UConn CAHNR

Connecting Connecticut: A New Podcast from UConn Extension

 

Land-grant universities have provided communities, organizations, farmers and individuals with practical knowledge rooted in research through the Cooperative Extension System since the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. Over the last 107 years a lot has changed with our Extension systems. The program has expanded beyond its agricultural production origin to encompass a wide variety of resources ranging from nutrition to environmental issues and technology.

UConn Extension is no exception to this evolution that the Cooperative Extension System has seen. However, one thing has not changed, in more than a century of working with Connecticut residents, producers, and communities; UConn Extension has always been about connection. Across the board, UConn Extension educators and programs strike at the very core of our 169 cities and towns to make each one of them a better place. Connecting Connecticut, our new podcast, showcases each of our programs through the eyes of those impacted by them.

Connecting Connecticut teaches individuals throughout our state about the programs in their communities. By talking to extension educators, volunteers, researchers, and community members each episode dives into the goals and impacts our programs have here in Connecticut. From learning about coastal resilience and the Connecticut Sea Grant program, looking into the impact 4-H has on the state’s youth and communities, to discussing the importance of volunteers across the Constitution State it is our goal to share the work of UConn Extension, and ultimately our impact on Connecticut.

Join us as we hop from Salisbury to Stonington, visit all eight counties, and talk to all of the wonderful people in between that truly make this state great. Our goal to reach every community, people from all walks of life, and strive for a better tomorrow and we have been fulfilling that mission since 1914. We are chronicling that journey and the people who make it
possible everyday. It is only fitting that in telling our story we do so by Connecting Connecticut.

Article by Zachary J. Duda

Meet Kirsten Krause: Tolland County 4-H Intern

Kirsten KrauseHi everyone! My name is Kirsten Krause and this year I am the Tolland County 4-H summer program intern! I am currently a junior attending UConn Storrs as an Animal Science major on the pre-veterinary track, with hopes to attend veterinary school after completing my undergraduate degree. At UConn, I am heavily involved in many livestock clubs, including Block and Bridle, the Poultry Science Club, and the Dairy Club, which I will be serving as the president of for the 2020-2021 school year. I am also involved on campus as a student ambassador for CAHNR, a herdsman for the animal science department “Little I” livestock show, and as a volunteer student worker in various livestock research studies. 

This internship is very near and dear to my heart, as I grew up as a 4-H youth in Tolland County and have spent the last 11 years immersing myself in county, state, and national 4-H activities. I have served on the county fairboard as a youth director for 5 years, 2 of which I held the position of president and 1 year as a junior advisor. At the state level, I have participated in various leadership forums and have been a member of the Teen Leadership Planning Committee. At the national level, I have attended 3 national 4-H trips, as well as being selected as a CT 4-H youth representative to attend the 4-H CS Pathways grant training in Utah last spring. Additionally, I was the Tolland County 4-H program intern last year, and in previous years I have worked closely with the past program intern through my fairboard committee, which is what prepared and inspired me to pursue the position as the program intern.

This summer, I have been working extensively on developing a virtual platform for Tolland County 4-H youth to exhibit their projects in place of a live, in-person fair. I work closely with other members of the county fairboard, prospective judges, as well as other 4-H counties’ youth and interns to compile appropriate resources for 4-H youth to have the same opportunity to participate in a fair this year, despite the transition to being entirely virtual. Additionally, I have served as the primary contact for virtual 4-H fair related inquiries. I am thankful that although the fair will be very different this year, I am still able to contribute to positive youth development and network with other students, 4-Hers, and interns through my position. 

CVMDL Identifies Asian Longhorned Tick Submitted from NY

Adult Asian Longhorn Tick dorsal view
Photo: Holly McGinnis and Maureen Sims, UConn CVMDL

The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL) at UConn is reporting the identification of the Asian longhorned tick. This is the first time that CVMDL has identified this tick species. The ticks were submitted to CVMDL for identification and testing from the State of New York. Our laboratory notified New York State Animal and Public Health officials of the findings. This information was also reported to the USDA per regulations.

