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Carl Hall Earns Skilled Trades Award of Excellence!


Carl Hall, farm supervisor at the UGA Durham Horticulture Research Farm, had a job working indoors once. He did not like it.

Hall feels that a bad day on the farm is better than the best day in an office, and for the past 36 years, he’s helped shape the Durham farm into one of the most productive outdoor laboratories in the state.

His ability to help researchers who are new to the Southeast and to the farm stems from a lifetime of working this land. Hall’s father was superintendent of the Durham farm, and Hall was raised on the site. He is a living, 50-year archive of the farm’s operations and knows what has worked and what hasn’t.

Over the years, Hall has designed experimental plots, built irrigation systems and prepared fields for research. His knowledge concerning the farm’s geology and layout would be indispensable in any situation, but is even more important given that the 90 acres is used by dozens of researchers in horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, ecology, plant biology and genetics.

In addition, part of the farm has been certified for organic production, and research must be managed differently and buffered from non-organic uses.

Hall has also proven his logistical skill and engineering prowess by inventing and building new equipment from scratch, like an onion transplanting wheel or a drip irrigation subsoiler—equipment that saved research assistants hours of labor.

In addition to his work with land and equipment, Hall is known as a patient, hands-on supervisor for inexperienced research farm workers, along with being a great cook.

UGA to Host Inaugural ‘Academy of Crop Production’

The Academy of Crop Production is a Southern-centric four-day (family-friendly) conference dedicated to sharing information on ADVANCED ornamental crop production and business management techniques for ornamental producers. Hosted by the University of Georgia and the Georgia Green Industry Association, at the beautiful Hotel Indigo. This is not a trade show, but rather a concentrated series of classes, open forums and social events that focus on important current issues facing growers. This program features an impressive national speaker lineup.

Click here to see the brochure.

And click here to register.Save the Date_Front

Kacey Jones To Join van der Knaap Laboratory Staff

10881654_677729652341372_1762247456045797913_nHort Department Alumna Kacey Jones was recently hired as a greenhouse/field assistant in the van der Knaap laboratory. Kacey’s responsibilities are to maintain the greenhouse and field programs on tomato and pepper fruit quality. Kacey has been working at an organic vegetable production facility, Professor Esther van der Knaap recent received a significant grant to work on tomato genomics. Congratulations Kacey on your next career step in greenhouse vegetables!

Hort Major Scores Magnolia Gardens as Internship Destination!

LandonBarkerCongratulations are in order for Miss Landon Barker, UGA Horticulture Major and President elect of Tau Chapter Pi Alpha Xi, whom has been accepted into the summer internship program at the Magnolia Gardens just outside Charleston, South Carolina! If you have not ever visited this historic garden, you must! Truly one of the more fascinating and beautiful places to visit in the South. Many thanks to Tom and Mary Ann Johnson for bringing one of our students into their program. Landon will be working along side students from Versailles, France this summer. Can’t wait to see this adventure’s photos! Go Hort Dawgs!

Shuyang Zhen, Michael Martin and Marc van Iersel attend LightSym 2016

Shuyang Zhen with her poster

Shuyang Zhen presented a poster on the importance of added far-red light to increase photosynthesis and the efficiency of photosystem II under LED lights.

The 8th international symposium on lighting (LightSym 2016) was held from may 22-26 in East Lansing, MI. The horticultural physiological lab was well represented at the symposium. Shuyang Zhen presented her work on the importance of far-red light on the efficiency of light use in photosynthesis. Her work has shown that far-red light can increase photosynthesis under LED light, because most LEDs excite photosystem II more efficiently than photosystem I. Far-red light can be used to restore the balance between these two photosystems.

Michael Martin and Marc van Iersel both presented the lab’s research on the use of chlorophyll fluorescence to optimize the efficiency of photosynthesis under LED lighting. Michaels’ poster focused on our work with the biofeedback system we developed. He presented data on maintaining different electron transport rates in

Michael Martin with his poster

Michael Martin discuss his poster on the performance of the lab’s biofeedback system with Melanie Yelton from LumiGrow.

lettuce. The poster discussed how different electron transport rates affected the quantum efficiency of photosystem II, as well as heat dissipation of excess light energy.

Marc van Iersel gave an oral presentation describing the importance of more efficient lighting in controlled environment agriculture and how chlorophyll fluorescence measurements can be used to achieve. The presentation covered how the biofeedback system works as well as how chlorophyll fluorescence measurements can be used in greenhouses to quantify photosynthetic efficiency and how that is affected by different light levels.

Shuyang Zhen wins graduate student competition at LightSym 2016

PhD student Shuyang Zhen with her first place certificate for winning the graduate student competition at LightSYm 2016

Shuyang with her first place certificate in front of her poster.

Shuyang Zhen, PhD student with Dr. Marc van Iersel in the horticultural physiology lab, won the graduate student competition at the 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture. Shuyang presented her research showing that far-red light can play an important role in optimizing light use efficiency of plants grown under LED light. Her work challenges the widespread perception that far-red light is used very inefficiently by plants. She was able to show that far-red can actually play an important role in assuring that plants can use all different colors of light efficiently. Her results attracted much attention from the many lighting companies present at the symposium, since Shuyang’s findings can help them design better lights for plant growth.

LaMont Suddeth Named Griffin Campus Outstanding Employee of the Year

SuddethMr. LaMont Suddeth, a member of the staff in the Horticulture Department at the Griffin Campus, was recently named Outstanding Employee of the Year by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  LaMont is the Horticulture Department Greenhouse Supervisor on campus. and is also an accomplished artist! Congratulations LaMont for this recognition by the college…of course, we Hort Dawgs already knew you were the best!

Two UGA Students Place in the CAES Undergraduate Research Competition

xxdxccc DSC_8238smKudos to UGA Horticulture  Department students Ruqayah Bhuiyan and Sierra McDonald, andwhom placed 4th and 5th respectively in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Competition! Ruqayah worked with David Berle on the Effects of Biochar on Crop Growth, and Sierra worked with Paul Thomas characterizing the effects of chilling on Orchid roots.  These students did outstanding work on research projects. There will be an awards banquet on May 2nd at which the college will recognized their achievements! Well done ladies!

Interesting New Job for UGA Horticulture Graduate

DSC_8238smCongratulations are in order for senior UGA Hort Dawg Sierra McDonald who recently was hired by the Giving Tree Wellness Center in Prescott, Arizona. Sierra is embarking on an adventure legally growing medical marijuana at an Arizona state-licensed production facility. We do not teach anything about marijuana production at UGA, nor do we endorse its use, however our greenhouse management students are more than qualified for these kinds of jobs in states where it is legally produced. I will be interested in learning how this position works out. The salary offer was very competitive with standard greenhouse industry positions.Leave it to a Hort Dawg to try something new! Good Luck Sierra!