Cheers to Science

OSU teaches the science, business and technology behind good drinks

With more than 220 breweries and 550 wineries, it’s no surprise that Oregon has a national and international reputation for growing some of the best hops and grapes in the industry. In addition to this achievement, Oregon State University leads the nation with its integrated food science curriculum, which includes the option to learn the science, business and technology behind fermentation.

“Our department is the second-oldest food science department in the United States. We are also one of two national programs in fermentation sciences,” says Dr. Robert McGorrin, head of the university’s Food Science and Technology Department since 2000. Launched in 1995, enrollment in the fermentation science program has expanded exponentially over the past 20 years. In 2015, about 65 percent of students majoring in food science pursue this option.

Read this article in Growing Oregon | 2015 magazine >>

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Expanding Export Opportunities in Florida

Agricultural exports to benefit from Panama Canal expansion

The largest project at the Panama Canal since its original construction should be complete in 2016. To determine how the state’s agriculture industry can best capitalize on the opportunities tied to the expansion of the canal, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam visited Panama City in January 2014. Joining him on this briefing and tour was Joel Sellers, international sales manager for Florida’s Natural Growers, one of the largest cooperatives of independent citrus growers with more than 60,000 acres of groves located in the heart of Central Florida…

Read this article in Fresh From Florida | 2015 magazine (PDF) >>

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Not Your Average Summer Camp at okPORK

A complete pork industry experience at okPORK Youth Leadership Camp

There were 15,000 jobs and counting in Oklahoma’s pork industry as of 2013, yet when students are asked about career paths within the industry the answers are always the same: vet or ag teacher.

Now, that’s all changing with okPORK Youth Leadership Camp, a hands-on, in-depth training program for rising juniors, seniors and precollege students that provides a 360 degree look at the pork industry and its multiple career opportunities.

“We felt like it was important to get students involved and knowing what the pork industry is like in Oklahoma,” says Kristin Alsup, communications specialist for Oklahoma Pork Council and an instrumental player in all aspects of the camp since its inception in summer 2012.

Each year, up to 12 students are accepted, and although the finalists are typically leaders at their schools’ 4-H/FFA programs, no prior experience in agriculture is required – just leadership skills, excitement and a strong interest to learn more about the industry…

Read this article in Oklahoma Agriculture | 2015 magazine (PDF) >>

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Home Sweet Oklahoma

Meet the Van der Laans: Dairy Pioneers

At the heart of Oklahoma’s farmlands are families like the Van der Laans. Passionate, resilient and teeming with love for the dairy cow, the Van der Laan family is no stranger to hard work or hardship, and they carry the strong, unbeatable spirit that defines Oklahoman farmers.


It all started with 40 cows when Pieter and Anita Van der Laan married and today, it has grown into the second-largest dairy operation in Oklahoma, producing 380,000 pounds of milk daily. But their story is one that actually started long ago in the Netherlands, where Pieter’s grandfather traded cows.

“The way I’ve always been told is he bought some cows and wasn’t able to sell them, so he had to start milking them,” says Pieter Van der Laan…

Read this article in Oklahoma Agriculture | 2015 magazine (PDF) >>

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On the Horizon – An Overview of Minnesota’s Ag Exports

Department of Agriculture aids businesses seeking export success

As a giant in agricultural production with a relatively small population, Minnesota has developed into an export powerhouse, selling a large portion of its agricultural products abroad.

From establishing new markets to gaining global brand recognition, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture works closely with businesses, both large and small, to further grow and optimize the state’s agricultural exports…

Read this article in Minnesota Made | 2015 magazine (PDF) >>

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Minnesota’s Immigrant Farmers – Avoiding the Struggle

Agriculture community helps immigrant farmers overcome production barriers

Farming has never been easy. For people new to the United States, the hurdles can be insurmountable. In Minnesota, obstacles include limited access to capital, equipment, markets and affordable land with long-term availability.

“The most pressing challenge is access to land,” says Becky Balk, principal planner and land use program manager at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

“Without secured farmland, investing in large-scale farm machinery that can optimize production or soil nutrition to increase yield doesn’t make economic sense.”

With this in mind, Balk set out in 2011 to determine how the state could better serve the immigrant farming community…

Read this article in Minnesota Made | 2015 magazine (PDF) >>

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Plant Protection for Michigan Nurseries

Certification and education prevents viruses from threatening the nursery industry

The most destructive viral disease of stone fruit was detected in southwestern Michigan during routine testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) in the summer of 2006. Thankfully, this was the state’s only encounter with Plum Pox Virus, but the scare quickly affected commerce and halted trade.

“We did a massive amount of surveying to ensure that we eradicated the virus. We still continue to monitor for this,” says Elizabeth Dorman, laboratory scientist for MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management (PPPM) Division, which is responsible for responding to the detection of harmful insects and diseases, as well as certifying plants, fruits and vegetables.

Through the plant pathology lab at the MDARD Geagley Laboratory…

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A Recipe for Success in Tennessee

Food entrepreneurs and startups are on the rise in Tennessee

Original, tasty and made in Tennessee – food businesses have found a niche for their products at local farmers markets and other outlets throughout the state. Whether pursuing a family recipe or following a food trend, the state offers resources for food startups taking their product or service to market.

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Global Hunger Solutions in Tennessee

Tennessee leads in preparing to feed growing world population

Feeding 9 billion people by 2050 – undoubtedly one of the most daunting challenges facing the world today. But in Tennessee, the mindset is optimistic with a plan to turn these challenges into opportunities. By focusing on the intersection of food, health and prosperity, and encouraging more partnerships and collaboration with the private sector, the state is a leader in fighting global hunger and preparing for the demands of a growing population…

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Montana: The Meat of It

Multi-generational ranchers set the state’s beef industry apart

It all started in 1864 with Henry Sieben, a German immigrant who came to Montana at age 17. Over the course of a few decades, he started buying oxen and running free- range cattle. Today, his legacy lives on at Sieben Ranch as the fourth and fifth generations contribute to Montana’s high-quality beef industry…

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