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GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Crop Genomics Robin Buell working with plant specimens in her Center for Applied Genetic Technologies laboratory. CAES News
Bread Wheat Genomics
University of Georgia plant genomics expert Robin Buell is part of an international team seeking to mine an untapped genetic resource for wheat improvement by sequencing the genomes of ancient varieties representing the worldwide diversity of bread wheat. The two-year project— called the Wheat Diversity Project — is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and will bring Buell together with researchers from the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) and collaborators in France to sequence 12 landrace genomes.
Top stories of 2023 CAES News
Top Stories
Reflecting on the year 2023, University of Georgia researchers contributed to groundbreaking advancement in vaccines and health care, to the rejuvenation of American chestnut trees, to surprising revelations about the shy nature of Joro spiders, and much more. Including work from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, here are highlights of 12 of our most noteworthy research stories from this year.
Conner Hall CAES News
2023 Rural Scholars
The 2023 cohort of Rural Scholars brings a wide range of interests and ambitions with them as they complete their first semester at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The third round of students recruited through the CAES Rural Scholars Program includes Jay Lavender of Statham, Georgia; Ashley Rowell of Douglas, Georgia; and Willow Waldrep of Forsyth, Georgia.
Last year’s Bulldog 100 reception was held at Sanford Stadium. (Photo by Decisive Moment Photography) CAES News
Bulldog 100
The University of Georgia Alumni Association has released the 2024 Bulldog 100, a list of the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UGA graduates. This year, businesses are headquartered in a total of 7 states, with 89 of the businesses located in the state of Georgia. In total, 139 alumni representing over a dozen industries, including health care, financial services, agriculture, and real estate are being recognized as a part of this year’s list.
CFMG Habitat CAES News
CFMG Habitat For Humanity
On a stormy day in September 2009, a crew of Central Fulton Master Gardeners were nearly knee-deep in mud, installing landscaping on their first house for a partnership with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. It was not how anyone envisioned the project kick-off. More than 14 years later, CFMG has maintained its commitment to the organization, completing its 500th Habitat project — a fitting milestone as the national Extension Master Gardener program celebrates its golden jubilee this year.
Fig1 Cucurbit anthracnose web CAES News
USDA Cucurbit Grant
Seven East Coast states harvested nearly 102,000 acres of watermelon and cucumber in 2019 and 2020, representing more than 62% ($410 million) and 45% ($180 million) of the U.S. production of the two crops, respectively. Growers of cucurbits — which include melons, pumpkin, squash and cucumbers — face numerous challenges in production, leading to decreased profitability and less produce on grocery shelves.
A community garden in Calhoun helps fresh provide produce. (Submitted photo) CAES News
CDC Grant
The University of Georgia has been awarded $804,000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve access to healthy foods and physical activity in Georgia counties with high rates of obesity. Two decades after being named an epidemic, high rates of obesity persist nationwide. In Georgia, one-third of adults are obese, and therefore, are at higher risk for a number of negative health outcomes — heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, chronic pain and more.
Image submitted by Melissa Mitchum showing SCN impact in field and under microscope. CAES News
SCN Resistant Cultivars
Plant-parasitic nematodes cause billions of dollars in annual yield losses and represent a major impediment to meeting the challenge of feeding an ever-growing global population. One plant-parasitic nematode, the soybean cyst nematode, has been a long-standing focus of research and innovation in the Melissa G. Mitchum Lab at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Men harvesting leafy greens from field during cool weather. CAES News
Migrant Labor
Georgia is consistently one of the top five states to use the H-2A visa program, employing workers for 60% of agricultural jobs. Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor passed legislation to raise the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR), which establishes the minimum wage for H-2A workers, by a sharp 14% for several states including Georgia. For University of Georgia Professor Cesar Escalante, this poses the question: How do you balance supporting the interests of farm businesses while fairly compensating the people doing the hard work in the field?
Rachel Itle and Ty Torrance CAES News
40 Under 40
Two faculty members in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Cooperative Extension were named to the Fruit and Vegetable 40 under 40 Class of 2023. The award ceremony will be held during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan.