By Lynnette Harris | November 11, 2020

CAAS Responds to COVID-19

Aggie ice cream masked up
Aggie Ice Cream: Masked up and Ready to Scoop

Aggie Ice Cream fans were without their favorite flavors for six weeks, but the creamery was able to re-open with new safety measures in place. Learn all about Aggie Ice Cream on the Instead podcast launched this year by USU's Office of Research. Episode 32—Cow to Cone: How Aggie Ice Cream is Made featuring Aggie Creamery Manager Dave Irish.

Nutrition from a Distance

Students and faculty quickly became more creative in the spring to finish the semester strong. Among those who found ways to complete projects and other activities were students in Assistant Professor Rebecca Charlton’s nutrition courses. Elise Whithers and Allison Armstrong (pictured here, left to right) partnered with a Spanish teacher to create online nutrition education and cooking demos for high school students who were learning remotely, including the one pictured here featuring foods from Mexico.

nutrition students during covid

Applied Economic
Online Applied Economics Resources

To help food producers navigate markets and distribution systems that became more complex or stopped altogether (some just temporarily) during the pandemic, faculty in the Department of Applied Economics centralized online resources on the APEC website. You’ll find links to the Utah Agricultural Outlook webinar series, farm financial health resources, and the Marketing in Motion blog.

Virtual Field Days

Field days have been important summer activities since the earliest days of the Agricultural College of Utah. Farmers, ranchers, fruit growers, and in more recent years, native plant growers and turfgrass managers have gathered on our research farms and other research sites around the state to learn about USU’s current research and how to apply it to their operations.

This year field days went virtual. Our faculty, student researchers, and technicians like to meet in person with some end-users of their discoveries and expertise, but one benefit of the 2020 events is that they are available online where more people have access. Take a look at this year’s Crops, Fruit Growers, and Center for Water-efficient Landscaping field days on YouTube.

field days

Dean White serving Ice cream
Ice Cream with the Dean

Even a pandemic didn’t stop a Week of Welcome favorite: Ice Cream with the Dean. Instead of scooping and serving long lines of students, Dean Ken White and CAAS administrators, including ASTE Department Head Becki Lawver (shown here with Dean White) masked-up and distributed containers of ice cream.

Equestrian Team Rides On

Members of USU’s equestrian teams continued training while wearing custom masks—like the one shown here on McKenna Osborne—while working together at the Equine Education Center.

McKenna Osborne with a mask

woman working with plants
Work Goes on at the Teaching Greenhouse

Students had already successfully started plants in their labs when the switch to 100% online instruction happened in the spring. Students continued caring for plants but with smaller crews. Annual plant sales from the Young Teaching Greenhouse and Plant Shop support Plant Science Club learning activities. This year's sale went online for curbside pick-up and wrapped up with a one-day, outdoor sale.

Gathering While Distancing

When you have to re-think the annual CAAS Faculty and Staff Retreat it helps to be the college with an airplane hangar. Some attended online and other attended one of two socially distanced sessions at the Logan-Cache Airport.

Dean Ken White and Gary Straquadine, Associate Vice President for Career and Technical Education and Vice Provost at USU Eastern shared a congratulatory elbow bump that replaced the event's usual handshakes.

Ken speaking at faculty retreat and the elbow bump with Gary Straquadine

students working outside on soils
Soils Lab: Fall 2020 Edition

Since it’s impossible to put much distance between students and faculty in a soil pit, even outdoor labs require face coverings this semester.