Grafting team gathers for Wisconsin workshop

The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s “Plántulas de Esperanza” project team gathered in Wisconsin this month for a 9-day workshop focused on vegetable grafting under the leadership of Jim Nienhuis, horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Among the 28 Spanish-speaking attendees of the workshop were leaders from the women’s farming groups who are participating in the project from Honduras and Guatemala. Also participating were students and professors from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. Continue reading Grafting team gathers for Wisconsin workshop

Students share Trellis stories in Davis Enterprise

Three UC Davis students shared their experiences with Trellis Fund projects this summer for a front-page article, “Global insights: Trellis students work abroad,” in the Davis Enterprise.

For the article Felicia Alvarez, who covers the agriculture beat for the Davis community newspaper, interviewed students Brittany Pierce, Deirdre Griffin, and Belinda Richardson. She also talked to Elyssa Lewis, one of the UC Davis graduate students who manages the Trellis Fund for the Horticulture Innovation Lab, about how the program works.

The article is dramatic and entertaining, bringing readers along on the students’ journeys and into distant agricultural fields, beginning with:

They found themselves in Bangladesh, Malawi and Kenya.

…. After months of preparation, three students journeyed abroad to take a crack at agricultural problems in the developing world. These are their stories.

Read the rest of the article here.

three people holding amaranth grain in a field of amaranth
Belinda Richardson, left, picks amaranth in a demonstration garden with Olivia Atieno Nyaidho and Onyango Vincent, both of DIG, in Kenya.

Though 14 students from multiple universities were selected to participate in this year’s Trellis Fund projects, this article focused on the individual experiences of just these three — all of whom returned from their trips abroad very recently. As I write this blog post, two students are traveling for Trellis projects right now, and six others are planning Trellis trips in the near future.

The newspaper article follows Pierce through a day in Bangladesh and Continue reading Students share Trellis stories in Davis Enterprise

Mitcham honored as ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist

Elizabeth Mitcham, UC Davis scientist, was honored by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) as its Outstanding International Horticulturist for 2015.

She accepted the award Aug. 4 at the ASHS annual conference in New Orleans. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to horticultural sciences for 10 years or more, with emphasis on international activities and impacts.

portrait: Elizabeth Mitcham
Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab and Postharvest Technology Center at UC Davis (high-res)

At UC Davis, Mitcham is director of both the Horticulture Innovation Lab and Postharvest Technology Center programs. As director of the internationally recognized Postharvest Technology Center, she has helped train professionals from more than 40 countries in how best to care for fruits and vegetables after harvest, to reduce food waste and improve food quality. She has hosted numerous foreign scientists and students in her lab at the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, where her research focuses on the regulation of fruit ripening, understanding calcium deficiency disorders, and maintaining fruit quality after harvest.

Mitcham also leads the Horticulture Innovation Lab, which targets fruit and vegetable research in developing countries to reduce poverty and improve nutrition. Her leadership helps build international partnerships between scientists and develop technologies that meet the horticultural needs of smallholder farmers. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“I’ve really become passionate about what horticulture can bring to reducing poverty and improving lives,” she said. “Meeting people who are now able to send their children to school or buy books—those one-on-one interactions are what really stick with me. It is so rewarding to be able to work in this field.” Continue reading Mitcham honored as ASHS Outstanding International Horticulturist

Newsletter: Meeting wrap-up, gender tips, opportunities

Below is our email newsletter, with highlights from our recent blog posts and links to other news and opportunities. You can see our newsletters here, or subscribe to get your own copy next time.

Leaders from each of our projects gathered in Zambia last month for an annual meeting, joined by local partners, entrepreneurs, and others interested in horticulture for development. Highlights from this meeting are below, along with some additional program news and opportunities in the world.

WHAT WE LEARNED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING The first day of the three-day meeting was focused on learning about the program’s new portfolio of projects and finding possible synergies between them. Continue reading Newsletter: Meeting wrap-up, gender tips, opportunities

What we learned at the annual meeting

In June, representatives from each of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s current projects gathered in Lusaka, Zambia, for the program’s annual meeting. The three-day meeting started with a workday, then grew into a local conference, and ended with a tour of local agriculture.

Workday for current partners

The first day of the three-day meeting was focused on learning about the program’s new portfolio of projects and finding possible synergies between them. Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, discussed the broad goals of the projects new phase, and John Bowman of USAID updated the group about changes at the Bureau of Food Security, including upcoming changes to scientific peer review policies and sub-award processes.

People talking and listening in front of a poster
Kate Scow of UC Davis discusses her new project in Uganda during the poster session, with Manny Reyes of NCA&T and Josette Lewis of UC Davis.

Principal investigators from each of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s six current projects and two Regional Centers shared posters and discussion with rotating small groups. Later, the teams networked to discuss ways they could work together and exchange expertise.

Janelle Larson, Leif Jensen and Arie Sanders of Penn State and Zamorano universities walked the group through a workshop about designing gender-sensitive agricultural research (see 9 tips for incorporating gender into a research project for highlights). Rangaswamy Muniappan, director of the Continue reading What we learned at the annual meeting