Issue: 498

College News

First Endowed Department Chair at Iowa State in Agronomy
The first endowment for a department chair at Iowa State will be established with a $2 million bequest from alumnus G. Richard Johnson of Urbana, Ill. Johnson's commitment will create the Wilbert A. Russell Endowed Department Chair in Agronomy in the College.

NAMA Student Group Selected Top Chapter in Nation
Iowa State's National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) student chapter won the inaugural John Deere Signature Award last week at the association's annual agri-marketing conference. The award is given to a student NAMA chapter, based on a number of criteria, including its overall management, activities throughout the year and performance in the marketing competition. For winning the award Deere presents Iowa State chapter $3,000. Iowa State also was named the Outstanding Student Chapter. And the chapter's team in the marketing competition made it to the final round of six, out of the 31 university teams that started the contest.

Faculty Senate Approves New Degrees, Certificate and Minor
The Faculty Senate approved new degrees, certificate and minor in the College at its April 15 meeting after being approved by the faculty. A bachelor's degree in culinary science was approved by 92.6 percent of the faculty in food science and human nutrition; the bachelor's degree in global resource systems was approved by 89.1 percent of the faculty in the College; the undergraduate certificate in occupational safety was approved by 97.2 percent of the faculty in agricultural and biosystems engineering; and the undergraduate minor in meat science was approved by 95.3 percent of the faculty in animal science. The proposals will be presented to the Council of Provosts and then to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Opportunities for You to Support College Campaign Priorities
Last week, ISU faculty and staff were invited to make their gifts to the College through a mailing from the ISU Foundation. The reply cards in the mailing included several designations to choose from for your gifts. In most cases, the mailings automatically included either the name of accounts that had received your support in the past, your home department and/or the College's general fund. The College's development office encourages faculty and staff to also consider directing gifts to the many multidisciplinary programs that enrich our student and faculty experience. Multidisciplinary campaign priorities for the College include, but are not limited to:

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Program (2701329)
  • Agriculture and Life Sciences Study Abroad Scholarships (2701792)
  • Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (2700902)
  • Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences Scholarships (2701600) - merit scholarship
  • Future of Agriculture and Life Sciences Scholarships (2701599) - recruitment scholarship for freshmen

If you are interested in supporting another area of the College that is not listed above or on the reply card, the Agriculture and Life Sciences Development Office welcomes your calls or e-mails to discuss other gift designations that may be of interest. Contact: Ray Klein at 4-3303 or

Three Senior Ambassadors Recognized by College
Three graduating seniors of the College's Ambassadors were recognized Friday at the College's Cabinet meeting of department chairs and college deans and administrative staff. The student ambassadors help organize events for prospective students, give campus tours and visit high schools on recruiting trips. The three recognized were: Michelle Haegele, senior in food science, who has a job lined up with Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur; Allyson Chwee, senior in agricultural business, who plans to enroll in law school at Creighton University; and Sarah Gould, senior in agricultural business, who'll start her career at Hills Bank & Trust in Hills. Also recognized for his role as a volunteer advisor with the ambassadors was Jason Haegele, graduate student in agronomy, who'll complete his master's degree in August and begin doctoral study at the University of Illinois.

ABE Grad Student Wins National Research Award
Agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate student Melissa Montalbo-Lomboy won this year's Johnson & Johnson Graduate Research Award on her work on using ultrasonics to enhance ethanol yield from corn and characterizing the energy balance. She received the nationally competitive graduate research award in Washington, D.C. on April 7 at the Ultrasonic Industry Association Conference. The award was sponsored by Ethicon Endo-surgery, a division of Johnson and Johnson.

Student's Paper Second in Competition
Ben Rottinghaus's paper titled, “Burning distillers grain pellets in corn stoves,” placed second in the K.K. Barnes American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers student paper contest written competition. He is invited to present his paper in the K.K. Barnes oral competition in competition with students from Kansas State University and the University of Illinois.

Iowa State Symposium April 25 Honors Jay Lush
A symposium celebrating the legacy of Jay Lush will be Friday in Kildee Hall. Lush is considered the father of modern animal breeding. He was a prolific researcher and graduate educator during his career as a professor of animal science at Iowa State from 1930 to 1966.

Horticulture in the Sesquicentennial "Pride" Spotlight
As part of Iowa State's sesquicentennial celebration, 150 points of pride related to the College are being posted online to coincide with 150 days of the 2007-2008 academic year. This week the spotlight is on horticulture.

Podcasts Offer Soybean Growers Production Advice
Soybean producers can hear Iowa State experts discuss management advice thanks to podcasts being offered by the Iowa Soybean Association. Extension agronomist Palle Pedersen offers planting tips and entomologist Marlin Rice discusses the latest predictions on bean leaf beetle in the first installment. The association provides several new print publications that can be ordered at no cost or downloaded at its website.

Leopold Center Shares Appointment With New York Ag Center
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has a unique partnership with a sustainable agriculture center outside New York City: they are sharing the services of Distinguished Fellow Fred Kirschenmann. Details:

Food Facts Available in New Leopold Center Resource
A new resource from the Leopold Center offers local food for thought. "Food Facts: Results from Marketing and Food Systems Research" summarizes findings of the Leopold Center's research, demonstrations, studies and surveys in this rapidly growing area. Learn more:

Agritourism Producers Can Register on Website
Agritourism producers interested in increasing the number of visitors to their farms can list their agritourism operations on a central Web site hosted by Iowa State University Extension.

