Category Archives: SAES

Research faculty advise agencies to fund Extension overseas

A meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) at A&T brought attention to pressing global issues of poverty and hunger, as well as some advice for funding agencies from faculty members who regularly work in agricultural development overseas. The seven member board, which advises the United States Agency for International Development, includes Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., and met on campus May 18-20.

A panel from SAES included Dr. Manuel Reyes, Dr. Osei Yeboah, and Dr. Anthony Yeboah, who all suggested that funding agencies find ways to translate research data into action on the ground.
Reyes buttressed an impassioned plea for conservation agriculture with photos of rain forest destruction from all over the globe, often the result of cash-poor nations engaging with multinational corporations to plant monocultures, such as pineapple, which are chemical dependent and can deplete soils. Conservation agriculture, on the hand, protects soil while providing income, he said, and advocated more investment in infrastructure to educate farmers.

“What we need to do is scale up, because we know it (conservation agriculture) works,” Reyes said.

Both Drs. Anthony and Osei Yeboah advocated for more funding for Extension personnel in developing nations, to insure that the research-based innovations are more widely adopted, and so that the host countries will have a sense of ownership over implementation.

“Extension will provide the means for ownership,” Dr. Anthony Yeboah said.

More about the BIFAD conference can be found here:

International agricultural development

Faculty, staff and students overflowed a conference room in the Alumni Foundation Event Center to learn about opportunities to work in international agricultural development, during an outreach session by the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Thursday, May 19. The seven-member presidentially appointed board, which includes Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., advises the United States Agency for International Development on ways the nation’s land-grant universities can augment the agency’s mission to end global hunger and poverty.

“Agricultural development (at the local level) is more poverty reducing than urban growth,” noted Rob Bertram, chief scientist for food security for USAID, adding that investing in smallholder farming, and women-run small farms in particular, increases local income, decreases hunger and stimulates job growth.

During the session, officials from the USAID and USDA provided an overview of the many programs and ways to connect to both agencies. Most of the opportunities fall under the USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, which emphasizes introducing appropriate technologies and drought- and pest-resistant crops to smallholder farms in developing nations.  John Watson, minority serving institutions coordinator for USAID, explained that his office is prepared to help institutions like N.C. A&T connect to the agency’s many programs. He and others from USAID emphasized the Payne Fellowship program as one pathway to careers in international ag development.

Martin, who delivered opening and closing remarks, said he appreciated the large turnout, and encouraged faculty to use the information toward their own research, education and outreach efforts.

Information about USAID’s international agricultural development programs can be found by visiting and connecting to the agency’s Office of Minority Serving Institutions. Similar programs can be found through USDA’s Office of International Research, which is administered under the Agricultural Research Service

International opportunities for faculty, students

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in working in international development will have an opportunity to learn how, as N.C. A&T hosts a meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development Thursday and Friday, May 19 -20, at the Alumni Foundation Event Center. The Board, which includes Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., advises the United States Agency for International Development on ways the nation’s land-grant universities can contribute to USAID’s mission to end global hunger and poverty.  The SAES Office of the Dean is strongly encouraging the entire SAES community to attend both days to learn about the many exciting opportunities to connect with development agencies. Thursday’s session, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., is especially important for anyone interested in connecting with development agencies. Sessions featuring officials from USAID and USDA have been organized especially for faculty and students. Friday’s session is an opportunity to learn about the big trends in feeding the future. It is is 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., and will feature SAES faculty members Dr. Anthony Yeboah, Dr. Osei Yeboah and Dr. Manuel Reyes on a panel moderated by Dr. Valerie Giddings, interim dean for research.

Register now for Student Awards Celebration

info_iconStudents, faculty and staff are encouraged to register for the 2016 SAES Student Awards Celebration, ( ). This year’s celebration is scheduled for 6 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 in the Academic Classroom Building Auditorium. Pass the Torch speakers will be Taylor Johnson, representing  the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education; Kayla Castevens of the Department of Animal Sciences; Elizabeth Martino of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Maddie Keefer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design. Academic department awards will be presented, and students who have earned various honors through the 2015-16 academic year will be recognized. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

SAES student receives Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence

Hannah Talton of Greensboro, a junior majoring in Urban and Community Horticulture at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, is the recipient of the 2015-16 Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence, an annual honor that recognizes one undergraduate student who demonstrates consistent excellence in academics and leadership. Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. presented the award to Talton during the annual Student Honors Convocation April 13.

