Issue: 400

College News

Alumni Updated on College Opportunities

More than 60 College of Agriculture alumni from across the country returned to Iowa State to attend "Alumni Days" and a reception held Friday. Dean Wendy Wintersteen welcomed the alumni and shared the goals of the College of Agriculture, including a top priority of "continuing to prepare extraordinary students and become a magnet to students across the country who are interested in studying agriculture." Other speakers were: Manjit Misra, Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products; Shelley Taylor, Agriculture Study Abroad; Steve Fales, Office of Biorenewables Programs; and Sue Lamont, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture, on animal genomics programs. Among the graduates in attendance were Claude Schmidt and Larry Axelton. Schmidt, who received his doctorate in entomology in 1956, served on the Atomic Energy Commission in Vienna and helped in the development of "Off," the insect repellent. Axelton, who graduated with a degree in forestry in 1956, was a cheerleader during his Cyclone years and was involved in the creation of the "Cy" mascot.

Honors Program Awards to Faculty and Student

The University Honors Program recently honored a College of Agriculture student and faculty member. Sarah Graham, an animal science freshman, was one of five students to be named Outstanding Freshmen Honors Students. She will receive a $250 scholarship. Jacek Koziel, agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the award for Excellence in Honors Mentoring and Advising, which included a $500 award.

Tree Planting to Commemorate Tribal College Project

A tree-planting ceremony May 22 will commemorate the College of Agriculture's and Department of Agricultural Education and Studies' work in the Natural Resources Education project. The project partnered with land-grant and tribal colleges to enhance education programs through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Initiative for Future Agriculture & Food Systems grant. The project's goal is for tribal colleges to have ongoing, sustainable educational programs and for land-grants to be able to serve Native American students at their own institutions and a renewed commitment to work with tribal educators and specialists. Harold Crawford, agricultural education and studies, and Gerald Miller, associate dean, were the project directors. A USDA video about the project will be shown in the Brenton Center after the ceremony, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on the front steps of Curtiss Hall.

Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open July 11

The annual Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open is scheduled for July 11. The golf scramble, dinner and auction raise money for the Lauren Christian Endowment, which supports undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and professional development. The golf tournament will be held at Veenker Memorial Golf Course and the dinner held at the Farm Bureau Pavilion. Registration and information is available online.

Plant Scientists Begin to Unravel the Mystery of Hybrid Vigor

For nearly 80 years, corn breeders and producers have taken advantage of hybrid vigor to grow high-yielding crops. Yet this biological process remains a scientific mystery. That could change, however, thanks to ongoing research in Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute.

Researchers Study Relationship Between Obesity and Appetite-Stimulating Hormone

Obesity is a major health concern for both adults and children. Researchers at Iowa State are exploring the interaction between diet and appetite-related hormones, plus the effect that interaction might have on obesity.

Student Receives Goldwater Scholarship

Rachel Smith, a junior at Iowa State majoring in agricultural biochemistry, has been named a Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Deadlines and Reminders

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

Communications Kiosk

Presentations Feature More Teamwork, Fewer PowerPoints

PowerPoint slides are becoming less common in presentations, according to speech coach Joan Detz. In an interview in Writing that Works, Detz said many people don't like reading as a speaker talks. Renting equipment at hotels or conference centers for PowerPoint presentations also is expensive. Detz said she often hears people say, "Why should I come to Chicago to read on a screen what the speaker could have e-mailed to me?" Detz says you may please more audiences by providing a fresh fruit tray. Another trend in presenting is the use of teams. Team presentations may make the message more interesting and increase networking opportunities. (Writing That Works, April 2006)


Proposals Sought for Sustainable Agriculture Projects

The North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program announces its 2007 call for preproposals for the Research and Education (R&E) Grant Program. The R&E Grant Program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through in-depth research projects or education/demonstration projects. Preproposals are due June 20. More:

Postdocs Eligible for English Fellowship

The Marshall Sherfield Fellowship Foundation is seeking American scientists or engineers for post-doctoral research at a British university or research institute. The aim of the Marshall Sherfield Fellowships is to introduce American scientists and engineers to the cutting edge of United Kingdom science and engineering to build longer term contacts and international links between the United Kingdom and the United States. More:

Soil and Water Conservation Society Workshop in October

The Soil and Water Conservation Society will hold a workshop in October with the theme "Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Environmental Quality, Strengthening the Science Base." It is set for Oct. 11-13 at the Westin Crown Center Hotel, Kansas City. More:

University Archives Wants your Records

While cleaning out office files, keep the University Archives in mind as a repository for your records. The mission of the University Archives is to preserve historically valuable records and other materials (including three-dimensional artifacts), which document the development of Iowa State. Contact: 4-6672 or

Internal Voices

Showing Appreciation for Food

"There was only one eating rule at our table -- we were expected to never be schnagich. ... To be schnagich was to be finicky. But it was much more than that; it was about being disrespectful. At our table we were expected to show appreciation for the food, for the labor of those who produced and prepared it, for the animals and plants that gave their lives for it, and for the land that was the gift that made it all possible. Of course there was a lesson in all this -- that the pleasure of good eating is about much more than the taste of the food. It is about a deep appreciation for, and connection with, everything on our plates." -- Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture (Pleasure and Process: A Recipe for Good Eating, Center for Ecoliteracy)


Missouri May Treat Earthworm Farms Like Other Livestock Operations

Earthworm farmers could be eligible for some government assistance under legislation that won final approval in the Missouri Senate, the Associated Press reported. The bill makes vermiculture operations -- which raise earthworms in a controlled environment -- eligible for some loan programs as other agricultural operations. "We're going to put it on par with raising cattle, with raising hogs," said Republican Sen. Matt Bartle. Proponents say worm waste is an effective alternative to chemical fertilizers and insecticides. (Associated Press, May 4) Next issue: May 22

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

Phone: (515) 294-5616

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