Issue: 941

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
March 6, 2017

Top Stories

New Report Highlights ISU Research, Calls for Stronger Federal Support
ISU and 10 other research universities have joined the Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation to call for stronger federal support of the food and agricultural sciences. Their new report, Retaking the Field – Strengthening the Science of Farm and Food Production, explores research projects funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative at each institution. The report outlines ISU research led by Hongwei Xin and colleagues, who developed adaptation for cage-free egg production systems that improve indoor-air quality and allow more farmers to respond to consumer demand by adapting cage-free systems. Xin, agricultural and biosystems engineering, is director of the Egg Industry Center, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor and the Iowa Egg Council endowed professor. More

CALS Faculty, Staff Honored at Spring Awards Program Thursday, March 9
You are encouraged to attend the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Spring Awards Program, honoring faculty and staff achievements, on Thursday, March 9, at 4:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Answers will be provided to the following questions.

  • Who simulated an activity called “A Day in the Life of an African Woman” to help students’ understanding of their curriculum?
  • Who had a hand in heifer development programs that has provided more than $1 million per year in economic impact?
  • Who gave a recommendation to crop farmers that in return saves more than $10 million annually in Iowa?
  • Who was the first scientist outside of Japan to be awarded a grant from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry?
  • Who manages 27,000 square feet of greenhouses and 31 growth chambers?


CALS Agronomists Show Nitrogen Fertilizer Plays Role in Soil Health
Newly published research from ISU agronomists Michael Castellano and Hanna Poffenbarger, shows that nitrogen fertilizer plays an essential role in maintaining soil carbon in corn and soybean fields. Adequate soil carbon is one of the most important metrics of soil health. More

Bradbury Talks with WHO TV about Saving the Monarch Butterfly
Steven Bradbury, natural resource ecology and management and Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, talked with WHO TV about research taking place to make sure new recommended programs will help improve the habitat of monarchs. The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium released a science based strategy to bring back monarch butterflies, to work with agriculture production and involve farmers. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Students Travel to Great Britain to Study Brexit
Terry Alexander and Amy Brandau, economics, will take 20 students to England and Scotland this month to learn about the potential implications of the country’s Brexit vote. As part of the CALS study abroad program, students will spend 10 days over spring break focused on how Brexit will impact trade and the economy. More

Student Organic Farm Meeting Tonight, March 6
The ISU Student Organic Farm is holding an information meeting tonight, March 6, 5 to 7 p.m. in 1022 Agronomy Hall. SOF is a student-run Community Supported Agriculture farm that provides members with a box of produce every week throughout the summer.
Three CALS Students Win National Pork Industry Scholarships
The National Pork Producers Council awarded three of 10 scholarships to CALS students on March 2 at its annual business meeting. Lexi Marek, senior in public service and administration in agriculture, Mitchell Juhl, senior in agricultural business, and Mary Heiller, junior in animal science, each received a $2,500 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, meant for student who intend to pursue careers in the pork industry. More

Extension and Outreach

Herbicide Effectiveness Focus of 2016 Weed Control Results
Results of ISU’s 2016 weed science research are now available through the ISU Extension Store. “Weed Science Program 2016 Weed Control Results” was authored by agronomists and extension scientists Mike Owen, Bob Hartzler, Damian Franzenburg, James Lee and Iththiphonh Macvilay.

Top 13 Vegetables for Donation to Food Pantries
A new ISU Extension and Outreach publication provides information on the type of vegetables food pantries are most in need of. Cindy Haynes, horticulture, is the author of “Top 13 Vegetables to Donate to Food Pantries.” More  

Preparing Gardeners for the Upcoming Season
ISU Extension and Outreach has a variety of resources that can help prepare beginning or experienced gardeners for the upcoming season. The publications are all available through the ISU Extension Store. More

Around the College

Open Forum March 22 to Provide Input into New CALS Strategic Plan
An open forum for faculty, staff and students to provide input into the new CALS strategic plan will be held March 22 in the CCUR Theatre (1951 Food Sciences Building). The forum will begin at noon and end at 2 p.m. Also in development is a website where faculty, staff and students can provide online input. Ruth MacDonald, food science and human nutrition, is chairing the CALS Strategic Plan Committee that will be drafting the college’s new plan. Other members of the committee are: Valeria Cano-Camacho, agronomy; Carolyn Dill, GDCB: Jay Harmon, ABE; John Krzton-Presson, horticulture; Ebby Luvaga, economics; Steven Lonergan, animal science; Jeanne Serb, EEOB; Greg Tylka, plant pathology and microbiology; and Brian Meyer, CALS Communications.
Hershey Executive is Next CALS Sustainability Lecturer on March 30
Deborah Arcoleo, director of Product Transparency for the Hershey Co., will give the next presentation in the CALS Sustainability Lecture Series on March 30 at 4:10 p.m. in the Leonard and Evelyn Dolezal Auditorium, Curtiss Hall. Her speech is titled:  The Changing Consumer and the Transparency Imperative. Arcoleo is responsible for leading the company's efforts to meet consumers’ and other audiences’ demands for product information. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Indiana University and a master’s degree in organization design and effectiveness from Fielding Graduate University. More

