In with the News

Ag. Communications and Marketing is kicking off the 2015-16 academic year with the rollout of an all-new web portal for SAES News. In conjunction with that development, this issue will be the final appearance of the bi-weekly online newsletter, the Ag e-Dispatch. The SAES now has more timely online pipeline for distributing news of relevance for faculty, staff and students onto the SAES website mean, and email alerts will be issued accordingly. Pressing news will be constantly updated on the new SAES web portal.

Happy 125th birthday ahead for the 1890s

calendar_iconThe U.S. Senate is honoring 125 years of contributions by A&T and the other 1890 land-grant institutions  to the nation’s social progress and expansion of economic prosperity with a resolution heralding the quasquicentennial anniversary on the exact day legislation establishing the system was passed: Aug. 30.

The legislation, the Second Morrill Act, passed on Aug. 30, 1890, created a group of historically black colleges and universities in Southern and Border States as federal land-grant educational institutions. Some of those institutions, such as Tuskegee, were already established; others, such as N.C. A&T were established as a direct result of the law; still others, such as Langston and Central State University, were awarded land-grant status in ensuing years.  As of 2015, the quasquicentennial year of the landmark Second Morrill Act, there are 19 institutions that are known as “1890 land grants.”

The Senate resolution designates Aug. 30, 2015 as “1890 Land-Grant Institutions Quasquicentennial Recognition Day .” The Senate resolution caps off a year-long celebration that included a national convocation, a Congressional hearing and other activities on the 1890 campuses. The 1890s administrators have also designated Aug. 30, which falls on a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer to further commemorate the anniversary of the Second Morrill Act.

Fisher priceless

After more than 21 years of lights, action, camera, video introductions of the newest small farmer of the year, “Solutions” vignettes and much more, Ron Fisher has retired from the SAES’s Ag. Communications & Marketing unit. But through the wonders of YouTube, Fisher’s legacy not only lives on but much of his work – more than 100 videos  – is just a mouse click away. To peruse the online Fisher repertoire, start here.

Faculty photos

announcement_iconThe Ag. Communications & Marketing photographer, Lee Adams, has set aside the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 25, to take photos of new faculty members and old faculty members who have made alterations in their appearance (dramatic enough to where they no longer look as they did when they had photo taken previously). Adams will be taking photos from 9 a.m. to noon in Room B-29 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. His strong suggestions for a top-quality photo that looks good in publications and reflects professionalism are:

  • Business dress (tie and jacket for men)
  • To avoid white clothing
  • To avoid seasonal clothing (such as heavy, winter clothing that will look strange in a July newspaper)
  • To avoid extensive or highly reflective jewelry

If you have any questions about clothing or other photo session details, please contact Adams, at 285-4713, before you come to C.H. Moore on August 25.

Shooting match

Entries in the American Sheep Industry Association’s 2015 photo contest must be postmarked by Aug. 25. The contest is open to photographers with sheep-industry connections in their day-to-day lives as well as those who have no professional connections at all to sheep, lamb or wool. The only stipulation for entries is that they are in some way sheep-connected. Photos submitted will be judged for clarity, content and composition. There will be a $125 award for the top photo in each of four categories: action photos, scenic photos, sheep outdoors and photos that do not fall cleanly into one of the other three categories. There will be a $75 prize for second place and a $50 prize for third place in each of the competition categories. Winning photos will be featured in the October issue of “Sheep Industry News.” Complete details on the technical specifications for contest entries and category criteria are available at the American Sheep Industry Association’s website.

As autumnal as the equinox

info_iconThe Agricultural Research Program’s fall meeting for principal investigators and project directors is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to noon in Room A-16 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. Among the topics on the agenda are updated operational procedures, an expanded activity calendar and staff changes.

Dr. Valerie L Giddings, the interim associate dean for the Agricultural Research Program, also has a reminder for faculty planning to submit preproposals for the 2016 Capacity Building Grants: The deadline is Sept. 30.

Agricultural research and development fund accepting proposals until Sept. 9

research_iconThe US-Israel Binational Agriculture Research and Development Fund (BARD) has a window for proposals that closes Sept. 9. BARD is looking for research projects with agricultural objectives that will be conducted jointly by scientists from the United States and Israel. Among the research areas that BARD is now especially interested in are sensors and robotics, water quality, increased agricultural production efficiency, and food safety and food-supply security. BARD grants are typically for three-year projects, and average $320,000.

