Issue: 416

College News

Free Passports for First-Time Study Abroad Students

September is National Passport Month. In honor of the month, Agriculture Study Abroad will provide free passports to students who decide to participate in study abroad for the first time. The first 100 College of Agriculture first-time student travelers who apply to study abroad during this academic year will receive a free passport. Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Passport Month. Contact Jodi Cornell,, 111 Curtiss Hall.

AgComm Workshop Set for Sept. 7

New faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend the AgComm Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, in Room 8 Curtiss. It will provide an introduction of how the College is working to incorporate communication skills into agriculture courses. There will be a brief overview of the AgComm program and sharing ideas instructors can use in teaching college courses. RSVP to Cheryl Abrams, 4-5872 or

Distance Education Subject of Visiting Professor's Trip

Leon Higley, entomology professor at the University of Nebraska, will discuss distance education topics at a College of Agriculture public forum from 2 to 4 p.m., Sept. 19, in 1951 Food Sciences. Higley was invited by the Asynchronous Learning Academy (ALA), a group of Iowa State faculty involved in teaching courses at a distance. Higley will meet with ALA faculty and also will speak with department chairs about getting faculty involved with distance education. Contact: Carrie Brus, 4-1862 or

Recruitment Efforts Mark Successful Farm Progress Show

Despite muddy conditions early on, the Farm Progress Show was a success. Faculty, staff and 16 students were shuttled daily to the grounds to share information about the college with high school students, parents and grandparents. The College of Agriculture gave away six $500 scholarships to prospective students. More than 600 high school students signed up for the scholarship drawing and requested information about the college. Elaine Edwards, extension communication and marketing services, and Barb McBreen, agriculture communications, received a $2,000 P&S Recruitment and Retention Grant to support the efforts of College of Agriculture students at the show. Also, Kelcy Schroder, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education with a communications option and communication studies, was a student blogger for the AgWired website. Her work is part of the Monsanto Future Ag Journalist Fellowship program. Her reports can be viewed at

New Members Selected for Biotechnology Council

Adam Bogdanove, associate professor of plant pathology, Donald Sakaguchi, associate professor of genetics, development and cell biology and associate professor of biomedical sciences, and Michael Spurlock, associate professor of food science and human nutrition and animal science, have been selected to serve three-year terms on ISU's Biotechnology Council. The council makes recommendations to the Office of Biotechnology on program activities supporting biotechnology education, research and outreach.

Economist Examines Economic Impact of Corn-Ethanol

Ethanol will continue to be good for the Iowa economy, although some projections look too good to be true. David Swenson, an associate scientist and lecturer in economics and community and regional planning, takes a closer look on the economic impact of ethanol.

U.S. News Recognizes Ag Engineering Program

The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering recently was recognized by U.S. News & World Report's 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges" as sixth among the top 12 agricultural engineering programs in the country. The ranking is based on the opinions of deans and senior engineering faculty nationwide.

Oldest ISU Research Farm Celebrates Anniversary Sept. 8

The Northern Research and Demonstration Farm will celebrate its 75th anniversary Sept. 8. The North Iowa Experimental Association, which owns the farm, and Iowa State will host a day-long field day and open house at the farm located on the south edge of Kanawha.

Iowa State Corn/Soy Plastics to be Made into Hog Feeders

Richard Larock, University Professor of chemistry, is developing plastics made from corn and soybean oils that will be used to build hog feeders.

Holz-Clause Named Interim Associate VP of Extension

Michael Ouart, who served as associate vice president of ISU Extension since 2003, has been named vice provost for university extension and director of cooperative extension at University of Missouri at Columbia. Mary Holz-Clause, manager of ISU Extension's Value Added Agriculture program and director of the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, has been appointed interim associate vice president and interim associate director of Iowa Cooperative Extension.

Deadline & Reminders

Sept. 5: Fall Convocation, 3:30 p.m., Food Science Courtyard

Sept. 5: New student barbecue, 5:30-7 p.m., Kildee Pavilion

Sept. 6: Market Your Study Abroad Experience workshop, 6:30 p.m., 142 Curtiss

Sept. 7: Farm Estate and Business Planning Seminar, Quality Inn & Suites, Ames, 8:30 a.m.

Sept. 8: Potluck lunch for Barb Osborn family, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Horticulture Hall atrium, Contact: Kim Gaul, 4-3718 or

Sept. 8: Northern Research and Demonstration Farm anniversary celebration, 10:30 a.m., near Kanawha

Sept. 14: Iowa Real Estate and Insurance Seminar, Quality Inn & Suites, Ames, 9 a.m.

Sept. 14: McNay Research and Demonstration Farm anniversary celebration, 10 a.m.

Sept. 14: 15th Annual Growth Factor and Signal Transduction Conference, Scheman Building

Communications Kiosk

The Difference Between What You Eat and What You Deserve

Be careful using "deserts" and "desserts." The first are deserved, as in "your just deserts." The second eaten, as in "you may chose from many desserts." (The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2003)


Change Fonts to Aid Online Reading

Computer users often experience eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and neck or shoulder pain, according to the American Optometric Association. The solution is to pay more attention to the legibility of online text, says Web designer Jonathan Follett. He urges Web designers to use fonts designed especially for Web use, such as Verdana and Georgia. He also recommends larger font sizes -- a whopping 18 points for online use. "Aesthetically, (it) may look a little unsophisticated at first, but you may be surprised how much more relaxing it is to read," he says. (Digital Web, Aug. 14,

Report Look at Next Decade of Ag Biotech

The Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) has prepared a report forecasting the next 10 years of agricultural biotechnology. The committee was established in 2003 to examine "the long-term impacts of biotechnology" on the U.S. food and agriculture system and the USDA, and to provide the USDA with guidance. The report says some of the GM plant varieties developed over the next few years will likely emerge from the developing world. The 20-page report is available at:

External Voices


"Professors at Iowa State University say they are trying to find a way to turn fuel ethanol into alcohol that people can drink. Well, that makes sense. Because as you know, we have this huge oversupply of gasoline and such a small liquor supply!"
--Jay Leno, Tonight Show monologue, Aug. 29 (referring to an agricultural and biosystems engineering research project)

Next issue: Sept. 11

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.