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ACES International Matching Grants Program DEADLINE for submissions

5:00 PM

The Office of International Programs in the College of ACES with the support of the ACES Office of Research is soliciting proposals under the ACES International Matching Grants Program. The ACES Matching Grants Program intends to fund research that will be conducted by teams of ACES researchers and researchers from approved peer institutions outside of the United States.
Projects supported in this program must receive matching support from the international peer institution. The contribution from ACES will be made directly to the Illinois scholar and the matching support may be made to the collaborating researcher at the peer institution. Illinois researchers may request up to $20,000 to be used within 24 months. Collaborating researchers abroad must receive at least the same amount as the ACES researcher.

Themes for research proposals may include:
            Economic and Community Development
            Food Security (Availability, Access, & Utilization of Food by at-risk populations)
            Global Climate Change
            Natural Resources and Sustainability
            Nutrition and Human Health

Approved peer institutions include:
            Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium.
            National Taiwan University (NTU), Taiwan.
            National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
            Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP), Mexico.
            University of Viçosa, Brazil.
            Zhejiang University, China.
            Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Applicants wishing to nominate another institution for approval under this program should contact the Office of International

Programs before preparing a proposal. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. on October 13, 2014.

Click here to download Call for Proposals document.


ACES International in Action Food Security Series: "The Impact of Volunteering on Agricultural Education and Research in Ethiopia – A Field Report from the Haramaya University”

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Morgan-Caterpillar Room, ACES Library

Presented by Dr. Martin Bohn, associate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences 

Brownbag seminar; feel free to bring your lunch.

Dr. Bohn will present on his recent experience in the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program that connects farmers and agricultural experts in the United States with counterparts in the East African nations of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and other developing countries for training and technical assistance.

New way to detox? "Gold of Pleasure" oilseed boosts liver detoxification enzymes

Published September 29, 2014
seedpod of Camelina sativa plant

URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois scientists have found compounds that boost liver detoxification enzymes nearly fivefold, and they’ve found them in a pretty unlikely place—the crushed seeds left after oil extraction from an oilseed crop used in jet fuel.

“The bioactive compounds in Camelina sativa seed, also known as Gold of Pleasure, are a mixture of phytochemicals that work together synergistically far better than they do alone. This seed meal is a promising nutritional supplement because its bioactive ingredients increase the liver’s ability to clear foreign chemicals and oxidative products. And that gives it potential anti-cancer benefit,” said Elizabeth Jeffery, a U of I professor of nutritional toxicology.

Oilseed crops, including rapeseed, canola, and camelina, contain some of the same bioactive ingredients—namely, glucosinolates and flavonoids—found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables and in nearly the same quantities, she noted.

Because the oil from oilseed crops makes an environmentally friendly biofuel, scientists have been hoping to find a green use for the protein-rich seed meal left after oil extraction. Animal feed was the obvious choice, but there were a couple of problems. Some rapeseed glucosinolates are toxic, and producers have balked at paying Canada for canola seed, the low-glucosinolate rapeseed that country had developed.

Jeffery thought Camelina sativa was worth a look so she began to work with USDA scientist Mark Berhow. In the first study of camelina’s bioactive properties, Berhow isolated four major components—three glucosinolates and the flavonoid quercetin—from its defatted seed meal.

Back at Jeffery’s U of I lab, researchers began to test these components on mouse liver cells both individually and together. They found that all four major camelina bioactives induced the detoxifying liver enzyme NQO1 when they were used alone. However, when a particular glucosinolate, GSL9, was paired with the flavonoid quercetin, there was a synergistic effect.

“When these two bioactives were combined, induction of the detoxifying liver enzyme increased nearly fivefold,” said Nilanjan Das, a postdoctoral student in Jeffery’s lab.

In all the experiments, the scientists used sulforaphane, the cancer-protective component of broccoli, as a control because it is known to induce NQO1, the detoxifying enzyme. Like camelina seed meal, broccoli contains the flavonoid quercetin, so they decided to look for synergy between sulforaphane and quercetin.

“As had been the case with camelina’s GSL9 and quercetin, the combined effect of quercetin and sulforaphane—in proportions found naturally in broccoli—was far greater than when either was used alone. This demonstrates to us the importance of eating whole foods. Thanks to synergy among its bioactive components, whole broccoli appears to be more powerful than purified sulforaphane that you might buy at a vitamin store or on the Internet,” Das said.

