Catching Up with CALS — Jan. 29, 2020
Dean's Message — Friends in Boise
Higher education week at the Idaho Legislature offers an opportunity to tell our story, the story of education, research and service in support of Idaho agriculture, to key state leaders.
With the start of my fifth year as dean only a few days away, I feel we made the most of that opportunity.
It helped our cause that the 2019 report in the Financial Condition of Idaho Agriculture series by CALS economists Rita Du, Ben Eborn and Garth Taylor showed a rise in total revenues to nearly $9.23 billion, an 11% increase from 2018.
The report projects cash receipts from sales of crops and livestock will rise to $8.3 billion, up 10%, approaching the $8.8 billion record in 2014.
Although milk prices have had their ups and downs in 2019, strong prices as we enter 2020 signal another strong year for Idaho Agriculture.
U of I President Scott Green’s willingness to highlight the importance of the Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment helped, too.
Idaho legislators have shown strong recognition for the importance of agriculture in the state and support for U of I and CALS efforts.
We train the next generation of agriculturists and provide research and Extension to help today’s ranchers, farmers, food processors, teachers and the many others who help the industry.
As dean, it is gratifying to hear those positive statements of support as I report to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Those compliments reflect the quality of our faculty, staff and students, and they reflect our reach across the state.
Our nine research and extension centers and our offices operated cooperatively with 42 counties make us part of communities statewide. People across Idaho know us and know that we work on their behalf.
Hear about that impact directly from faculty member Mike Thornton who works at the Parma Research and Extension Center.
Michael P. Parrella
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
By the Numbers
$8,271,000,000 in cash receipts projected for 2019 by CALS economists ranks No. 2 among the past 10 years, topped only by 2014’s $8,791,000,000 tally. That’s $8.3 billion and $8.8 billion translated to tidier numbers. Better yet for farmers and ranchers, 2019 produced a better total for net farm income, $2.7 billion compared to 2014’s $2.020 billion. The numbers are from the Annual Financial Condition Report No. 17 prepared by Ben Eborn, Extension economist, and Garth Taylor, Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Department economist and published by UI Extension.
Our Stories — Clean Water Gets Top Billing
The CALS Clean Water Machine will be on display in Boise Feb. 12 when environmental chemist Greg Moller gives the lunch keynote talk for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s 30th annual Idaho Water Quality Workshop.
Moller’s talk, “Joy and Terror on the Path of Water Tech Invention,” will address how sustaining global water supplies requires balance in humanity’s relationship with the planet. Society needs to value human abilities to adapt, innovate, overcome and inspire to address water issues.
Moller will talk about innovation, one of the greatest challenges. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and has received patents for water treatment technologies, including one this summer related to the Clean Water Machine with CALS soil scientist Dan Strawn.
The workshop is planned Feb. 11-13 on the Boise State University campus. It offers a forum for distribution of technologies to protect water quality and a gathering place for professionals. The Idaho DEQ expects more than 300 participants to attend.
CALS engineer Martin Baker will oversee the Clean Water Machine display and explain its operation. Moller and Martin conducted tests at two major food processing plants in the Magic Valley last summer to explore possible applications for U of I technologies.
Pollinator Summit to Highlight Nature's Helpers
A Pollinator Summit Feb. 26-27 will draw together experts from CALS, Moscow-area groups and the San Diego Natural History Museum to consider the status and history of pollinators and their habitats, and efforts to sustain them.
Organized by UI Extension, the summit will begin with a screening of pollinator films at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26. Cooperators include Latah County, Rural Roots, Palouse Sustainability Coalition, Unitarian Church and City of Moscow.
On Thursday, Feb. 27, the agenda will include presentations by CALS Dean Michael Parrella and San Diego Natural History Museum Entomology Department Associate Ron McPeak, an expert on West Coast scarab beetles from Baja to the Pacific Northwest. The day’s events will be held at the Latah County Fairgrounds and Events Center.
Other speakers include Luc Leblanc, CALS William F. Barr Entomological Museum curator; Iris Mayes, UI Extension, Latah County agriculture educator; Dulce Kersting-Lark, Latah County Historical Society director; Jamie Jovanovich-Walker, Palouse Land Trust; Subodh Adhikari, a CALS Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology Department researcher; and Gerry Queener, Palouse Prairie native plant expert.
The summit will include an afterschool program for youth from 3:15-5 p.m., including a photo booth sponsored by the Moscow Middle School Earth Club.
In his spare time, McPeak collected scarab beetles throughout the world. He recently donated 13,000 specimens of exotic scarabs to CALS’ W.F. Barr Entomological Museum collection. Some of the most spectacular specimens will be on display during the afterschool program.
The summit events will be free and open to the public. More information and registration is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-883-2267.
Faces and Places
Carl Hunt received the National ARPAS Service Award presented at the ARPAS Pacific Northwest chapter's annual meeting in Boise, Jan. 14. At the 2020 PNW Animal Nutrition Conference in Boise the same week, Chia-Yu Tsai placed first and earned a $1,250 cash prize, and Benjamin Tverdy placed second and won a $1,000 cash prize, in the graduate poster competition.
Andrew McKenzie of the University of Arkansas will talk about “The Cost of Forward Contraction in the CIF NOLA Export Bid Market” Monday, Feb. 3, from 2-3 p.m. in the Agricultural Science Building, Room 62. His talk is part of the CALS Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Seminar Series. The CIF NOLA “river market” represents an important but opaque forward market that serves Gulf exporters and elevators.
The fifth edition of CALS professor Dan Strawn’s textbook, “Soil Chemistry,” co-authored with Hinrich L. Bohn, George A. O'Connor was recently released by the publisher, John Wiley and Sons.
The Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences ranked No. 4 in the top 15 Best Affordable Veterinary Studies Degree Programs for bachelor’s degrees in 2019.
- Feb. 3 — Andrew McKenzie of University of Arkansas, will present the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology seminar, “The Cost of Forward Contraction in the CIF NOLA Export Bid Market,” Agricultural Science Building, Room 62, 2-3 p.m.
- Feb. 4-6 — Spokane Ag Expo, Spokane Convention Center
- Feb. 11-13 — Idaho Water Quality Workshop, Boise State University Jordan Ballroom
- Feb. 26 — Pollinator Summit film screening at Kenworthy Performing Arts Center, Main Street, Moscow, 6 p.m.
- Feb. 27 — Pollinator Summit, Latah County Fairgrounds and Event Center, Middle Room, 1021 Harold St., Moscow, 1:30-6 p.m.
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