College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
PRAIRIE VIEW, TX
Texas Strong! The CAHS Helping Texas Recover See centerfold for full story
OUTLOOK ON AGRICULTURE RADIO SHOW With hosts LaRachelle Smith & Maurice Perkins
www.pvamu.edu/ outlookonag 2
Much has happened since our last Tri-Ag. As most know, Gov. Gregg Abbot appointed TAMUS Chancellor John Sharp to lead the Texas recovery efforts following Hurricane Harvey, and he’s called on the Extension family as one of the state’s most important assets to assist. But not unlike those we serve, many students, faculty and staff were affected by the storm. Indeed, the Harris County Bear Creek Extension Office, pictured on the cover, flooded and displaced over 25 AgriLife staff members and CEP agents, all of whom are now housed temporarily at the PVAMU Northwest Campus.
To assist in the recovery, Community and Economic Development, in particular, provided resources as requested by the Waller County Commissioner’s Court, assisted with FEMA online applications at the Waller County Community Center and made home visits throughout Waller County to share our hurricane recovery information sheets. Our Liberty County Extension Agent and volunteers assisted 1,300 families and provided more than $22,000 in Walmart gift cards. Because of Harvey’s significance, we focus several stories in this issue on it and disaster recovery. Indeed, our centerfold feature calls attention to two College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) students (brothers) whose family continues to go through much with a steadfast spirit and resolve. In the same spirit, the University continues its search for the next CAHS dean and director. A search firm based in Atlanta is now assisting, and the updated position description will be shared around the country. We look to interview in late January. The academic unit has seen another enrollment increase. Going from 351 students in fall 2015, to 389 in fall 2016, to 415 this semester, the growth is due not only to our new academic building, but also from increasingly effective Research Extension Apprentice Program (REAP), Youth Leadership Lab (YLL), AgDiscovery, and FFA events on campus. This summer we added a signature 6-week program: The CAHS Bridge to Success. Six hours of college credit and associated room and board were all covered by PVAMU. In other updates, the farm will soon see several transformations. After over a year of sustained effort, we have required approvals for two new green houses, irrigation expansion, a Vet treatment facility, an environmental chambers facility, feed mill, lagoon and berm repairs, IGRC barn renovations, livestock watering and cattle chute repairs and upgrades, new farm road lighting and gate security, and, of course, the meat lab. In closing, I’ll mention two quick but important pieces of recent news: 4-H and Youth Development received a Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) award for $321,000, and the CARC Water Team shared in a National Water and Energy Conservation award with 19 other land grant universities and two federal agencies. We'll expand on these in the next Tri-Ag, but it’s clear that the CAHS is a culture of impact.
James M. Palmer
is published by Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Department of Marketing Communications & Information Technology Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs JAMES PALMER, Ph.D. Director of Marketing, Communications & iT LARACHELLE SMITH Media & Publications Coordinator MAURICE PERKINS Contributing Photographer MICHAEL THOMAS Contributing Writers LAURA CARSON, Ph.D. GUADALUPE CASTRO CHRISTOPHER COTTON STEDMAN DOUGLAS ALI FARES, Ph.D. RICHARD GRIFFIN, Ph.D. JIMMY HENRY KESHA A. HENRY, Ph.D. JOICE A. JEFFRIES, Ph.D. YOONSUNG JUNG, Ph.D. ANGELA MOORE DELAND MYERS, Ph.D. KELLEY A. REDMON MARCHITA SHILO Contributing Proofreader KELLEY REDMON MAURICE PERKINS This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the EvansAllen 1890 Research Formula Program and the 1890 Extension Formula Program project under Section 1444 and Section 1445. The contents are solely the responsibility of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA or NIFA. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, PVAMU or the Tri-Ag editor.
Send news, story ideas and comments to: 250 E.M. Norris St. | P.O. Box 519, MS 2001 Prairie View, TX 77446 firstname.lastname@example.org This publication available electronically www.pvamu.edu/cahs/e-publications
Interim Dean & Director
FOR AN IN-DEPTH LISTING OF CAHS PROGRAMS www.pvamu.edu/cahsprograms
CURRENT LOCATIONS PROSPECTIVE LOCATIONS
The 2017 CARC Summer Student Research Symposium
very fall, spring and summer semester,
students and their mentors. She took the opportunity to remind
approximately 50 graduate and undergraduate
students of the importance of research and her dedication to
students actively train with the Cooperative
support excellence at PVAMU in this area.
