Issue: 395

College News

Ag Weekend Experience Held Last Weekend

Over the weekend, 14 College of Agriculture students participated in the Agricultural Weekend Experience. The students, who had little or no farm background experience, were hosted by farm families in Denison, Vail, Westside, Osage, Clarksville and Shell Rock. The weekend included tours of ethanol plants, hog operations, dairy facilities and more. The program is sponsored by the ISU Agricultural Endowment Board and the College of Agriculture.

College of Agriculture Outcomes Forum on Thursday

The College's Outcomes Assessment Committee and Curriculum Committee are co-sponsoring an Ag College Forum on Thursday, April 13, to assess the relevance of the current set of outcomes and to discuss additional outcomes that may be needed. The forum runs from 4:10 to 6 p.m. in Room 13 Curtiss. This is a follow-up to a forum held Feb. 15.

Research and Demonstration Farm Field Days Begin June 19

Two anniversary celebrations mark this year's Research and Demonstration Farms field days. The Northern Research Farm will host its 75th anniversary on Sept. 8. The McNay Research Farm will hold its 50th anniversary celebration on Sept. 14. This year's 17 field days begin June 19 at the Horticulture Station near Ames with a day devoted to fruit and vegetable topics. The Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Farms west of Ames will have a field day Aug. 24. The farms will host eight Demonstration Home Garden Field Days beginning on July 24 at the Northwest Research Farm location near Sutherland. More:

Wallace's Farmer Honors Blackmer with Posthumous Award

Alfred Blackmer, Iowa State professor of agronomy who died Jan. 28, won the Exceptional Service Award posthumously from Wallace's Farmer magazine. The award is given periodically to a person who has given exceptional service to Iowa agriculture. Blackmer, 62, battled pancreatic cancer for two years. The magazine cited Blackmer work with, "hundreds of farmers throughout Iowa to solve practical problems. A recognized expert on nitrogen, he developed better ways to manage this important crop nutrient." More:

College of Agriculture Student Named Truman Scholar

Amber Herman, a senior in public service and administration in agriculture from Davenport, was named a Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation March 27. Herman is one of 75 scholars named this year. Truman Scholars are awarded $30,000 for graduate school. The scholarship is awarded to students who have exceptional leadership potential and are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in public service. Herman currently is studying in Uganda -- her third international experience during her college career.

Chinese Delegation Visits Campus to Promote Trade

A delegation of Chinese agricultural officials visited campus April 6 as part of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency program promoting U.S.-China cooperation on agricultural biotechnology trade. The delegation included high-level Chinese regulatory officials, agronomists, engineers and educators. The visit, organized by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, sought to promote further understanding of U.S. and Chinese agriculture and science-based biotechnology standards. Jeff Wolt, a professor of agronomy working in the Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP), led a risk communication workshop for the delegation. ISU faculty Lulu Rodriguez and Clark Wolf also participated. The delegation's campus visit included a tour of the Molecular Biology Building, a lunch meeting with Associate Dean David Acker and other ISU faculty at Reiman Gardens and a tour of the Farm House Museum.

MAY 9 "COOKS TOUR" Workshop for Ag Entrepreneur

The College's Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative is sponsoring an Ag Entrepreneur "Cooks Tour" workshop May 9 to provide a behind-the-scenes look at how technology moves from ideas to marketplace. It is intended to give researchers in agricultural and life sciences a practical introduction to the business of taking an idea to the market. It is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the ISU Research Park. Enrollment is limited. To enroll, e-mail Steve Nissen,, and include a brief statement on why you want to attend.

Introductory Project LEA/RN Workshop in May

The colleges of Agriculture, Engineering and Human Sciences are collaborating on a USDA Challenge Grant to make the introductory Project LEA/RN workshop available to interested faculty this spring. The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., May 9-12, 233 Science II. Materials, meals and break snacks are provided at no expense to participants. Participants must attend all sessions. Space is limited. Apply to Sherri Larson, 4-0598 or by April 22. Contact: Barb Licklider, 4-1276 or

ISU Studies Relationship of Swine Dust and Odor

Iowa State researchers recently conducted laboratory studies that found small dust particles carry more odor per weight and surface area than coarse dust.

McEowen Named Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law

Roger McEowen has been named the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law. McEowen, an associate professor of agricultural law and policy in the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies, joined the Iowa State faculty in 2004.

