Issue: 920

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Oct. 3, 2016 – No. 920

Top Stories

CALS Week Activities: Planting Excellence, Harvesting Success
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council is celebrating “Planting Excellence, Harvesting Success” for 2016 CALS week, Oct. 1-8. Activities include the following. More

  • Monday – Free lunch on central campus, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Mr. CALS competition, 7 p.m., Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.
  • Tuesday – Free lunch on central campus, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; CALS BLT Night Trivia, 6:30 p.m., Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall; Line dancing and bags tournament, 7:30 p.m., Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall.
  • Wednesday – Free lunch on central campus, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Hunger Fight, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall; William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture, 7 p.m., 1148 Gerdin.
  • Thursday – Free lunch on central campus, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Agriculture Entrepreneurship Initiative’s Entrepreneur Roundtable, 6 p.m., Scheman Building; Agger Fries Philanthropy (fried potatoes and other fried snacks to benefit the American Cancer Society), 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Alpha Gamma Rho House.
  • Friday – Free donuts on central campus, 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Saturday – Bacon Expo, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.

CALS Week: Mr. CALS Competition, Oct. 3
Sigma Alpha, the professional agriculture sorority, is hosting the fourth annual Mr. CALS competition today, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Representatives from CALS clubs, associations and fraternities will take part in the competition which will conclude with Mr. CALS and Mr. Congeniality awardees. Ticket prices are $5 at the door or $3 at the door with a canned food item. Proceeds will go to the Food at First in Ames, a nonprofit organization that provides a free meal program and perishable food pantry. More

CALS Week: Block & Bridle Hunger Fight, Oct. 5
The Block & Bridle Club’s annual Hunger Fight, sponsored by Elanco, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m. in the Iowa Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall. The club’s philanthropy committee is raising funds and recruiting volunteers to package the meals. Volunteers can sign up for a time slot at Google Docs; walk-ins also are welcome. The club works with Meals for the Heartland on this project, an organization that will ship the meals across the globe. Last year, more than 460 volunteers packaged more than 102,000 meals. Contact Kim Dornbier,, with questions. 

CALS Week: DuPont Executive Vice President to Present Deal Lecture, Oct. 5
Jim Collins, executive vice president of DuPont, will present the 2016 William K. Deal Endowed Leadership Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in 1148 Gerdin. Collins will present, “Growth Comes When You Least Expect It.” The event is free and open to the public. More

CALS Week: AgEI Entrepreneurial Roundtable Event, Oct. 6
The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative’s annual “Start your Success: Meet the Entrepreneurs” event will take place Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. in the Scheman Building. Students have an opportunity to hear a keynote speaker and meet successful entrepreneurs who have followed their dreams. More

CALS Week: Bacon Expo, Oct. 8
The fourth annual Bacon Expo will be held Saturday, Oct. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Organized by CALS students, Bacon Expo is a family friendly event where participants can sample creative bacon treats and enjoy live entertainment and education displays about the pork industry. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. This year’s co-chairs are Tayler Etzel, senior in agricultural business, and John Armstrong, junior in agricultural studies. More

CALS Week: SHOP Hosting Food Drive
In conjunction with CALS Week, the SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) is hosting a food drive, Oct. 3-6. Drop off locations are Harl Commons and the first-floor rotunda in Curtiss Hall and 2319 Food Sciences Building. Suggested donation items include canned fruit, peanut butter, boxed cereal, boxed meals, oatmeal, soup, granola bars, fruit snacks and chips. 


