Issue: 1237

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
February 6, 2023 

Dean’s Message

Good Morning CALS Colleagues – I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed some of the milder temps we finally had after some brutal cold just a few days ago… Last week was a flurry of activity, including Wednesday evening's fantastic celebration in the Memorial Union for George Washington Carver Day!... Beginning this week we’ll have a series of interviews for the next Wallace Chair in Sustainable Agriculture. Please consider attending and submitting your input on these important searchers… More

Top Stories

The Power Pullers Club in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering creates a student experience that builds community, networks and knowledge.

Power Pullers: Pushing the Edge of Innovation
The Power Pullers Club in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering creates a student experience that builds community, networks and knowledge. Every year, the team competes in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International ¼ scale tractor student design competition and spends most of the year designing and building their very own quarter-scale tractors for the competition. Pictured (l-r): Jarred Jungels, agricultural systems technology; Jakob Turnbull, agricultural engineering; Tristan Thier, agricultural systems technology; Cole Schafer and Nathan Wilson, agricultural engineering. (Photo by Sarah Hays) More  


Roundtable Seeks Faculty Interested in a Healthy Iowa
The Office of the Vice President for Research is hosting a Research and Innovation Roundtable for faculty whose research focus is on a healthy Iowa – a subject that represents the health of all that live and grow in Iowa, from plants to animals to people. Register by Friday, Feb. 10, to participate in the roundtable on March 10, from 8 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union Sun Room and South Ballroom. When registering, participants will be asked to rank order a set of questions to assist with placement in breakout sessions and team building. 

Teaching and Students

Knipper Finds a Niche Selling Farm Toys
Whether it’s tiny tractors, collectible combines or miniature semis, Collin Knipper has found big success selling small farm toys. As the owner of FarmToys4You, he sells scale models of farming machinery to customers near and far. Knipper, a senior in agricultural business, is making the most of his time at Iowa State by bolstering his entrepreneurship skills through Start Something CALS. He initially joined the Change-Maker Academy as a freshman and more recently became a part of the Student Incubator Program. More  

CALS Students Part of Inaugural George Washington Carver Day
Approximately 550 people celebrated the inaugural George Washington Carver Day on Feb. 1 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. As part of the program, several CALS students read excerpts and letters on Carver’s work, including Blake Van Der Kamp, senior in agricultural and life sciences education and international agriculture. “I came to Iowa State as a George Washington Carver Scholar, so it is a great moment to honor someone who honestly gave me my opportunity to come here,” Van Der Kamp said. More  

Study Abroad Photo Contest Opens Today
College faculty and staff are encouraged to vote for their favorite travel photos in the CALS Study Abroad Photo Contest. Voting is open today, Feb. 6, through Friday, Feb. 10. Participants can place one vote per category: scenic photos, cross culture and ISU around the world. More

Horticulture Club Holds Valentine's Bouquet Sale
The Horticulture Club is selling flowers on Feb. 13-14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the east foyer of the Union Drive Community Center. Bouquets range from $15 to $65. Payment can be made by cash, check and credit card. Proceeds support the club's travel. More  

Pre-Vet Club Selling Valentine’s Day Treats
The Pre-Vet Club is selling chocolate covered treats for Valentine’s Day. Pre-order through Wednesday, Feb. 8. Any leftover treats will be for sale on Feb. 14 in the Carver Hall lobby. Treats to choose from are chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzel rods, chocolate covered marshmallows and chocolate covered Oreos. More  

Sigma Alpha Selling Valentine’s Day Candy Grams
Sigma Alpha, the professional agriculture sorority, is selling Valentine’s Day Candy Grams for $5 and delivering them on Valentine’s Day anywhere in Ames. Each candy gram will consist of a note, candy and a flower. Orders are due by Friday, Feb. 10. More  

Extension and Outreach

ANR Extension Spotlight: Dan Loy
Dan Loy is an extension beef specialist and director of the Iowa Beef Center. He is in his 41st year with ISU Extension and Outreach. “I came here to work with the beef cattle industry because I liked cattle,” Loy said. “What I found was that I enjoyed working with the people in the industry.”

Around the College

American Science Society Honors ‘Esteemed Innovators’ for their Research
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is honoring three Iowa State researchers for distinguished contributions to science. Recipients include Joshua Rosenbloom, economics, and Yanhai Yin, genetics, development and cell biology. Rosenbloom’s current research focuses on the role of federal and non-federal funding on the productivity of academic scientists. Yin is currently using modern genetics, genomics and phenomics tools to explore how a plant steroid hormone coordinates plant growth and drought tolerance. More  

Woteki to Discuss Efforts to End Hunger, Reduce Diet-Related Diseases during Seminar
Catherine Woteki, food science and human nutrition and member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, will present a live, virtual seminar Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 3:20-4:10 p.m. in 210 Bessey Hall. The seminar is open to Iowa State faculty, staff and graduate students who are able to attend in person. Woteki’s presentation will reflect on the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health that took place in September 2022. As a result of this conference, $8 billion in commitments were made by the federal government and contributing partners across all sectors to initiate efforts to help end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases and disparities. More  

