The essay critiques "environmental scorecards" used by some universities to develop sustainable, environmentally friendly practices, policies and environmental literacy courses. The examination shows that these assessment tools and the wider cultural concepts that underpin them promote a system where social and environmental policy is problematically treated as separate.
Oral presentation: Evaluation of Zoysia under Natural Tree Shade. Authors: Kenton Peterson, Jack Fry, and Dale Bremer
Poster presentation: Effect of Lawn Microclimates on Estimates of Evapotranspiration from Atmometers. Authors: Kenton Peterson, Dale Bremer, and Jack Fry.
New faculty leadership at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
An All-Star Inspired Memorial
, landscape management specialist, and Kimberly Williams
, professor of greenhouse management, both faculty members in the department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, will be co-chairing the Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence.
Olivia Meyer, a horticulture intern and a KSU horticulture student, designed this flower arrangement inspired by the All-Star Game at the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden.
2012 Horticulture FFA CDEs Awards
Ward Upham presents the 2012 Horticulture FFA CDEs awards. With 130+ students, it takes many faculty to put on this competition. A special thanks to Ward Upham, Kim Williams, Chad Miller, Greg Davis and Cheryl Boyer. Check out more photos on our HFRR Facebook page.
Griffin Talks about Pine Wilt
Jason Griffin interviewed for advice on dealing with Pine Wilt. Griffin says "Pine Wilt disease has been marching across Kansas. The pines are dying. And a dead tree can be bad news for other pines."
Click here to see or read the interview.
Miller Receives GPN Top 40 Under 40 Recognition
Chad Miller, faculty member in Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, has been selected by Greenhouse Product News, as one of the top 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are going to help shape the future direction of the horticulture industry. He will be featured in the May 2012 GPN issue, along with a special reception at the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio in July.
Bremer Recognized as Outstanding Editor
Dale Bremer, faculty member in Turfgrass Science, has been awarded the Outstanding Associate Editor Award from the editorial board of the journal Crop Science.
Stevenson featured in Park & Recreation Magazine
Sid Stevenson was highlighted in the December issue of Park and Recreation Magazine for his efforts in compiling the statewide park and recreation geodatabase and then converting that dataset to the NRPA GIS model; making Kansas the first state with comprehensive coverage. Read more....
Cable Receives 2011 Academic Excellence Award
Ted Cable along with Dr. Mary Hale Tolar received a 2011 Academic Excellence Award for $10,000 to bring faculty from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya to Kansas State University. These awards were highly competitive as the Provost received 34 proposals requesting almost $300,000, three times the amount available for this program. Ted will host these Kenyan faculty members during spring semester 2012. While they are on campus they will be meeting with researchers, speaking to classes and giving seminars.
Cheryl Boyer Receives State Horizon Award
Assistant Professor of Nursery Crops
Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources
Cheryl Boyer was hired August 1, 2008 ... and hasn’t slowed down! She is becoming a model for ways specialists can reach and serve stakeholders. During her first year, she visited every county agent with horticulture responsibilities and toured local nurseries to discuss their needs. She quickly developed initiatives to improve tree production and profitability in field production nurseries, to increase recycling and sustainability for container-grown plant production nurseries, to grow the ornamental nursery crop industry in Kansas, and to improve selection of woody ornamental landscape plants.
Cheryl has embraced local agents for their experience and knowledge of local concerns. In return, the agents are actively engaged in her programs. She co-chairs the Horticulture Program Focus Team and began a monthly email update to summarize events and meetings and to highlight training opportunities. She helped develop Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities videos and arranged trips for agents to study principles of landscape design to reinforce the Healthy Yards and Communities program.
As a new faculty member, Cheryl inherited spring training — an event that targets retail garden center operators. Under her leadership, program attendance has increased. When her clients told her they were interested in a nursery production program, she developed an intensive two-day educational forum for wholesale growers of woody trees and shrubs. The inaugural NurseryWorks conference this year garnered enough funding and sponsorship to host national leaders in nursery production research.
Cheryl’s involvement in Extension Master Gardener education has resulted in better evaluation of the training program’s effectiveness. She has been a conference speaker or represented K-State at the Western Nursery and Landscape Trade Show, the FarWest Show, the Southern Nurserymen’s Association, and the International Plant Propagators Society.
Cheryl has initiated a Horticulture PFT Facebook page that has significantly increased communication with colleagues and industry. She developed a Web page highlighting sustainable alternative substrates for nursery production, a multistate collaboration. She also participates in national eXtension Communities of Practice (Brand Value, Consumer Horticulture, Cooperatives, Evaluation, Kansas State University, and Network Literacy).
Cheryl is active in graduate student training and has served on search committees, departmental committees, and college committees or task forces. To those familiar with her work, the Horizon Award description could have been written for Cheryl Boyer.
K-State Research and Extension Agent Receives Award
Jennifer Smith joined K-State Research and Extension’s Douglas County office four years ago. Since then, she has increased the number of Extension Master Gardeners in training, developed a joint school/community garden pilot project, and revised a local program for statewide use.
The “Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities” program (www.KansasGreenYards.org) was based on a model Jennifer piloted in Douglas County. As co-chair of the statewide group, she has spurred it to success through her work on the website, which averages about 1,100 hits per month. The site features more than 100 videos recorded with members of the Horticulture Program Focus Team, as well as the “Lawn Fertilizing Guide,” which she wrote in collaboration with other agents.
To promote local horticultural production, Jennifer worked with the Lawrence Area Horticulture Producers Association to develop an online directory and organize monthly educational sessions. The group recently changed its name to “Growing Lawrence” to match that of the website, which helps with marketing, an increasingly important issue in today’s information landscape (http://growinglawrence.org).
Jennifer works with local agencies to plan and coordinate the annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour, a showcase of local agriculture. She created a website (www.kawvalleyfarmtour.org) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kawvalleyfarmtour), and attendance has more than doubled. Funds generated from the tour enabled the Douglas County office to hire a part-time program assistant. She also works with SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), colleagues, and collaborating agencies on the statewide “Scaling Up Local Foods Team” to find ways to help local producers become more profitable.
Jennifer’s newspaper column has grown from a small weekday piece to a full-page Sunday feature, complete with pictures. She conducts a summer Horticulture Fun Camp for 4-H and other interested groups, organizes workshops for industry professionals and producers, fosters youth gardening programs, trains the local 4-H horticulture judging team, and writes soil test recommendations for about 350 samples a year.
Jennifer is breaking new ground in social media and evaluating impact through Google Analytics. She is effective in working with groups and gifted at building consensus. She has given of her time, talent, and heart to serve on the city council in Lecompton, as an officer of the Kansas Arborists Association, and as newsletter editor for Alpha Rho Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Williams receives K-State Research and Extension Outstanding Mentoring Award
Kimberly Williams, Professor of Horticulture, has received the K-State Research and Extension Outstanding Mentor Award. Nominees for this award are submitted by faculty who have been employed for two years or less and feel the nominee has served as a mentor who has helped them and others achieve higher performance and productivity. One award is presented to a county/district faculty mentor and one to an area/state faculty mentor. Congratulations for recognition of her efforts to help other faculty excel.
Ten Horticulture Faculty and Grad Students Participate in National Conference
Several horticulture faculty members presented at the American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference, Sept. 25-28 in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Presenting posters were:
Cheryl Boyer, assistant professor, “SustainableSubstrates.Com: An Extension Outreach Tool.”
Zachariah W. Starr, master's student, Boyer and Jason Griffin, associate professor, “Alternative Nursery Substrates for the Great Plains: Maclura pomifera.”
Starr, Boyer and Griffin, “Propagation of Chrysanthemum and Ivy Geranium in Red Cedar.”
Dale Bremer, associate professor, Jack Fry, professor, Steve Keeley, associate professor, Cathie Lavis, associate professor and Rodney St. John, assistant professor, “A Survey of Lawn-Irrigation Behaviors of Residential Homeowners.”
Jacob Domenghini, doctoral student, Bremer, Gregory Davis, associate professor, and Fry, “Responses of Turfgrass and Ornamental Landscape Species to Prolonged Drought Stress.”
Cynthia Domenghini, doctoral student, and Candice Shoemaker, professor, “The Use of Social Ecological Theory to Develop and Implement an After-School Garden Club Curriculum for Overweight and Obesity Prevention” The poster was awarded third place in the Graduate Student Poster Competition.
