Issue: 862

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Aug. 10, 2015 – No. 862

Top Stories

Camp with Cy at the State Fair
Iowa State’s presence in all 99 counties will be showcased at this year’s ISU state fair exhibit, “Camp Cy: A Statewide Adventure.” In partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach, the exhibit will feature interactive stations that demonstrate ways ISU is helping Iowans through the state. Located in the northeast corner of the Varied Industries Building, visitors will find a campsite with three cardinal and gold tents that house a variety of displays, including the Conservation Station with soil and water quality activities and a rainfall simulator, and featured appearances by the Insect Zoo, the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium and the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. More

Leath and Garrick Showing Steers at Governor’s Charity Steer Show
The 2015 Governor’s Charity Steer Show will mark the 33rd consecutive year the beef industry has raised funds to help families who use the Ronald McDonald House. ISU President Steven Leath and Dorian Garrick, Jay Lush Endowed Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Animal Science, are two of the celebrities that will lead 25 steers around the ring. The competition will be held Saturday, Aug. 15, at 4 p.m. in the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fair. Immediately following, the steers will be sold at auction with proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House.

ISU Celebrates Iowa Cheese and Yogurt Makers
ISU and the Midwest Dairy Association are co-sponsoring a new event celebrating Iowa cheese and yogurt makers and their products. The 2015 Iowa Quality Dairy Products Showcase Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. in the multimedia center of the cattle barn at the Iowa State Fair. For more information contact Stephanie Clark, food science and human nutrition, at or 4-7346. More

Swine in the Show Ring: Iowa Pork Industry Center Explains “Point of Balance”
Understanding a pig’s “point of balance” can help both pigs and caretaker when in the show ring. The point of balance is around the animal’s shoulder. If you touch or create motion behind the animal’s shoulder, they will move forward; if touched in front of the shoulder, they back up. This steering helps to keep pigs moving in the desired direction. The Iowa Pork Industry Center shared this production tip in its Aug. 5 newsletter.


Field Day to Address Agricultural Use of UAVs
A field day scheduled for Aug. 27 at the Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Research Farms will address the agricultural use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The field day is 8:30 a.m. to noon, followed by lunch. Ryan Bergman, agricultural and biosystems engineering, is the field day organizer. More

Relocating Leads to New Opportunities for Grain Quality Lab
The Iowa Grain Quality Initiation and the Grain Quality Laboratory, a Center for Crops Utilization Research program, moved from the Food Sciences Building to the National Swine Research and Information Center. With nearly two times the lab and office space, Charlie Hurburgh, agricultural and biosystems engineering and professor-in-charge, said the Grain Quality Lab has new opportunities to conduct research and training sessions and better ways to support their customers.

Teaching and Students

Workshop Engages Instructors to Teach about Energy and Agriculture
Nineteen junior high, high school and community college instructors took part in the third Agriculture-based Renewable Energy Professional Development Workshop at ISU on July 7-10. Thomas Paulsen, workshop coordinator and assistant professor of agricultural education and studies, said the workshop “capitalized on experiences from Iowa State University researchers, industry leaders and educational experts to provide teachers with tangible activities to immediately integrate into the classroom.” More

Extension and Outreach

Aphids are Striking Soybeans Earlier than Expected
Aphids, the tiny insects that can overwhelm soybeans and reduce yields, are appearing earlier than in previous years, according to entomologist Erin Hodgson. Soybean producers are dealing with a range of challenges this growing season, from perennial pests to new threats to environmental stress. More

Nutrient Reduction Strategies Field Day to be Held Aug. 27
A nutrient reduction strategy field day will be held at the Drainage Research and Demonstration Project site near Gilmore City on Aug. 27, 5 to 7 p.m. The event will focus on impacts and findings from the past 25 years and current research results. Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, will address the relationship of research at this site to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Around the College

Baum Honored by American Phytopathological Society
Thomas Baum, plant pathology and microbiology, was honored with the Noel T. Keen Award for Research Excellence in Molecular Plant Pathology at the American Phytopathological Society annual meeting on Aug. 1. According to APS’ announcement of the award, “The pioneering investigations from Baum’s program have led the way for research in molecular plant-nematode interactions for almost two decades.” More

MacDonald Discusses Use of GM Crops with International Visitors
Ruth MacDonald, food science and human nutrition, met with a group of visitors from Europe on Aug. 6 to discuss the background and current scope of the use of genetically modified crops in U.S. domestic agricultural production and exports, as well as public acceptance of, or resistance to, food products that include GM agricultural products. The visitors were part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

New Staff Join Northern Research and Demonstration Farm
Matt Schnabel has been named superintendent of the Northern Research and Demonstration Farm near Kanawha. He has worked at the research farm for 1.5 years and succeeds Micah Smidt. Karl Nicolaus has been hired to assist with management of the farm. He will work with Schnabel on the farm’s 30 research projects. More


Sept 2: Reception for Paul Lasley, Sociology
Paul Lasley has returned to the faculty after 13 years as chair of the Department of Sociology. To honor his years of service, a reception is being held Sept. 2, 4:30 p.m. in the Harl Commons, Curtiss Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Sept. 16: Surplus Machinery and Equipment Auction
A surplus machinery and equipment auction for all ISU farms will be held Sept. 16 at the Curtiss Farm near Ames. Contact Tim Goode ( with consignments.

