A Message from the Dean

Dear CAHNR Alumni and Friends,

I hope your new year has gotten off to a great start.

I am pleased to bring some of the highlights from CAHNR since my last communication to you. Our faculty, staff, and students successfully completed the fall semester. Despite many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, completing the fall semester as initially planned was a no trivial feat. I am proud of the dedication, hard work, and determination of our faculty, staff, and students. The spring semester is well underway, and it looks very much like fall 2020 with reduced density in class rooms and offices. However, with the rollout of COVID vaccines, I hope that fall 2021 will bring much sense of normalcy for face to face teaching and interactions among faculty, staff, and students.

We have started implementing CAHNR strategic vision. Implementation teams are hard at work, developing a road map for each strategic priority. We have also initiated a Working Group on Structural Racism as part of the CAHNR’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The working group will explore opportunities to learn about the history of structural racism and share these learning opportunities with our colleagues throughout the college. This effort was spawned by a closer look at the Strategic Initiatives. The Working Group will consider how we can enhance the Strategic Initiatives by including or reflecting their findings.

On March 23-24, 2021, CAHNR will participate in UConn Gives, a 36-hour giving initiative that brings UConn Nation together to support the University we all love. I encourage you to participate in this event and spread the word to your fellow Huskies using #UConnGives. During the UConn Gives, you can maximize your gift’s impact through many opportunities for dollar-for-dollar matches and challenges. CAHNR’s commitment to providing life-transforming education to all of our students has remained constant during these uncertain times. I hope that you will support this commitment to excellence by participating in this event.

I hope you will enjoy reading some of the stories highlighting excellence in teaching, research, and extension in this issue of the newsletter. I always look forward to connecting with you and hearing your thoughts and ideas about how CAHNR can continue to bring excellence in our core mission areas of teaching, research, and extension outreach.

I wish you and your loved ones a new year filled with joy, peace, success, and hope.

Go Huskies.

Indrajeet Chaubey, Dean and Director

A message from the Dean

Greetings. As we approach the end of a year none of us will soon forget, I want to take a moment to say how proud I am of the work done by the students, faculty and staff of our College. It was a challenging time, but together we celebrated many accomplishments.

Our students persevered by adapting to new ways of learning to complete the spring and fall semesters. We made access and success a priority by providing more than $690,000 to over 330 students.

We introduced new programs in our nationally-recognized departments. Allied Health Sciences launched a new four-year degree at the Waterbury campus. The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment started a new program in urban forestry and arboriculture in addition to a graduate certificate in remote sensing and geospatial data analytics.

This year, the College received a $10 million USDA grant to study food safety related to antibiotics restricted poultry production. Our faculty will collaborate with researchers from twelve other institutions, the poultry industry and poultry producers. This grant is the largest in our history. In fact, research funding received by our faculty increased by more than 60 percent compared to the last year, totaling over $35 million.

Our Extension faculty worked tirelessly to assist Connecticut residents during these difficult times. Coordinating with the dairy industry and volunteers, they distributed milk and dairy products to more than 100 food pantries who serve more than 10,000 families in the state.

Our College completed a strategic vision to guide us for the next decade and we reaffirmed our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

These are only a few of the many accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff. Thanks to your continued support, our College continues to fulfill its mission in teaching, research and extension education.

I wish you and your loved ones a safe, healthy and joyful holiday season and a new year full of hope. Be well.

Indrajeet Chaubey
Dean of the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources


A Message from the Dean

Dear CAHNR alumni and friends,

I hope this second issue of our newsletter finds you well and enjoying the fall.

I write today with exciting news from the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. As one of our alumni, you probably know that the College has changed and grown in recent years. In 2014, its new name, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, reflected the addition of the Departments of Allied Health Sciences and Kinesiology. The areas of study and focus on human health brought by these new departments augment our strong programs in animal science, plant science, environmental and economic sustainability, natural resources management, human and animal health and nutrition, food, and healthy and resilient communities. This unique combination of disciplines within CAHNR provides exceptional opportunities for collaboration and innovation to help address issues emerging in our ever-changing world.

