Issue: 383

College News

Recent Master's Graduate Killed in Accident

David Serfling, the December master's graduate who earned his degree after nearly 17 years of study, died in an auto accident Jan. 8. The College had distributed a story about Serfling's dedication to his education in early December. The Preston, Minn., farmer was killed when he missed a curve on County Road-5, according to the Fillmore County Sheriff. His 15 year-old son was transported to Saint Mary's Hospital in Rochester with minor injuries. Funeral services were Jan. 13, at Greenleafton Reformed Church, rural Preston, Minn. Mark Honeyman, animal science, and Serfling's major professor, said Serfling's creative component for his master's will be published this month in the Department of Animal Science's annual Animal Industry Report. It is titled: Comparison of Alternative Winter Farrowing Techniques on Four Niman Ranch Cooperating Farms in Southern Minnesota. (See External Voices)

College Convocation Tomorrow

The College of Agriculture convocation will begin at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, with reception and refreshments. A program will follow at 3:30 p.m. in the Sun Room, Memorial Union. College awards will be presented, new faculty members will be introduced and retirees recognized during the program.

Lamkey Named Interim Agronomy Department Chair

Kendall Lamkey, Iowa State professor of agronomy, will become interim chair of the Department of Agronomy effective Feb. 1. Lamkey's appointment will be for two years.

Birt Named Interim Director of Center for Designing Foods

Diane Birt has been appointed interim director of the Center for Designing Foods to Improve Nutrition (CDFIN) at Iowa State. Birt is a distinguished professor of food science and human nutrition and director of the Center for Research on Dietary Botanical Supplements. She assumes the position held by Paul Flakoll, who died Dec. 17.

Brighton to Address Think Tank Jan. 23

The Think Tank on Animal Agriculture on Jan. 23 will hear from John Brighton, vice provost for research. He will be discussing research and economic trends at ISU and the critical issues in animal agriculture and research. The meeting will begin with social time at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. in the Cardinal Room of Memorial Union. RSVP on or before noon Friday, Jan. 20 by emailing Julie Roberts at Cost of the buffet is $17, which is payable at the door.

ISU Coordinate National Tracking of Genome Research

A team of Iowa State animal scientists coordinates a national project that uses computer technology to manage vast amounts of animal genomic information.
The faculty in the program are part of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics.

ISU a Partner in Global Effort to Sequence Swine Genome

Iowa State is collaborating on a new $10 million international effort to sequence the swine genome. The USDA awarded a $10 million National Research Initiative grant for the two-year project to the University of Illinois and its university, government and private partners. Max Rothschild, distinguished professor and director of the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, is a co-director on the project.

Deadlines and Reminders

Jan. 22: Lecture, Iowa Landscapes--Tillage, Threshing and Transition, From "Breaking the Prairie Sod" to the "Land of the Fragile Giants,"; 2 p.m., Brunnier Art Museum, free

Communications Kiosk

Compare to and Compare with are Different

Forget the old axiom that "compare to" is for similarities and "compare with" is for differences. The thing to remember is that "compare to" means "liken to." Comparisons that actually weigh either similarities or differences point by point are comparisons "with." (The Elephants of Style, Bill Walsh, 2004.)


Entrepreneurship Lecture at ISU Jan. 27

"Finding Relevance in Entrepreneurship: Applications and Aspirations" is the title of a lecture to be delivered Jan. 27 in LeBaron Auditorium. Michael Morris, head of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, will make the presentation at 9 a.m. It is being presented by the Department of Apparel, Educational Studies, and Hospitality Management; Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; Council on Lectures; and Government of the Student Body.

Iowa Dairy Association Acquires Another

Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) delegates approved the acquisition of Iowa Dairy Product Association at its annual meeting Jan. 11. With the acquisition, ISDA will have two employees, and Iowa State alumni, working for Iowa's dairy producers. Erin Vagts, who earned a bachelor's degree in 2005 in public service and administration, will serve as executive secretary and industry relations manager. Norman Moklestad, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1952 in agricultural education, will be industry relations manager assistant.

Nominations Sought for IPM Award

The Fifth National Integrated Pest Management Symposium is seeking nominations for its first IPM Achievement Award. Candidates include individuals, businesses or other organizations deserving recognition for success in implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in agriculture, communities, schools, parks, public agencies and other settings. The application deadline is Feb. 15.

Ag Outlook Forum Registration Deadline Jan. 23

Prospering in Rural America is the theme of the 2006 Agricultural Outlook Forum set for Feb. 16-17 in Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and other top officials, industry analysts, business leaders, farmers and ranchers, and agricultural experts are among the speakers at the 82nd annual forum. Forum registration is $285 until Jan. 23. Registration after Jan. 23 is $335.

NSF Seeks Strategic Planning Input

The National Science Foundation is asking for input as it starts drafting its next NSF Strategic Plan. Comments are requested by Jan. 20 through the website.

External Voices

Dave Serfling Made a Difference

Recent College alum Dave Serfling died in a car accident Jan. 8 (see item in College News). Mark Schultz, Land Stewardship Project program director, had this to say about Serfling:
"Dave was something special -- to his wife Diane, daughter Hannah and son Ethan, and to all the people he met. He was a great farmer. As many of you know, he was a key leader and contributor to LSP's (Land Stewardship Project) efforts for a long time, especially in our policy and organizing work. ... He was a premium hog producer for and active within Niman Ranch, who recently recognized him as a top quality producer. He cared about his family, his farm, and his community and strove to live his faith every day. He was an unassuming man who made a big difference in many lives."


Underground Vault at North Pole to Keep Seeds Safe

Norway plans to build a vault in a mountain close to the North Pole that will house a vast seed bank to ensure food supplies in the event of catastrophic climate change, nuclear war or rising sea levels, according to New Scientist. The vault will be designed to hold around 2 million seeds representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It will be built deep in permafrost in the side of a sandstone mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, 625 miles from the North Pole. The facility will not be permanently staffed but "the mountains are patrolled by polar bears," said Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an organization promoting the project. (Agence France-Presse, Jan. 11)

Next issue: Jan. 23

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

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