Have you been spending your cold winter nights sifting through seed catalogs, picturing your plantings and pining for spring? Well, share your dream designs with others as part of a Vegetable Variety Trial challenge from the CCE’s Garden-based Learning team. For the third year, the team will be installing nine 3x3 raised beds in a demo garden on the Cornell campus, to showcase different vegetable and herb varieties, incorporating ecological gardening practices. One - or more - of those beds could feature your design. Designs will be featured on an online photo gallery for all to view, share feedback and vote on favorites. A panel of CCE Master Gardener Volunteers and educators will review and choose the winning entries. More details can be found here. It’s part of the Vegetable Variety Trial project, which aims to gather data used to create a recommended list of vegetable and herb varieties for New York State gardeners. Gardeners are invited to contribute their own recommendations via the Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners citizen science online forum.
On Tuesday, December 10, Judson Reid, senior extension specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), spoke to the New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee about the burgeoning economic impact of CCE’s successful Harvest NY pilot program. Committee chairman Bill Magee invited Reid to talk about his work with the Cornell Vegetable Program and as a supervisor for the Harvest NY team, which has had numerous positive impacts on western, NY agriculture and the regional economy since it was formed in 2012.
For example, the program, which builds upon existing extension resources to generate agriculture-driven economic development, has played an important role in helping to support the region’s yogurt processing boom by training hundreds of new employees in dairy foods sanitation and safety. In addition, it has enhanced and expanded access to local food hubs and produce auctions to increase revenue for area vegetable producers. It has also worked with local dairy farmers to modernize their operations to increase milk production and herd size. Reid emphasized the importance of continued state funding for this important program and urged lawmakers to consider a new proposal that would expand Harvest NY statewide, providing similar benefits to farmers, producers and rural economies across New York.
Reid also spoke about his favorite vegetable, hot peppers, and field trials the Cornell Vegetable Program is currently conducting on newly developed varieties of vegetables that aim to meet growing demand from New York’s Latino and Asian populations for locally sourced ethnic vegetables.
Looking for something constructive to do during your winter break? How about a “winternship” with a Cornell startup? According to the Dyson School’s entrepreneurship blog, it’s not too late to chase positions in a number of fields, from business development, marketing and finance to engineering and software design. Many companies are also recruiting for spring and summer as well.
Daapr, which offers users a purpose-built platform for sharing and discovering online content that interests them; EllaSpark, which hosts crowdsourced funding and mentorship; Falcon, a mobile navigation app to help people find their way around areas like colleges, festivals, and indoor settings; GiveGab, a social networking site for volunteers; Kreyol Essence, organic and natural cosmetic products from Haiti; Party Headphones, which rents and sells high-tech wireless headphone systems; RosieApp, a new online grocery shopping platform based in Collegetown; Platypus TV, a social television platform that aims to make the experience of watching content, digital or otherwise, more interactive and engaging for on-demand programming; Seraph Robotics, a life science focused 3D printing company based in Weill Hall; TuneTap, which helps musicians create more music for their fans by crowdfunding events.
We’re just at the beginning of the invasion.
This is part of a series of articles tracking students in Food Science 1101 as they design ice cream flavors for a popular class competition. Check out previous posts here.
The judges have made their decision: the official flavor of the new Stocking Hall is a clever creation called Cookie Dough Remodel. With its rich dark chocolate base, sugar cookie pieces, and white chocolate chips, Cookie Dough Remodel is a fresh take on the popular cookie dough ice cream flavor—or as the students on the team put it, it’s “your favorite flavor rebuilt, revamped, revolutionized.”
“Like the food science department, which everyone at Cornell loved before Stocking Hall was revamped, our flavor is a new, exciting, delicious take on the number three most popular ice cream flavor,” said team captain Laura Fletcher, ’17.
Victory wasn’t easy for the Cookie Dough Remodel team—they faced stiff competition from their classmates, as well as a panel of expert judges. The panel (pictured above, from right to left) consisted of CALS dean and food scientist Kathryn J. Boor, taste physiologist Robin Dando, extension associate Kimberly Bukowski (who also owns Kimberly’s Ice Cream Factory) and Cornell Dining executive chef Steven Miller.
The four judges really know their stuff when it comes to food, and weren’t afraid to be critical. But all five teams were well prepared, and delivered professional presentations as well as delicious ice cream.
The runner-up was a flavor called Stocking Night, which featured a vanilla base with yogurt chips and a blueberry mélange swirl intended to mimic the blue glow of Stocking Hall at night. Bukowski commented that the buzz about the health benefits of blueberries made this a wise choice.
Another team appealed more directly to health-concerned audiences with an intriguing sesame-flavored ice cream they called Open Sesame. The presenters explained that sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants and high in protein, so that the ice cream would be filling enough to prevent overindulgence.
Sweet Awakening and The Big MOOve went for more classic approaches, loading their ice creams with fudge and brownie pieces. Sweet Awakening featured a coffee-flavored base, brownie bits and a chocolate swirl, while The Big MOOve was a cheesecake-flavored ice cream with brownie chunks, fudge and cow-shaped sprinkles.
For Alicia Orta-Ramirez, course instructor and director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Food Science, the diversity and creativity of the students’ approaches are what makes the ice cream competition so exciting each year.
“You never know what they’re going to come up with,” she said. “That’s the fun part.”
- Andrea Alfano ‘14
The senior from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was one of two Cornell students - and about three dozen across America - to win the prestigious award. It will allow the aspiring doctor to undertake a two-year master’s degree in oncology at Oxford University.
“I hope to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree where I could treat patients while staying on the forefront of discovery, fostering better communication between clinicians and medical researchers,” she said.
Olyha is a pentathlete and heptathlete on Cornell’s track and field team; editor of the undergraduate neuroscience journal, Synapse; a student adviser in biology; and a three-year leader of the comparative physiology study group on campus. She is writing an honors thesis from her undergraduate research: “The Effects of Stem Cell Differentiation Defects on Muscular Dystrophy and on Dilated Cardiomyopathy Disease Progression.”
The entire edifice of global financial stability seems to be built on this fragile foundation: If not the dollar, and if not U.S. Treasury debt, then what?
(Nicholas Biebel ’14 received his award from John Uvege, Co-Chairman of the Seed Committee of the New York State Agri-business Association, and Margaret Smith, Associate Director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.)
Every year the Seed Committee of the New York State Agri-business Association, together with the American Seed Trade Association, honors Cornell undergraduates in the plant sciences who have demonstrated academic excellence. Congratulations to this year’s awardees, Nicholas Biebel ’14 and Madeline Olberg ’14! Cited for their outstanding GPAs, research acumen, and enthusiasm for plant sciences, Biebel and Olberg were recognized during the 75th Annual Cornell Seed Conference held at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva on Dec. 5.
(Madeline Olberg ’14 has pursued plant science research, both at Cornell and through an internship with Ball Horticultural Company.)