Issue: 875

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Nov. 9, 2015 – No. 875

Top Stories

Darr Research Key to ISU-Licensed Tech Honor at International Ag Expo
Technology related to harvesting equipment developed at ISU and licensed to John Deere will receive three innovation “Silver Medal” awards at AGRITECHNICA, a global showcase of agriculture machinery in Hannover, Germany, Nov. 10-14. The technologies incorporated the contributions of a research team led by Matthew Darr, agricultural and biosystems engineering. Darr noted that the licensing of these technologies to John Deere illustrates Iowa State’s commitment to turn advances in research into market-ready solutions that strengthen the industry and create customer value. More

Syngenta Operations Research Seminar on Friday, Nov. 13
Faculty, staff and students are invited to a seminar to learn more about transformative operations research in plant sciences by a scientific team from Syngenta. The events celebrate national recognition of the accomplishments of the team, which includes Iowa State alumni and students. The seminar begins at 1 p.m. in Room 004 of the Scheman Building and will include moderated discussions involving ISU faculty and Syngenta scientists. Key presenters from ISU will include Bill Beavis, George F. Sprague Chair and Professor of Agronomy, and Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, associate professor of mechanical engineering. There also will be a discussion of graduate student career development.


Research Team to Survey Farmers about Herbicide Resistant Weeds
A team of weed scientists, economists and sociologists led by Mike Owen, agronomy, is working to develop effective approaches to address an increase in herbicide resistant weeds. The project, which is supported by a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant, also addresses barriers farmers face in adopting more diverse strategies for herbicide-resistant weed management. More

Xin’s Research on Hen Housing Featured on Iowa Public Radio
Hongwei Xin, distinguished professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center at ISU, has researched and compared three hen housing systems – traditional cages, cage-free barns and a sort of compromise system called enriched colonies. Xin was part of a discussion on cage-free hen housing on Iowa Public Radio. In his research, Xin has found that more hens die in a cage-free setting. More

Teaching and Students

Misra Reappointed to USDA National Council
Manjit Misra, agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been reappointed to USDA’s National Genetic Resources Advisory Council, a subcommittee of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board for a two-year term (through Sept. 30, 2017). NGRAC provides advice to the NAREEE Board and then to the Secretary of Agriculture on the conservation, preservation and use of genetic resources. Misra is the Seed Science Endowed Chair, director of the Seed Science Center and the Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products and co-chair of the Global Food Security Consortium.

Culinary Science Club to Host Food Blogger, Nov. 10
The Culinary Science Club is hosting food blogger Cristen Clark on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m. in 200 MacKay Hall. Clark writes Food and Swine for the Iowa Food and Family Project. More

NAMA Accepting Orders for Popcorn Fundraiser
The ISU National Agri-Marketing Association is accepting orders for its annual gourmet popcorn fundraiser. Six ounce bags are available in seven different flavors for $4 a bag, or $11 for a three-bag combo pack. Orders are due Dec. 1. Funds raised will support travel to the national NAMA competition. Garrett Ley, an agricultural business student, makes and sells the popcorn around central Iowa through his business, G Pop’s Popcorn.

Extension and Outreach

Hurburgh on Iowa Grain Elevators and Record Harvest
An article in the Nov. 8 issue of the Des Moines Register reported that Iowa grain elevators are brimming with millions of additional bushels of corn and soybeans that in some areas are coming in at near-record pace, resulting in mountainous piles of excess grain across the state. Charles Hurburgh, agricultural and biosystems engineering, told the Register that Iowa typically has piles of corn across the state, but they don't last long given the state's massive need for grain - from raising cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys to producing ethanol. "We use about 200 million bushels a month," he said, "so probably after Thanksgiving, the grain will be inside." More