Nilanjan Das, Mark A. Berhow, Donato Angelina, and Elizabeth H. Jeffery are co-authors of “Camelina sativa Defatted Seed Meal Contains Both Alkyl Sulfinyl Glucosinolates and Quertecin that Synergize Bioactivity.” The article is available pre-publication online in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Funding was provided by USDA.



Korea’s Chungnam National University visits UI to sign MOU

Published September 29, 2014
Image (from l to right): Vice President of CNU Deog-Seong Oh, President of CNU Sang Chul-Jung, Chancellor Phyllis Wise, Director of ACES Office of Internatinal Programs Alex Winter-Nelson

On August 21, 2004, a delegation from South Korea’s Chungham National University (CNU) met with University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise, Interim Associate Provost for International Affairs and Interim Director of International Programs and Studies Bryan Endres, and other Illinois faculty and administration to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which created a formal relationship to facilitate future collaborations and partnerships.

“We learned that CNU is rapidly expanding with significant funding and programmatic growth. We will be exploring academic programs, including 3+2 programs in which students could earn undergraduate degrees at CNU and Masters’ degrees at UIUC, student exchanges, and joint supervision of graduate students. Also, CNU has invited all ACES department heads to a forum during October 2015. We expect to send a group of faculty at that time to begin implementing specific plans for research collaborations,” said Dr. Alex Winter-Nelson, director of the Office of International Programs in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The President of CNU Dr. Sang-Chul Jung noted his University has recently been granted several awards from the Korean government which will be utilized to prepare its students for globalization.

“It is our pleasure and honor to visit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop mutual interests. With a closer relationship with UIUC starting today I believe our University can be a global leader in academic learning, and both in industrial and international collaborations,” said Jung. 

The Korean delegation included Dr. Hyoun-Sub Lim, vice president for international affairs, who is an alumnus of Illinois. Lim initiated the formal partnership between the universities.

In addition to the signing ceremony with Chancellor Wise, the delegation’s visit, organized by the Office of International Programs and initiated by Dr. DoKyoung Lee, associate professor in crop sciences, included meetings with Dr. Dean Laurie Kramer, associate dean for academic programs, Dr. George Czapar, associate dean for extension and outreach; Dr. Prasanta Kalita, interim assistant dean for research; the ACES Department Heads, Dr. Peter Schiffer, vice-chancellor of Research; Dr. Pradeep Khanna, associate chancellor, corporate and international relations; Roger Vanhoy, director, Life Sciences, Office of Corporate Relations; Barry Dickerson, ACES Corporate Relations; Bo White, acting director, Student International Academic Affairs/ Study Abroad Office; Dr. Christopher Ha, Manager, Optimization & Advanced Analytics, Caterpillar at Research Park. The group toured Research Park and the Institute for Genomic Biology. 

CNU, established in 1952, is situated in the central region of the Korean peninsula. It is a Korean Flagship National University, created by the South Korean government to lead the development of South Korea into a developed country through providing the highest educational institutions nationwide.

USDA unveils online resource to help farmers select new Farm Bill programs

Published September 26, 2014

URBANA, Ill.  – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a new online resource this week to help farmers across the country make important decisions on new Farm Bill created safety net programs.

The Web tool, located at, allows farmers to evaluate the levels of coverage offered by the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. Using the online resource producers will be able to use data unique to their specific farming operation along with factors like geographical diversity of crops, soils, weather and climates across the country to test a variety of financial scenarios before officially signing up for the new program options by the winter. This will help farmers better understand and select the program they need.

“The 2014 Farm Bill offers several new programs and USDA is committed to educating farmers on these options so that producers can plan for the future and protect their business,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The new Web tool will help ensure that producers have the information they need to make critical decisions and better determine what participation in either program will mean for their business.”

Landowners and famers also have the option of meeting with dedicated representatives at their local Farm Service Agency office beginning Monday, Sept. 29 when landowners can update yields and reallocate base acres and later this fall, famers can make decisions on safety net options.