Agronomist Proposes New Strategy to Accelerate Plant Breeding
A new study led by Jianming Yu, agronomy and Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding, may help scientists sift through vast amounts of plant seeds stored in gene banks facilities across the globe to identify those useful to plant breeders attempting to produce better varieties. The research, published in “Nature Plants,” focuses on sorghum used for bioenergy but could have ramifications for a range of crops, Yu said. More

Pilot Plant Developed at BioCentury Research Farm to Advance Biofuel Technology
ISU is working with Chevron U.S.A. to develop a pilot plant at the BioCentury Research Farm and study an advanced biorenewables technology called solvent liquefaction. The technology converts biomass such as quarter-inch wood chips into a bio-oil that can be processed into fuels or chemicals and a biochar that can enrich soils. The project is supported by a four-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. More

Rao and Team Receive Patent on Peptides
Guru Rao, associate vice president for research in the Office of the Vice President for Research, is the Roy J. Carver Professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. He was part of a research team awarded a patent on Sept. 20 for “Peptide Domains that Bind Small Molecules of Industrial Significance.” The patent is about peptides that bind with high specificity to molecules of industrial significance. Examples are peptides that bind to metal ions such as nickel, zinc and copper that may be present in agricultural waste water, peptides that bind to beta-carotene which is undesirable in some food materials such as palm oil, and peptides that bind to nutraceuticals such as the isoflavone, genistein. These peptides facilitate the development of sensitive detection methods, purification schemes for the target molecules and removing these target molecules from complex mixtures.

Teaching and Students

Students Conduct Biomass Research at BioCentury Research Farm
Students at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm are conducting biomass research that’s turning plant matter into energy. The BioCentury Research Farm is the first integrated research and demonstration facility in the nation dedicated to biomass production and processing. Also, it is one of the only facilities of its kind where students have a major part in designing and operating projects.

Ag Business Senior a Member of NASDA’s 2016 Next Generation Program
Catherine Hayes, senior in agricultural business, is part of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s 2016 Next Generation Program. The purpose of the program is to educate college students about NASDA’s mission and have them participate in agricultural policy events at the annual meeting, held Sept. 21-24 in Lincoln, Neb. Hayes was one of 11 participants from seven states.

Student Club Helps with State Soil Judging Contest
The collegiate soil judging team and soil judging class will help host the State FFA Soil Judging Contest on campus on Saturday, Oct. 8. Approximately 120 high school FFA students from around the state will take a written exam over soils knowledge followed by a field portion consisting of four soil pits in the area. For more information, contact Amber Anderson, lecturer in agronomy, 4-3287, The Armstrong Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm and Neely-Kinyon Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm hosted a district FFA soil judging contest on Sept. 27. Twenty-one schools sent 121 FFA students and advisors, with the top five teams moving on to the state competition in Ames this Saturday.

Extension and Outreach

Plastina Reports on Iowa Farm Financial Conditions
Alejandro Plastina, extension economist, has released a report on Iowa Farm Financial Conditions in 2015. He used farm level data provided by the Iowa Farm Business Association. More

Extension Relaunches “Visit Iowa Farms” Website
ISU Extension and Outreach has relaunched its Visit Iowa Farms website, which serves as a database of farms across the state willing to host visitors. There are also resources for farmers such as producer regulations, business and marketing planning, and legal considerations. These resources will help farmers as they set up and publicize their agritourism operation. The program is administration by extension’s value added agriculture program. More

Around the College

Nettleton Named Director of Statistics Center
Dan Nettleton, Laurence H. Baker Chair in Biological Statistics, has been named director of the Laurence H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics at ISU. He will lead the center’s work in developing and applying statistical methods for addressing challenges in biological sciences research. Nettleton said he intends to continue the center’s tradition of collaboration with researchers throughout Iowa State and grow the center’s presence in the use of data science in biosciences and agricultural innovations.

Bern Receives Sukup Global Food Security Award
Carl Bern, agricultural and biosystems engineering, received the inaugural Sukup Global Food Security award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at their annual meeting in July in Orlando. Bern has taught courses in grain quality and electric power at ISU for more than 40 years and also conducts research aimed at reducing storage losses in corn stored on small farms throughout the world. He is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in grain drying and storage, according to ASABE, and his work has been used worldwide to improve food security.

