Highlights

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2014: CALS Year in Review

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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Videos

Day in the life of a food science student

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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Announcements

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Pecatonica without the P

Friday, December 12th, 2014

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Events

Events

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Climate change alters the cast of winter birds

Over the past two decades, the resident communities of birds that attend eastern North America’s backyard bird feeders in winter have quietly been remade, most likely as a result of a warming climate. [caption id="attachment_16571" align="alignleft" width="319"] A mix of birds gather around a snow-covered bird feeder during a winter day. According to UW researchers, birds typically found in more southerly regions are gradually pushing north — a likely result of climate change. Photo: Martha Allen/Cornell Lab of Ornithology[/caption] Writing this week in the journal Global Change Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife biologists Benjamin Zuckerberg andKarine Princé document that once rare wintering bird species are now commonplace in the American Northeast. Using more than two decades of data on 38 species of birds gathered by thousands of “citizen scientists” through the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch, the Wisconsin researchers show that birds typically found in more southerly regions are gradually pushing north, restructuring the communities of birds that spend their winters in northern latitudes. [caption id="attachment_16570" align="alignleft" width="250"] Carolina wrens, which have greatly expanded their wintering range, sit atop a snowman’s head. Photo: ...
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
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Climate change alters the cast of winter birds
Food Systems

Neal First, whose work led to cattle cloning, dies at 84

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] Neal First, an emeritus professor of animal sciences, is pictured in his research lab in 1997. His work set the stage for in vitro fertilization of cattle and cloning of cattle embryos. First died Nov. 20 from complications of cancer. Photos by Jeff Miller, UW-Madison.[/caption] Emeritus Professor Neal First, a pioneer in cattle reproduction and cloning who studied animal physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 45 years, died Nov. 20 from complications of cancer. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="150"] Neal First[/caption] After getting his Ph.D. at Michigan State University, First started work in 1960 at the UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where he taught a wide range of courses related to animal health. His lab was best known for studies on the mechanisms of reproduction in swine, cattle and horses. His work in the 1980s on how sperm and eggs are prepared, or matured, for fertilization set the stage for in vitro (in the lab) fertilization of cattle — something that had already been achieved in humans. Among cattle, IVF now produces as many ...
Thursday, December 18th, 2014
-20141218
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Neal First, whose work led to cattle cloning, dies at 84
Health and Wellness

New studies power legacy of UW-Madison mitochondrial research

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] An assortment of biochemical approaches, both modern and classic, is pictured with a 3-D model of the COQ9 protein structure used by UW-Madison researchers. The university’s mitochondrial research dates back nearly 60 years. Photo: Matthew Stefely/Pagliarini Lab[/caption] It was the yellow color of the solution, pulled from cauliflower, that set Frederick Crane’s hallmark achievement into its final motion. Crane was a researcher under David E. Green in the early days of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Enzyme Institute, in a lab group on a mission to determine, bit by bit, how mitochondria — the power plants of cells — generate the energy required to sustain life. In the early 1950s, the lab was looking for the missing piece that connected each of the individual parts of the mitochondrial energy machine — the electron transport chain — like the gears needed to operate an engine. What Crane found, a compound called coenzyme Q, was to become a major part of the legacy of mitochondrial research at UW-Madison, but it was no accident. It was “the result of a long train of investigation into a ...
Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
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New studies power legacy of UW-Madison mitochondrial research
CALS in the Media

‘Perfect storm’ churns milk into gold for farmers

CNBC
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‘Perfect storm’ churns milk into gold for farmers
Healthy Ecosystems

Pecatonica without the “P”

Conservation experts and farmers alike are pretty pleased with the news from Pleasant Valley. A seven-year pilot project in this 12,000-acre sub-watershed of the Pecatonica River showed that it’s possible to significantly cut phosphorus and sediment losses from agricultural land by zeroing in on problem areas. Changing farming practices on selected fields on just 10 of the valley’s 61 farms reduced the amount of phosphorus entering the Pecatonica from Pleasant Valley during major storms by more than a third. Steps such as reducing tillage and planting crops that leave more residue to protect the soil caused estimated average annual losses of phosphorus and sediment entering the stream to drop by 4,400 pounds and 1,300 tons, respectively. The project partners—UW scientists, public agencies, local farmers and The Nature Conservancy—began in 2006 by collecting baseline data on water quality in the Pecatonica below Pleasant Valley and below a nearby watershed that served as a control. From 2010 through 2012, conservationists worked with farmers to implement new practices. Data from 2013 showed that those efforts paid off. “We can say with 90 percent confidence that this project ...
Sunday, December 14th, 2014
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healthy-ecosystems
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Pecatonica without the “P”
Economic and Community Development

Sign up now for Jan. 21 Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum

University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension experts will discuss the financial health of Wisconsin agriculture and the outlook for the year to come at the eighth annual Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum on Wednesday, Jan. 21 on the UW-Madison campus. The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. – 2: 30 p.m., will be held in the Tripp Commons room at the Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street. The program, organized by the UW-Madison’s Renk Agribusiness Institute, includes a pre-forum luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., followed by the forum itself, which runs from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Registration for the event is requested by Dec. 30. During the forum, speakers will discuss the status of Wisconsin’s farm economy, production of Wisconsin’s major commodities last year and how things are expected to fare in the year ahead. They will address topics including farm income, farm inputs and credit, dairy, livestock, corn and soybeans. Registration costs $15.00 and covers both the lunch and the forum. For more information and to register, visit: http://agoutlook.cals.wisc.edu/. For questions, contact Liz Henry at eahenry@wisc.edu or (608) 262-9485.
Friday, December 12th, 2014
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Sign up now for Jan. 21 Wisconsin Agricultural Economic Outlook Forum