Dawson receives NCR-SARE Grant

MADISON, Wis. — Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension has recently been recommended for funding for a $199,866 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project “Tomato variety trials for flavor, quality and agronomic performance, to increase high-value direct marketing opportunities for farmers and on-farm trialing capacity”.

“This project will use participatory research methods to evaluate tomato varieties for agronomic traits, disease resistance, flavor and quality for local and regional markets in the NCR. Variety trials will be conducted on six participating farms and at two research stations. Tomato varieties will be evaluated for flavor and quality by a panel of chefs, farmers and selected consumers. An online database enabling farmers, chefs and researchers to easily exchange observations and data will be developed. This project will create a variety trialing and quality evaluation network that will also be used for other crops,” said Dawson.

Jeffrey Endelman Wins Award

Horticulture’s Jeffrey Endelman has been selected to receive the Elton D. and Carrie R. Aberle Faculty Fellow Award.

The award, established by former CALS dean Abe Aberle and his wife, is designed to recognize and reward promising young faculty within CALS, supporting them during their first few critical years as faculty members.

Master Gardener Program in Wisconsin

The latest issue of Grow: Wisconsin’s Magazine for the Life Sciences provides insight into Wisconsin’s Master Gardener program through the eyes of current volunteer Jane de Broux in the featured article “Gardening for the People”.

The Master Gardener program is housed within the Department of Horticulture in Moore Hall under the direction of Mike Maddox and Susan Mahr.

History of Horticulture Department

At the 125th Anniversary celebration of the UW-Madison Department of Horticulture on June 19, a new History of Horticulture was provided to attendees.  The publication, under the direction of Professor Emeritus Ted Tibbitts, outlines the beginning years of the department, highlights departmental events, and provides information on current programs. The publication is available in downloadable pdf format here:  History of Horticulture at UW Madison.

Zalapa Lab exhibits at USA Science and Engineering Festival in D.C.

For researchers in Dr. Juan Zalapa’s Cranberry Genetics and Genomics Lab, part of the USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, cranberries are more than a side dish on their Thanksgiving tables, they are the main course in their daily studies.

Daily tasks of the Zalapa lab include using modern molecular genetic tools combined with classical breeding strategies to improve the fruit yield and other qualities of cranberries, making them part of a healthy diet while at the same time helping Wisconsin cranberry producers grow more cranberries in increasingly sustainable ways to ensure that Wisconsin continues to lead the nation in production. In addition to their work in the lab, the Zalapa group has been actively involved in making their cranberry research available to the public through outreach events, serving over 4,000 people in nine diverse events over the past year alone. Due to this commitment to outreach, Dr. Zalapa’s lab was recently sponsored by the National Science Foundation as an exhibitor at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. on April 25-27. This was a four day extravaganza at one of the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) festivals in the world with over with over 325,000 attendees and 3,000 hands-on exhibits.  Read the entire article here.