Issue: 522

College News

Soil Judging Team Takes First in Regional Contest
ISU's soil judging team placed first in the 2008 American Society of Agronomy Region 5 Collegiate Soil Judging Contest held Sept. 21-26 near Duluth. Nathan Anderson, sophomore, placed second overall. The win qualifies the ISU student team for the national contest next spring hosted by the University of Missouri. Jon Sandor and Jessica Veenstra coach the team. Soil judging contests consist of four areas: recognizing soil horizons and describing the properites of each; analyzing the landscape and geology of the site; classifying the soils according to the U.S. Soil Taxonomy; and interpreting soil information for agricultural, engineering and other land uses.

Record Number of Employers to Recruit at Career Day
So many employers have signed up for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Career Day on Oct. 21 that some will have to be located outside under tents. Mike Gaul, director of career services, said 165 employers are scheduled to recruit students at the annual job fair.

Self-Help International Head to Speak on Hunger Issues
Merry Fredrick, executive director of Self-Help International, will be the speaker for the second seminar in the international seminar series "Feeding the World: Are We Making Progress?" It is scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 7, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. The title of Fredrick's presentation is "Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks in Third World Development." The seminar series is sponsored by the M.E. Ensminger International Chair in Animal Agriculture, Raymond and Mary Baker Chair in Global Agriculture and the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods.

Oct. 14 Dinner to Review Etiquette for College Students
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services and the women of Sigma Alpha are hosting the fifth annual Ag Etiquette Dinner on Oct. 14 in the Campanile Room, Memorial Union. There will be 48 students from the College and a mix of faculty, including senior associate dean Joe Colletti and associate dean David Acker, and industry representatives for a lesson in dining etiquette. Paul Lasley and The Guys will provide musical entertainment during the social time. Jan Brown, house mother for Alpha Gamma Rho, will provide the keynote address.

Alumni Awards to be Presented Oct. 24
On Oct. 24, the ISU Alumni Association will present College of Agriculture and Life Sciences awards to alumni and an emeritus professor. Becker-Underwood founder Roger Underwood, who graduated in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural business, will receive the Floyd Andre Award. Retired Pioneer Hi-Bred International executive and former president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, Owen Newlin, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy in 1951 and 1953, will receive the Henry A. Wallace Award. John Pesek, Richard and Nancy Degner will be given the George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award. Pesek is a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences in Agronomy. Rich Degner is executive director of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education in 1972 and 1977. Nancy Degner is executive director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council and earned a bachelor's degree in food science in 1972. The awards ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Scheman Building and is open to the public. More:

Award Nominations Sought by Nov. 18
Nominations for 2009 university awards are due to the College awards committee by Nov. 18. The College deadline is earlier than the one set by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to allow for the committee selection process. More information on College requirements is available online. University information on faculty awards is available online and information on staff awards is available online.

Jensen Contributes to National Sheep Industry Report
Helen Jensen, economics, was a member of a committee that produced a report on the U.S. sheep industry that was released by the National Academies. The report is titled, "Changes in the Sheep Industry in the United States: Making the Transition from Tradition." Jensen contributed in the areas of food safety issues and alternative and emerging markets. More:

College Part of Distance Education Consortium
Iowa State is part of "ag*idea," an effort to start a nationwide consortium of agricultural distance education providers and users. It grew out of a USDA Challenge Grant led by Kansas State University and operates under the framework of Great Plains IDEA. ISU originates courses in agricultural education, food safety, community development and agricutlural mechanization. More:

Harvest News from ISU Research/Demonstration Farms
Soybean harvest began Sept. 23 at the Central Iowa Research and Demonstration Farms with yields from 42 to 45 bushels per acre. Soybean yields at the Northwest Research Farm near Sutherland have been averaging 64 bushels an acre. At the Dairy Farm south of Ames, about 5,000 tons of silage have been harvested since the week of Sept. 8. Apple harvest began Sept. 8 at the Horticulture Station north of Ames in time for the Horticulture Club to sell Jonathan, Gala and Macintosh varieties at its Apple Fall Festival on Sept. 20.

Agronomy Professor Seeks Sensible Policy on Biofuels
Richard Cruse, agronomy, believes an integrated approach to the national biofuels policy will help solve some of the food versus fuel debate while sustaining at-risk land and water in the state. Cruse joined 22 other scientists and researchers from around the country to call for a new policy direction in an article published in the journal Science.

Agricultural Ecologist to Present Borlaug Lecture Oct. 13
World-renowned agricultural ecologist Sir Gordon Conway, one of the first to define the concept of sustainable agriculture, will present the seventh annual Norman Borlaug Lecture on Oct. 13. The lecture will be at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union's Great Hall.