Domenghini and Shoemaker, “An After-School Garden Club to Provide Physical Activity for Children.”
Joshua R. Pool, doctoral student, Griffin, Boyer, and Stuart Warren, professor, “Root and Shoot Growth of Four Field Grown Conifer Species.”
Rojee Pradhan, graduate student, Rhonda Janke, associate professor, and C.B. Rajashekar, professor, “Effects of Growing Conditions and Fertility Levels on Health-Promoting Phytochemicals in Tomato and Pac-Choi.”
Morgan Jenkins, fall 2010 master's graduate, and Kimberly Williams, professor, “Increased Knowledge about Floral Preservatives Influences Customers’ Perception of the Quality and Value of a Floral Arrangement Purchase.”
Nicole Rud, fall 2009 master's graduate, and Williams, “Effects of UVB Light on Edema and Intumescence Development.”
Qingyu Wu, doctoral student, Williams and Sunghun Park, assistant professor, “Understanding the Mechanisms Regulating the Development of Intumescences in Tomato through Genomic Analyses.”
Presenting in a workshop titled “Application of Tunnel Technologies to Community and School Gardens: Education and Production Tools was Shoemaker, “The Use of High Tunnels in an After-School Garden Program.”
Additionally, several faculty members serve the American Society for Horticultural Science through their work on committees and in working groups. Warren serves on the Undergraduate Teacher Award Selection Committee; Shoemaker serves on the Collegiate Activities Committee; and Boyer serves on the Extension Publication Awards Committee and as secretary of the Nursery Crops Working Group.
Two Distance Education Programs Win Innovative Program Awards
Recognized as best: University earns five Continuing Education Central Region Awards for outstanding programs, staff.
Kansas State University programs in horticultural therapy and food science and a Division of Continuing Education staff member are among the recipients of honors from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's central region.
The university received five awards at the association's 2011 central region conference, "Finding Opportunities in Crisis," Oct. 12-14, in Clayton, Mo.
The honors include:
* Horticultural therapy graduate certificate, Innovative Credit Program Award. An emerging profession and practice, horticultural therapy is a method in which a trained horticultural therapist uses live plants and the growing environment to heal and rehabilitate people. The 15-credit hour certificate program is offered primarily online and meets the demand for distance learning programs in horticultural therapy.
* Food science program, Mature Credit Program Award. This collection of online programs, ranging from certificates to master's degrees, provides the fundamentals of developing, processing, manufacturing and marketing safe, wholesome and attractive food products. It is nationally recognized and certified by the Institute of Food Technologists. The online program's enrollment numbers are comparable to the largest food science programs that are offered on campus at U.S. institutions.
* NurseryWorks Conference, Innovative Non-credit Program Award. This on-campus conference on nursery production meets a need to bring continuing education to growers in Kansas and improve production practices -- lowering environmental impact and increasing plant quality -- that can result in higher revenue for nurseries in in the state. Part of the conference is at the K-State Gardens.
* Kansas State University Music Symposium, Mature Non-credit Program Award. Offered for 23 consecutive years, this symposium brings high quality, affordable professional development to all music educators, including instrumental teachers, vocal/choral teachers, private studio teachers and general music teachers.
* Rosanna Vail, communications specialist in the university's Division of Continuing Education for the last five years, received the Continuing Education Support Specialist Award. Vail prepares content for news and feature stories, advertising copy, newsletters, electronic communications and manages marketing projects in the division. She is a professional member of the association and has co-authored an article in the Continuing Higher Education Review, the association's professional journal.
Division staff also presented two break-out sessions at the conference, including "Bad Times Never Been So Good," about the development of a grant funding model for online program development; and "Striving for Excellence in Online Teaching: Three Models," about faculty development methods, course construction techniques and quality control in online teaching.
"Kansas State University is an active institutional member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association," said Melinda Sinn, director of marketing and communication services in K-State's Division of Continuing Education. "These awards and our involvement at the conference showcase the university's investment in continuing education efforts as we continue to lead in the region and the nation.
More information about the university's award-winning continuing education programs can be found at http://www.dce.k-state.edu or by contacting the Division of Continuing Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherry Chang awarded 2011 Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholar Recipient
Hsuanyun (Sherry) Chang is the 2011 recipient of the Ann Lane Mavromatis Scholarship awarded by the American Horticultural Therapy Association. The Scholarship presentation was made at the AHTA Annual Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, October 21-23.
Sherry is an undergraduate student studying Horticultural Therapy. She has completed and transferred coursework from several colleges and universities including Fu Jen Catholic University (Taiwan), Merritt College, and California State University. Sherry has completed Chinese floral arranging classes taught by the Chinese Floral Design Association.
Sherry has completed volunteer services at the Salem Lutheran Home, Oakland, California, the Light House Program in Golden Gate Park, and with the Big Lakes Developmental Center greenhouse training program, Manhattan, Kansas.
Sherry has completed an internship in permaculture garden maintenance in Oakland, California. Also, she has completed a horticultural therapy internship at Ozanam School, Kansas City, Missouri.
Happy trails: K-State professor travels the Midwest to document its beauty, creates GPS tours for Cheyenne Bottoms
Kansas State University's Ted Cable didn't stick to the old catchphrase "just the facts" when he undertook his mission to open travelers' eyes to the wonders of the state he has learned to call home.
Cable, a professor of park management and conservation in the department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, specializes in interpretation -- taking facts about the environment and turning them into stories and experiences that help in the understanding of the world's natural resources.
"I deal in feelings, not merely facts," he said. "I try to make it personal by telling compelling stories."
This is not simply done through a textbook. Cable has spent countless hours in his car becoming familiar with a part of the world that many consider to be boring to prove that's not the case. He racked up the miles on his odometer for two of his recent books and digital tours using global positioning technology.
"Interpretation is making meaningful connections between people and nature," Cable said. "I want to help people see the mundane miracles around us.
Together with BarZ Adventures, a company that produces self-guided touring and visitor guide application systems, Cable worked to create GPS tours for the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in Great Bend and for three scenic byways in Louisiana.
Cable's role was to write interpretative scripts for tourists or locals visiting these areas, which along with video, slideshow imagery and voiceover accompaniment, are turned into full video productions, said Sunny Lozano, marketing manager for BarZ Adventures.
"Dr. Cable has been a fantastic resource for our organization to create interpretive scripts for a variety of tour productions for our customers. These have been successfully utilized for several projects," Lozano said.
BarZ Adventures offers tours through the GPS Ranger, a hardware-based product, as well as through smartphone applications, created through their GoExplore Smartphone App Platform, available on both Android and iPhone smartphones. However, Lozano noted that Great Bend's tours are currently available only through the GPS Ranger.
Cable said the GPS Ranger allows visitors to drive through the area, learning about its history and wildlife through content that is automatically triggered based on the user's location.
The units can be rented through the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Cris Collier, president of the bureau. Collier said the 12 GPS units were made possible through a grant from Kansas Tourism, and are also available at area motels.
Collier added that the collaboration between Cable and BarZ Adventures has led to increased interest as individuals get comfortable with the technology. "The tours deliver consistent and appropriate interpretation of the area, and are fun and easy to use," she said.
Cable's travel books -- "Driving Across Kansas" and "Driving Across Missouri" -- seek to accomplish similar goals of entertaining travelers while educating them about their location, but in a format that covers entire states. The books are mile-by-mile guides across the Interstate 70, usually with separate entries for both the east and westbound lanes.
The entries in the books provide interesting facts about individual farms and landmarks that Cable became curious about along the road. In "Driving Across Kansas," a westbound entry for mile marker 123 explains why the farmsteads in this region are hidden among dense strands of trees, usually known as a shelterbelt.
"I just drove up and down the highway, being observant, trying to connect people with what I was seeing," Cable said. "Some people said it was the ultimate challenge: to make I-70 less painful for people driving through Kansas."
Cable's mission was to make driving across the Midwest more interesting, even though he isn't a native Kansan. After moving to Kansas from Illinois, Cable said he grew tired of people complaining about how unexciting the state was.
"I had friends who told me they planned their trips so that they drove through Kansas at night," he said. "I got sick of people complaining about how boring Kansas is as they drive right by the beauty of the prairie."
