Issue: 405

................................................... COLLEGE NEWS ................................................... IOWA FARM BUREAU COMMITS $1 MILLION TO BIOECONOMY PROGRAM The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has committed $1 million to the College of Agriculture to support the university-wide Bioeconomy Initiative, which develops technologies for converting crops and plant materials into chemicals, fuels, fibers and energy. SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN POSITION POSTED; APPLICATION DEADLINE JULY 9 The position of Senior Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture and Associate Director of the Experiment Station has been posted as an internal search within the College. Deadline for applications is July 9. See the posting for details and qualifications on the Search Vacancies link, search in the Vacancy Title menu for "Senior Associate Dean & Associate Director." The search committee is chaired by Paul Lasley, Sociology, and includes: Ruth MacDonald, Food Science and Human Nutrition; Ken Koehler, statistics; Dave Engle, natural resource ecology and management; Alan Myers, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology; and Josie Six, administrative services. Joe Colletti has been serving as interim senior associate dean since August 2, 2005. ISU RESEARCH: INCREASED FIBER IN POULTRY DIETS CAN DECREASE AMMONIA EMISSIONS ISU researchers have found that increasing dietary fiber in the feed of laying hens can lower manure ammonia emissions by 40 percent per hen without adversely affecting egg production. Kristjan Bregendahl, animal science, says all the fiber diets tested resulted in lower ammonia emissions. Bregendahl said he is particularly interested in the opportunities offered by corn DDGS, a by-product of ethanol production. "Given the importance of both the egg and ethanol industries in Iowa, I think it is a big deal that we can reduce ammonia emission by 40 percent from laying hens by feeding just 10 percent corn DDGS. The use of corn DDGS to lower ammonia is essentially free, and may even lower feed cost, because it supplies energy and nutrients to the diet," he said. IOWA STATE FINISHES SIXTH IN TRACTOR DESIGN COMPETITION The Iowa State Cyclone Power Pullers finished sixth at the recent 2006 International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, Ill. The competition is sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, which welcomed 27 teams from around the United States and Canada. TOOLS AVAILABLE TO HELP MANAGE SOYBEAN RUST IN IOWA There are two new tools for Iowa soybean producers and agricultural professionals to help them manage Asian soybean rust should it arrive in Iowa this year -- a new publication and a newly designed Web site. LATIN AMERICAN PORK INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS VISIT ISU The Iowa Pork Industry Center recently hosted a dozen pork industry professionals from Latin America. The group was part of the 2006 Cochran Fellowship Program, administered by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The program provides U.S.-based agricultural training for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators from public and private sectors of other countries who are concerned with agricultural trade, agribusiness development, management, policy and marketing. ISU Extension's Value-added Agriculture Program was the on-site host and logistics coordinator for the visit, which included a trip to the World Pork Expo in Des Moines. The visitors were from Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. They were particularly interested in the production, economic and nutrient value software programs ISU offers, as well as ISU's work with waste and environmental concerns. IOWA MARKET MAKER SUPPLIES INFO FOR EVERY LINK IN SUPPLY CHAIN A recent addition to ISU Extension's Value-Added Agriculture Program offers an online interactive mapping tool to provide specific information to all participants in a supply chain, from producers to buyers. Iowa Market Maker is an innovative Web tool that integrates the power of U.S. Census Data, North American Industry Classification System codes and global satellite imagery. Through use of this free tool, buyers and sellers now can target-market their sales and purchases. LATEST STAT NEWS NOW ONLINE The Department of Statistics recently posted its latest Stat News alumni newsletter, with alumni notes, department information, faculty and student honors and photos of recent events. SOCIOLOGY ALUMNI ATTEND REUNION Last weekend, 26 alumni of the sociology department and their spouses gathered for a reunion. Dean Wendy Wintersteen spoke at a reception for the group. A booklet of memories of about 40 alums, including those who couldn't attend the reunion, was distributed. Besides reminiscing, the group took a tour of campus, heard presentations about faculty and graduate student activities and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the department and the centennial of East Hall. FARM OP REUNION SCHEDULED