Issue: 856

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
June 29, 2015 – No. 856

Top Stories

CALS Student Selected to Serve on OXFAM Change Initiative
Ella Gehrke, a junior in global resource systems, is one of 40 students nationwide selected to serve on the OXFAM Change Initiative. She will travel to Boston in late July for training to develop communication skills, expand knowledge of global issues and provide resources. Gehrke is also a member of the ISU Team KinoSol, which is in the process of fine-tuning a solar food dehydrator for farmers. More

STORIES: Art + Agriculture
The latest issue of the college’s alumni magazine, STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences, featuring our joint heritage of art and agriculture at ISU, is available online.


Wendel Discusses Cotton on “Talking Biotech” Podcast
Jonathan Wendel, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, was a guest on the June 27 edition of the “Talking Biotech” podcast. Wendel discussed the genetic origins of cotton and its strange journey across oceans, a few million years of separation, followed by a genetic reunion between Old World and New World cotton types that gave rise to the major commercial types used today. More

Faculty: How to Acknowledge USDA NIFA Grant Funding
USDA’s Office of the General Council has approved an acknowledgement statement for use by recipients of NIFA grants. NIFA’s Office of Grants and Financial Management will add this statement to award terms as appropriate. The Office of the General Council also recommends that the use of NIFA’s identifier is in accordance with standards and guidelines established by USDA’s Office of Communications in Departmental Regulation 1430-002.
Faculty: How to Handle Press Announcements of USDA NIFA Funding
USDA’s Office of the General Council also has provided a statement on handling press announcements related to NIFA awards and media interviews, as part of its acknowledgement statement. CALS Communications Service also is a resource for faculty on questions regarding publicity on new NIFA awards; contact 4-5616.

Teaching and Students

Agronomy Students Awarded ICIA Scholarships
The Iowa Crop Improvement Association awarded scholarships to seven agronomy students planning to pursue careers in seed science or the seed industry. They included:  Kathryn Hoemann, a senior from Clive; Cailin Carstensen, junior from Odebolt; Brittany Kirsch, sophomore from Bode; Ryan Reimers, junior from Defiance; Timothy Riessen, junior from Schleswig; Landon Van Dyke, senior from Reasnor; and Adam Willman, junior from Marshalltown. The scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded at the association’s annual Student Recognition Banquet.

CALS Students Part of Pork Checkoff Student Social Forces Team
The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 college students to be part of the National Pork Board’s Student Social Forces team, and six are from ISU. Selection was based on involvement in the pork industry and strong communication skills. The Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program is helping real farmers share real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming. ISU students are: Alex Conover, animal science and society in agriculture; Allison Luety, public relations and society in agriculture; Allison Bastian, agricultural business; Ashley Smeby, agronomy; Breanna Branderhorst, agricultural and life sciences education; and Lexi Delaney, animal science. More

Extension and Outreach

Extension Program Earns STEM Seal of Approval
The Youth Environmental Agriculture Field Days program recently earned the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seal of Approval. For 20 years, the program has been educating fifth grade students of Hamilton, Humboldt, Webster and Wright county school districts about agriculture with interactive, hands-on sessions.

Lester: Decision to Remove Artificial Ingredients a Challenge
Several major food companies have announced plans to remove artificial ingredients, such as color and flavor, from their products within the next few years. It’s a move driven by consumer demand and one that will be a challenge for the industry, says Lester Wilson, University Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition. More


July 1: Insect Zoo Open House
The Insect Zoo will host an open house on July 1, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on the first and fourth floors of Science Hall II. Ginny Mitchell, the zoo’s educational program coordinator, said “Arthropods of all kinds – insects, tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and crabs – will be on display.” The event is free and open to the public. More

Funding Opportunities

DOE Announces Notice of Intent to Issue FOA for Bioenergy Technologies Incubator 2
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a notice of intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement for Bioenergy Technologies Incubator 2. It is anticipated that the FOA will have two topic areas. Topic Area 1 will be open to all proposals that seek to develop novel, non-incremental technologies that facilitate the goals of Bioenergy Technologies Office’s algae platform and are not represented in a significant way in the current algae project portfolio. Topic Area 2 will be open to all proposals that seek to develop novel, non-incremental technologies that facilitate the goals of BETO and are not represented in a significant way in the current feedstocks or conversion project portfolios. More

