Tag Archives: CAHNS

2016 TSU Small Farm Expo and Farmer of the Year Recognition Expected to Draw More than 400 on July 21

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – About 400 agricultural experts, farmers and officials from across Tennessee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are expected to attend this year’s Small Farm Expo and Small Farmer of the Year Recognition program at Tennessee State University.

The Expo, hosted by the TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program, opens on Thursday, July 21 at 8:45 a.m., at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus.

Sponsors include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Extension, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, Farm Credit of Mid America, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Farm Services Bureau, among others.

Featured research and activities will focus on organic urban and AA9_1140[1]vertical agriculture, portable livestock fencing, greenhouse gas emission, soybean genomic research, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses. The U.S. Food Modernization Act and its implications for small farmers and restaurant owners will also be discussed, along with updates from the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Activities will also include field plot tours, educational workshops, and exhibits of agricultural products, and farming tools and implements.

The Expo will culminate at 12:30 p.m., with the Small Farmer Recognition and Award ceremony that will include the President of TSU, Dr. Glenda Glover; Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Jai Templeton; the President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Tim Cross; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, among others.

More details on the Expo can be found at http://goo.gl/4t31wt.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Farm Credit of Mid-America Form Partnership to Promote Urban Agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Farm Credit of Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative, are partnering to promote urban agriculture.

The two sides finalized discussions June 30 when officials of Farm Credit presented a check for $50,000 to TSU President Glenda Glover as seed money for the project.

“We are excited about this project,” Glover said. “We understand the importance of agriculture and with food security and population explosion, there is definitely the need for a strong cooperation like this between our agriculture college and a partner like Farm Credit.”

The TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, under the leadership of Dean Chandra Reddy, who has been leading the negotiation with Farm Credit, will serve as the coordinating arm of the project.

In a meeting in Glover’s office, Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, said TSU’s role would be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

“That is quite a task,” Wilson said. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

As a type of comprehensive education and community partnership, urban agriculture connects individuals and communities with resources to navigate the food system for their needs. It entails growing fruits, vegetables and, in some instances, raising animals in metro areas with limited spaces.

Under the partnership, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources will promote new ways of growing fruits in tight and limited spaces, using hydroponic (soilless), vertical gardening, and organic agriculture techniques.

According to Reddy, only 1 percent of the general population is engaged in traditional agricultural production. He said the goal is to promote these new ideas where individuals can grow food like fruits and vegetables in their homes without using much land.

“Our faculty are working but we are not yet able to take these ideas where every body is aware of them,” Reddy said. “With this funding from Farm Credit, we will sponsor events that draw community and statewide attention, like an ‘Urban Agriculture Day’ on the TSU campus. We will invite individuals to compete for these ideas. We may have some cash awards from this money to give them.”

Reddy said the next phase of the plan is to put together a committee that will develop criteria for the project.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

School Teaches Farmers to Brew Own Biodiesel

Courtesy: Domestic Fuel

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Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19, 2014.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Farmers are known to be a pretty independent breed, and a school is teaching them to be energy independent by brewing their own biodiesel. This story from RFD-TV says Tennessee State University’s Agricultural Research and Education Center has a unique outreach program that teaches farmers about making their own on-farm biodiesel.

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Dr. Jason de Koff

“This is something where they can grow it, and they can make it themselves and they can use it on the farm,” says Jason de Koff, an assistant professor in agronomy and soil science at Tennessee State University. The school’s mobile demonstration trailer – think of it as a workshop on wheels – is making waves across the volunteer state.

“We were awarded a grant by the USDA back in 2012,” de Koff explains. “The grant was to create a demonstration that we could use to talk to farmers about producing their own biodiesel on the farm.”

TSU created this mobile biodiesel demonstration trailer at the university’s Agricultural Research and Education Center…where they even grow their own canola.

“The reason why we wanted to do this,” says de Koff, “is because we’ve estimated that anywhere between 1 percent and 3 percent of the farm acreage can be devoted to growing some of the oilseed crops for biodiesel production. The farmer can produce enough biodiesel from that to power their diesel equipment for the entire year.

“The canola seeds are stored here inside this bin and then they funnel their way down through this tunnel on the equipment. You can see that the seeds are then pressed for their oil, dripping down into this container. Down here on the end is everything that’s left over, something that can break off and be used in your animal feed. Once we’ve got the oil from the seed press, we can take it and put it in this biodiesel processor. This is where the actual conversion and actual production of biodiesel take place.”

The article points out that the cost to produce biodiesel on the farm is just $2.90 per gallon, a savings from buying at the pump. And farmers can apply for a Rural Energy for America grant program to help pay for 25 percent of the brewing equipment costs.

