Facing the Fire

Jerri Marr

Alumna Jerri Marr exemplifies how the UT Institute of Agriculture serves people and communities and how institute students go on to serve their communities every day. Marr honed her leadership skills through participation in UT Extension’s youth development program, 4-H. She graduated from UT Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in forestry and natural resource management in 1992. As the U.S. Forest Service supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, she found herself at the center of Colorado’s epic Waldo Canyon fire. Marr, who was the public face for news about the fire, used her education and leadership to coordinate the containment of the fire and guide community response. Later, when she learned a student from her alma mater, Dominique Patrick, was seeking a summer learning experience, she sought out the student and helped her. “I look back and remember somebody gave me the opportunity,” she says. “That’s why I have a lifelong value in giving a hand up just as I received.” Marr joins other alumni in forestry, wildlife and fisheries in celebrating their department’s 50th anniversary in 2014.

Horse MRI machine
The Equine Performance Medicine and Rehabilitation Center has a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging facility.

Tech Transfer Whizzes

Thirteen researchers from UTIA have been recognized for their discoveries that resulted in recent patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Their breakthroughs include the discovery of a natural gene that offers new options in developing genetically engineered plants, a potential new treatment for feline herpes virus using RNA interference, and a novel bacterial protein that may be an important vaccine candidate to control mastitis, a disease that costs the U.S. dairy industry an estimated $2 billion annually.

Truly Grand Openings, Three Times Over

It’s not every day that an institution of higher learning and public service can celebrate the opening of a new facility, much less three. The UT Veterinary Medical Center on the agricultural campus is now home to a new Equine Performance and Rehabilitation Center, as well as newly expanded and renovated Farm Animal and Equine hospitals. The $20.9 million, 85,000 square-foot projects enhance both learning and patient care.