AAES News banner 
Fall 2015Vol. 6, No. 4
In This Issue
Agricultural Communication Services

AGRI 110
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Ark. 72701

Join Our Mailing List
From the Director's Office

Elizabeth Auchterlonie
Associate Director for Finance and Administration
As 2015 winds down I've had thoughts of the numerous challenges and opportunities we have faced this year. There is no question that we live in a time of greater scrutiny from federal and state governments, from external sponsors and from the public. Our university world has truly become more transparent and I believe that's generally for the best. It's our responsibility in the AES Business Office to respond to the resulting new regulations in a timely and effective manner.

This year we are dealing with new purchasing regulations resulting from Act 557, inventory control enhancements, cell phone policy changes, tax compliance and federal policy and reporting changes under Uniform Guidance. In working through these various issues I'm reminded again of the hard working professionals we have in our AES units. We are so fortunate to have the staff in place to react to each challenge and have confidence that we are doing so effectively. It's a real pleasure to work with departmental staff who are great about attending training sessions and asking excellent questions that help us navigate through whatever task is at hand. I know that these types of changes affect almost every AES employee and change can be difficult. Please know that the efforts you are making to comply with these changes are much appreciated.

Improvements are being made in the area of "going paperless." Ava Slinkard, AES Business Office Systems Analyst, has been working closely with UAF Information Technology Services (UITS) to tailor the new ImageNow system to AES needs. Ava has and will continue to work with our departments to set up document management systems for scanned images that result in easily accessible and searchable documents. ImageNow has a robust search function so documents can be filtered in a number of ways, depending on need.  The potential space savings is great.        

Earlier this year it was a great pleasure to host the AOS (Administrative Office Staff) meeting at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center. This is the first time we have used that facility for an AOS meeting but it will definitely not be the last! It was the perfect place for staff from all parts of the state to gather for information sessions, networking and teambuilding. We were so impressed with the facilities, the food service and the exceptional staff at the Center. A highlight was participating in the ExCEL program (experiential-based training and development program) for our teambuilding exercise. 

After we concluded the sessions held at the 4-H Center we hit the road to the Rohwer Research Station in Southeast Arkansas where Resident Director Larry Earnest, Tanya Hughes and other station employees treated us to wonderful hospitality, very tasty barbeque and an excellent tour of the research plots and facilities at the Station. Mr. Earnest also arranged for a presentation given by one of the managers at Bunge. Bunge is an agribusiness and food ingredient company with a location close to the Rohwer Research Station. We gathered outside the facility on the banks of the Mississippi River to learn about how some of our crops get to market. What a great experience for those of us that spend almost all of our work time behind a desk! I know we came back with a broader understanding and appreciation of that part of the operation. Thanks again to Mr. Earnest and the staff at the Rohwer Research Station.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!  

News from the AGRITech Office

Check out the AGRITech Support Team website agritech.uark.edu.

Windows 10 and Office 2016: We will begin installing Windows 10 and Office 2016 on new computers beginning January 2016. Machines running Windows 8 will also be eligible for upgrade while existing Windows 7 computers may receive the upgrade under special circumstances. 

Windows 10 offers a more user-friendly experience than Windows 8 and will feel very similar to Windows 7 in many ways. Office 2016 is almost identical to Office 2013 and users should be able to transition well to the newer version.  If you would like to upgrade to Office 2016 on your current computer, please open a ticket by going to agritech.uark.edu.

Work from Home Quick Tips: In last fall's newsletter we mentioned ways to be productive from home, such as connecting to our server based file storage system U-Drive and remote desktop. You can access the U-Drive from any computer as long as you have an internet connection and have the latest VPN software, Pulse Secure, installed before connecting to U-Drive. Instructions to map U-Drive from home are on agritech.uark.edu under the resources tab. If you do not have U-Drive and would like more information about it please contact the service desk.

Enjoy the winter break: Normal hours for AGRITech Support are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bumpers lab hours can be found at bumpers-labs.uark.edu. The service desk and labs will be closed during Thanksgiving and the winter break. The help desk will open Monday, Jan. 4, and the labs will open Jan. 17. Classes begin Jan. 19. 

