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January 2021 Edition of the Official Newsletter of the
School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences
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UMES Winter 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony
Meet the Winter Commencement student commentator for SANS
New federal technology aims to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry houses
UMES welcomes economist to SANS and Extension programs
Doctoral graduate aims to apply food safety research to farmers near and far
Message from the SANS Dean
COVID-19-UMES Updates & CDC Fact Sheet

Rep. David Scott is first African American chair of House Agriculture Committee
UMES Land-grant Scholarship Program
"Prosperity and Tranquility," an essay on what January 20, 2021 embodies
"Snow Dayz" UMES Extension 4-H STEM virtual educational series

2021 AgDiscovery summer camp slated for June 13-26 at UMES
Farm risk management classes continue through the spring
UMES 4-H STEM "Creative Science" virtual educational series
Ingenuity, Spring 2020
Subscribe to Extension's Connections newsletter
New! Fall 2020-The Living Sea-LMRCSC newsletter
UMES Winter 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony
Click on the link above to watch the virtual Winter Commencement featuring a welcome from UMES President Heidi Anderson, a special message from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and SANS faculty members Drs. Jennifer Timmons (Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences), Lombuso Khoza and Malinda Cecil (Human Ecology) and, of course, a list and some photos of UMES graduates.
Meet Shayna Wiltshire
Winter Commencement Student Commentator representing UMES SANS
Who am I? Well, let me introduce myself. I am Shayna Wiltshire: a daughter, a sister, a friend, a dancer, a creator, an artist and much more. Most importantly, I am now a graduate of the fall Class of 2020!

We are living in one of the most historic of times.  We have survived the COVID-19 pandemic, injustice leading to Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, and Trump and now rejoice in the first Black female elected Vice President of the United States.

A wise man once said, “You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking.” Rest in peace Chadwick Boseman.

As the last few days at UMES were coming to an end, I began to reminisce on the years before. I know we can all remember a moment that has either been life-changing, entertaining or overwhelming. We have met lifelong friends and amazing mentors. As we enter the world with a new perspective, cherish every step even when it feels like you can no longer push through. Remember where you came from, but don’t let it hinder where you are going. You choose your own destiny! Don’t live in regret and don’t live in fear. Cherish EACH step today and forever. Keep your head held high and walk with purpose!

Congratulations, we are now a part of the UMES alumni family!

Wiltshire, who calls Prince George's County home, earned a bachelor’s degree in human ecology with a concentration in fashion merchandising. While at UMES, she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Kappa Omicron Nu, the Human Ecology Club and was a member of the Ambiance Dance Company.  She said she found her niche for art, dance, fashion and design during her Freshman year, and it turned into her own brand, SK.  She plans on attending graduate school to earn a master’s degree in advertising.

New federal technology aiming to reduce ammonia emissions in poultry houses
Click image above for WMDT 47 abc's interview with UMES researcher and team along the East Coast who received national award for transfer of new federal technology.  Read more indepth here.
UMES welcomes economist to SANS and Extension programs

Dr. Luis Peña-Lévano has joined the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences as an assistant professor of agribusiness and resource economics in its Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences.  He will also be a key member of the UMES Extension team as an economist helping in the area of farm business management and community development.

Peña-Lévano’s expertise lies in agribusiness, financial management, international trade, agricultural and environmental policy, and mathematical optimization.

He is author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field.  In 2020, his article, “Climate Change Interactions with Agriculture, Forestry Sequestration, and Food Security,” co-authored with colleagues from Purdue University, was awarded “Best Publication” in the journal, Environmental and Resources Economics. Another article last year,  “COVID-19 and the Agriculture Industry:  Labor, Supply Chains and Consumer Behavior” was promoted in more than 30 national media outlets.
SANS doctoral student aims to apply food safety research to farmers near and far

Informing Delmarva farmers and those across the nation about the best management practices of organic crop production is the intended outcome of newly minted Dr. Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds’ research toward her degree in food and agricultural sciences.  The December doctoral graduate was involved in a three-year study at UMES on food safety and soil health in organic specialty crop systems.  Her work aimed to add credible research findings to the scientific database for current practices.

