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Steven J. Bergsten, Andrew K. Koeser, and J. Ryan Stewart

evaluated, particularly those of agricultural interest. The main objective of this study was to determine the impact of treatments ranging from low to high salinity had on productivity of young plants of A. weberi , A. parryi , and two subspecies of A

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Larry G. Olsen

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Kathryn Orvis

Advances in biotechnology are rapidly changing the way we work and live, but are often met with controversy or raise ethical questions. Approaches that enhance learning and awareness of biotechnology are essential to increasing citizen understanding of these topics. Educators, both formal and informal, need skills to understand the science associated with these technologies, as they may not have been previously exposed to the topics in their training, especially with the rapidly changing science. To address the need for unbiased agricultural biotechnology information, a graduate level internet-based course was developed entitled: “Introduction to Agricultural Biotechnology”. This course focuses on agricultural biotechnologies related to horticulture and plant science. Online courses are especially useful for students not able to travel due to various constraints, such as working full-time or being physically distant from campus. The goal is a population better able to understand the science behind rapidly advancing biotechnologies and that is better equipped to make informed decisions regarding those technologies. Course assignments are designed to help students as they teach others about topics associated with biotechnology in both formal and informal settings, such as a high school class or an Extension seminar. In the past 5 years, 54 students (teachers, college instructors, or Extension staff) from across the United States have taken the course. Course ratings have been consistently very good (avg. 4.45) on a 1–5 scale (1 = very poor, 5 = excellent). Former students have indicated that they have a better understanding of biotechnology and would be better able to relate it to others. Students also gained an improved awareness of the resources that are available for teaching agricultural biotechnology.

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Robert W. Langhans and Mauricio Salamanca

With the primary objective of assuring food safety at the production level, a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plan was developed and implemented in an 8000-ft2 greenhouse producing 1000 heads of lettuce per day in Ithaca, N.Y. The plan was developed following the HACCP principles and application guidelines published by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (1997). The CEA glass greenhouse uses both artificial high-pressure sodium lamps and a shade curtain for light control. Temperature is controlled via evaporative cooling and water heating. Lettuce plants are grown in a hydroponic pond system and are harvested on day 35 from day of seeding. Known and reasonable risks from chemical, physical, and microbiological hazards were defined during the hazard analysis phase. Critical control points were identified in the maintenance of the pond water, the operation of evaporative coolers, shade curtains, and during harvesting and storage. Appropriate prerequisite programs were implemented before the HACCP plan as a baseline for achieving minimum working conditions. Proper critical limits for some potential hazards were established and monitoring programs set up to control them. Postharvest handling was setup in an adjacent head house that was adapted as a food manufacturing facility according to New York State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets standards. Potential applications will be discussed.

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Mark P. Linder