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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 — Sept. 5, 2018

Dean's Message — Moving the Needle

We are moving the needle on student enrollment. It’s hard to know the precise amount so early in the semester, but the news looks good.

It is rewarding that CALS efforts are succeeding. I had dinner with students in the new CALS living group in Wallace Complex recently. Bringing our students together there will be a new experience for the college and for the residents.

Overall, CALS provides many opportunities for our students to connect beyond the classroom. Student organizations including Block and Bridle, Plant and Soil Science Club, Soil Stewards, the Aldrich Entomology Club and others, offer activities that allow students to apply what they’ve learned and have fun doing so.

They benefit, the campus community benefits and the Moscow community benefits as well through the clubs' activities ranging from plant and produce sales to events including Ag Days, Moms' Weekend Wine and Cheese Gala, a Science Saturday in the Arboretum session about beneficial insects and others.

Later today from 4-7:30 p.m., CALS will hold its annual Welcome Back Picnic at the Parker Farm. It is a great opportunity to renew friendships, meet new students, faculty and staff and enjoy a Vandal Dog, one of the stars of the Vandal Brand Meats product line here on campus.

Please take advantage, too, of the several outstanding CALS Speaker Series events planned this semester.

Our first CALS Speaker Series program this semester will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, in Ag Sciences Auditorium Room 106.

Alison Van Eenennaam, a world-class biotechnology expert from the University of California, Davis, will talk about GMOs or genetically modified organisms. We will also show the documentary film, “Food Evolution,” which features her and our own Shelley McGuire, director of the Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences. They will lead a short discussion after the program.

The goal we share is building a community where ideas are shared freely and ideas tested in a civil manner. That is why we encourage our students to get to know each other and the college’s faculty and staff. I hope you will join in that effort.

Michael P Parrella, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Michael P. Parrella

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

By the Numbers

A low of 31 degrees in late August in eastern and south-central Idaho signaled fall’s approach, while a high of 99 degrees in eastern Idaho showed summer is slow to yield. Statewide temperatures ranged 2 to 8 degrees cooler than normal. 12 percent of Idaho pastures and rangelands were rated in good condition while 5 percent rated very poor. 48 percent were fair and 35 percent poor, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Our Stories — Parma Pomology Program Fruit Field Day Friday

Visitors who spend Friday morning, Sept. 7, at the U of I Parma Research and Extension Center’s Pomology Orchard and Vineyard will learn by tasting the fruits of summer now heavy on the bough and vine.Tables at the Parma Research and Extension Center Pomology Orchard and Vineyard display a bounty of fruit for tasting.

The Pomology Program Annual Fruit Field Day typically draws hundreds to learn about new pomology practices, sample table grapes, peaches, nectarines, apples, plums, quinces, Asian pears and alternative fruits.

The field day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration. Presentations will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and finish at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Ranging from commercial fruit growers to backyard gardeners, the visitors will hear reports on fruit research and production, orchard mechanization and explore fruit businesses’ commercial booths.

Program highlights will include work on best rootstocks for apples, peaches and nectarines most suitable for Idaho, ways to reduce bitter pit and increase fruit quality in Honeycrisp apples and most appropriate alternative fruits for Idaho. Others will review super high-density apple orchard plantings with new architectures and rootstocks, and cherry rootstocks and training programs.

The program will highlight table grapes, including new canopy research at Parma, that helped create a promising new market for Idaho vineyard operators.

Presenters will review studies on Fuji apple irrigation, fruit nutrition, chemical thinning and pesticide uses. Visitors will also tour the national apple rootstock selection research project.

Other tours will focus on stone fruit selection orchards, alternative crops including quince, almonds, walnuts, jujube, haskaps and others.

The Pomology Orchard and Vineyard is located at 31727 Parma Road, 2.2 miles from the Parma Research and Extension Center. Participants can qualify for two pesticide education credits by attending the entire field day.

More information is available from Essie Fallahi, pomology program director, at or 208-880-8088, or by contacting Maurine Baucom at

CALS Speaker Series Explores GMOs, Film 'Food Evolution' Sept. 11

The CALS Speaker Series will explore on Tuesday, Sept. 11, one of agriculture’s most discussed issues: genetically modified organisms or GMOS.

University of California, Davis researcher Alison Van Eenennaam will talk about her work with biotechnology and GMOS from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in the Ag Science Auditorium, Room 106.

She will also discuss her role in the documentary “Food Evolution” that explores researchers’ and citizens’ views about GMOS.

After a screening of the film, Van Eenennaam and CALS Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences Director Shelley McGuire, who is also in the documentary, will lead a discussion about the issue.

“Food Evolution” will show from 6-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

CALS Celebrates Idaho Ag and Ag Days Sept. 28-29

Ag Days and Celebrating Idaho Agriculture will bring alumni, VIPs, high school students and friends of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to the University of Idaho’s Moscow campus Sept. 28-29.

The annual CALS Alumni Awards Luncheon will begin the weekend’s events from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Summit Room of the Idaho Commons.

Cliff Ohmart, a scientist who spent his career focusing on integrated pest management and sustainability in forests and California grapes, almonds, cut flowers and cherries, will serve as Celebrating Idaho Agriculture keynote speaker.

Ohmart developed the Lodi Rules while working with the Lodi Winegrape Commission.

His talk, “Sustainable Agriculture: What is it? Where has it been? Where is it going?” will be at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 Main St, in Moscow from 4:30-6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

CALS annual Ag Days events will bring hundreds of high school students to campus for the weekend to sample college classes and compete in 4-H and FFA judging events.

Faces and Places

Jim DeShazer, emeritus professor and former head of the biological and agricultural engineering department, will deliver the keynote speech at the 10th International Livestock Environment Symposium in Omaha, Nebraska, in late September. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers sponsors the event. DeShazer received the 2017 CALS Distinguished Retiree Award.


  • Sept. 5 — CALS Welcome Back Picnic, Parker Farm, 1025 Plant Sciences Road, Moscow, 4-7:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — Parma Pomology Program Annual Fruit Field Day, Parma Research and Extension Center Pomology Orchard and Vineyard, 31727 Parma Road, Parma. Contact: Essie Fallahi, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sept. 11CALS Speaker Series program by biotechnology expert Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of California, Davis, in Agricultural Science Auditorium Room 106, followed by a screening of “Food Evolution” and Q and A session with Van Eenennaam and Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences Director Shelley McGuire. 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 11-14 — Lost River Grazing Academy, Salmon. Contact: Scott Jensen,
  • Sept. 13 — Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstration, Reggear Tree Farm, 1415 Shortcut Road, Craigmont, sponsored by UI Extension, Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station, Idaho State Department of Agriculture and Idaho Nursery and Landscape Association. Contact: Olga Walsh, Parma Research and Extension Center, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Sept. 28-29Ag Days and Celebrating Idaho Agriculture
  • Sept. 28 — CALS Alumni Awards Luncheon, Summit Room, Idaho Commons, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Sept. 28CALS Speaker Series "Sustainable Agriculture: What is it? Where has it been? Where is it going?" at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre featuring Cliff Ohmart, a renowned scientist in implementing sustainability programs for many cropping systems, 4:30-6 p.m.
  • Sept. 29 — Celebrating Idaho Agriculture Tailgate, Agricultural Science Building lawn, 606 Rayburn Ave., 11 a.m. to 1:30 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