Catching Up with CALS — June 12, 2019
Dean's Message — Message Received
The visit last week by nearly 900 FFA students and their instructors to campus from schools across Idaho was impressive.
I enjoyed talking with the students and hearing about their interest in agriculture. FFA members are bright, organized and accomplished students.
Talking with their teachers was even more rewarding. They seemed much more upbeat about their connection with U of I and CALS than at some points in recent memory. I think the message about all the great things we are doing in the college is being heard. I am grateful for that because FFA is an important program for the state and for agriculture.
This year’s State FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) here on campus also seemed extraordinarily well organized for the sheer number of participants. The Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and CALS Academic Programs did an excellent job of hosting the group.
My impression perhaps was better informed because I attended a planning meeting involving U of I and the visiting teachers to organize the events. The magnitude of that task and the competency in addressing all of the details was impressive.
I also took the opportunity to visit some of the events, including this year’s addition of entomology as a CDE topic.
One of the most rewarding elements on the program for me was seeing the broader support for the FFA gathering by other colleges on campus. Clearly there are FFA students with broad interests in engineering, natural resources, etc. and having those colleges represented with information booths and recruiting officers is a win-win for the students and for U of I.
A couple of personal highlights for me was participating in the group’s recognition of Meridian High agricultural education teacher Steve Wilder’s retirement and his long service to the organization. The other was the honor of receiving the State FFA Degree. I appreciated the gesture, much as I did two years ago when members of the FFA Genesee chapter gave me a Go Vandals! fly rod to enjoy.
I am pleased to report the fly rod does “work” — I have used it to catch many trout in the state.
This week began with a less pleasant, but in some ways equally confidence-affirming, task: providing an update of the university’s budget situation. We are cautiously optimistic that CALS will emerge relatively unscathed.
Fortunately, CALS has options. General education funding is an important component to CALS education efforts, but our diversity of funding sources gives us more flexibility to address the problem than many other colleges.
There will be challenges ahead as the university changes several processes to right its finances. The hard work and success of CALS researchers to obtain grants and our development staff’s efforts to win support and funding for programs and projects make me optimistic about our ability to carry on.
Part of my optimism comes from Monday’s meeting and seeing CALS faculty and staff from across the state tuning in to learn more to help find the best solutions. That spirit will serve us well.
Michael P. Parrella
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
By the Numbers
55 FFA chapters from across Idaho attended the State FFA Career Development Events in early June on the Moscow campus hosted by the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and CALS Academic Programs. Meridian brought the most registrants with 53. The South Fremont chapter from St. Anthony traveled the farthest at 567 miles. 878 participants, including 753 students, visited campus.
Our Stories — Artisan Grains Event July 11-13
Farmers, bakers, brewers, grain brokers, investors and others with interests in what and how people eat and drink will find something to chew on during the first Inland Northwest Artisan Grains Conference July 11-13 in Pullman and Moscow.
The conference is presented by Washington State University Food Systems with support from University of Idaho Extension. The conference seeks to strengthen the role of grains in the agricultural and food economy of the Inland Northwest.
The conference begins with a welcome dinner Thursday, July 11, at Paradise Creek Brewery in Pullman. Tickets are $45.
Conference sessions on Friday, July 12, at the University of Idaho Commons in Moscow will explore sustainable grain production, varieties, whole and novel grains for baking, cultural significance of grains and marketing considerations. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and sessions conclude at 4:30 p.m. A tasting session for conference registrants at Moscow’s 1912 Center from 5-7 p.m. will feature the region’s best brews and spirits.
Conference registrants can also signup for add-on baking sessions Friday, July 12, and a dinner featuring local grains and plant breeders who produced them.
Add-on field trips for conference registrants planned Saturday, July 13, will highlight local brewers and grain breeders, wheat quality researchers and flour millers focused on the Palouse. Lunches are planned at Pullman and Moscow restaurants as part of the field trips.
Registration for the Friday conference is $65 through Friday, June 14, and $90 after. Dinners, baking sessions and Saturday field trips can be registered for individually and range in price from $20 to $70 apiece.
More conference information and registration is available online at www.cascadiagrains.com/inlandnorthwest.
Faces and Places
Agricultural and Extension Education Professor Jeremy Falk and students Dino Vinci, Cameron King and Dylan Peters participated in the 40th Anniversary Nugget All American Show and Sale in Reno, Nevada. They showed four sheep from the U of I Sheep Center. The U of I contingent earned awards including reserve grand champion slick shorn ewe, grand champion slick shorn ram, reserve grand champion slick shorn ram and reserve supreme champion slick shorn ram. The four sheep sold at auction June 1 and brought a total of $2,350.
UI Extension, Jefferson County Extension Educator Lorie Dye was elected Epsilon Sigma Phi Western Region vice president and UI Extension, Lewis County Extension Educator Ken Hart won the Western Region International Service Award. Both will be honored at the Extension honorary’s national conference in October.
- June 24-27 — UI Extension 4-H State Teen Association Convention, Moscow.
- June 25 — U of I Snake River Pest Management Tour, Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, 8:30 a.m.
- June 27 — Northern Idaho Collaborative Field Day sponsored by U of I, CHS Primeland and Limagrain Cereal Seeds, Nez Perce County Fairgrounds, 1229 Burrell Ave., Lewiston, 8:30 a.m.
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