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Summer 2013
Vol. 4, No. 3
In This Issue
From the Director's Office

America Invents Act brings changes to patent procedures

Matlock presents sustainable agriculture workshop to congressional staff

Ricke named visiting professor at Kyung Hee University in South Korea

Research posters recognized by NSF-EPSCoR

NAADA, ACE recognize publications

Forty years later, Buescher says farewell

Jon Lindstron, 1959-2013

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From the Director's Office


rick roeder
By Richard Roeder
Associate Director
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station 
 We're in the middle of field day season. It's the time of year when Division of Agriculture facilities around the state welcome visitors for tours and presentations to explain the work that our personnel perform year-round. (Some of the field days have been held already and others are still to come. Check the schedule at http://aaes.uark.edu/ to see what's ahead this fall.)
Field days began in the 1930s as the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station was establishing its branch facilities around Arkansas away from the Fayetteville campus. It was a different world in many respects. In the days before integration, separate events were held at some facilities for "Negro Field Day." We are fortunate to have moved beyond that era and into a new tradition of inclusion. Mechanization was making its way to the field work, but slowly. In any farm home, technology was limited, so farmers had to go to the source to find out how to keep their operations up to date.

The university's field days were the main source for farmers to learn about new techniques and developments pertaining to the crops they grew. If they wanted to hear about changes in methods and see them demonstrated, they knew they should take the time to visit the field day at the university's research station and learn first hand.

Today's farmers have efficient alternatives to obtaining the information they need. They can watch online demonstration videos, speak with seed dealers or product consultants and check websites to find vital data. With virtually all farm families staying connected to these options, it would be easy to think that the traditional field day might no longer serve a useful purpose. But that's not the case.

The fact remains that despite the convenience of electronic connections, there's no substitute for the one-on-one interaction that happens at our field days. They're essentially reunions for business and pleasure. Farmers see their neighbors, they become reacquainted with university research and extension personnel, they see their public officials and policymakers.

Our events generally follow the format of hearing a quick opening presentation at the facility's main office, taking a trip into the field with Division of Agriculture faculty and staff members who discuss current trends regarding a crop and returning late in the morning for lunch. In recent years we began a different approach at the Rice Research and Extension Center near Stuttgart, where the annual Rice Expo (which occurred a few weeks ago) also includes indoor exhibits and presentations, "virtual" field tours in the auditorium and family-friendly activities.

Whether the activities are indoors or outdoors, we strive to make our field days useful to our stakeholders. They drive long distances in some cases to attend the events and look forward to opportunities to exchange ideas and suggestions among people with common interests. A field day is similar to a professionals' convention with the flavor of a county fair. Internet message boards haven't been able to top that yet.
Kibler 1984 field day
A refreshment stand lightens the load at the Vegetable Research Station field day in June 1984 in Kibler.
sabbe at 1985 field day
Wayne Sabbe lectures at a 1985 field day at the Pine Tree Research Station.



America Invents Act brings changes to patent procedures


lisa childs
By Lisa Childs
Assistant Vice President for Technology Commercialization
UA System Division of Agriculture
You may have heard about recent changes to U.S. patent law, or the America Invents Act. The most important change is that United States patents will now be awarded to the first to file a patent application - regardless of whether the first filer was also the first inventor. However, all is not lost: so long as nobody beats us to the patent office, we still have a one-year grace period after public disclosure to file a U.S. patent application.
As I see it, the primary impact on the university is that we will try to file earlier applications than we might otherwise have done. The applications will also, more than ever, need sufficient detail to support broad claims because we can't rely on lab books and other documentation to establish earlier invention.

Under the old U.S. system, the earlier inventor would have gotten the patent. Now, as seen in the graphic, the first filer gets the patent. This is closer to how most of the rest of the world awards patents - to the first person to apply for a patent.

invent graphic

How does this change what we do with inventions?

Think about telling the Technology Commercialization Office earlier in the process. In years past, you could wait up to a year after a public disclosure, collecting data or getting closer to having a working prototype - perfectly acceptable as far as U.S. patenting under the old law, even if somebody filed in the meantime (so long as we didn't wait too long). Now, the preferred, but more expensive, approach under the America Invents Act is to file a provisional application much earlier in the process of research and development. Of course, budget constraints and the realities of academia, where publication continues to be important, will continue to influence our decisions. Although we would like to file earlier in the process of inventing, patents haven't suddenly become cheaper by virtue of the changes in the law.

What if I already published an article or showed it at a poster session? Is it too late?

