Catching Up with CALS —Feb. 12, 2020
Dean's Message — Pollinator Program
One of the best things about working in CALS is the opportunities that come our way to work on projects and issues that matter with people who care.
The Pollinator Summit on Feb. 26 and 27 will give me the chance to talk about pollinators in general and honey bees in particular.
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to focus on the topic at the invitation of journalism professor Kenton Bird, the maestro of the Malcolm Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium.
Honey bees are one of mankind’s greatest friends, providing honey, beeswax and their greatest gift of all, pollination for a third of all the foods we eat.
As an entomologist, the complex world of the honey bee from the effects of pesticides to their classification as livestock has long intrigued me. I also enjoyed serving as a beekeeper for several hives, both to observe the bees and to enjoy the sweet dividends.
The Renfrew talk was an opportunity to reminisce about my former career at UC Davis and to once again think about one of the largest synchronous blooming events on earth — the flowering of the almond crop in California.
This event draws beekeepers and hives from across most of the nation to California’s Central Valley, and magnifies our lack of understanding of what this longitudinal movement of colonies has on overall honey bee and hive health.
I’ll have another opportunity to talk about honey bees and bumble bees the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 26, before the showing of two short films about bees at Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre as a prelude to the Pollinator Summit.
Thursday afternoon’s session will provide a valuable overview of the importance of pollinators and the threats they face. A range of speakers will help us better understand pollinators on the Palouse and the landscapes and plants they rely on.
A representative from Washington State University’s Bee Lab will talk about some of the country’s most intriguing research focused on honey bee genetics and improving honey bee health.
Other speakers will look at pollinators through a historical lens, explore private conservation initiatives and offer landowners’ and photographers’ views. Those interested in pollinators can thank Latah County's UI Extension Educator Iris Mayes for her work to organize the event.
The day will conclude with a brief overview of the William Barr Entomology Museum in CALS by museum curator Luc Leblanc. Entomologist Ron McPeak will deliver a keynote talk about his world travels that will focus on his love and fascination for the Coleoptera.
We are thrilled that Dr. McPeak has donated some of his extensive beetle collection to our museum. This contribution dramatically expands the beetle collection currently in the museum and assures that Dr. McPeak’s legacy will continue through the research and extension that are at the heart of museum activities.
Michael P. Parrella
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
By the Numbers
230,000 head of sheep and lambs made up Idaho’s inventory on Jan. 1, an increase of 5% from 2019, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The count of ewes a year and older dropped to 130,000 head in 2019 from 141,000 in 2018, about 7.8%. The number of lambs per 100 ewes rose 8.8% to 123 in Idaho in 2019 from 113 in 2018. Idaho’s Jan. 1 milk goat inventory slipped 3% to 6,800 head.
Our Stories — FCS Leads Food Tours, Demos
For those who want to build a better burrito bowl, U of I health educators and CALS coordinated dietetics students in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences offered a field trip Friday to a Moscow grocery store to explore for ingredients.
Jack Brook, a dietetics and nutrition instructor, joined the students who led the tour and others like it at Safeway, Rosauers, Winco and the Moscow Food Co-op. The tours offer students and community members a chance to learn ways to select healthy ingredients and stretch food budgets.
Other sessions are planned Feb. 21 at Winco, Feb. 14 and 24 at the Co-op and Feb. 19 at Safeway. The Monday, Wednesday and Friday tours begin at 3 p.m. and finish by 4:30 p.m.
The tour guides helped those on the tour decode labels on ingredients and consider their choices based on nutritional benefits and their budgets.
Beyond the grocery store tours, dietetics and nutrition program students also lead Vandalizing the Kitchen demonstrations in the Student Recreation Center. The next session is planned Feb. 26 from 4-5 p.m. in SRC 103.
Participants learn nutrition basics as they watch FCS students prepare dishes and then sample the results. Other sessions are planned March 24 and April 22 at the Student Recreation Center. Registration for the free programs is at bit.ly/2RUh24G.
More information about the program is available online.
Faces and Places
William F. Barr Entomological Museum Curator Luc Leblanc led a project to create a poster to identify all of Idaho’s native butterflies. Entomology students Conn Evans took the photographs, and Ellie Hitchings did the photo editing. More information about the poster is available on the museum website.
- Feb. 11-13 — Idaho Water Quality Workshop, Boise State University Jordan Ballroom
- Feb. 17 — 26th Annual Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit All Idaho Strolling Supper with Idaho legislators at Boise Centre East
- Feb. 18 — 26th Annual Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit program and award presentations at Boise Red Lion Downtowner
- Feb. 26 — Pollinator Summit film screening at Kenworthy Performing Arts Center, 508 S. 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.
- March 5-26 — UI Extension and WSU Extension Banana Belt Backyard Gardening Series, register through UI Extension, Nez Perce County, email@example.com or 208-799-3096, Thursdays in Lewiston, 6-8 p.m.
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