Creating Inclusive Classrooms Next in CALS Cultural Competency Series
The CALS Office for Diversity Programs is continuing its cultural competency series on Friday, Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CCUR Technology Transfer Theatre, 1951 Food Sciences Building. Fred Bonner, professor and Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Prairie View A&M University, will facilitate a discussion on “Creating Inclusive Classrooms.” Please RSVP by noon on Oct. 4 to Theressa Cooper, assistant dean for diversity, Lunch will be provided. More

Two New Staff Members Join Brenton Center
Tina Carter and Casey Smith have joined the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer. Carter serves as the center’s program assistant. She will manage finances for the center and assist with projects for student services. Smith is a student services representative and works with Michelle Zander in the Online Education and Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance programs. He will help manage student information systems and provide online services to students.

CALS United Way Online Auction Starts Today, Ends Thursday, Oct. 6
The CALS-sponsored online auction to raise money for the 2016 ISU United Way Campaign started today, Oct. 3, at 8 a.m. Bids on more than 50 auction items will be accepted through 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. Most items are on display in 138 Curtiss Hall.

CALS United Way Book Sale Schedule for Oct. 4-5
The seventh annual CALS United Way book sale is Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 4-5, in the ground floor rotunda of Curtiss Hall. On Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., books, CDs and DVDs will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. On Oct. 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the remaining items will be sold throughout the day for a free will donation. All proceeds will go to the 2016 ISU United Way Campaign. Contact Carla Persaud at or 4-1823 with questions.

Departments Plan Bake Sale and Pizza Sale to Support United Way Campaign
The departments of ecology, evolution and organismal biology and plant pathology and microbiology are holding a bake sale on Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Bessey Hall Lounge, to support the United Way of Story County. The departments of natural resource ecology and management and entomology are holding a pizza sale on Oct. 12 at 11:30 a.m. in the main hall in Science II, to support the United Way campaign.


Oct. 10: CALS Sustainability Lecture Series
Keith Paustian, Colorado State University, will present the next lecture in the CALS Sustainability Lecture Series on Oct. 10, 3:10 p.m. in 2432 Food Sciences Building. Paustian is a professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and senior research scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. He will speak on “Climate-Smart Soils: Bringing Pie in the Sky Down to Earth.” A reception will follow at 4:30 p.m. in the Agronomy Hall Commons. More

Oct. 10: Norman Borlaug Lecture
The 2016 World Food Prize Laureates will present the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Maria Andrade, Robert Mwanga and Jan Low, International Potato Center, and Howarth Bouis, HarvestPlus, will speak on “Leading the Fight against Malnutrition and Hidden Hunger.” A reception and student poster display will precede the lecture at 7 p.m. in the South Ballroom. More

Oct. 11: CALS Fall Career Day
The CALS Fall Career Day will be Oct. 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. More than 250 organizations have committed to the job fair so far. “The event speaks highly to the quality of students and program associated with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” said Mike Gaul, director of career services for the college. More

Funding Opportunities

Save the Date: ISU Workshop on Writing Winning Grant Proposals, Nov. 2
The Office of Vice President for Research will host the workshop, Writing Winning Grant Proposals, on Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union South Ballroom. Online registration will open soon, and more information will be distributed to CALS departments via email.

ISU 2017-18 Miller Faculty Fellowship Program, Due Dec. 5
The 2017-18 Miller Faculty Fellowship Program will provide up to $15,000 per award for faculty to develop new approaches to teaching existing undergraduate courses or to develop new courses that will enrich the undergraduate experience. Any ISU faculty member may apply. More

NSF Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events, Due Jan. 13
The National Science Foundation’s Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events program supports fundamental, multidisciplinary research on the impact of hazards and disasters on society. The program is multidisciplinary, integrating multiple perspectives, methods and results from diverse areas in engineering, social and natural sciences, and computing areas including sociology, economics, biology, geology and meteorology. Proposals are due Jan. 13. More