For more information: agritech.uark.edu, phone: 479-575-3420, email: agritech@uark.edu.

At 20th anniversary celebration, $1.3 million Tyson Foods gift presented to innovate poultry facilities in Fayetteville
Meeting before the ceremony were (from left) John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods; his daughter, Olivia Tyson, and Mark Cochran, UA System Vice President for Agriculture.

Tyson Foods Inc. has awarded a $1.3 million gift to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture aimed at further innovating and updating the Division's poultry Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Fayetteville. The announcement came Oct. 6 as the Division of Agriculture celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, housed in a building named for Tyson Foods founder John Tyson. Governor Asa Hutchinson was the keynote speaker at the event.  

Tyson Foods' gift, which will be used to modernize the Division's poultry research facilities in northern Fayetteville adjacent to Garland Avenue, includes $300,000 to renovate the Division's Pilot Processing Plant by adding stadium seating for educational involvement and a pilot test kitchen for relevant research. It allows for several additional improvements to the facilities at the Division of Agriculture's Agricultural Experiment Station, which has been headquartered in Fayetteville for more than 125 years. 

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to innovate our poultry research facilities in Fayetteville, and we are extremely thankful to Tyson Foods for its continued commitment to poultry research and the future of agriculture in Arkansas," said Dr. Mark Cochran, the UA System's Vice President for Agriculture. "We are most excited about the ways this grant will allow our research facilities to address the relevant issues facing the poultry industry and facilitate our capacity to engage more with the public, including children and young researchers who will be the future of agricultural research in our state."

Strawberry initiative energizes industry; accomplishments summarized in e-book

Strawberry production in the U.S. is getting a significant boost thanks to two years of work by agricultural research and extension personnel who teamed up with growers across the nation to explore new ways to invigorate the industry.

The results are available in a 36-page e-book, Success in the Field: Accomplishments of Phase II of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative 2014-2015, a PDF available for free downloading at http://bit.ly/1YpqnN0.

The e-book covers the second phase of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative, which began in 2013 as a public-private partnership. The NSSI was comprised of 26 projects in 13 states with the support of $4.05 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation. The program was managed nationally by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

"As growers have observed, learned, tested, adapted and implemented production information and technology provided by the NSSI and its 26 projects, a change has begun to ripple throughout the strawberry industry," said Curt Rom, a Division of Agriculture horticulture professor who directed the strawberry initiative. "The impact of the NSSI has been strong and immediate. The outcomes of this program will be felt for years to come."

For Phase II, which began in 2014, a total of $845,500 in funds was distributed to projects in Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Arkansas and Texas. The Phase II projects included testing of new strawberry cultivars, sustainable soil management, the expansion of organic strawberry production, community engagement though schools and gardens, season extension and pest exclusion using high tunnels and greenhouses, and implementing precision technology for water management and frost protection.

Food security vital for national interests, world markets

U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas addresses the "Preparing for 21st Century Policy Choices" forum in Fayetteville. 
Observing that the challenge of feeding the world will require major efforts in coming years, U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas told a policy forum Oct. 12 that the University of Arkansas students at the event would share the burden of working on those issues. 

Boozman delivered keynote remarks at the "Preparing for 21st Century Policy Choices" forum. The event was sponsored by the Farm Journal Foundation and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

"There are lots of different moving parts to this," Boozman said. "We have the programs and we have in place certain policies. That's why I want to thank you for having this kind of program so when you talk about all the moving parts that hopefully you can encourage these students to come up with some solutions."

The event included the presentation of honors to two alumni of the department. Ed Fryar, a co-founder of Ozark Mountain Poultry in Rogers and a former professor in the department, received the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Nathan Reed, the owner and operator of Nathan B. Reed Farms and Eldon Reed Farms in Marianna, was recognized with the 2015 Young Alumnus award.

Improving global food security should be a U.S. priority because it is the right thing to do and it will create new market opportunities for American agriculture in the long run, said Stephanie Mercier, a senior policy and advocacy adviser for the Farm Journal Foundation.

