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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 — August 9, 2017

Dean's Message — Sandpoint Success

A strong showing in Sandpoint for science outreach efforts by CALS and the Sandpoint Orchard offered a convincing argument for doing more of the same.Children learn about pollinators at the Sandpoint Farmers Market Aug. 2.

The series of events was organized around a visit by noted bee expert Robbin Thorp to get a start on identifying local bumble bee species. The series connected CALS and UI with a broad cross section of the Sandpoint community.

Our Summer of Science activities at the Moscow Farmers Market are about helping children learn about science.

We tested it at Sandpoint’s Wednesday afternoon farmers market and saw the same enthusiasm for learning.

In Sandpoint, we also geared two evening events to adults. A seminar and a combination film showing and panel discussion linked CALS to landowners, gardeners and others who want to know more about the world we live in. The beautiful Panida Theater, which was revived by the power of community, provided the perfect setting for the screenings and panel.

The Sandpoint Orchard is an ideal partner. Founded by Dennis Pence, its goal is to offer the community expertise and examples of sustainable organic agricultural practices. He also donated adjacent property to UI and CALS to expand our opportunities for education and extension activities.

Perhaps there is some bias here, but I have to think that our Sandpoint events’ focus on pollinators helped us make connections. Several landowners asked specific questions about how they can learn more about and do more to help pollinators.

My bias, of course, is tied to the Entomological Society of America. I will become its president in November in Denver, and pollinators are one of the 6,000 members’ top priorities. With a third of all the foods we eat dependent on pollinators, it would be hard to argue that attention is misplaced.


On a more somber note, my thoughts have been occupied recently by the tragic loss of Samantha Ramsay, one of our bright young faculty members in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

As a researcher and professor focused on nutrition and dietetics, her projects on children’s taste preferences for bread as well as her international studies of child feeding and mealtime practices showed great promise.

We send our profound sympathies to her two young sons and her family. We will miss her.

Dean Michael Parrella

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

By the Numbers 

35 potato psyllids were collected across southern Idaho during the week leading up to the Aug. 4 Pacific Northwest Pest Alert Network report. 1 psyllid tested positive for Lso, the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease, the 1st positive test from the Treasure Valley this year and the 5th positive test across the state. 2.3 percent of psyllids have tested positive for Lso. Sticky traps for psyllids were deployed in 92 of 95 commercial potato fields being monitored this year. Traps in 20 fields, 21.7 percent, caught psyllids.

Our Stories — New Book Helps Wheat Farmers Adapt

Wheat farming is complex. A University of Idaho-led research project sponsored a book to help farmers understand how different aspects from rotational crops to weather affect their success.A graphical display helps track projected climate changes for specific areas, in this case, Moscow.

Farmers must manage their operations to sustain them and maintain yields with the decades ahead in mind. Challenges facing farmers include preserving the soils on their farms and coping with changing climates.

By the year 2039, the growing season near Moscow will lengthen by nearly six weeks if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. Farmers might celebrate greater flexibility in growing more crops, but they are also likely to face new crop threats, among them new insects, diseases and weeds and changes in temperature and precipitation.

The new book offers the region’s farmers a comprehensive manual on cereal production systems and how to manage them profitably and sustainably. It offers strategies to adopt new methods and ideas and adapt to changing conditions, including climate.

The 614-page book, “Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest,” was published in June with funding through the six-year Regional Approaches to Climate Change project (REACCH). Authors included researchers from UI, Oregon State University, Washington State University and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Twelve chapters cover climate change, soil health, precision agriculture and management strategies for weeds, diseases and insects, among other topics.

Many chapters include information about what farmers might expect with projected climate change in the PNW, said Sanford Eigenbrode, REACCH project director and a UI entomologist.

Published by Washington State University Extension, the book is available online for free through or

Conference Prepares Young Cattle Producers for Future

Planning for a 2018 Young Cattle Producer Conference is underway after a successful debut for the event presented in June by UI CALS, its Beef Program of Distinction, UI Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association.Photo: Seated (Left to Right): ​Monica Gokey - Cascade;  Cody Morgan - Mackay;  Hunter Montgomery - Moscow;  Chet Nicholas - Blackfoot;  Wyatt Neal - Parma.  Middle Row Standing (Left to Right):​ Sara Somsen-Fowler - Jackson;  Danyele Jansen Van Beek - Emmett;  Beverly Shirts - Moscow;  Mackenzie Stevens - Gooding;  Blas Lord - Parma.  Back Row Standing (Left to Right):​ Tim Losee - Downey;  Steven Wells - Buhl;   Kramer Jansen Van Beek - Emmett;  Laine Pratt - Stites;  Marcus Higgins - Cottonwood;  Kord Killpack - Rexburg.  Missing:​ ​Tyler Cenarrusa - Richfield.

The first three-day conference was held in Twin Falls to provide cattle producers age 40 and younger with in-depth education on the cattle industry in Idaho.

"I thought that the first Idaho Young Cattle Producer Conference was a huge success,” said IYCPC Chair, Jim Church. “The program was very informative and educational, and we had an outstanding group of people from across the state. I think that the cattle industry in Idaho has a bright future with young people like these leading the way.”

Experts from cattle industry sectors included a commercial cow-calf producer, purebred producer and members of the stocker, feedlot, packing industries and a meat cutting demonstration.

Other sessions focused on the issues currently facing young cattle producers, such as financing a cattle operation, risk management, herd health and public land issues.

Participants toured cattle operations across the Magic Valley, including the Winecup L Ranch owned by Bill and Laurie Lickley of Jerome, Scarrow Meats owned by Don Scarrow of Jerome, and the InterMountain Beef feedlot in Eden owned by Cevin Jones. A barbeque at Pristine Springs Angus owned by Curtis and Amber Gay of Jerome included roundtable discussion.

Another session focused on the importance of becoming involved in the industry and featured Idaho Beef Council, Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, Idaho Farm Bureau, and the Wood River Soil and Water Conservation District representatives.

The conference was limited to 20 nominated participants to create an intimate atmosphere and provide valuable tools to help them be successful members of the cattle business.

Fisheries Economics Group Names Roheim Fellow

Cathy A. Roheim, UI CALS professor and head of the agricultural economics and rural sociology department, has been named a Fellow of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET). She will give a keynote address during the association’s 2018 biennial conference in Seattle.Cathy Roheim

IIFET is an international professional association of individuals, institutions and agencies from over 65 countries. IIFET Fellows are selected because they have made substantial, long-term, ongoing contributions to the advancement and development of theoretical and/or empirical economics of fisheries, aquaculture and/or seafood trade, as evidenced by research, teaching, academic service and/or policy impacts.

Building on her expertise in demand for agricultural products, Roheim was the first researcher to develop a systematic and holistic research program on seafood markets and trade, the group said in announcing her selection. She has made transformative contributions in this field in research, outreach, public service and mentoring of students.

Throughout her career, the group said, Roheim has asked research questions that ultimately make a difference by informing better governance of fisheries and aquaculture operations in an increasingly globalized world.

She was among the first economists to use demand systems to investigate the demand for seafood. Her work contributed methodological developments of broad importance in market research, and was published widely in top journals in applied economics.

Roheim produced some of the first empirical work on the global market for wild-caught and farmed fish. Her work, while significant for its technical innovation, also foretold the globalization of seafood markets.

Roheim is known as an early innovator in analyses of costs and benefits of fisheries and aquaculture certification and eco-labeling in the seafood market. Her theoretical work examines how willingness to pay for sustainability is transmitted through the supply chain, and produced an early (and to date almost the only) contribution demonstrating the theoretical links between certification and fisheries management.

Roheim contributed substantially to the interdisciplinary literature addressing the complex policy challenges at the nexus of common-pool resource governance, food security, and trade policy and the practical limits of affecting change through consumer campaigns and certification institutions.

Her work at the intersection of health economics and seafood demand used experimental methods to evaluate how consumers trade off health risks and benefits when making seafood purchases, and drew out the implications for government programs promoting healthy seafood choices. She has published highly cited peer-reviewed journal publications and numerous book chapters, including papers in leading multi-disciplinary journals including Science.

Faces and Places

Samantha RamsayA celebration of life service is planned Aug. 19 for Samantha Ramsay, associate professor of nutrition in the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences. A popular professor and productive researcher, she died after she was struck by lightning while climbing the Matterhorn in Switzerland July 30. The service will be held at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1036 W A St., Moscow, at 11 a.m.

AERS Quiz Bowl Team members were, from left, Jason Montgomery, Emily George, Austin O'Neill, Brett Wilder, Cole Lickley and Dustin Winston.

Brett Wilder, Emily George and Austin O’Neill finished second among 30 teams competing in the national Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s Academic Quiz Bowl competition during the group’s annual meeting in Chicago. Another team with members Dustin Winston, Cole Lickley and Jason Montgomery also competed. Professor Jason Winfree served as the teams’ coach.


  • Aug. 17 — UI Convocation with David Vobora, former Vandal linebacker and NFL player, Kibbie Dome North Concourse, 4-5 p.m.
  • Aug. 18 — CALS New Student Orientation, Ag Biotech Interaction Court followed by departmental tours, 9-11:30 a.m.
  • Aug. 19 — Samantha Ramsay celebration of life service, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 1036 W A St., Moscow. 11 a.m.
  • Aug. 21 — First day of fall semester
  • Sept. 6 — CALS Welcome Back Picnic, Parker Plant Science Farm, two miles east of Moscow on Idaho Highway 8, the Troy Highway, 4:30-7:30 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