While driving down I-70 in a Mustang convertible -- he said he liked to see the sky and smell the grass -- Cable would pick out interesting landmarks or even family farms and simply stop to ask about their significance.
Pulling up in a stranger's yard to ask about the land surrounding it was a little uncomfortable at times, but Cable said most people were interested in an opportunity to tell their stories. Once, he visited a farm around Kansas City and was invited in to sit down while the family showed them trophies from livestock shows and explained their family history.
"They were proud of it, and they should be," Cable said. "People don't realize the resourcefulness of these farmers; they're courageous people."
Cable's book on Kansas, which was co-authored with Wayne Maley, was released in 2003. His book on Missouri, co-authored with LuAnn Cadden, came out in 2010. The University Press of Kansas published both books. Two of his scripts for GPS tours in Louisiana are currently in production.
K-State Vegetable Trial Yields Research Data and Fresh Vegetables
The Boys and Girls Club (partners with the Community Agriculture Site (CAS) developed by Reno County Master Gardeners) has been harvesting K-State Research squash, sweet bell peppers, sweet horn peppers and hot peppers. The Club is working with CAS to collect yield research data for K-State. Approximately 60 Club members have worked at the CAS site.
As of September 20, 2011, the K-State research squash harvested by B&G Club members totaled over 1,000 pounds. The squash are provided to the community and schools for folks to take home. The harvest is also shared with after-school programs within the USD 308 Hutchinson School District. The youth are introduced to the scientific process, and they get to take home fresh vegetables for their effort. "This is a wonderful collaboration of several groups working together," said Charles Barden, professor in the HFRR department. "If you want to see how excited kids can get about gardening, I invite you to come to the Open House on Thursday, September 29th". There will be several stations during the open house, led by the youth groups that have worked on the site, including a 4-H Club, the Hutchinson Boys and Girls Club, and school projects.
Watch a live harvest in the K-State research garden by the Boys and Girls Club of Hutchinson.
Johnson Co. Hort Extension Agent Honored
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The ironies of Dennis Patton’s career in urban horticulture come up every year as a cautionary tale in his wife’s middle-school English class.
This fall, however, Laura Patton’s real-life fable will have a new ending. Dennis was recognized last week as the top columnist in the nation for 2010-11.
The award was at the apex of a tri-level communications contest fielded each year by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (which, ironically, also includes the nation’s horticulture agents). The finalists in each category had already won at the state and regional levels.
The award presentation was part of the NACAA’s week-long annual meeting and professional development conference. The fact that the Kansas chapter was this year’s host was a lucky happenstance – as was the chapter’s selecting a conference site in Patton’s home turf: Overland Park.
Patton’s contest entry was a seasonal, weekly gardening column, introduced several years ago in a major metropolitan daily. In a reversal of what’s usual, the Kansas City Star had invited him to write it, as well as contribute to the paper’s Internet blog on gardening.
That’s not too bad for a rural Caldwell, Kan., farm boy who grew up with an affinity for growing plants and working outdoors.
It’s also pretty good for Patton’s wife, Laura. She’ll have an even better answer when students complain, “Why do we have to do this? I’ll never have to write papers after I get out of school. Writing’s useless!” Read more...
Baker Awarded National Scholarship
Bridget Baker, senior in horticulture, has been awarded a national scholarship from the American Floral Endowment. The Bridenbaugh Memorial Scholarship goes to a student who is pursuing a career in floral design and marketing, and this is the second year in a row that a K-State student has won this award.
“It has always been a dream of mine to own my own floral shop with a greenhouse attached to it,” says Baker. “I love working with flowers, and working in the flower shop allows me to see the joy that flowers bring to people.” Baker currently works at Owen’s Original Floral part time, and at the KSU Gardens where she cares for both succulent and tropical plants.
The Bridenbaugh scholarship is for sophomore, junior, or senior students who are pursuing a career in floral design and marketing of fresh flowers and plants. Jim Bridenbaugh was a specialist in fresh flowers and plants, designing and commentating at design shows and seminars. His floral industry knowledge, comedic story-telling and audience rapport made him a favorite. Jim served as OFA president from 1989 to 1991.
Lawrence Hidden Valley’s Red Elm of Interest to K State and Haskell
Story from Lawrence Hidden Valley Newsletter
Charles Barden, a professor of Forestry at Kansas State University, helped Lawrence Hidden Valley six years ago by identifying the species of several of our trees. Now our camp has the opportunity to help Charlie and his students at K State and Haskell with an original research project.
Charlie discovered the cultural importance of the Red Elm several years ago while working with the Potawatomi tribe. The Red Elm is a necessary element for their ceremonial fires. The fibrous inner bark is a strong and durable material, which can be spun into thread, twine or rope. It can be used for bow strings, ropes, jewelry, clothing, snowshoe bindings, woven mats, and even some musical instruments. Unfortunately, it has become more and more difficult to find appropriate Red Elms for these purposes in Kansas. The Red Elm is not a commercial wood, and very little research about this species exists. Professor Barden was aware of a collection of Red Elms in Butler county and in Lawrence. An idea took root in Charlie’s mind. If he could receive a grant to research the best ways to harvest seeds from the existing Red Elms, he could help the Potawatomi tribe keep their traditions alive and give his students a chance to work on ground breaking research.
He applied for and received a tribal research grant for approximately $150,000 to be split between Kansas State University and Haskell Indian Nations University.
Charlie and six students collected harvested seeds from both Butler county and from Lawrence. The seeds are only produced one week out of the year, so the research group had to be very diligent. They collected seeds from Lawrence in mid May. Unfortunately, the Kansas weather was not cooperative, and the group had a sizeable wind to contend with They were forced to chase after the seeds with butterfly nets. They collected thousands of seeds from the two different locations.
The research team tested several different ways to encourage the Red Elm seeds to grow into saplings. The first year of the project, only 4 seeds out of each 100 sprouted. They began using varying measurements of girbolic acid and have had more success raising saplings this year—his team currently has 50 very small saplings.
Once the project has been completed, one of Charlie’s students will use the research in her graduate thesis. Michelle, a K State student from Honduras, will present her paper at a prestigious meeting in North Carolina later this year.
The seeds from the Red Elm at Lawrence Hidden Valley were not as viable as Charlie had hoped, especially since our tree is one of the oldest Red Elms that he has seen. Charlie believes that the seeds are not being pollinated properly, possibly because there is only one Red Elm at our camp. He would like to eventually donate some of his Red Elm saplings to the camp in hopes of encouraging pollination. Take special notice of the Red Elm next time you visit the camp, and lookout for any new red elms we may have in the future!
A link to Lawrence Hidden Valley Newsletter where there is a second article Lonesome Pine to Dogwood Forest, also talking about Charles Barden's work.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Darrell Westervelt received the Distinguished Alumni Award from our department in Recognition of Lifelong Service and Contributions to the Kansas Nursery Industry.
Additional photos on
2011 Spring Recognition Ceremony
The 2011 Spring Recognition Ceremony was held on Sunday, April 17. Congratulations to all awardees. The Recognition Brochure lists all of the awardees.
Additional photos on
Mary Tucker-Green Receives a NAI Scholarship
Mary Tucker-Green, a senior in Park Management and Conservation with an emphasis in interpretation, recently was honored with a scholarship from the National Association for Interpretation. Mary received $700 and a travel stipend and registration to attend the NAI Regional meetings in Eureka Springs, AR. These scholarships are highly competitive and based upon student essays and recommendation letters from park supervisors as well as faculty mentors. Last summer Mary worked as an interpreter at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park in Missouri and this year she will be working at Babler State Park in Missouri.
Horticulture team rakes in competition awards, grows K-State national reputation
Story by Annarose Hart - Kansas State Collegian
K-State students attended the 35th Annual Student Career Days and PLANET competition. Though they did not go to revive Pluto as an official planet of the solar system, they did participate in a variety of different competitions and workshops to make the world a prettier place through landscaping.
Student Career Days is a four-day event that horticulture students from colleges and universities across the country attend to compete in events directly related to careers in the horticulture industry. Joliet Junior College in Illinois hosted this year's event from March 17-20.
