New Report Highlighting Value of Ag Innovation Features Iowa State University Research

Cover of Innovation to Profit report

AMES, Iowa — A new national report on agricultural science, “Innovation to Profit: A Retaking the Field Publication, volume 5,” focuses on the importance of federally funded agricultural research to strengthen agriculture’s bottom line and features collaborative efforts at Iowa State University and around the country.

“These investments result in other strong returns, including a more abundant food supply, lower costs for consumers, and improved economies in rural America,” according to the May 2020 report issued by the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation.

The publication provides powerful examples of research and extension that help reduce producers' costs and risks, increase profits and lay the groundwork for new products and industries. These include several USDA-funded collaborations led by or involving researchers from Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

  • Raising Resilient Pigs (page 9) - Discovery of a genetic marker in pigs associated with resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is helping animal breeders develop PRRS-resistant pigs. Researchers on this project include Jack Dekkers, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and professor of animal science.  
  • Collaborating on Corn (page 29) - The Sustainable Corn Project, from 2011-17, aimed at helping Corn Belt farmers become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The regional collaboration and research partnership was led by Lois Wright Morton, professor of sociology emeritus, and Lori Abendroth, project manager.
  • Saving Soybeans (page 30) – A multidisciplinary research and extension project is developing new tools to combat oomycete diseases in soybeans. Alison Robertson, professor of plant pathology and microbiology and ISU Extension and Outreach field pathologist, is leading Iowa State’s efforts.  
  • Elevating Water Management (page 36) - The Transforming Drainage project integrated research, education and extension to improve drainage strategies and implement water storage solutions for crop producers. The five-year effort was led by agricultural and biosystems engineering faculty and staff Matt Helmers, holder of the Dean's Professorship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Iowa Nutrient Research Center director; Lori Abendroth, program manager; and Giorgi Chighladze, systems analyst.

“We are proud to see the good research work going on at ISU’s College of Agriculture recognized again this year in SoAR’s national report,” said Joe Colletti, senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. “Continued innovation and deployment here and at our partner universities depends on federal support, so we appreciate SoAR’s role in highlighting our accomplishments and their value to Iowa’s producers and agricultural industry.”

The “Innovation to Profit” report is published by the national SoAR (Supporters of Agricultural Research) Foundation, in partnership with the FedByScience communications initiative. Sponsors include the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.


About the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation
The SoAR Foundation leads a non-partisan coalition representing more than 6 million farming families, 100,000 scientists, hundreds of colleges and universities, as well as consumers, veterinarians, and others that educate stakeholders about the importance of food and agricultural research to feed America and the world. SoAR supports increased federal investments to create agricultural solutions that improve public health, strengthen national security and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness.

About FedByScience
FedByScience is a collective communications initiative to raise the visibility of public investment in food and agricultural research. Its 20 participating universities are joining together to tell impactful and inspiring stories about food and agricultural research.