Issue: 399

College News

Our Graduates' Perspectives, Part 1: We are Iowa State

"Where will we be this time next year? What will we be doing? Some of us know, some of us don't. ... But I do know that we are all about to be alumni of Iowa State. And that means something; that means that we are Iowa State, we are its ambassadors, its advisers, simultaneously its prized output and a crucial input. And we need to stay connected." - Kyle Staley, agricultural business, who delivered the student address at the University Commencement on Saturday

Our Graduates' Perspectives, Part 2: Your Education Makes a Difference

"Whether you are cultivating the soil or researching plant diseases, protecting the earth's water or making marketing decisions that will affect hundreds, your Iowa State University degree and education will make a difference in your life and the lives of others." - Alicia Clancy, journalism and mass communication and public service and administration in agriculture, who delivered the student address at the College Convocation on Saturday

Our Graduates' Perspectives, Part 3: Five Profiled in Register

The Des Moines Register featured five College of Agriculture graduates in its Saturday, May 6, edition. The College of Agriculture Communications Service had provided the Register with the ideas as potential features on upcoming graduates. Featured were Sean Johnson, environmental science, who traveled to six countries through the study-abroad program; David Keninger, agronomy, who farms near Ackley; Anne Rossi, agronomy, who grew up in New York and came to Iowa to get her education; and Jacqueline Wenke and Sandra Wenke, sisters who completed three degrees and five majors among them (Jacqueline in agricultural business, economics and international agriculture and Sandra in agricultural engineering and agricultural education).

Biotech Trait Detection Workshop Attracts International and National Attention

A workshop beginning today, May 8, at the Seed Science Center will focus on the analysis of biotechnology traits in seed and grain. The three-day workshop has attracted leading international and national scientists. Manjit Misra, director of the center, said the detection of biotech traits in seed and grain plays an important role in crop development, stewardship and regulation. Thirty-five attendees will participate in roundtable discussions and presentations concerning the technical and scientific challenges in the field of seed and grain testing.

Alumni Days Reception for College Alumni Friday

Alumni Days is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, May 11 and 12, for a 50-year class reunion. Members of classes who graduated prior to 1956 also are invited to attend the Gold Medal Club reunion during Alumni Days. Thomas Sutherland, who earned master's and doctorate degrees in animal science in 1956 and 1958, will speak at the Class Dinner. On Friday morning, the College will have a reception for alumni. Eric Hoiberg, retired associate dean and alumni relations coordinator, will be the masters of ceremony. Dean Wendy Wintersteen will make remarks and faculty and staff will report on Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, Agriculture Study Abroad, Office of Biorenewables Programs and animal genomics programs. More:

ABE Extension Faculty Sweep Iowa Professional Society Awards

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering extension faculty swept all the awards presented by the Iowa Section of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). Matt Helmers, received the Newcomer Engineer of the Year Award; Robert Burns, received the Young Engineer of the Year Award; and Mark Hanna received the Engineer of the Year Award. The Iowa Section has more than 400 agricultural engineers.

Skunk River Navy Earns Governor's Environmental Award

The Skunk River Navy, a student effort that cleans up local stream banks, will receive the 2005 Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Award. The award, for Special Recognition in Water Quality, will be presented Thursday, May 11. Jim Colbert, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, who founded the Skunk River Navy in 1998, said more than 500 students have helped with clean-up efforts.

Second Annual Ag Entrepreneurship Institute Scheduled

The second annual Agricultural Entrepreneurship Institute has been scheduled for Oct. 19-20 at Reiman Gardens. The institute, organized by the College of Agriculture's Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, is a professional development program for faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture and affiliated ISU life science departments. The 2006 Institute will focus on incorporating concepts and skills from entrepreneurship into existing courses and activities. For more information: Stacey Noe, 4-4945 or

Distinguished and University Professorships Announced

Six ISU faculty members have been awarded the titles of Distinguished Professor or University Professor. They include Robert Horton, Charles F. Curtiss Distinuished Professor in Agiculture in the Department of Agronomy, and Lester Wilson, University Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Conference will Spotlight Iowa Cattle Feeding Opportunities

An ISU conference June 5 will help lenders, economic development leaders and producers explore ways to work together to expand Iowa's cattle feeding industry. The conference is sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center and the Value-Added Agriculture Program.