Agricultural Research Center (CARC). This
At the end of the events, Associate Director of Research, Dr. Ali
summer, forty-eight graduate and under-
Fares, System Leader Dr. William Turner and Assistant Director of
graduate students were employed in different
Undergraduate Student Research and Success, Dr. Laura Carson,
laboratories of the CARC. In an effort to
recognized each student presenter with a certificate.
capture their experience and recognize
Research topics covered such areas as: crop production practices
their contribution, CARC organized the 2017
for medicinal plants and their health benefits, use of mobile
Summer Student Research Symposium at the
devices and Apps for irrigation scheduling, how to recognize goat
Agriculture/Business Multipurpose Building on
pregnancy early, the importance of laboratory data safety sheets,
Friday, August 18, 2017.
wastewater treatment, among others. Students highlighted some of
At the beginning of the event, Dr. James M. Palmer, Associate
the skills they learned and their appreciation for the opportunity to
Provost and Interim Dean & Director of the College of Agriculture
be trained on different techniques in various laboratories.
and Human Sciences (CAHS), welcomed attendees. In addition,
Submitted by Dr. Ali Fares, Associate Director of Research and Professor
Interim President Ruth Simmons briefly spoke and addressed the
ď ´Interim PVAMU President Ruth Simmons and Interim Dean & Director James Palmer during their remarks to participants.
The Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) and the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) supported seven participants in the Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for High School Students this summer on the PVAMU Campus. ď °Jordan Allen with mentor Dr. Yoonsung Jung
CAHS Provides Research Projects for REU and REH Programs
The high school students spent six weeks, while the undergraduates spent eight, intimately involved in agricultural related projects. The high school students were Tyrese Buck and Faith Isabelle, who worked with Stedman Douglas, now CEP Agent in Waller County, and Billy Lawton, CEP Program Leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources; Jordan Allen and Raja Usama Abbas, who were mentored by Dr. Yoonsung Jung, Statistician in CARC; and Robert Thomas, mentored by Dr. Richard Griffin, Professor and Research Scientist in CARC. Research Experiences for Undergraduates participants were Benjamin Onweni, mentored by Dr. Richard Griffin; and Marshall Joseph, mentored by Dr. Laura Carson, Assistant Director of Compliance, Undergraduate Research and Student Success, Dr. Subani Bandara, Postdoctoral Researcher, and Ebonee Williams, Research Assistant, all of CARC. The students participated in a variety of projects that included: Container Gardening: The Impact on Roots; Cucumber Production: The Impact of Grafting; Comparing the Temporal Trends by Gender, Age and Ethnicity in Major Cardiovascular Disease; Delineating Wetland Boundaries using Concentration; Comparing Alcohol Consumption to US Chronic Disease Data: The Effect of Age, Gender, Ethnicity and Alcohol Consumption; Spatial Variability of Manganese Oxide in Lowlands and Uplands; and Green Biosynthesis of Silver Nanoparticles.
The Container Gardening project presented by Tyrese Buck, a senior at Jefferson County High School, won first place poster presentation for high school students, while Faith Isabelle and Robert Thomas won awards for Insight participation activities. Submitted by Dr. Laura Carson, Assistant Director of Compliance and Undergraduate Research; Dr. Richard Griffin, Research Scientist and Professor; Dr. Yoonsung Jung, Research Scientist, and Stedman Douglas, now CEP Agent, Waller County.