“Poultry manure is often used as an organic fertilizer largely because it is inexpensive, easily accessible and has a high nitrogen content. Consumer demand has increased for organically grown fresh produce, as it is associated with healthier eating practices.  However, the use of manure amendments to soil for growing fresh produce is a food safety concern as they can harbor fecal pathogens that may result in foodborne illnesses,” McKenzie-Reynolds said.


Dear SANS Stakeholders,


With the winter semester wrapped up, we are delighted to welcome students back to campus for the spring semester. Despite the positive news regarding vaccinations against COVID-19, we must remain highly conscientious in following the CDC guidelines. This is our collective obligation and commitment to keeping each other safe.
This January, we initiated a process for reimagining and refocusing the implementation and delivery of our programs within SANS. A central driver for this process is to ensure that we focus our efforts on those areas where we have a critical mass of faculty and other resources to ensure excellence in delivery. This will also allow for more effective coordination of initiatives, strengthening of stakeholder linkages and increase competitiveness for national funding opportunities.
Of course, our core mission of workforce development remains central to all our activities. As we examine this mission component, we want to ensure that we are delivering programs that address today’s workforce needs especially in the STEM disciplines, including food agriculture, natural resources and human sciences.
As part of this process, we are revisiting the cluster initiatives to ensure relevance and to refocus them as necessary. The core drivers for the initiatives remain highly relevant and these are centered around four main themes.  First, it is indisputable that agriculture plays a critical role in Maryland’s economy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Second, Maryland’s natural resources underpin a range of economic activities, such as forestry based industries, tourism, fisheries, etc. and provide the basis for supporting quality living. Therefore, ensuring a strong and sustainable foundation to guide use and protection of these resources is a priority as is developing ways to ensure they support the  livelihoods of Marylanders. A significant cross-cutting theme that impinges on all these areas is climate change. Third, the youth are our future as a state and nation and therefore providing support for the robust development of young, healthy people is critical.  With this said, the growing health challenge posed by the increasing prevalence of obesity in the population has become apparent. This has been compounded by the emergence of COVID-19 over the past year. At the same time, new challenges are expected to arise, for example, changes in climate will undoubtedly influence the distribution of disease vectors and the diseases they transmit. Against this background a focus on human health and development is imperative. Finally, there is adequate intellectual capital within the school to drive a thriving initiative to commercialize ideas and to support economic development for the region.


We invite you to share your suggestions and ideas on any aspects that may help us to better focus our continuing efforts. To this end, please feel free to write or contact me directly ( 
With very best wishes for a safe and highly productive 2021, keep safe!

Moses T. Kairo
SANS Professor and Dean

The health and well-being of our campus and the community is our highest priority. The University's Task Force is working diligently to stay informed of changing dynamics in the coronavirus outbreak. 
UMES Updates
CDC Guidelines
Congressman David Scott  is First African American to Chair House Agriculture Committee
Congressman David Scott (GA-13) was approved by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the first African American chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. The committee is empowered with legislative oversight relating to the U.S. agriculture industry, forestry, nutrition and rural development.

"I will use this critical opportunity to represent the values of our entire caucus and advance our priorities for trade, disaster aid, climate change, sustainable agriculture, SNAP, crop insurance, small family farms, specialty crops and rural broadband," Scott said.  "The fault lines dividing our rural and urban communities are running deep, and climate change is now threatening our nation’s food supply. As chairman, I will lead the fight to rise up and meet these challenges.”

Scott has served on the House Agriculture Committee for the past 18 years and played a key role in securing $80 million for new scholarships for students attending 1890 African American land-grant colleges and universities.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture is in the midst of commemorating its 200th anniversary.

On April 29, 1820, Congressman Lewis Williams of North Carolina introduced a resolution to the House to create a committee to oversee the nation’s agricultural sector. The full House later approved the resolution, formally establishing the committee on May 3, 1820.

Read More>

"Prosperity and Tranquility" 

Excerpt from an essay by Dr. Madhumi Mitra (pictured), a professor of biological and environmental sciences, on what January 20, 2021 means to her as a woman and Asian American
The rise of women in leadership roles is gaining momentum despite barriers.