Awards Presented by ISU Agriculture Honor Society

Awards were presented April 4 to College faculty, alumni and students by the Iowa chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta. Alumnus Marvin Walter of Ames received the Distinguished Achievement and Service to Agriculture Award. Walter, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Iowa State, has devoted his professional career to agriculture, with emphasis on the meat industry. Four Mission Awards were presented, which recognize faculty in the College of Agriculture who have made exceptional contributions in helping Iowa State achieve its mission in the areas of extension, teaching and research. Two faculty members received Teaching Awards: Ron Deiter, professor of economics, and Joseph Sebranek, University Professor of animal science. The Research Award went to Helen Jensen, professor of economics, and the Extension Award went to Tom Baas, associate professor of animal science. Richard and Nancy Degner of Ankeny received the Alumni Award of Merit. Nancy is executive director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council and Rich is executive director of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Gamma Sigma Delta Names New Initiates

Also at the April 4 Gamma Sigma Delta’s award ceremony, new society initiates were recognized. They included faculty members Roger McEowen, agricultural education and studies, and Gururaj Rao, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; staff members Ed Adcock, agriculture communications, and Darren Jarboe, Center for Crops Utilization Research; and alumnus James Farrell, chief executive officer of Farmers National Co.

Ag Biotechnology Topic of BIGMAP Symposium April 18

The leading biotechnology reporter for the Associated Press, a director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and other national experts will discuss issues surrounding agricultural biotech during "Understanding and Communicating Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology," the third annual symposium of ISU's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP). 2006

Staniforth Lecture in Weed Science April 25

Advancement in the field of weed science will be discussed at a lecture April 25. Douglas Buhler, associate director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University, will present the 2006 Staniforth Lecture at 4:10 p.m. in room 2050 Agronomy Hall.

Deadlines and Reminders

April 18: "Understanding and Communicating Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology," Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP) Symposium, Gateway Center, more:

April 19: "Safe and Secure Food for Public Health and National Security," Institute for Food Safety and Security symposium, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Comfort Suites Hotel, 2609 Elwood Drive, contact: Gail Stecker, 4-4781

April 28: Spencer Award nominations due, more:

Communications Kiosk

A Distinctive Feature Doesn't Make one Distinguised

A "distinctive" feature is something that makes a person, place or thing easy to distinguish or pick out from others. But it does not necessarily make that person distinguished or exalted, "the distinguished professor wears a distinctive red bow tie." It does, however, make the person "distinguishable," a term that does not carry the positive connotation of distinguished. (The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2003).


New Director for Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service

Jim Sands, director of Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service, retired last week after 37 years of public service. The new director will be Joseph Prusacki, chief of the National Agricultural Statistics Service Crops Branch in Washington D.C. He will begin his duties in May.

Proposals Sought for Biotech Applications

The Illinois-Missouri Biotechnology Alliance seeks proposals for a special grant that provides $962,000 for subcontracts to enhance the profitability of agriculture and food sector from the application of biotechnology to corn and soybean. Priority will be given to research that demonstrates commercialization potential and has evidence of support from the private sector. IMBA also seeks projects that document economic, environmental and/or social impacts from corn and soy biotechnology. The deadline for proposal submission is June 1.

FDA Lists Food Defense Acronyms

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted a list of food defense acronyms, abbreviations and definitions.

Foreign Internships with USDA Available

The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service is looking for senior and graduate-level university students to work in its overseas offices to promote U.S. agricultural interests through the International Agricultural Internship Program (IAIP). Students with excellent analysis, marketing, writing, language and organizational skills and experience are sought for 10-16 week paid internships. U.S. citizen students who are majoring in a business or science related agricultural field, i.e. ag economics, economics, finance, business or marketing, international studies or relations, law or biotechnology program are eligible. Online registration for the fall semester closes April 17 and the spring program deadline is Aug. 18.

External Voices

'We are so Very Impressed with Iowa State'

On March 27, the College of Agriculture hosted a visit day for high school students, organized primarily by the students in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, that attracted more than 85 students plus their parents or family members. Here was one comment e-mailed by a parent following the visit: "We attended the College of Ag visit day on March 27th. We are so very impressed with Iowa State in general. From our first visit back in May 2005 ... to yesterday's visit, the Ag College has been so helpful, informative, encouraging and impressive. We thought the speakers were very interesting and the questions and answer panel was terrific. We have been so impressed with Iowa State's interest in [our daughter]; if you treat all your visitors like she was, you should be overflowing with applications for admission. We applied to UW Madison, U of Illinois, River Falls, Ohio State and Iowa State. She was offered admission to all. It was hands-down an Iowa State choice because of your continued contact, days like yesterday and the overall attitude of students and professors at Iowa State. Again, it was a wonderful day and we appreciate all the hard work ... What a great day. Thank you and we can't wait until this fall so [our daughter] can become part of this great Ag College." 

Next issue: April 17

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

Phone: (515) 294-5616

Web site:

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