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Winthrop Phippen, associate professor in WIU's agriculture department, demonstrates one of the uses of milkweed fiber during C-FAR Day at WIU, which was held Nov. 11, 2008.
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Phippen's milkweed research indicates that milkweed fiber (floss) could be a viable product for oil sorption. The fibers (seen here) absorb the oil more readily than other commercial products (e.g., cotton or polypropylene). (See also:
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Milkweed, Goat Meat Among C-FAR-Funded Research at WIU

November 21, 2008

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MACOMB, IL -- Seemingly esoteric research involving milkweed and chevon -- a.k.a. goat meat -- were among the projects presented by faculty from Western Illinois University's agriculture department on C-FAR Day, which was held earlier this month. C-FAR, or the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, held its eighth annual event this year on WIU's Macomb campus, and the daylong program provided attendees with highlights of WIU-based research funded through C-FAR with monies appropriated from the State of Illinois.

William Bailey, chair of WIU's agriculture department, noted that C-FAR funding has permitted faculty to pursue research that has led to promising results for new and developing agriculture products in Illinois.

"The C-FAR-funded research in milkweed has opened up new marketing opportunities in the medical industry, while C-FAR funding on goat feeding has generated significant interest from several major ethnic groups [that consume chevon] around Illinois," Bailey said.

"C-FAR Day provides a unique opportunity for C-FAR members, who represent practically every sector within Illinois' food and agricultural industry, to engage in discussions directly with researchers about their C-FAR-funded research activities," said Jerry Hicks, C-FAR research chair. "Considerable time is devoted by C-FAR members and our research partners identifying priority research opportunities. The progress we have achieved together has enabled many positive results for our state and its citizens."

In addition to Associate Professor Winthrop Phippen's report and demonstration on his research involving milkweed and other alternative crops and Assistant Professor Mark Hoge's presentation on his comparative analysis of feed for sheep and goats, other members of WIU's agriculture faculty presented their findings about wintergreen micropropagation techniques (Professor Marietta Loehrlein) and nitrogen rates for grazing corn (Associate Professor Kenneth Nimrick). Fred Iutzi, program manager at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (which is housed at Western), also talked about research and study taking place at the Illinois Value-Added Sustainable Development Center within in IIRA.

C-FAR Days are held annually on a rotating basis at C-FAR's partner universities, which include WIU, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Illinois State University. Next year's event is expected to be held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For photos of the 2008 C-FAR Day hosted at Western Illinois University, see For more information about C-FAR, visit For more information about WIU's C-FAR research in WIU's agriculture department, contact Bailey at (309) 298-1080 or

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing