Issue: 1297

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
June 3, 2024 

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – I'm writing to you on the day I'll transition from the American Farm School in Greece to the College of Design's campus in Rome. Both locations are significant study abroad destinations for our students, with important opportunities to expand partnership opportunities… For those of you on campus, today kicks off the first of many orientation days that will take place throughout June, welcoming new students who will join us in the fall. Please offer a friendly smile to these students and their families who will be on campus… More 

Top Stories

A widely found gene in plants has been newly identified as a key transporter of a hormone that influences the size of corn. The discovery offers plant breeders a new tool to develop desirable dwarf varieties that could enhance the crop’s resilience and profitability. The research team was led by Dior Kelley, genetics, development and cell biology, and Craig Cowling, a doctoral student in her lab.

Scientists Identify Gene that Could Lead to Resilient `Pixie’ Corn
A widely found gene in plants has been newly identified as a key transporter of a hormone that influences the size of corn. The discovery offers plant breeders a new tool to develop desirable dwarf varieties that could enhance the crop’s resilience and profitability. The research team was led by Dior Kelley, genetics, development and cell biology, and Craig Cowling, a doctoral student in her lab. The findings were published in the May 28 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The publication’s cover features an illustration by Kelley’s mother and Cowling. More 


Feed the Future Innovation Lab Reports Progress to Improve Poultry Health in Africa
Iowa State researchers have been part of an international effort to improve the health of small poultry flocks of indigenous types of chickens that provide meat, eggs and income-producing opportunities important for food security in Africa. The team recently published a paper in the World’s Poultry Science Journal summarizing project findings and offering some promising opportunities to enhance African poultry production. More 

Chinese Delegation Visits INRC
A group of Chinese academics and professionals representing water resource and forestry disciplines recently visited the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and colleagues at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa. The visitors came to Iowa to learn more about water-related conservation practices, watershed management and flood control, and related research going on in the state. More 

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Farmer Today Talks with Harmon on Extension Services
In the May 30 issue of Iowa Farmer Today, Jay Harmon, associate dean of Extension Programs and Outreach and director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension, answers questions on changes within agriculture and extension, and the future of extension. More  

Cash Rent Rates for Iowa Cropland Remain Unchanged for 2024
Cash rent for Iowa farm ground is mostly unchanged from 2023, according to the latest land rent survey from ISU Extension and Outreach. This is the first time in five years without a statewide increase. More 

Stay On Top of Pest Issues with Text-Based Service
Receive instant field pest updates directly to a cell phone with a new service offered by ISU Extension and Outreach. The Iowa Pest Alert Network provides short, timely updates via text messaging to farmers and crop consultants, agronomists and extension educators who advise farmers. More 

Workshops Offered on Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Two free half-day workshops on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and incorporating nutrient reduction practices into farm operations will take place in June. The first on June 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm near Sutherland. The second on June 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Swan Lake State Park. ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center are sponsoring the workshops. More 

Around the College

Heineman and Shaffer Honored with Recruitment Innovation Awards
The provost’s office has recognized 31 faculty and staff with Recruitment Innovation Awards. The monetary awards, funded by an anonymous donor, are the fourth in a series of recognitions. Recipients from CALS are Katy Heineman, student services specialist, and Jess Shaffer, student recruiter. More 

Castellano Testifies to Congress
In a presentation to a Congressional budget hearing on future water scarcity, Mike Castellano, agronomy, delivered testimony on May 22, based on his paper, “Droughts, Dollars and Decisions: Water Scarcity in a Changing Climate,” which reviews information on climate change, nitrogen management, agricultural drainage, residue management and more. Castellano testified at the invitation of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. More 

Celebration of Life for Ali Tabatabai, June 15 
A Celebration of Life for M. Ali Tabatabai will be held June 15 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Reiman Gardens. He passed away Feb. 15 at the Israel Family Hospice House. He was 89. Tabatabai was an agronomy faculty member in soil chemistry from September 1972 to January 2013. A private burial ceremony was held at Adams Funeral Home and at the Ames Al Darun Mosque and Islamic Center, followed by burial in the Muslim section of the Story County Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the M. Ali Tabatabai Memorial Scholarship, Iowa State University, or the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames. More 

In Memoriam: Norma Hensley
Norma Hensley, who had a 41-year career in agriculture administration at Iowa State, passed away on April 30. She was 94. She spent seven years in Ag Administration Placement Services, assisting prospective employers and students seeking employment. In 1967, she advanced to executive administrative assistant for the associate dean of agriculture. Over the years, Hensley’s responsibilities evolved to management of the college’s scholarship program. Upon her retirement in 2001, she funded the Norma J. Hensley Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded to the president of the Agriculture Student Council each year. Graveside services will be in Bedford, Iowa, on June 28. A Celebration of Life will be held June 29 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Northcrest Community in Ames. More 


June 3: Rita Knight Retirement Reception
A retirement reception for Rita Knight is today, June 3, from 3:30-5 p.m. in 142 Curtiss Hall. She is an administrative assistant in the CALS central administration office. Knight has worked at Iowa State for 30 years. She served as president of the Merit Staff Union for many years, and more recently on the P&S Council Professional Development Conference Committee.

June 26: Southeast Farm Field Day
The annual summer field day at Iowa State’s Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Crawfordsville is June 26. Participants will learn about bioreactors, edge-of-field conservation, strip trials and more. The afternoon field day is free and open to the public. More 

June 27: Armstrong Farm Field Day
The annual spring field day at Iowa State’s Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm in Lewis is June 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ISU Extension and Outreach experts will speak on a variety of current crop and planting practices in agriculture. The event is free to attend and open to the public, with registration requested. More 

June 28: Dairy Farm Open House Canceled
The 2024 Dairy Farm Open House has been canceled due to storm damage at the farm. Watch for information on the event in 2025.

Communications Kiosk

When Documentation is Not Needed
Documentation is required for any work that you quote from or paraphrase; that you refer to substantively, whether the reference is to a specific place in the source (a page, a chapter) or to the source as a whole; or that you acknowledge as the source of facts you provide or ideas you formulate. But documentation is not required for every type of borrowed material. (Modern Language Association Handbook, 9th edition, pgs. 101-102)

  • Common Knowledge – This includes information widely available in reference works, such as basic biographical facts about prominent persons and the dates and circumstances of major historical events. 
  • Passing Mentions – For example, if you state that your favorite graphic narrative is Fun Home, you have not quoted from or paraphrased the book, referred to any aspect of it specifically or used it to advance an idea. 
  • Allusions – When you are making an allusion for rhetorical effect – that is, making an indirect or partial reference to a well-known passage that serves as a cultural touchstone – you usually do not need to cite a source. For example, The Force was definitely with our team’s goalie when she deflected the ball.  


Volunteers Sought for Food Pantry 
The SHOP, Iowa State's on-campus student food pantry, needs volunteers for the summer. In the past year, demand for services has grown substantially. Each month, SHOP receives about 1,000 visitors and distributes more than 14,000 pounds of food. The sign-up sheet is available online.   

Through the Eyes of George Washington Carver, June 6
University Museums curator Allison Sheridan will lead a program on the George Washington Carver, The Student and Innovator exhibition on Thursday, June 6, at 4:30 p.m. in the Dean’s Art Gallery, CALS. It explores through portraiture the influence Iowa State faculty, administration and students had on the success of Carver as an innovator. The program begins in the second floor rotunda of Curtiss Hall. More 

NAS President to Deliver Inaugural State of the Science Address
The National Academy of Sciences is holding an inaugural State of the Science address on June 26 from 2-4 p.m. President Marcia McNutt will explore how U.S. science and innovation are positioned to respond to rising global competition and shifting priorities for the nation’s economy, security, public health and well-being. The address will be followed by a panel discussion. Register to attend in person or virtually. More 


Farmer Activism during the 1980s Farm Crisis
In a May 29 post to Cardinal Tales, the blog of Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University, Amy Bishop, rare books and manuscripts archivist, talks about the 1980s Farm Crisis. She highlights Merle Hansen and his role over the years in supporting the interests of farmers. Hansen helped organize the National Crisis Action Rally held in Ames on Feb. 27, 1985, where 15,000 people took part in the event. Newspaper images show crowds of people in line to enter Hilton Coliseum. 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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