this summer’s abnormal conditions, crops were generally faring well as we progress into the harvest season,” said AgWeatherNet Director Gerrit Hoogenboom. “Fortunately, most of the weather-related agricultural problems have been isolated in nature. One example is the thunderstorm-induced hail and wind damage that occurred on fruit trees north of Wenatchee on August 10th.”
June was a relatively warm month, despite several rain-cooled days in eastern parts of the state. However, hot and dry conditions during July set numerous records. Mt. Vernon experienced only its second rain-free month on record, while Prosser recorded its warmest monthly mean high temperature on record of over 92 degrees. The heat wave of July 1-2 brought not only the hottest temperatures to the region in four years, but also the earliest major hot spell since 1992. Temperatures peaked at 108 degrees at Benton City, while low temperatures as warm as 81 degrees were recorded.Stormy weather
August actually began with relatively cool and unsettled weather. The rain-cooled high temperature was only 59 degrees at Green Bluff (near Spokane) on Aug. 2. Temperatures quickly rebounded, however, and Hundred Circles (west of Paterson) reached 100 degrees just four days later on Aug. 6. Most of the month was hot and somewhat humid, as periodic impulses spawned several episodes of thunderstorms.
On Aug. 1, a storm dropped a torrential downpour of 0.63 inches at East Wenatchee, despite the fact that nearby locations received almost no rainfall. This theme of occasional bouts of brief and isolated heavy rain events continued through the month. On Aug. 10, another deluge brought 0.79 inches of rain to WSU Sunrise Research Orchard in just 15 minutes. One of the few cool temperatures of the month occurred on Aug. 21, as Pullman dropped to a chilly low of 37 degrees. However, heat and humidity returned quickly. As the summer came to a close, western Washington finally received their first widespread rainfall in two months on Aug. 28 and 29. A much-needed 0.89-inch rainfall occurred at Poulsbo South on Aug. 29.
Unfortunately, numerous fires were an undesired consequence of the scorching summer weather, although smoke concentrations never approached the dangerous levels observed in 2012. Other summer weather highlights include a 0.75-inch rainfall at Prosser on June 18, and a daily high of only 49 degrees at Green Bluff on June 20.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering a series of parent-child classes designed to educate you and your child (3-5 years old) through fun, creative lessons while preparing your child for kindergarten. Children will learn the importance of cooperation, creativity, reading skills, fun ways to be active and eating healthy while making new friends.
The 3-program series will begin with Family Storyteller on October 15 at the Pearson Community Center located at1625 Carey Ave., North Las Vegas, NV 89032 and continue throughout the fall with All 4 Kids and Little Books and Little Cooks following.
The program series includes: Family Storyteller - A six week program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the early literacy development of their children. During each class parents and their children participate in reading and language activities together. All 4 Kids — An 11 week program that encourages preschool children to be Healthy, Happy, Active and Fit. Parents and children work together in activities that promote healthful habits regarding physical activity, snacks, feeding cues and acceptance of self and others. Little Books and Little Cooks — A seven week program designed to promote healthy eating, family literacy, positive parent-child interaction and the child’s school readiness skills. During each class, children and parents come together to learn about nutrition, read children’s books and then cook and eat together.
The classes are taught in English and in Spanish. For more information about the series, dates and times, or to register please call 702-948-5972 or email All 4 Kids.