Issue: 1230

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
December 5, 2022 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS - I hope you had a great weekend. Be careful out there – cases of COVID-19, as well as influenza/common cold are increasing nationwide, according to CDC data. We’re not done with the pandemic, and all the usual things that can make us sick are still out there, too. While there is never a time to be sick, it’s especially true during the holidays. Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Faculty Appreciation Dinner at the Alpha Gamma Rho House…  Then I spent two days in Washington, D.C… More

Top Stories

Motivating broiler chickens to move using specially designed lasers can boost animal welfare and improve meat quality.

Broiler Research Points to Lasers as Environmental Enrichment Devices
Motivating broiler chickens to move using specially designed lasers can boost animal welfare and improve meat quality. Elizabeth Bobeck and Anna Johnson, animal science, partnered with Signify, a livestock lighting company, to create a second-generation novel laser device for this research. With support from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, USDA and its National Institute of Food and Agriculture, they conducted a study to assess how these devices influence animal behavior. Their research shows periodically projecting randomly moving, dot-sized laser lights on the floor of broiler pens stimulates birds’ predatory instincts and encourages them to be more active. This is especially important as broilers approach market weight and become more sedentary, which can negatively impact their quality of life. More  

Teaching and Students

Student Promotes Exotic Pet Care through Business
Cameryn Schafer, senior in animal ecology, is passionate about exotic pets, which is why she established Spock’s Sanctuary. She and Cole Reiman (‘21 agricultural and life sciences education) opened this animal rescue operation at their home in Fontanelle, Iowa, to rehabilitate and rehome reptiles and amphibians that previously received inadequate attention. Schafer attributes a large part of her startup’s success to her involvement in Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. More  

Extension and Outreach

Donation Gardens Provide Education and Food for Iowans
Volunteers in 33 counties planted and harvested fruits and vegetables that were donated to 115 food pantries and distribution sites serving almost 67,000 Iowans. The effort was part of ISU Extension and Outreach's Growing Together Iowa project. The counties worked closely with local food pantries to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables that met the unique needs of clients served. Bilingual nutrition education materials, such as recipe cards, were also distributed with the produce. More  

Sampling for Vitamin and Mineral Status Topic of New Publication
It’s important for producers to know the vitamin and mineral statuses of animals in their operation, but it takes more than a simple glance to accurately determine. A new three-part publication series from the Iowa Pork Industry Center can help producers learn how to properly take feed and biological samples as part of the diagnostic process. More  

Extension Beef Cow-Calf Specialist Joins Iowa State
Randie Culbertson has joined Iowa State as a new extension beef cow-calf specialist. She comes from Bozeman, Montana, where she worked for the American Simmental Association as the lead geneticist for International Genetic Solutions. More  

Around the College

Teacher in Residence Program Highlights Ag Education in Action
Sarah Martin (‘00 agricultural and life sciences education, agricultural business) was on Iowa State’s campus Nov. 7-8 to share her journey into agricultural education with students in the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. Her visit was part of the department’s Teacher in Residence Program, made possible by a gift from Jane and Richard Carter. More  

DEI Committee Participates in WISE Conference
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Statistics is working to get students of diverse backgrounds interested in statistics. On Oct. 27 and Nov. 1 they participated in the Go Further Conference for eighth through 10th grade girls, organized by the Program for Women in Science and Engineering. More  

Applications Due for CALS Associate Dean Opening
Applications are due Dec. 11 for associate dean for facilities and operations in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The position provides oversight of the college’s on and off campus facilities, equipment, research and demonstration farms, and affiliated infrastructure operations. The position is open to internal candidates. More (Click on “Jobs for Internal Applicants.”)

Nominees Sought for Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture
A call for nominations has been issued for the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. The position will be a 3-5 year term with an option for extension. Tenure-eligible faculty with academic appointments in CALS (including those with Extension appointments) are eligible for nomination. Interested faculty should discuss their qualifications with their department chair. Nominations will be accepted only from department chairs. (See email sent Oct. 31 to the CALS faculty list and CALS DEO list for criteria.) Department chairs may nominate qualified faculty by submitting a one-page summary of the nominees’ experiences relative to the criteria to Associate Dean MacDonald by Dec. 15 ( Selected nominees will be invited by the Dean for an interview in early spring semester. The Chair appointment is expected to be decided by March 2023.


Dec. 7: Science with Practice Poster Session
This semester’s Science with Practice poster session is Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall first floor rotunda. Science with Practice is a CALS experiential learning and work program for undergraduate students in agriculture.

Dec. 7: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar 
The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at noon will feature Wendong Zhang, Dyson School of Applied Economics at Cornell University. Zhang will present “What Women Landowners Want to Know about Conservation.” More  

Dec. 14: INRC Water Quality Research Seminar
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center’s next Water Quality Research Seminar is Dec. 14, from 3:10-4 p.m. in 3306 Elings Hall and online. Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, and Crystal Lu, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, will discuss modeling. Participants are asked to register in advance. More  


Extension Poultry Expert Discusses HPAI
In an article for The Conversation, Yuko Sato, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine and extension poultry veterinarian with ISU Extension and Outreach, explains what highly pathogenic avian influenza is, how the virus can be transmitted and preventative measures that can help limit the spread in poultry. More  

New Data Tool Explores Where the Food Dollar Goes
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is developing a new date set to inform users about the breakdown of food expenditures by final consumers through the different stages of the agrifood value chains. The new Food Value Chain domain is now available on the FAOSTAT portal, with information for 65 countries from 2005 through 2015. 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 Thursday. 


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