CALS Faculty and Staff to be Recognized Tonight by 25 Year Club
CALS faculty and staff who will be recognized at the 25 Year Club Banquet tonight, March 6, are: Linda Ambrosio, BBMB; Eduarda Becerra, Global Ag Programs; Joan Cunnick, animal science; Alan Dispirito, BBMB; Thomas Harrington, plant pathology and microbiology; Peter Lawlor, horticulture; Kim North, Seed Science Center; Carl Pederson, ABE; Nicholas Piekema, research farms; John Reinhart, research farms; Donald Sakaguchi, GDCB; Josie Six, CALS administration; Chris Tuggle, animal science; and Howard Tyler, CALS student services. The following individuals will be honored for 35 years at the university: Kim Gaul, horticulture; Robert Horton, agronomy; Ramesh Kanwar, ABE; Allen Knapp, agronomy; Paul Lasley, sociology; and Yuh Yuan Shyy, Seed Science Center. Gene Takle, agronomy, will be honored for 45 years with the university.

Ag Startup Engine at Research Park Receives Commitment from Venture Capital Firm
The Ag Startup Engine, an initiative at the ISU Research Park, has attracted an investment from Next Level Ventures, a Des Moines venture capital firm. The Ag Startup Engine was created to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful in Iowa: early seed stage investment and organized mentorship from successful Iowans. More
Thorn Honored as Outstanding Alumni by Ag Business Club
The ISU Agricultural Business Club selected Sarah Fiedler Thorn to receive its Outstanding Alumni Award at the club’s annual award banquet on March 4. Thorn spent much of her career working for DuPont Pioneer, ascending through the company’s government relations group. In 2014, she established Thorn Consulting Group, LLC, a boutique consulting firm designed to meet client needs in understanding and addressing public policy trends. More

Retired BBMB Faculty Member John Robyt Dies at 82
John Robyt, a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology from 1967 until his retirement in 2015, died Feb. 25. He was 82. Robyt’s groundbreaking research led him to be featured in numerous professional publications and two textbooks, including Essentials of Carbohydrate Chemistry. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Ames Minor Hockey Association. More

CALS Online: Next Issue March 20
CALS Online will not be published on March 13, the week of spring break. The newsletter will resume Monday, March 20.


March 31: CALS ADVANCE Faculty Workshops
Two CALS ADVANCE faculty workshops are scheduled for March 31 in the Memorial Union Gallery. The sessions will be facilitated by Nancy Wayne, professor of physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and associate vice chancellor for research. Wayne also is founding president of Women Advancing Together that brings practical, goal-oriented and problem-solving workshops to professionals, students and administrators to help overcome barriers in their careers. The morning workshop, 9 to 11 a.m., is on the need for self-promotion. The afternoon workshop, 1 to 3 p.m., is on work-life balance. Register for one or both workshops by March 21 by emailing Carla Persaud,

Funding Opportunities

Mini-Grant Funding Opportunity in Digital Agriculture
The National Science Foundation recently awarded a Midwest “Big Data Spoke” project award to investigators from the University of North Dakota, Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State University to advance Big Data management and analysis essential to sustainable global food security. One of the project objectives is harmonizing and automating big data lifecycles in plant sciences, phenomics and genomics. To that end, UNL and ISU are launching a mini-grant funding opportunity to address data challenges associated with digital agriculture. Four awards per year for two years are anticipated, funding a total of eight teams with grants of up to $5,000 each. Proposals are due by April 10. More

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

Mar. 15, Sept. 15 (letter of inquiry): The Eppley Foundation for Research – Support for Advanced Scientific Research; $5,000 to $20,000; medical, endangered species and ecosystems, climate change. More

April 11: USDA Supplemental and Alternative Crops (SACC) - Canola; $210,000 over three years. More 

April 25: USDA Methyl Bromide Transition. More

June 15 (pre-proposals): DOD-Air Force FY 2018 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program; $50,000 to $1.5 million. More

June 16 (pre-proposals): DOD-Army FY 2018 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program; $50,000 to $1.5 million. More

Communications Kiosk

Associated Press Recommends “Humanity” Rather than “Mankind”
“Man” or “mankind” may be used when both men and women are involved and no other term is convenient. In these cases, do not use duplicate phrases such as “a man or a woman” or “mankind and womankind.” Frequently, however, the best choice is a substitute such as “humanity,” “a person” or “an individual.” (Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition, pg. 166)


Help Shape Grand Challenge Research Areas at ISU Faculty Research Day
ISU Faculty Research Day will be March 21, 1 to 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Participants will have the opportunity to celebrate the university’s research accomplishments, exchange ideas, discover connections and help create the future of Iowa State’s interdisciplinary grand challenge research areas. Also, faculty are invited to present their research, scholarship or creative activity in timed lightening talks, poster sessions and displays and exhibits. Registration is available online.

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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