The Web tool was developed with a $3 million USDA grant to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M (co-leads for the National Association of Agricultural and Food Policy), along with the University of Illinois (lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education).

“The new resource is a user-friendly option that farmers can access from anywhere, at any time,” said Vilsack. “They can use their home computer, Smartphone or any other mobile device to explore a variety of coverage options to determine which program is right for them.”

This summer, producers received information regarding their current base acres, yields and planting history, based on USDA records. Farmers can now use new Web tool to input their information and analyze their options before electing Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage. Once a producer officially enrolls in the program of their choice, they will remain in that specific program through the 2018 crop year. 

Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, rice, safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

Producers will have time to use the new Web tool before officially enrolling in the program for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. If market conditions warrant, payments for the 2014 crop will be issued beginning October 2015.

This week’s announcement was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

The official regulations governing the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs were published Thursday in the Federal Register.

Small farms webinar: Growing garlic for fun or market

Published September 23, 2014

URBANA, Ill. Garlic continues to grow in popularity among backyard gardeners and small farm growers, according to a University of Illinois Extension small farms and local foods program coordinator.

If you are new to growing this crop, U of I Extension will present a lunch time webinar on growing garlic from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 30. The webinar will cover the specifics of when and how to grow garlic as well as tips on ensuring a productive crop, said Miki White.

The speaker for the webinar will be Kyle Cecil, a U of I Extension small farms and local foods educator.     

To register go to

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

News Source:

Miki White, 309-342-5108

Workshop helps to educate professionals in Southeast Asia animal feed industry

Published September 22, 2014

URBANA, Ill. – With a growing population and increasing wealth, Southeast Asia is experiencing a rapid rise in demand for meat. As a consequence, maximizing growth performance of food animals as economically as possible is a priority for Asian producers. Researchers from the University of Illinois, in collaboration with U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and U.S. Grains Council (USGC), recently completed a successful workshop to educate feed mill managers, nutritionists, and feed formulators in Southeast Asia on "The Basics of Nutrition to Maximize Animal Performance."

The 20th Southeast Asian Feed Technology and Nutrition Workshop was held in Manila, the Philippines, August 4-7. More than 100 invited participants from feed companies in Southeast Asia participated in the short course on pig and poultry nutrition. The technical program was planned by University of Illinois professor of animal sciences Hans H. Stein.

"This is a great example of how U of I Extension can partner with American commodity groups to develop Extension programs to help disseminate knowledge across the globe," Stein said.

Shellen Ng from USGC Malaysia agreed. "These types of programs have huge impacts because the knowledge base of professionals in the feed industry is being updated. This will not only benefit producers and consumers in Southeast Asia. The increased production of pigs and poultry in Asia will also increase the demand for U.S. soybean meal, grain, and grain co-products, and thus, benefit U.S. soybean and grain producers," she said.

The course focused on basic concepts of energy metabolism and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. The program consisted of lectures by experts in the field of pig and poultry nutrition, as well as a one-afternoon workshop on a topic selected by participants. Two of the six presenters, Stein and Ph. D. candidate Kelly Sotak, were from U of I. Bill Dozier of Auburn University, Martin Nyachoti of the University of Manitoba, Ravi Ravindran of Massey University in New Zealand, and Beob Gyun Kim of Konkuk University in South Korea also presented at the course.

Basilisa P. Reas, USSEC technical representative in the Philippines, stressed that the information presented was of particular relevance to an Asian audience. "The workshop provided the participants with new and updated information on animal nutrition and the concepts that were demonstrated at this meeting will be rapidly implemented and will have a positive impact on pig and poultry production throughout Southeast Asia,” she said.

Overall, Stein said the program was a great success. "All participants were very interested in the topic areas, and they gained valuable knowledge about basic aspects of nutrition that will help them in their daily jobs as nutritionists in the Southeast Asia feed industry."

Miriam Tempra, technical manager at Nuevo Milenio, Inc., was one of the participants in the program. "I was very fortunate to have attended the 20th workshop this year with Dr. Hans H. Stein spearheading the discussions, and I gained a vast amount of practical information from the experts," Tempra said. "This seminar made me realize that I still have a lot of concepts to explore and verify in my work as an animal nutritionist."

The United States Department of Agriculture and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council provided financial support for the workshop.