Issue: 1038

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 22, 2019

Top Stories

This week, Daniel Robison begins his tenure as Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Daniel Robison’s Tenure Begins as 11th Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences
This week, Daniel Robison begins his tenure as Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “I am excited to join ISU and CALS and to start getting to know people and programs and the rhythm of the college,” he said. Dean Robison is spending his first week with the President and the other deans on annual events and visits with alumni, friends and donors in Florida. For the rest of January through mid-February, Dean Robison will be working remotely as he transitions from West Virginia to Iowa. His campus contact information now appears in the university directory with the email: For more information or questions about the dean’s schedule, contact Kim Clinton,, 4-3830.

Provost Will Honor Colletti, MacDonald at Jan. 30 CALS Awards Program
Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert will thank Joe Colletti for his service as Interim Endowed Dean during the Jan. 30 CALS Spring Convocation and Awards Program in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. The Provost’s remarks, which also include recognition of Ruth MacDonald for her service as Interim Senior Associate Dean, will follow the presentation of CALS faculty and staff awards, which begin at 4:10 p.m. A wine-and-cheese reception will follow the program. Interim Dean Joe Colletti, who served from November 2017 through this January as Interim Endowed Dean, has returned to his former position as Senior Associate Dean. Ruth MacDonald, who served during the same time period as Interim Senior Associate Dean, continues as chair of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and CALS Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs.

CALS Ag Entrepreneur Named 2019 Rural Entrepreneur of the Year
For the third time in five years, a CALS alum mentored in the CALS Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative has been named the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Entrepreneur of the Year. On Jan. 14, Steven Brockshus (’17 ag and life sciences education), founder of FarmlandFinder, won $30,000 in prize money in the 2019 American Farm Bureau’s annual Ag Innovation Challenge. Brockshus’s company aims to make the world’s farmland-availability information accessible to users. Brockshus was one of three Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative-connected alums who were semi-finalists in this year’s competition: Mitchell Hora (’17 agronomy, ag systems technology) was a semi-finalist with Continuum Ag, his soil health consulting company; and Clayton Mooney was a semi-finalist with Nebullam LLC, an indoor farming operation. Mooney, an ISU alum in English, currently is the CALS Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative’s Junior Entrepreneur in Residence, serving as program coordinator for the Student Business Incubator program. Semifinalists receive $10,000 to help further cultivate their companies.

Three of Past Five Rural Entrepreneur of Year Honors Go to CALS Ag Entrepreneurs
Steven Brockshus (’17 ag and life sciences education), founder of FarmlandFinder, was the 2019 Rural Entrepreneur of the Year in the American Farm Bureau’s Ag Innovation Challenge. He is the third CALS alum trained in the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative in the past five years to receive that honor. In 2015, Michael Koenig (’12 ag and life sciences education), founder of ScoutPro, received that honor. In 2016, Ryan Augustine (’12 agricultural studies) and his AccuGrain company earned the recognition. Brockshus was an intern for AccuGrain in 2016 when it won the national challenge.


Sociology: Importance of Ohio River to Nation’s Infrastructure
For more than a decade, Lois Wright Morton, professor emeritus of sociology, and Kenneth Olson, University of Illinois at Urbana, have been working together to publish a series of articles on the impact of flooding on agricultural lands and on managing the river landscapes of North America. This month, their paper, “Securing the Nation’s Infrastructure: The Ohio River,” was published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation to bring attention to the importance the river and its infrastructure have for the nation’s economy. Morton said that the Ohio River is a critical transportation artery connecting the East Coast and the Midwest. More

Extension and Outreach

2018 Weed Control Results Report Available
The “Weed Science Program 2018 Weed Control Results” report is available and can be downloaded free of charge at the ISU Extension and Outreach Extension Store.  The report provides unbiased comparisons for a large number of herbicides used in corn and soybean production.  Research was conducted at a number of Iowa sites. More

Around the College

Martin Honored for Preparing Students for Successful Careers
Robert Martin, agricultural education and studies, was presented one of seven Iowa Nationwide Golden Owl Awards on Jan. 15. The award recognizes his contributions in preparing students for successful careers in agriculture. More A video of the award ceremony is available online.

More than $30,000 Raised for CSRL Uganda Livestock Integration Program
The Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods raised $30,595 from a crowdfunding campaign in support of the expansion of livestock production, improved animal health and increased animal-source foods in the Kamuli District of Uganda. The goal was $20,000 and the campaign ran through Dec. 28. More


Jan. 30: CALS Spring Awards Program and Wine and Cheese Reception
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is scheduled for Jan. 30 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Senior Associate Dean Joe Colletti and recognition of our 2019 CALS faculty and staff award recipients. Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert will thank Colletti for his service as Interim Endowed Dean and Ruth MacDonald as interim Senior Associate Dean. A wine and cheese reception will follow the program.

Feb. 6: CALS Spring Career Day
The CALS Spring Career Day is scheduled for Feb. 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Communications Kiosk

Regardless, Not Irregardless
Regardless is the correct term. Irregardless is a double negative and nonstandard; it should be avoided by careful users of English. Use regardless to mean “without regard” or “consideration for” or “nevertheless.” (Associated Press Stylebook, 2018 edition, and any common-sense dictionary.)


ISU Economics Alum Developed National Food Stamp Program
At a time when many needy families lacked adequate nutrition, Isabelle Kelley (’40 MS economics) helped develop a program to improve the well-being of Americans. An economist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture over six presidential administrations, Kelley played a central role in shaping U.S. federal food assistance and nutrition programs. She developed and directed the food stamp program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program. Today, more than 38 million people receive food stamps. Kelley died in 1997 at the age of 80. The New York Times reflected on her career Jan. 16 in the latest of a series of stories of remarkable people whose deaths went unreported in the newspaper. More

Jan. 31 Deadline to Apply for NSF Innovation Corps Program
Faculty, graduate and postdoc students are invited to apply for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program. The four-week program, which starts on Feb. 27, focuses on building entrepreneurship skills and bringing innovative ideas to the public. The Office of the Vice President for Research is sponsoring the program.


Photographer Eric Wolfinger Goes Beyond the Plate
Eric Wolfinger is a San Francisco-based food photographer and filmmaker who specializes in telling the larger story. “Wherever people cook and eat, there’s an interesting story to tell and there are beautiful things to capture along with it,” he said. In a SmugMug film titled Beyond the Plate, Wolfinger shares part of his journey as a photographer for the publication “Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’more.”  More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday.


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