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Campus Chatter - April 10, 2013
MSU receives funding to address food security
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) is part of a network of university Extension services that were awarded $4 million to tackle food security challenges and help enhance nutritious food choices in rural communities.
The grants were announced at a news conference at South Dakota State University earlier this week by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. She announced $75 million in research grants going to 21 universities throughout the United States.  All the grants will fund work aiming to end hunger and address food security challenges.

Researchers from MSUE, along with the Extension services from South Dakota State University, Purdue University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Missouri-Columbia and Ohio State University were awarded $4 million of that $75 million total.  
For the next five years, the six states – Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota — will be working to identify solutions to address food security challenges and nutritious food choices in rural communities..  

Select communities in each of the states will receive assistance in forming or enhancing food policy councils that will increase accessibility and availability of nutritious food.  The councils may set up food pantries or change the way that existing food pantries operate, Henne said.  The project, called Voices for Food, will serve as a guide for communities throughout the United States wishing to address food security.

The Voices for Food kits will include tools for forming food policy councils, implementing guided client choice food pantries and integrating nutrition education resources at food pantries.  Henne explains that guided client choice food pantries allow clients to choose the foods they will use rather than supplying them with predetermined selections.

To contact an Extension expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

UK makes find with insecticide resistance in bed bugs
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture have identified 14 molecular markers in bed bugs that allow them to be resistant to pyrethroid insecticides.  Pest control professionals commonly use pyrethroids to control bed bugs because of their safety, affordability, effectiveness and longevity.
UK entomology research associate Fang Zhu and Professor Subba Reddy Palli found the genes associated with pyrethroid resistance belong to diverse categories, and most of these genes are expressed in bed bugs’ tough outer shell. These genes could serve as the first barrier for insecticides before reaching target sites on nerve cells, where an additional layer of resistance is common. This resistance strategy has evolved in bed bugs and is based on their unique morphological, physiological and behavioral characteristics. It has not been reported in any other insect species.

The researchers’ findings will give scientists a greater understanding of bed bug resistance to insecticides. UK entomologists Ken Haynes and Mike Potter and doctoral students Hemant Gujar and Jennifer Gordon also contributed to the research.

Their results recently appeared in Nature Publishing Group’s research journal, Scientific Reports. The journal article is available at