Classes Without Quizzes 2017 Program

8 a.m. - Registration, networking, and light breakfast

8:45 a.m. - Opening Remarks & Keynote Presentation; concurrent Kids' Edition program begins

CWQ CFANS Michael Boland

The Geography of Food
Michael Boland, Professor of Applied Economics and Director of the Food Industry Center

An increasing number of us want to know not only what's in the food we savor, but also where it comes from.

Appellation labels on the cheese or meat we buy are making it easier to find out where food is made. During this keynote presentation, you'll explore this trend and come to understand our fascination with the geographic origin of foods and why it matters.


10:15 a.m. - Session 1 

(select 1 out of 4)

CFANS CWQ Eli Sagor1) A Report from the Minnesota Woods 
Eli Sagor, Associate Extension Professor, UMN Extension Forestry Team and Director of the University of Minnesota's Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative, based at the Cloquet Forestry Center

Think about your favorite place in Minnesota. Chances are, the view includes trees. Those trees provide habitat, fuel, lumber, beauty, and a unique sense of place. They may seem timeless, but our forests are continually changing. Associate Extension Professor Eli Sagor will discuss some of those changes, driven by little green bugs, warming winters, changing markets, and of course... us. He will also talk about how CFANS research can help us understand how forests are responding to those changes and what we can do to keep them healthy, productive, and beautiful for decades to come.


CWQ CFANS Candy Hirsch2) Nature vs. Nurture - How the Environment Affects the Corn You Eat 
Candice Hirsch, DuPont Young Professor and McKnight Land Grant Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics

There are many different uses for corn - from corn chips and sweet corn, to animal feed, ethanol, and more. High performing varieties have been developed for these uses, but how does the environment they are grown in affect them? Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics assistant professor Candice Hirsch will discuss how the genome of individuals interact with the environment and the impacts on the yield and quality of corn.


3) Building and Growing a Hydroponic Salad Table in Your Backyard 

CWQ CFANS Tom MichaelsTom Michaels, Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science

Hydroponics - growing plants without soil - is a common technique used for growing commercial greenhouse vegetables, but has rarely been used by backyard gardeners.  The Hydroponic Salad Table (HST) is a straight-forward way of growing salad greens, other vegetables like tomatoes, and even fruits like strawberries, in a simple hydroponic system that you can place anywhere outdoors in your yard or on a deck or balcony.  The plants are held up off the ground away from rabbits and the indiscriminate shoes of stray children, and other than harvesting armloads of fresh greens, only needs occasional maintenance.  Department of Horticultural Science professor Tom Michaels will present examples of working systems, show you how to build them and explain step-by-step how to grow a salad a day for everyone in your household.


4) Making "Green" Milk - Building a Green Dairy on the Prairie
Bradley Heins, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science and the West Central Research and Outreach Center

CWQ CFANS Brad HeinsThe typical dairy farm uses large amounts of energy in the milking activity. The high energy consumption is due to the frequency of milking and the energy intensive nature of collecting milk, keeping it cool, and cleaning the equipment. Renewable energy systems generally become more economically efficient as the amount of energy used increases, making dairy farms a great place to incorporate on-site generation. Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center are looking for ways to make producing milk less energy intensive, and they’ve been surprised to see how much energy and water it takes to run their dairy in Morris, Minn. As researchers see where energy is being used, they are finding ways to increase efficiency. During his session, Department of Animal Science associate professor Bradley Heins will discuss the wind and solar improvements made to the dairy to make our milking parlor “net-zero”. The WCROC dairy provides an ideal testing opportunity to evaluate and demonstrate the effect of on-site renewable energy generation and energy-efficient upgrades on fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.


11:30 a.m. - Session 2

Susan Galatowitsch(select 1 out of 5)

1) Life Aquatic: Adaptations of Plants Living in Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands 
Susan Galatowitsch, Professor and Head of the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Minnesota's underwater worlds support an astonishing array of plants that have developed unusual ways to thrive in places where most plants can’t. In this session, you’ll explore how plants like water lilies, wild rice, and water celery have adapted to changing water levels, wave action, and low light. Professor Susan Galatowitsch of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology will explain why most of what grows in our lakes aren’t evil invaders but an important part of those ecosystems.


