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College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2331
Moscow, ID 83844-2331

Phone: 208-885-6681

Fax: 208-885-6654



Catching Up with CALS Feb. 8, 2017

Dean's Message — Our Job

Today’s career fair serves notice of a couple of things: We are here to educate students and to help them prepare for careers. It also serves notice that graduation and summer break are approaching, and with them students’ thoughts about finding careers, jobs and internships.Chobani was among the companies recruiting at the Spring Career Fair Wednesday on campus.

CALS will sponsor a networking evening with agriculture-oriented employers this evening. The event helps students connect with recruiters and company representatives who can directly help them.

The college is making more of an effort this year to help students learn about job opportunities through the work of CALS Career Development Liaison Joe Roberts, whose time we share with Career Services.

Our efforts are prompted by the needs of Idaho’s agriculture industry. Studies show that employers have a hard time filling all of the jobs available to students with degrees in the wide array of disciplines that companies require.

In December, IBM CEO Ginni Rommety contributed an op-ed piece to USA Today. She wrote of the push to hire not ‘blue’ or ‘white’ collar jobs, but ‘new’ collar jobs that will reflect changes in industry.

It might surprise some to hear that one of the high-tech industry’s most powerful leaders, included agriculture among the careers full of opportunity for skilled new employees:

“As industries from manufacturing to agriculture are reshaped by data science and cloud computing, jobs are being created that demand new skills — which in turn requires new approaches to education, training and recruiting,” she wrote.

Our plans for the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment reflect her thinking. We want to engage more fully with the other colleges in Idaho by increasing their students’ chances to expand their training in agriculture-related subjects.

For many, the recent word from UI leaders that we will expand the availability of Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) opportunities for new students from Washington and Oregon was good news.

Qualified new students will receive significant tuition breaks over the cost of current out of state tuition.

CALS high-quality programs are geared to a wide range of agricultural occupations. Our efforts to recruit more Idaho students and others across the Northwest are critical to helping businesses and others evolve to meet changing times. That is our business model: serving the public’s interest.

Dean Michael Parrella

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

By the Numbers 

117 employers registered for the Spring Career Fair, the largest turnout in the event’s history, with 9 employers signed up for a CALS-sponsored networking evening afterwards.

Our Stories — Sessions Offer Farmers Marketing Training 

University of Idaho Extension’s first Marketing Mornings program for professional farmers drew a full house at Lewiston’s Red Lion Monday.CALS agricultural marketing specialist Norm Ruhoff addressed marketing strategies during the Feb. 6, 2017, Marketing Morning in Lewiston.

The session sponsored by UI Extension, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Idaho Barley Commission and Western Extension Risk Management Education offered farmers a professional development opportunity focused on business and marketing skills. Speakers covered farm business basics, barley, pulse, wheat and oilseed markets, and commodities marketing strategies and tools.

Another session is planned Feb. 15 from 8 a.m. to noon at Lindsay Creek Vineyards, 3107 Powers Ave., Lewiston. Registration for the second session will be $10 for those who did not register and attend the first program.

The Feb. 15 session will feature University of Minnesota grain marketing specialist Ed Usset, who will address “The Five Common Mistakes in Grain Marketing.”

Usset, who teaches about futures and options markets, is the author of “Grain Marketing is Simple (It’s Just not Easy)”.

At Monday’s session, Norm Ruhoff outlined the basics of marketing strategies and tools for farmers based on his experience as a third-generation grain trader in a Palouse business.

Ruhoff now serves as Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Agricultural Commodity Risk Management program in CALS Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Department and works with the Barker Trading and Capital Management program based in the College of Business and Economics.

Those interested in attending the Feb. 15 session are asked to RSVP to Ken Hart at UI Extension, Lewis County; 510 Oak St., Room 6; Nezperce, Idaho 83543, 208-937-2311,

Spring Career Fair Draws Record Employer Turnout

Today’s Spring Career Fair promises one of the highest employer turnouts in the event’s history with nearly 120 expected to attend.The J.R. Simplot Co. had recruiters at the Spring Career Fair Wednesday on campus.

