#CALSproud COVID-19 Response

Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence

We are #CALSproud of all our faculty, staff and students who are finding innovative ways to excel and overcome challenges during this time of uncertainty and change. Below are some examples of the extraordinary efforts happening throughout the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Feel free to share other efforts happening in your department via email to stories@iastate.edu or use #CALSproud in your social media posts. Let us all lift up and celebrate our awesome college!

June 29, 2020 - #CALSproud COVID-19 Response

Germplasm licensing service continues amid COVID-19 pandemic

With soybean farmers across the United States relying on access to non-GMO soybean varieties from the Iowa State University Research Foundation, Inc., Iowa State leadership acted fast to ensure critical services such as the Germplasm Licensing Program remained open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This continuation of services is a collaborative effort among the ISURF, the Committee for Agricultural Development, the Iowa Crop Improvement Association and the Department of Agronomy.

For many years, soybean breeders in the agronomy department have been releasing high yielding non-GMO soybean varieties with unique traits that are in high demand with growers and consumers across North America and with Asian market international traders. When Iowa State announced in March all classes would be moved online and employees would be working from home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, growers became concerned about how they would access seeds from the Germplasm Licensing Program.

Members of the four entities kept in touch with growers this spring to communicate where seed could be picked up and which soybean varieties would be best for particular uses. Kevin Scholbrock, CAD superintendent, worked with growers to find the best way to receive their Iowa State seed shipment while minimizing contact to protect the farmers from potential spread of the virus.

Just as growers were busy planting their crops, CAD seed production staff were in the fields planting 2020 Iowa State seed ordered by licensees and new soybean varieties released by Iowa State plant breeders. ISURF facilitated the licensing agreements process to prevent targeted planting date delays.

Additionally, ICIA planted soybeans and corn at multiple Iowa Crop Performance Trial locations across Iowa. The crop tests provide unbiased comparisons among a large number of varieties submitted by seed producers and/or distributors, allowing all to evaluate competitiveness of Iowa State’s varieties.

June 22, 2020 - #CALSproud COVID-19 Response

ABE teaching lab coordinator making desk shields for campus community

plexiglass desk shieldHoa Chi, an agricultural and biosystems engineering teaching lab coordinator, has been creating Plexiglass desk shields to help minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 when on campus. As of now, Chi has about 50 to 60 requests for desk shields and has offered to make them for others within the Iowa State community. Read more about the desk shields here

May 5, 2020 - #CALSproud COVID-19 Response

Rice donation

Group of men pictured during rice donation

On Saturday, May 2, the Iowa State University - Uganda Program delivered 1,400 Kg of rice to the Kamuli District Anti-COVID-19 task force.