The K-State Landscaping Contracting Team was made up of 26 students and five faculty members, including Don Boggs, associate dean of the College of Agriculture. They received 1st Place Most Involved Team out of over 60 teams that participated from across the country and more than 900 students. There are some specific team events in the competition, but most are individually based.
To be selected to be a part of the team, Horticulture Club students were required to fill out an application. The PLANET team captains, Brett Grauerholz, senior in horticulture, Ryan Windholz, senior in horticulture and Billy Malone, senior in horticulture, put students in the competitive events based on the skills they brought to the team. Cathie Lavis, assistant professor of horticulture, and Gregory Davis, associate professor of horticulture, coached the team and assisted with the selection process.
K-State was the only school with a national champion in two separate events. This year, Kasey Coad, senior in horticulture and landscape design, received first place in both landscape maintenance and leadership skills.
"Having gone last year, I knew that going back this year I had nothing to lose," Coad said. "Rather than trying to attain what other people have in the past. I wanted to set the bar higher. I went in with no regrets." His landscape maintenance team also won first place.
Justin Brock, sophomore in horticulture, was awarded first place individual in irrigation design, earning a free four-day trip to the Irrigation Show in San Diego, Calif.
He said the most important parts of PLANET were networking and establishing contacts. Brock also has the opportunity to attend the American Society of Irrigation Consultants Conference in November.
Two K-State students also received scholarships. Brooke Shultz, senior in horticulture, received the PLANET AEF $1,000 Ambassador Scholarship – The Marjorie and B.E. Minor Scholarship. Gregg Wertz, senior in horticulture, received the PLANET AEF Scholar $1,000 scholarship.
"It's a fun time to bond with the Horticulture Club members and network with professionals and students in other schools," Wertz said.
Student Career Days also hosted a career fair with over 400 landscaping professionals. This gave the Horticulture Club students the opportunity to meet prospective employers in the industry and discuss employment opportunities.
"Over half the club comes back with internships or jobs from the Career Fair," said Grauerholz. He placed third in compact excavator operation and received two full-time job offers.
There were also student and faculty workshops and briefings, which students were free to attend.
Davis said over $6,000 sponsorship dollars were collected. He said past graduates of the Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources donate, and businesses like John Deere and Brickman that have hired K-State graduates are also very generous.
K-State has been participating in PLANET since 2001. PLANET will be held at K-State March 22-25, 2012. Over 1,100 students and people from the industry will be present and the planning committee expects around 68 teams.
The Horticulture Club has received the College of Agriculture Top Club award for the last three consecutive years at the Ag Awards Assembly, and has lived up to their motto: "We demand perfection, but we accept excellence."
View photos of the 2011 PLANET Career Days
K-STATERS WRITE THEIR WAY ONTO 150 BEST KANSAS BOOK LIST
"Farming in the Dark: A Discussion About the Future of Sustainable Agriculture" by Rhonda Janke, associate professor in Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources. Her book is based on 20 interviews with farmers, many of them Kansans.
PURPLE IS A RARE COLOR IN PLANTS BUT IMPORTANT
Kansas State University isn't the only place where the color purple rules. In the plant world, many plants are defined by their purple color.
Jason Griffin, associate professor of nursery crops and director of K-State Research and Extension's John C. Pair Horticultural Center in Wichita, says the importance of the color purple in plants is measured not only in ecological and evolutionary impact, but also by its pleasing appearance.
"From a human perspective, we love purple plants," he said. "Purple is one of the most popular flower colors, yet one of the rarest colors in fruit and foliage."
A great amount of research has investigated the synthesis of purple and how to manipulate it, Griffin said. The color is highly desirable in flowering landscape plants. Purple foliage plants, despite their rarity, are extremely popular. The green leaves of autumn give way to red, orange and yellow. However, a few lucky species will turn a shade of purple, which is rare in the fall color palette.
"Purple is both rare yet highly sought after by consumers and landscape professionals alike," he said.
The color purple also functions as a guide for pollinators. Flowers of many species have purple stripes on their petals, which are called nectar guides. These guides clearly lead toward the reproductive structure, or center, of the flower, increasing the chances for pollination, according to Griffin.
Purple seed, pods and other forms of fruit then influence the reproductive cycle. The color purple will attract herbivores, which consume the seed and deposit it elsewhere.
"So in this case, purple helps distribute the species across the landscape," Griffin said.
Purple foliage can most easily be explained by genetic mutation, he said. Humans then artificially reproduce the foliage for ornamental purposes. Typically, purple foliage provides little benefit to the plant. Most botanists feel if there were an evolutionary advantage in having purple foliage, purple leaves wouldn’t be so rare.
"We would be surrounded by purple plants," Griffin said.
But the popularity and capabilities of purple plants set them apart from any others.
"In many ways, the ability of a plant to produce a purple color gives it a distinct advantage. Humans will cultivate it, eliminate any competition, ensure it reaches maximum reproductive potential, and even disperse its seed for it -- often over great distances," he said.
Toro Selects Winner of 2011 Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program
One student will help prepare the field at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for Super Bowl XLV
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (January 5, 2011) The Toro Company is pleased to recognize Casey Dallas as the recipient of its annual Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. In partnership with the National Football League® (NFL), Dallas will be on-site during Super Bowl XLV to help the grounds crew prepare the field for the biggest football game of the year.
Toro equipment and representatives have been involved in preparing the stadium and practice fields for the Super Bowl for over 40 years. Starting with the inaugural World Championship in 1967, the NFL grounds crew has relied on Toro for its expertise in preparing the game field and multiple practice facilities. In 2003, the organizations partnered to establish The Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program.
Through the Sports Turf Training Program, Toro and the NFL’s Super Bowl grounds team collaborate to offer a program aimed at enhancing the skills of emerging sports turf professionals. This program provides hands-on experience in establishing and maintaining safe playing fields. As this year’s recipient, Dallas will work alongside Ed Mangan, NFL field director , and the Super Bowl grounds crew at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on turf maintenance, logo painting, field preparation for media day and halftime preparation and clean-up.
Dallas, a student at Kansas State University working toward a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, has focused his college studies on horticulture and sports turf operations management. “Turf managers face challenges every day in preparing fields to be aesthetically pleasing, consistent and safe,” says Dallas. “As the technology in the sport turf management industry rapidly progresses, as a sport turf manager, I need to be ready to adapt to these changes. The opportunity to participate in Toro’s Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program will give me the knowledge and experience to better understand how to promote good turf management techniques.”
With an extensive history of supporting student scholarships and educational activities, Toro is proud to offer this unique learning experience. “We’re excited to partner with the NFL once again to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to Casey Dallas,” said Dale Getz, CSFM, sports fields and grounds sales manager at Toro. “This program reflects our interest in helping students in turf programs learn what it takes to maintain safe playing conditions at all levels of competition.”
“Toro continues to play an instrumental role in helping us maintain a safe, high-quality playing field year after year,” said Mangan. “Toro mowers, vehicles and equipment help us prepare for each Super Bowl, and the company’s expertise in turf management, whether it’s natural or artificial turf, has helped us create a field that can withstand the most demanding situation.”
* Super Bowl is a registered trademark of the NFL.
About The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems. With sales of nearly $1.7 billion in fiscal 2010, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 80 countries through its reputation of world-class service, innovation and turf expertise. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.
CONGRATULATIONS, HFRR GRADUATES!
The department congratulates 29 new graduates during Fall 2010. Ten students earned a B.S. in Park Management and Conservation and 19 students graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture. Honors graduates included Anna Rhoades, who earned the distinction of Summa Cum Laude and QiuXia Chen, who graduated Cum Laude in double majors. Kim Williams, Professor of Horticulture, gave the Charge to Graduates address during the December 11 ceremony. Visit the archived video steam.
Additional Photos on
FRIENDSHIP UNDERLIES WORK BETWEEN K-STATE & POTAWATOMI TRIBE
Charlie Barden does not claim to be Native American. But about everywhere he goes on the Prairie Band Reservation in northeast Kansas, members of the Potawatomi Tribe treat him as one of their own. In 1999, Andy Mitchell agreed to let Barden – a forestry specialist with K-State Research and Extension – come onto his property bordering Little Soldier Creek. The next year, Barden trained and supervised students from K-State and Haskell Indian Nations University as they meticulously built the tree-lined barrier that has slowed erosion of the creek’s east bank. Now, 11 years later, the 83-year-old Mitchell knows Barden simply as “the man who fixed my stream.”