The motivation behind the Feb. 8 event and the career fair series is to bring in dozens of employers who are ready to network with students and alumni, as well as connect them with jobs and internships.

“There will be lots of excellent opportunities available to CALS students,” said CALS Career Development Liaison Joe Roberts. “And although CALS students may not think a certain company would apply to them, many do hire CALS majors.”

He also said that many UI CALS alumni come to these events to recruit.

A list of attending employers can be found online at University of Idaho’s Handshake page at

Some employers important to CALS students include AgriCorps, JBS Cattle Co., CHS, Crop Production Services, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, J.R. Simplot Co., Northwest Farm Credit Services, Pacific Ag, and The McGregor Co.

Students from freshmen to graduate students and alumni were invited to attend.

Employers host on-campus interviews so students were encouraged to bring their resumes to the event. Positions available included internships, seasonal jobs and careers. This year’s fair took place in the ASUI Kibbie Activity Center on the Moscow campus.

A CALS-hosted employer Networking Night followed the career fair at 7 p.m. in the Horizon-Aurora room in the Idaho Commons.

4-H Robotics Regional Competition Saturday in Memorial Gym

The University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development program will host the eighth annual Idaho FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament Saturday, Feb. 11, in Memorial Gym on the UI’s Moscow campus.

The opening ceremony will be at noon and the event will conclude with an awards ceremony at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Teams of teens in grades 9-12 from Idaho and surrounding states will compete for regional recognition and the chance to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge Super-regional Championship in Tacoma in March.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Dean's Corner: The Problem with Invasive Species in Idaho

Invasive species are estimated to cost more than $120 billion annually in the United States (Pimentel et al. 2005). They are among the major threats to agriculture and urban ecosystems and to the natural environment. They are acknowledged as being the second most important threat to biodiversity and endangered species, ranking only behind habitat loss.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture maintains a very informative website that focuses entirely on the invasive species the state is facing at A review of this website reveals that invasive species are not confined to one group — there are invasive arthropods (insects, etc.), plants, nematodes, microbes (viruses, fungi, etc.) and molluscs (snails, mussels, etc.).

The first line of defense against invasive species is to not deal with them at all — prevention is a major strategy. Perhaps this effort is most visible with the watercraft inspection stations located at key transportation routes coming into the state. This effort is aimed at preventing the introduction of invasive quagga and zebra mussels, among others, into Idaho. So far the effort has worked.

Although hurricanes and other natural phenomena can move species into areas where they are not native, the major movement of these unwanted species involves the human element.

We are now in the third era of invasions — called the Era of Globalization (Hulme 2009). The enormous growth of economies around the world has led to an unprecedented number of people traveling from one country to another, in addition to the vast amount of international trade that is vital to the gross domestic product of most countries. The tide of invasive species will continue to rise and the battle against them will only become more important in the future.

There is an element of invasive species directly related to people’s actions. Dumping an aquarium with plants and fish can lead to the establishment of both in aquatic ecosystems.

We are all familiar with the European starling (the species name says it all — Sturnus vulgaris) that was purportedly introduced into New York’s Central Park. The move was based on the hope that all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works would become established in the New World. This proved to be a very successful introduction — this bird is now found across the US, and estimates put its numbers at more than 200 million.

I am sure there are some who love starlings, but most view them as pests who steal grain, ravage crops and compete with native bird species. Their sheer abundance and adaptability to various food sources magnifies the problem. Flocks can number in the thousands. When flocks descend on a field or animal facility, they are capable of doing considerable damage. In animal facilities they congregate at feed troughs to eat, and contaminate food and water sources in the process.

Again, this was a deliberate introduction with noble intent, but resulted in dire consequences. We are still paying a price.

Examples of deliberate introductions abound, but the most glaring examples are with invasive plants. Idaho's Noxious Weeds, 8th Edition, a list and description of the more than 60 noxious weeds in Idaho was recently updated by three members of the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences: Tim Prather, Sandra Robbins and Don Morishita. This is a wonderful publication for those interested understanding the magnitude of the problem. When focusing on invasive woody plants, one does not have to look further than the commercial floriculture and nursery industries. They have been intentional introducing plants for decades, many of which we prize in our gardens and landscapes.