UNCG to host grant guidance workshop

grant_iconThe University of North Carolina at Greensboro is hosting a two-day workshop Aug. 24 and 25 that will provide newcomers to grant writing a planning and implementation structure for moving ideas and goals into fundable projects or research. For faculty and staff with more experience in the funding proposal arenas, the program will have guidance in strengthening grant writing skills, preparing needs statements, and current trends in funding-agency preferences. The workshop flier also offers the assurance that at the end of the workshop, “participants will leave with an abstract, grant design, and budget for [a] project.”

The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Aug. 25 at UNCG’s Elliott University Center.

Valuable experience in youth development for college students

College students who will be at least 19 but no older than 24 in April of 2016 — and who haven’t previously served as roundtable facilitators at the National 4-H Conference — have until Aug. 30 to submit applications for the 2016 National 4-H Conference in Washington. The 2016 National 4-H Congress will be April 9 through 14, and the annual gathering – a tradition since 1927 — will provide delegate 4-H’ers from across the country learning and personal development experiences that will send them home empowered to mobilize other youths for positive social change and meaningful community action. College students applying to become roundtable facilitators should have experience in team building and leadership, and they should be considering careers in Extension, youth development and 4-H. All travel and housing expenses are covered for those selected.

NCDA&CS now accepting applications for organic certification reimbursements

tractor_iconFarmers who received organic certification (or recertification) between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015 can now apply for reimbursements up to $750 from an N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) program  that receives funding from USDA. The program provides 75 percent of certification costs (up to $750) for farmers with livestock, crops or processing enterprises that were contingent on organic certification in the 2013-2014 growing seasons. The application deadline is Dec. 1.

Sept. 1 deadline for two $10k grants

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) will award two grants of $10,000 each to current members of the NCFR for projects that provide opportunities for professional development in family-policy research; support the dissemination and application of research-based findings concerning the well-being of families; or establish standards for advancing professional development in family sciences.

The grants program is designed especially to accommodate interdisciplinary collaborations that amalgamate family studies with sociology, psychology, anthropology, child development, economics, political science, health or nutrition. Proposals for funding support should be built around such eligible activities as research pilot projects, policy initiatives, and outreach, engagement, and training opportunities. Applicants must be NCFR members. Students may be involved in the proposed project as collaborators but not as principal investigators. Proposals must be submitted — by current members of the NCFR — no later than Sept. 1.

Staff update

extension_iconAdonica Williams is now the budget manager for the Agricultural Research Program, replacing Shirl Hines who retired May 31. Williams will be responsible for managing the $8 million budget for the Evans-Allen research program. She has worked with SAES faculty for the past five years as grants administrator and looks forward to cultivating these relationships in her new role.

Also at the ARP administrative suite in the C. H. Moore Agricultural Research Station, Lynda McGee, an accounting technician, is filling in for Toni Lamberth who is on medical leave. Please contact Williams or McGee with any financial questions or concerns related to Evans-Allen projects.

Ivy Murphy has joined The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T as the project coordinator for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). Ivy comes to A&T from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program coordinator for the Division of Social Services. Her responsibilities included state FNS SNAP-Ed and outreach grants, as well as the food banks. Murphy received her bachelor’s degree in human services management and a master’s in psychology from the University of Phoenix.

