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on the move Preparing. Finding. Implementing solutions.

SAES food safety researchers have advice on E.coli An SAES food safety researcher is recommending strategies to improve monitoring for E.coli in spinach and other fresh-cut produce. Dr. Salam Ibrahim encourages fresh-cut processing plants that monitor E.coli in spinach to use larger sample sizes and conduct multiple testing. He said that

researcher, Dr. Chung Seo, has been attacking the issue from that angle, with an innovative wash system that uses ozone instead of chlorine. Ozone is now used in water treatment and in juice manufacture, but could have other applications as well. Seo says ozone is more powerful than chlorine for destroying micro-

Graduate student Tamekia Broughton (left) researched E. coli prevention in vegetable production for her master’s thesis, with guidance from Dr. Seo and Olga Mutamba, a research associate.

oftentimes, each sample is 10 grams (about a handful) and is tested just once. Instead, he suggests that samples should be at least 10 times that amount, and recommends that several tests be conducted on each sample. “Unless you have a large sample size, and more testing, E.coli can be very hard to detect in spinach,” he said. E.coli can also be very hard to destroy. Another food

organisms, including E.coli, and, moreover, is superior to chlorine because it is self degradable after 20 to 30 minutes in water and leaves no residues. “Ozone can reach more surface areas including cracks and crevices and thus is more effective. However, the technology is still in its infancy, and more research is needed,” Seo said. Food safety and E.coli O157:H7 are a major topic of

research in the SAES, and scientists are making other advances in the field. Ibrahim recently developed and patented an all natural treatment that inhibits the growth of the pathogen in ground beef, and, among other things, is now researching methods for rapid detection of E.coli and spoilage bacteria in leafy greens. He has also conducted extensive research on the use of herbs and other natural products against E.coli and other foodborne pathogens. Another advance is a portable biosensor, developed by Dr. Mohamed Ahmedna, to prevent outbreaks and recalls through rapid detection of foodborne pathogens. Ibrahim and others in SAES are encouraging fresh-cut produce processors to focus more on prevention by implementing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). The HACCP is a food safety system that includes identifying critical points where biological, chemical or physical contamination could occur, and monitoring for the presence of foodborne pathogens. Although HACCP plans are mandatory for many other food industries — including meat, poultry, fruit juice, and others — the Food and Drug Administration does not at present require them for the fresh-cut produce industry. However, the system has been adopted voluntarily by many segments of the industry and is recommended by the International Fresh-cut Produce Association.

Nomination forms for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T’s 2007 Gilmer L. & Clara Y. Dudley Small Farmer of the Year Award are now available at http://www.ag.ncat.edu/dudleynom.

North Carolina A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Newsletter October 2006 • Vol. V, No. 5

Dr. T’s Moment I’m starting my sixth year as dean and I’m just as excited about the beginning of this school year as I was the first year I moved to Webb Hall. And what an exciting year it promises to be. This year SAES is the host school for A&T’s homecoming. We are inviting all our alumni, friends, faculty and staff to join us Oct. 20–22. While our overall objective is to raise needed funds, we want to also use this as an opportunity to connect with alumni we haven’t seen or heard from since graduation and to reconnect with others. We have scheduled a luncheon for Friday, Oct. 20 on the lawn in front of Webb Hall, followed by a hospitality room for alumni after Saturday’s game. We conclude with a Sunday morning alumni breakfast. Watch your mailboxes and e-mail for information on these events. And if you don’t get any information, just call my office at 336-334-7979 or e-mail me at altont@ncat.edu. We are also excited about the selection for the University’s “Textin-Community” series, which this year is Tavis Smiley’s “Covenant with Black America.” We will thread these lessons into our classrooms and will explore ways to weave these recommendations into research and Cooperative Extension. Join us in exploring this book. It’s a good read. We are also planning for our annual Small Farms Week, scheduled for March 26–30, 2007. If you know of a successful small farmer you’d like to nominate for the Small Farmer of the Year, check our webpage, www.ag.ncat.edu, for an application. This is a sample of what’s ahead. Read our publications, check our Web page and keep in contact. We want to make sure you keep up with us as we remain on the move.

— Dr. Alton Thompson Dean, SAES

The nomination deadline for the award, presented annually to one of North Carolina’s small-scale farmers to honor success and innovation, is Dec. 15, 2006.


on the move Nutrition Education for North Carolina’s Hispanic population is a priority for The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T.

