Catching Up with CALS — Oct. 4, 2017
Dean's Message — Finding Funding
We welcome Sonny Ramaswamy to campus Friday and Saturday for Ag Days and Celebrating Idaho Agriculture events.
He is familiar to many of us as Oregon State University’s previous agriculture dean. He also is at the top of the pyramid of federal agricultural research funding as director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On Friday, he will offer some insights into the importance of agricultural research and how we can best serve the public. I look forward to his public presentation at 5 p.m. in the Bruce Pitman Center’s Vandal Ballroom and the many other opportunities we will have to talk with him during his visit.
As a college, CALS already provides critical research capacity by relying on a broad mix of funds to serve the public’s needs.
An important source of research support is funding from Idaho’s agricultural industry through agreements with the Idaho Wheat Commission, Idaho Potato Commission, Idaho Barley Commission, Idaho Oilseed Commission and Idaho Dairymen’s Association, and others.
They are among a number of agricultural entities that gather funding from crop and livestock producers and use the money to fund research, education and marketing efforts that address topics important to farmers and ranchers, and to the general public.
We have been working hard within the university and externally to find ways we can do better by the commissions and other groups who license our researchers’ discoveries.
I am confident that we will soon have adjustments to current practices that will ensure the money that returns to the university is reinvested and used to strengthen the programs that generated the funds.
On Friday, we will have the chance to get an eagle’s-eye view from Sonny Ramaswamy about how our dominant funding source, the federal government, is likely to approach future research support.
MICHAEL P. PARRELLA
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
By the Numbers
192 high school students are registered to attend Ag Days events this weekend. Counting teachers, chaperones and others, the preliminary number climbs to 229. The total tops the 2016 tally of 158 students and 185 total. Ag Days hit a high in 2015 with 294 students and 344 total registrations. The costs for students to attend this year range from $5 for individual events to the weekend package deal of $105 for food, lodging and tons of fun during livestock judging events and Saturday’s Sun Belt football game.
Our Stories — NIFA Director to Explore Food's Future
Science’s influence on food and agriculture in the 21st century will be the focus of a presentation by the nation’s most influential agricultural researchers. Sonny Ramaswamy will visit the University of Idaho Oct. 6-7 as part of UI’s annual Celebrating Idaho Agriculture events.
“Innovations for 21st Century Food Systems” will be the focus of a Friday presentation by Ramaswamy, who directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research unit and its $1.25 billion annual budget.
Ramaswamy, who previously served as agriculture dean at Oregon State University, will speak at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 in the UI Bruce M. Pitman Center Vandal Ballroom. The program is free and open to the public.
The UI College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will hold its Celebrating Idaho Agriculture events for friends and alumni and Ag Days for high school students Oct. 6-7. More information on the events is online at www.uidaho.edu/cals/celebrating-ag and www.uidaho.edu/cals/ag-days.
In 2011 while at Oregon State, Ramaswamy joined UI, USDA and Washington State University in a news conference to announce a $20 million, five-year regional climate change research project led by UI focused on wheat farming.
He was chosen to lead the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in 2012 for a six-year term, which expires in May 2018. He will meet with researchers and administrators from UI and WSU during his visit.
A gifted communicator, Ramaswamy appeared in several agriculturally focused segments on the Discovery Channel’s online channel “CuriosityStream,” including one about food security: https://app.curiositystream.com/video/653/what-is-food-security.
An entomologist, Ramaswamy served on the faculties of Mississippi State University, Kansas State University, Purdue University and Oregon State University. His research addressed the integrative reproductive biology of insects.
He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India. His doctorate is in entomology from Rutgers University. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America.
FCS Historic Clothing at City Hall Traces Vandal Fashions
A UI exhibit of Vandal gear in Moscow City Hall’s Third Street Gallery show some things change and others stay the same.
Take the hats on the third floor: Both are black and gold to celebrate UI colors. One, however, is from 1910. The other is from 2009 and commemorates the Vandals’ thrilling Humanitarian Bowl victory. Both are from the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences Leila Old Historic Costume Collection.
Just down the wall is a display of lettermen’s sweaters knitted from dark red yarn with a big white I. They date from the 1920s. One with green stripes and star on one sleeve was worn by Harold R. Telford and dates to 1924.
Between them is a gold satin jacket with a gray I on the front that was the cheerleader outfit worn by Helen Marfitt Durham, Home Economics, Class of 1946, after silver and gold replaced red and white as the school’s athletic colors.
The exhibit to honor Vandal traditions will be on display until Nov. 24 at City Hall to honor Homecoming this weekend. The Leila Old Historic Costume Collection staff with the help of FCS faculty and students organized the third floor portion of the exhibit. The UI Library Special Collections and Athletics Department organized the first and second-floor displays.
Hats were a big part of school spirit, even the small green felt beanies that all freshmen men wore in the university’s earliest days. More recognizable today would be the gray and yellow spirit beanie with a yellow I.
The UI Homecoming exhibit started to take shape in May during meetings with the Moscow Arts Commission. Meyer said, “We knew we had some items in the collection that were Vandals history and sports-related.”
Part of the fun, Meyer said, was the chance to explore the university’s history through dress. “To me, so many people are not aware that the school’s colors were different. It was not unusual that most schools and universities used that burgundy color early last century,” she said.
“I always found it interesting that we are silver and gold but burgundy was the color used for lettermen’s sweaters and the school blanket that is on display,” Meyer added.
One of her favorite items in the display is a faded banner with names of students from the 1920s, Meyer said. The date is difficult to determine because it could have been done in the 20s or it could be a memento of a Golden I reunion years later.
Either way, the names and the bold pen-and-ink lettering tell a story of people and a university with a proud legacy woven into the fabric of Idaho’s history.
Faces and Places
Jim Logan, Latah County Fairgrounds and Event Center director, recognized UI support for the Latah County Fair this year with a presentation to CALS Dean Michael Parrella before the livestock sale.
- Oct. 6 — Ag Days begins. “Agriculture Across the University” workshops. 7:15-8 p.m.
- Oct. 6 — Celebrating Idaho Agriculture Alumni and Friends Awards Luncheon, Bruce M. Pitman Center Vandal Ballroom, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Oct. 6 — Sonny Ramaswamy, National Institute of Food and Agriculture director, public address, Bruce M. Pitman Center Vandal Ballroom, 5-6 p.m.
- Oct. 7 — Pregame Barbecue, E.J. Iddings Agricultural Sciences gold parking lot, 606 S. Rayburn St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Oct. 7 — CALS Olympics, Soil Stewards Organic Farm near UI Sheep Center, 7-9 p.m.
- Oct. 11 — Health and Wellness Fair for students, faculty and staff, Student Recreation Center, 1-5 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — Farewell event for John and Barbara Foltz hosted by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) atrium, 4-6 p.m.
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