Talton says it was her lifelong interest in health sciences that drew her to the Urban and Community Horticulture program in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (SAES). Originally intending to major in nursing, Talton later developed an interest in environmental health, which led her to the SAES. The degree prepares students to aid communities with the technical and policy aspects that are required to cultivate and sustain a safe, and reliable local food infrastructure, and was established as part of the SAES’s Local Food and Health Initiative.

“I’m still interested in taking care of human health through ensuring access to nutritious fruits and vegetables for human consumption,” Talton said.

Talton, who will be a first-generation university graduate at the conclusion of her senior year in May 2017, already has an extensive resume chronicling her academic, research, and community service. Most of her achievements were facilitated by the many USDA-supported opportunities that are administered through SAES, including scholarships through the Multicultural Scholars and ELITE leadership programs, as well as research assistantships at the University Farm, and in the plant biotechnology and integrated pest management laboratories.

Talton also gained experience developing her public speaking skills by being invited to present her research in several campus and national venues, including the SAES’s annual Small Farms Week celebration, the SAES Showcase of Excellence, and at National Science Foundation and USDA events in the nation’s capital

“This major has opened so many doors and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said.

Talton, who has made the dean’s list every semester, has also collected numerous leadership and community service credentials during her three years at N.C. A&T. She has been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta and Golden Key honor societies, and serves in leadership roles for campus organizations, including Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences and SAES Advocates, for which she serves as historian.

Her service to campus and community has been extensive, including participating in recruiting events, and volunteering every semester with Cove Creek Gardens, as well as the FFA Bio-Rally. Talton also participates in biannual Adopt-A-Stream clean ups with MANRRS and with the University’s Honors Program; and has volunteered at the United Way of Greater Greensboro, Greensboro Beautiful, and Share the Harvest.

Talton plans to go on to graduate school, and hopes to find a career in agricultural research at USDA. But until then, she intends to continue taking advantage of the many experiential learning opportunities at A&T. Summer of 2016 will see her at a sister land-grant institution, The Ohio State University, completing a horticultural internship. She also intends to pursue a study abroad opportunity during her senior year, facilitated through A&T’s Office of International Programs. Talton spent a previous summer completing an internship with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

“Ms. Talton is an excellent example of a well-rounded scholar, demonstrating high-level performance in both the classroom and in the community,” wrote Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for academic studies for the SAES, in a letter nominating Talton for the award.

Alston concluded, “She is the ultimate model of Aggie Pride, and will share the true meaning of what it means to be an Aggie as she continues on her path of greatness!”

Ag Literacy Day draws hundreds to campus

When most people hear the word “agriculture” they think farming; and while that activity is the bedrock and sustainer of all agricultural industries, farming represents just one aspect of the “A” in N.C. A&T. That’s why each year, the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences hosts the Agricultural Literacy Fest during National FFA Week for middle and high school students. This year’s event drew approximately 300 students, representing 17 school from across North Carolina.

The program included an academic career fair, tours of the N.C. A&T University Farm, and a luncheon of North Carolina pork barbecue. Also featured were presentations by representatives from ROTC and the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Young people are often amazed to learn that an agricultural degree can fit their career goals, even if they don’t plan to go into farming. It can prepare them for medical school, or a career in the fashion industry, or environmental science to name just a few. Many of our graduates have exciting professions, travelling the world or working for corporate America in major cities,” said Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for academic studies.

The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences also prepares students for careers in agricultural economics, veterinary and animal sciences, biotechnology, biological engineering, family sciences and child development, food and nutritional sciences, sustainable land management, landscape architecture and urban horticulture, family finance, and more.

DIY web page demo scheduled

info_iconUniversity Relations and Information Technology Services have scheduled a demonstration of web-based faculty and staff pages that are under development. The faculty and staff pages will allow each employee a professional web page to describe his or her expertise, research, projects, educational background and brief biographical information.

All faculty and staff are invited and encouraged to provide feedback. The event is scheduled for 3 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 in Proctor Hall Auditorium.

All website content coordinators of colleges, schools, division and departments are required to attend. Attendance is strongly encouraged for content contributors. RSVP to Yvonne Halley at

SAES alum appointed ECSU chancellor

Thomas E. H. Conway Jr.
Thomas E. H. Conway Jr.