ISU Students Earn APS Foundation Awards
Several ISU students received awards this past summer from the American Phytopathological Society Foundation, including: Alicia Owens, biology, the Frank L. Howard Undergraduate Fellowship to support undergraduate research in plant pathology; Emmanuel Byamukama, plant pathology, the 8th I.E. Melhus Graduate Student Symposium Award to support student speakers at the APS annual meeting; and Lu Liu, Emmanuel Byamukama and Brian Freeman, all plant pathology, received APS travel assistance awards to present their work at the APS annual meeting.

Sowbridge Educational Series Offers Flexibility, Convenience
Following a successful first year, the distance education program SowBridge begins again in November. Extension swine specialist Ken Stalder said the program received great reviews from a wide range of participants and that helped solidify the decision to continue offering it. People from 15 states and a Canadian province took part last year.

MANRRS Will Host Regional Workshop at ISU in November
The ISU Chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) has been planning a MANRRS Region V Workshop to be held Nov. 7-8 at ISU. The workshop will help equip minority students with leadership and professional skills through seminars, career training and networking opportunities. This annual event draws more than 200 students from 10 Midwestern collegiate chapters to establish partnerships with agricultural industries. The current ISU chapter president is Brittini Brown, graduate student in agricultural and biosystems engineering.

Extension Schedules On-Farm Research Conference
On Dec. 18-19, ISU Extension's On-Farm Research Conference will feature training to help extension specialists, agribusiness professionals and growers conduct scientifically valid in-field research. The program includes sections on selecting research sites, methods and technology for data collection and basis statistics and analyses of data generated. Daren Mueller, ISU Extension program specialist, says the goal is to help people understand the research process and then produce quality, sound data that has value to Iowa growers. The meeting will be held at ISU's Knapp-Storms Dining Complex. It is organized by ISU Extension and the Corn and Soybean Initiative through a grant from the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center. Preregistration is required. More information is available online or by calling ISU Agribusiness Education Program, 4-6429.

Deadlines and Reminders
Oct 15-21: Ag Week
Oct. 21: Ag Career Day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Memorial Union

Communications Kiosk

Common Computer Tricks and Shortcuts Tips
There are some "basics" for computer users that not everyone knows about, according to David Pogue, author of the New York Times' Circuits column. In his Oct. 2 column, he points out some basic tricks that may be common but not universal knowledge:

  • Double-click a word to highlight it in any document, e-mail or Web page.
  • Hide all windows, revealing only what's on the computer desktop, with one keystroke: Windows key+D in Windows, F11 on Macs (or, on recent Mac laptops, Command+F3). Press the keystroke again to return to what you were doing.
  • Enlarge text on any Web page: in Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it's the Command key and plus or minus.
  • Switch from one open program to the next by pressing Alt+Tab (Windows) or Command-Tab (Mac).
  • Google will do math for you. Just type the equation, like 23*7+15/3=, and hit Enter.
  • Google also is a units-of-measurement and currency converter. Type "teaspoons in 1.3 gallons," for example, or "euros in 17 dollars." Click Search to see the answer.


Entrepreneurial Conference Cancelled
The 21st Century Entrepreneurial Strategies Business Conference, scheduled for Oct. 9, has been cancelled. College of Business organizers may try to reschedule the conference for next spring.

Office of Biotechnology to Provide Funds for Events
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration in 2009, the Office of Biotechnology is providing funds for biotechnology-related conferences, symposia and workshops that are organized by faculty members and held on campus. Applications are due Nov. 3. Contact Glenda Webber, 4-4749 or

External Voices

Turn Your Cell Phone Into a Carbon Counter
"Our ambitions are modest. We only want for anyone from Australia to America to be able to travel both huge and small distances and become more informed about their environmental impact. We sincerely aim to reshape the way people and organizations connect with the environment and each other," said software developer Andreas Zachariah. Zachariah and colleague Nick Burch created a software program that calculates your carbon footprint by tracking your movements using GPS data from your cell phone. They plan to market it under the name Carbon Diem by early next year. Their tests have shown it to be compatible with Nokia and Blackberry phones and they plan to develop a version for iPhone. Zachariah and Burch say it is most accurate in detecting trips taken by train, plane or subway, but can also figure in trips taken on foot. The device was recently featured in a New York Times Blog:


ISU's Pheasants Forever Only Student Chapter in U.S.
The ISU Chapter of Pheasants Forever is the only student chapter of the organization in the nation. The chapter recently was featured in an episode of Pheasants Forever Television on the Outdoor Channel, an on-demand and online network. Host Ron Schara says Iowa State is well known in pheasant hunting circles as the first and only university to have its own chapter of the conservation organization. Three students are interviewed, including Chris Schlesser, senior in ag systems technology. The chapter has adopted two miles of highway to clean, volunteers with county conservation boards, harvests prairie seed for seeding down new prairie and helps private landowners establish and maintain pheasant habitat. The student chapter's advisor is Tom Isenhart, natural resource ecology and management. Watch the video at:

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."

University Nondiscrimination Statement