Wednesday, November 25, 2015

USDA Awards Grants for Obesity, Nutrition Education Research

From the USDA:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture Tuesday awarded $2 million in grants to support research on nutrition education and obesity prevention for disadvantaged children and families.

The research will take place at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Utah State University. The money will help create two additional Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence, established through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Morrisville State College Installs New President

David E. Rogers
From Morrisville State College:

David E. Rogers was formally installed as the eighth president of Morrisville State College during a ceremony Nov. 20.

Special guests at the installation included delegates from more than 20 colleges and universities, members of the Morrisville State College Council and Foundation Board, alumni, Ronald Ehrenburg, trustee of the State University of New York, former Morrisville President Raymond W. Cross, state Sen. David Valesky, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

President Rogers was joined by his wife Jan, their children, relatives, family and friends in the audience. Also gathering to show their support were Morrisville students clad in apparel bearing the names of their sport, student clubs and organizations. 
The historic inaugural event was preceded by a week of celebrations in which students, faculty, staff and community members came together for dinners, receptions and a tree-lighting ceremony to honor the college’s Founders’ Day.

A long-standing leader whose commitment, scholarship and philanthropy to Morrisville State have taken the college to new heights, Rogers’ inaugural address highlighted his plans to build on the qualities enshrined in the college’s mission.

“I am excited to begin this new journey for us all. I look forward to working with you and writing our next chapter,” he said.

Danielle Gauthier, president of the Morrisville Student Government Organization, offered remarks on behalf of MSC students.

“The things that will allow you to be the best at your job are what we already see in you,” Gauthier said. “We are very lucky to have you as our president.”  

Immediately following the ceremony, guests streamed into the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities for an elaborate reception that featured hors d’oeuvres made by the college's hospitality students and Kerry Beadle, executive chef at the Copper Turret, a college-run restaurant, and chair of Morrisville State College’s Hospitality Technology Department.

About the president

During his tenure at Morrisville, Rogers has worn many hats including provost, dean of the college’s School of Business, from 1999 to 2010, and interim dean of the Norwich Campus and the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Prior to Morrisville, Rogers was the director of Institutional Research and Planning at Onondaga Community College. He has held faculty positions at Ithaca College, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Le Moyne College.

An active leader in the national higher education community, he has served on numerous campus committees and community and college boards. He is vice president of the Madison County IDA and chair of its Governance Committee; a member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Advisory Board and serves on the board for Community Memorial Hospital, and Health Workforce, New York.

Rogers earned his Ph.D. in labor economics, collective bargaining, and econometrics from the SUNY College of Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University. He also holds a master’s degree from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Croghan-Based Maple Minis Offer Unique Way to Enjoy Maple

Great story by colleague Steve Virkler.

Go to to check out the story.

Taste NY Thanksgiving Photo Contest Underway

A special Taste NY Thanksgiving photo contest to promote New York’s food and beverage producers and the agricultural industry is on now through Dec. 1.

The contest encourages New Yorkers to submit photos of their favorite Thanksgiving dish, beverage or entire holiday meal made with New York products and ingredients to the website at or post to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #TasteNYThanks. 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball, New York State Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology Rachel Haot, and distinguished culinary experts from the New York Wine and Culinary Center and The Culinary Institute of America will judge the entries and select five winners.
The contest started Nov. 20 and runs through midnight Dec.1. All entries will be judged on the overall appeal of the finished product, quality of the image, and representation of the New York-produced or sourced ingredient or food or beverage.  

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will announce the winners of the contest Dec.9 on the Taste NY website and social media channels, where the winners’ photographs and names will be displayed. 

The five entries that receive the highest overall scores will also win Taste NY gift baskets.

Check Out This Meal

A lamb stuffed inside a pig stuffed inside a cow. What a creation!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Real Christmas Trees Clean the Air

Jack Beckwith trims a tree during the summer of 2014.
A great column from the Christmas Tree Farmers of New York State. This ran in the December issue of Empir Farm & Dairy magazine:

Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York

Take a walk on (or near) a Christmas tree farm.

