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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 — June 14, 2017

Dean's Message — Great Opportunities

Last week was another remarkable performance by the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

More than 750 FFA members from across Idaho made the trip to Moscow for career development events on the UI campus. With teachers and chaperones, the turnout totaled about 900.

Congratulations go to Jim Connors, Agricultural and Extension Education department head, to his faculty and staff and to all of those who made the event so successful.

New state FFA offcers visited the Idding Agricultural Sciences Building June 9 before heading home.

I enjoyed the chance to talk with the FFA members Friday. In addition to being here because of an interest in agriculture, they are also a group of high school students with a high probability of going on to higher education.

I hope they will choose CALS when they do, and I told them so. But I also encouraged them to pursue any higher education opportunity that interests them.

My own college experience offered an example. I went to college interested in animal science. That led me to graduate study in entomology and a career as a professor and administrator that eventually brought me the opportunity to serve as CALS dean.

Higher education prepared me for opportunities I would have never imagined as a high school student — one never knows where a college education will lead.

It was gratifying to see and participate in the FFA events made possible through the financial support of John and Marty Mundt. The establishment of the Mundt Agricultural Education Scholarship and the John & Marty Mundt Idaho FFA Career Development Event Endowment will be instrumental in making these young people’s lives better.

I was especially happy to relate to the FFA members during their wrap-up session Friday morning an example of how UI and CALS helped my own family. I showed a video produced by my daughter, Jean, with assistance from others in CALS communications.

Jean transferred to UI from California last fall and through her studies in agricultural and extension education and an internship with CALS, she developed an expertise that will contribute to her personal repertoire of communication skills.

Later this month, the 4-H Teen Association Convention will draw another crowd of accomplished young people to campus. The university is stepping up its support for the event through a Vandal Ideas Program proposal.

These FFA and 4-H Youth Development program events are essential to Idaho’s success in educating its young people. I am very impressed with the young people involved in both programs. My hope is that they go on to higher education in CALS preferably, but somewhere certainly to help them prepare for their own future opportunities.

Their potential to have successful and satisfying careers while contributing to the state and their families is enormous.

Dean Michael Parrella

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

By the Numbers 

200 children signed up for Summer of Science activities, both insect-related, at the Moscow Farmers Market during the first 2 weeks of its 13-week run. The first Saturday event drew 112 signups. The second weekend drew 88 new participants and another 36 who had previously registered. Special hour-long programs that followed on campus drew 41 children the first weekend and 14 the second.

Our Stories — Research Assesses New Aphid's Damage

A CALS research project aims to calculate the actual threat to wheat yields posed by an aphid newly confirmed in the Pacific Northwest.Researchers are measuring the damage to wheat yields caused by an aphid native to England that was recently confirmed in the U.S.

Sanford Eigenbrode, a Moscow-based entomologist and distinguished university professor, is overseeing the project based at the Palouse Research, Extension and Education Center’s Kambitsch Farm near Genesee.

The project relies on enclosures to expose young wheat plants to the aphid, Metopolophium festucae cerealium or Mfc.

Eigenbrode and CALS research scientist Ying Wu confirmed the aphid’s presence in U.S. wheat fields for the first time in 2011.

Entomologists had earlier reported the species presence in Idaho and elsewhere in the past, but had not documented it feeding on wheat or barley, a key finding because another subspecies feeds on fescues and other grasses but not on cereal grains.

As part of Eigenbrode’s work as director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded Regional Approaches to Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Agriculture, UI researchers conducted extensive aphid sampling in wheat fields across Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Those field surveys showed large numbers of the Mfc aphid in 2011 and 2012. The discoveries helped University of Florida entomologist Susan Halbert, an aphid expert with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, confirm earlier reports by her and others that the wheat-feeding aphid is in the U.S.

This summer’s research will be the first attempt to measure how much damage Mfc can do to wheat yields.

Eigenbrode spent Friday afternoon at Kambitsch Farm as Mfc aphids were placed on spring wheat plants enclosed in insect-netting cages. The researchers hope the insects will multiply on the plants throughout the growing season.

The level of Mfc infestation and damage to the wheat plants will be tracked through the summer.

At harvest time, the yield of grain from wheat plants inside enclosures with aphids will be compared with yields of plants in control cages free of aphids.

The results will help researchers and wheat growers assess the level of threat posed by Mfc aphids and how much growers might want to invest in controlling it.

Faces and Places

UI CALS Alumni & Friends Association 2016-17 Awards

Alumni Achievement Award

Buck Boyer — Culdesac, Idaho: ’02 B.S. Ag Economics
Employer: Boyer Farms

Distinguished Alumni Award

Mike Leventini — Santa Rosa, California: ’89 M.S. Animal Science
Employer: Coleman Natural Foods, Perdue Chicken

Ron Richard — Moscow, Idaho: ’83 B.S. Animal Science, Ag Education
Employer: University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Vandal Brand Meats

Clark Seavert — Wilsonville, Oregon: ’89 M.S. Ag Economics
Employer: Oregon State University, College of Agricultural Sciences

Pat Whittington — Columbus, Ohio: ’92, ’93 M.S. Ag Education; ’97 Ph.D. Education
Employer: The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Distinguished Associate Alumni Award

Pat Purdy — Boise, Idaho: ’86 B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Employer: Purdy Enterprises

Distinguished Retiree Award

Jim DeShazer — Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ’89 M.S. Ag Economics
Employer: Retired, Emeritus Department Head – UI Biological and Agricultural Engineering

International Achievement Award

Richard Bowman — Moscow, Idaho: ’82 Animal Science
Employer: 1000 Hills Farm; Global Livestock Group, Inc.

Early Career Achievement Award

Meghan Benscheidt — Seattle, Washington: ’05 B.S. Animal Science, ’14 M.S. Food Science
Employer: Darigold, Inc.


  • June 17 — UIdaho Bound
  • June 20 — Snake River Pest Management Tour, Kimberly Research and Extension Center. Contact: Don Morishita, 208-423-6616, Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the tour will conclude at noon.
  • June 21 — Snake River Pest Management Tour, Aberdeen Research and Extension Center. Contact: Pamela Hutchinson, 208-397-4181, Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the tour will conclude at noon.
  • June 26-29 4-H State Teen Association Convention, Moscow
  • June 27 — Parker Farm Field Day, 8 a.m. to 1 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