In technical terms, Barden’s crew built a riparian buffer strip, aimed at stabilizing a streambank that was slowly being eaten away by local flooding and normal water erosion. The buffer strip also helps keep pollution out of the creek. Barden hired and managed a crew of college students from Haskell Indian Nations University and K-State, who spent their spring break anchoring cut cedars and planting trees to fortify the river’s edge. “It was an opportunity for these students to interact with K-State students and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation,” said Megan Fisher, a research scientist at Haskell Indian Nations University near Lawrence, who promotes undergraduate research opportunities. “Whether it was something these students wanted to do or not, they all said they enjoyed it.”
One of those students, Ryan Dyer, now is the treasurer of the Potawatomi Tribal Council. He remembers the project more as two universities and the reservation “working together for the same good.” “Trust is a big issue for Native American people,” Dyer said. “There is a personal relationship that our community has developed with Charlie that is the reason for the success we’ve had with several projects on the reservation. To be able to walk into the office and people know who you are and what you’re about is really important to the Tribe.”
Barden’s initial work with the Potawatomi Tribe was funded by federal grants, and yet so much more of his relationship with tribal members is because of his position as an extension specialist. He has readily provided information to help tribal members manage their buffalo herd, restore a fruit orchard, and exchange heirloom corn and tobacco with other Kansas tribes. When it’s available, Barden delivers red elm firewood to Andy Mitchell’s son, Eddie Joe, who uses the kindling for ceremonial fires.
“Our community is really good at expressing their concerns, giving us direction on the problems we face,” said Virginia LeClere, who is the director of the reservation’s Department of Planning and Environmental Protection. That department helps to coordinate numerous projects on the reservation, including work to improve water and air quality. “One of the benefits we’ve gotten (working with Barden) is exposing our community to academia,” LeClere said. “We’ve shown our community through this relationship that there are resources out there that can help us. He has opened a door to other partnerships and other programs.”
Notes Dyer: “All of the existing riparian projects we’ve done (on the reservation) have been with K-State. The reservation in a lot of ways tends to be a forgotten area when people are considering environmental impacts, especially non-point source pollution. But from an environmental perspective, we’ve developed a sense of ownership in people here; we’re fostering the knowledge here on the reservation that these things are important.”
Dyer said a cleaner environment is critical to the Potawatomi way of life, including hunting, fishing, farming and outdoor recreation. “Our community recognizes that this reservation is the basis for our people,” he said. “There is a consistent integrity that K-State Research and Extension has built with the Tribe. We do not have an adversarial relationship; it’s looked at as a partnership.”
PURPLE SWEET POTATOES TURN PIE INTO POSSIBLE CANCER-FIGHTING FOOD
MANHATTAN -- Nutrition scientists at Kansas State University could be accused of carrying Purple Pride to extremes. But the purple sweet potato pies they created for Thanksgiving were a practical application of research.
The story of Purple Pride Sweet Potato Pie starts with a sweet potato breeder named Ted Carey.
Carey was a horticulture professor at K-State before he moved to Ghana to work with the International Potato Center.
At K-State, Carey got seeds from purple sweet potato parent plants from the potato center's germplasma bank in Peru. He stuck the seeds in fertile Kansas soil. When they grew, he cloned the most colorful ones.
Enter George Wang, research scientist in K-State's department of human nutrition.
The bright purple color meant the potatoes were loaded with anthocyanin, a pigment associated with reduced risk of cancer. Cancer preventative nutrition is Wang's specialty. Did the potatoes have anticancer abilities? He decided to find out.
His research attracted Soyoung Lim, doctoral candidate in human nutrition from Korea, and Tzu-Yu Chen, master's student in human nutrition from Taiwan.
They found that purple sweet potatoes have a significantly higher anthocyanin content and more antiaging and antioxidant components than other sweet potatoes.
Lim also found that two anthocyanin derivatives -- cyanidin and peonidin -- inhibit human colon cancer cell growth in the cultured human colorectal cancer cells.
The purple sweet potato harvest in Kansas was a good one this year. Jason Griffin at the K-State John C. Pair Horticultural Center near Wichita sent 400 pounds of the special spuds to Wang's lab.
The team decided to turn the bumper crop into people food. Could purple sweet potato pie become the next big functional food?
The team traded test tubes for pie pans for a day.
"Our research is focused on cancer prevention," Wang said. "We hope to translate our discovery from lab to humans. The pies could be used to test bioavailablity of anthocyanins in humans.
"I hope we can promote a health food for functional cancer prevention."
The test pies, made using recipes formulated with the help of Delores Chambers, associate professor of human nutrition, were a success with taste-testers around the College of Human Ecology.
"They were impressed by the unique color as well as the great taste. Some even suggested we sell the pies at football games since the color represents K-State," Lim said.
The naturally bright purple pie is healthier than regular sweet potato or pumpkin pie.
"Pumpkins and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids -- vitamin A precursors. But the purple potatoes have higher levels of anthocyanins, dietary fiber and vitamins. And they are naturally sweeter, so we can cut down on the sugar content," Lim said.
After testing pies, the lab still had 395 pounds of potatoes. So Lim took orders. Then she assembled her research team -- Linette Ngaba, senior in dietetics, Junction City; Tzu-Yu Chen, master's student in human nutrition, Taiwan; and Jaeyong Kim, visiting scholar in human nutrition -- and baked more than 40 pies.
Purple Pride Sweet Potato Pies sold for $10 each. Profits will go into a Kansas State University Foundation fund to support student travel and research.
In the future Chambers will lead sensory tests on the pies at the Sensory Analysis Center
Purple sweet potatoes are not on the market yet, so Purple Pride Sweet Potato Pies aren't on grocery stores shelves. But the potential is there, and Wang, Lim and the research team are confident they can prove the power of the purple pies.
HORTICULTURE STUDENT INTERNS WITH USGA
Robert Tibbetts, senior in Golf Course Management, interned with the United States Golf Association (USGA) for one week during the summer of 2010. Tibbetts was selected to represent K-State in this internship by Dr. Fry and Dr. Keeley, as each school is allowed to nominate one student in the Golf Course Management curriculum. After submitting an application, resume and cover letter, the USGA then interviewed Tibbetts. After completing the interviews, USGA selected two interns per region for a total of 14 interns.
Tibbetts worked with the Turf Advisory Service, a program through the USGA that offers advice to golf course superintendents and facility managers. An agronomist with a master’s or Ph.D. serves as a consultant to various golf courses by looking at problem areas and making recommendations based on best practice methods. From there, the USGA provides regional information and compiles all course information into a report.
There are 18 agronomists on staff at the USGA, and Tibbetts was fortunate to work with a K-State graduate, based in Chicago. Together they visited two courses a day for five days, and visited other area courses and points of interest when time allowed.
“The HFRR Department has definitely given me a broad view of various industries within the horticulture industry, as well as excellent hands-on learning and identification skills,” Tibbetts said. “The requirement of having two internships has also helped a lot, especially in Chicago when I was able to offer my insight and knowledge about turf.”
GREENHOUSE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL COMES TO MANHATTAN
Dr. Allen Hammer, who works in product development and support for Dümmen USA, spoke at the Kansas Greenhouse Growers’ Association Educational Conference Oct. 28, 2010 in Manhattan, Kan. Nearly 40 Kansas greenhouse professionals were in attendance.
One of Hammer’s presentations was entitled “The Industry As I See It,” and it focused on growing plants with the consumer in mind.
“I am convinced we must pay more attention to marketing greenhouse crops,” Hammer said. He went on to say, “Selling plants focuses on price, while marketing plants focuses on the consumer. We need to focus on the consumer.”
JOURNEY TO THE GARDENS OF ENGLAND AND WALES
We invite you to join us on a wonderful journey to visit the magnificent gardens of England and Wales. The journey to experience some of the best gardens in the world is limited to 30 people. Places that you’ve heard of, such as Sissinghurst, Bodnant, Kew, Hidcote, Great Dixter, and the Chelsea Flower Show, are just a sample of the marvelous gardens you'll see. You’ll get a personal visit to over a dozen of the best gardens in England and Wales.