Division of Agriculture faculty noted by National Academy of Inventors

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture scientists were honored by the administration Sept. 21 for their membership in the National Academy of Inventors. Present at the event were (from left) Walter Bottje, professor of poultry science: Phillip Crandall, professor of food science; Pengyin Chen, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences; Douglas Karcher, associate professor of horticulture; Clarence Watson, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station; Karen Moldenhauer, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences; John Carlin, assistant director of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program; Billy Hargis, professor of poultry science; Lisa Childs, Division assistant vice president for technology commercialization, and Yanbin Li, distinguished professor of biological and agricultural engineering.
Twelve faculty members at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture have been honored for their acceptance as members of the National Academy of Inventors. The faculty members were recognized at a luncheon on Sept. 21. 

Faculty who are named regular members of the NAI are academic inventors who hold at least one issued U.S. patent. The NAI is an organization of U.S. and international universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with more than 3,000 individual inventor members and Fellows at more than 200 institutions. It was founded in 2010 to recognize inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

"You all work on a variety of technologies, truly representing the breadth of agriculture - from our commodities and poultry to food safety and soils," said Clarence Watson, director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. "And you have shown your imagination and ingenuity in your inventions." 

During an awards presentation luncheon, Watson told the NAI faculty that technology transfer fits well into the mission of land grant universities. Patents and tangible activities often lead to technology commercialization. "This is where you can get real-world impact from your research," he said, noting that licensing and marketing of inventions are the next steps. 

Division faculty members who were recognized for their induction into NAI are:
  • Karen Moldenhauer, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences at the Rice Research and Extension Center;
  • Walter Bottje, professor of poultry science;
  • Navam Hettiarachchy, University Professor of food science;
  • Billy Hargis, professor of poultry science;
  • Charles Rosenkrans, professor of animal science;
  • Pengyin Chen, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences;
  • John R. Clark, University Professor of horticulture;
  • Phillip Crandall, professor of food science;
  • Andy Proctor, University Professor of food science;
  • Yanbin Li, distinguished professor of biological and agricultural engineering;
  • Gisela Erf, professor of poultry science;
  • Douglas Karcher, associate professor of horticulture.
Obesity related to food deserts can be offset with proper interventions

In food deserts, full grocery carts are a rare sight.
Living in a food desert doesn't automatically translate into childhood obesity, but there is evidence linking the two, a new study by University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture researchers has found.

The study by Mike Thomsen, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness; Rodolfo Nayga, Tyson Chair of Food Policy Economics; Pedro Alviola, IV, associate professor at the University of the Philippines Mindanao, and Heather Rouse of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, explored some of the subtleties of the food desert concept, defined as an area where healthy food choices aren't readily available. 

The team looked at differences in how food deserts affect urban and rural households, whether the nearness of a grocery store is a factor and whether low-income neighborhoods are synonymous with food deserts. In the study, the researchers accounted for multiple factors including age, time lived in a food desert, whether the child had access to free or reduced cost school lunch, along with neighborhood measures of educational attainment, vehicle ownership and proximity to fast food.

"There's evidence that food deserts matter in ways that a low income level of a neighborhood doesn't," Thomsen, said. "However, there may be something about the community -- aside from lack of grocery stores -- that makes them more likely to be obesogenic, or foster obesity."

The good news is "we can do something about it," he said. Thomsen cited school interventions and educational programs like "SNAP-Ed with the Cooperative Extension Service or programs in 4-H that get kids more active." 

AAES administrator hits the deck - and hard: 24 hours on an aircraft carrier

Rick Roeder (third from right) and other participants in the Navy's Distinguished Visitor Embark program stand on the flight deck of the USS John C. Stennis as an F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jet lands behind them.

Rick Roeder was shot and captured on the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Navy did it all.

The shooting was actually the experience of being shot into the air - an activity known as a catapult - on a Navy C-2A cargo aircraft. The capture happened when the plane landed on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and was caught by a tailhook (an arrested landing).

"I felt what it's like to decelerate from 105 mph to a complete stop in two seconds," said Roeder, the associate director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. "I was strapped in with a three-point seat belt and facing backwards to avoid whiplash." 

