Issue: 1296

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
May 20, 2024

Dean’s Message

Good Morning CALS – A short note today to wish you a great week. For those farmers (including our own) that have their crops planted, the rain we just had is terrific unless there are low spots that flood out the plants or catch a spot of heavy rain on a slope that washes out the new seed/seedlings. For those still trying to finish planting… More 

Top Stories

Erin Norton, director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State, joined Ira Flatow, host and executive producer of Science Friday, during a live appearance in Ames on May 4.

Norton Discusses the Science of Growing Cold Hardy Grapes
Erin Norton, director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State, joined Ira Flatow, host and executive producer of Science Friday, during a live appearance in Ames on May 4. Almost all wine, no matter what color it is or where it’s produced, comes from a grape species called Vitis vinifera. But these grapes can’t survive the cold, harsh winters of Iowa. Norton discussed the science of growing cold hardy grapes, the basics of viticulture and the burgeoning wine industry in Iowa. Flatow also had an opportunity to taste wine from the Iowa State University Winery, crafted by MGWII staff using cold hardy grapes grown at Iowa State’s Horticulture Research Station. More 


New Regional Economic Journal Launched through Iowa State
A new peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Reaching Regions, is being launched to highlight social science research relevant to North American regions and make it more widely accessible, timely and useful. It will be the official outreach journal of the North American Regional Science Council and published with support from Iowa State’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University. John Winters, economics, who recently completed a three-year term on the NARSC Executive Council, is a co-founding editor. The journal is published by Iowa State University Digital Press. More 

Can the Same Land Provide Calories and Kilowatts?
On the May 14 morning edition of National Public Radio, Frank Morris said solar farms generate resistance from neighbors worried about changing the agricultural landscape. So a team in Iowa is working on a way to grow food and harvest solar power in the same acreage. Morris talks with Matt O'Neal, plant pathology, entomology and microbiology, Ajay Nair, horticulture, and Anne Kimber, Electric Power Research Center, about the Alliant Energy Solar Farm at Iowa State University. More  

Teaching and Students

Making Strides in Grain Preservation from 6,000 Miles Away
Kurt Rosentrater, agricultural and biosystems engineering, implements real-time research in ABE 4690: Engineering for Grain Storage, Preservation and Processing systems to give undergraduate students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with research concepts and situations they may face in their careers. A challenge of grain storage in places like Uganda is the elements that can deteriorate the quality and yield. In the lab, students in 4690 are working toward identifying and solving one of those elements: Weevils. More 

Extension and Outreach

Updated Data Reports Offer State and Legislative District Insights
ISU Extension and Outreach has released the latest updates to the state Data for Decision Makers reports, including those for the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate districts. These updates provide a comprehensive overview of demographic and socioeconomic data, supporting informed community planning and policymaking, and are available on the ISU Extension and Outreach Indicators Program website. More 

May is American Wetlands Month
The ISU Agriculture and Natural Resources YouTube channel offers videos showing a diversity of wetland types found throughout Iowa and their benefits. Funding for the project was provided by the Wildlife Diversity Program of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and ISU Extension and Outreach. More 

Hay Day at McNay Farm is June 6
ISU Extension and Outreach is holding Hay Day at the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm on June 6. Modern haymaking equipment will be used to provide in-field demonstrations of mowing, tedding, raking and baling. The event also will include a lunch presentation from Shelby Gruss, extension forage specialist. More 

Around the College

Huff-Lonergan Recognized for Contributions to Meat Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently named Elisabeth Huff-Lonergan, University Professor of Animal Science, a Fellow for her “distinguished contributions to the field of meat science, particularly in early postmortem muscle biochemistry that have made significant, lasting impacts in sustainably providing nutritious, high-quality protein to the world.” More 

Public Vote Contributes to Determining Agrivoltaics Award
The Alliant Energy Solar Farm at Iowa State University has been nominated for Dual-Use Plan of the Year by the North American Agrivoltaics Awards. The annual campaign seeks to discover, elevate and celebrate outstanding achievements in the advancement of dual-use solar development in North America. Public votes contribute to determining award recipients. Voting opened online May 14 and runs through June 21. Awards will be presented at the Solar Farm Summit on July 8. More 

Anderson and Bell Retire from Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Michael Anderson, professor of practice in agricultural and biosystems engineering, was a licensed professional engineer in Iowa, Indiana and Illinois for 37 years before returning to Iowa State to assist in preparing and mentoring students for their careers. He has led capstone courses for the past five years. More Kris Bell, graduate coordinator in ABE, is retiring after 39 years at Iowa State. She has supported countless graduate students through their studies, from admission through graduation. More 

CALS Online: Next Issue June 3
CALS Online will not be published on May 27. The newsletter will resume Monday, June 3.


June 5-6: World Pork Expo
The World Pork Expo is June 5-6, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. On the agenda for the Pork Academy are Nick Gabler and David Rosero, animal science; and Guilherme Cezar, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine. More 

Communications Kiosk

Revised Guidance on “Climate Change”
The Associated Press Stylebook has revised its guidance on language related to the general state of the climate. In general, it is recommended to use the term climate change when referring to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, and the science explaining or describing those shifts. The term climate crisis, used by the United Nations and others, may be used when describing the current situation. But use the term sparingly and provide specifics as much as possible (Climate change, resulting in the climate crisis…). Use the term global warming in referring to the increase of average temperature around the world. It is one aspect of climate change. (AP Stylebook Online, April 2024)


ISU Memorial Day Remembrance is May 27
Iowa State’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, hosted by the ISU Retirees Association to honor retirees and spouses or partners who died in the past year, is Monday, May 27, at 9 a.m. Attendees can join online via Zoom or in-person at the ISU Alumni Center. Former faculty and staff from CALS will be among those honored during the ceremony. More 


An Archival Find: America’s First Board Game
“The Travellers’ Tour Through the United States” first appeared in 1822, making it the earliest known board game printed in the U.S. In a May 8 article for The Conversation, Matthew Sivils, English, said this forgotten game has a lot to say about America’s nascent board game industry, as well as how a young country saw itself. Though “The Travellers’ Tour” promotes an American identity based on a sanitized version of the nation’s economic might and intellectual rigor, it nonetheless represents an important step toward what has become a burgeoning American board game industry. “Two centuries later, board game culture has matured to the point that new titles such as Freedom: The Underground Railroad and Votes for Women push the genre to new heights,” Sivils said, “using the joy of play to teach the history of the era that spawned America’s first board game.” 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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