Letter from the Vice President

John Kelley, Vice President for Public Service ActivitiesIn this issue you’ll find Clemson agriculture programs that include our bird flu response plan serving as a model for the nation, a nematode identification program building international cooperation, and research that is converting rotten peaches to hydrogen fuel.

Economic development efforts include spearheading a renaissance in the town of Glendale and leading a statewide initiative to improve the state’s quality of life by advancing the status of women and girls.

Environmental research is exploring switchgrass as an alternative to corn for ethanol production because the native grass has an energy return ratio almost 10 times higher than corn. Because switchgrass is not used to feed either humans or livestock, its use as a fuel will not affect the availability or prices of food products. 

Food and nutrition programs are helping Hispanic communities address health issues such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. One research effort identified the way that mercury enters the food chain through fish. Another found that forage-fed beef is twice as potent as grain-fed beef in a key cancer-fighting compound.

Youth programs include a 4-H beef leadership program, established in memory of a former leader in the beef cattle industry, and a new book co-authored by Clemson faculty to help parents and teachers recognize and address “cyberbullying” on the Internet and cell phones.

John W. Kelly
Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture