Issue: 1025

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
October 15, 2018

Top Stories

2018 World Food Prize Focuses on Rising to the Challenge
The 2018 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue, Oct. 17-19 in Des Moines, will focus on “Rise to the Challenge.” It will explore the massive effort to feed the 9.5 billion people expected by 2050. The still undefined ability to feed the projected world population requires the attention of problem-solvers across stakeholder groups. Failing to meet this challenge will impact the entire world population, not just the hungry. More Events related to the World Food Prize taking place on campus or involving CALS or ISU faculty and staff are listed below. An agenda and list of side events are available on the World Food Prize website.

World Food Prize: Iowa Hunger Summit, Oct. 15
The annual Iowa Hunger Summit is being held at the downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel today, Oct. 15. The CALS Global Resource Systems program will be presenting a student breakout session on creating school gardens to combat hunger. More

World Food Prize: Norman Borlaug Lecture, Oct. 15
The 2018 World Food Prize Laureates will present the Norman Borlaug Lecture today, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Lawrence Haddad, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and David Nabarro, who had a long career at the United Nations before retiring last year, will present “Why Good Nutrition Should Be a Global Priority and How to Make It So.” President Wendy Wintersteen will moderate the conversation. A reception and the 17th annual Norman Borlaug Lectureship Poster Competition for graduate and undergraduate students will precede the lecture at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union South Ballroom. More

World Food Prize: Governor’s Reception, Oct. 17
Iowa’s leading role in food and agriculture innovation, with special emphasis on the agricultural startup ecosystem in Iowa, will be highlighted at the Governor’s Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Tea Room in Des Moines. President Wendy Wintersteen will speak at the event, which is co-hosted by ISU. More

World Food Prize: Global Youth Institute, Oct. 17-20
The World Food Prize Global Youth Institute is scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 17-20, in Des Moines. CALS faculty and staff are regularly involved in the Global Youth Institute as distinguished global leaders in science, industry and policy, working with 200 top students from around the world who have an interest in global food security issues. In addition, a number of ISU students volunteer time and serve as interns to help run the annual event. More

Seed Science Center Documentary to Debut at World Food Prize
Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center, commissioned a documentary film to inspire and engage the youth who will be tomorrow’s agricultural leaders, and to help the public better understand the opportunities and potential of agriculture and understand the many ways seeds impact them in their everyday lives. Parts of the film will debut at the World Food Prize in Des Moines this week and at venues in India.


Keiser on the Uncertain Benefits of U.S. Water Quality Policy
Investments to decrease pollution in rivers, lakes and other surface waters have constituted one of the largest environmental expenditures in U.S. history. The investments come from the 1972 Clean Water Act and the largely voluntary efforts to control pollution from agriculture and urban runoff. David Keiser, economics, is co-author of a study published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that reviews the methods and conclusions of about 20 recent evaluations of these policies. Most analyses estimate that these policies’ benefits are much smaller than their costs. The authors conclude that it is unclear whether many of these regulations truly fail a benefit-cost test, or whether existing evidence understates their net benefits. Co-authors include Catherine Kling, Cornell University, and Joseph Shapiro, University of California Berkeley. More

Iowa Nutrient Research Center Funds 16 New Water Quality Projects
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at ISU has funded 16 new water quality and nutrient management projects for 2018-19. The projects represent approximately $1.7 million in funding for water quality research. This is the center’s sixth year of funding research. More

Danfoss Provides Gift to ABE to Purchase and Install Dynamometer
The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering held a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 5 for a new testing facility that will house state-of-the-art equipment, help prepare students in ABE for the workforce and advance research that leads to new engineering technologies. Danfoss Power Solutions has committed more than $1.8 million to the facility. The gift will allow the university to purchase and install a $1.2 million off-road vehicle chassis dynamometer. More

ASA Highlights Work by Isenhart and Jaynes on Saturated Buffers
The American Society of Agronomy has highlighted the innovative work on saturated buffers led by Tom Isenhart, natural resource ecology and management, and Dan Jaynes, a USDA-ARS researcher, in the article “Boxing up ag field nitrogen.” The team developed this conservation best management practice, engineered to route water from subsurface drainage tiles into vegetated streamside buffers so the water, which may be high in nitrogen, can be filtered before flowing into waterways. The practice has now been incorporated into the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and gained interest from other states that have nutrient challenges related to tile drainage. Funding for research and development of saturated buffers came from the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State, as well as other state and federal sources. More

Agronomists’ Research States Tillage in Soybeans Not Necessary
Whether to invest in tillage is an important decision in soybean production. In a recent study by Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Sotirios Archontoulis and David Kwaw-Mensah, agronomy, the researchers compared the yield and economic return in soybean production for various tillage systems. Their research report states that tillage in soybeans is not necessary. More

Teaching and Students

More Than 850 Interviews Conducted after Career Day
Last week after Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day, employers conducted 854 interviews with students on campus. The job fair attracted 277 organizations and approximately 2,300 students, including students from nine other schools. The number of organizations ties the mark for the largest event ever, said Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services. “Another strong indicator of the demand for our students and the respect the industry has for our programs.” More than 620 student photos for Linked In profiles were taken by CALS Communications.

