Issue: 984

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Dec. 18, 2017

Top Stories

ISU Discusses Collaborations with Northeast Agricultural University, China
Wendy Wintersteen, ISU president, and Jun Bao, president of the Northeast Agricultural University in China, met Dec. 14 to discuss details about several collaborations between the two universities. Participants in the back row include Don Beerman, animal science department chair; Hongwei Xin, assistant dean of research in CALS; Pat Halbur, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Joe Colletti, interim Endowed Dean of CALS; Hui Li, dean of the Northeast Agricultural University College of Animal Science and Technology; Steve Mickelson, chair of the department of agriculture and biosystems engineering, Denise Bjelland, director of Global Programs-CALS; and Tao Ma, deputy secretary of the College of Literature at Northeast Agricultural University College.

STORIES of Small Science, Big Impact
Small-scale science is featured in the most recent issue of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni magazine STORIES. This issue highlights faculty and staff uncovering scientific breakthroughs through their work in small plots, with small organisms or small molecules. Articles illustrate Iowa State efforts to battle antimicrobial resistance, uncover the secrets of soybean’s root microbiome and inspire future scientists. View STORIES, access extra content and download a PDF online. To be added to the print mailing list or request additional copies e-mail

Happy Holidays from CALS
Enjoy this holiday video limerick from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


Hufford’s Study of Genetic Changes in Corn Provides Historical Insight
Evolutionary bottlenecks brought on by domestication have caused the genome of corn to retain harmful mutations over the course of millennia, according to a new study from Matthew Hufford, ecology, evolution and organismal biology. The study takes a journey through the past by studying genetic changes in corn. More

Teaching and Students

Five Graduating Seniors Presented with CALS Awards
Five graduating seniors were presented with CALS awards during the college’s convocation on Dec. 16. Paige Cannella received the outstanding senior award; Allison Jaeger, distinguished service award; Merritt Polomsky, academic achievement award; Lauren Sendelbach, leadership excellence award; and Taylor Wilkins, outstanding ambassador of agriculture and life sciences award. More

Student Exchange Programs Broaden Student Experiences
Mark Gleason, plant pathology and microbiology, began an exchange program between ISU and the University of Costa Rica in 1999, with students traveling to Costa Rica every other year during spring break. In return, students from Costa Rica traveled to ISU in July. An article by Gleason outlining the benefits of the reciprocal exchange was published in HortTechnology. More

Extension and Outreach

Iowa Farmland Values Increase after Three Years of Decline
The average value of an acre of farmland in Iowa saw an increase in 2017 after three years of decline. The average statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,326. This represents an increase of 2.0 percent from the 2016 estimate. Land values were determined by the 2017 ISU Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and ISU Extension and Outreach. More   

Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Report Available Online
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy Annual Progress Report is now available online. The report provides progress updates on point source and nonpoint source efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads leaving the state. The report was compiled by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at ISU with support from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. More

Crop Advantage Series Offers Production Education and Latest Research Findings
Farmers and crop advisers will hear about current research and crop production information from ISU at the 2018 Crop Advantage Series. The meetings will be held at 14 Iowa locations Jan. 3-26 with ISU Extension and Outreach specialists providing updated management options and recommendations on current and future crop production issues. More

Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute Provides an Overview of 2017
The Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute’s December newsletter provides an overview of events in 2017, from relaunching a sensory evaluation of wines course, to workshops and events, to updates on research projects and student profiles. The newsletter is available online. More

Around the College

Rothschild Honored as Fellow by National Academy of Inventors
Max Rothschild, animal science, has been named a Fellow by the National Academy of Inventors for discoveries in swine genetics that have saved pork producers and processors money and increased meat quality for consumers. Rothschild, a C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Ensminger Endowed Chair of International Agriculture, has been awarded 12 U.S. and several international patents. More

CALS Online: Next Issue Jan. 8
CALS Online will take the next two weeks off for the holidays. It will resume Monday, Jan. 8. Happy holidays.

Research Development Announcements and Funding Opportunities

Summaries from Potential NSF STC Teams due Jan. 15
The Office of the VPR is requesting a project summary from any team interested in applying to the forthcoming NSF Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships Program Solicitation. Release of the solicitation is expected in winter 2018. Each team should submit a one-page summary of the potential center and a separate title page listing the name of the PI and the names and affiliations of all collaborators to by Jan. 15. The NSF STC program is a limited submission opportunity; three applications per organization were allowed in the 2015 solicitation. Contact: Sue Shipitalo ( More

Four BARD Program Applications due Jan. 15
The U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund is accepting applications for four cooperative agricultural research and workshop programs. Applications for the BARD Senior Research Fellowship program, Graduate Student Fellowship program, Workshop program and Vaadia-BARD Postdoctoral Fellowship program are all due by Jan. 15. Applicants should note BARD’s new on-line submission process and formatting requirements. More

USAID Long-term Assistance and Services for Research Concepts due Jan. 24
The United States Agency for International Development plans to invest in a five-year cooperative agreement with a higher education institution to support a project titled “Long-term Assistance and SErvices for Research” (LASER). This cooperative agreement will support the discovery and uptake of university-sourced, evidence-based solutions to development challenges. The anticipated budget includes a ceiling of $70 million, and the period of performance is five years. Concept notes are due Jan. 24. More

Iowa Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications due March 2
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Eligible applicants include Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, and producer, industry and community-based organizations. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Projects must enhance the competitiveness of Iowa-grown specialty crops that benefit the industry as a whole. Budgets are limited to a maximum of $24,000 over 30 months. Multistate projects are also encouraged. More

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

Jan. 12: (requires prior letter of inquiry): Weeden Foundation; biodiversity focus, $20,000, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest.

Feb. 1: Carolyn Foundation; environmental grants for mitigating climate change, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest. More

Feb. 12 (concept papers): ARPA-E OPEN 2018; awards from $500,000 to $10 million, includes renewable energy and bioenergy categories. More

Feb. 15: 2017-2018 Dannon Yogurt, Probiotics and Gut Microbiome Fellowship Grant; graduate students, two awards of $25,000 each.

Feb. 20: Global Probiotic Council Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research; $50,000. More

Feb. 28: Agilent Early Career Professor Award; human microbiome, microbiome-host interactions, interaction between individual microbiome components, completed Ph.D. no earlier than January 2008, contact ISU Foundation ( to express interest. More

March 2 (submission to Sea Grant program): NOAA National Sea Grant College Program 2018 Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes National Aquaculture Initiative; awards up to $750,000, at least 50 percent non-federal matching funds required. More

Communications Kiosk

Change Your Voicemail and Email Messages for Winter Break
If your department is closing over winter break, discuss how to handle incoming phone calls. One option is to direct all departmental calls to one voicemail box to be checked periodically by designated employees during the break. Also change your personal voicemail and email messages. Consider stating the dates you’ll be absent and if you’ll be checking your messages. If necessary, include an off-campus number where you can be reached. Also consider posting holiday hours on your department’s website.

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.


University Nondiscrimination Statement