Farmers Look for New Generation to Take Over their Land
An article in the Nov. 2 issue of International Business Times reported on the challenge U.S. farmers face in finding a new generation to take over their land. John Baker, an attorney with CALS’ Beginning Farmer Center, was interviewed and said the first step in any farm transfer is to identify a successor. Baker oversees the Ag Link program through ISU Extension and Outreach that pairs aspiring farmers with those who are ready to give up land, and says that contrary to popular belief, there is not a lack of young people who want to farm. More

Webinar to Address Iowa Daily Erosion Project
The next Iowa Learning Farms webinar will be Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. Brian Gelder, agricultural and biosystems engineering, will discuss updates to the Iowa Daily Erosion Project to Version 2, as it expands to cover Minnesota and Kansas.

Around the College

CALS Seeks Applicants for Assistant Dean of Student Services
CALS seeks applicants for the Assistant Dean of Student Services. This position is responsible for leading the overall operation of the CALS Student Services team which supports the areas of student marketing, recruitment, retention, advising and mentoring. This position reports to the Associate Dean for Academic and Global Programs. Required qualification: tenured faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Applications are due Nov. 13 for guaranteed consideration.

AgEI Celebrates 10 Years of Student Success, Nov. 17
The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative is celebrating 10 years of student success with a cake reception on Nov. 17, 5:30 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall Harl Commons. A short program will take place at 6 p.m. followed by a social hour.


Nov. 11: Celebrate 20 Years of Distance Education with the Brenton Center
The Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer will have an open house on Nov. 11, 9 to 11 a.m. in 4 Curtiss Hall, to celebrate 20 years of distance education. Refreshments will be provided.

Nov. 16 and 18: Brenton Center Hosting Apple Workshops
The Brenton Center is hosting two Apple workshops presented by Kevin Lee, Apple’s campus representative. The workshop on Nov. 16, 12 to 12:45 p.m. in Curtiss 0013, will focus on iOS and iPad Productivity Apps. The workshop on Nov. 18, 12 to 12:45 p.m. in Curtiss 0013, will focus on El Capitan.

Nov. 17: AGEDS Seminar to Focus on Writing and Media Center
An Agricultural Education and Studies Seminar will be held Nov. 17, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Crawford Instructional Complex, 224 Curtiss Hall. Christa Tiernan, director of the Writing and Media Center, will discuss the present and future of the center with a focus on communications skill development across the curriculum at ISU.

Funding Opportunities

Workshop: Navigating Congress and Federal Agencies, Nov. 12
The Office of the VPR invites faculty to join ISU's Assistant Director of Federal Relations and D.C.-based consultants from Van Scoyoc Associates and The Implementation Group to learn more about how to best navigate the federal landscape. They will provide an overview of the federal legislative process and provide tips on working within the cultures of various federal agencies. Seating is limited and registration is requested. More

Borlaug LEAP Program for Students from Sub-Saharan Africa, Due Dec. 2
The Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program offers fellowships to enhance the quality of thesis research of graduate students from developing countries who show strong promise as leaders in the field of agriculture and related disciplines. LEAP supports engaging a mentor at a U.S. university and at a CGIAR center to support and enhance the thesis research and mentoring experience. The award level is $20,000 for a maximum of one year, and the funds are administered as a grant to the U.S. university mentor. Applications are due Dec. 2.

NCRCRD Competition for Rural Development Project Seed Grants, Due Jan. 12
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development is accepting proposals for seed grants aimed at enhancing the ability of land-grant institutions to positively influence the quality of life in rural areas of the 12-state North Central region. Priority areas include innovation diffusion for rural development, sustainable communities, leadership development and entrepreneurial communities. Awards are expected to range from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Interested individuals may ask questions via conference call on Jan. 12 at noon. Proposals are due Feb. 2. More

Engaging Proposal Review from The Implementation Group
ISU has engaged a consulting firm, The Implementation Group, Inc., to assist faculty with proposal development. Specifically, TIG consultants will review proposals and provide input and feedback aimed at strengthening the proposals. TIG provides both no cost and fee-based services. PIs who wish to engage TIG are asked to review the guidance document developed by the Office of the VPR, “Internal Process for Requesting Federal Consultants’ Assistance with Proposals.” More

E-News for Researchers
The Office of the VPR publishes E-News for Researchers, a bi-weekly newsletter containing research-relevant current events, notices, news, resources and more. Faculty, staff and students can subscribe to the newsletter or access past publications on the website.