Masters of Science in Agronomy Distance Program Celebrates 20 Years
The Master of Science in Agronomy distance education program is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The program evolved as an outcome of a 1995 survey of CALS alumni. The majority of survey respondents indicated a need for a flexible, integrated, advanced degree program in agronomy for professional and personal advancement. The program was pilot tested in early 1998. Today, the average number of active students is 165, with at least 100 students taking courses any given semester. In this 20th year the program will celebrate its 200th graduate. More

IPPA Intern Authors Publication on Gene Editing
Josie Burgett, a senior in agricultural business and international agriculture, served as a summer intern at the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Burgett authored the summer 2018 issue of Iowa Pork Producer Headlines, focused on gene editing and how it can change pork production. More

Extension and Outreach

Leopold Center Presents Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has honored an agricultural policymaker and a conservation-minded farmer with its Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture. Paul Johnson, who co-wrote Iowa’s landmark Groundwater Protection Act as a state legislator, and Seth Watkins, who farms sustainably near Clarinda, will be presented the award at the 2019 Iowa Water Conference, scheduled for March 12-13, in Ames. More

October Webinar to Discuss Wet Spots as Hot Spots
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on understanding and managing nitrogen losses from wet soil landscapes in Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 12 p.m. Steven Hall, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, will present. More

Iowa Organic Conference Highlights Robust Organic Growth
The 18th annual Iowa Organic Conference, a joint effort between ISU and the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability, will be held on Nov. 18-19 in Iowa City. Producers and experts from across the country will share tips for transitioning into organic production and methods to enhance organic operations. “The market for organic products in the United States reached $50 billion in 2017,” said Kathleen Delate, professor and extension organic specialist in horticulture and agronomy. More

Around the College

New Workday Workshops in October and November
Eight workshops on four Workday topics are coming up in October and November – Resignation through Separation (Oct. 16 and Nov. 8), Compensation (Oct. 18 and Oct. 24), Job Change/Costing Allocations (Oct. 30 and Nov. 27) and Onboarding (Nov. 8 and Nov. 29). In an Oct. 9 email, Joe Colletti, interim endowed dean, asked faculty and staff to consider attending the workshops to gain more information on the systems under development and how they will operate. Most of the workshops are high-level introductions to these topics, not hands-on instructional training opportunities. Those are yet to come. Register for the workshops at Learn@ISU.


Oct. 18: Cultural Competency Lunch and Learn Series
The CALS Office for Diversity Programs is continuing its cultural competency lunch and learn series on Thursday, Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in 368A Heady Hall. Adrienne Lyles, associate director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, will present “Understanding and Addressing Discrimination in the Classroom and Campus Environment.” Lunch will be served. Please RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Oct. 29: Errington Memorial Lecture
The Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture will be held Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota and professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, will present “Lion Conservation on a Crowded Continent.” Co-sponsors of the lecture include CALS; agronomy; ecology, evolution and organismal biology; natural resource ecology and management; and the ecology and evolutionary biology program. More

Communications Kiosk

Before Sending that Email, Do Three Things
Crafting a good email can be as important as giving a good presentation or writing a successful business proposal. In the Oct. 15 issue of Advancement Weekly, published by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Stephanie Vozza offers three recommendations to ensure you don’t make serious missteps in your email correspondence. More

  • Wait 60 seconds and reread before hitting send.
  • Take out fillers and disqualifiers.
  • Convey the right tone.


Census of Agriculture Website Integrated into NASS Website
The Census of Agriculture website has been fully integrated into USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service website to provide access to all NASS data in the same visit. Merging the two websites also improves search capabilities for census information. Other improvements to the NASS website include data visualization. The growing body of NASS data that can be depicted in interactive form shows patterns, trends and correlations for key commodities and agricultural resources. More


Retired Entomology Professor Goes Sky Diving for 85th Birthday
Wayne Rowley, retired entomology professor, jumped out of a plane to celebrate his 85th birthday this summer. He said the tandem jump - and the subsequent 2-mile free fall - was pure bliss. Rowley had a 40-year teaching career at ISU and still attends and gives lectures on campus. A scholarship in his name is awarded to one Iowa State entomology student each year. 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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