Even when not in Rome


  • The abbreviation “etc.” is short for et cetera. The abbreviation translates to English as “and other things.” That means it’s redundant to precede “etc.” with “and.” And because the literal translation of “etc.” is “and other things,” the abbreviation shouldn’t be used to refer to people (NOT “John, Paul, Ringo, etc.”).
  • The Latin expression meaning “Ante meridian” is usually abbreviated in English as “a.m.” and the Latin for “after noon,” post meridian is usually abbreviated p.m. Some style manuals go along with “AM” and “PM.” But the “AM” and “PM” should be small capitals, and small capitals are special characters, not just capitals a couple point sizes smaller than the font size used elsewhere as body text. That makes “a.m.” and “p.m.” usually the best choice. Regardless which abbreviation you use, there is always a space between the Arabic number indicating the time and the abbreviation that follows (never “8a.m. or “8PM”).
  • The Latin expression “et alii” translates to English as “and others,” and is abbreviated “et al.” Because “et” is not abbreviated, there is no period after the word, but there is a period after the abbreviation for alii, “al.”
  • The abbreviations for the Latin expressions “id est” (“i.e.”) and “exempli gratia” (“e.g.”) are often confused. “Id est” (and the abbreviated translation, “i.e.”) means “in other words.” “Exempli gratia” (and the abbreviated expression “e.g.”) means “for example.” The abbreviation “i.e.” should be used when a statement clarifies or restates one that has preceded it: “Faculty members all have copies of the SAES Strategic Plan, i.e., the booklet that was distributed….” The abbreviation “e.g.” should be used when introducing a list that is not intended to be comprehensive, just some examples: “Faculty and staff must pay attention to the Internal Control Guidelines when they take possession of any electronic device, e.g., cell phones or laptop computers….” When using “i.e.” and “e.g.,” set the abbreviations off with commas both before the clause they append and the clause they introduce.
  • Do not italicize “et al.,” “i.e.” or “e.g.” One Latin word that appears frequently that is usually italicized is “sic.” “Sic,” which translates literally as “thus so,” is used when there is an error (grammatical or otherwise) in a quoted passage and writers borrowing material want to indicate that they are aware of the mistake. In a direct quotation, “sic” should be inserted immediately following the faux pas in brackets (not parenthesis) and italicized. For example: John Doe is another newspaper reporter who writes “The North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service [sic] has specialists at A&T and N.C. State.”
  • When writing genus and species — the Latin names — of plants and animals, capitalize the genus name but not the species name, i.e., Escherichia coli, Galax urceolata and Canis lupus familiaris. After using the full name once, most style manuals approve of abbreviating genus down to one letter, i.e, E. Coli (but retain italics).
  • The singular form of “data” is “datum,” a word that has become almost totally obsolete in American English. Although it sounds strange when we read or hear that “the data are all in support,” it’s very correct to use “are” with a plural verb. But pundits who get carried away changing “data is” to “data are” every time they see it should think twice. The Oxford Dictionary and other authoritative sources note that because “datum” is no longer used in American English, “data” is also used “as an equivalent to the uncountable noun information” and in those instances it’s correct to say “data is.”

1890s Day on August 30th

The U.S. Senate is recognizing the quasquicentennial of 1890 land-grant institutions such as North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in a resolution that heralds the 125th anniversary to the very day the system was created, Aug. 30

Legislation passed on Aug. 30, 1890 created the system designating 19 historically black universities as federal land-grant educational institutions. Some of those institutions, such as Tuskegee, were already established; others, such as N.C. A&T were established as a direct result of the law; others, such as Central State University, were awarded land-grant status in ensuing years.

The Senate resolution passed this week, designates Aug. 30, 2015 as “1890 Land-Grant Institutions Quasquicentennial Recognition Day.” The action is a capstone to a year-long celebration that has included a national convocation, a Congressional hearing, and system-wide wellness activities on the university campuses. The 1890 universities’ leaders have also designated Aug. 30, which falls on a Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer to commemorate the anniversary.

Land-grant universities providing increased access to higher education with a focus on agriculture and mechanical arts were first created through the Morrill Act of 1862. The Act was expanded in 1890 to include historically black institutions in those states where segregation denied access to minorities.

2015-16 academic year kickoff set for second Friday in August

Dr. Shirley Hymon ParkerDr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, the SAES interim dean, will host the annual academic year faculty-staff kickoff on Friday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Webb Hall Auditorium. The SAES meeting will put the finishing touches on an entire day of academic year kickoff activities that begin with the University’s Faculty-Staff Institute at 9 a.m. in Harrison Auditorium. At the SAES 2015-16 kickoff, Hymon-Parker and the associate deans on the SAES administrative team will cover highlights from the 2014-15 academic year and discuss strategic-plan goals for the academic year ahead.

Dr. Rosalyn DaleThe SAES administrative team now includes Dr. Rosalind Dale, who on Aug. 5 was named interim administrator of The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T, and Dr. Valerie Giddings, who has assumed responsibilities as the interim associate dean for Agricultural Research. Dale will lead the SAES’s outreach and engagement efforts with business, industry, government and other universities.  Giddings will provide leadership and strategic management for research priorities.

