Loerch retires as senior associate dean in College of Agricultural Sciences

Steven Loerch forged an illustrious career as a land-grant animal scientist, teacher, extension specialist and administrator spanning more than four decades. He reflected on his experiences as he approached his retirement as senior associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, effective Dec. 31.

Too much of a good thing: Over-supplementation of chickens' diet backfires

When it comes to supplementing the diet of laying hens with omega-3 fatty acids to enrich their eggs — making them more heart healthy for consumers — some supplementation is good, but too much is bad for the chickens and can negatively affect their egg production.

Penn State Poultry Judging Team Places First in Nation Again
Experts remind poultry flock owners that avian flu risk remains

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza, which struck Pennsylvania in early 2022, have continued into the fall. And that has prompted poultry experts in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences to emphasize, once again, the importance of sound biosecurity measures for owners of backyard and commercial flocks.

Longtime Ag Sciences donors deepen connection through graduate scholarship

Philanthropy often provides an avenue of connection between a donor and an organization, creating and strengthening a relationship that can last for years. For alumnus Mark Saunders and his partner, Lynn Walker, longtime donors to the College of Agricultural Sciences, funding undergraduate scholarships has done just that. To further deepen that connection, Saunders and Walker have committed $250,000 to endow a graduate scholarship.

Dairy nutritionist gets USDA grant to study effect of cows’ diet on milk fat

A Penn State animal scientist has received a four-year, $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study the regulation of fatty acid metabolism in dairy cows with the goal of boosting revenues and efficiency on farms by increasing milk fat and optimizing use of dietary fat in cow rations.

Adding fungal enzymes to dairy cow rations boosts milk output and quality

Supplementing the feed of dairy cattle with enzymes from two funguses simultaneously has a positive effect on the animals’ lactational performance, according to Penn State researchers, who studied the concept in an experiment with cows.

Pulsed light technology effectively kills harmful pathogens in new study

A light-based food sanitization technique successfully eliminated multiple harmful pathogens in a new study carried out by Penn State researchers.

After a two-year hiatus, College of Ag Sciences resumes study abroad programs

After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences once again are taking advantage of study abroad opportunities. In the spring semester, students visited countries around the world, including Spain, Ireland, Germany and Kenya.

Manure Expo focuses on farm-level agronomic, economic and environmental advances

As Pennsylvania works to meet its goals under a federally led program to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Penn State Extension is hosting an event aimed at helping agricultural producers to reduce negative impacts of excess manure nutrients on local and downstream waterways. The 2022 North American Manure Expo will take place July 13-14 near Chambersburg.

Penn State Equine Research Team explores New York horse industry during trip

The Penn State Equine Research Team in the College of Agricultural Sciences recently traveled to upstate New York to present research at Cornell University while also gaining knowledge about the New York horse industry.  

Grow your beef stockmanship skills at upcoming field day

The Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association and Penn State Extension will present the annual Beef Summer Field Day on Saturday, July 23, at the Herr Angus Farm in Nottingham.

Animal science professor named Walther H. Ott Professor in Avian Biology

Ramesh Ramachandran, professor of reproductive biology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, has been named the Walther H. Ott Professor in Avian Biology.

Existing technologies can help world meet agricultural methane targets by 2030

Amid the frequent bad news about climate change, some potentially good news has emerged: Existing technologies, diligently applied, could enable the world to meet the target set for reducing agricultural methane emissions by 2030, say researchers.

Adding high-flavonoid corn to broiler chickens’ diet may cut intestinal disease

The inclusion of a high-flavonoid corn, developed by a Penn State maize geneticist, in the diet of broiler chickens reduced the incidence and severity of a fatal intestinal disorder known as necrotic enteritis.

What does the detection of avian flu mean for Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is the latest state to report a confirmed detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, in a commercial poultry flock, leading state officials, industry leaders and Penn State poultry specialists to redouble efforts to contain the virus and educate producers, backyard flock owners and the public about the disease.

Plaut Named Penn State Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus

Karen I. Plaut, Ph.D., Dean of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, has been selected as the 2022 Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus by Penn State’s Department of Animal Science.

Penn State Poultry Judging Team Places Second in Nation

Penn State’s Collegiate Poultry Judging Team placed third in the nation at the 73rd USPOULTRY Foundation Ted Cameron National Poultry Judging Contest held at Louisiana State University on April 6-8, 2022.

Annual Penn State Quarter Horse Sale and Showcase to be held April 30

After two years of holding an online-only auction, the Penn State Equine Science program will host the 20th annual Equine Science Showcase and Quarter Horse Sale in a new, hybrid format Saturday, April 30.

Preventing, controlling spread of animal diseases focus of forum at Penn State

Exploring the emergence, spread and control of animal infectious diseases such as avian influenza was the focus of the inaugural Emerging Animal Infectious Disease Conference held Nov. 29-Dec.1, 2021, at Penn State. It was hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State’s Center for Security Research and Education.

Gamma Sigma Delta lauds outstanding College of Ag Sciences faculty, students

The Penn State chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society, recognized Penn State faculty and students during its annual meeting, which was held March 31.

Are egg cells in aging primates protected from mutations?

New mutations occur at increasing rates in the mitochondrial genomes of developing egg cells in aging rhesus monkeys, but the increases appear to plateau at a certain age and are not as large as those seen in non-reproductive cells, a fact that could indicate a protective mechanism in reproductive cells.

'It’s a Wormy Deal' workshops for sheep and goat producers set for April

Penn State Extension will hold a workshop titled “It’s a Wormy Deal” at three locations this spring for sheep and goat producers.

Poultry flock owners urged to step up biosecurity in response to avian flu

The detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds and domestic flocks in several Eastern and Midwestern states is prompting urgent calls from Penn State poultry experts for flock owners — and others who may come into proximity to flocks — to step up their biosecurity practices. At risk is Pennsylvania's large poultry industry, the state's second largest agricultural sector.

Students in Department of Animal Science receive accolades for research

There are many opportunities to participate in undergraduate- and graduate-level research in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The benefits are numerous, and two graduate students in the Department of Animal Science, Emily Van Syoc and Sophia Kenney, are among those reaping these benefits.

Omicron detected for first time in white-tailed deer

Some white-tailed deer living in Staten Island, New York, are actively infected with the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2, according to new research led by scientists at Penn State. The team also found neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in one of the Omicron-infected deer, suggesting that, like humans, deer can be reinfected with the virus.

Ag. Sciences students top all US universities with $1.1M in USDA funding

Seven students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have received predoctoral fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The students received a combined total of nearly $1.1 million — the most received for this year's fellowships among U.S. universities.

Penn State Extension holds ‘Farrowing Induction and Your Sows’ workshop/webinar

Penn State Extension invites pig producers and other agricultural industries to join the “Farrowing Induction and Your Sows” hybrid workshop/webinar event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Greensburg.

Penn State Poultry Science Club Recognized at National Meeting

Penn State’s Department of Animal Science’s Poultry Club placed second in the National Club of the Year competition held at the 2022 International Poultry and Processing Exposition (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA, last week in person, after a virtual event last year. The club also won Scrapbook of the Year, an honor they have achieved in 24 of the past 26 years.

Penn State Extension offers free webinar on sheep, goats grazing season Feb. 22

Penn State Extension invites sheep and goat producers, as well as other agriculture industries, to join the “Wrangling More Days Out of the Grazing Season for Sheep and Goats” web-based seminar Feb. 22.