UMass Amherst News Round-up

Professor Appointed to National Food Safety Board

AMHERST, Mass. - Fergus Clydesdale, head of the department of food science at the University of Massachusetts, has been asked to serve as a member of the National Academy of Sciences food safety oversight commission.

The National Academy, through the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) and the National Research Council’s Board on Agriculture (BA), will undertake a 9-month study on ensuring safe food from production to consumption. The commission will oversee a study of the current mechanisms to ensure a safe food supply and the extent to which they are effective in addressing food safety issues.

"President Clinton has selected food safety as one of his top priorities, and this commission will insure it is accomplished most efficiently and in an appropriate manner," says Clydesdale, who is a member of FNB.

University Hosts Equine Conference March 7-8

AMHERST, Mass. - The department of veterinary and animal sciences at the University of Massachusetts will host a two-day conference for horse owners and breeders March 7-8 at the Mullins Center VIP Room and the Hadley Farm Equine Center.

The first day’s sessions, at the Mullins Center, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; a wet lab and demonstration the following day at Hadley Farm will take place from 9-11:30 a.m. The conference will include presentations by nationally recognized equine experts on topics including horse nutrition; first aid and emergency care; disease prevention; and equine reproduction. The wet lab and demonstrations will cover mare teasing; semen collection, evaluation, storage and shipping; ultrasound examination of the mare; and stallion handling.

"We’re very pleased that for the first time we’re able to offer seminars on equine management and veterinary care," says Douglas Freeman, director of the equine studies program at UMass. "This conference is an important part of our continuing education and outreach efforts to horse owners."

For information or registration, contact Koylas Renaas, department of veterinary and animal sciences, 413/549-3250 by Feb. 20. Enrollment for the wet lab and demonstrations is limited to 20 participants.

Students Win "Chapter of the Year" Award

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts student chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) has won the "Chapter of the Year" Award at the 71st annual conference of CMAA held last month in Las Vegas. The students also received four other awards for outstanding achievements in programs and professional development. This is the fifth year in a row that the UMass student chapter has won major awards at the annual conference, including the "Chapter of the Year" award in four of those five years.

"I’m very proud and pleased by what our students have accomplished," says Rod Warnick, associate professor of hotel, restaurant, and travel administration (HRTA) and chapter advisor. "They have really set the standard by which all other chapters are judged."

About 50 HRTA students are members of the UMass chapter, which is the largest in the U.S. Eleven students from the chapter attended the CMAA conference. They were recognized at student meetings and at the national awards luncheon where former President George Bush was the keynote speaker. The UMass Alumni Association, the New England Club Managers Association, and the Metro Chapter of the New York City Club Managers Association helped to support the students’ trip to Las Vegas.

Professor Recognized By Professional Society

AMHERST, Mass. - Prasanta Bhowmik, professor of plant and soil sciences at the University of Massachusetts, was presented with a Distinguished Member Award by the Northeastern Weed Science Society at the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., last month.

The Distinguished Member Award is the society’s highest honor. Recipients must be nominated by a member of the society and seconded by other members, and have a record of service both to the society and to weed science in the northeastern U.S. Bhowmik has been a member of the Northeastern Weed Science Society since 1982.

A faculty member at UMass for the last 17 years, Bhowmik’s responsibilities include teaching, research, and outreach through UMass Extension. His research interests include weed biology, herbicide selectivity, perennial weed control, and integrated weed management in field crops and turfgrass. He is widely published and his expertise is often sought by agricultural producers, golf course managers, commodity groups, and chemical companies. His advice has been used extensively by the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture in considering special and state registrations of herbicides.