ď °Usama Abbas pictured with mentor Dr. Yoonsung Jung
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND HUMAN SCIENCES
AT WORK Disaster Prep Is Key: CEP Holds Emergency Management Summit
CEP’s Emergency Management Summit is a one-day workshop that provides a forum for local and regional executives to share strategies and to coordinate plans for emergency preparedness and response. Held September 7, this year’s Summit highlighted the MGT312 Senior Officials Workshop for All-Hazards Emergency Preparedness and provided an opportunity to discuss strategic and executive-level issues related to all-hazard disaster preparedness, to share proven strategies and best practices, and to enhance coordination among officials responsible for emergency response and recovery from such situations. Among those attending the Summit were Mayor David Allen of the City of Prairie View, Mayor Michael Wolfe of the City of Hempstead, and representatives from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Also participating was the Waller County Independent School District (ISD), the Waller County Fire Department, the Hempstead ISD, the City of Prairie View Fire Department, as well as the Texas Air National Guard, the Transportation Security administration and the nonprofit Hello Hempstead. The overarching focus of the summit was getting key entities involved in emergency preparedness before a disaster occurs, with the mission being prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. Communication is critical in a crisis situation and was one of the segments featured during the Summit. In the wake of the infrastructure devastation caused in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, the world witnessed the difficulty experienced with handling a catastrophic situation in the absence of adequate communication. Our goal is to have a communication system in place that would mitigate the occurrence of a failed system. Of those in attendance, more than 40 participants received the continuing education credits from IACET - 0.6 CEUs. The Summit was beneficial for increasing awareness about disaster preparedness in general, and about CEP-Community Economic Development’s role in Prairie View A&M University’s emergency management plan. Participants were split into five small groups in which they examined different disasters that are eminent threats across the region. Relationships were established with other University officials and external agencies and nonprofits that will enable us all to work together in a crisis situation. The workshop integrated a multimedia scenario, vignettes that highlighted key issues, and facilitated executive-level discussion of the United States’ National Strategy for Homeland Security. Additionally, the forum provided an opportunity to apply lessons learned from past local and national all-hazards disasters. The feedback on the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with Texas Air Guard, as one example, stating they were pleased with the training and would come back for future training sessions. The Waller Fire Department and Mayor Allen expressed appreciation to Prairie View for hosting the summit. While disasters are not always predictable, efforts can be taken to reduce risk. Preparation, as undertaken in this Summit, is key because it is not a matter of if an emergency is coming, but when. Submitted by Christopher Cotton, Program Specialist, Community and Economic Development (CED), Jimmy Henry, CED Program Leader; and Angela Moore, Extension Associate
4-H S.A.L.E. Scholarship Awards Increase from $30,000 to $75,000 The 4-H and Youth Department of the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) is continuing the tradition of providing youth life-skill programs and training on career awareness, workforce development, college access, among other topics. The Unit collaborates with a number of external partners in securing funding to educate the Texas youth. San Antonio Livestock Exposition, Inc. (S.A.L.E.) is an important contributor offering scholarships to the CEP’s 4-H members. The awards are provided to select 4-H members upon their high school graduation. Students must enroll and declare a major to attend Prairie View A&M University. “We’ve been with the College from the beginning,” quipped Executive Director & CEO Keith Martin, of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Martin also commented that they began working with the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences in the mid-1980s. Two scholarships (totaling $30,000) were awarded annually to incoming freshmen. S.A.L.E. Controller Jamie Brown indicated, “We are pleased to provide scholarship awards in the amount of $75,000 for five scholarships!” Part of the scholarship requirements include Scholars attending S.A.L.E. annual May Board meetings, volunteering in February at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and other locations, and being contributing citizens. “I smile when I see the students working in the Fajita Corral during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, and it’s tremendous that they do so,” said Brown. “Just as the students have been supported by the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo,” Brown said, “We hope that in turn, they too will pass it on by continuing to volunteer to help others obtain an education and give back to their communities.” This year five 4-H members received a $15,000 scholarship. Through an online application process, 4-H high school students apply for the four-year scholarship. Scholars are to be model students and maintain high grade point averages. Submitted by Dr. Joice A. Jeffries, Program Specialist, 4-H and Youth Development
Recipients this year include: KIRA CHRISTIAN INTENDED MAJOR Animal & Food Sciences PARENTS Melanie Christian HOMETOWN Stafford COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENTS Marcus Glenn and Amber Foster JADA JOHNSON INTENDED MAJOR Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine PARENTS LaTonya & William Moss HOMETOWN Fort Worth COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENT Shannon Johnson-Lackey MADELINE MILLER INTENDED MAJOR Nursing PARENTS Cheryl and Hurley Miller HOMETOWN Grand Prairie COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENT Cynthia Pierfax EDWARD TIMMS INTENDED MAJOR Agriculture-Plant and Soil Sciences PARENTS Alfornette Holloway-Timms & Robert Timms HOMETOWN Marlin COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENT Rosondra Hartsfield ELVIN QUIOTO Biology Aida Rivas HOMETOWN Houston INTENDED MAJOR PARENTS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENT
To learn more about the Cooperative Extension Program, visit the CAHS website at www.pvamu.edu/CEP. The Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University is funded by the National Institute for Food & Agriculture (NIFA) through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The 1890 Extension Formula Program supports extension education programs that respond to the changing needs of limited resource clientele and underserved populations.