Extension sets table for nutrition The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T is expanding its nutrition programming, both by adding a national program to its mix and by aggressively providing more nutritional outreaches to at-risk communities. Extension also recently hired Stephanie Tatum as its nutrition program outreach coordinator. Tatum is carving out a piece of the federal Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) that will complement programs led by long-time nutrition specialist, Dr. Wilda Wade. A&T Extension is responding to the escalating health problems linked to nutrition, including problems such as obesity and diabetes that disproportionately affect African American and Hispanic communities.

“We’re trying to grow our nutrition department,” says Dr. Celvia Stovall, associate administrator of The Cooperative Extension Program. “Childhood obesity is an issue and obesity itself is an issue. Teen pregnancy and nutrition are issues.” One third of American children are either obese or at risk of becoming so, according to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity rates have tripled for children ages 2 to 5 and 12 to 19, and quadrupled for children 6 to 11. Recognizing that these health rates, considered epidemic, not only affect a substantial segment of the public, but also saddle much of the country with substantial health-care bills, public agencies such as Extension are trying to tackle these and other health issues. Part of Cooperative Extension’s increased focus on nutrition programs was triggered by the expansion of USDA’s EFNEP to include A&T and other 1890land grant institutions. That national program is already focused on limited-resource audiences, but funding to support educational efforts had always gone to 1862 landgrant institutions. This year marked the first time in the history of the program that the historically-black 1890s also received EFNEP allocations, Stovall says. Although EFNEP funding for most 1890s is small compared with that of 1862s — A&T got $33,000 this year compared with $2.5 million for N.C. State — the symbolic effect of including the 1890s has

Preparing. Finding. Implementing solutions.

New academic alliance means new opportunities in distance education spurred A&T to increase its activity. N.C. State is collaborating with A&T and supporting the 1890 efforts. A&T’s EFNEP efforts are concentrating on youth, with a special focus on pregnant teenagers, including efforts to update the “Hey! What’s Cookin’” curriculum targeted at the teens. The Cooperative Extension program previously worked with this high-risk group, having developed the “Becoming a Mother” parenting curriculum, and a nutrition education program for pregnant and parenting Adolescents. Pregnant teens are a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to nutrition, Tatum says, because so many of them are themselves still developing, and because many also don’t realize the vital link between what they eat or don’t eat, and how that affects their babies. “Research shows that if a pregnant teen has prenatal care, eats the right amount of food to ensure a healthy-weight baby, and if they are able to continue in school and get the skills they need to take care of themselves, then they are going to be more productive citizens,” Tatum says. “That benefits all of us.” In addition to EFNEP programming, Tatum will focus on healthy eating programs that involve advocating the use and application of the updated dietary-guideline, now called MyPyramid. Revised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the MyPyramid makes dietary recommendations based on a personalized assessment of the user.

A Carver Hall food microbiology and safety laboratory that Dr. Salam Ibrahim (far left) uses for research work was the point of entry — into the world of research into food-borne illness prevention and food processing technology — for a group of high school students in the Research Apprentice Program (RAP) last summer. Pictured are second session RAP students Ranata Reeder, Crystal Jeter, Jamila Lacewell and Brianca German. The Agricultural Research Program will have two sessions of its annual Research Apprenticeship Program for high school juniors and seniors in June and July of 2007. Application forms are available at www.ag.ncat.edu. The program features learning experiences that introduce students to career opportunities as well as high-tech research technology.