Animal Science Helps Sponsor Welfare-Epidemiology Conference
The Department of Animal Science is one of the sponsors of the first North American Welfare and Epidemiology Conference set for July 14-16 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. "Across species, across disciplines and across borders," is the theme of the conference, which seeks to create awareness of the unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research involving animal welfare and epidemiology. More:

Spokesman Attributes Name Change to Enrollment Increase
College enrollment gains was the subject of an article in the April 18 Farm Bureau Spokesman. Deans Wendy Wintersteen and David Acker and students Rachael Cox, Nate Anderson and Correy Rahn were among those quoted in the story. Acker makes the comment that the College is "traditional, as well as being global and modern," which he said appeals to students and their parents.

Deadlines and Reminders
April 22: Midwest Biopolymers and Biocomposites workshop, April 15 deadline for registering
April 23: Fifth annual symposium of the Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Gateway Hotel and Conference Center,
April 23: Distance education reception, 4:10-5 p.m., Curtiss Hall Auditorium, social gathering following in the Curtiss Hall rotunda
April 25: Plants and Climate Change mini conference, 1-5 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union
April 30: Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture research symposium, 2:10 p.m., Sun Room, Memorial Union
April 30: Promotion and tenure workshop for associate professors, 3:10 to 5 p.m., CCUR auditorium, 1951 Food Sciences building

Communications Kiosk

Evaluate Your Office Ergonomics
The goal of ergonomics is to provide a comfortable and efficient workstation. Some tips for finding the "ideal" workstation include:

  • Reducing arm reach by moving closer to the keyboard
  • Maintaining wrists in a level position during keying and mouse use
  • Floating hands above the keyboard during keying and resting the wrists during breaks
  • Avoiding use of a mouse wrist rest, which places pressure on the wrist's carpal tunnel
  • Keeping the mouse close to the keyboard or using a mouse bridge to reduce arm reach
  • Positioning the top of the monitor screen at eye level
  • Using the chair's backrest for support to reduce pressure on the lower lumbar area
  • Keeping feet flat on the floor with knee angles at or slightly greater than 90 degrees

Ergonomic evaluations are free for university personnel. To request an ergonomic review follow the steps listed on the ergonomic web page or call Paul Hokanson, 4-6749. (Environmental Health & Safety Newsletter, April 2008)


Earth Day Forum: ISU's Role in Energy an Climate Crisis
ISU energy use and policy, research and educational programs on energy and climate change will be discussed Tuesday, April 22, by a panel that includes Warren Madden, vice president for business, Kate Schwennsen, associate dean of design, and Gene Takle, agronomy professor. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the South Ball Room, Memorial Union.

ISA Scholarship Winners Bound for Iowa State
The Iowa Soybean Association awarded $2,000 scholarships to 10 Iowa high school seniors who are pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field. Eight plan to enroll in the College. Nearly 100 qualified seniors applied for the ISA Ag Scholarships. More scholarships were made possible this year, thanks to the Soy on Parade project in 2007.

Internal Voices

Internship Teaches Importance of Global Experience
"Global perspective is very important to open you up to new ideas of farming and technology, as well as business opportunities abroad. It allows you to see different lifestyles and gives you a deeper perspective of your own culture and society."
-- Shane Susie, junior in agricultural systems technology, on his internship last summer working for Sage Ag LLC testing John Deere combines in Europe, Australia and the United States (ABE weekly newsletter)

Lamkey on the Legend of Wilbert A. Russell
Kendall Lamkey, chair of the Department of Agronomy, provided remarks at last Friday's announcement of G. Richard (Dick) Johnson's $2 million gift to endow the Wilbert A. Russell Endowed Chair in Agronomy. Here are a few lines from Lamkey's remarks: "I am particularly pleased that Dick has the confidence to invest in the Department of Agronomy all these years since his graduation . . . Iowa State has the privilege of having many legendary plant breeders for which this gift could have been named for and Dr. W. A. Russell -- who we all affectionately call "Russ" -- is one of those plant breeders. Dick and I both had the pleasure of taking his advanced plant breeding class. In fact, I still have my notes from his class, some of which I still use in teaching Agronomy 621. It is a course that had a profound impact on both Dick and I -- Dr. Russell was a gifted teacher of plant breeding and was passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience of plant breeding. Last night I logged on to the Web of Science and ran a citation report of Dr. Russell, just to see what his impact has been. The report brought up 100 research publications over a publication career that spanned from 1966 to 2000 in the database . . . His most cited paper has 1,100 citations. He obtained 40 citations in 2008 -- and remember, he has been retired since 1989 . . . It is only fitting that the endowed department chair in agronomy be named after Dr. Russell. Iowa State University and the Department of Agronomy are renowned in the world for our strength in plant breeding, and Dr. Russell is one of those responsible for that recognition."


Research: Caring for Farm Animals Benefits Mentally Ill
New research indicates that caring for farm animals appears to be therapeutic for people with mental illness, according to the New York Times. Norwegian researchers studied how life on the farm might affect patients with problems like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and personality disorders. The researchers noted that work with farm animals may improve mental health in part because it gives a person physical contact with another living being. Routines that include activities like feeding, milking and caring for other living creatures may also promote self-esteem and confidence. (Better Mental Health, Down on the Farm, April 11)

Ag and Life Sciences Online

Ed Adcock,
Phone: (515) 294-5616

Ag and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is e-mailed every Monday. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Ag and Life Sciences Online subscribe" to To unsubscribe, send "Ag and Life Sciences Online unsubscribe."

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