New On-Farm Research and Demonstration Projects

Addressing opportunities and challenges facing agriculture in Iowa while stimulating on-farm research is the goal of a new collaborative program involving ISU and Practical Farmers of Iowa. Ten projects were chosen for the 2006 ISU On-Farm Research and Demonstration grant program, funded by the College of Agriculture.

Agronomy Distance Master's Program Receives Award

The Master of Science in Agronomy distance education program has received the 2006 Innovator's Award from the Iowa Distance Learning Association.

Distance Education Newsletter Features College Faculty

College of Agriculture faculty and their distance education courses are featured in a new Continuing Education and Communication Services newsletter intended to launch a communication network for distance education faculty and administration. The electronic newsletter is offered in a blog format to encourage comments and feedback. The newsletter may be subscribed to for delivery every two weeks.

Deadlines and Reminders

May 9: Ag Entrepreneur "Cooks Tour" workshop, contact: Steve Nissen,

May 9: Nutrition and Wellness Research Center open house, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 2325 North Loop Drive

June 19: Research and Demonstration Farm Field Days begin, Horticulture Station, near Ames, more:

Communications Kiosk

Web Site Development Requires you to Think, Write and Revise

When developing a Web site, Jane Cleland, corporate trainer and author, has some simple steps to follow. She suggests starting with one sentence stating your objectives from the readers' point of view. Ask yourself, "What do I want my readers to do as a result of visiting my Web site?" Secondly, think about the structure and write the content to fit the needs of each segment. If the same content appeals to more than one segment, establish links to it from several places. Finally, note the kinds of content and links and remember that "click here" doesn't get you ranked on Google. Use keywords for links. Decide whether to use imperative or narrative and choose specific words. Then write a draft and revise. (Writing That Works, April 2006)


Cast Releases Two Avian Flu Papers

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology recently published two papers on the impacts of an avian influenza pandemic. "Avian Influenza: Human Pandemic Concerns" and "Avian Influenza: Trade Issues" were written for a general audience. Jeffrey Wolt, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, was one of the authors of the "Avian Influenza: Human Pandemic Concerns" commentary. They are available to view and download without charge from the CAST website (

Industry's R&D Support on Campuses Falls Again

Industry support of science and engineering research and development at universities fell in 2004 for the third year in a row, according to a National Science Foundation survey. While private investment fell 2.6 percent that year, federal government investment rose 10.7 percent. Federal spending on campus research totaled $27.4 billion in 2004, compared with $2.1 billion from industry. Corporations continue to fund the bulk of R&D research in the United States -- mostly in their own laboratories. More:

USDA Soybean Rust Web SiteExpands Focus

The USDA has changed the name and coverage of its public soybean rust Web site. The USDA Public PIPE Mapping Web site also is tracking soybean aphids. More:

Internal Voices

Our Graduates' Perpectives, Part 4: A Senior Thanks her Department

The following excerpts are from a May 4 e-mail message sent to faculty and staff in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering by Jacqueline Hinrichs, who graduated on Saturday with a bachelor's degree in agricultural systems technology (AST). The excerpts are used with her permission. "The past four years have been one heck of a ride and I would not trade it for the world. As a freshman, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn't think it would be agriculture (surprise, surprise). ... So there I was, undecided [and] really worried about not having a major and just did not know where I was going and what I was doing at this big university. But thanks to some AST students in my Math 140 class, I found my match. After meeting with Dr. [Tom] Brumm, I knew this was the major I wanted. Little did I know that I had not just found my major, but I found a close-knit family for the rest of my college career. It is funny to me how I thought I came here to do something besides agriculture, but instead found my passion for the area. I know now that there is no other job or career I would have been happy with unless it was focused around agriculture. I owe a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been my advisors, professors, mentors, bosses and friends. You are the ones who have shaped my personality over the past years, and made me comfortable in my surroundings allowing me to become so involved in the department. Thank you for helping me earn so much more than a college degree and find a job. Many of you do not know how important you are to so many students. I will never forget how much I've enjoyed being a student here."