DOE Issues RFI on Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines
The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office has issued a Request for Information regarding Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback regarding biofuel consumption in the small, internal combustion engine market. BETO is specifically seeking information on the potential opportunities for increasing biofuel consumption in small engines; existing and/or potential obstacles to the expansion of biofuel use in small engines; stakeholder interest in optimizing engine efficiency, reducing emissions, and increasing longevity for small engines using ethanol blends; and mechanisms for addressing biofuel expansion barriers. Responses are due Aug. 30. More

NIH Top Policy Changes
NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases publishes top policy changes on their website. Recent changes include Improvement of Reproducibility and Inclusion of Gender as Biological Variable in Applications and Progress Reports, Applicant Responsibilities to Maintain Integrity of NIH Peer Review, and Approval of Cloud Storage and Analysis for Genomic Data. The webpage also includes information on the New Biographical Sketch Format that went into effect on May 25. More

Funding Information, Opportunities and Deadline Reminders
Dates listed are application deadlines. Contact: Roxanne Clemens, Additional information is posted at CALS Pre-award Resources

July 22: NSF STEM Teacher Leader Initiative; $300,000. More

Aug. 3: Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry; $120,000 over two years, contact ISU Foundation ( More

Aug 10: USAID Uganda Sanitation Program; $31.46 million over five years, 5 percent cost share. More

Aug. 10 (white paper): DOD Dept. of the Navy - National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship Program; $3 million over five years. More

Aug. 15: Allergan Foundation Research Grant; $60,000 plus $750 travel grant to attend American Academy of Optometry annual meeting, glaucoma or the anterior segment.

Sept. 10: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Research Fellowships and Conference Sponsorship; Ph.D. students are ineligible, themes are the natural resources challenge, sustainability in practice and the food chain. More

Sept. 11 (six review dates per year): Fulbright Specialist Program; two to six weeks at host institution overseas.

Sept. 15: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy - David C. Lincoln Fellowships in Land Value Taxation; $90,000 over three years.

Sept. 30: USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program - Microenterprise Development Organization; $205,000, 15 percent match. More

Sept. 30 (expressions of interest): USAID Indonesia Development Innovation Accelerator for Indonesia’s Development Challenges: Inclusive Workforce Development. More

Oct. 15: DOE Joint Genome Institute Small-scale Microbial/Metagenome Program.

Nov. 2 (preproposal): U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Spring 2016 Research Programs. More

Communications Kiosk

Compared To vs. Compared With
Use “compared to” when the intent is to assert, without the need for elaboration, that two or more items are similar. For example: “She compared her work for women’s rights to Susan B. Anthony’s campaign for women’s suffrage.” Use “compared with” when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities and/or differences. For example: “His time was 2:11:10, compared with 2:14 for his closest competitor.” (Associated Press Stylebook, 2014 edition, pg. 57)


New Report Finds Student Loan Debt is Intensifying Farmer Shortage
The National Young Farmers Coalition released a new report on June 24, “Farming is Public Service: A Case for Adding Farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program,” which shows that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more would-be farmers and ranchers from entering agriculture. More

How Genetic Engineering May Bring Back Chestnuts
In the 1900s, blight decimated American chestnut trees. But now, the American chestnut could return due to genetic engineering and a group of forest biotechnologists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project. More


Iowa State Fair Announces 15 New Foods
The Iowa State Fair has announced its list of new food for 2015. The culinary adventures range from “sweet to salty, to strange and yummy.” The new foods include apple pie on-a-stick, corn in a cup, pumpkin spice funnel cake and ultimate bacon explosion. More

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online

Julie Stewart, Editor, (515) 294-5616

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is published by email every Monday. The deadline for submitting content is 12 p.m. on Friday.


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