Issue: 1052

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
April 29, 2019

Top Stories

Agronomy Student Named Udall Scholar
Jacob Wright, a junior in agronomy and environmental studies, was named a Udall Scholar for 2019. The words of the late Congressman Morris Udall, for whom this scholarship is named, resonated with Wright. More than four decades ago, Udall said, “Don’t let anyone tell you that being for the environment means you have to be against progress.” Wright said he also believes protecting the environment does not mean restricting agricultural innovation. More  


Research Identifies Genomic Features that Make Plants Good Candidates for Domestication
New research published in Genome Biology identifies the genomic features that might have made domestication possible for corn and soybeans. Jianming Yu, agronomy, was part of the ISU team that worked with scientists from the University of Georgia, Cornell University and the University of Minnesota. More

Video Highlights Pork Producer’s Monarch Project with ISU Researchers
Since 2015, farmers from the Iowa Pork Producers Association have collaborated with researchers from ISU to plant and survey monarch habitat plots on their land. Tom Tiernan, Iowa pork producer, describes his three-year experience with the habitat project and highlights the importance of diverse partnerships. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Students Receive Scholarships at Leadership Awards Ceremony
The Division of Student Affairs held its Leadership Awards ceremony on April 7. CALS students honored include: Hans Riensche, agricultural business, global resource systems and agronomy, received the David J. Henry All-University Leadership and Academic Excellence Award; and Madison Mueller, agricultural business, economics and political science, received the Sandra and Lynn Davis Award. Students will receive their scholarships in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Science With Practice Poster Presentation Scheduled for April 30
This semester’s Science With Practice poster presentation open house will be held April 30, 2 to 3:15 p.m. in the second floor of Curtiss Hall. Refreshments will be available. Science With Practice is a CALS experiential learning and work program for undergraduate students in agriculture. It is funded by the ISU Agricultural Endowment Board, CALS and the Van Wert Family Endowment.

Students Lead Book Drive to Help Young Readers in Uganda
CALS students in the 2019 Uganda Service Learning Program are collecting books for activities to enhance the reading achievement of pupils in primary schools in the Kamuli District of Uganda. The students will take donated books with them to Uganda this summer. Consider donating children’s books (beginning readers through 7th grade) before May 1. Collection boxes are located in 119 Kildee, the Horticulture Hall Atrium and 1320 Elings Hall (ABE Student Services). For more information contact Ashley Harvey (, senior in global resource systems. More

Extension and Outreach

Distillers Grains Technology Council Hosts Annual Symposium
The Distillers Grains Technology Council, administered at ISU, will cover the latest research for industries that produce and use distillers grains at its annual symposium, scheduled for May 15-16 in Bloomington, Minn. Distillers grains products have historically been used primarily for livestock and poultry feed, but new technologies are being developed to expand their use into other markets. Kurt Rosentrater, agricultural and biosystems engineering, is executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council. More

Iowa Swine Day Expands Educational Offerings
The 2019 Iowa Swine Day will offer pork producers information on current issues affecting the industry. Kristin Olsen, Iowa Swine Day coordinator, said topics include the status of and response to African Swine Fever, what makes a biosecurity program successful, improving company culture, precision pork production and feeding the high-producing sow. Iowa Swine Day is hosted by the Iowa Pork Industry Center in collaboration with CALS and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. More

Around the College

Medallion Ceremony Celebrates Robison’s Installation as CALS Endowed Dean’s Chair
A medallion ceremony celebrated the installation of Daniel Robison as holder of the CALS Endowed Dean’s Chair. President Wendy Wintersteen presented the medallion April 24 in the Dolezal Auditorium in Curtiss Hall. More

CARD Wins AAEA Award
A Center for Agricultural and Rural Development report, The Impact of the 2018 Trade Disruptions on the Iowa Economy, has won the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis Award. Authors are Edward Balistreri, Chad Hart, Dermot Hayes, Minghao Li, Lee Schulz, David Swenson, Wendong Zhang and John Crespi, economics. More

SCN Coalition, Fueled by ISU Research, Wins Top Ag Marketing Award
The National Agri-Marketing Association has named the SCN Coalition as a 2019 Best of NAMA Award recipient for their “Take the test. Beat the pest.” campaign. The catch phrase was a call to action to growers that they needed to test their fields to determine if soybean cyst nematode numbers were being kept in check. Greg Tylka, plant pathology and microbiology and director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center, has conducted research on more than 25,000 experimental research plots over 15 years. The results of his research serves as the basis for the SCN Coalition program information and messages.

Coffman Receives Division of Student Affairs Award
Clark Coffman, genetics, development and cell biology, received the Division of Student Affairs Thomas B. Thielen Award on April 23, at the Student Affairs Spring Division meeting. Coffman was honored for his dedication to student success.  