Sept. 22: CALS Fall Convocation
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fall Convocation is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The program will include brief comments from Dean Wendy Wintersteen and recognition for the College’s new faculty and staff since last fall. A reception will follow.

Funding Opportunities

Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All personnel working on projects supported by NSF, USDA-NIFA and/or NIH are required to have training in Responsible Conduct of Research. To meet this requirement, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Graduate College are offering graduate course GRST 565, Responsible Conduct of Research in Science and Engineering. This one-credit course is accessible through the Schedule of Classes. Sections are filling up quickly. For faculty and postdoctoral associates, a non-credit version of GRST 565 is available in fall 2015. For information and meeting times for this course, contact Aragula (Guru) Rao ( For other questions, contact Amy Tehan (, 4-7540).

National Science Board Accepting Nominations for 2016 Vannevar Bush Award
The National Science Board has issued a Call for Nominations for the Vannevar Bush Award. The award, established in 1980 in memory of Bush, honors lifelong leaders who have made substantial contributions through public service activities in science, technology and public policy. Nominations are due Oct. 1. More

DOE Releases Topics for SBIR STTR Funding Opportunities
The Department of Energy has issued topics for FY 2015 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Only U.S. small business concerns may submit applications. DOE encourages the use of universities as sub-contractors on awards. The funding opportunity announcement will be issued on Aug. 17, with letters of intent due Sept. 8. More

EPA Offering SBIR Solicitation Webinar
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled a webinar for the current Small Business Innovation Research Solicitation. The webinar will provide information about the EPA’s SBIR program, this year’s topics and how to apply for an SBIR contract. Program experts will be available to answer questions. The webinar will be held Aug. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. Registration is free. More

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

Aug. 30 (letter of intent): DOE Joint Genome Institute Emerging Technological Opportunities Program 2015.

Sept. 1: NFWF Bring Back the Natives/More Fish; 1:1 match; $50,000 to $100,000 per award. More

Sept. 1 (letter of intent): FDA National Training, Education, Extension, Outreach and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program: Regional Center Grants to Enhance Food Safety; $949,998 over three years. More

Sept. 8 (request for information): USAID Bangladesh Feed the Future Strengthening Agriculture Production and Market Systems Activity; funding opportunity for $25 million anticipated following collection of information. More

Sept. 28: USAID Nepal Suaahara II; $71.5 million total for five years, inclusive of 10 percent required cost share. More

Oct. 5: NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01). More

Oct. 5: Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration - FY 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies Program; $500,000 challenge grants, $250,000 seed fund grants, 1:1 match. More

Oct. 5: NIH Obesity and Asthma: Awareness and Self-Management (R01). More

Oct. 16: NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03); $100,000 over two years. More

Nov. 13: NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers; $1.2 million to $3.5 million, preK-12 students and STEM. More

Dec. 7: NSF Discovery Research Pre-K-12 (KRK-12); $450,000 to $5 million. More

Dec. 22 (letter of intent): NSF Research Traineeship Program, limited submission tracks, contact Sue Shipitalo,, with interest. More

Dec. 26 (letter of intent): NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats Exploratory/Developmental; $275,000. More

Communications Kiosk

What to Do When You Have just Moments to Prepare for an Interview
Below is a short list of “do’s” to reference when you have too few moments to gather yourself before an interview. A list of “don’ts” will follow next week.

  • Do be accessible and responsive. If a journalist calls or emails you, contact him or her as soon as you can.
  • Do know your own headline. Try to sum up your message in a few words or a sentence. Then you can provide more details and back it up.
  • Do engage and interact. Know what points you want to make.
  • Do choose your words carefully. Be emotive and use vivid language. This makes it more interesting.
  • Do be ready to answer: “Is there anything else you would like to say?” This is an invitation to restate your headline.

(Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, 2010, pgs. 139-140.)


Iowa Beef Industry Council Names New Executive Director
The Iowa Beef Industry Council announced that Chris Freland has been named the new executive director, replacing Nancy Degner who is retiring on Sept. 30. Freland comes to the beef council from the Midwest Dairy Association and has experience in commodity boards and promotion efforts funded by livestock producers.

Agriculture Students: Enter Voices of the Soil Essay Contest
The Natural Resources Defense Council and Lexicon of Sustainability are hosting a Voices of the Soil Essay Contest for young farmers, agricultural students or any young person who appreciates the value of healthy soil. Contestants may submit a video essay less than five minutes in length and/or a written essay between 700 and 1,000 words by Aug. 31.


Research Farms Believe-It-Or-Not
Kent Berns, superintendent for ISU’s central Iowa farms, reports corn almost 12 feet tall on the ISU Dairy Farm with ears above his head (roughly six feet high). The corn will be cut for silage later in the season.

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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