Roeder was on board the carrier for about 24 hours in early November as a guest of the Navy's Distinguished Visitor Embark program. His group comprised 16 people including administrators from other universities, representatives of educational organizations and corporate executives. The program is an effort to increase public understanding of the Navy by allowing the visitors to see what it takes to operate a carrier at sea and to return home and describe their experience.

Roeder took advantage of his visit to speak to some sailors about their experiences. "I wanted them to know about educational and career opportunities in agriculture after they complete their Navy service," he said.  

The Stennis is a sturdy carrier at 1,092 feet long supporting a 4.5-acre flight deck, but Roeder was able to feel right away that this was not solid ground. "I knew I was on the ocean. There was a gentle movement," he said.

His group went to the captain's reception area where they were introduced to the ship's executive officer, Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, who explained his duties in charge of the ship's day-to-day operations. Roeder's group learned that the carrier has 30 nationalities represented among its crew, with 3,000 personnel on board to operate the carrier and 2,000 to handle the aviation functions. The average age on board is 23.

On the flight deck, Roeder's group observed several catapult takeoffs and arrested landings. Everyone dresses to keep any skin from being exposed and has head gear to muffle the noise. But anyone there could still feel the full throttle of the afterburners, he said. "The noise was so loud it pounded you in the chest, even with all the gear on."

Roeder described the takeoffs and landings as "a fine choreographed ballet" with activities being communicated by hand signals and the colors of the crew members' shirts that signify their individual responsibilities. On a deck no more than 257 feet wide, there's no margin for error available. As takeoffs and landings continue, helicopters are airborne nearby and ready to move in for an immediate rescue operation if an accident occurs. 

Moving to the bridge, the group was introduced to Capt. Michael Wettlaufer, commanding officer of the Stennis. "He spoke highly of the young people on board, their commitment and training," Roeder said, noting the dedication he observed among the crew in their off hours. "They work 10- to 14-hour days, then in their free time they're working out. I was impressed with how physically fit they were."

After sunset, the group observed more takeoffs and landings amid the extra challenges that nightfall brings. The visitors met Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, the commander of the John C. Stennis Strike Group. The aircraft carrier is one of several ships in the vicinity including destroyers and cruisers that make up the strike group in a synchronized mission that includes sustained air operations and maritime interdiction.

Following an overnight stay in a 140-square-foot officer's stateroom - below the flight deck where the takeoffs and landings could easily be heard through the night - Roeder awoke at 5:30 a.m. to have breakfast with the ship's chief petty officers, who run the various departments on board. His breakfast was one of 20,000 meals that would be served during the day. 

The Stennis was sailing off the West Coast near San Diego. The ship will head to the waters of the Middle East after Jan. 1 and will stay there for six to seven months.

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) at sea.

Dressed in protective gear, participants in the Navy's Distinguished Visitor Embark program bring out their smartphones to record the action on the flight deck.
Lionel Barton, prominent poultry specialist, dies at 78

Lionel Barton
Thomas Lionel Barton, 78, emeritus professor of poultry science at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, died Sept. 19, 2015, at his home in Fayetteville. He was known throughout the Arkansas poultry industry for his 28 years of service as a poultry specialist for the Cooperative Extension Service. 

Barton was "the perfect poultry extension specialist," said Michael Kidd, director of the Division of Agriculture Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. "He had a unique ability to relate scientific findings to practice and helped numerous farmers and the poultry industry throughout his career. His contributions to the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science after his retirement were invaluable. He was very engaged and I never saw him have a bad day."

"Dr. Lionel Barton was a well-known and highly respected colleague prior to my arrival at the University of Arkansas as the director and department head of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science in 1992," said James Denton, who was director when Barton retired in 1995.

"The most impressive characteristic of Dr. Barton was his reputation within the poultry industry," Denton continued. "Having been a member of a team of five extension specialists at Texas A&M University with statewide responsibility, it was remarkable to me that he was the primary resource serving the industry of Arkansas. When the size and scope of the poultry industry in Arkansas is considered in comparison to the industry in Texas, his contributions to the industry were nothing short of magnificent. He was the perfect example of the team player, with his support and valuable counsel in our beginning years proving beneficial to any success we achieved. His contributions left a mark that will last for many years."  