HURRICANE HARVEY WAS STRONG, BUT
HOPE CAHS FAMILY IS STRONGER FOR A
isaster, devastation, and destruction are terms used by many people who live in Texas to characterize Hurricane Harvey. Floods and high-intensity winds lasted for days in Houston wreaking havoc on areas that seemed untouchable. The stories of loss are overwhelming, and residents are still recovering from the ordeal. The CAHS family was not untouched. CAHS majors Raymond and Russell Thomas—both USDA scholars who have also traveled abroad to enhance their education and have received AgWorkers scholarships to represent the university at MANRRS—recollect the loneliness and helplessness they felt knowing water was swelling in their parents’ home and there wasn’t anything either could do to prevent it.
Living in Houston, the Thomas family evacuated to Dallas to wait out the storm with relatives. Raymond joined them and felt relief that the family was united and free of immediate danger. Unfortunately, the family would soon face reality that living off Lake Houston would find the infrastructure that supported their daily lives dire. Wearing borrowed clothes and having his family of seven cared for by others, the patriarch of the Thomas family, Roger, strong and stoic, put on a brave face for his wife and children through the ordeal. “The worst part of waiting for the storm to pass was not knowing how much damage our house and personal effects would be destroyed,” Raymond shared, “Watching the news became intense, but that was all we could do. Although our lives were sparred, I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken.”
Raymond and Russell were the first to attempt to assess the damage, but the water was still too deep for them to make it down the streets to their house. Once the water receded, the Thomas men went to their home, and this is when the brothers saw for the first time their father struck with pain and disbelief. It was devastating. They saw debris wedged in trees, mudcovered roads clogged with cars as people poured back to see what was left of their homes. When they opened the front door, they saw the main floor swamped, signs that flood water reached more than two feet on the first floor, totally destroying his 11-year old sister’s room. Their hearts sank seeing unsalvageable photo albums, family heirlooms, clothes and furniture, and Eagle Scout (for all four boys) and Girl Scout Awards, camping supplies, business attire, toys, and vehicles. But the one thing that hit them the hardest was to see all their homeschool and university books destroyed. Because of the strong values, Russell found himself coming to grips with losing his first vehicle, purchased with his earnings from his internship. Russell stated, “In my family, a car represents more than transportation. It’s the formation of independence and maturation into adulthood.” Through all of this, families are encouraged by others to fill their minds with active, positive feelings. The elder Thomas stated, “I just realized that there is no way to really be prepared for something like this. How do you prepare to replace your entire life in a single day?” Nonetheless, he wants to protect his children and knows that the odds are that they will face another crisis of their own. He wants them to remember how they survived, even thrived, after losing a lot and to never fall in love with something that can not love them back. The storm left Raymond traumatized at the loss of material things; yet, he found hope. The emotional upheaval caused him to turn to the University’s resources for counseling services. His awareness of the need for additional emotional support and astuteness to focus on mental stability are testaments to this young man’s character.
As families rebuild, they must depend on their belief. The belief that there is a larger plan for us all. It is a time to pull strength and courage from this fable regarding a clay pot with a crack: No matter how many times it was filled, the water still leaked from it, but the carrier of the pot never lost hope. Indeed, he planted flower seeds so as the water dripped, the flowers grew and added beauty and color. This fable illustrates there is a purpose in everything. To support the immediate needs of students, faculty and staff who had been adversely affected by the hurricane, Interim President Ruth Simmons established “The PVAMU Hurricane Relief Fund”. Small grants of $500 were available to assist with emergency needs. To support the effort, H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt donated $100,000 to students, saying, “While many have lost so much, making it possible for students to remain in school is absolutely essential and is a critical step in rebuilding our communities.” Raymond and Russell both received assistance from the University’s relief aid. The Thomas’ are considered part of the CAHS family. They participated in the ACCESS Summer Bridge Program, 4-H workshops, Research Extension Apprentice Program (REAP), Summer Research Experience Program (SREP), Partnership & Outreach Summer camps (chess and Chinese), as well as in math and engineering camps on campus. PVAMU is more than an institution of higher learning, it is a family. And with all families, no matter how rough the tides get, we weather storms together. While ‘disaster, devastation, and destruction’ are terms used by many following Hurricane Harvey, ‘hope, trust, and belief’ are a few words revealing how students, faculty, and staff in the CAHS persevere. Submitted by Kelley A. Redmon, Communications Specialist
Staff Members, Students
Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas a little over a month ago, but recovery and disaster relief efforts are still in full swing. Staff members from Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program are a part of those efforts to help thousands of Texans get back on their feet. “We have both staff and students on and off campus helping those who have been affected by the storm,” said Jimmy Henry, a program leader in the Cooperative Extension Program. “We made a commitment to Waller County, and the Commissioners Court, to keep our doors open, as long as we need to, for anyone who needs help.” Agents are handing out fact sheets from the American Red Cross, FEMA, USDA, United Way, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and Prairie View’s Cooperative Extension Program. Each sheet details different ways residents can get help and clean up their properties after the storm.