SAES alumnus Thomas E. H. Conway Jr. has been elected chancellor of Elizabeth City State University by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system. Conway, who had begun serving as interim chancellor of ECSU on Jan. 1, received the permanent appointment Jan. 26.

Conway has a long connection to both of the Tar Heel state’s Htwo land-grant universities. He received both his bachelor’s in agricultural education in 1971 and his master’s in guidance and counseling in 1976, from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University,  and his Ph.D. in counselor education from N.C. State University in 1994.

Conway, 66, previously served as vice chancellor and chief of staff at Fayetteville State University, a position he had held since 2008, and prior to that, had served as dean of undergraduate academic programs at N.C. State in 2005 – 08. During a 32-year tenure at N.C. State, Conway also served as vice provost for enrollment management and services (2002-05), associate vice provost for the Division of Undergraduate Affairs (1998-2002); and director of the First Year College (1998-2000). He earlier had served as director, or in other leadership capacities, for numerous and varied programs at N.C. State.

Active in a number of professional organizations, Conway has served as a consultant for numerous historically minority institutions and has written and spoken widely about academic assessment, mentoring and leadership.  At the UNC system level, he has served on the UNC Military Affairs Council and the UNC Task Force on Athletics and Academics.

A native of Louisburg, N.C., Conway is married to the former Mychele Jenkins of Hollywood, Fla. They have two adult children: Simon, a middle-school teacher in the Washington, D.C. public schools; and Zena, who works for a conference management company in Charlotte.

Information for this article was provided courtesy of Elizabeth City State University.

The SAES Advisory Board reconvenes and chooses leadership

extension_iconThe 21-member SAES Advisory Board reorganized by Interim Dean Shirley Hymon-Parker, and representing business and educational leaders with agricultural interests, gathered on campus Nov. 20 in a four-hour meeting that included a tour of the University Farm.

Justin Gayliard, a BASF Corporation manager for the Demand Group in Research Triangle Park, was elected chairman of the group. Chairman elect is DeShon Cromartie, NC Farm Bureau Federation team leader for the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee in Raleigh, and a former staff member of The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T.

The group’s core duties are to advise school leadership on the most effective strategies for achieving excellence in the food, agricultural, family, consumer and environmental sciences through instruction, research and Cooperative Extension programs – in keeping with the SAES mission.

“We seek from you, your advice, we seek your guidance and we seek your assistance on how we go about achieving the goals that we have set for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences,” Hymon-Parker told the group, which included 20 of the 22 newly appointed members.

Dr. Joe B. Whitehead Jr., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, thanked members for their service and urged the board to help spread the mission of SAES and to secure the image of agriculture as the $78 billion industry that it is in North Carolina. Whitehead also noted technological advances in agribusiness and agriscience, and that agricultural equipment is “computer driven and GPS guided.”


For a full list of Advisory Board members check out the upcoming edition of on the move newsletter:


Send in the news

If you haven’t heard by now, Alton Franklin, the long-time editor of the SAES News and its predecessor Ag-e-Dispatch, has retired. No prose can do justice to Franklin’s many storied contributions to this and other publications, so we’ll just end with a plea – and Franklin’s wish – that news contributions for this feature continue to be dispatched. For your news events, conferences, seminars and other notes of interest, please contact:

  • Laurie Gengenbach at for news about SAES research and academics.
  • Cathy Gant Hill at for news about The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T.

Deputy Secretary returns to A&T …on air

It seems that USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden can’t get enough of that “A” in N.C. A&T. A month since Harden’s three-point tour of the School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences on Oct. 1, she called in Monday, Nov. 2 for a radio interview on WNAA, 90.1 FM. Harden’s taped interview will air at 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 5 / and is featured as part of the broadcast version of A&T Today.

During her “Next Generation Ag Tour” in October, Harden and a USDA team visited the SAES. Their tour included the University Farm, where Harden learned about the Discover Agriculture youth education program, and participated in a “Women of Color in Agriculture” roundtable discussion at Coltrane Hall, where she also gave a short lecture to SAES students. She particularly wants to engage students as part of her “next generation” audience of agricultural leaders. Harden’s media outreach for her October tour specifically targeted The Register,  A&T’s student newspaper, whose interview with the deputy secretary is featured in the Oct. 8 edition.