Agriculture Honor Society Presents Awards 
Gamma Sigma Delta, the Iowa Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, hosted an Initiation and Awards Ceremony on April 23. Four faculty members, 32 undergraduate students and 40 veterinary medicine and graduate students were initiated into the honor society. The following CALS faculty, students and alumni were presented awards at the ceremony. More

  • Research Mission Award – Aileen Keating, animal science.
  • Teaching Mission Award – Sherrlyn Olsen, animal science.
  • Extension Mission Award – Diana Cochran, horticulture.
  • International Mission Award – Joe Cordray, animal science.
  • Senior Scholarship – Ellen Meis, biology.
  • Sophomore Scholarship – Emilie Tamblyn, animal science.
  • Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award – Lynn Davis, Nutrition Professionals Inc.
  • Alumni Award of Merit – Travis Knight, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Live United Food Drive Begins Today, April 29
The 11th annual Live United food drive will take place on campus from April 29 to May 9. Donations will benefit Story County food pantries, ensuring children and families have food during the summer. Nonperishable items and cash donations will be accepted at 19 campus locations. Visit the Live United Food Drive website for campus drop-off sites, a list of preferred donation items and information on making financial contributions online. Questions may be directed to food drive co-chairs Haley Cook (, 4-0705) or Tara Fisher (, 4-8300).

Iowa Ag Secretary’s Earth Day Tour Features CALS Project
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig met last week with Mark Honeyman, CALS associate dean and executive director of the Committee for Agricultural Development, and William Crumpton, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, as part of the Secretary’s Earth Day tour of several central Iowa locations receiving state water quality funding. Their focus was a wetland restoration and research project getting underway at a site south of Ames. Researchers and students will study the transition and long-term impacts of the project, which will filter nitrate and other pollutants in tile drainage and surface runoff from surrounding cropland.

2019 Hertz Lecture, by USDA’s Ken Isley, Available Online
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture presented by Ken Isley, head of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, is now available online. Isley presented “The Role of the U.S. in the Global Food and Agriculture Marketplace” in Curtiss Hall on April 9. More

In Memoriam: Tom Hillson, CALS Systems Support Specialist
Thomas Hillson, retired systems support specialist for CALS, died April 5 in Ames. He was 70. Hillson worked in the ISU forestry research lab and later managed and supported the computer systems for CALS. A Celebration of Life service was held April 14. More

Tree Planted in Memory of Paul Wray, Forestry
In memory and celebration of Arbor Day, a bur oak tree was planted west of the campanile on Central Campus honoring the late professor Paul Wray. The Iowa State Forestry Club dug the hole for the tree to be planted and friends were encouraged to write a note to Wray and bury it alongside the tree. Wray did outreach throughout the state of Iowa related to trees and forestry for 34 years. More


May 3: Scholarship Administrators Appreciation Open House
CALS faculty and staff who help administer scholarships and acknowledge donors are invited to join college leadership and the development team for an open house on Friday, May 3, 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the Curtiss Hall ground floor rotunda. Refreshments will be provided.

May 3: Animal Science Seminar on the Giant Panda
Animal science is hosting a special seminar on Friday, May 3, at 11 a.m. in 1204 Kildee Hall, the Ensminger Room. Wang Hairui, a researcher with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China, will present “The Giant Panda and Bamboo.”

May 3: Wendy White Receives McMillan Professorship in FSHN
Wendy White, food science and human nutrition, is the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Thelma McMillan Professorship in Food Science and Human Nutrition. An event honoring White will be held Friday, May 3, at 3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Campanile Room. RSVP to the Iowa State University Foundation at or 4-2447.

May 6: Retirement Reception for Rose Martin
A retirement reception for Rose Martin, senior lecturer in food science and human nutrition, will be held May 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the first floor hallway outside 1951 Food Sciences Building. Martin taught the introduction to human nutrition course and a nutrition and health assessment course.

Communications Kiosk

Connect With Your Audience When Telling Scientific Stories
A well-told story can be extremely powerful – it captures attention, inspires others and can even lead to action. 3M’s Scientists as Storytellers Guide includes how five celebrated communicators tell scientific stories. Connect with your audience is the third tip by Alan Alda, actor and founder of The Alda Center for Communicating Science. The most fundamental thing they teach is empathy. “What is the other person going through when we try to communicate?” he said. “What do they care about? Do they understand the words we’re using?” (Part 3 – 3M Scientists as Storytellers Guide, 2019, pg. 9)


NIH Associate Director to Speak on Sexual Harassment and Gender Equality May 1
Carrie Wolinetz, acting chief of staff and associate director for the office of science policy at the National Institutes of Health, will speak May 1, 4 to 5 p.m. in 206 Durham. She will present, "We can do better, We must do better: Update on NIH efforts to combat sexual harassment." The event is free and open to the public. More


CALS Alum Uses Military Precision to Plant Chestnuts
Heath Stolee, an Army veteran with tours in Kuwait and Iraq, is owner of Nutty Farmer Chestnuts. He has 25 acres of Chinese chestnuts planted in “astonishingly straight rows,” on land that he rents from his parents near Radcliffe. Those straight rows of chestnut trees grew out of military precision. Stolee and friend Jacob Handsaker, owner of Hands On Excavating in Radcliffe and CALS alum and Curtiss League member, used the company’s Trimble GPS unit to line up the trees. “We drove around and GPSed every tree within a thousandth of an inch,” said Stolee. “It took us awhile to do it, but it’s like Arlington National Cemetery out there.” 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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