“People are homeless, and it is going to take a while for everyone to rebuild. That is why we are here, to provide those resources, hold their hand, and walk them through the process,” said Henry. “In fact, just the other day, we had a man come in, not knowing what kind of support was out there, and we helped him apply for FEMA assistance. He also got signed up for Social Security, and if approved, he will get an extra $10,000 a year. Henry says, along with Waller County, people who live in Liberty, Jefferson, Chambers, Montgomery, Hardin, and Harris Counties also got assistance postHarvey. “Over the ten days immediately following the storm, the Cooperative Extension Program collaborated various community organizations to provide more than a thousand residents with blankets, toiletries, water, gift cards, shoes, clothes, cleaning supplies, food, and other supplies,” said Henry. “Our agents also helped register residents for FEMA and Red Cross Immediate Assistance.” Submitted by Marchita Shilo, Communications Specialist, Office for Academic Affairs Note: This article originally appeared in Academic Insights
On July 11-14, 2017 three Cameron County youth attended the 4-H Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada with Guadalupe Castro and Dawn Burton. Castro is an extension agent and Burton is health coordinator for the Cooperative Extension Program. Students Perla Sanchez, Yuridia Ibarra, and Isela Diaz attended workshops that highlighted what 4-H youth were accomplishing around the world. Meeting with youth from Canada, Argentina, Korea, Ireland, China, Japan, Nepal, Morocco, Kenya, and Nigeria, among others, they established a global network that they could use to influence positive change in their community. During the Summit they visited the Natural History Museum of Ottawa where they tried local cuisine and were given a presentation on populations in the area and their cultural dances. They also spent an evening in the Museum of Food and Agriculture where they experienced projects led by local 4-H clubs. At night they visited the Capital Parliament building to experience the light show that helped tell the history of Canada. The Summit hosted a gala where participants were encouraged to wear attire that represented their culture. The young ladies left the Summit inspired to come back to their communities and begin their roles as club leaders.
Cameron County 4-H’ers Attend Global Summit in Canada
Submitted by Guadalupe Castro, Extension Agent, Cameron County
Scientists from Mexico Visit College of Agriculture and Human Sciences On June 29, 2017 a contingent of scientists from the Instituto Tecnologico de Pabellon de Arteaga (ITA) from the state of Aguascalientes in Mexico toured the Cooperative Agriculture Research Center farm on the campus of Prairie View A&M University as part of their tour of the Prairie View A&M University campus. The ITA is one of the 266 member Institutions of the National Technology of Mexico Education System with which Prairie View A&M University has a collaborative working agreement. Dr. Deland Myers, Research Scientist Leader, Food Systems, also met with representatives from ITA during his Study Abroad class visit with students to Mexico in the spring. The contingent was led by President Humberto Ambriz Delgadillo and included faculty members Edgar Zacarias Moreno, Uriel Luévano Hernández and Jose Ernesto Olvera Gonzalez. The group also toured the International Goat Research Center (IGRC), the greenhouses, and horticulture fields. CAHS undergraduate student Juan Avendano who works in the IGRC accompanied the visitors on the tour and explained the research on the farm given his work experience and command of the Spanish language. The visit will lead to future research collaborations with the ITA and CARC as well as facilitate student and faculty exchanges between the two institutions. Submitted by Dr. Deland Myers, Research Scientist Leader, Food Systems
CAHS Hosts High Tunnel Workshop
he Cooperative Extension Program (CEP)-AgNR hosted Extending Your Growing Season: Crop Production in High Tunnel, a workshop focused on fall vegetable production in a high tunnel on September 16, 2017. The workshop’s main objective was to educate small producers about how to extend their growing season by producing crops during the fall. Ms. Grace Summers, Small Farm Outreach Agent from Virginia State University Cooperative Extension, was a featured speaker, along with Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya and Dr. Peter Ampim, Research Scientists with Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC). The workshop also included presentations from Mozelle Carter, USDA-NRCS Soil Conservationist, Stephanie Wilson, County Executive Director from Harris-Montgomery-Waller County Farm Service Agency and Mike Oliver, State Forester, USDA-NRCS. Thirty-five participants attended the workshop. The morning session covered the following topics: Fall Vegetables Production in High Tunnel; Why Choose High Tunnel Production; How to utilize a Hoop House or High Tunnel; High Tunnel System through the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP); High Value Vegetable Production in High Tunnel; and Medicinal Plant Production in High Tunnel. The afternoon session of the workshop was held at the Governor Bill and Vara Daniel Farm on the main