DOE SBIR/STTR FY 2016 Topics Released
The U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program has released Phase I topics for FY 2016. Topic specific webinars will be held starting on Nov. 9. The funding opportunity announcement will be issued Nov. 30, with letters of intent due Dec. 21. More

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

Continuous submission (letter of inquiry): CS Fund and Warsh - Mott Legacy Grants; social justice in emerging technologies, food sovereignty.

Dec. 1: American Jersey Cattle Association Research Foundation 2016 Proposals; average $6,000 in seed money. More

Dec. 6 (letter of intent): NIH Impact of Aging on Currently Employed Animal Models of Disease and Chronic Conditions: Demonstration Projects (UH2/UH3); $150,000 to $450,000. More

Dec. 11 (pre-application): DOE USDA Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research Funding Opportunity; $200,000 to $400,000 annually for up to three years.

Jan. 7 (pre-proposal): DOD-DOE-EPA Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Core Solicitation and Exploratory Development Solicitation; seed projects $200,000 for one year. More

Jan. 9 (letter of intent): NIH NCI Research Specialist Award (R50). More

Jan. 11 (letter of intent): NIH Metabolomics Data Analysis (R03); $100,000 direct costs. More

Jan. 30 (white paper): Dept. of HHS BAA for Advanced Research and Development to Expedite the Identification, Development and Manufacturing of Medical Countermeasures Against Infectious Diseases.

Feb. 9: NSF Science of Science and Innovation Policy Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants; $20,000 direct costs. More

Mar. 1: Indo-US Science and Technology Forum Training Program and Advanced Schools.

Apr. 27 (letter of intent): NIH Food Specific Molecular Profiles and Biomarkers of Food and Nutrient Intake, and Dietary Exposure (R01). More

Communications Kiosk

Practical Tips for an Interview
When journalists call unexpectedly, it is a good idea to buy some time. Tell them if they call you back in 10 minutes, for example, they will have your full attention – but you have to mean it. Before you hang up, ask for the journalist’s name, number and media outlet. If you don’t know the journalist, search for their name and the venue he or she is reporting for. What stories does this person or their outlet typically cover? Have they covered related stories before, and if so, what angle did they take? Do the stories appear credible, or are they “gotcha” stories? If the reporter covers a diverse beat, don’t assume they have any background. Plan to provide some context as succinctly and respectfully as possible. Many journalists are experts on their beat, though, and you can expect their questions to be challenging. (Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, 2010, pgs. 124-125.)


ISU Helps Launch Big Data Hub
ISU is one of five universities creating a Midwest Big Data Hub with the support of a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Sarah Nusser, vice president for research, is a co-principal investigator for the Midwest Data Hub and a member of its steering committee. More

State Hygienic Lab to Hold Open House, Nov. 19
The State Hygienic Lab’s Environmental Laboratory, located in Ankeny on the DMACC campus, is holding an open house on Nov. 19, 3 to 6 p.m. Laboratory staff will feature displays and demonstrations of the lab’s water, air and soil testing capabilities, as well as offer facility tours. The event is open to all, including environmental, agricultural and engineering industry partners and stakeholders, state and commercial laboratory staff, government officials and staff, we well as college students interested in laboratory science. RSVPs are requested to Lisa Rathjen (

ISA Releases How-To Guide for On-Farm Research
The Iowa Soybean Association’s On-Farm Network has published a “Guide to On-Farm Replicated Strip Trials,” a comprehensive manual about how to set up trials and collect, summarize and analyze data.

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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