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Abhinav Mishra and colleagues in UGA's Department of Food Science and Technology will use risk assessment models to identify which environmental and farm practice factors contribute to the food safety risk of fresh, organic food. CAES News
Organic Food Safety
University of Georgia researchers in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are part of a $3.5 million grant designed to assist organic producers in meeting both National Organic Program standards and food safety requirements. UGA food scientists will survey farms in the Southeast to determine the risk of contamination in organic crops by different environmental pathogens.
GaCapitol CAES News
H-2A Program
As an essential part of the U.S. agricultural industry, the H-2A program offers a lifeline for farmers facing seasonal labor shortages. The program enables them to hire migrant workers on a temporary basis when attempts to hire domestic workers are unsuccessful. Yet, as the agricultural sector navigates the delicate balance between productivity and financial viability, the high costs associated with the H-2A program present a very real and present challenge for farmers striving to sustain their operations.
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Immigration Policies
For decades, economists have studied the impact of immigration on domestic labor markets. As a shortage of domestic farm labor has led to increased participation in the H-2A visa program, a brief look back at past immigration policies helps frame why migrants from Central and South America have largely been associated with filling necessary agricultural jobs in the U.S.
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.
UGArden serves as a drop-off point for Athens-Clarke County composting. Anyone can drop off compostable materials at the farm at no charge. For information visit ugarden.uga.edu/home/compost-information. CAES News
Composting Tips
Composting has become a popular topic in recent years, and many of us have heard that it is something we should be doing in some form. But why? There are many reasons that individuals, communities and governments promote composting, with some focused on diverting compostable waste from landfills and others who are in it for the dirt.
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?
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2023 DWB Lecture
Without direct intervention, food systems could be the largest contributor to environmental pollution by mid-century. This warning — and more importantly, the research efforts in place to make change — were highlighted in Edward Buckler’s keynote address at the 2023 D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards. “Right now our food system is costing us more than the value we are getting out of it. This is something we need to fundamentally address,“ said Buckler, a research geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
More than a century of research at UGA underpins the field of plant pathology and pieces together the complex relationship between microbes and plants. CAES News
Plant Pathology
For more than a century, generations of researchers in the University of Georgia's Department of Plant Pathology have been at the leading edge of knowledge and innovation. As these researchers pass down their knowledge, their foundational scientific exploration helps safeguard crops, advance agricultural practices and ensure food security, not only in Georgia but far beyond its borders.
Warnell professor Kris Irwin (right) helps campers set leaf-litter traps to capture macroinvertebrates, small amphibians and other organisms during Georgia 4-H Natural Resources Exploration Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. CAES News
Exploration Camp
A dozen 4-H’ers from around Georgia were the first explorers to experience Georgia 4-H’s newest summer program — Natural Resources Exploration Camp — and learn about wildlife, forestry, fisheries and other natural resources from University of Georgia faculty.
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Improving Organic Onions
A team of researchers from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is partnering with colleagues from Texas A&M University to find more effective production practices for organic onion growers in the Southern United States. Bhabesh Dutta, associate professor in the UGA Department of Plant Pathology is leading the team over the next four years through a recently funded $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.