Issue: 939

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Feb. 20, 2016 – No. 939

Top Stories

Charles Hall, Former Horticulture Department Chair, Dies at 93
Charles Hall, chair of the Department of Horticulture from 1974 to 1990, died Feb. 18. He was 93. Hall’s plant breeding research led to the creation of several watermelon varieties, including Crimson Sweet, a seedless watermelon bred for disease resistance and flavor. The Crimson Sweet variety is grown in more than 50 countries. During his tenure at ISU, Hall ushered in major renovations and additions to Horticulture Hall. The $4 million teaching and research greenhouses that opened in 2011 are named in his honor

New CALS Undergraduate Placement Rate: 97.9 Percent
CALS Career Services is reporting an undergraduate placement rate of 97.9 percent for 2015-2016. This is an increase from the 96.7 percent for the previous year. Placement includes students that are employed (82.8 %), furthering their education (14%) or fulfilling military obligations. Eighteen of the 22 CALS majors have placement rates of 95 percent or higher. Mike Gaul, director of career services, said this was the largest graduating class in college history, with 1,070 undergraduates. That’s a 95 percent increase over eight years ago, and includes a 36 percent increase in animal science graduates from the previous year. The percentage of graduates remaining in Iowa for their first employment experience was 66.6 percent. In many years, this number is 70 percent or higher. Gaul said this may be reflective of an increase in out-of-state CALS students and a slight tightening of the job market in Iowa due to economic conditions. Individual departmental numbers can be viewed in this summary. 
Top Employers of CALS Undergraduates, 2015-2016
According to Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services, top employers of CALS students who received their bachelor’s degree from 2015-2016 are: 1) ISU with 19 employed; 2) USDA with 14; 3) Monsanto Company with 13; 4) DuPont Pioneer and Syngenta tied with 9; 6) Cargill and Iowa Select Farms tied with 8; 8) Animal Rescue League of Iowa and John Deere tied with 7; and 10) AgReliant Genetics, HNI, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Smithfield Foods tied with 6 each.


Faculty Lunch/Listen/Learn for ISU Grand Challenge Research Themes, Feb. 22
In an effort to support the ISU strategic plan’s research goal, the Office of the Vice President for Research has worked with the colleges to propose five grand challenge interdisciplinary research themes that focus on meeting the growing challenges confronting the 21st Century. To develop a compelling vision for these themes, feedback is invited at a Lunch/Listen/Learn on Feb. 22 from 12 to 1 p.m. in 13 Curtiss Hall. Lunch will be provided and attendance is limited to 56 people. RSVP to Carla Persaud ( by Feb. 20. For more information, contact Emily Heaton ( or Dan Nettleton (

Teaching and Students

FSHN Professor Highlighted for Black History Month
As a component of programming for Black History Month, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs coordinates the faculty and staff spotlight in February. Shannon Coleman, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, was featured on Feb. 15. The student who nominated Coleman said she is “…passionate about food science and student development.”

Culinary Science Club Featured on ISU’s Homepage
Culinary Boot Camp, where students get a crash course in meal planning, food preparation and more, is just one of the many events put on by ISU’s Culinary Science Club throughout the year. It’s now featured on the ISU homepage banners. Be it an international cuisine cooking demonstration or a dietitian speaking about healthy eating, the club finds inventive ways to engage students.

Extension and Outreach

Current Issues in Nutrition Program to Address GMOs
The spring Current Issues in Nutrition program presented by ISU Extension and Outreach will address “GMOs: What You Need to Know.” Ruth MacDonald, food science and human nutrition, and Nancy Flores, New Mexico State University, will bring nutrition professionals up to date on genetically modified organisms with a review of biotechnology in the food system and the controversy surrounding GMOs. More

Engrossed (Not Grossed Out) by Bugs
The Department of Entomology’s Insect Zoo is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It began as an outreach program to engage kids in the life of insects using a hands-on approach. In 2016, the zoo was featured at 355 events at schools, birthday parties, nursing homes, daycares and fairs, reaching more than 34,000 Iowans. Ginny Mitchell, educational program coordinator for the insect zoo, talked with CALS Communications student intern Summer Bontrager about the 100 species that are part of the insect zoo and the value of insects to Iowa. More

Video Series Highlights History and Function of Cooperatives
The history and function of co-ops is the focus of a five-part video series available through a partnership with the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives. Featuring Keri Jacobs, assistant professor and extension economist, the videos were sponsored by CALS through a gift from CoBank. More

Around the College

Wallace Named CALS Information Technology Manager
David Wallace has been named information technology manager for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Wallace has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from ISU. Following graduation he joined the College of Human Sciences as a systems support specialist, moving to CALS and the Brenton Center in 2010. Wallace has served as interim IT manager since July 2016. He will report to Mark Honeyman, the new associate dean for operations.

CALS Sustainability Lecture Series: Greg Miller to Speak March 1
Greg Miller, National Dairy Council, will present the next lecture in the CALS Sustainability Lecture Series on March 1 at 4:10 p.m. in 2343 Food Science Building. He will speak on “Dairy in Sustainable Food Systems.” Miller joined the National Dairy Council in 1992 and serves as its chief science officer, executive vice president of Research, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs for Dairy Management Inc. and Global Dairy sector lead for Nutritional Security for Global Dairy Platform. The lecture series is organized by the CALS Sustainability Task Force, which explores how the college could become more engaged in sustainable agriculture efforts. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is co-sponsoring Miller’s lecture. More

CALS Co-Sponsors ISU ADVANCE Workshop on Diversity and Inclusion
ISU ADVANCE will host a diversity and inclusion workshop featuring the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble on March 27 at the ISU Alumni Center Ballroom. CITE scenarios are multi-dimensional, revealing the dynamics of diversity issues and the dynamics of human interaction around those issues. Morning and afternoon sessions are available. Pre-register by March 15.