We may still be able to obtain a U.S. patent even if you have disclosed, so long as nobody beats us to the Patent Office and so long as we file within the year of your first public disclosure. We will need to know just what you disclosed and when to figure this out. If you have already publicly disclosed, please don't wait to contact the Division's Technology Commercialization Office. Depending on the type of disclosure, it may be too late to seek patent protection outside the United States.

What if somebody learns about my invention and files on it first?

The changes to the patent laws have not changed the requirement that you have to be an inventor in order to obtain a patent. If somebody takes your invention and files on it, they are not an inventor. The America Invents Act provides for "derivation" proceedings, where the earlier inventor can try to prove that the earlier filer "derived" their invention rather than inventing their invention. (However, if somebody, knowing that you invented something that is just like something they've invented, beats you to the patent office, the earlier to file still wins.) We have to be able to prove that you invented it and that the deriver had access to your invention to win - so keep your lab books current and keep track of what you disclose and to whom.

The general rule going forward is: first to file at the patent office wins. Practically speaking, it will probably be the unusual case where this comes into play for the Division of Agriculture. However, the best practice will be to not panic. Just work closely with the Division of Agriculture's Technology Commercialization Office (agritco.uark.edu) and we'll figure it out. 

Matlock presents sustainable agriculture workshop to congressional staff


marty matlock
Marty Matlock
Marty Matlock, program director for the UA System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability and executive director of the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability, presented a series of workshops to staff for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in Washington on July 15. The presentation was sponsored by the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research.
Matlock reported that agricultural producers in the United States are among the most sustainable in the world by almost every key performance indicator. Sustainable agriculture initiatives in the U.S. such as the Field to Market Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture have established strong methods for benchmarking and monitoring key performance indicators across cropping systems. Research from land grant universities such as the UA has played a critical role in reconciling global metrics for sustainable agriculture and development of innovations that allow for increased yields while reducing pesticide use, soil erosion, water use, and other critical impacts.

(See full article at http://newswire.uark.edu/articles/21557/matlock-presents-workshop-on-sustainable-agriculture-to-senate-and-house-staff.)


Ricke named visiting professor at Kyung Hee University in South Korea


ricke korea group
From left, Si Hong Park of the Center for Food Safety staff; Hyun Jung Kim of Iowa State University; Steven C. Ricke, director of the Center for Food Safety, and Hae-Yeong Kim, director of the Kyung Hee University Institute of Life Sciences and Resources.

Steven C. Ricke, director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Food Safety, has been named a visiting professor (international scholar) at Kyung Hee University in Suwon, South Korea. Ricke, who also holds the Donald (Buddy) Wray Chair in Food Safety, is a professor in the UA Department of Food Science.
The institute at Kyung Hee University has established its own food safety research center that is staffed with Korean scientists. Institute director Hae-Yeong Kim is seeking to establish connections with international scientists who can work as partners on certain research projects related to food safety such as foodborne pathogens and genetically modified organisms (GMO).


Ricke is in residence on the Kyung Hee University campus Aug. 18-31. He is delivering several lectures associated with current food safety issues to graduate students and Korean government institutes as well as participating in research at Kim's laboratory at the university's Institute of Life Sciences and Resources.    

"I am looking forward to this unique opportunity to explore food safety and foodborne pathogen issues that are of mutual interest between our two institutions," Ricke said. "This appointment represents a unique opportunity to develop research strategies that will universally benefit food production systems on an international scale."   

The Center for Food Safety has collaborated with Kyung Hee University in recent years to review areas of mutual interest. Si Hong Park, who is accompanying Ricke on this visit, earned a master's degree in food science and biotechnology under Kim at Kyung Hee University and is currently a staff researcher at the Center for Food Safety. He was a doctoral student in Cell and Molecular Biology Program under Ricke.



Research posters recognized by NSF-EPSCoR

Two AAES research personnel were winners of the Arkansas Plant-Powered Production (P3) Annual Symposium's poster competition of the National Science Foundation-Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Diana C. Ballesteros and Ritu Mihani were invited to present posters of their research at the 2013 ASSET Initiative Annual Conference June 25-26 in Little Rock.

Ballesteros is in the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Department and is working toward her M.S. degree in Professor Esten Mason's lab.  Her poster was titled "Quantitative trait loci associated with vegetative stage waterlogging tolerance in wheat."  Mihani is a Ph.D. student in Professor Andy Pereira's lab in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program.  Her poster was titled "Unraveling the regulatory cascade of the lignocellulose pathway in rice."

plant path posters
Diana C. Ballesteros (left) and Ritu Mihani display their winning posters.


