John Tolley, December 3, 2019

Every week, BTN LiveBIG's B1G Bites brings you the latest news from around the conference on the topics of health, environmental issues and economic innovation.

These stories showcase the breadth and depth of research occurring at our 14 member universities. From robotics to recycling, smart agriculture to spirited entrepreneurship, the Big Ten is committed to pushing boundaries that will help build a more prosperous, peaceful, just, clean and healthy future for generations to come.

Remember, these B1G Bites are just the tip of the iceberg. For more, please check out the BTN LiveBIG archives.


Indiana: Fischer Farms and IU partner to bring local, natural meat to students

The partnership between IU and Fischer Farms goes beyond the food served in the dining halls and visits to the farm. Fischer and his son Joseph are working with IU's Jodee Ellett to build bridges between local food suppliers and local food retailers.

Ellett, who leads community engagement efforts for IU's Sustainable Food Systems Science research initiative, has been working with the Center for Rural Engagement to hold community interest meetings in counties across the Indiana Uplands and learn from community members about their food systems to identify the needs and ideas for improvement. Joseph has been working as a link between small Indiana farms and restaurants in Indianapolis and Chicago.


Penn State: Forest farms could create market for ginseng, other herbs














A transition from wild collection of herbs to forest farming needs to occur in Appalachia to make the opaque, unstable and unjust supply chain for forest medicinal plants such as ginseng sustainable, according to a team of researchers who have studied the market for more than a decade.

?In this case, ?sustainability? doesn?t refer just to conservation, although it very much applies to the preservation of these valuable forest medicinal plants and the ecosystems in which they are found,? said researcher Holly Chittum, a Penn State doctoral student in forest resources, who led the team. ?But it also relates to social justice, equity and fair trade for the people at the base of the supply chain who harvest the plants.?


Iowa: 3D design, theater students earn prestigious win at SOFA














A collaboration between the University of Iowa 3D Design team and Department of Theatre Arts won top honors in CONNECT, the design school competition at the 2019 Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design (SOFA) Fair. SOFA, which took place Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the world?s premier art fairs dedicated to three-dimensional art and design.

Now in its eighth year, CONNECT highlights university design programs throughout the country. Students, under the supervision of university faculty, design environments that incorporate seating and lighting installations, with the intention of offering an intimate area on the show floor where attendees can sit, relax and ?connect.?