Dean's Message Winter 2013

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

Ron Pardini, Dean & Director CABNR/NAES

The spring semester is nearly upon us and the CABNR family remains optimistic about future prospects. We have hired a team of outstanding faculty to interact with our current group of nationally prominent faculty. These hires are aligned with our stakeholder guided strategic plan priorities and the “Scientific Roadmap for Agricultural Research” which was developed and recently adopted by experiment station directors across the U.S. Our new plant geneticist Dr. Ian Wallace and soil scientist Dr. Paul Verburg have arrived and are actively establishing their research laboratory. Dr. Veronica Zepeda will also be joining us in January; she brings excellent teaching credentials in biochemistry and experience in coaching iGEM. We are also in the final stages of hiring a new agronomist, adding to our agricultural science program and enhancing the High Desert Farming Initiative.

HDFI’s first harvest has occurred, representing the collaboration between Urban Roots, College of Business, Cooperative Extension and CABNR/NAES. HDFI was established to enhance students learning, developing new agronomic techniques in high desert environments and connecting with the farming and business sectors in Nevada.

We have recently signed three new agreements. Urban Roots, an AmeriCorps affiliate, will train new farmers through “hands-on” involvement at our east Reno, Main Station Field Laboratory. The non-profit group “Nevada Vines and Wines” will be using a portion of Main Station to help promote Nevada’s wine industry. Plus, a grant through a Nevada Department of Agriculture will help fund a Main Station study of hops as an alternative crop. Finally, the Hamilton Company has established the Hamilton Center for Laboratory Automation, an advanced biochemical equipment training facility.

If you missed this year’s field day, you should consider attending next year. Feedback was very positive. Visitors were invited to explore numerous activities amassed at our Main Station Field Lab, a collaborative effort with Cooperative Extension. Some of the most popular events included a chance to look around Wolf Pack Meats; tasting wines grown/produced by us; Q&A with Master Gardeners and Herds to Harvest staff; demonstrations by Living with Fire; numerous displays on our current research and by Drone America; and of course, a large kids educational area. I believe that this year’s field day was our “best yet”.

The search for CABNR/NAES’ permanent Dean/Director is stirring quite the buzz across campus. Finalists are currently being interviewed and we anticipate the selection to be named early next year. I urge your encouragement and support of our new leader as they lead the college and experiment station into the future.

Sincerely, Ron Pardini