It is well known, however, that the majority of invasive plants invading natural areas were intentionally introduced for horticultural purposes (Reichard and Hamilton, 1997). One study found that 82 percent of 235 woody plant species identified as colonizing outside of cultivation had been used in landscaping, and an additional 3 percent were widely distributed for soil erosion control.

Over the past decade, considerable attention has been focused on the role that nurseries, botanical gardens, landscape architects, and the gardening public play in bringing in potentially invasive plants. Codes of conduct have been developed among these groups with the hope that this may alleviate some of the problems and contribute to overall education and awareness (Reichard, 2004). It is hoped that such programs will reduce the introduction of exotic plants.

Clearly more education and awareness by the general public is a key element to reduce the introduction of all invasive species. An informed general public may also be the key to early detection of an invasive species that is absolutely critical to the success of an eradication program.


  • Hulme, P. E. 2009. Trade, transport and trouble: managing invasive species pathways in an era of globalization. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 10-18.
  • Pimentel, D., R. Zuniga, and D. Morrison. 2005. Update on the Environmental and Economic Costs Associated with Alien-Invasive Species in the United States. Ecological Economics 52: 273-288.
  • Reichard, S. H. 2004. Conflicting Values and Common Goals: Codes of Conduct to Reduce Threat of Invasive Species. Weed Technology 18: 1503-1507.
  • Reichard, S. H. and C. W. Hamilton. 1997. Predicting Invasion of Woody Plants Introduced into North America. Conservation Biology 11: 193-203.

Faces and Places

Louise-Marie Dandurand, who leads the international GLOBAL research initiative focused on potato cyst nematodes; Daolin Fu, who is establishing the Genome Editing and Transformation lab; Amy Lin of the School of Food Science; and Shirley Luckhart and Ed Lewis of the Center for Health in the Human Ecosystem, are among the first CALS faculty members with space in the new Integrated Research and Innovation Center.


  • Feb. 10 — UI Extension Small Farms Workshops. $20 registration fee, plus $5 for every additional family member or farm partner. Caldwell, ID. Register online at UI Marketplace or call 208-287-5900. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Feb. 10 — Visualizing Science opening reception. Prichard Gallery, 5-7 p.m.
  • Feb. 11 — University of Idaho Extension 4-H is pleased to be hosting the eighth annual Idaho FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Championship Tournament. Memorial Gym, Opening ceremony at noon. Awards ceremony at 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 15 — Five Common Mistakes in Grain Marketing conference featuring Ed Usset. Lindsay Creek Vineyards, 3107 Powers Ave, Lewiston. Registration fee of $10. RSVP by Jan. 30 UI Extension Lewis County office 208-937-2311 or 7:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. breakfast. 
  • Feb. 21-Mar. 8 — Farm Financial Fitne$$, a Cultivating Success Course. UI Extension Canyon County, 501 Main St, Caldwell, ID. Tuesday evenings 6-9 p.m.
  • Feb. 20-21 — Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit, The Red Lion Downtowner, Boise.
  • Feb. 24 — CALS Awards nominations due. More information is at Deadline: 5 p.m.
  • Feb. 24-25 — Regional Farmers' Market Workshop for Managers and Vendors. Register online at Hampton Inn, Nampa, ID
  • March 1 — Idaho Victory Garden Online Course: Grow, Eat, Save opens. $10 registration fee. Register online by Feb. 28 at UI Marketplace
  • March 3 — UI Extension Small Farms Workshops. $20 registration fee, plus $5 for every additional family member or farm partner. Emmett, ID. Register online at UI Marketplace or call 208-287-5900. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • March 4 — Farm Law 101 Workshop. UI Extension Ada County. 5880 Glenwood St, Boise, ID. Register online at the UI Marketplace by Feb. 25. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • March 24 — UI Extension Small Farms Workshops. $20 registration fee, plus $5 for every additional family member or farm partner. Boise, ID. Register online at UI Marketplace or call 208-287-5900. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

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College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2331
Moscow, ID 83844-2331

Phone: 208-885-6681

Fax: 208-885-6654