We are your hosts for this fantastic trip. As professors of horticulture at Kansas State University, we have been teaching, living and learning horticulture for more than a combined 40 years. This will be the sixth group we have taken to the United Kingdom and we have planned every detail of the trip to make certain that it will be more than memorable.
More information on the trip...
Gardens photos on
Buhler Schools Vegetable Research Project
Dr. Charles Barden, Extension Specialist and Professor in the Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources Department at Kansas State University has been working in conjunction with Reno County Master Gardener David Buckley to allow 4th through 6th grade students to participate in research trials of vegetable plants at the Community Agriculture Site, located in Reno County. Students are able to work hands on with the plants, collect data from their own observations and tie their experience into their science classes in school. The data will be combined with observations made by adult Master Gardeners across the state. View Video on HFRR Facebook
DR. DAVID OKEYO, RECENT Ph.D. RECIPIENT
Congratulations to Dr. David Okeyo, recent Ph.D. recipient under Jack Fry. David is a native of Kenya and will be returning to a lecturer's (Assistant Professor) position in the Department of Botany and Horticulture, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya. He will be teaching turfgrass management, ornamental horticulture, and plant physiology courses. He will also be conducting research on environmental plant stress and physiology with special emphasis on landscaping plants which includes turfgrasses. His presence will be missed in our department.
DR. JASON LEWIS RECENT Ph.D. RECIPIENT
Congratulations to Dr. Jason Lewis, recent Ph.D. recipient under Dale Bremer, who has accepted a teaching position in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He will be teaching turfgrass and general horticulture classes. Jason and his family will be moving to California in mid-August. He will be missed in the department.
STUDENTS SELECTED FOR 'TORO UNIVERSITY'
The Toro Company has a new program for students preparing to enter the turf industry, The Collegiate Experience at Toro University. Out of a very competitive applicant pool, three K-State students were chosen to attend The Collegiate Experience at Toro University: Tanner Coble, Robert Tibbetts and Curtis Schriever. This unique program builds upon Toro’s highly successful professional education program, Toro University. Extending Toro University to the collegiate level provides future turf professionals an exclusive opportunity to better prepare themselves to enter a very competitive job environment.
The two-day program, hosted at the Toro Company headquarters in Bloominton, Minnesota is at no expense for the twenty-five students selected. These students will have active involvement in application of Toro product and interaction with leaders in the industry, building knowledge and skills, preparing them for their future. This year, The Collegiate Experience at Toro University will be September 12-14, 2010.
FERTILE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN HUTCHINSON PUPILS AND K-STATE RESEARCH
Some students at Prosperity Elementary are getting their hands dirty and their thumbs green this summer while helping Kansas State University with a research project.
"We are partners with K-State," sixth-grader Reggie Holmes said. "We're growing plants for them so we can give them results and stuff." Read full story....
FRY AND TURF TEAM FOCUS OF ARTICLE IN GOLF COURSE SURERINTENDENTS NEWSLETTER
How does a troubled, local kid living on the mean streets of old Overland Park in the 1970’s grow up to become a nationally-respected turf scientist, Ph.D., and program head at a university? Well okay, maybe the streets in OP aren’t that mean and the local kid was anything but troubled, surrounded by a supportive family but…I got your attention! It’s funny. Those of you too young to know, or those of us removed from the area during this formative time in the life of this local kid, may only know him in his current capacity as Dr. Jack Fry, Ph.D., Professor of Turfgrass Science at Kansas State University.
Read full story....
Full publication from GCSAA Heart Beat. May 2010
KSU GARDENS FEATURED DESTINATION IN AAA JOURNEYS MAGAZINE
Excerpt from article:
Kansas State University Gardens
Easily the oldest of the state’s public gardens, the university started the gardens on campus in the late 1800s. The new gardens were started 25 years ago.
Noted as one of the best-kept secrets around town, the gardens at K-State encompass 19 acres. Currently, there are 3-1/2 acres of planted gardens. While open and free to the public, the gardens serve as an outdoor living laboratory for the students.
In keeping with the style of the university, all of the gardens are enclosed with limestone walls. Contained in the collections gardens are some 200 varieties of roses, including hybrid tea roses, miniatures, floribundas and climbers. An iris collection spans more than 350 varieties. At last count, the day lilies collection included 300 varieties. And, visitors will find more than 50 ornamental grass varieties.
Three themed gardens are showcased here: a butterfly garden, cottage garden and adaptive/native garden. In addition, K-State is noted as an All America Selections Display Garden. This features mainly annuals and vegetables that are award-winning plants and proven producers. Home gardeners will find this helpful. Read full story....
FFA's CAREER DEVELOPMENT EVENT HELD AT K-STATE
Over 150 FFA members from across the state of Kansas came to K-State to participate in the State FFA Horticulture CDEs (Career Development Events). Two contests, Floriculture and Nursery/Landscape, were hosted by the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010.
Faculty members Ward Upham, Kimberly Williams, Kent Kimmins, Stu Warren and Greg Davis were responsible for facilitating the event, and they prepared the written exams, practicums, and identification of plant materials.
Top schools in the Nursery/Landscape CDE were Washington (1), Linn (2), and Louisburg (3). Trevor Baker (Washington) took first, Jake Wittry (Louisburg) took second, and Jake Ohlde (Linn) took third. Top schools in the Floriculture CDE were Washington (1), Louisburg (2), and Council Grove (3). Sarah Potter (Winfield) took first, Ashley Stewart (Washington) took second, and Melissa Bekemeyer (Washington) took third. Congratulations to all of the students and their coaches for outstanding performances!
HORTICULTURE TOUR OF CENTRAL ITALY
Over spring break 2010, Cathie Lavis took a group of students on a horticulture tour of central Italy. It was an 11-day intensive horticultural study tour that introduced students to the production of local food products and traditions of Tuscany with particular emphasis on quality and safety. Students learned about the growing, harvesting, and processing of plant products and why people of Tuscany place such a high emphasis on their produce. Students also explored the botanical gardens of Italy that have played an important part in the history of this country. The language, rich art, and culture of Italy was also studied. Additional photos on
HORTICULTURE CLUB NAMED CLUB OF THE YEAR
The College of Ag Club of the Year award goes to the Horticulture Club. With 48 members, the Horticulture Club has carried out a diverse variety of activities and fund-raisers throughout this past year. From design consultations to professional guest speakers to intramural teams and bedding plant, mum, and Valentine's Day rose sales, Horticulture Club has been extremely involved with the campus and the community. They sponsored a large team that traveled to the Professional Landcare Network Student Career days where they continued their tradition of excellence and represented the school well. The club continually presents its members with numerous opportunities to get involved and interact with one another. Watermelon Feed, Open House, Ag Fest, Volleyball nights, pizza parties, bowling parties, and a club BBQ were all events this past year that helped members continue to be active in the organization and socialize with each other.
HFRR'S GREG DAVIS AWARDED ADVISOR OF THE YEAR
Greg Davis, associate professor of Landscape Design, has been named the 2009-2010 Advisor of the Year for the College of Ag. Davis teaches Horticultural Design 1 and 2, Computer Applications in Horticulture Design, and Advanced Horticulture Design. He also co-instructs a pre-internship in horticulture course and The Business of Professional Landscape Contracting. Davis currently advises 50 students and is the coach of the PLANET Landscape Contracting Team and the co-advisor of Horticulture Club. In addition to teaching, he works with graduate students as a member of their research committees and is an advisor for one master’s and one doctoral student. He has also previously served as the advisor for two undergraduate honors projects. Davis counts his greatest contribution to K-State--his alma mater--as assisting in the growth of the Landscape specialization program within the Horticulture major.
K-STATE GOLF COURSE ALUMS WIN SYNGENTA COMPETITION
Kansas State University alumni proved their golf industry trivia knowledge by winning Syngenta’s Trivia Challenge game at the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, Calif.
By answering multiple-choice questions in an interactive trivia game at the Syngenta trade show booth, golf course superintendents who graduated from K-State’s golf course management program earned a top prize of $2,000 on behalf of their alma mater. The company’s donation was presented to Rodney St. John, Ph.D., K-State turfgrass extension specialist.