What’s the first thing you notice? Take a deep breath … Can you smell it? It smells different, doesn’t it?

It’s not just the fragrance of pine, spruce or fir you smell. It’s much more than that. As trees absorb pollutants and carbons from the air in the photosynthesis process, they produce oxygen — pure, unpolluted oxygen.

And, real Christmas trees are among the greatest producers of oxygen in our environment. So, inhale deeply.

Scientists tell us Christmas trees may produce higher levels of oxygen in the early years of growth, thus removing more pollutants from the air as they mature. This is good news because trees are continually being harvested and replanted as they grow to market size.

Many people are not aware that most Christmas trees are grown as crops, much like grapes, corn, wheat, oats, etc. They just take longer (7-plus years) to mature to harvest size.

Very few Christmas trees are taken from the forests, especially here in New York. Those that are cut from forests are likely to contribute to good forest management.

When a tree is harvested, generally two or three more are planted in its place, thus continuing and expanding the cycle of oxygen production. Evergreens that are not harvested as Christmas trees grow to become timber for future generations’ home construction.

Additionally, real Christmas trees are recyclable; and, however they are disposed of, they eventually return to the earth. This is in sharp contrast to the foreign-produced plastic artificial trees that may never decompose in landfills.

Are artificial trees pretty? Sometimes they are, making it tempting to go fake. Remember that local Christmas tree farmers pay sales tax, provide employment and otherwise contribute to the local economy.

These factors provide strong evidence that real Christmas trees are the environmentally best choice for families. Varieties are available that have little or no needle drop. Other types are perfect for allergy sufferers.

Check out a real Christmas tree farm near you.

Ask the farmer what species he/she grows that resolve these issues. Take a walk on, or near, a real Christmas tree farm.

The fresh air may compel you to choose a real tree for your family.

Faye L. Beckwith is president of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York and runs Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station with her husband Jack in Hannibal, Oswego County.

Here are places to buy or cut your own Christmas trees in Central New York: 
Central New York
Romagnoli’s Christmas Tree Farm at Oneida Valley Acres, 8498 Oneida Valley Road, Canastota, 697-9498

Toth Tree and Shrub Farm, 6833 Forbes Road, Canastota, 697-3550

Critz Farms, 3232 Rippleton Road, Cazenovia, 662-3355

Page’s Christmas Trees, 3270 Oran Gulf Road, Manlius, 682-7309

Rocking Horse Farm, 3736 Apulia Road, Jamesville, 492-1100

Mary Christmas Tree Farm, 1490 Dutch Hill Road, Tully, 696-0121

Cedarvale Maple Syrup Co., 3769 Pleasant Valley Road, Onondaga, 469-6422

Syracuse Christmas Tree Farm, 4809 Beef St., Syracuse, 673-0998

Chuck Hafner Farms, 8500 Green Lakes Road, Kirkville, 458-2231

Chengerian’s Tree Land, 84 Merritt Road, Lysander, 678-2046

Potter Tree Farm, 1229 Kingdom Road, Baldwinsville, 638-0222

Cross Lake Farms, 7681 Tater Road, Memphis, 420-8141

Three B Tree Nursery, 124 Clinton Road, Jordan, 263-2108

Grace Farms, 78 Gunther Road, Central Square, 668-1195

Goodman’s Christmas Tree Farms, 460 Gilbert Mills Road, Phoenix, 695-3576

Stony Hill Acres, 1685 State Route 264, Phoenix, 593-0684

Granger Tree Farm, 380 Tubbs Road, Mexico, 963-3480

Three Seasons Farm, 429 Dry Bridge Road, Mexico, 298-6332

Ontario Orchards, 7735 State Route 104, Oswego, 343-6328

Beckwith Family Christmas Tree Station, 189 Mill St., Hannibal, 564-5479

TriStar Tree Farm, 13952 Shortcut Road, Sterling, 564-5125

Berndt Christmas Tree Farm, 1512 Finches Corners Road, Martville, 564-6616