Latest Event Updates

Future Looks Bright at UC Davis Ag Field Day

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Meat judging is among the competitions at Ag Field Day.
Meat judging is among the competitions at Ag Field Day.
March 2, 2015
By Diane Nelson
University of California, Davis

Are you concerned for the future of food and agriculture in California? Here’s an event that will brighten your mood.

On March 6 and 7, more than 3,500 smart, passionate high school students will gather at UC Davis for the annual Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day to compete in two dozen agriculture contests, from livestock judging, to agricultural mechanics, to floriculture, to computer applications, and more.

Each year the young competitors, all Future Farmers of America and 4-H high school students from California and surrounding states, spend countless hours preparing for the event, the largest of its kind in the state.

“Competing in Ag Field Day instilled in me the importance of a strong work ethic, the value of research, and the benefits of scientific methods for solving real-world problems in agriculture,” said Yousef Buzayan, a 2011 Ag Field Day participant now double-majoring in Managerial Economics and International Agricultural Development at UC Davis.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, Ag Field Day is run and managed completely by UC Davis students who gain valuable experience in leadership, communication, and teamwork.

“Of all my experiences at UC Davis, managing Ag Field Day was definitely the biggest challenge, and with it came the biggest rewards,” said Mary Kimball, executive director of the Center for Land-Based Learning in Winters, California, who helped organize Ag Field Day as a student in 1992. “I learned how to manage many moving parts, and I learned that the best way to get things done well is to do it as a team.”

Ag Field Day events begin on March 6 and continue through March 7 at various locations on the UC Davis campus. You can learn more at http://www.caes.ucdavis.edu/connect/events/field-day

So if you’re in Davis and see thousands of high school students on campus, you’ll know who they are: tomorrow’s leaders striving and thriving in Ag Field Day competitions. The future of agriculture is in good hands.​

Targeting Citrus Greening Disease

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UC Davis projects aim to diagnose, prevent damage caused by Huanglongbing.

Feb. 19, 2015
By Pat Bailey
University of California, Davis

Two new research projects aimed at preventing and diagnosing the devastating citrus greening disease have been launched at the University of California, Davis, funded by more than $5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA recently announced a new $30 million effort to combat the bacterial disease, also known as Huanglongbing, which is ravaging citrus groves in Florida and threatening the citrus industry throughout the U.S.

There is currently no cure for the disease, which causes citrus trees to gradually decline in health; produce bitter, misshapen fruit; and then… (Continue to full article text)

Smothered Oceans

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Rapid warming of the planet can cause ocean basins to abruptly lose oxygen, which marine life depends on. (Photo: © Chris J. Nicolini)
Rapid warming of the planet can cause ocean basins to abruptly lose oxygen, which marine life depends on. (Photo: © Chris J. Nicolini)

Extreme oxygen loss in oceans accompanied previous global climate change.

Feb. 10, 2015
By Kat Kerlin
University of California, Davis

Seafloor sediment cores reveal abrupt, extensive loss of oxygen in the ocean when ice sheets melted roughly 10,000-17,000 years ago, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The findings provide insight into similar changes observed in the ocean today.

In the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers analyzed marine sediment cores from different world regions to document the extent to which low oxygen zones in the ocean have expanded in the past, due to… (Continue to full article text)

UC Davis, Strawberry Comm. End Berry Battle

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Steve Knapp, UC Davis' new strawberry breeder, checks out the campus strawberry greenhouse. (Gregory Urquiaga | UC Davis photo)
Steve Knapp, UC Davis’ new strawberry breeder, checks out the campus strawberry greenhouse. (Gregory Urquiaga | UC Davis photo)

Settlement terms will further partnership opportunities for the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program & the California Strawberry Commission.

By Pat Bailey
Feb. 9, 2015
University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis, and the California Strawberry Commission today signed an agreement for a new future for the public strawberry breeding program at UC Davis.

As part of this renewed commitment to a public breeding program that creates new varieties for California’s strawberry farmers, UC Davis announced the hiring of a new breeder for the Strawberry Breeding Program.

Steven J. Knapp, a plant scientist with highly credentialed teaching and research experience at two other U.S. land-grant universities as well as international plant genomics experience in the commercial sector, has accepted the university’s offer to lead the program.

“We are thrilled to have Steve join us as we design a new strawberry breeding program for the 21st century,” said Helene Dillard, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, which is home to the strawberry breeding program.

“He brings with him expertise in plant genomics and genetics, as well as great breadth of experience in directing a variety of crop-breeding teams in the United States and around the world,” Dillard said.

Lawsuit settlement

Highlights of the legal settlement include further partnership opportunities for the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program and the California Strawberry Commission…. (Continue to full article text)

Fighting Powdery Grape Mildew

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150202_infected-grapesA new discovery by UC Davis researchers is helping combat costly grape powdery mildew damage.

By Diane Nelson
Feb 2, 2015
University of California, Davis

UC Davis researchers have uncovered important genetic clues about the pathogen that causes grape powdery mildew, among the most destructive vineyard pest throughout California and the world.

California growers use more chemicals, mostly sulfur and other fungicides, to control powdery mildew than to manage any other vineyard problem. Left untreated, powdery mildew destroys grape quality… (click here to read the entire article)

New Trellis Fund Projects Awarded

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Bob Johnson, a UC Davis graduate student, worked with farmers in Kenya on potato production, for a previous Trellis Fund project. (Photo UC Davis Horticulture Innovation)
Bob Johnson, a UC Davis graduate student, worked with farmers in Kenya on potato production, for a previous Trellis Fund project. (Photo UC Davis Horticulture Innovation)

UC Davis program selects grad students for international horticultural projects.

By Brenda Dawson
Feb. 3, 2015
University of California, Davis

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has awarded 14 new Trellis Fund projects, led by organizations in nine countries with technical support provided by grad students from three U.S. universities — including the University of Florida, North Carolina State University, and the University of California, Davis.

Nine graduate students from UC Davis have been selected to provide support to new (click to read the entire article)