Message from the Dean - Winter 2016

Bill Payne, Dean of CABNR

With this winter's snowpack looking better than it has in years, we can begin looking optimistically toward a much more productive year for agriculture. CABNR and NAES are in a much stronger position to support agriculture than they have been in more than a decade through investments in new relevant programs and faculty positions, and through growing partnerships both on and off campus.

In this issue, we elaborate on this greater capacity, which includes sustainable horticulture, led by Assistant Professor Dr. Felipe Barrios Masias, the Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) and its construction of new hoop houses, led by Jennifer Ott, and Meat Science and Food Safety, led by Assistant Professor Amilton de Mello. Moreover, we are wrapping up faculty searches in Plant Stress Signaling, Beef Production, Remote Sensing, and Veterinary Physiology and Animal Reproduction. And we shall soon be launching a number of new searches, including those in bioinformatics, plant breeding, and water and irrigation management.

Impact associated with new and existing capacities, whether in terms of industry, students, or other stakeholders, can only be brought about through partnership. DFI represents a collaborative effort with the College of Business and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. The Meat Science and Food Safety position is jointly held with Extension.  Sustainable horticulture is intended to link up with the many Extension educators in the state. The teff article in this issue describes a collaborative program that includes contributions from individuals working in molecular biology, agronomy, plant breeding, and Extension, who work in state, federal, international, and private scientific sectors. We are enthusiastic about this multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary approach that aims to benefit not only Nevada growers and consumers, but to contribute to improving and stabilizing teff production in Ethiopia.

Our more established faculty continue to receive national and international recognition, and to remind us all that CABNR is about a great deal more than classical agriculture. We are proud of the national coverage, including an article in the New York Times, which Professor Glenn Miller's research with gumweed as a biofuel received. Professor Mae Gustin recently received international attention for her work that challenges the accuracy of widely used instrumentation to measure atmospheric mercury.  

Land-grant universities achieve impact on society through the synergistic integration of teaching, research, and extension. Effective leadership in each of those components is crucial to their success. That is why I am very pleased to announce in this issue the appointment of Professor Chris Pritsos as Associate Dean for Research and Associate Director of the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station. We hope to further extend the benefits of the land-grant university system to other segments of society, including Native Americans. In particular, we continue to move forward with our efforts to create a 1994 Tribal College. That effort, led by Extension's Staci Emm, reached a milestone recently through the generous donation of Dr. Peter Comanor, retired botanist and plant ecologist, to a newly established Nevada Tribal College Fund.
We wish all of our readers a safe, prosperous, and happy 2016.