NAADA, ACE recognize publications


The UA System Division of Agriculture placed first in three publications/programs categories this summer at the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association. The Division's entries won these categories:

Campaign/Series -- "I Am Arkansas 4-H"

Print Media (Strategic Plans) -- Economic Contribution of Arkansas Agriculture 2012 edition 

Print Media (Stewardship) -- Arkansas Land and Life magazine

The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences also won first place in the Print Media-Newsletter category for The Graduate magazine.


Also this summer, the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences presented two awards for publications. The Gold Award was presented in the Promotional Publications category for the 2012 edition of Economic Contribution of Arkansas Agriculture. The Silver Award in the Magazines and Periodicals category was presented to Arkansas Land and Life magazine and staffers Judy Howard, Howell Medders, Dave Edmark, Bob Reynolds, Julie Thompson, Mary Hightower and Fred Miller.



Forty years later, Buescher says farewell



ron buescher
Ron Buescher addresses friends at his retirement reception.
Forty years to the day in 1973 after he was hired by John W. White, then the University of Arkansas vice president for agriculture, and Ahmed Kattan, department head, Ron Buescher stood before a crowd and thanked them for their support as he retired from the Food Science Department faculty. Several dozen well-wishers attended a reception July 2 at which department head Jean-Francois Meullenet told the group of Buescher's career highlights and service to the university.

Buescher joined the faculty of what was then Horticultural Food Sciences as a researcher and teacher of post-harvest physiology. In recent years his research program centered on quality improvement and methods of quality analyses of pickled vegetables. His research was directed toward post-harvest handling, fermentation, processing, brine recycling and enzymology associated with pickled vegetable manufacturing.

Buescher, who recalled first becoming exposed to the pickle industry during a 1978 stop in Atkins, became nationally prominent in pickled vegetable research. In 2012, he received the Hall of Fame Award from Pickle Packers International.

Buescher served as interim head of the department in 1997-99 and in 2001-02. He was department head from 2002 to 2008.

Research funding was different when Buescher joined the university. "When I started, there wasn't any need for external grants," he said. "All the funding came through the Agricultural Experiment Station." Since then, procurement of outside grants has been essential for research and the food industry has played an important role in providing support.


"Though the pioneering vision and efforts of Dr. Kattan, dedicated faculty and support personnel and enthusiastic leadership of Dr. Meullenet, food science at the UA is well established and offers outstanding opportunities for advancing education, science and technology," he added.

Buescher thanked the department's personnel who served over the years and also the Division of Agriculture for allowing him to pursue his research. He paid a particular tribute to his family and students, making note of the need to stay current with their studies. "Students have greatly contributed to my continuing education," he said.

During retirement Buescher plans to continue to contribute food science research and education.



Jon Lindstron, 1959-2013


jon lindstrom
Jon Lindstrom
Jon Tranell Lindstrom, an associate professor of horticulture in the UA System Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College, died May 30, 2013. He was born March 31, 1959, in Bellefonte, Pa., and grew up in State College, Pa.

He was a 1977 graduate of State College Area High School and a 1981 graduate of Cornell University, where he was a member of the crew team and of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He received a Master of Science degree in horticulture in 1987 from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in agronomy from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1991.

He was a dedicated teacher and advocate for his students. He taught classes about woody landscape plants, researched ornamental plant breeding and evaluation, especially Sinningia, and filed plant patents. Jon could identify and grow any plant and had a lifetime passion for orchids, hybridizing and naming a new orchid after his mother. Jon was a frequent contributing author to Arkansas Gardener magazine.

He is survived by his father, Eugene, of State College, Pa.; one sister, Karen Kimball of Espoo, Finland; two brothers, Mark of Memphis, Tenn., and Scott (Martha) of Madison, Wis.; three nephews, Stefan (Margot) Kimball, Sean Kimball and Andrew Lindstrom; one niece, Sarah Lindstrom; one great-niece, Annika Kimball; two aunts; and five cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother, Eleanor; and his brother-in-law, David.

His ashes were scattered by family near Ithaca, N.Y., and off the coast of Nags Head, N.C. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jon Lindstrom Scholarship in care of the Department of Horticulture, Plant Sciences 316, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

Arrangements were by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home in Rogers.

A feature article written in 2006 is at http://arkansasagnews.uark.edu/1512.htm.

The Horticulture Department will plant a tree as a memorial this fall. Students and faculty will be invited.