Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Randolph College Research Team Featured on Local News Broadcast

A Randolph College professor and two students shared their thoughts on organic farming during a story on WDBJ 7's evening broadcast September 4.

Adam Houlihan, a biology professor, Laura Word ’13, and Michael Taylor ’13 conducted research this summer (http://randolphcollege.blogspot.com/2012/07/grass-and-free-range-chicken-diets.html) exploring the best practices for raising healthy chickens that produce high-quality eggs. Using the chickens in Randolph’s Organic Garden, Word and Taylor placed one group of chickens in an area without grass and another in an area with grass. They then tracked the health and egg quality of the hens from each group.

Their research, which compared the benefits of two types of organic methods, is similar to research conducted by Stanford University published September 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Stanford scientists studied the health benefits of organic and conventional foods. That study found that organic food is not necessarily healthier than non-organic food. The Randolph team, however, found there was a difference in the egg quality in free range chickens.

Houlihan, Word, and Taylor talked with Tim Saunders, a reporter from WDBJ 7. Randolph’s chickens and Einstein the rooster even got in on the action. The story aired Tuesday evening. Check it out at http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-no-health-benefit-to-organic-food-lynchburg-researcher-reacts-to-new-study-20120904,0,1947395.story.

Laura Word '13 explains the differences in eggs.

Tim Saunders of WDBJ 7 gets up close and personal with one of Randolph's hens.

Adam Houlihan, a Randolph biology professor, talks about organic gardening and farming with Tim Saunders.

(Left) Michael Taylor '13 works in the Organic Garden while Tim Saunders (center) shoots video with Laura Word '13 (right).