Harden’s visit was coordinated by The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T, and included a session with, among others: A&T Provost Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, interim dean of the SAES, Dr. Rosalind Dale, interim administrator of Cooperative Extension, Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for academic studies, and Leon Moses, farm superintendent.

A native of a southwest Georgia farm family, Harden has held several leadership positions at USDA. She is a staunch advocate of mentoring programs for beginning farmers, and is placing an emphasis on ensuring that farmers in generations to come have business acumen and access to land and capital.

FCA Foundation Names National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Winners

Scholarships Support Development of a New Generation of African American Farmers

November 2, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) today awarded more than $87,000 in scholarships to support the development of a new generation of African American farmers. Established in May 2015, the National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program funded by the FCA Foundation awarded 19 scholarships to college students who are pursuing agriculture-related study. The FCA Foundation also announced it would fund up to $100,000 for a second year of the NBFA Scholarship program.

“Empowering young people with access to knowledge is transformational,” said Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement – External Affairs, FCA US LLC. “Supporting entry to higher education will ensure that these future leaders galvanize the tools, skills and passion necessary to make meaningful change in the world and provide access to food security for generations.”

$2,500 Scholarship Recipients
Student, Hometown School Major
Kamal Bell, Durham, NC North Carolina A&T State University Agricultural Education
Anthony Bryant, Bronx, NY Southwest Institute of Healing Arts Urban Farming
Edra Fisher, Havana, IL Lincoln Land Community College Agriculture
$5,000 Scholarship Recipients
Demetrius Arnold, Marianna, AR University Arkansas Agricultural Technology
Victoria Bradley, Memphis, TN Middle Tennessee State University Agribusiness
Cameron Bradshaw, Jetmore, KS Kansas State University Agribusiness
Michael Coleman, Raymond, MS Alcorn State University Animal Science
Mykeldren Davis, Memphis, TN Alcorn State University Animal Science
Aaron Gauff, Zachary, LA Lindenwood University Accounting
Gabrielle Galvan, Granada Hills, CA California Polytechnic State University Animal Science
Danelle Solomon, Nashville, TN Tennessee State University Agriculture
Caria Hawkins, Glen Saint Mary, FL Columbia Southern University Environmental Management
Charisma Heath, Austell, GA Fort Valley State University Veterinary Science
Zaid Hightower, Cleveland, OH Ohio State University Psychology/Agriculture
Kahmron Hymes, Crossett, AR University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Animal Science
John McKenzie, Kennesaw, GA Tuskegee University Nutrition Biology
Kristen Stigger, Memphis, TN Tennessee State University Agriculture Soil Science
Aaron Stripling, Austin, TX Prairie View A&M University Agriculture
Justin Walker, Elon, NC North Carolina A&T State University Agricultural Education

Scholarship recipients were selected based upon several criteria, including academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in agricultural and community activities, and career goals and objectives.

“The plight of the black farmers and the loss of Black-owned farms, have been a major issue for well over a 100 years,” said John Boyd, Jr., President of the National Black Farmers Association. “In 1910, nearly 1 million Black Farm families owned over 15 million acres of land. Today, less than 45,000 black farm families own 3 million acres. The NBFA Scholarship program will begin to address black land loss.”

Information about how to apply for the 2016 NBFA scholarship program will be available in early May at

About the National Black Farmers Association
The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States. As an association, it serves tens of thousands of members nationwide. NBFA’s education and advocacy efforts have been focused on civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers.

About the FCA Foundation
Since 1953, the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, has invested more $500 million in charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, and build strong, viable communities. The FCA Foundation invests in programs that generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts in the following areas:

  • Education – programs that inspire young minds, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM);
  • Military – programs that support financial and basic needs of military service members, veterans and their families;
  • Multicultural/Diversity – programs that promote inclusion and opportunity for diverse populations; and
  • Youth Development – programs that help young people develop the skills and leadership qualities to succeed in school, at work, and in life.


Additionally, FCA US seeks opportunities to support communities through its Motor Citizens® volunteer program. This innovative program enables FCA US salaried employees to use 18 hours of paid time each year to be an Engine for Change by investing their time and talents in community service projects.