Dr. Valerie GiddingsMany members of A&T’s Cooperative Extension field staff will be coming to Greensboro the two days prior to Aug. 14 for training focused on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) and the 2015 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment. The SNAP-Ed training will be provided to prepare all 4-H and FCS staff for a commitment of five percent of their time to SNAP-Ed programming (nutrition education for limited resource youth, adults and/or seniors).  The curriculum training will include: Go, Glow, Grow (for preschool age children); Learn to be Healthy (e-learning curriculum for youth K-12); Speedway to Healthy classroom activities training (companion curriculum for Speedway Exhibit); and Eat Smart, Live Strong (curriculum for adults and seniors).

Late August nomination deadline for 2016 Small Farmer of the Year

calendar_iconThe nomination deadline for the 2016 North Carolina A&T Small Farmer of the Year Award is Friday, Aug. 21. The award will be presented on Small Farmers Appreciation Day in March to a farm in North Carolina that exemplifies success, innovation and leadership in small-scale agriculture. For farmers to be eligible, they must receive at least half their gross income from farming, have averaged less than $250,000 in annual gross farm revenue over the last three years, and a family member must be making general management decisions for the farm. Nomination forms are available at the SAES website. Members of the Extension field staff who know of farmers who qualify for the award are urged to submit a nomination. And members of the Extension field staff who would like some tips on what it takes to win the award should take a look at the video overview  or website profile  of the high-tunnel hoop structures, transplant production and other innovations that brought Magnolia and Louis Williams the 2015 N.C. Small

SAES made several news splashes in the summer of 2015


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  • An article in the June 29 Transylvania Times began with the questions, “Many young people will play a round of mini-golf during summer vacation, but how many will learn to program a robot to take to the course?” The answers were that robotics instruction was “Thanks to A&T State University’s 4-H STEM Academy,” held at one of the county’s churches a few weeks earlier and “the leadership of graduate students Rafael Patrick and Shykeria Collier from A&T State University.” A Transylvania County 4-H Extension agent, Mary Arnaudin, has been involved with a number of A&T Extension programs and projects, and her most recent Greensboro connection was the 2015 4-H STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) summer internship program that brought Patrick and Collier to the Transylvania County Extension Center in June and July. Other county Extension centers hosting 4-H STEM interns this past summer were Bertie, Columbus, Cumberland, Gaston, Lee, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, New Hanover, Northampton and Onslow.
  • The mid-July feature story on the USDA blog got the headline “An Agricultural Legacy: Agriculture Strides through the Generations” and the focus was on Dr. Antoine Alston, the SAES’s associate dean for Academic Studies. Alston was selected as emblematic of ways in which “1890 land-grant universities (LGU) have had a major impact on the lives of students” since “their inception 125 years ago with passage of the Second Morrill Act.” Among the reasons he was singled out for profiling in the USDA blog is: “DNA; he’s a third generation 1890 LGU agricultural scholar, who received a baccalaureate and master’s degree in agricultural education from [A&T] and his doctorate in agricultural education from Iowa State University. His grandfather earned a degree in dairy science in the first graduating class from Delaware State University and his father received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education from N.C. A&T.”

The Food Quality & Safety article quotes Dr. David Peden, a UNC pediatric allergy specialist who co-authored a paper on this first human research with A&T’s hypoallergenic peanuts, on the commercial potential for enzyme-treated peanuts. It is Peden’s opinion that “A&T’s technology holds great promise from a public health and family risk assessment perspective.”

Yu is serving as chief scientist for Alrgn Bio, a company established by a Canadian firm that has licensed the process for commercial development of hypoallergenic peanut products.

  • UNC TV’s nightly news program “North Carolina Now” has been running a weekly series covering the history and contributions of Cooperative Extension in North Carolina, and the July 30 installment – almost 10 minutes in length – had several informed opinions on the future of Extension. Among the stars of the show is Dr. Fletcher Barber Jr., associate administrator for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T. Barber joined former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, Stokes County Extension agent Randy Fulk and Sheri Schwab, the associate director of county operations for the Cooperative Extension Service at N.C. State, in commenting on future directions for Cooperative Extension that are taking shape in their well-versed crystal balls.

News of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University