21 Incoming Freshmen, Rising High School Seniors Get Exposure to Cutting-edge Research During Summer Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, 21 incoming college freshmen and rising high school seniors spent their summer receiving exposure to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research.

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Kayla Sampson, an incoming freshman, presents her research on “Understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to elf-type and GFD-labeled strains of Erwina tracheiphilia.” (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The students, from Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Indiana and Georgia, spent five weeks at Tennessee State University engaged in various laboratory and field experiments under the mentorship of university professors and scientists. Their finished works were presented as scientific papers and research results during a standing-room only audience of parents and guests in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex on TSU’s main campus on July 2.

“These students are really the best we have recruited in the seven years of the Summer Apprenticeship Program,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, referring to the USDA-funded program intended to expose students to the many career opportunities in agriculture, bio- and environmental sciences.

Kayla Sampson, an incoming freshman from Jackson, Mississippi, who wants to major in biotechnology, said the summer programs gave her a better understanding of her career choice.

“Although I have always wanted to go into biotechnology, I came here not knowing much about it,” said Sampson, who will attend TSU this fall. “This Summer Apprenticeship Program has really opened my eyes and fueled my interest. The mentors and program coordinators were very helpful and encouraging.”

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Kobe Leonard, left, Paige Madison and Arthur Carey present their combined research on “Sustainable seafood.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

From Ivori Scheley, an incoming freshman, whose dream is to engage in groundbreaking research, to Christopher Green, also an incoming freshman with an interest in biotechnology and environmental science, many of the future scientists say their month-long interaction with each other and college professors was an eye-opener for their future careers.

“Biotechnology is certainly where the money is, which makes it a very enticing career choice,” said Green. “I also see animal science as another potential career choice.”

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Christopher Green, an incoming freshman with interest in biotechnology and environmental science, presents on “Comparison of pectobacterium caratovora strains for virulence detection.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

According to William F. Hayslett Sr., coordinator of the Summer Apprenticeship Program, the objective of the program is to dispel the “myth” that agriculture is farming. “Our goal here is to make students aware of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences and the many career opportunities available to its graduates.”

Reddy, who is dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, encouraged the students to consider careers in STEM and agricultural sciences, as “lucrative” areas for employment.

“Here at TSU we offer a variety of opportunities in agribusiness, environmental sciences and many other areas that are in high demand,” he said.

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Terrell Boykin, with a focus on mite prevention, presents his research based on “Greenhouse practices.” (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

He thanked parents for encouraging their children to enter the program, adding that the program offers a “positive” avenue for youths to spend their summer in experiential learning. “It is also intended to give community college and recent high school graduates the opportunity to learn values essential for environmental stewardship at the local, state and national levels,” Reddy said.

Other students who participated in the program were: Malaika Greer, Jasmine Stringer, Kevonte Askew, Amarius Daniels, Demetria Hayes, Asia Hooper, Darrius Lawson, Devinn Pauley, Sydnie Davis and Arthur Carey. Also participating in the Summer Apprenticeship Program were: Kobe Leonard, Paige Madison, Terrell Boykin, CheKenna Fletcher, Isiah Cunningham, Whitney ‘Abbey’ Anderson, Shakarah Nelson and Darian Majors.

Each of the students who participated in the residential program received a $1,000 stipend.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU takes Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration “on the road” to area high schools

Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19th.
Dr. de Koff, professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED demonstrates biodiesel production to students at Cheatham County High School on Sept. 19.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) —The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has taken its Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration (MBED) trailer on the road this fall, making stops at Cheatham County and Lebanon High Schools on Sept. 19 and Sept. 25, respectively. The MBED, which is a self-contained unit that allows for demonstration of the process that converts oils from feedstocks such as canola seed into usable biodiesel, will make another stop at Mt. Juliet High School on Friday, Oct. 3.

Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and Project Director for the MBED, noted the importance of the mobility of this project.

Research Assistant Richard Link discusses the biodiesel conversion process at Lebanon High School's "Ag Day" on Sept. 25th.
Research Assistant Richard Link discusses the biodiesel conversion process at Lebanon High School’s “Ag Day” on Sept. 25.

“By taking this demonstration on the road, we’ve been able to speak to hundreds of area high school students about the work that we’re doing at TSU in the area of biofuels,” de Koff said. “This demonstration in particular is an excellent example of the multiple facets and opportunities that exist with agriculture.”

In addition to exposing students to scientific processes that may not be typically associated with agriculture, the MBED also offers an opportunity to engage students in hands-on learning opportunities that can, according to Dr. de Koff, “bridge the gap between the textbook and the real world.”

