Issue: 453

College News

Alum Makes Time 100 Most Influential List

College of Agriculture alumnus and Army Capt. Timothy Gittins was honored this month as one of the Time 100, the news magazine's list of the most influential people in the world. Gittins earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 1998. In the May 14 issue, Gittins was called "an apt symbol of the heroism that the U.S.'s pair of lengthening wars have demanded of the roughly 1 million men and women who have fought them." Gittins also received the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award in a Pentagon ceremony May 16. He commands the 101st Airborne Division's Company C, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, and will be an instructor beginning in June in the Captains Career Course.

National Hog Farmer Honors Three Iowa Staters

Three with College connections were recently honored by National Hog Farmer magazine as The Masters of the Pork Industry. The magazine selected Allen Christian, superintendent of Iowa State's Swine Teaching Farm; Roy Schultz, an Avoca veterinarian who earned a farm operations bachelor's degree in 1957; and Alan Sutton, a Purdue animal science professor who earned ISU animal science bachelor's and master's degrees in 1966 and 1968 as part of "very special, handpicked group of pork industry visionaries." Ten people were picked for the honor and profiled in the magazine's May 15 issue. More:

Agricultural Weekend Experience Open to Students

Faculty and staff are encouraged to let summer students know about the College of Agriculture's Agricultural Weekend Experience (AWE) offered to agriculture students this summer. The AWE program provides the opportunity for students to travel to Iowa farms and learn firsthand about agriculture. Students stay with a host family while touring several farming, dairy and ethanol operations. The goal of the program is that students will gain valuable experience and a better understanding of Iowa agriculture. AWE is offered free to students and is co-sponsored by the College of Agriculture and the ISU Agricultural Endowment with the cooperation of several Iowa Farm Bureau county offices. There are two locations for students to choose from: western Iowa from July 13-15 and northern Iowa from July 13-15 (both run from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon). Contact: Ivy Ulmer, Ag Communications Service, or in 304 Curtiss.

Governor Culver Signs Power Fund Bill at CCUR

The Center for Crops Utilization Research hosted Gov. Chet Culver at the Food Sciences Building May 23 to sign the Iowa Power Fund Policy bill into law. Power fund monies will be invested in research and development in the new energy economy. Culver pointed out that Iowa State and the other regents institutions will play an important role in the development of biofuels and other energy alternatives.

Dignitaries from Abroad Visit College

Two groups of international visitors met with College representatives on Friday, May 25. Joseph Boakai, vice president of Liberia, led a delegation that met with Dean Wintersteen and David Acker, associate dean -- academic and global programs. Boakai delivered the keynote address at a convention focusing on Liberian economic development and education May 25 to 27 in Des Moines. A delegation from the Fulbright Korean-American Educational Commission met with College and university representatives during its Iowa State visit on Friday. The Fulbright Commission administers grant programs, a U.S. education center and computer-based testing. Acker represented the College at one of the meetings. The delegation of five included Fulbright and Korean university officials.

Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open Set July 17

The Lauren L. Christian Pork Chop Open will be held July 17 at Veenker Memorial Golf Course. Proceeds benefit the Lauren Christian Endowment, which supports ISU swine research through fellowship grants, scholarships and program enhancements. The event includes a golf outing, reception, dinner and auction. Registration deadline is July 10. The late Lauren Christian was a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture in animal science. He was the first director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center and an animal science faculty member for 33 years. Also, in his honor, the Lauren Christian Swine Research Center at the Iowa State University Bilsland Memorial Farm near Madrid was dedicated on May 8. Contact: Jane Runneals, Iowa Pork Industry Center, 4-4103 or

College Communication Projects Win Awards

Several projects produced by communicators in the College will be honored at the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) international meeting in June. "NSR Purebreds: Roadmap to Profit DVD" will receive a gold award in the electronic media-video for targeted publics category. Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, coordinated the project. The "View ISU ViewMaster" project, used in last year's and this year's California recruitment program, will receive a silver award in the marketing and media relations, single marketing item category. Barb McBreen, Agriculture Communications Service, coordinated the project. Also, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Annual Report will receive a gold award in the graphic design, 1-3 color category. It was designed by julsdesign inc. of Ankeny.

College Student Receives First Class of '57 Scholarship

Rachel Pfantz, a sophomore in animal science, is the first recipient of the ISU Class of 1957 scholarship. The class established a scholarship fund honor of its 50th reunion this year at Iowa State. An endowment funds the scholarship, which is a general fund administered by the Office of Financial Aid. It is for a student or students entering their sophomore year at Iowa State, and will annually rotate among the colleges with agriculture the first in the list. Pfantz was introduced at the Class Dinner at last week's reunion Alumni Days.