Out of more than 150 superintendents who played the game, 12 schools were represented. Winners were determined based on the highest average score, provided at least four people representing that school participated. The winning K-State alumni participants included Willie Wallace, Bridlewood Golf Course, Flower Mound, Texas; Joe McCleary, Saddle Rock Golf Course, Aurora, Colo.; Paul Jonas, Flint Hills National Golf Club, Andover, Kan.; and Bill Hirchert, Colleton River Plantation Club, Bluffton, S.C.
“Syngenta is committed to supporting the next generation of superintendents, and we are excited to provide this donation to help further an outstanding educational program,” said Scott Cole, golf market manager for Syngenta. “These superintendents have a lot of pride in their schools, the same pride they now have for their golf courses. Our Game On Trivia Challenge helped them give back to their alma mater.”
STUDENTS ATTEND 2010 PROFESSIONAL LANDCARE NETWORK (PLANET) STUDENT CAREER DAYS
Additional photos on
Since 2001, K-State horticulture students have attended the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days. In 2010 this event attracted 900+ students from over 70 universities from across the United States and the world. A new high mark was set this year as there were two international teams (from England and Canada) in the competition. PLANET provides students with hands-on competitive events and an opportunity to network with other students and many green industry professionals. This year there were 28 events including plant identification; skid-steer and compact excavator operation; irrigation design, assembly, and troubleshooting; estimating; landscape design; personnel and business management; arboriculture; patio construction and plant installation. Our students made us all look good by placing 14th out of 70 schools with several K-Staters in the top 10 in individual events.
GOVERNOR DESIGNATES APRIL AS KANSAS HEALTHY YARDS AND COMMUNITIES MONTH
TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Mark Parkinson has publically joined the ranks of Kansans who believe landscapes and parks can be earth-friendly, as well as beautiful. He signed a declaration Wednesday (April 14), proclaiming April 2010 as Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities Month.
"The State of Kansas recognizes the need for environmentally friendly lawn and garden techniques, to reduce environmental pollutants and enhance human quality of life,” Parkinson said. “Fortunately, now Kansans can both evaluate their landscape’s impacts and learn about healthful yard and garden practices through a new Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities program.”
Kansas State University developed, tested, fine-tuned and expanded the program via its statewide network of K-State Research and Extension scientists and agent-educators.
Garden center, nursery and other horticulture industry personnel helped as advisors and reviewers. Earlier this year, local retailers from across Kansas also attended K-State training in how best to help homeowners achieve success in the new program, when it premiered this spring.
Program materials now are available on the Web at http://www.kansasgreenyards.org and through all county, district and area Kansas Extension offices. The materials range from summaries and hints to short “how-to” videos and in-depth factsheets.
“Our goal has been to build ‘greener’ communities, one yard at a time,” said K-State horticulturist Jennifer Smith, who chaired the program’s development and was in Topeka for the governor’s signing ceremony. “As part of that, we’ve worked very hard to make the program easy to understand and use.
“Our hope is that homeowners will seek out this quality, research-based information and use it to enhance the decisions they make – the decisions that can have such an impact on their local environment.”
As offered on the Web, a big feature of the Healthy Yards program is a self-assessment “test” that homeowners can take in private, to find out how well they’re already doing. They also end up with ideas for what they could or should try next.
“I’m encouraging Kansans to contact their county Extension office, too, even if they plan to use the program as a Web resource. Some offices are taking part in this effort by providing tangible proof – usually a lawn sign – that a homeowner has made the changes needed to be certified as having a Kansas Healthy Yard,” Smith said. “Something as simple as a sign of success like that can have a ripple effect that washes through an entire neighborhood or even a community.”
Parkinson noted Kansans are likely to be comfortable with Healthy Yards because its recommendations sound like common sense. While the suggested actions lead to healthy yard plants, however, they also can reduce chemical use, protect and conserve the state’s quality water supplies, recycle yard wastes, improve soil, reduce erosion, cut home heating and cooling costs, and promote cleaner air for every Kansas citizen.
“I’d like to encourage all of us to follow the principles outlined in the Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities program. Everyone will benefit, as will our state environment,” Parkinson said.
STUDENT FARM FEATURED IN UNIVERSITY NEWSPAPER
Student-run farm offers home grown produce for sale
Just across from Little Grill Restaurant off Dyer Road, about five miles from campus, is the K-State Forestry Research Farm. That wide-open field is home to Willow Lake Student Farm, which is moving into its third year of operation.
K-State Student Farm, also called Willow Lake Student Farm because of the axial road across from Tuttle Puddle, is one of the first student farms ever created in the United States. Another is located at Johnson County Community College and is affiliated with K-State’s Department of Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources.
Rhonda Janke, faculty adviser for the farm and associate professor in the department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, said there are approximately 60 student farms in the U.S.
“Twenty of those are at ag schools, and the other 40 are at liberal arts colleges — schools without an ag program,” Janke said.
Despite the fact that it is not an agricultural school, the University of Kansas has six students who are working on a sustainability project for an Environmental Studies Capstone course centering on starting a student farm at KU. Land has been allotted to KU for the project
Meghan Bock, KU senior in environmental studies and Spanish, toured Willow Lake April 8. She said she came to K-State on her own initiative because she saw it as a great learning experience seeing first-hand what a student farm looks like and how it functions.
“I definitely enjoyed visiting, and even though it only started three years ago, I could tell that a lot of progress has been made,” Bock said. “I will definitely be applying a lot of the information I took away from the visit to this project.”
Janke said Bock was fortunate to come on a day when the students were working in the farm.
Willow Lake is supported by the horticulture department and was created so students can have hands-on experiences in class. One class which uses the farm for labs is vegetable crop production, which Janke teaches.
The farm is not only for agriculture students, however. Willow Lake Farm Club is open to anybody. This includes mainly other students, but members of the community are involved as well.
“You don’t have to be an Ag major; people from all the colleges are part of the club,” Janke said. “We don’t necessarily meet every week, but we do have campouts, cookouts, work days and workshops for education and outreach purposes.”
Bock said student farms are not only beneficial to the university, but also to the community. At KU, Bock said they are trying to shed light on the importance of knowing where the food comes from and how it got there in order to live a healthier lifestyle and live in a more sustainable manner.
Bock said she hopes this project will forge a greater connection between the two. She said it is their goal to provide a local source of organic food through either Community Supported Agriculture or the local farmer’s market.
K-State has already done so with repeat customers like Noel Schulz.
Starting April 22, this will be the farm’s first year selling as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and their spinach crop will be ready to sell at the Earth Day celebration.
“Willow Lake plans on selling produce on campus just north of Hale Library in the quad on Monday mornings from May until October,” said Aaron Yoder, senior in horticulture. As student farm manager, Yoder oversees the production and marketing of the produce.
In 2008 and 2009, crops were sold at the farmer’s market. In 2009, they were also sold at the campus market on Tuesday afternoons. This year, an online subscription service as well as a campus market will be implemented. Janke said one can place an order online and pick it up Fridays.
Yoder said the farm is growing over 30 types of vegetable crops and plans on extending its growing season with hoophouses, using “good ol’ fashioned hoeing and mulching.”
Loyal customer and promoter of Willow Lake, Lynn Feldhausen, junior in horticulture, said the produce is fresher and tastes better than any of the area stores because the students pick it that morning or the night before they sell it, so produce “can’t get much fresher than that unless you grow it yourself.”
If you would like to become a member of the online ordering system or want to know more information on the Student Farm Club, Yoder said to feel free to contact him at email@example.com. Also, Janke said the next meeting will be Monday, April 19, in Throckmorton 3039. A visit to the farm is included in the meeting.
EIGHT K-STATE STUDENTS TOUR CENTRAL ITALY
Dr. Cathie Lavis, assistant professor of landscape management, recently lead a group of 8 K-State students on a horticultural tour of Central Italy, March 11 – 21, 2010.
Lavis joined forces with Dr. John Unruh and Dr. Melvin Hunt, faculty in the Animal Sciences and Industry and Food Science Departments, making the group 33 strong during parts of the trip.
Prior to boarding the plane to Italy, students were required to attend classes to prepare for their upcoming trip.
“It was a true study abroad, they actually had a class to attend, were required to do a final report and we prepared beforehand with presentations so they could become familiar with where they were going,” Lavis said.