JUNE 23-24 Past and present faculty and staff who provided leadership and support for the Farm Operation program will gather for a reunion in Ames June 23-24. Nearly 50 people (including spouses) plan to attend. The group will tour Kildee Hall, Agronomy Hall, Curtiss Hall and the Ag450 Farm. A dinner will be held in the Kildee Hall atrium on Saturday evening, including remarks by Louis Thompson. Thompson, a professor of agronomy, was the head of the Farm Operation program from 1950 to 1958. From 1958 to his retirement in 1983, he served as associate dean in the College of Agriculture. Past Farm Op staff will share their memories. Among those who have indicated they will attend include: Duane Acker, Don Ahrens, Roger Bruene, Harold Crawford, Stewart Galloway, Mitch Geasler, Norma Hensley, Maynard Hogberg, Mark Honeyman, Gary M. Johnson, Ron Kay, Menzies McWilliams, Roger Mitchell, Paul Kassel, Doug Pals, Jim Schneider, Neil Stadlman, Louis Thompson, Dale Weber, Keith Whigham and Paul Wilkins. TWO HONORS FOR CARRIQUIRY Alicia Carriquiry, statistics, will receive two honors this summer. She has been elected a Fellow of the Institute for Mathematical Statistics, which fosters the development and dissemination of the theory and applications of statistics and probability. Carriquiry also has been elected vice president of the American Statistical Association. CORN MAZE PLANTED TO CELEBRATE NORTHERN RESEARCH FARM's 75TH Staff at ISU's Northern Research and Demonstration Farm, Kanawha, have planned and planted a corn maze for the North Central Iowa Research Association's 75th anniversary field day, set for Sept. 8. The maze reflects the association's early history, which included growing and selling hybrid seed corn. The one-acre maze consists of a quarter mile of paths. The maze design includes a "75" and "ISU." The maze will be open for the farm's Aug. 8 evening garden demonstration field day, Kanawha's Labor Day celebration and the farm's 75th anniversary field day. The association owns the 173-acre research farm. The original association was formed in 1930, making it the oldest such local-research group in Iowa. HANNAN JOINS MUSCATINE RESEARCH FARM STAFF This month, Joe Hannan will join the staff at the ISU Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm near Fruitland as an agricultural specialist. Hannan will assist farm superintendent Vince Lawson, with an emphasis on home horticulture research and demonstrations. Hannan also will work with the research and demonstration vineyard at the Southeast Research Farm, Crawfordsville. Hannan earned a bachelor's degree in horticulture from ISU in 2005. While attending ISU, he was a student employee at the Horticulture Station. Hannan will be on an eight-month appointment that runs from March through October. LATEST IOWA LEARNING FARM NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE ONLINE The Iowa Learning Farm's spring 2006 newsletter is available online. The Iowa Learning Farm is a five-year project to help producers use conservation planning processes to implement conservation systems that improve soil and water quality. It's a model for learning and exchanging ideas among government agencies, farmers, scientists, agribusinesses and the general public. ISU faculty and staff involved the project include Mahdi Al-Kaisi and Mark Licht, agronomy; Mark Hanna and Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Mike Duffy, economics; and Jackie Comito, sociology. The Iowa Learning Farm is a partnership of ISU Extension, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Division of Soil Conservation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa,in cooperation with the Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. HAYING AND GRAZING FIELD DAY PLANNED IN SOUTHEAST IOWA An ISU Extension haying and grazing field day is planned for Tuesday, June 27 in southeast Iowa. The field day and demonstrations are designed to help show forage as a competitive alternative to row crop production. BY THE NUMBERS: SUMMER DISTANCE EDUCATION IN THE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE More courses and a wider variety of offerings have boosted enrollment in College of Agriculture distance education courses this summer. Past summer have seen around 130 students enrolled. This summer, nearly 270 are enrolled. A few numbers, provided by the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer: - Number of students enrolled: 269 - Number of student credit hours: 564 - Number of courses taught: 25 - Number of states where students reside: 27 - Number of students in Iowa: 205 - Number of students in Mexico: 1 - Number of departments or programs teaching distance-education courses: 9 - Number of students taking the web-based Principles of Microeconomics (Economics 101) and Principles of Macroeconomics (Economics 102): 30 - Number of students taking the Web-based Introduction to the Human Body (Biology 155): 26 - Number of students taking the Web-based Introduction to Insects (Entomology 201): 21 DEADLINES AND REMINDERS June 19: Research and