Student's Family Farm Diversifies with Manufacturing

Agronomy senior Lance Van Wyk's family is the subject of a feature on Successful Farming's Agriculture Online web site. The family's farming operation near Pella diversified by adding a factory that makes corn-burning furnaces. The manufacturing part of the operation built a 37,000 square-foot addition to the factory in 2006 doubling its capacity.

Campaign Alerts Iowans to Emerald Ash Borer Danger

Iowa State, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship last week joined to asked Iowans to help fight the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, a new pest that feeds on ash trees and kills them. The movement of out-of-state firewood to and through Iowa poses the greatest threat to spread Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to Iowa's ash trees. Areas currently suffering from an infestation are under federal and state quarantines, but unknowing campers or others that transport firewood can spark an outbreak. Jerry Miller, associate dean -- extension and outreach programs, was Iowa State's representative at the announcement. More: or contact ISU Extension at 4-5963, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 725-1470 or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at (515) 242-5966.

Two Minutes with . . . Biologist Jeffrey Essner

Jeffrey Essner, genetics, development and cell biology, is the latest College of Agriculture faculty member featured on the Iowa State web site called "Two minutes with..." Essner studies zebrafish to look for new cancer treatments.

Leopold Center Celebrates 20 Years with July 10-11 Events

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture marks two decades of innovative research and creative solutions during its 20th Anniversary Celebration July 10-11 at Iowa State. Learn more:

Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative Names Fellows

The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative at Iowa State has named its first Agri-Sciences Commercialization Fellows.

Horse-Human Relationship Studied at Upcoming Conference

A conference June 30-July 1 in Ames on horse-human relationships will be Webcast with an Internet forum to make it accessible to more people. Professional horse trainers, clinicians, artists, filmmakers, musicians and authors will present stories about their experiences.

Leopold Center Hosts Australian Scientist June 7

An Australian scientist will share how woolgrowers in Tasmania are learning to follow Aldo Leopold's land ethic. Jann Williams will present "An Australian perspective on the multiple dimensions of managing biodiversity in production landscapes" when she visits Iowa State June 7. Details:

Deadlines & Reminders

June 1: Open forum with Rich Leopold, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 1 p.m., Center for Crops Utilization Research Theatre (Room 1951, Food Sciences Building)

June 24-28: Ninth International Pollination Symposium, Scheman Building, more:

Communications Kiosk

Geographic Information as Easy as WWW

Here are some Web resources on geography recommended by the editors of Copy Editor in the May 7 issue: Many are aware of the CIA World Factbook, Two other sites are great for fact-checking on climate of a place month-to-month, or where good hiking trails are, or other information -- and The former gives you data on population, currency, time, flags and climate -- and has a "Geography Question" feature for quick answers. The latter site features topographical maps of the United States that you can search by name, address, public land survey system information, U.S. Geological Survey quad name, Universal Transverse Mercator coordinates or latitude and longitude (down to degrees, minutes, and seconds).


Faculty and Staff Sought for Sesquicentennial Service Projects

University faculty and staff are invited to participate in Iowa State's sesquicentennial service projects in each county. These events throughout Iowa this summer help build state-wide awareness of the year-long celebration and to show appreciation for Iowa's support over the years. University representative will participate in the project and then present, on behalf of ISU, a commemorative plaque. An online sign-up sheet is at lists upcoming projects at: There is a listing of completed projects, many with photos.

External Voices

Griffith Buck's Roses Considered Among the Best

Former horticulture Professor Griffith Buck's roses have received much acclaim lately from several sources. Reader's Digest judged his Carefree Beauty the "best carefree rose" as part of its Best of America 2007 collection published in the May 2007 issue. The shrub rose was introduced in 1977, and was named rose of the year in 2006 by Texas A&M University's Earth-Kind program, according to the article. The June 2007 issue of Midwest Living magazine contains an article, "Roses Made Easy", about Knock Out and Earth Kind roses that mentions Buck and Reiman Gardens. The May 2007 issue of the nationally distributed Horticulture magazine has a three-page story about Reiman Gardens and Buck roses. It's titled "Open to the Public: Reiman Gardens" and the subtitle is, "In Ames, Iowa, everything is coming up roses." Buck was at ISU from 1948 to 1985 where he hybridized nearly 90 rose varieties.


Raising Chickens in a Manhattan Apartment

"Let me explain why my 12-year-old had a chicken coop in her bedroom. I never planned to be raising chickens in a Manhattan apartment. My fastidious mother would fall over in a dead faint if she could see me now, washing spinach at the sink and tossing a few leaves to the creatures pecking at my feet. (There are very few grubs in standard-issue parquet, but they're ever-hopeful.)" -- Christine Pittel, New York Times columnist (May 17, All Cooped Up in a Manhattan Co-op 

Ag Online

Editor: Ed Adcock,

Phone: (515) 294-5616

Web site:

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