Interviews Set for Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture
Interviews will be held this week for the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture. A 30-minute virtual seminar followed by a 20-minute Q&A forum is scheduled at the following times for the following candidates. The Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture is supported by an endowment created by CALS, the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Kellogg Foundation, and supports work related to education, research and extension of current and future agricultural practices and developments.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 8 a.m. for J. Arbuckle, sociology and criminal justice. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 9, at 8 a.m. for Matt O’Neal, plant pathology, entomology and microbiology. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 9, at 1:30 p.m. for Mark Licht, agronomy. 
  • Friday, Feb. 10, at 8 a.m. for Alejandro Plastina, economics. 
  • Friday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. for Marshall McDaniel, agronomy. 

CALS Coffee Circle Scheduled for Feb. 10
College faculty are invited to a CALS Collegiality Coffee Circle on Friday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m. in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. Spend time with colleagues and share ideas to enhance the faculty experience within the college. The event is hosted by Claudia Lemper-Manahl, plant pathology, entomology and microbiology and CALS non-tenure track faculty peer mentor; Mary Wiedenhoeft, agronomy and CALS tenure track faculty peer mentor; Aileen Keating, animal science and CALS equity advisor; and the CALS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Coffee, tea and cookies will be provided.

In Memoriam: Steven Nissen
Steven Nissen, former professor in animal science, passed away Jan. 29. He was 71. Nissen joined the animal science department in 1982. During his tenure at Iowa State, he conducted extensive research, taught graduate-level courses in animal surgery and nutrition, and served as a lab director. He co-founded Metabolic Technologies Inc. in 1990 at the Iowa State Research Park, and served a vital role in developing the Agricultural Entrepreneurship program. In 2000, Nissen began planting grape vines. He experimented with wine making, and Prairie Moon Winery was established in 2006. Following a stroke in 2008 which left him paralyzed on his right side, Nissen began painting. (See “Creating a World on Canvas,” STORIES Magazine.) A gathering of family and friends will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Prairie Moon Winery. The funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, at Gilbert Lutheran Church. More  

In Memoriam: William Showers
William Showers, professor emeritus of entomology, passed away on Jan. 13. He was 91. As a research entomologist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, he also held a collaborator faculty position with the Department of Entomology at Iowa State. Showers was one of the pioneers that researched transgenic corn varieties, and he is internationally recognized for his research on mating behaviors and habitats of European corn borer, and dispersal and long-range movement of insect pests of corn, especially black cutworm. A celebration of life will be held at the Ames Chamber of Commerce Laughlin Level on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1-4 p.m. More  


Feb. 8: INRC Seminar
Saturated buffers will be the focus of the next Iowa Nutrient Research Center seminar on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 3:10 p.m. Chris Rehmann, civil, construction and environmental engineering, and Tom Isenhart, natural resource ecology and management, will present. More  

Feb. 9: Jack Trice Sketching on Napkins
A program on Thursday, Feb. 9, from noon to 12:50 p.m. in room 1030 Morrill Hall, will explore “Breaking Barriers,” the recent sculpture by public artist Ivan Toth Depeña that honors, commemorates and memorializes Jack Trice's campus legacy as expressed through the power of art. This program is presented in partnership with CALS, the Office of the President, the Athletic Department and University Museums. More  

Feb. 17: USDA Foreign Agriculture Service
Jim Suits, project management officer with global programs at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, will be on campus Feb. 17 at the Seed Science Center, conference room 106. He will hold a seminar from 1:15-2:30 p.m. for CALS students contemplating careers in international agriculture. From 2:40-3:30 p.m., he will meet with college faculty and staff interested in funding and fellowship opportunities. FAS Global Programs is responsible for planning, administering and coordinating USDA’s programs on international trade capacity building, sustainable agriculture, food assistance and food security. 

March 7: CALS Spring Awards Program
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is March 7 at 4:10 p.m. in Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. The program will include brief comments from Dean Robison and recognition of the 2023 CALS faculty and staff award recipients. A wine and cheese reception will follow the program in Harl Commons.


Register for ISCORE 2023
Registration is open for the 2023 Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity. The forum is free and open to the Iowa State community and will be held March 3 in the Memorial Union. A half-day preconference for faculty, staff and graduate students is scheduled for March 1. More  

Ambassador Branstad to Lead World Food Prize Foundation
The World Food Prize Foundation has announced that Terry Branstad, former U.S. Ambassador to China, will join the organization as its president. Established by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, the World Food Prize is an award for global agriculture and celebrates breakthrough achievements in combating hunger and enhancing food security around the world. Branstad takes over from Barbara Stinson, who served three years as president of the organization before her departure this month. More  


World Food Prize Laureate Featured in Agriman Comic
In a new comic from Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura, Rattan Lal, 2020 World Food Prize Laureate, helps Agriman save soil and build resilient food systems. 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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