Proctor delivers Fulbright Inaugural Talk at Austrian institution

Andrew Proctor
Andrew Proctor, University Professor of food science at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, delivered the Fulbright Inaugural Talk Oct. 13 at NAWI Graz in Austria. NAWI Graz is a consortium of natural sciences at Graz University of Technology and the University of Graz.

Proctor, who is serving as the Fulbright NAWI Graz visiting professor in natural sciences, spoke on integrating basic and applied sciences to develop competitive research and education programs. He reviewed research projects to illustrate how he has worked with basic scientists to address applied science objectives and used basic research tools to solve industrial problems. He also showed how graduate students with sound basic science research skills who work with both basic science and applied science departments can use their creativity to solve applied problems.

Proctor, who joined the food science faculty in 1992, supervises the department's food lipid chemistry and health program. He has served for 20 years as either senior associate editor or associate editor for the Journal of the American Oil Chemists Society and is a Fellow of the American Oil Chemists Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Sharpley's achievements cited in award by Soil and Water Conservation Society

Andrew Sharpley (center) receives recognition as a Fellow of the Soil and Water Conservation Society from Jim Gulliford (left), SWCS executive director, and Mark Berkland (right), SWCS president.  

Andrew Sharpley, professor of crop, soil, and environmental sciences, was named a Fellow of the Soil and Water Conservation Society at its annual conference during the summer. The designation of Fellow is conferred upon society members who have performed exceptional service in advocating the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources.

The Society recognized Sharpley as a world authority on assessment, management and remediation of the impacts of agricultural management on water quality. "His 35-year research career focuses on soil chemistry, the fate of phosphorus applied in fertilizer and manure, subsequent phosphorus release to runoff water, and the impacts of agricultural management on those processes and water quality," the Society said. "He works to increase national and international awareness of the effects of agriculture on water quality and develop cost-efficient methods to protect water quality."

The society also noted that Sharpley pioneered the development of novel environmental risk assessment tools and simulation models that are used by regulatory and resource conservation agencies throughout the world. It said his research provides the scientific and technical framework for national nutrient management and water quality policies that have an important influence on nutrient management on farms. 

Sharpley is the leader of Big Creek Research and Extension Team currently studying the effects of a hog farm in the Buffalo River watershed. In 2012 he received the Distinguished Agriscientist Award from the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and American Farm Bureau Federation. He has also been inducted into the USDA Agricultural Research Service Hall of Fame.

Ricke receives Fellow award from food protection group

steven ricke
Steven Ricke
Steven C. Ricke, director of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Food Safety, received the Arkansas Association for Food Protection Fellow award during the AAFP's annual meeting in September. Ricke is a former president of the organization and served as one of its founding members in 2009.

"I am both deeply honored and humbled by this award as it is a reflection of how much this food industry organization has taken off over the years to become the premier food safety annual meeting for food industry professionals in the state of Arkansas," Ricke said. "AAFP does not achieve this without the dedication and volunteerism of the food safety industry and academic members who make this organization's continued growth and success possible." 

AAFP consists of food safety professionals from academics, industry, regulatory and retail backgrounds. As the Arkansas affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection, AAFP provides a forum for educational seminars and meetings on current trends and issues in food safety. AAFP through its educational conference provides its members with access to innovative scientific and technical information, as well as a connection to the food safety industry and some its top experts. AAFP's goal is to provide its members with practical information that they can take back to their workplace and apply.

Ricke holds the Donald C. "Buddy" Wray Chair in Food Safety at the university's Department of Food Science. His main research focus has been on virulence and pathogenic characteristics of foodborne salmonellae. Ricke holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin. He was a professor at Texas A&M University until 2005 when he came to Arkansas to hold the endowed chair and to direct the Center for Food Safety. Over his professional career he has served as an editor for six books, co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed research and review articles as well as more than 50 book chapters and has delivered more than 160 talks to a wide range of audiences.