campus where participants were engaged in a practical demonstration on using their high tunnel effectively during the fall. Pest control, spacing, irrigation, and crop selection were among the topics that were covered. Over 80 percent of the participants stated that they would adopt some of the practices covered during the workshop. This program was supported, in part, by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant. Submitted by Dr. Kesha A. Henry, Program Specialist, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Workshop attendees engaged in high tunnel demonstration
Land Loss Prevention Workshop
Forty-two landowners and persons interested in wealth creation through land ownership were onsite to attend the Land Loss Prevention Workshop held on September 11, 2017 at the Crockett Civic Center in Crockett, Texas. The one-and-ahalf day workshop, hosted by the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP)-AgNR and supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Renewable Resource Extension Act Grant, targeted rural communities with histories of land loss. The goal of the workshop was to provide tools to help stabilize land ownership across generations and to enhance family wealth by increasing income and land asset value through sustainable forestry. The workshop began with attendees participating in a SWOT Analysis to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with their own operations. Lead by Dr. Nelson Daniels, CEP-AgNR Ag Specialist, Dr. Joshua Idassi, Natural Resources Specialist, North Carolina A&T State University, and Sam Cook, Executive Director, Forest Asset, North Carolina State University and VP Natural Resources Foundation Board, the exercise helped the attendees to consider what works well and what adjustments may be needed. A series of presentations followed, beginning with Marca Theresa Ewers, Attorney at Law, who gave a presentation on Estate Planning. Attorney at Law Mavis Gragg appeared via web-conference to speak on issues related to Heir Property. Next, Dr. Don L. Renchie, Associate Professor, Extension Program Leader and Coordinator with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service gave a personal perspective on Heir Property based upon his own experiences with the topics of partition sales, volunteer sales, sales contracts, warranty deeds, and mineral rights. Danette Millican, Houston County Tax Assessor/Collector, and Carey Minter, Houston County Chief Tax Appraiser, spoke about Property Tax Assessment and Ag-Use Exemption 1/D/1, respectively, giving the group an overview of the tax assessment and appraisal processes. The first day wrapped-up with Sam Cook speaking on Land Utilization and How to Monetize Your Land, which included the benefits of hunting leases and agriculture and forestry production. This was followed by Billy Lawton, Program Leader, CEP-AgNR, who discussed Agriculture and Timber Sales Tax Exemptions. The second day of the workshop commenced with Darvin Collins, County Executive Director, USDA-Farm Service Agency, followed by Willie Holmon, Soil Conservationist, USDA-NRCS, who spoke about the roles of their respective agencies, covering FSA Farm and Tract Requirements and USDA Conservation Programs. In his presentation, Dr. Joshua Idassi spoke about the growing opportunities available in Forest Agronomy. He was followed by Michael Easley, State Forester II, Crockett District, Texas A&M Forest Service, who discussed the process of Developing Forest Management Plans. Angela Moore, Extension Associate with Cooperative Extension-AgNR, spoke to the group about the Texas AgrAbility Project, a USDA-funded program geared towards helping farmers who have a disability continue to work in Ag production. Pat Shields, Senior Relationship Manager with Capital Farm Credit, rounded out the presentations with an overview of funding opportunities available through Capital Farm Credit. The workshop culminated with a Panel Discussion. The attendees were engaged and asked questions throughout the workshop sessions, taking advantage of the expertise available. The Cooperative Extension Program is grateful to Connie Lott and AgWorkers Insurance for its sponsorship of this program. Submitted by Angela Moore, Extension Associate
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND HUMAN SCIENCES