As a woman, a black woman, and an Asian Indian woman, Vice President Kamala Harris not only shattered the glass ceilings for all women, but also illustrated the aspirational power of the American dream.

She has lighted the torch of freedom and rekindled the hope for a more inclusive America I always dreamed about as a child ... a nation where diversity is celebrated, and equality with respect to gender, race, identity and orientation, and color honored; and a nation, where loving-kindness becomes the foundation of one's existence.
Sign up today for some fun and learning about snow! UMES Extension 4-H STEM senior agent associate Lisa Murphy teams up with University of Maryland Extension 4-H educators in Worcester County to offer a virtual program for ages 8-18.  Click on image below to register before February 5.
UMES 2021 AgDiscovery summer program slated for June 13-26
Area middle and high school students currently in grades 8-11 can apply now for the 2021 AgDiscovery summer program slated for June 13-26 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  Campers will reside on campus unless COVID-19 concerns mandate that it shifts to a virtual experience.

The camp is free, but students must apply to the program by March 25. Visit to obtain the application package.  For more information, contact Corrie Cotton at 410-651-6630.
Farm risk management classes continue through spring

Local farmers can still take advantage of University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension’s MyFaRM initiative, a free program consisting of a series of classes covering the aspects of farm risk management. 

The next socially distanced class, human risk, takes place on February 9, from 3-6 p.m. in the Richard Henson Center.

The spring line-up starts on March 8 at the Henson Center with the first of two production risk classes and continues on April 7 on the UMES Education and Demonstration Farm, both are from 9 a.m. to noon.  Marketing risk is the final series meeting on May 11 from 3-6 in the Henson Center and in June on a date to be determined to coincide with UMES Extension's Small Farm Marketing Bus Tour.

Ingenuity, Spring 2020

The official research magazine of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences.

In this edition of Ingenuity, you will find stories about  research and key linkages we hold with our community.  It means we care about what's important to you.  From one story, you will learn how UMES is paving the way to a newly legalized hemp industry. And as usual, we like to tell you about outcomes concerning some of the activities of our students, faculty, alumni and Extension agents over the last year.

Read all about it ►

UMES Extension launched its e-newsletter Connections in November last year! 

Subscribers will be privy to opportunities available to the public as well as those only available to our subscribers.

To get your copy, subscribe today!
The NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) trains and graduates students from underrepresented communities in marine science for careers in research, management, and public policy that support the sustainable harvest and conservation of our nation's living marine resources. With its partner institutions, the LMRCSC conducts research on marine and estuarine systems congruent with the interests of NOAA Fisheries. The Center is supported by the NOAA Education Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI). Click on the image to read its latest newsletter.
Upcoming Events
UMES Extension MyFaRM  (Mastering Farm Risk Management) Classes

Human Risk Class
February 9, 2021, 3-6 p.m., Richard A. Henson Center

Production Risk Series
March 8, 2021, 9-noon, Richard A. Henson Center
April 7, 2021, 9-noon, UMES Education and Demonstration Farm

Marketing Risk Series
May 11, 2021, 3-6 p.m., Richard A. Henson Center
June 2021, TBD, UMES Small Farm Marketing Bus Tour

Creative Science by UMES Extension 4-H STEM and InTheArtRoom

February 10 and 24, 6-8 p.m., Virtual
March 10, 6-8 p.m., virtual

Snow Dayz by UMES Extension 4-H STEM and UME

Wednesdays, February 17- March 24, 5-6 p.m., Virtual

SANS in the News

Grant aims to accelerate sustainable shellfish aquaculture, boost Virginia coastal economies 
Augusta Free Press, EurekaAlert, Jan. 23, 2021

New Research Publications

Peña-Lévano, L., C. Adams, and S. Burney. 2020. "Latin America’s Superfood Economy: Producing and Marketing Açaí, Chia Seeds, and Maca Root." Choices. Quarter 4. Available online.


Previous Editions . . .

The SANS Monthly Digest-December 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-November 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-October 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest-September 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- August 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - June 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- May 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - April 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest- March 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - February 2020
The SANS Monthly Digest - January 2020

The SANS Monthly Digest - December 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - November 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - October 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - September 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - August 2019
The SANS Monthly Digest - July 2019
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