Fresh From the Field, June 6, 2019

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Fresh From the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by partners supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                June 6, 2019

Success Stories 

Female laboratory scientist. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Introducing High School Students to Controlled Environment Food Production Career Paths

Meeting the challenges of producing a healthy, sustainable food supply requires recruiting and training a skilled and diverse next generation of agriculturists. Researchers and extension specialists at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture developed, and are pilot testing, a new high school curriculum to teach food production in controlled environments. This curriculum will link agricultural production with foundational concepts in biology, chemistry, and engineering to enable instruction and recruit a wide range of students. To date, 35 teachers have trained to use the curriculum and the National 4-H Council has approved a modified version for use in informal settings.

NIFA supports this curriculum development through the Secondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program.


Umpqua National Forest Oregon, 2008. Photo courtesy of USDA, Bob Nichols.

Carbon Cycle Dynamics Within Oregon's Urban-Suburban-Forested-Agricultural Landscapes

Oregon’s forests are among the highest carbon density forests in the world, and have the potential to store more. By 2100, four land use strategies are projected to increase forest carbon uptake by 56 percent and decrease emissions. Lengthening harvest cycles to 80 years and restricting harvest on public lands contributes the most to these increases, followed by reforestation and afforestation within current forest boundaries, and afforestation of irrigated grass crops. These strategies are feasible and may be implemented immediately. Co-benefits are increased biodiversity of forest species and increased water availability. Using half of harvest residues for bioenergy production would not reduce emissions. This approach – which includes observations, earth system modeling of the effects of future climate, atmospheric CO2, harvest on forests, and a life cycle assessment that tracks wood product emissions – may be applied in other temperate regions to evaluate climate mitigation options.

NIFA supports this research through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program.

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