Issue: 1289

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
April 1, 2024 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – Today, Monday, we have our spring semester Town Hall at 2:15 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall, and I hope you can attend! I’ll offer a presentation about some of the latest and greatest in the college, and Jay Harmon, Kendall Lamkey and Ruth MacDonald will present… Alison Parker has arranged for movie theater popcorn during the presentations… Finally, a special thanks to all the faculty and staff who advise our students and are fighting their way through the launch of Workday for Students, getting them happily registered and on their way. It’s a tough transition but a necessary and good one to achieve and to get behind us before too long. Great thanks to everyone who has worked on this… More 

Top Stories

Farmers and ag industry professionals who spend a day at Planter University learning to optimize their machinery for conditions in the field are reaping dividends – for their own operations, their communities and Iowa.

Farmers, Ag Industry Professionals Reap Dividends from Planter University
Farmers and ag industry professionals who spend a day at Planter University learning to optimize their machinery for conditions in the field are reaping dividends – for their own operations, their communities and Iowa. The Digital Ag Innovation Team at Iowa State partnered with ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomists and agricultural engineers to create this hands-on program that offers unbiased, brand-neutral training to farmers and ag industry professionals. It’s offered at five locations across Iowa, all indoors, with planter demonstrations and presentations that evolve with the technology. More 


Register for CALS Open Academy for Team Science
CALS is hosting a one-day conference designed for faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students and undergrads interested in collaborative research. Scheduled for April 18 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union, participants will have the opportunity to bring a research poster and submit proposals for lightning talks to showcase ideas for future projects. There will be a research panel and seminar sessions addressing the transformative potential of team science. Register to attend by Thursday, April 4. More 

Water Quality Research Proposals to INRC due May 3
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center is accepting proposals for research projects designed to reduce nitrate and phosphorus in Iowa’s water. The center is prioritizing seven areas of research for funding. Proposals are due May 3 for projects that would begin in August. More 

Teaching and Students

Rodeo Club Hosts Cyclone Stampede, April 5-6
The Rodeo Club at Iowa State University is hosting its 61st annual Cyclone Stampede on Friday and Saturday, April 5-6, at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Events will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday. More 

Lawn Mower Service Days Set for April 5-6
The Agricultural Systems Technology Club will hold its annual lawn mower service days Friday, April 5, (1 to 5 p.m.) and Saturday, April 6, (8 a.m. to noon), on the west side of Sukup Hall. Routine service includes an oil change, a new spark plug, blade sharpening and a power wash. The price is $35 for a push mower. Pickup and delivery (Ames only) is available for $25; send an email request to

Seed Business Management Webinar Series Begins Wednesday
The Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business is holding its free Seed Business Management webinar series every Wednesday in April at noon. More 

Extension and Outreach

Results of Latest Farm Custom Rate Survey Released 
Farmers who depend on custom work or provide custom services can review rates charged by others across the state in the latest Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey. The 2024 report was published in the March edition of Ag Decision Maker and includes 130 responses and 2,805 custom rates provided by Iowa farmers, custom operators and farm managers. More 

Nakidde to Help Make Community and Local Food Data More Accessible
Lighton Nakidde joined ISU Extension and Outreach in January as an extension data analyst, sharing her time between Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community and Economic Development. More 

New Podcast Connects Nature, Culture and Wonder
ISU Extension and Outreach has launched the Curious Planet podcast hosted by Jacqueline Comito, director of Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! The podcast melds history, storytelling, sense of place, belonging and curiosity. More 

Around the College

Dean Robison Appointed to New Five-Year Term
Daniel Robison, Endowed Dean’s Chair, has been appointed to a new five-year term to lead the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Since his initial appointment in 2018, Robison has stabilized enrollment, expanded external research funding and private fundraising, grown global programs and Extension and Outreach, and created opportunities through programs such as CALS Start Something, Study USA, Pathways and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows. More 

College Announces Three Candidates for Chair of EEOB    
Three candidates for chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology will provide a public seminar on their “Vision for the future of EEOB at ISU as a Land-Grant University.” All seminars will take place from 9-9:50 a.m. in 248 Bessey Hall. The seminars will be recorded and posted in CyBox. Candidate information is available online. 

  • Candidate #1 Seminar – Tuesday, April 2 
  • Candidate #2 Seminar – Thursday, April 4 
  • Candidate #3 Seminar – Thursday, April 11

Support CALS on Forever True Day, April 3-4
Forever True Day is Iowa State’s newest tradition in philanthropy, encouraging Cyclones around the world to come together to support the places and programs most loved at Iowa State University. Forever True Day starts at noon on Wednesday, April 3, and runs for 24 hours of Cyclone Power. Featured areas for giving within CALS follow. You may also select from multiple challenge/match funds to make your dollars go further – these will be announced on the event website on April 3. Donations are accepted ahead of Forever True Day and should be made at More  

  • CALS Completion and Emergency Grants 
  • Pathways to Innovation 
  • Scholarships in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Loy Named Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus
Daniel Loy, professor emeritus of animal science, was named 2024 Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus by the Department of Animal Science in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The award recognizes his accomplishments and tireless dedication to the discipline of animal science, including leadership of the Iowa Beef Center and service to the U.S. beef industry. More 

In Memoriam: Murlidhar Dharmadhikari
Murlidhar Dharmadhikari, food science and human nutrition, passed away on Feb. 14. He joined Iowa State in 2006 and founded the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, serving as its director until his retirement in early 2017. Dharmadhikari’s vision was to assist the Midwest grape and wine industry through research, education and training, which remains the primary goal of the Institute today. He was also a key contributor in the early days of the Iowa Wine Growers Association, providing valuable guidance and suggestions to support the growth and success of the industry. More 


April 1: CALS Town Hall
Join Dean Robison for a Town Hall meeting today, April 1, at 2:15 p.m. in 127 Curtiss Hall, Dolezal Auditorium.

April 4: Stupka Symposium
The 18th Annual Stupka Symposium, organized and run by undergraduate students in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, is Thursday, April 4. The symposium is free and open to the public. More 

April 9: Hertz Lecture
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture is April 9 at 7 p.m. in Dolezal Auditorium, 127 Curtiss Hall. Leaders from Hertz Farm Management, Inc. will present “An Evening with Hertz Farm Management – Emerging Issues in Agriculture,” a Q&A-style discussion. The event is free and open to the public. More 

May 8: CALS Faculty and Staff Gathering 
CALS faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the end of spring semester at a gathering on May 8 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Harl Commons patio on the east side of Curtiss Hall. Food will be provided, along with ISU wine and beer and dessert from the ISU Creamery. The evening will feature “The Ballad of Dean Robison” by Iowa No Mountain Boys. RSVP by May 1. Plus ones are welcome. More 


Insect Collection at Reiman Gardens Expands
Nathan Brockman, Reiman Gardens director of entomology, has grown the insect population over the years, introducing some who move a little slower and others who spin a web. His hope is that people who come for the butterflies take time to learn about other insects. Brockman also assists the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology and Microbiology with the Insect Zoo, the Day of Insects in March and Pollinator Fest in June. 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.

X (formerly Twitter)  

University Nondiscrimination Statement