Our Graduates' Perspectives, Part 5: Careers Plans and Parting Words

Graduates attending the College of Agriculture Convocation on Saturday were asked to provide information on what they'll be doing after graduation or their other thoughts on their undergraduate days at ISU. Here are some of their plans and comments:

  • plans to pursue a career in wildland firefighting out West
  • has enjoyed a broad range of fisheries experiences from Iowa and Illinois to Alaska and plans on continuing traveling the world working with fish
  • will farm with his family in western Iowa
  • plans to pursue master's degree focused on ecotourism in China
  • will work for Cargill Meats Solution, Beardstown, Ill.
  • will be a herdsman for an Angus farm in Indiana
  • will enter graduate school at ISU in animal nutrition
  • will continue education at ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine 
  • will work as a police officer with the City of Ankeny
  • plans to be a missionary in Romania this summer and then go to work as a naturalist in Wisconsin
  • will work as a marketing rep with John Deere
  • will enter a professional internship at Disney's Animal Kingdom
  • will oversee dairy operations at Hansen's Farm Fresh Dairy, Hudson, Iowa
  • will be the equestrian director at Camp Sacajawea, Boone, Iowa
  • will pursue a professional master's degree in nursing and healthcare practice at University of Iowa
  • will attend Southern College of Optometry, Memphis
  • will own and manage Floodzone Pet Store, Waverly, Iowa
  • will work for Covance Labs, a drug development services company, in Madison, Wis.
  • will work for Davis Veterinary Clinic, Solon, Iowa
  • will start a PhD program in biochemistry at University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • will work as a biologist technician for Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
  • will work as a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers near Fairbanks, Alaska 
  • will work as a group manager for JELD-WEN Doors and Windows, Klamath Falls, Ore.
  • will work for Country Landscapes, Ames 
  • will be a grain merchandiser for Tate & Lyle, Decatur, Ill.
  • will be an associate examiner for the Farm Credit Administration, Bloomington, Minn.
  • will work as an ag loan officer trainee at Washington County Bank, Tekamah, Neb.
  • will work in human resources for Farnhamville Cooperative, Farnhamville, Iowa
  • will return home to farm, sell Pioneer seed and be a crop adjuster for Rain and Hail Insurance
  • will work as a commodity merchandiser with ConAgra, Omaha
  • will be a food service sales rep for Hormel in Dallas 
  • will work as a seed production trainee for Monsanto, Remington, Ind.
  • will be a safety specialist for Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Ankeny
  • will be an industrial engineer for HON, Muscatine, Iowa
  • will work as a quality assurance technician at American Packaging Corp., Story City, Iowa
  • will be a precision agriculture specialist for Mason City Red Power
  • will work in technical service and support for Case-New Holland, Racine, Wis.
  • will return to Hoover Angus Farm, a fourth-generation family cattle operation in Tingley, Iowa
  • will work as an education assistant at the Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha
  • will be a communications specialist at West Central Cooperative, Ralston, Iowa
  • will enter graduate school for sustainable agriculture at ISU
  • will be an irrigation technician at The Reserve Moonlight Basin Ski and Golf Resort, Big Sky, Mont.
  • will be assistant superintendent at Crow Valley Golf Club, Davenport
  • will work in sports field construction for Landscapes Unlimited, Lincoln, Neb.
  • will work as an associate scientist with Grain Processing Corporation 
  • will attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for a PhD in molecular virology and genetics
  • will enter 10-month internship with HawkWatch International working with birds of prey in Salt Lake City
  • employed as agronomist at N.E.W. Coop, Fort Dodge
  • will attend graduate school at Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • "the woman who started the race is not the same woman who finishes it"
  • "will pursue a dream of working for Budweiser as a brewmaster"

Next issue: May 15

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

Phone: (515) 294-5616

Web site:

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