Demonstration Farm Field Days begin, Horticulture Station, near Ames, more: July 11: Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open, Veenker Memorial Golf Course ................................................... COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK ................................................... ENDING A SENTENCE WITH A PREPOSITION: THE WORLD WILL NOT END It's okay to end a sentence with a preposition. Really. Often, ending your sentence with a preposition is the best construction. You wouldn't say "Don't mess up it" for "Don't mess it up." Or "At what are you driving?" for "What are you driving at?" How did the "rule" not to end a sentence with a preposition come about? Centuries ago, scolds tried to impose the rules of Latin grammar on the English language. To point out what this fussy rule can lead to, Winston Churchill once remarked: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." Caveat: "Where is she at?" isn't okay. Lose the "at"; it's unnecessary. It's okay to start a sentence with a conjunction. It's fine to occasionally start a sentence with "and," "or" and "but." It can add emphasis to what you're writing. From John F. Kennedy's speech: "And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God." Again, trust your ear. (Association for Communications Excellence (ACE) Grammar hint from Ginny Gerhart, writer/editor, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland.) ........................................................ INFOGRAZING ........................................................ ISU FACULTY CONTRIBUTE TO PLANT SCIENCE CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE REPORT Optimal use of all the new tools, research and educational methodologies that are available in the plant sciences requires innovative approaches that work to achieve a better understanding of fundamental principles in plant biology. It also requires collaboration among scientists and educators from many fields and disciplines to find, understand and effectively employ these resources. Last fall, a workshop on plant cyberinfrastructure was held at the National Science Foundation. A report with six recommendations has been issued, ISU faculty participating in the workshop were Dan Ashlock, mathematics; Volker Brendel, genetics, development and cell biology; and Julie Dickserson, electrical and computer engineering. SIXTH ANNUAL JOINT BIOINFORMATICS SYMPOSIUM AT ISU IN JULY The sixth annual Joint Bioinformatics Symposium will be held July 13-14 at Iowa State. The meeting is a joint symposium involving scientists and students at ISU, the University of Iowa and New Mexico State University. Featured speakers will include researchers from North Carolina State University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Davis. For more information: IOWA ENERGY CENTER PREPROPOSALS ONLINE ON JULY 10 The Iowa Energy Center will issue a new solicitation for preproposals for energy-related research and demonstration projects, which will be available online on July 10. Preproposal deadline is Aug. 21. WILDLIFE HABITAT POLICY PROGRAM ISSUES FIRST RFPS The Wildlife Habitat Policy Research Program's first requests for proposals on wildlife habitat conservation are now available. Eight RFPs have been issued for projects in the natural sciences, social sciences and economics. Grants will range from $25,000 to $250,000 for projects with a time span of 12 to 18 months. Letters of Intent are due by July 10. USDA OFFERS CONSERVATION PROGRAM ANALYSIS AS PART OF FARM BILL DISCUSSION USDA Secretary Mike Johanns has released a conservation program analysis paper authored by USDA economists. This is the second in a series of papers on specific topics to continue a national discussion about policy alternatives in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. The alternatives are ideas generated for public discussion, not policy recommendations. The conservation paper is available at "USDA Analysis Papers" at the USDA Farm Bill Forums website. NSF ISSUES REPORT ON FEDERAL R&D SPENDING AT COLLEGES Institutions of higher education, the major source of the nation's scientists and engineers, perform about half of the nation's basic research. So the level, distribution and characteristics of federal academic support are of much interest to officials at federal, state and local levels and in nongovernmental sectors. The National Science Foundation annually collects statistical data from the 18 federal agencies that account for virtually all support for science and engineering research and development at educational institutions. The latest NSF report, "Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: Fiscal Year 2003," is now available, RESOURCES ON AVIAN INFLUENZA POSTED ON SEVERAL ISU WEBSITES Find more information and background on avian influenza at these Iowa State websites: > Avian Influenza Fact Sheet - Information for Farmers and Pet Owners (ISU Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension) > Avian Flu Q&A for Consumers (ISU Extension Food Safety) > Avian