The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded nearly $1.6 million in research funding to University of Georgia’s Jack Huang to research cost-effective treatments to remove per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water, wastewater and biosolids to ensure safe water for drinking and agricultural application in rural areas. Huang, a professor in the department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the UGA Griffin campus, is one of only three research teams to receive funding from the EPA.
Ellen Bauske is a boundary spanner — she’s known as a person who brings people and organizations together on national, regional and local levels.
It’s one of the many reasons she received the American Society of Horticultural Science’s 2020 Extension Educator of the Year Award, which recognizes an educator who has made an outstanding contribution to extension education in horticulture for more than 10 years.
Bauske serves as a program coordinator for the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She has helped develop innovative programming in a variety of disciplines, including integrated pest management, water, consumer horticulture, Master Gardener Extension Volunteer training, community gardens, landscape and tree care worker safety.
"Ellen Bauske is a doer,” said Dan Suiter, who is chair of the center’s faculty advisory committee. “Her formal training is in plant pathology, but she has been very adaptable in the many years she's been with the Center for Urban Agriculture. She, like no one I've known, can get people to move as a group in the direction of accomplishment. It's a rare skill."
Harald Scherm, head of the Department of Plant Pathology, agrees. “Ellen has consistently reinvented herself and her Extension programming during the past 15 years,” he said. “She has been remarkably responsive to emerging needs and opportunities.”
A literature review by University of Georgia researchers has helped identify the most effective antimicrobial agents for preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the food supply chain.
As COVID-19 began to spread throughout the U.S. earlier this year, Govind Kumar, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology and a faculty member in the UGA Center for Food Safety, Laurel Dunn and Abhinav Mishra, assistant professors in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and Center for Food Safety Director Francisco Diez collaborated to determine ways they could contribute to the knowledge base for members of the food industry regarding the novel coronavirus.
“Meat manufacturing plants began to shut down because so many people in these industries were getting sick. We are not virologists, but this is a medical problem that definitely affected the food chain,” Kumar said.
With information and scientific studies about the virus being released at a rapid rate, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences researchers decided to examine relevant studies to identify and share practicable information for use in the food industry. The research team looked at studies on a range of biocides effective in eliminating or reducing the presence of coronaviruses from surfaces that are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils and furniture, as well as skin, mucous membranes, air and food contact materials.
University of Georgia researcher Dario Chavez has been named to the Fruit and Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 by Fruit Growers News. The prestigious honor places Chavez within a small group of young professionals who are making remarkable contributions within the industry.
A native of Riobamba, Ecuador, and part of an accomplished farm with a lineage spanning four generations, Chavez began his stint at UGA in 2014 as a researcher and UGA Cooperative Extension specialist. He has since implemented groundbreaking research focusing on plant production and environmental sustainability with a focus on one of Georgia’s key crops — peaches.
“The UGA peach research and extension program in the Department of Horticulture had been vacant for almost eight years before my hire,” said Chavez. “One of my major accomplishments is the setup and establishment of a functional research and extension program from scratch.”
At age 36, his achievements in the peach industry have been remarkable and deserving of the important award, which he describes as “an honor and a great recognition.” His peers at UGA have since echoed the praise.
Effective July 15, the UGA Griffin campus will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Personnel are scheduled to return to campus on August 10.
Fall Semester Classes will begin on August 20. In-person instruction will conclude at Thanksgiving Break, with all remaining coursework and final exams moving online following Thanksgiving.
Faculty, staff and students should watch email for additional updates.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources and Information:
Students and families are encouraged to participate in the second annual Great Georgia Pollinator Census on August 21-22 coordinated by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
About 4,500 participants documented more than 131,000 insect sightings as part of the inaugural census in 2019, and more than 100 events related to the project took place around the state.
This year's count may look a bit different with social distancing recommendations in place, but organizers are encouraging participants to plan on counting pollinators at home, whether solo or with their families.
Census takers are asked to count pollinators on a favorite pollinator plant with abundant insect activity for 15 minutes each day using the provided observation sheet.
“The goals of the project are to gather data on pollinator insect populations, foster pollinator habitats and increase entomological literacy about these insects,” said Becky Griffin, UGA Extension school garden and pollinator census coordinator. She modeled the program on the Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen science program run by Cornell University that asks people to count the birds they see in their backyard.
The University of Georgia Griffin Campus is instituting a phased return of faculty, staff, and students to campus throughout the summer. With guidance from the University System of Georgia (USG), UGA created a comprehensive document that outlines safe practices to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help curb the spread of COVID-19, in mid-March, UGA Griffin employees began primarily teleworking, with only limited personnel continuing to work on campus in a rotating schedule. All remaining Spring Semester classes were converted to an online format, with faculty teaching through zoom sessions from remote locations. UGA determined the Summer Semester would follow the model of remote learning as well, with plans for face-to-face classes with social distancing to resume for the Fall Semester. A key component to the Fall Semester planning is the safe and effective delivery of high-quality instruction and resumption of all campus operations.
If you’ve ever wondered how to protect your home from termites, tune in to your local Georgia Public Broadcasting station this weekend when two University of Georgia professors will join forces to show viewers the proper steps to help keep their homes pest-free.
University of Georgia entomologist Dan Suiter, a professor on the UGA Griffin campus, and Nick Fuhrman, a professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) on the Athens campus — better known as “Ranger Nick” to viewers of the monthly Georgia Farm Monitor television show — will appear together on the July episode of the show with tips to stop termites.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension will be offering a free, online school garden symposium for educators starting at 10 a.m. June 16.
Four one-hour presentations will be presented on the following topics:
- Fruit in the school garden — Ashley Hoppers, Gilmer and Fannin County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent
- Seed saving — Rosann Kent, lecturer, Department of Education, University of North Georgia
- Vermiculture — Josh Fuder, Cherokee County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent
- Using the Great Georgia Pollinator Census with school gardens — Becky Griffin, Extension school and community garden coordinator
Participating teachers will learn four presentation-related activities that they can take back to the classroom with them, according to Griffin, who is organizing the workshop. There will be time during the webinar for questions and networking.
As the spring harvest approached, members of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association knew they would need assistance to provide important information about COVID-19 safety measures and food handling protocols to workers who make up the majority of the seasonal agricultural workforce, many of whom are native Spanish speakers.
University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Cooperative Extension faculty responded quickly by producing a COVID-19 safety video in Spanish that could be incorporated into farm employee trainings.
UGA Extension Southwest District Director Andrea Scarrow, Tift County Extension Agent Justin Hand, and Assistant Professor Laurel Dunn in the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology were a part of the group that spearheaded the effort to quickly produce and distribute the video resources to producers throughout the state.
Bill Brim, CEO of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tift County, previously worked with UGA Extension to develop financial education materials in Spanish for temporary workers at the farm, so he knew who to ask when the need for COVID-19 educational materials arose, Scarrow said.