CAHS’ Specialty Crops Program is the Definition of “Service” If you haven’t taken a ride through Prairie View A&M University’s farm lately, you’re missing out on something special – the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences’ (CAHS) Specialty Crops Program. “The goal of this project is to help Texas’ small farmers diversify their farm operations, and improve their incomes and livelihoods,” said Dr. Peter Ampim, a research scientist in the CAHS who leads the project. “We started the program earlier this year, and we are really excited about it.” So, here’s how the Specialty Crops Program works: PVAMU researchers come up with a list of high value and highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, root crops, and herbs that aren’t typically grown in the state of Texas. “Right now, we are working with the fruits Pepino melon, goji berry, and honey berry; vegetables Malabar spinach, Egyptian spinach, purslane, vegetable amaranth, and grafted cucumber; root crop cocoyam; and herb epazote (Mexican tea),” said Ampim. “A large portion of our highly diverse urban population in Texas consumes these items.” Researchers within CAHS then work with students to develop the best researchbased methods for growing the crops in Texas’ unique climate. Last, but not least, PVAMU’s Cooperative Extension Program identifies farmers in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Strike Force Counties, or counties that have persistent poverty, who can best benefit from the program. “Chosen farmers are provided with hands-on training covering topics such as farm planning, development, and diversification, as well as production of the crops,” said Ampim. “What many people don’t realize is that with the more common crops, like corn, grown here, you typically need heavy equipment and machinery and sizeable capital to be successful. But, with these specialty crops, any small farmer, with the right training, can grow them and profit from them using small equipment and hand tools.” Submitted by Marchita Shilo, Communications Specialist, Office for Academic Affairs
CARC Seeks Solution to 1,000-Year Storm Hurricane Harvey was a monstrous hurricane that shattered several rainfall records. From its roots in West Africa, to Mexico, through Texas and on into Tennessee, Harvey went through many different stages, growing from a tropical wave that finally formed into a tropical storm and on to a category 4 hurricane with winds raging at a speed of 130 mph that spanned hundreds of miles. Harvey was a Category 4 Hurricane when it made landfall near Rockport, Texas. Before it would end, Harvey would would dump over 33 trillion gallons of water in the US, with more than 1.25 trillion gallons of that occurring in Harris and Waller counties in Texas. A very slow moving system, Harvey meandered around wreaking its havoc in Texas for four days before it finally began to relinquish its fury and weakened from hurricane to tropical storm status. The vast amount of water that it unleashed during that time is the equivalent to all of the domestic uses of water for the entire population of the two counties for at least five years. Southeast Texas received a new rainfall record of 51.88 inches during Hurricane Harvey, making it a 1-in-1,000-year event. On average, Harris County received 34 inches of rainfall as a result of Harvey, which is equivalent to 1.05 trillion gallons of water. The damage and devastation was widespread. Tornadic winds tore roofs off of homes. The massive downpour of rain resulted in flooded streets, homes and businesses; and caused temporarily homelessness of more than 30,000 people in the Houston area, alone. Hurricane Harvey is expected to
be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Some economic projections estimate the cost of repairing the damage caused in Texas by Harvey to be between $81 and $108 billion: 500,000 cars and trucks flooded, more than 185,000 homes flooded, oil refineries closes, and there was a significant drop in crude oil production. Many lost their lives as a result of the storm.
The water team in the Cooperative Agricultural Research Center (CARC) has been conducting research in the areas of flood adaptation and mitigation. Specific research topics include modeling and prediction of flood events, trend analysis of extreme climate and hydrologic events and flood inundation mapping using satellite images. Findings of such research will help to inform policymakers and Texans about the impacts of flooding and potential flood mitigation
strategies, e.g., the effectiveness of detention ponds and dams in reducing flooding. Members of the team are currently studying the impact of Harvey on the Greater Houston area using different decision support systems. They are developing practical solutions to the flooding in this area using these tools. One of the solutions being tested is how the addition of one or more reservoirs in the northwest part of Harris County would impact the hydrology of the area, based on current and future land use projections. The outcomes of this study could result in a savings of millions of dollars and many lives.
Submitted by Dr. Ali Fares, Associate Director of Research and Professor with contributions by Angela Moore, Extension Associate
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OSCAR TAYLOR, Class of 1986 Entrepreneur
College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
COL LE GE OF AGR ICULTURE AND HUM AN SC I E NCE S
Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Triag Magazine showcases the tripartite of the college through its Res...
Published on Oct 25, 2017
Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences Triag Magazine showcases the tripartite of the college through its Res...