serving primarily very wealthy clients. The first-ever 1890 Academic But the financial planning industry is now Alliance, which was spearheaded by the offering more services to the middle class SAES, has given birth to its first program: and even those struggling to achieve the a distance education promiddle class,” he said. gram in family financial The industry is also very interested planning. The six-course in adding more minorities to its ranks, program is now available observed Dr. Gladys Shelton, chair of the to students at eight 1890 Department of Family and Consumer universities. The course Sciences and leader of the alliance project. is delivered online and “Less than 1 percent of CFPs are prepares them to take William Fleming minorities, so this program will help to the Certified Financial address that disparity,” she said. The Planner (CFP) Board of Standards exam. Cooperative Extension Program has also Now that the alliance has been established, recognized the importance of financial additional distance education programs in planning by offering training programs and family and consumer sciences are expected materials for educators. to be added in the coming years. Academic alliances are an important, For Moneka Johnson, one of the 28 and growing trend in higher education that students enrolled in the new program, the enable universities to share faculty and motivation to study toward becoming a other resources, says Shelton. CFP could be summed up in one word: “Establishing a new program is very opportunity. expensive for any single university to “I thought that would give me more undertake,” she said. “But by setting up job opportunities after graduation,” said an academic Johnson, alliance, who is also universities majoring can share in early administrachildhood tive, faculty education. and technical That resources opportuniand offer ty is growmore proing, accordgrams to ing to the more stuU.S. Bureau dents.” of Labor Funding Statistics, to establish which the alliance reports that was through the numA new online financial planning program joins the SAES a USDA bers of jobs high-tech repertoire, which also includes the computer Capacity in the finanassisted apparel design course that Tequilla Washington Building cial advisor (left) and Janna Barnes took. Grant. In industry are addition to N.C. A&T, Tennessee State rising faster than average, and offering and Fort Valley State universities also median annual salaries of $60,000. That collaborated on establishing the alliance. growth in part is due to demographic and For more information about the family industry trends, says Bill Fleming, CFP financial planning program, log on program coordinator. to http://www.1890fcsdia.org/. “We used to think of financial planning, and estate planning in particular, as

faculty & staff notes Dr. Carolyn S. Turner, associate dean for the Agricultural Research Program, has been named to the External Board of Advisors for the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD). The board provides the NCFPD advice and guidance, and program reviews for the multidisciplinary Homeland Security Center for Excellence. Turner’s colleagues on the eight-member board include corporate vice presidents from Cargill, Inc., and McDonalds; the provost for Academic Affairs at the University of South Carolina; and the director for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Stephanie Tatum has joined The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T as Nutrition Program Outreach coordinator. Tatum comes to the SAES from the N.C. State University Extension Service, where she was associate coordinator for the Expanded Foods and Nutrition Program (EFNEP).Tatum has a master’s degree in Human Sciences and a bachelor’s in Home Economics Education from N.C. Central University. Dr. Rusty Miller has joined the Department of Animal Sciences as a research scientist, and he will be coordinating a new equine program in the department. Miller will also be part of the SAES instructional faculty, teaching courses in the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education. Miller received his master’s degree from A&T and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He has been in the horse world for 30 years. He has judged two world championship shows, and has been an official judge at many state competitions.


on the move

________________ Nonprofit Org. ________________

North Carolina A&T State University School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Newsletter Produced by the Agricultural Communications and Technology Unit

US Postage Paid ________________ Permit No. 202 ________________ Greensboro, NC ________________

Dr. Lloyd V. Hackley, Interim Chancellor Dr. Alton Thompson, Dean, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, Associate Dean, Administrator, The Cooperative Extension Program Dr. Carolyn Turner, Associate Dean, Agricultural Research Station Dr. Donald McDowell, Associate Dean, Academic Programs North Carolina A&T State University is a land-grant high research activity institution and AA/EEO employer. Send change of address and correspondence to:

on the move Newsletter Editor Agricultural Research Program CH Moore Agricultural Research Station Greensboro, NC 27411

7,000 copies of this public document were printed on recycled paper at a cost of $879.14 or $0.13 per copy. Distributed in furtherance of the acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are open to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, US Department of Agriculture and local governments cooperating.

on the move/flip side This year SAES is the host school for Alumni Homecoming 2006. We invite all our alumni, faculty, staff and friends to join us for these Homecoming Weekend activities: Your $50 per person contribution to the Dean’s Scholarship Fund provides access to SAES Homecoming events. Make checks payable to: N.C. A&T Foundation, write “Dean’s Scholarship Fund” on the memo line. Send checks by Oct. 15 to: N  .C. A&T State University Dean’s Office Webb Hall 1601 E. Market St. Greensboro, NC 27411 Call 336.334.7979 for more information

Friday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. — “A Southern Taste”— Webb Hall (Featuring North Carolina’s finest barbecue, chicken and fixings)

Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.– Midnight — SAES Hospitality Suite — Sheraton Four Seasons Sunday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m. — SAES Alumni Breakfast — Sheraton Four Seasons

www.ag.ncat.edu


On The Move Oct 2006