CWQ CFANS Peter Moe2) Conserving Rare Plants at the Arboretum 
Peter Moe, Director of the MN Landscape Arboretum

The Plant Collections and Native Plant Restorations at the Landscape Arboretum serve multiple functions, one of which is to preserve some of the rarest plant species in Minnesota.  Director of the MN Landscape Arboretum Peter Moe will describe the overall goals of the Arboretum's Plant Conservation Program as well as providing detailed information on current work to protect and propagate rare plants, including several species of native orchids; the Federally endangered dwarf Minnesota trout lily; and rare woody plants including eastern hemlock and several species of pines.  Peter will bring herbarium mounts, small seedlings and other materials that help describe the Plant Conservation Program.


CFANS CWQ Anup Johny3) Chicken Beauties in Our Backyards - Scope, Issues, and Future 

Anup Johny, Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science

Everything old is new again...especially when it comes to urban backyard food production. Chickens are making homes and laying eggs in an increasing number of urban and semi-urban areas in the US. The practice hearkens back to the ‘urban relief gardens’ that greatly supported the American population during the seasons of economic depression and the world wars. Delve into the reasons for the reemergence of backyard poultry rearing. Explore “a heart full of scientific thinking” about the chicken beauties in the backyard and their impact on supporting the food supply, urban health, and education. You'll also address some of the potential challenges of the practice.


CWQ CFANS Jim Bradeen4) Did You Get Enough to Eat? 3 Trends Leading to a Food Secure Future 

Jim Bradeen, Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathology

The world population is growing and it is projected 9 billion humans will inhabit the Earth by 2050. A changing global climate means our crop plants must increasingly thrive under unpredictable environmental conditions such as too much water, too little water, or too much heat. And shifting global crop production patterns mean that crops are continuously threatened by new pests and diseases. Meanwhile, reducing chemical inputs for crop production is an important sustainability goal. Will there be enough food to feed the planet in 2050? Fortunately, University of Minnesota plant scientists are aggressively working to find new solutions to boost crop productivity while reducing environmental impacts. In this session, Department of Plant Pathology professor Jim Bradeen will guide attendees in taking a 'crystal ball' sneak peek at crop production in the future. Together, you will explore how scientists are using remote imaging to tailor production practices for optimal plant health, how new genomics and informatics methods are helping scientists breed crops with better genetic disease resistance, and how soil microbes are being harnessed to promote plant growth. Despite the numerous challenges, science holds significant promise for a food secure and environmentally healthy future.


CWQ CFANS Myah WalkerBen Campbell5) High School Dialogue: Discussion and Lab

(For high school students and their chaperones only)
Led by CFANS Alumna Myah Walker '10 and Ben Campbell '16

This discussion-based and hands-on experience, connected to the CWQ break-out session topics, will offer high schoolers an inside look at classes, labs, and dorm rooms on the St. Paul campus.


Kids' Edition Sessions

Kids' Edition participants will all attend three different activities while the standard program is taking place. University Youth & Community Programs has a morning packed with hands on enrichment and recreation activities for youth. Participants will be divided into small groups of similar ages and spend approximately an hour in each activity led by experienced staff and specialty instructors. All youth must wear athletic/tennis shoes, clothes for physical activities and weather appropriate clothing for outdoors. No previous skills or experience required.

Register NowPlease note that children in grades K-6 must be registered for this program by March 29, 2017. 

Registration & Breakfast: 8:00 am - 8:45 am
Continuing Education and Conference Center

CWQ CFANS RaptorKids' Edition: 8:45am-12:30pm

Animal Adaptations, led by educators from the Bell Museum
Discover how changes in structure, function, and behavior of animals help them survive and thrive. See what makes top predators, swimmers, fliers, and more!

Maple Syrup, led by educators from the MN Landscape Arboretum
Learn how maple syrup forms by exploring photosynthesis and the maple tree life cycle. You'll also have a chance to tap for maple syrup yourself!

Raptors, led by educators at the Raptor Center
Learn about the differences between owls, falcons, hawks, and other raptors. See live raptors up close at the Raptor Center!