at the Wellborn Community Center
Saturday, September 10, 2016 – 6:30 pm
as we reminisce and give Paul a proper Roasting!
RSVP by September 6, 2016
Click here to purchase TICKETS
If you’d like to write a check towards the gift, please make it payable to Debbie Sutherland at:
Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, 2474 TAMU, 370 Olsen Blvd., College Station, TX 77843
We are collecting letters to put in a book for Paul. You may send them to the above address.
This is the fourth year Ling has coordinated a clean-up in the watershed that drains to Geronimo and Alligator creeks. It is part of the watershed protection plan that was established for those creeks in 2012 by AgriLife, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.
Geronimo creek was listed on the Texas 303(d) list of impaired waterways in 2008 and 2010. The watershed protection plan was developed to restore and protect the water quality of the creek. Since Alligator Creek feeds the Geronimo, it was included in the plan.
On April 2, 191 volunteers showed up to help clean trash from the watershed. Dispersed in small groups they covered 27 locations along those creeks, including roadways and creek crossings. Eight hundred pounds of trash were removed, consisting of 175 bags of trash, wooden pallets, tires, car batteries and other debris.
“The first year we had a clean-up, we hauled out almost two tons of garbage,” Ling stated. “We have more volunteers now and cover more area, but came up with less garbage. This is a good thing. It means that people are taking care of the watershed.”
In 2012, the first year of the clean-up, 100 volunteers covered twelve locations along the creeks and removed 2,960 pounds of trash. The following year 230 volunteers participated. They covered twenty locations and removed 7,020 pounds of trash. Last year twenty-two locations were covered, yielding 2000 pounds of removed garbage.
“The first few years we were getting in to areas that had never been cleaned. They are much more manageable now,” stated Ling.
Even with the reduction in the amount of trash cleaned up, Ling plans to keep holding the event on an annual basis.
“The volunteers really have a good time. The list of sponsors is growing and they don’t want to stop having the event,” Ling said. “We will seek out new areas that are in bad shape, and continue to manage those we have been working on.”
Ling admitted that many people are surprised to find that they are cleaning roadsides during the clean-up.
“Many people don’t realize what a watershed is,” Ling said. “We have to explain that all these areas that drain into the creeks are part of the watershed, and that by keeping them clean, we ultimately improve the creek.”
The creek clean-up is just one part of the Geronimo and Alligator Creek Watershed Protection Plan. Other efforts concerning urban and rural land uses which affect the watershed are also being made to improve the quality of the water in the creeks.
For more information go to http://www.geronimocreek.org/
Scientists from ten states in the U.S., as well as Germany, South Africa, Kenya and China participated in the workshop. Twelve Universities were represented as well as seven private biotech and seed companies and five different USDA agriculture research stations.
Dr. Seth Murray, Soil Crop Sciences Department; Dr. Wenwei Xu, Soil and Crop Sciences; and Dr. Mike Kolomiets, Plant Pathology and Microbiology served as the local hosts for the event. They worked in conjunction with scientists from North Carolina State University, the USDA-Agriculture Research Service in Starksville, Mississippi; and the University of Kentucky to develop the scientific program.
The workshop was designed to update researchers on progress being made in the field of maize-microbe interactions at the genetic level, as well as to foster collaborations between scientists in the academic, government and private sectors.
“The conference was extremely enlightening for both basic and applied researchers working in the genetics of maize and microbes,” stated Murray. “Many of the world leaders from industry, academia and the USDA made presentations or participated.”
“Cutting edge studies across diverse themes were made, including new genetics and breeding approaches, new methods of phenotyping, the molecular interactions underlying plant defense, and new approaches to characterize the plants microbial community,” Murray added.
“Work on reducing dangerous aflatoxin levels in corn was highlighted by several research groups, indicating the importance and recent advances on this issue,” said Dr. Marilyn Warburton of the USDA-ARS. “Many of the technological insights into resistance against the fungus that makes aflatoxin are now being moved towards farmer’s fields, where a high beneficial impact is expected in the near future.”
In addition to advances in aflatoxin research, progress in the fight against other diverse microbes including maize lethal necrosis disease, corn leaf blight, grey leaf spot was presented, as well as research involving beneficials such as nitrogen fixing bacteria.
Keynote speakers included: Dr. B.M. Prasanna, Director, Global Maize Program, CIMMYT & CGIAR Research Program on Maize, from Nairobi, Kenya; Dr. Randy Wisser, University of Delaware; Mingliang Xu, National Maize Improvement Center of China; the team from the USDA ARS Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit at Mississippi State University under Dr. Paul Williams, and Dr. Rebecca Nelson, Cornell University.
GMMI was first held in 2011, hosted by the University of North Carolina, with the second event hosted by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2013.
The workshop is made possible by contributions from Monsanto, AgBiome, Agreliant, KWS (a German seed company), the National Corn Growers Association and Texas A&M University’s Root Rhizosphere Interface, which is part of the COALS Grand Challenge Program.
Public research funded by NSF, USDA-NIFA, USDA-ARS, the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE), Texas AgriLife Research, among others, was highlighted to demonstrate the startling fundamental discoveries and impressive applied plant improvement being made to address emerging food security threats.
In addition to the oral presentations, nearly 30 research posters were presented by scientists and graduate students. The poster competition committee was chaired by Peter Balint-Kurti, USDA-ARS, North Carolina State University.
Steve Anderson, a Soil and Crop Sciences Ph.D. student under Dr. Seth Murray, placed first in the student poster contest. Second went to Tyr Wiesner-Hanks, a PhD student in Plant Pathology/Plant Breeding under Rebecca Nelson at Cornell University, with Pei-Cheng Huang, a Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology under Dr. Michael Kolomiets at TAMU, placing third.
Undergraduate students from the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University recently traveled to Scott, Mississippi, to visit the Monsanto Learning Center. The center hosts thousands of visitors each year. It contains 130 acres of research and demonstration plots focused on cotton, corn and soybean production. The program at the center addresses problems and opportunities encountered on rich alluvial silt-loam and heavy clay soils in the Mid-South. They also learned about strategies employed by Monsanto to improve food and fiber production in the U.S. and around the world. This trip is part of a high-impact learning experience class (SCSC 305) taught by Dr. Steve Hague, which introduces students to the industry of soil and crop sciences.