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March 2016

Spring is traditionally an exciting time. Not only are we emerging from the cold dreary days of winter, but as we approach spring break, we can sense the escalating anticipation of our students. Some are merely eager for a break from classes and studying. Some may be planning a vacation trip or volunteering for an alternative spring break opportunity to serve the community. Others are fast approaching the culmination of their undergraduate experience and are already thinking about the next steps into the future. Share the excitement in this early spring issue of the CASNR Chronicle.


Caula A. Beyl, Dean

Spotlight: First Term in CASNR

Dean Beyl Serves as Delegate at Summit on Women in Agriculture

"The delegates at this summit represent the future of agriculture," said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in his welcoming remarks. "The work they are doing to shape policies and programs to promote gender equity and women's leadership development will have a positive impact on an industry that is crucial to our nation's food security and economic vitality." Click here to read more about the Summit on Women in Agriculture.

CASNR Grads Capture Win in Nat'l Farm Bureau Challenge

The team members of FarmSpec (Shawn Butler, Austin Scott, and Daniel Wiggins) won the People's Choice Award at the American Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Congratulations to them and thanks to everyone who voted. Learn more.

UT Welcomes First China Scholars Class

A beautiful fall semester 2015 helped to welcome our first official cohort of students in the China Scholars Program. In August, seven new students joined two others who arrived earlier in the year. Students represented all three Chinese university participants: Nanjing University, China Agricultural University, and Institute for Applied Ecology-Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Scholars program, which is open to all UTIA/UT Knoxville departments, saw members of this first year's group enroll in biosystems engineering and soil science, civil and environmental engineering, entomology and plant pathology, microbiology, and plant sciences. The students represent the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), College of Engineering, and College of Arts and Sciences. CASNR is fortunate to administer the program as it gives us special access to this delightful group of students, who will one day be our research and education partners in what is already the world's second-largest economy and Tennessee agriculture's third-largest trading partner. Learn more about the China Scholars and their acclimation to the University of Tennessee.

CASNR Graduates Head West to San Antonio

Congratulations are in order. Two CASNR graduate students traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to present at the Southern Section of Animal Science conference. Sierra Lockwood, pictured above, placed first in the PhD graduate student competition. She presented data related to her bull disposition research at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center. She is currently working on her PhD with Hank Kattesh and Justin Rhinehart. Lockwood was also recently elected to serve as the incoming Graduate Student Representative on the ASAS-SS Executive Board. Thanks to Kattesh's and Rhinehart's nomination, she had the opportunity to attend the ASAS-SS Executive Board meeting. Lockwood has been very active in the Animal Science department and has rightfully earned her new position.

Kaysie Jennings, above right, also presented data on her fescue studies in the master's student competition at SSAS. She represented the department well in her presentation. She will complete her MS this summer with Dr. Cheryl Kojima and then move to Colorado State to complete her PhD.

Impact of an Ag Degree on Landing a Job

"There is incredible opportunity for highly skilled jobs in agriculture," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world's most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050." Read more on the impact of an agricultural degree on getting a job.

Students, have an idea for a project or trip that can advance your education, but need extra cash to make it happen? UT has a crowdfunding program that may be able to give you an assist. The program helps fund faculty and staff ideas, too.

VOLstarter makes it easy to follow, connect with, and support the most innovative and inspiring projects at the University. If you have that innovative idea or project, start a project today, and experience the power of crowdfunding. While you are there, support others projects at any level, knowing that your money will go directly to fund the projects that are most important to you! Learn about VOLstarter crowdfunding.

CASNR Beautifies Campus

In case you missed it, our rain garden project at the Claxton Education Building is highlighted in Tennessee Today. The newsletter includes a nice description of our multicampus collaborations. Read about rain garden projects at Claxton and elsewhere on campus.

Big Orange Accomplishments

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is the leading national venue of its kind. Each year more than 4,000 undergraduate students from institutions across the country converge to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts, and performances. Although a handful of UT students participated in 2008, 2014, and 2015, UT hasn't had a strong presence compared to our peers until 2016. This year, fifty-nine UT posters and oral presentations have been accepted for NCUR 2016. The conference will take place in Asheville, North Carolina, on April 7-9. Congratulations to Jessie Richards of the Animal Science Department for being accepted into such a prestigious program.

Seniors, It's Your Turn

Seniors, thank you for the hard work over the past four years. Thank you for contributing to the rich experience of CASNR. Thank you for entrusting us with your education. Everyone here hopes we have served you well.

The senior gift is a way for seniors to say thank you to all of the faculty, staff, and supporters who have shaped your CASNR experience. It is also a way to leave a legacy for all the classes that follow. You can have a role in the future of CASNR. We ask each member of the class of 2016 to donate at least $20.16. You can make that gift by visiting AdvanceUTIA.com/seniorgift. By participating in the senior gift, you will receive Senior Impact commemorative cords and a CASNR donor pin to wear on your robe at graduation.

Horsing Around

Last November, the UT Equestrian Team travelled to Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, to compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Zone 5 Region 1 Western Horse Show. Despite having only nine competitors while other teams had as many as twenty entries, the UT Equestrians took home the ribbons for High Point Team of the show. Read more about UT Equestrian team's accomplishments.

Contact Us

CASNR Office of the Dean
2621 Morgan Circle Drive  ·  126 Morgan Hall  ·  Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-7303
casnr@utk.edu  ·  www.casnr.utk.edu

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