The real excitement began in Milan, Italy after 18 hours in the air. In Milan, students first enjoyed a city tour including a viewing of the city from the Duomo di Milano Gothic. This cathedral on the main square of Milan is one of the most famous buildings in Europe.
From there the group traveled by train to Florence, Italy, and the horticulture group toured the Estate of Villa Pandolfini. Students learned about growing grapes in the Chianti region and enjoyed wine tasting and sampling of regional olive oils, breads, meats and cheeses. Furthermore, the group traveled to the Boboli Gardens in Florence and did other various sightseeing around the city.
The group also got the chance to learn about growing, harvesting and processing olives in the small town of Montenero, Italy a town south of Florence in the Tuscan Hillside.
The group moved outside the city the next day, making their way across the Cinque Terre, learning about the cultivation techniques and affects of the sea in their agricultural processes.
In following days the students toured the Florence Botanical Institute and traveled to Perugia, Italy where were given a personal tour by Dr. Raffaele Barocco of the Medievale Vegetable Garden. Also during their last day in Florence they visited pear, peach and nectarine orchards in the Emilia Romagna region.
The remainder of the trip was spent in Venice. The students traveled there by train, and arrived at their hotel via water taxi! Days here were spent sightseeing, shopping and touring Venice’s hidden gardens. Students also enjoyed a formal farewell dinner at the Sangal Restaurant.
Upon returning to Manhattan, students were required to meet one more time and write a final report and evaluate the study tour. There were also group discussions and a debriefing.
Kassie Curran, freshman majoring in food science, was a part of the 2010 horticultural tour as her first ever study abroad trip.
“My favorite part about Italy was just experiencing their culture, it's fun to see how another country lives … I learned the most about their wine industry, it's a vital part of their landscape, traditions and economy,” Curran said.
CABLE'S BOOK BRINGS NATURE BACK INTO INTERSTATE TRAVEL
Tuesday, March 23, 2010--News Release
NEW BOOK BY K-STATE'S TED CABLE SHOWS HOW NATURE CAN BE PART OF INTERSTATE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
MANHATTAN -- Years ago when the nation's Interstate highway system was built, shortening the time it took to get from place to place was first and foremost. Any roadside nature or history that went whizzing by was an afterthought.
To put the nature and history back into cross-state travel along the Interstate, Kansas State University naturalist Ted Cable has published "Driving Across Missouri: A Guide to I-70."
In the book, Cable and co-author LuAnn Cadden breathe history and culture back into Missouri's Interstate 70 landscapes. The new book is a companion to "Driving Across Kansas: A Guide to I-70," which Cable co-authored in 2003.
"I was inspired to write this type of book after some friends said they planned their road trips to Colorado so that they drove through Kansas at night," Cable said. "As an interpreter, I wanted to disprove the state's flat and barren reputation."
Cable, a K-State professor of park management and conservation, is an expert interpreter who takes facts about the natural environment and turns them into stories and experiences to help people understand the world's natural resources.
"Driving back roads has many merits, but the vast majority of people experience Kansas and Missouri from Interstate highways," Cable said. "By making the experience more entertaining and educational -- and by helping people see the subtle beauty in the landscape and culture -- these books can improve the overall impression and attitudes about these states."
Cable said that the Missouri book was challenging in that instead of interpreting the vast agricultural landscape of Kansas, his focus was to get people to look beyond the billboards and other roadside clutter that characterize Missouri's 251 miles of Interstate 70.
"There is a lot to see and experience along that drive," Cable said. "This corridor is rich in history going back to Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and the drama and tragedy associated with the Civil War.
"The book features some quirky facts, but more importantly, contains inspiring stories of the courage, resourcefulness and ingenuity of people who lived and still live throughout the I-70 corridor," Cable said. "The goal is to point out the mundane miracles that we take for granted as we zip along. I want my readers to see beauty in the people and places that aren't necessarily 'pretty.'"
Cadden, co-author of the Missouri book, is a freelance writer and former naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. She lives in St. Joseph, Mo. The book was published by the University of Kansas Press.
Cable also recently published "Interpretive Perspectives: Essays about Interpreting Nature and Culture," a collection of previously published essays by Cable and Larry Beck of San Diego State University. Three new essays also are featured. The book is for those who, like Cable, are interpreters by profession.
Cable's book has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star, and many other newspapers and magazines throughout the Midwest. The book was also the subject of radio shows in Kansas City and St. Louis upon which Ted appeared to talk about the book.
HORTICULTURAL THERAPY VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM MAKES DONATION TO HAITIAN RELIEF EFFORTS
A $1,212 check was presented to Diane and Ted Cable by clients from Big Lakes Developmental Center who participate in a horticultural therapy vocational training program at the K-State greenhouses. The funds were raised by Big Lakes clients from plant sales on campus and at the Big Lakes training center in Manhattan. The funds were donated for Haitian relief efforts at Double Harvest and the Mercy Regional Medical Centers orthopedic surgical team which will be traveling to Haiti in early March. Diane Cable is a Registered Nurse working with the Manhattan surgical team.
HORTICULTURE STUDENTS ATTEND ANLA MANAGEMENT CLINIC
Twelve K-State Horticulture students and Horticulture Club co-advisor, Greg Davis, traveled to participate in the American Nursery and Landscape Association’s Management Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 31 – Feb. 3, 2010.
The annual event, targeted primarily at green industry company owners, provides networking opportunities and intensive workshops on innovations for retail garden center owners, nursery and greenhouse crop producers, and landscape design, build, and management firm owners.
K-State is typically the only university represented at the event. The twelve students representing KSU were Tanner Anderson, Richard Cagle, Kasey Coad, Casey Crossland, Nilo Fanska, Emily Frasier, Joel Grogan, Samantha Henderson, Brooke Shultz, Katherine Sweeney, Ryan Windholz, and Cami Zahn.
Additionally, this year, Casey Crossland, senior in Landscape Design and Agricultural Technology Management, was awarded a travel scholarship from the Western Nursery and Landscape Association to attend.
HORTICULTURAL THERAPY STUDENT RECEIVES AWARD
Leah Rutledge, Horticultural Therapy undergraduate student, has been awarded the Alice Wessels Burlingame-Gerrity Scholarship, awarded by the Women's National Farm and Garden Association, Michigan Division. Leah is a graduate of Lawrence High School and has attended K-State since the Fall Semester, 2009. This national scholarship recognizes Leah's high academic achievements and her voluntary service record, including work with project NOAH helping to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She has also worked with the Reach Out Program helping at an assisted living program, with Angel Food Ministries distributing food to low income families, and with a Church Mission trip to Wyoming to rebuild after a summer tornado in 2008. She plans to minor in Spanish.
TWO FORMER STUDENTS HONORED AT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR INTERPRETATION (NAI) NATIONAL WORKSHOP
Two graduates of the Park Management and Conservation (PMC) program at Kansas State University were recently honored in Hartford, Conn. at the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) National Workshop.
Jay Schneider works at Hobbs State Park Conservation Area in Rogers, Ark., the state’s largest state park, as the assistant park superintendent. Schneider, along with one other individual, received the “Master Front Line Interpreter Award” at the workshop held in November 2009.
According to Kelly Farrell, Region 6 Director for the NAI, “Jay Schneider is one of the best naturalists in the field. He is a star. He is never dry or boring. He knows how to turn information into interpretation and always has a song, game, activity, or prop to help light the sparks of wonder that people crave.”
Another K-State graduate, Sarah Keating was one of ten recipients of the “Meritorious Service Award” for the year 2009. She is employed at Lake Dardanelle State Park in Russellville, Ark., as the assistant superintendent. Additionally, Keating coordinated many workshops and presentations for the NAI, and has taught interpretation at Arkansas Tech University for the past few years.
Again, Farrell has only good things to say about Keating. According to Farrell, Sarah Keating is a top-notch interpreter, mentor, and organizer. In addition to her duties with the Arkansas State Parks, she has served her fellow interpreters as Region 6 treasurer for four years and deputy director for two years.”
Both Schneider and Keating have recently moved into management positions, but neither have abandoned their roots in interpretation.
Jay Miller, Administrator of Program Services for Arkansas State Parks said, “Combined with their understanding of human behavior and their ability and desire to speak to the visitors, along with the creativity that is a hallmark of all good interpreters, their parks are excelling under their leadership.”