Influenza in Depth (ISU Center for Food Security and Public Health) > Avian Influenza: Facts You Should Know and How ISU Is Affected (ISU Critical Incident Response Team FAQ published in Environmental Health and Safety newsletter) > ISU Extension radio interview with Darrell Trampel, Extension Poultry Veterinarian and Diagnostician > All About Avian Flu (ISU Parks Library Listing of Avian Flu Resources) > Also, the national Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) has launched an avian influenza web page. WOMEN GAINING ON MEN IN COLLEGE DEGREES -- INCLUDING IN AGRICULTURE Women now earn the majority of diplomas in fields men used to dominate -- from biology to business -- and have caught up in pursuit of law, medicine and other advanced degrees. Even with such enormous gains over the past 25 years, women are paid less than men in comparable jobs and lag in landing top positions on college campuses. Federal statistics released June 1 show that in many ways, the gender gap among college students is widening. The story is largely one of progress for women, stagnation for men. Women earn the majority of bachelor's degrees in business, biological sciences, social sciences and history. The same is true for traditional strongholds such as education and psychology. In undergraduate and graduate disciplines where women trail men, they are gaining ground, earning larger numbers of degrees in math, physical sciences and agriculture. "Women are going in directions that maybe their mothers or grandmothers never even thought about going," said Avis Jones-DeWeever, who oversees education policy for the Institute of Women's Policy Research. "We're teaching girls that they need to be able to explore every opportunity that they are interested in. It's good to see that is happening," she said. The findings were part of "The Condition of Education," a yearly compilation of statistics that give a picture of academic trends. Women now account for about half the enrollment in professional programs such as law, medicine and optometry. That is up from 22 percent a generation ago. The number of women enrolled in undergraduate classes has grown more than twice as fast as it has for men. Women outnumber men on campus by at least 2 million, and the gap is growing. (Associated Press, June 2) ........................................................ EXTERNAL VOICES ........................................................ MEN FALLING BEHIND CHANGES IN JOB MARKET A recent report shows enormous gains in women earning college degrees (see related item in Infograzing). Boys need to have their aspirations raised just as girls have, said Tom Mortenson, senior scholar for The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. By middle school, he said, many boys are tuning out and the problem is only getting worse. "Women have been making educational progress, and the men are stuck," he said. "They haven't just fallen behind women. They have fallen behind changes in the job market." (Associated Press, June 2) BASIC RESEARCH A COMMITMENT TO UNDYING CURIOUSITY "This country desperately needs to recommit itself to basic research. In the 21st century, a particle collider 20 miles long happens to be one version of what basic research looks like. High-energy physics is hard to explain to the public. It cannot be justified in simple, pragmatic payoffs for American consumers, or simple, pragmatic payoffs for politicians. But the justification is simple. Do we continue to ask fundamental questions about the universe we live in, or do we not? To me, there is only one answer. The very soul of who we are as a species, at our very best, is expressed in our undying curiousity. And in many ways, the very best of who we are as Americans was expressed in our commitment we made to basic research in the 20th century. That commitment needs renewing." Verlyn Klinkenborg, writing on the opinion page of the May 18 New York Times. ........................................................ MARGINALIA ........................................................ RETIRED ISU PROFESSOR KEEPS UP WITH THE YOUNG CAMPERS "Enthusiasm will get you a long ways." So says Wes Buchele, an 86-year-old retired ISU agricultural and biosystems engineering professor, speaking on his experience as a participant in a Practical Farmers of Iowa camp, where he was 70 years older than most of the campers. More: Des Moines Register, June 13) Next issue: June 26 ........................................................ AG ONLINE ........................................................ EDITOR Ed Adcock, Phone: (515) 294-5616 Web site: SUBSCRIBE Ag Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture, is e-mailed every Monday. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Ag Online subscribe" to To unsubscribe, send "Ag Online unsubscribe." Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, disability or status as a U.S. Vietnam Era Veteran. Any persons having inquiries concerning this may contact the director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.