The MBED is funded through a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. For more information about this or other biofuels-related activities within the CAHNS, contact Dr. de Koff at 615.963.4929, jdekoff@tnstate.edu, or on Twitter @TSUBioenergy.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

2014 TSU Small Farms Expo and Farmer of the Year Recognition Expected to Draw More than 400 on July 17

2014_SmallFarmExpo_SocialMedia

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – About 400 agricultural experts, farmers and officials from across Tennessee are expected to attend this year’s Small Farms Expo and Small Farmer of the Year Recognition program at Tennessee State University.

The Expo, hosted by the TSU College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Cooperative Extension Program, opens on Thursday, July 17, at the Agricultural Research and Education Center on the main campus.

Sponsors include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, University of Tennessee Extension, the Tennessee Farm Bureau, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Farm Services Bureau, among others.

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Hydroponic farming, the process of producing crop without the benefit of water, was one of the major highlights of the 2013 Small Farms Expo. Here graduate students explain the process to visitors during the exhibition. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Featured research and discussions will focus on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corn croplands, enhancing sustainable production of bioenergy crops, pigeon pea production for limited resources farmers of Tennessee, and enhancing plant protection against fungal diseases and environmental stresses. Workshops will include organic vegetable production techniques, pesticide handling and safety, honey production and extraction techniques, new equipment technologies for small producers, and soil and plant tissue sampling, among others.

How to fund your operation, the do’s and don’ts of organizing and managing a community garden, as well as how small farmers can move their operation into the Internet age will also be discussed.

According to organizers, the Expo will be highlighted by the Small Farmer Recognition and Award ceremony that will include the President of TSU, Dr. Glenda Glover; Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Julius Johnson; the President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Tim Cross; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources.

More details on the Expo can be found at http://www.tnstate.edu/extension/smallfarmexpo.aspx

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

CAHNS Closes Out Ag Week with Recognition of Top Teacher, Young Researcher, Students of the Year

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Dr. Chandra Reddy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, left, and Dr. Patricia Crook, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, right, present Dr. Sujata Guha with her award as Outstanding Teacher, during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Auditorium. Photo by John Cross (TSU Media Relations) See more photos on Flickr http://ow.ly/vHtsp

 

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – From teacher of the year to the top young researcher and most outstanding student, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences Friday recognized its top performers of 2014.

The ceremony culminated the celebration of CAHN Week, including activities dedicated to each major science program in the College, a Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences Day; and the launching of a Professional Science Master’s in Applied Geospatial Sciences.

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of CAHNS, assisted by Dr. Patricia Crook, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, presented certificates and cash awards to the honorees during a ceremony in the Ferrell-Westbrook Research Complex Auditorium on the main campus.

Staff, faculty and students of CAHNS, as well as other senior TSU administration officials and representatives of the various colleges, as well as stakeholders from other institutions and agencies attended the ceremony.

Those honored were:

Dr. Sujata Guha, Outstanding Teacher– Described as a “committed and engaging teacher,” Dr. Guha, associate professor of Chemistry, reaches out to students of varied educational backgrounds to effectively communicate important concepts. She has worked with academically challenged students and students with learning disabilities to build their self-confidence and organizational skills. As Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Guha developed and implemented student learning outcomes, mentored and counseled students, and helped them with making career choices. An 11-year member of the TSU faculty, Dr. Guha has published a textbook, Fundamentals of General Chemistry: Part I.

Dr. Karla Addesso, Outstanding Young Researcher – In 2012 Dr. Addesso joined the TSU Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor. In less than two years, Dr. Addesso has authored or coauthored several research articles in two referee journals and Extension publications. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Biology from the College of New Jersey.

Ikenna Okekeogbu, Outstanding (Doctoral) Graduate Student – A Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Science, Okekeogbu’s research is focused on the identification and analysis of aluminum-regulated protein and genes in tomato plant. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, Crop Society of America, and the American Society of Agronomy. He is interested in utilization of molecular research to address the issue of global food security.

Also recognized were: Justine Stefanski, Outstanding Extension Agent; Tamla Thompson, Outstanding Administrative Support; Sarabjti Bhatti, Outstanding Technical Support; Zinia Jaman, Outstanding (Master’s) Graduate Student; Derek Jerome Platt, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences; Kourtney Daniels, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Johnathan A. Fitzgerald, Outstanding Undergraduate Student – Department of Biological Sciences

For their cash awards, Drs. Guha and Addesso, and Stefanski received $1,000 each; Bhatti, Thompson, Okekeogbu and Jaman $500 each; Platt, Daniels and Fitzgerald $350 each.

Special awards were also presented to:

Hubert Hamer, Outstanding Alumnus – Hubert, a 1980 graduate of TSU with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science, is the director of the USDA Division of National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Dr. Herb Byrd III, Outstanding Partner – Dr. is the director of Extension Evaluation and Staff Development of the University of Tennessee and human resource officer for the Institute of Agriculture.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.