Ticks are disease-carrying arachnids that reside in moist areas, such as long grass and the leaf litter, and will latch onto humans and animals alike. Although there are many different species of ticks, people generally think of one tick species in particular when worrying about illness: the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). While the Deer tick is predominantly known for transmitting the agent that causes Lyme disease (the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi), it can also carry other disease-causing agents. A single tick can transmit more than one infectious agent.

Identification of the Asian longhorned tick at CVMDL is significant because it means their population is increasing and that presents another public health concern. Asian longhorned ticks are not traditionally found in the Western Hemisphere but were first identified here in 2017.

Although Asian longhorned ticks are not as attracted to humans as pets and livestock, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and scientists at UConn’s CVMDL encourage people to take precautions against the tick. We are still uncertain of the diseases the Asian longhorned tick carries and spreads. The CDC offers guidelines to help people prevent tick bites.

CVMDL, part of the Department of Pathobiology in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, is on the frontlines of research and testing to keep humans and animals safe. For more information visit http://cvmdl.uconn.edu or learn how to submit a tick test at https://bit.ly/HowToTestTick.

How do I get a tick tested?

Ticks carry many diseases that affect humans and animals. The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science at UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources offers tick testing. The steps to submit a tick are outlined in this video and you can visit https://bit.ly/UConnTickTesting to download the submission form.

A Message to the CAHNR Community

banner of Extension programs

Dear Friends and Colleagues –

The events of the past few weeks have brought sadness and outrage to communities across our nation. The senseless killing of black men and women demonstrates that as a nation, we need to make further and strong progress toward our aspirations of a diverse and inclusive society.

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources remains steadfastly committed to our goals of creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive environment for us all. In these troubled times, we must stand tall in our beliefs and redouble our resolve to ensure that all members of our community feel safe and welcome. We will continue to take multiple steps to promote diversity and inclusion throughout our college and our communities.

On behalf of the college and in cooperation with our Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to all who have been impacted by these senseless acts. I know that you share my commitment to supporting all individuals in communities across our state, the nation, and the world.

Best regards on behalf of myself and the CAHNR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion,

Indrajeet Chaubey, Dean

CAHNR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Maria-Luz Fernandez, Nutritional Sciences, Chair
Sharon Gray, Extension
Miriah Kelly, Extension
Beth Lawrence, Natural Resources and Environment
Michael O’Neill, Associate Dean, ex-officio
Sara Putnam, Communications, ex-officio
Farhed Shah, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Ellen Shanley, Allied Health Science
Brandon Smith, Animal Science
Young Tang, Animal Science
Beth Taylor, Kinesiology
Huanzhong Wang, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Xiaohui Zhou, Pathobiology and Veterinary Sciences

Job Opening: Assistant/Associate Extension Educator – Livestock

Angus beef cattle crazing on horsebarn hill at UConn
Cows and calves graze along Horsebarn Hill.
Job Opening: We are seeking an Assistant/Associate Extension Educator, Extension Diversified Livestock. This position is based in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and is a joint appointment with the UConn Department of Animal Science in UConn CAHNR. Minimum qualifications include an earned masters’ degree in animal science. Full details and information on applying are posted at: https://bit.ly/ExtensionLivestock

Applications are Open for NRCA Program

nrca students in water

Applications are now open for the UConn Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA).

The NRCA engages high school students and adult volunteers in environmental education and service learning. Participants explore natural resource science and carry out a local conservation project in/around their own towns throughout Connecticut.

View these short videos about the NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program and Conservation Training Partnerships program.

Visit http://nrca.uconn.edu/ to learn more and apply.

Questions? Contact Amy Cabaniss (amy.cabaniss@uconn.edu, 486-5239) or Nicole Freidenfelds (nicole.freidenfelds@uconn.edu, 486-6933)