Issue: 440

College News

Webcast March 5 to Tackle Bioenergy Crops and Policies

"Alternative Crops and Alternative Policies for Bioenergy" is the title of a webcast set for March 5 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. ISU economists and bioeconomy experts will address five issues in the program and wrap up with a question and answer session. The program archive will be available March 12 online.

Several in College Honored by 25 Year Club

The 25 Year Club last week recognized College faculty and staff based on their years of service. Joyce Shiers, administration, was honored for 45 years of service. George Patrick and Gene Takle, agronomy, and George Brant, animal science, were honored for 35 years of service. Recognized for 25 years of service were: Rameshwar Kanwar, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Robert Horton and Allen Knapp, agronomy; Dan Otto and Cynthia Pease, economics; Kim Gaul, horticulture; David Volkers, plant pathology; Yuh Shyy, Seed Science Center; and Paul Lasley, sociology.

New Director at Office of Social and Economic Trend Analysis

Liesl Eathington, economics, has been appointed the new director of the Office of Social and Economic Trend Analysis (SETA). Eathington replaces economics professor Peter Orazem as director of the joint project between ISU Extension, and the economics and sociology departments. Eathington has been associated with SETA for the past 4-1/2 years, most recently as the project's industry and labor force specialist.

DTN Hires Alumna as Executive Editor DTN

has hired Marcia Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Top Producer magazine, as its new executive editor. The Omaha-based news service said she will play a key role in DTN's efforts to expand its editorial coverage of the rapidly changing agriculture market. Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural journalism in 1977.

Alumnus Appointed U.S. Bank Regional Manager

Alumnus James Grafing has been appointed one of four regional managers for U.S. Bank's food and agribusiness division. Grafing manages the bank's central region and is located at its headquarters in Minneapolis. He earned his bachelor's in agricultural business in 1986.

Leopold Center Invites Legislators to Anniversary Celebration

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will celebrate the center's 20th anniversary at a breakfast reception for Iowa legislators Thursday, March 1. The event will inform legislators about its funded projects and past successes. It will feature locally sourced foods.

ISU Part of Sustainable Agriculture, Aquaculture Curriculum

Iowa State has partnered with five universities to offer a distance education course in sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. This project gets support from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education office. Iowa State's partners are Virginia Tech, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Autonomous University of Mexico Baja California and Technical Institute of the Valley of Oaxaca. Part of this project is a program called the Global Seminar in which the universities come together to offer a special topics program. It is open to any interested ISU students as a series of seminars. ISU faculty involved so far are Cornelia Flora, Betty Wells and Jan Flora in sociology, and Heidi Asbjornsen in natural resource ecology and management. There will be a discussion between professors and students at the six universities at 1 p.m., Feb. 27. The location at ISU is to be determined. Contact: Shelley Taylor,

ISU Farms Without Power After Storm

Three research and demonstration farms were without power today as a result of the weekend storm. Mark Honeyman, coordinator of the farms, said the Northeast farm near Nashua, the Horticulture Station near Gilbert and the Southeast farm near Crawfordsville reported no power today. There was no report as of this morning from the Northern farm in Kanawha. He said the Northeast Farm could be without power for six days. ISU Extension placed information on coping with the storm on its website, including food safety related to power outages and managing tree damage.

Deadlines & Reminders

Feb. 26: Think Tank on Animal Agriculture, 6 p.m., Cardinal Room, Memorial Union

Feb. 28: AgComm workshop, "Integrating Communication Skills Development into Large/Lecture Classes," noon, Room 8 Curtiss Hall, RSVP to Cheryl Abrams, 4-5872 or

Feb. 28: John Pesek Colloquium on Sustainable Agriculture, "Climate Change and Agriculture: Learning Lessons/Proposing Solutions," 7 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union

March 1: Nomination deadline for Gamma Sigma Delta awards and membership

April 1: Last day of Reiman Gardens Conservatory display "Stream of Passion: Plant Lovers of ISU," College of Agriculture faculty and staff and their children under age 17 receive free admission to the display by identifying themselves as College employees at the front desk of Reiman Gardens, spouses and friends are $5 each.

April 5: College promotion and tenure workshop, 3:30 p.m., CCUR Theater, 1951 Food Science

April 10: College promotion and tenure workshop, 3:10 p.m., CCUR Theater, 1951 Food Science

Communications Kiosk

Avoid Overusing Adjectives

"Most adjectives are... unnecessary. Like adverbs, they are sprinkled into sentences by writers who don't stop to think that the concept is already in the noun." That's the advice of Ben Yagoda who wrote, "If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It." The title of the book came from a piece of advice traditionally attributed to Mark Twain. (If You Catch An Adjective, Kill It, Random House, 2007)


Storm Spotter Trainning Session March 28

ISU Environmental Health & Safety will sponsor a severe storm spotter training session March 28, presented by the National Weather Service. The training will be 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Oak Room, Memorial Union. It will cover a recap of the 2006 Iowa storm season, elements of storm spotting, storm safety and thunderstorm basics including lightning, cloud types and tornadoes. The training is encouraged for departments that have people working outdoors, but is open to all ISU faculty, staff and students. To register contact: EH&S at 4-2193 or

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching March Programs Set

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) has scheduled programs in March including a faculty forum on academic integrity, a graduate student session on grading and a workshop on Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. More:

Career Exploration Center Provides Planning Resources for Students

The Career Exploration Center, which is located in Student Services Building Room 3078, has several resources to help students search for a major or career. The center has books and reference guides; a computer-based career planning program; and computerized test preparation programs. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays

Internal Voices

Kirschenmann on New Farms of the Future

"As we enter the 21st century, mainstream agriculture faces many challenges that may propel agriculture in ... new directions. As fossil fuels are depleted, the ratio of energy produced to energy required to produce it continues to diminish, making that source of energy increasingly costly. So agriculture will have to find an alternative energy source to sustain its productivity. Agro-ecologists increasingly are convinced that the most viable alternative technology will spring from the biological synergies inherent in multispecies systems and that additional research might make such systems the next new technology. ... It would appear that these new farms of the future will operate on the basis of at least eight principles that are almost diametrically opposed to the assumptions industrial agriculture has taken for granted. Postmodern farms will likely need to: be energy conserving; feature both biological and genetic diversity; be largely self-regulating and self-renewing; be knowledge intensive; operate on biological synergies; employ adaptive management; feature ecological restoration rather than choosing between extraction and preservation; and achieve optimum productivity by featuring multiproduct, nutrient-dense, synergistic production on limited acreage." --Frederick Kirschenmann, "Potential for a New Generation of Biodiversity in Agroecosystems of the Future" (Agronomy Journal, Feb. 6)


Entomologists Work on Africanized Honey Bees Behavior

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologists are trying to discover if the highly defensive behavior of Africanized honey bees is genetic, or due to their social environment. Africanized honey bees (AHBs), which are found in much of the South, defend their nests more aggressively than the European honey bees (EHB) that are common to the United States. AHBs sting in greater numbers with less provocation. Researchers are marking EHB worker bees just as they emerge from their pupal stage and placing them in AHB hives, and vice versa. Then scientists track the age at which the bees first forage and exhibit defensive behavior. Once these behaviors are exhibited, she quick freezes the bees and sends them off to a collaborator at the University of Illinois who analyses them for gene expression. More: (ARS News Service, Feb. 26) Next issue: March 5

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

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