NIH NIAID Concept List Signals Potential Funding Opportunities
The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease has released its quarterly list of council-approved concepts. These concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, requests for applications, or solicitations for Council's input. While not all concepts become initiatives, they highlight NIAID's research interests and are good topics for investigator-initiated applications. The most recent round of topics includes antimicrobial resistant infections. 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 (letter of intent): USAID FY 2016-2017 Development Innovation Ventures; $25,000 to $15 million. More

Oct. 26 (letter of intent): NOAA Collaborative Science, Technology and Applied Research Program; $150,000 per year for up to three years. More

Nov. 15 (pre-application): USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative. More

Nov. 30 (pre-proposals required for Integrative Research Grants only): NSF Smart and Connected Communities. More

Dec. 8: USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program; $200,000 for up to three years, 25 percent cost share required. More

Jan. 13: NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources - Development and Implementation Tiers for Engaged Student Learning and Institution and Community Transformation. More

Jan. 13: NSF Biomechanics and Mechanobiology. More

Jan. 25: NIH Support of Competitive Research (SCORE) Pilot Project Award (SC2); $100,000 direct costs per year up to three years. More

Continuous through Jan. 30: NSF Plant Genome Research Program. More

Communications Kiosk

Punctuation Rules for Possessives
For singular nouns not ending in s, add apostrophe s (the horse’s food). For consistency and ease in remembering a rule, also use apostrophe s if a singular noun ends in an s sound (the fox’s den, the justice’s verdict). For singular common nouns ending in s, add apostrophe s unless the next word begins with s (the witness’s answer, the witness’ story). For singular proper names ending in s, use only an apostrophe (Achilles’ heel, Dickens’ novels).  (Associated Press Stylebook, 2015 edition, pg. 213)


Liz Garst to Speak on Corn and Krushchev Tonight, Oct. 3
Liz Garst, granddaughter of Iowa farmers and citizen diplomats Roswell and Elizabeth Garst, will share how Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and his family visited the Garst family farm in 1959 during a talk today, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. The lecture, co-sponsored by CALS, is free and open to the public. More

USDA-FAS Speaker on Opportunities in International Agricultural Development, Oct. 10
Jim Suits, international program specialist in the Trade and Scientific Exchanges Division of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, will speak on “USDA-FAS Programming and Funding Opportunities in International Agricultural Development” on Oct. 10, noon to 12:50 p.m. in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall.

Curbelo to Speak on Planning for Success, Oct. 22
Aurelio Curbelo, director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence at the University of Minnesota, will speak on “Planning for Success” on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Curbelo previously worked as the multicultural liaison officer for CALS and administrator of the George Washington Carver summer research program. The presentation is part of the Puerto Rican Student Association’s Cultural Night.

Colletti and Bern on Panel for Best Practices Workshop on Honors and Awards, Oct. 26
The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost is hosting a best practices workshop for increasing faculty recognition through honors and awards. It will focus specifically on the critical role that departmental and college honors and awards committees play in the nomination process. Panel members include Joe Colletti, CALS senior associate dean, and Carl Bern, agricultural and biosystems engineering. RSVP by Oct. 20 at Learn@ISU

Advancing One Community Award Nominations due Nov. 11
Each January, the ISU community observes the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a campus-wide celebration and the recognition of individuals and groups who have followed King’s principles. The Advancing One Community Awards, coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, recognize recipients’ efforts to create an inclusive university community that embraces justice and equity. Nominations are due Nov. 11.


Robertson to Compete in Ironman
Malcom Robertson, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will be competing in the Ironman competition in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday, Oct. 9. The Ironman competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim course on the Ohio River, followed by a 112-mile bike course that takes athletes outside of Louisville, and concluding with a 26.2-mile run course that ends in downtown Louisville. Robertson, who also is the ISU men’s rugby team coach, began base training in March and a more intense training program in May. At the Leopold Center, Robertson is the leader of the ecology and cross-cutting initiative, which focuses on horticulture, ecology and agricultural economics.

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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