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It’s common knowledge that plants grow up from the ground, supported by a root system, but until now scientists were unable to understand how that process starts during fertilization at a cellular level. An international team of scientists that includes a University of Kentucky researcher has visualized how the fertilized egg cell divides unequally after fertilization. 

From this unequal cell division, one cell works toward developing the top part of the plant including stem, leaves and flowers while the other works on root structure.

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Kentucky net farm income is expected to dip to less than $1.5 billion in 2016, down from $1.7 billion in 2015 and potentially its lowest level since 2010. A significant decline in cash receipts the past couple of years, plus the end of tobacco buyout payments in 2014, have been the major reasons behind the rapid fall in Kentucky’s net farm income since peaking at nearly $3 billion in 2013.

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The Kentucky 4-H Livestock Skillathon team brought home the national championship from  the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville.

Team members are Madison Kelly and Katie Jo Walker from Christian County, Walter Steely from Webster County and Lauren Dixon from Jessamine County. All have livestock backgrounds and have participated in 4-H livestock events for many years.

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C. Oran Little, retired dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, received the 2016 Harold Workman Leadership Award during the annual Agribusiness Network’s Farm City luncheon in Louisville.

“I am humbled to accept this award, and I do so in honor of all the others who have worked through the years to improve the agriculture industry of this state,” Little said. “As I look to today’s leaders, I think we are in good hands.”

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Bracken County deer hunters set out on a brisk fall morning with more than antlers on their minds. They were hunting to provide meals to the hungry in their communities.

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The forestry sector plays a major role in Kentucky’s economy. The state has recently been hit hard by forest fires in the eastern and southern regions, and the damage will be felt statewide.

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The dinner Fayette County Extension Homemakers recently hosted for 14 military veterans and their families was the result of days of cooking, weeks of preparation and many months of quilting for the Quilts of Valor program—all to say thank you to the veterans for their service.

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Kentucky college students and anti-hunger advocates recently gathered at the University of Kentucky to discuss ways to end hunger across the state as part of the Inaugural Kentucky Hunger Dialogue.

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On a warm fall day nearly 200 children and their families laced up their sneakers to read. The Owsley County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service recently received funding to install a StoryWalk in the Owsley County Park.

StoryWalk is a national program, started by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont. Organizers mount laminated pages of a children’s book on posts that lead readers through a walking trail. They stop every 10 to 15 feet to read the next page.

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It’s an epic journey by a creature so fragile that it is almost beyond the imagination. Thousands of times a monarch butterfly’s wings stroke the air, buffeted by winds and soaked by rains on its 3,000-mile autumn trip from southern Canada to central Mexico. Faced by numerous threats, their populations are in decline. University of Kentucky graduate student Jerrod Penn spearheaded a project to collect data and also help the butterfly.

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Harvest is just wrapping up, but producers who want to get a jump on next year’s crop can attend one of three Early Bird Meetings.

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialists will host these meetings to recap the 2016 growing season and to discuss potential challenges heading into 2017.

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In the past 18 months, Jamie Porter has faced many challenges. Her husband passed away, and she quickly became a single mom to three children—one grown, one 17 and one 6 years old. She homeschools the youngest child, Lacey, and was grateful to find some helpful resources through the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service.

Lacey has expressed a desire to be a chef when she grows up so Porter recently joined other Northern Kentucky homeschool families for a cooking class at the extension office.

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Dissolved organic carbon that enters the ocean through river runoff is a necessary food for aquatic microbes that are vital to water quality and health. However, too much dissolved organic carbon is not a good thing for water quality or for aquatic life.

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Lignin is a byproduct of the biofuels, pulp and paper, and sugarcane industries. It has a pretty low value on its own, but researchers at the University of Kentucky and Louisiana State University are collaborating on ways to add value to it. The two schools are joint recipients of a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a new class of materials from lignin.

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Kentucky’s comfy cows caught the eye of the world’s largest yogurt maker. As part of the third annual Dannon Dairy Forum, participants toured the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s forage plots and dairy facilities, including the state-of-the-art cow comfort barn.

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During its recent awards ceremony, the University of Kentucky chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta honored stakeholders, faculty and students in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Awards and recipients from the honor society are:

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Sue Nokes is the chair of the University of Kentucky Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, but she’s also an acclaimed researcher and teacher. Recently, the American Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers named Nokes a Fellow at their annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

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The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment recently honored 25 students, staff, faculty and alumni for empowering women during the college’s second annual Multicultural Awareness Day.

The nominees honored at the Women in CAFE—Empowering our Future Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Hilary J. Boone Center on campus, spanned the three aspects of the university’s land-grant mission, teaching, research and extension, as well as alumni and students.

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Thousands of bats lie, heaped high on cave floors, sometimes as many as 10,000 at one site. Fragile, winged mammals that have succumbed to the ravages of white nose syndrome and dropped, flightless, from their roosts on cave ceilings. Biologists report coming upon this tragic scene and finding, among the piles of tiny corpses, living bats, struggling to survive hibernation by burrowing among the bodies of their colony for residual warmth.

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In the Monroe County community of Vernon, sweet sorghum production is the economic driver for the area’s Amish population. When a new pest threatened to destroy the 2016 crop, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service stepped in to help the farmers save the crop and their livelihood.

Since 2013, the sugarcane aphid has made its way north each summer after spending the winter in Mexico and Texas. Before then, it did not feed on sorghum nor pose a serious threat.

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University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will offer a forestry webinar series on five evenings in November and December. The idea behind the web-based series is to provide woodland owners with a convenient way to gain beneficial information they can use on their own properties.

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The Bluegrass Small Business Development Center will host a 10-week program offering instruction to women and minority business owners who wish to compete in the construction industry. Registration is open until Nov. 18, and classes will begin on Jan. 10, 2017.

The Minority and Women Training Program began in 2001 as a way to increase construction opportunities for women and minority business owners and has graduated more than 150 entrepreneurs statewide.

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The University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics came home from the Food Distribution Research Society’s annual conference with two national recognitions, thanks to former graduate student Graham Soley and seniors Misty Bean, Renaldo Karajic, Mallie Myers, Lauren Nickell and Joseph Pochinskas.

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In American society, thin can equal beauty. In no other demographic is the pressure to be skinny felt more than in women in their late teens and early 20s. University of Kentucky students will lead a workshop for fellow students to discuss how they are more than just a number on a scale or a pretty face.

The Body Project workshop will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 in room 209 of UK’s Funkhouser Building on campus.

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