In Fall 2019, faculty and staff embarked on an ambitious effort to identify key areas in which the College would have the greatest potential for impact and develop a strategic vision to guide us in developing and focusing our programs.

A committee of 25 faculty and staff spent several months last fall and winter collecting input from listening sessions and personal interviews with internal and external CAHNR stakeholders and representatives of peer and aspirant institutions. Discussions and interviews produced more than 10,000 points addressing strengths of the College and trends and issues affecting our society, state, industries, and communities.

Committee members completed their data analysis and synthesis of the strategic vision during the spring semester, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown.

I am proud to share with you the College’s Strategic Vision for 2020–2025. Guided by its mission statement, core values, and four interconnected strategic initiatives, we will ensure the vibrancy, relevance, and continued success of the College’s research, teaching, and extension programs as we work to address some of society’s most challenging and urgent issues.

Future issues of our newsletter will bring you highlights of programs and progress in the implementation of our Strategic Vision.



Indrajeet Chaubey
Dean and Director

A message from the Dean

As we begin the fall 2020 semester, I write to bring you up to date on exciting developments in the College, including the receipt of a $10 million grant from USDA NIFA and a $1.7 million bequest from a Nutritional Sciences alumna. Following an extraordinary spring, faculty, staff and administrators have spent the summer developing ambitious and comprehensive plans for reopening the University, and the College’s teaching, research and extension programs are in full operation.

With this email, I’m pleased to launch our new CAHNR quarterly newsletter, in which you’ll find announcements and stories about our programs, events and achievements. In the next issue, we will introduce the College’s new Strategic Vision and its four areas of strategic initiative, which will guide us for the next ten years.

Recent events across the nation have sparked an energetic conversation in the College regarding how best to fulfill our commitment to create and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment, within the College and for our stakeholders and the communities we serve. We have convened a working group whose members are working with Dr. Frank Tuitt, UConn’s new Chief Diversity Officer, and the College’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion to seek input from across the College and develop specific DEI action items, timelines and measures of success.

I hope that you and your loved ones are well and join us in looking forward to the coming months.

Indrajeet Chaubey
Dean and Director
College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources

New study quantifies Connecticut green industry’s economic impact

Green industry press conference at the Capitol, Friday, February 7, 2020. From left to right: ARE MS student Christopher Laughton; Maggie Bridge, Sam Bridge Nursery and CNLA board member; CAHNR Dean Indrajeet Chaubey; Dustyn Nelson, president, CNLA and CAHNR alumnus; Commissioner of Agriculture Bryan Hurlburt. Photo by Bonnie Burr.

A just-released report by CAHNR’s Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy, Impact of the Green Industry on Connecticut’s Economy, highlights the economic importance of ornamental horticulture in our state.

“While every sector of the agriculture industry is important to the economy of Connecticut, ornamental horticulture currently accounts for more than half of the state’s agricultural sales,” says Rigoberto Lopez, Richard DelFavero Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE). “The green industry should be recognized properly as an integral part of Connecticut’s agriculture.”

Chris Laughton, ARE master’s candidate and director of knowledge exchange at Farm Credit East, completed the project as an independent study under the supervision of Lopez. Laughton brings his own horticultural and business experience to the project, having worked in his family nursery business and having earned a degree in horticulture from Cornell and an MBA from UMass Amherst.

The study was requested and funded by the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA), with input from Extension Educator Victoria Wallace and CNLA president and legislative board coordinator Dustyn Nelson.

The total economic impact to the state from the green industry totaled $4.7 billion in 2017. This data is based on year-end 2017, the last census year for the USDA Census of Agriculture. “It’s a significant contribution to the economy of Connecticut,” Laughton says.

Continue reading at Naturally@UConn.

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