Jacobs Speaks on Bioenergy Feasibility at National Press Club
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics and the USDA Office of the Chief Economist Office of Energy Policy and New Uses hosted a discussion on “American-Made BioEnergy from Field to Refinery: Feedstock Logistics” on Feb. 17 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Keri Jacobs, Iowa Institute for Cooperatives Economics Professor and extension economist, presented on viable strategies for addressing collection efficiency and pricing to improve the viability of commercial-scale cellulosic biomass for biofuels markets. More


Feb. 22: Art Walk – Celebrating the Legacy of George Washington Carver
University Museums is celebrating George Washington Carver through the artwork he has inspired on campus with an art walk on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 12 to 1 p.m., beginning at the southeast entrance of the Food Sciences Building. For nearly 70 years, artists from Christian Petersen to Rose Frantzen have been inspired by Carver to create art that captures the spirit of mentorship, discovery and invention. Their art adds to the legacy of Carver and to the inspiring aesthetic of his alma mater. More

Feb. 28: CALS Cultural Competency Lunch and Learn Series
The next CALS Cultural Competency lunch and learn workshop will be on Feb. 28, 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the CCUR Theatre, 1951 Food Sciences Building. The topic is recognizing and responding to racism and discrimination’s impact on mental and physical health. RSVP by noon on Feb. 27 to Theressa Cooper, CALS assistant dean for diversity,

March 9: CALS Spring Awards Program
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, is scheduled for March 9 at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

April 12-13: Seed and Biosafety Symposium
The Leroy and Barbara Everson Seed and Biosafety Symposium will be held April 12-13 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. This year’s symposium will focus on “Next Generation Agriculture: Emerging Innovations and Opportunities.” More

Funding Opportunities

ISU Council on International Programs, Due April 7
The ISU Council on International Programs has issued its 2018 call for proposals for projects that focus on student global experience. Grants of up to $6,000 will fund individual and group projects led by ISU faculty and staff to help expand the number of students who gain an international perspective through study abroad. The grants can be used to develop new programs or to expand existing programs. Proposals are due April 7. Contact Penni Bryant ( More

FFAR Pollinator Health Fund, Due April 17 
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is requesting proposals for the Pollinator Health Fund. The fund will support research and technology development with impacts on pollinators in agricultural landscape and real-world applications to beekeeping, land management and farming practices. Focus areas include understanding multiple interacting stressors, developing best management practices, technology transfer and outreach and education. Pre-proposals are due April 17. A 1:1 match from non-federal funds is required. More

Limited Submission: Keck Foundation Research Programs, Due May 16
The Office of Vice President for Research is accepting pre-proposals for the W.M. Keck Research Programs: Medical Science and Engineering. This program supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research. Awards are open to tenure track faculty in any department or discipline. Proposals should be novel in their approach, question a prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory or field. Senior and early career investigators are encouraged to apply. Grants of approximately $1 million will be awarded. 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 approved concepts. These concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, requests for applications or solicitations for advisory council input. While not all concepts become initiatives, they highlight NIAID's research interests and are good topics for investigator-initiated applications. The January 2017 list includes Bioinformatics Tools to Make Data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). More

USDA AMS Seeks Local Food Grant Reviewers
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking reviewers to evaluate grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. Each reviewer is expected to contribute 35 to 45 hours and will serve on a three-member team. Apply to become a reviewer by March 20.

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

Mar. 13 (pre-proposal): NFWF Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund; $250,000 for two years, 1:1 match required. More

Mar. 7: Research Data Alliance 2017-2018 Call for Fellows; $10,000 for up to 18 months, eligibility limited to graduate students, postdocs and early career researchers with no more than three years beyond receipt of degree. More

Apr. 1: USAID El Salvador Regional Coastal Biodiversity Project; $17 million for five years. More

Apr. 5: NCR SARE Professional Development Program; $75,000 for up to 36 months. More

Apr. 12: DOD DARPA RadioBio; electromagnetic signaling in biosystems. More

Apr. 13: NCR SARE Graduate Student Grant Program; $12,000 for up to 36 months. More

Communications Kiosk

Do Not Apply Personal Pronouns to Animals
Do not apply a personal pronoun to an animal unless its gender has been established or the animal has a name. The dog was scared; it barked. Rover was scared; he barked. The cat, which was scared, ran to its basket. Susie the cat, who was scared, ran to her basket. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition, pg. 17)


Grocery Industry Launches New Initiative on Product Date Labels
In a new industry-wide effort to reduce consumer confusion about product date labels and help consumers cut food waste, grocery manufacturers and retailers have adopted standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products. “BEST If Used By” describes product quality, where the product may not taste or perform as expected but is safe to use or consume. “USE By” applies to the few products that are highly perishable and/or have a food safety concern over time. These products should be consumed by the date listed on the package and disposed of after that date. The initiative for common phrasing is led by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.


The Furrow Focuses on Optimism
“The Farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.” This quote by Will Rogers is on the front page of the February issue of The Furrow, published by Deere & Company. The Furrow’s special issue on optimism includes stories with examples of farmers helping farmers, educating the public, preserving their environments – stories with a happy ending. More

Life on a Hobby Farm
Hobby farms have been sprouting up across the country in steady numbers, according to an article in the Feb. 11 issue of The New York Times. They have been particularly popular among retirees or people close to retiring who are looking to remain productive as they age while fulfilling lifelong passions or tackling new endeavors. 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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