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A new grant program focusing on preventing and reducing food loss and waste is designed to help reduce food waste in the U.S. by 50% over the next five years. CAES News
Addressing Food Waste
A new national grant program administered by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will pump more than $10.2 million into research to address food loss and waste in the region. Supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the SARE Community Foods Project Food Loss and Waste Training and Technical Assistance Grants Program is seeking grant proposals from applicants working in the public sector on food loss and waste prevention.
Launched in 2021 by Camden County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent Jessica Warren and Martin Wunderly, area water agent for UGA Extension’s Northeast District, the program provides fact-based information to help property owners implement sustainable practices in their landscapes. CAES News
Georgia Green Landscape Stewards
Three years after its debut, the Georgia Green Landscape Stewards program is expanding throughout the state with the assistance of University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers. Using a points-based system, the program has certified more than 200 private properties, public spaces and pollinator gardens in 47 counties as Georgia Green Landscapes, with new applications coming in every month.
Demonstration gardens provide examples of things people can create in their own gardens. CAES News
Open Garden Days
Looking for great garden inspiration that you can implement at home? Consider visiting a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener demonstration garden during Open Garden Days throughout the month of June. The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program has created a comprehensive garden guide, including a 2024 garden passport, to help visitors plan garden stops around the state.
UGA wheat breeder and geneticist Mohamed Mergoum smells one of several test brews created by Creature Comforts on its annual Get Comfortable collaboration using a variety of wheat Mergoum developed at CAES. CAES News
Blending science and philanthropy
Wheat breeders spend years meticulously crossing varieties to coax the best traits out of each species, carefully propagating plant varieties that are healthier, heartier and better suited for the environments where they are grown. Brewmasters are equally painstaking when choosing the components that will give their beers a specific flavor profile. These two exacting professions came together this spring when Athens-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. reached out to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to find a sustainable wheat variety they could use to make a good beer for a great cause.
A field of corn at sunset. CAES News
Protecting Farms And Wildlife
Stanley Culpepper has dedicated the length of his career to supporting farmers in their mission to feed and clothe the world. For the past 25 years, Culpepper has been a weed science specialist for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty member. Recently his job has become increasingly complex as mounting challenges around the availability of pesticides — primarily herbicides — have taken center stage in agricultural production.
A recent CAES study shows that consumers want retailers to provide basic information about the environmental impacts of local food when purchasing food online. CAES News
Environmental Impact of Food
Two recently published studies by University of Georgia researchers show that the consumers surveyed believe buying local is a more sustainable option, but they also value the convenience of online shopping and prefer that retailers provide basic information about the environmental impact of local products in the digital marketplace. Driven by increasing consumer interest in buying local and concerns about the impact of agricultural production systems on a changing climate, the studies were based on data from a web-based survey about consumer interest in sustainability, information about food production and online marketing preferences.
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.
DW Brooks25 web CAES News
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.