Day one on the dean’s tour: Mills River

Date posted: October 24, 2012

Picture of Tom Ranney and Dean Rich Linton observing energy crops.Photo by Dave CaldwellCALS Dean Rich Linton and Dr. Tom Ranney are dwarfed by energy crops, crops that may be processed to produce biofuel.

WHEN: October 23, 2012
WHERE: Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center

New CALS Dean Richard Linton is on the road, getting to know North Carolina and how the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is making a difference every day in the lives of the state’s people. Day One: Mills River and the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center. The center, near Asheville, serves as a hub for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the western part of North Carolina. More than 40 faculty and staff members conduct applied research and empower western North Carolina’s people through extension education programs related to agriculture, the environment, family and community. The center is known for its innovative work related to tomato breeding, fish farming, herbs and organics, Christmas trees — and much more.

ITINERARY: A hops yard, sturgeon four to five feet long, energy crops considerably higher than an elephant’s eye – these were just a few of the things new College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Rich Linton encountered during a day at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River.

Picture of Dean Rich Linton and Don Schjeldahl at Sierra Nevada brewery site..

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Don Schjeldahl, site coordinator for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., discusses the company's plans for a brewery and warehouse with CALS Dean Rich Linton. The brewery and warehouse will be located across the French Broad River from the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station.

The center was the first stop on a North Carolina tour designed to begin to acquaint Linton with CALS programs and people beyond the North Carolina State University campus.

In addition to touring the center, Dean Linton met the new neighbors. The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, California, is building a brewery and warehouse just across the French Broad River from the research station. Sierra Nevada site coordinator Don Schjeldahl provided a tour of the construction site and described plans for the Sierra Nevada presence at the site.

Picture of Dean Rich Linton and Dr. Jeanine Davis at a hop yard.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dr. Jeanine Davis discusses her work with hops at a hops yard on the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station.

Sierra Nevada plans to begin brewing beer in the new facility by next July and will employ approximately 200 people; however, the company plans considerably more than just a brewery and warehouse. The site will include a restaurant and outdoor theater, while land around the brewery will be set aside for agricultural uses and other outdoor activities such as hiking.

Schjeldahl said Sierra Nevada considered numerous sites in neighboring states for the facility and chose the Asheville area in part because of community support and the local brewing culture. He added that the presence of the Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center was also a factor in the decision.

In addition to Sierra Nevada, the dean toured various labs and visited with faculty at the center. He visited a hops yard developed by Dr. Jeanine Davis as well as towering energy crops with which Dr. Tom Ranney is working. He also learned about Dr. Jeff Hinshaw’s work raising sturgeon for caviar.

Picture of Dean Rich Linton greeting a N.C. Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council member.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

CALS Dean Rich Linton greets Sylvia Churchwell, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council member. At left is Dr Joe Zublena, associate dean and N.C. Cooperative Extension director.

Linton’s visit coincided with an observance of the 25th anniversary of the center building and a meeting at the center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council. He told advisory council members he decided to come to N.C. State and CALS because of “three p’s; people, passion and possibilities,” adding that he has been surprised by how many people attend CALS events and by the passion people feel for the college.

Linton asked council members to continue to give CALS administrators their best advice.

“This is going to be an administration that listens,” he said. “I learned a long time ago that talking with people who are really experienced, that’s where you learn.”

– Dave Caldwell (see more photos below)

Picture of Dean Rich Linton touring a tissue culture lab.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dean Rich Linton toured a tissue culture lab at the Mountain Horticultural Research and Extension Center. At left is Darren Touchell, lab coordinator.

Picture of Dean Rich Linton and Dr. Jeff Hinshaw in aquaculture lab.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dr. Jeff Hinshaw explains the work he is doing related to raising sturgeon for caviar.

Picture of CALS Dean Rich Linton, Dr. Tom Ranney and Dr. Dilip Pantee in a greenhouse.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dean Rich Linton visited greenhouses where Dr. Tom Ranney, center, is doing horticultural crops breeding, and Dr. Dilip Panthee, right, is breeding tomatoes.

Picture of Dean Rich Linton touring an entomology lab.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dean Linton toured an entomology lab at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center. Pictured from left are Dr. Jim Walgenbach, Dean Linton, Jeff Chandler, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center director; and Steve Schoof, research specialist.

 

Picture of Dr. Anthony LeBude and Dean Rich Linton.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dr. Anthony LeBude and Dean Rich Linton walk through a section of the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center dedicated to horticultural crops research.

Picture of Dr. Kelly Ivors, Superintendent Jeff Chandler, Dean Rich Linton

Photo by Dave Caldwell

Dr. Kelly Ivors, a plant pathologist stationed at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, explains some of her work to Jeff Chandler (center) center director, and Dean Linton.

 

Picture of Dean Linton addressing gathering for center anniversary observance.

Photo by Dave Caldwell

As the day wound down, Dean Linton addressed a group that had gathered for an observance of the 25th anniversary of the construction of the building that houses the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center.

 

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