Issue: 503

College News

Remembering Faculty and Staff at Memorial Day Ceremony
The annual Iowa State University Memorial Day ceremony was held May 26 in the auditorium of the Molecular Biology Building. The observance is in memory of all ISU employees, retirees and spouses who died in the past year. Those remembered from the College were Irvin Anderson, John "Jack" Bremner and J. Ronald George, agronomy; Albert Donhowe and Arthur D'Silva, Meat Lab; Dale Fett and Timothy Sahly, animal science; and Lloyd Moore, general College affiliation listed.

American Oil Chemists Honor Faculty, Students
Several food science and human nutrition faculty and students were recognized at the American Oil Chemists' Society meeting last week in Seattle. Larry Johnson received the Richard A. Baldwin Award for Distinguished Service. The Archer Daniels Midland Award for best paper in proteins and co-products published in the Journal of AOCS was given to Nicolas Deak, Pat Murphy and Lawrence Johnson. At a symposium, emeritus University Professor Earl Hammond was honored for 50 years of work in lipid research. Graduate student John Schmitz received the Honored Student Award. Graduate student Diliara Iassonova was named an Honored Student and received a Biotechnology Division Student Paper Award. Graduate student Linxing Yao received the Ralph H. Potts Memorial Fellowship Award. Graduate student Sandra Majoni was presented a Processing Division Student Excellence Award.

New Superintendent Named at Northwest Sutherland Farm
Ryan Rusk is the new superintendent of the ISU Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm at Sutherland. Rusk joined ISU in 2003 as a field lab technician and became an agricultural specialist in 2007. He has been serving as the interim superintendent since the previous superintendent resigned last October. Rusk received his bachelor's degree in plant Science from Dordt College in 2000 and earned a master's degree in sustainable agriculture from Iowa State in 2003.

Tiny Gene Discovered Hiding in a Major Family of Plant Viruses
In an international collaboration, researchers in Allen Miller's lab in the Department of Plant Pathology have shown a tiny gene exists in all members of the largest family of plant viruses. Without this gene, the virus is harmless. The discovery was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers Use Fungus to Improve Corn-to-Ethanol Process
Growing a fungus in some of the leftovers from ethanol production can save energy, recycle more water and improve the livestock feed that's a co-product of fuel production, according to a team of researchers from Iowa State and the University of Hawaii.

Kliebenstein Named Distinguished Teacher by AAEA
Economics professor James Kliebenstein has been selected as a recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA).

Plant Sciences Institute Awards Funding to Six Projects
The Plant Sciences Institute has awarded grants to six new research projects to help Iowa State maintain leadership in agricultural research. Several of the grant recipients are in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Deadlines and Reminders
July 15: Lauren Christian Pork Chop Open, Veenker Golf Course, registration deadline July 8

Communications Kiosk

Dictionary Update
The June/July issue of Copyeditor included some new uses of old words. The column was written by Grant Barrett, lexicographer and co-host of the public radio show, "A Way With Words." The contributions included:

  • "On-ramp"as a figurative noun, which is defined as a starting point. Example: The intent is for the Texas group to provide seed money for the first four years. They're building the on-ramp so we can sustain the program long term.
  • "Shopping" as a verbal noun is defined as making repeated attempts to find an ideal situation. Example: The Philippine government is "judge shopping" and "forum shopping" in an effort to get the dispute to come out the way it wants.

Entries were pulled from the Double-Tongued Dictionary at More:


Soybean Association Highlights ISU Research Progress
Successes in the soybean research partnership between Iowa State and the Iowa Soybean Association are outlined in stories found in a new publication, "Delivering on the Promise: Improving Productivity Through Visionary Partnerships." Scientists in agronomy, plant pathology, entomology and more are highlighted. You can order a free copy of the publication or view an online version.

Internal Voices

Balancing Food, Biofuels and Conservation
"We find ourselves now in a "full world," where resources are increasingly scarce and waste materials are increasingly abundant. Providing adequate food supplies, developing renewable sources of energy and maintaining or improving environmental quality are all critical needs. Meeting them will require policies that encourage balance among multiple goals, as well as technical and economic strategies that fairly reward farmers for providing food and energy while conserving natural resources." --Matt Liebman, Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair For Sustainable Agriculture and agronomy professor (Des Moines Register guest column, Balance all three: Food, biofuels, conservation, May 23)

External Voices

Balancing Biofuel Crops and Invasive Species
In a May 21 story in the New York Times, experts were quoted on the potential and challenges of using some plants as future biofuel crops. "These are tough survivors, which means they're good producers for biofuel because they grow well on marginal land that you wouldn't use for food. But we've had 100 years of experience with introductions of these crops that turned out to be disastrous for environment, people, health," said Geoffrey Howard, invasive species expert with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. ... Stas Burgiel, a scientist at the Nature Conservancy, said the cost of controlling invasive species is immense and generally not paid by those who created the problem. But he and other experts emphasized that some second-generation biofuel crops could still be safe if introduced into the right places and under the right conditions. "With biofuels we need to do proper assessments and take appropriate measures so they don't get out of the gate, so to speak," Burgiel said. (New York Times, May 21,…)


Food Waste Equals an Estimated Pound a Day Per Person
In one of the few studies of food waste, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that in 1995, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. About a pound of food is thrown away every day for every American. Fresh produce, milk, grain products and sweeteners made up two-thirds of the waste. An update is under way. A more recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that Americans generate roughly 30 million tons of food waste each year, which is about 12 percent of the total waste stream. (One Country's Table Scraps, Another Country's Meal, May 18,…)

Ag and Life Sciences Online

Ed Adcock,
Phone: (515) 294-5616

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