Of the many challenges involved in sending humans on the journey to Mars, figuring out how to pack enough food for such a lengthy trip looms large. Of course, astronauts will need food on their way to and from Mars, and also during their time on the Red Planet as part of the almost two-and-a-half-year trip. Although prepackaged food will be provided, stowing space-saving seeds to grow one’s own food provides extra nutrition and even increases morale by sprouting a glimpse of home while millions of miles away from Earth.

Davis, California - Organic farmers who use animal-based manure to improve soil quality and nourish crops are receiving help through a nearly $2 million grant for a food-safety research project, led by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and involving a multistate network of collaborators.

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that beginning today, many of the 1.7 million farms that enrolled in either the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs will receive safety-net payments due to market downturns during the 2015 crop year.

Davis, California - Sacramento-area farmers and ranchers who sell their products directly to consumers generate twice as much regional economic impact per dollar of output as do area food producers who don’t engage in direct marketing, reports a UC Davis agricultural economist and a team of UC Cooperative Extension researchers.