Study quantifies cost of feral hogs

In Southeast Farm Press

by Scott Miller, Clemson University

Feral hogs are a $115 million problem for the agriculture, livestock and timber industries in South Carolina, according to a Clemson University study on landowners’ perceived damages from the invasive animals.

This is the first time a comprehensive dollar figure has been attached to the ecological and industry damages caused by wild hogs, which reproduce rapidly and are growing in numbers. Continue reading

Why people resort to the silver bullet: using psychology to teach IPM

I’ve had many discussions with my colleagues about the best way to sell integrated pest management, or IPM, to the public. Although I don’t usually work with people directly on their pest management practices, I have heard some of our IPM Coordinators say, and have read in several news articles, that IPM is easier to sell to some people than to others. Why is that? Why is the organic community so successful at selling organic goods to the general public, while most people I know outside of my job don’t know what “IPM” stands for?

The answer may lie in an article that appeared in Perspectives on Psychological Science in 2015, titled “Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five ‘Best Practice’ Insights from Psychological Science.” Although the article focuses on climate change policymaking, we can use similar principles in IPM to assist our “integrated people management,” as some of my school IPM colleagues call it. Continue reading

Assistant Professor – Extension Agronomist – Field Corn, Soybean and Small Grain

This is a 12 month, tenure-track appointment (80% Extension, 20% Research) in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Tifton Campus. The successful candidate will be expected to develop and implement a nationally/internationally recognized extension and applied research program focusing on agronomic management for the production of field corn, soybean, and small grains that ensures profitability and sustainability; develop an extension program that will support county extension programming with in- service training; develop one-on-one relationships with agents and growers while skillfully providing education and problem solving; distribute information via print and electronic formats; participate in county agent/grower programs and interact and cooperate with research and extension scientists; develop and maintain cooperative relationships with the field corn, soybean, and small grain industries, agro-business, commodity associations, agro-chemical companies, and governmental and regulatory agencies to support and maintain the high standard of Georgia crop production. Applied research could include but not limited to: field corn, soybean, and small grain planting date, cultivar, row pattern, tillage systems, fertility, pest management, harvest timing, and seed quality issues. The successful candidate will publish applied research results in nationally and internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals; secure extramural funding for support of an applied research and extension program in field corn, soybean, and small grains; participate in and support graduate education by recruiting and serving as a major professor as well as on graduate committees. Continue reading

Extension Specialist, 4-H Leadership and Citizenship Programs, University of Georgia

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) seeks a dynamic and innovative professional to provide statewide support and coordination for 4-H leadership and citizenship programs. This is a full-time Public Service Faculty appointment based in Athens, Georgia.

There are more than 300 full-time and part-time faculty and staff members in Athens and the five 4-H centers in Georgia who support the district and county 4-H faculty and staff members who, in turn, deliver the 4-H program at the county level. Continue reading

NIFA Investment in K-14 Agricultural Education Helps Grow the Next Generation of American Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to support public secondary schools, non-profits, community and junior colleges, and four-year colleges and universities to engage K-14 students in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences. These awards totaling about $841,250 are made through NIFA’s Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) program.

“Fostering curiosity about the world and a love of discovery begins in pre-school and can grow or wither depending on how much we invest in educational quality,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Ensuring a robust educational system down to the youngest grades is critical to ensuring our scientific workforce continues to have the skills and preparation needed to meet the demands of the future.”  Continue reading

Funding and technical opportunities for school IPM professionals

  1. EPA Presidential Environmental Education Awards for Teachers and Students

Details at https://www.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators

Application closes March 1, 2017.

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administers this award to honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods. Award winners receive up to $2,500 to continue their professional development in environmental education. Additionally, the teacher’s local education agency will receive up to $2,500 to fund environmental educational activities and programs. Continue reading

USDA Awards $6.7 Million for Research to Support Healthy Agroecosystems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 18 grants totaling more than $6.7 million for research to discover how components of the agroecosystem from soil, water and sun to plants, animals and people, interact with and affect food production. These awards are made through NIFA’s Bioenergy and Natural Resources Program, Agroecosystem priority area of the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

“Population growth, along with environmental factors, including the growing threat of climate change, are putting increasing demand on the land, water and other resources that produce our food,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These investments will help us understand how we can farm more effectively and sustainably to feed the growing global population.” Continue reading