Newsletter: Student success, sweet potato leaves video, horticulture updates

Below is a copy of the Horticulture Innovation Lab's email newsletter, sent today. If you are not already a subscriber, we invite you to sign up to subscribe for future editions, or browse our newsletter archives for past editions. Thanks for reading!

We are taking a look back at some of the many successes of our global research network in recent months. From the importance of fruits and vegetables, to soil health and postharvest losses — our network has been busy!

Thank you for your ongoing partnership with the Horticulture Innovation Lab. Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues.

STUDENT RESEARCHERS TAKE TOP HONORS IN AGRILINKS Three graduate students who wrote about their work with Horticulture Innovation Lab projects were honored by the Agrilinks website in its Young Scholar Blog Contest:

Lauren Howe of UC Davis won the contest with her blog post about working in Ethiopia on a Trellis Fund project, focused on sweet potato leaves and community nutrition. Howe also works for the Horticulture Innovation Lab management team.

Russell Galanti of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa was recognized as one of the top 10 finalists in the blog contest, for his reflections on agricultural extension with farmers in Hawaii and in Tanzania, where he traveled to support a Trellis Fund project.

Konstantinos Batziakas of Kansas State University was also one of the top 10 finalists in the contest, for his reflections on his first trip to Tanzania to help teach a postharvest training, with a Horticulture Innovation Lab project focused on building postharvest capacity with Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Read more about the contest and these students’ insightful blog posts:

VIDEO: HOW TO COOK SWEET POTATO LEAVES As a spin-off from Howe’s blog post in Agrilinks reflecting on working with sweet potato farmers in Ethiopia, the Horticulture Innovation Lab team put together a short video about how to cook these nutritious leafy green vegetables – and how food can bring farming communities together. Read more about this project in Ethiopia and watch the 2-minute video:


TARGETING SOIL HEALTH TO REDUCE NEMATODES IN GUATEMALA Cognitive mapping plays an important role in this success story from the Horticulture Innovation Lab's research project led by Brent Sipes of the University of Hawai’i:

HOW PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH WORKS IN UGANDA PROJECT Kate Scow of UC Davis shares stories behind the Horticulture Innovation Lab project she leads, with a focus on the benefits and challenges of participatory research methods:

HORTICULTURE INNOVATION LAB SPEAKERS AT FOOD TANK SUMMIT Director Elizabeth Mitcham of UC Davis was joined by Jane Ambuko of the University of Nairobi on a panel about reducing on-farm food losses at the Food Tank Summit in New York. Recap with video:


FRUITS AND VEGETABLES HIGHLIGHTED AT WORLD FOOD PRIZE The Horticulture Innovation Lab co-hosted a Borlaug Dialogue side event with the World Vegetable Center and Catholic Relief Services focused on “The Power of Produce.” Speakers from Feed the Future organizations joined in to discuss topics related to horticultural research, traditional vegetables, nutrition and policy. Highlights:

NEW OPEN-ACCESS HORTICULTURE JOURNAL The American Society for Horticultural Science is converting its journal HortTechnology to an open-access model, beginning in January 2019:  

PRESENTATION: WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT AND FOOD SECURITY IN HONDURAS Paige Castellanos of Penn State presented preliminary findings from a household survey in Western Honduras at a Rural Sociological Society meeting:


WEBINAR: DATA-DRIVEN AG DEVELOPMENT IN CAMBODIA, NEPAL On Dec. 13, this webinar will focus on collaboration and data management between Feed the Future-funded practitioners and researchers:

JOBS IN TANZANIA: RESEARCH WITH WORLD VEG Dec. 25 is the last day to apply for two research positions with the World Vegetable Center, see details:

JOB: WORK WITH FEED THE FUTURE HINGA WEZE Dec. 28 is the final day to apply for a program officer position based in Washington, D.C., that supports this horticulture value chain project in Rwanda:

WEBINAR: RESEARCH TO COMMERCIALIZATION On Jan. 9, a webinar will focus on designing agricultural research that leads to commercialization, hosted by Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation:

APPLICATIONS: AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS IN KYRGYZSTAN Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) is seeking qualified candidates with expertise in agribusiness, value chains and agricultural production for an anticipated USAID-funded activity in Kyrgyzstan:

CONFERENCE: WORLD NUTRITION Jan. 28-29 is the World Congress on Advancing Nutritional and Food Sciences in Rome, Italy:


*** AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR READING! Stay tuned for useful updates from our global network in the next edition. Until then, you can find new resources on our website:,  connect with us on Twitter @HortInnovLab, or email us directly at

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