Food drive in high gear

SAES faculty, staff, students, and alumni are commemorating A&T’s 125th anniversary celebration by joining with Old Dominion Freight Line, Fox 8 and the Salvation Army in collecting donations for a community food drive. The SAES 125th Community Service Project Committee will be collecting nonperishable food items at six SAES buildings, the farm, the CEPHT and at the annual Homecoming Cookout at Webb Hall Friday, Oct. 23. The goal is to collect at least 125 items per collection site. A PDF has been prepared that lists foods and packaging methods that can be accepted.  For each donation at the Homecoming Cookout, the donor will receive a raffle ticket for drawings for $25 A&T bookstore gift cards and other prizes that come packaged with “Aggie Pride.”

Remaining dates and locations for food drive contributions:

Oct. 19-23 — Benbow Hall
Oct. 26-30 — Child Development Lab
Nov. 2-6 — Sockwell Hall
Nov. 9-13 — Coltrane Hall
Nov. 16-20 — C. H. Moore Agricultural Research Station
Nov. 23-27 — Webb Hall
Through Nov. 27 — A&T State University Farm
Through Nov. 27 — Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies (Kannapolis)

Research presentations on consumer behavior and growing season extensions


research_iconThe Agricultural Research Program’s 2015-16 seminar series will be inaugurated on Thursday, Oct. 29 with a program that will begin at 11 a.m. in Room A-14 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. The seminar presentations are open to all A&T faculty, staff and students. Dr. Sanjun Gu, horticulture specialist with the Cooperative Extension Program at A&T, will present a “High Tunnel Vegetables and Strawberry Research Update.” An overview of “Relative Thinking Impact on Consumer Food Choice” will be presented by Dr. Terrence Thomas of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education. Thomas will be joined by Cihat Gunden and Bulent Miran from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey.

New IT guidance on SAES website

extension_iconThe SAES website now has two new portals for IT support: and a support FAQ. The two new Web pages list areas of IT staff responsibilities by buildings; the replacement procedure for outdated equipment; computer lab policies; accounts for new hires; policies regarding support for non-university computers; and procedures for requesting SAES IT assistance in troubleshooting hardware and software problems with university computers.

Teaching award nominations due no later than Oct. 27

award_iconNominations for the SAES’s Outstanding Teaching Award for 2015-16 should be submitted by Oct. 27 to Dr. Paula Faulkner, faculty awards committee chair. The winners of the teaching awards for the SAES and the University’s other schools and colleges form the pool of nominees for the UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching that is presented annually to one faculty member at A&T and one at each of the other institutions in the UNC system. Completed nominations for the University-wide Junior Faculty Teaching Award  are also due to Dr. Faulkner by Oct. 27.. Nominees for the latter must be tenure-track, but untenured, with at least two years as full-time SAES faculty.

Convocation speaker Sockwell-known

calendar_iconA&T State University’s Fall Convocation on Oct. 22 will have a featured speaker who’s also going to be a familiar face to many members of the SAES faculty and staff: Wayne Kimball Jr.  Although he went on to receive a bachelor’s in civil engineering from A&T and an M.B.A. from Loyola University in Chicago, when Kimball was elected president of the A&T Student Government Association in 2010, his dual major was biological engineering as well as civil engineering.

Kimball is the director of performance improvement for the ACT-1 Group, which provides human resources needs for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

Fall Convocation will get started at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Harrison Auditorium. Classes from 10 a.m. until noon are canceled so faculty and staff can attend

UNC GA accepting applications for visiting fellows

info_iconThe Division of Academic Affairs at UNC General Administration (UNC GA) has announced a new initiative that will select faculty and staff from A&T and the other 16 institutions in the UNC system to serve as part time visiting fellows at with UNC GA. Faculty and senior professional staff selected will work with the vice president for Research and Graduate Education to streamline and standardize technology commercialization and to bridge communications between UNC GA and technology development offices across the system. Fellows will also advise the University Innovation Council (co-chaired by the Vice President for Research and Graduate Education of the UNC system and the Executive Director of the NC Office of Science, Technology, and Innovation) on approaches for member institutions to take in leveraging individual university strengths as well as mechanisms for collaborations that boost technology commercialization.

The application deadline is Nov. 20. Applicants should be available to commit one day per week for six months (starting in early January 2016) to the program.