Winter 2014 Plant Seminar Series

Soil, Plant, Animal, and Human Nutrition: the Integrated Nature of Sustainability Interdisciplinary, Winter 2014 Seminar Series

The Seminar Series is held on Mondays at 4:00pm in ALS 4000.

Introduction given by David B. Hannaway, Professor of Crop Science

I want to express my appreciation to the seminar committee members from the several departments and colleges represented:

  • Gerd Bobe (Animal and Rangeland Sciences),
  • Molly Megraw (Botany & Plant Pathology),
  • Dave Myrold (Crop & Soil Science),
  • Christopher Still (Forest Ecosystems and Society), and
  • Ramesh Sagili (Horticulture)

and to several individuals from outside of OSU who have been helpful with their ideas and with identifying speakers:

  • Fred Provenza (Wildland Resources Dep., Utah State University),
  • Jon Bansen (J&J Organic, Grass-based Dairy), and
  • Peter Ballerstedt (Barenbrug USA)

Also, to Crop & Soil Science Department Head, Russ Karow for his encouragement in pursuing this theme-based series and identifying funds to support bringing to OSU several experts to address various components of the theme. Funding for guest speakers in this series is being provided by the following.

  • Gold Sponsor: Wait and Lois Rising Lectureship Fund – College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Silver Sponsor Units: Animal and Rangeland Sciences, Botany and Plant Pathology, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Crop & Soil Science – Harward Lectureship Fund, and Forest Engineering, Resources and Management


This series is titled “Soil, Plant, Animal, and Human Nutrition: the Integrated Nature of Sustainability.” The idea for this theme grew out of conversations with Peter Ballerstedt, former OSU Extension Forage Specialist and long-time friend and colleague.

He and I share a common interest in forage-livestock systems and on the interrelationships among disciplines that make up those systems; soils, plants, animals, atmosphere, and the human aspects that are involved in managing, marketing, and consuming the products.

We also share a concern that the inter-related-ness is often blurred due to the nature of our scientific training; reductionist, discipline specific and often quite narrow - leading to ‘an inability to see the forest for the trees.’

The disciplines involved in sustainable agriculture and agro-ecology certainly involve soil, plant, animal, and atmospheric components. But, I believe we are stopping short of the goal if we don’t consider and include human nutrition and health as an essential component of our discussions and our research.

The human health issues of what is now called “metabolic syndrome” are a case in point. The CDC predicts that 50% of the US population will be diabetic or pre- diabetic by 2020. That’s not a picture of health to lead the world. How does what we do in our specific disciplines contribute to improving environmental health and human health and well-being?

I am hopeful that this seminar series will promote conversations about the linkages among disciplines and specifically how we might conduct research and offer classes that address soil, plant, animal, and human nutrition inter-relationships.

January 6
Beth Burritt, Area Rangeland Agent, Utah State University
Using Behavioral Principals to Meet Land Management Goals amd Improve Sustainability

January 13
Tom Bruulsema (via video connection), Northeast Regional Director, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Ontario, Canada
Nutrient Stewardship for Nutrition Security

January 20
No Seminar

January 27
Jeff Hatten, Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management
Long-term Soil Productivity of Managed Forests: Mechanisms of Apparent Resilience After Intensive Biomass Removal (pdf)

February 3
Jörg-Peter Schnitzler, Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany
Aquaporins – Tools for Improving Water Use Efficiency in Poplar (pdf)

February 10
No seminar due to weather conditions.

February 17
Emily Ho, Endowed Director - Moor Family Center for Whole Grain Food, College of Public Health and Human Sciences
Sulforaphane, Epigenetics, and Cancer Prevention (pdf)

February 24
Aymeric Goyer, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Biofortification of Staple Food Crops: A Strategy to Alleviate Micronutrients Malnutrition

March 3
Gary Taubes, Author of "Why We Get Fat" & "Good Calories, Bad Calories"
Why We Get Fat: Adiposity 101 and the Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity

March 10
Charles Benbrook, Research Professor and Program Leader, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University
OM-6: OM-3 Ratios of Organic and Conventional Milk: The Nutritional Significance