Issue: 1035

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Dec. 17, 2018

Top Stories

STORIES of George Washington Carver’s Living Legacy
The latest issue of STORIES, the college’s alumni magazine, celebrates the living legacy of George Washington Carver in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This issue of STORIES highlights the faculty, staff and students continuing Carver’s legacy of scientific innovation, mentorship, inclusivity and service. More Request a print copy from


Anti-GMO Sentiment has Repercussions for Developing World
Anti-GMO sentiment may be holding back the progress of farmers in some African countries, but Walter Suza, agronomy, hopes a new study upholding the safety of Bt corn may help policymakers in Africa implement the technology to fight an emergent pest. The review included a risk assessment that found delaying the adoption of genetically modified crops such as Bt corn in the developing world presents risks to both humans and the environment. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Student Selected as Intern for National Livestock Show
Lauren Rosburg, a sophomore majoring in animal science and agriculture communications, was selected as an intern for the 2018 Arizona Livestock National Show held Dec. 26-31 in Phoenix. Her responsibilities will include helping set up for the show, taking photos, talking to people in the barns, managing the Facebook page and writing six feature stories for the show. More

Agronomy Club Students Bring Home Honors from National Conference
Students in the Agronomy Club brought home honors from a national conference in Baltimore, Nov. 4-7. Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences is the undergraduate student program of the Soil Science Society of America with the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America. Anne Dinges received first place in the crops and genetics category of the research poster competition. Hannah Corey and Joshua Krischel were named Greenfield Scholars. Eric Butoto, Katelyn Fritz, Michael Geissinger, Jenna Rasmusson, Shannon Rauter and Jacob Wright were named Golden Opportunity Scholars. Marjorie Hanneman and Alyssa Swehla were elected to the 2019 national officer team as vice president and member relations, respectively. Fritz and Geissinger served as president and member relations, respectively, on the 2018 national officer team.  More

Extension and Outreach

Commodity Prices and Higher Interest Rates Drive Modest Farmland Value Loss
After a reprieve in 2017, commodity prices, interest rates and trade disruptions drove Iowa farmland values down for the fourth time in five years. The average statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,264. Land values were determined by the 2018 Iowa State University Land Value Survey, which was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and ISU Extension and Outreach. Wendong Zhang, economics, led the annual survey. More

ISU Awarded Grant to Continue Hosting Regional Center for Food Safety
ISU has received a nearly $800,000 grant from USDA to continue hosting the North Central Regional Center for FSMA Training, Extension and Technical Assistance to help fruit and vegetable growers and processors comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act across the 12-state region. Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, and Angela Shaw, food science and human nutrition, are leading education efforts for the center. More

ANR Extension Staff Spotlight: Jay Harmon
Jay Harmon is featured in the latest ANR Extension Staff Spotlight. He has been a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and an extension agricultural engineer for more than 25 years. For the last 19 months, he has also served as interim associate dean for agriculture and natural resources extension and outreach. More

Dougherty Joins Extension as Agricultural Engineering Specialist
Brian Dougherty has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as an agricultural engineering specialist. He will work with farmers and producers in the northeast portion of the state. More

New Extension Publications Available
The following publications were added or updated in the ISU Extension Store during November:

Around the College

Xin Honored by University of Nebraska
Hongwei Xin, CALS assistant dean for research, was inducted last month into the Biological Systems Engineering Department Hall of Fame at the University of Nebraska. A Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center, Xin earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Nebraska in 1985 and 1989. More

Takle Contributes to Fourth National Climate Assessment
The Fourth National Climate Assessment, completed in November 2018, is a comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change and its impacts in the United States. Volume two, “Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the United States,” focuses on the human welfare, societal and environmental elements of climate change and variability for 10 regions and 18 national topics. Gene Takle, agronomy, is co-author of the chapter on the Midwest. More Takle spoke about Iowa and a Changing Climate on the Nov. 30 segment of Iowa Land and Sky on Iowa Public Television. More

Leopold Center Focuses on Resiliency in Iowa Agriculture
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will focus on encouraging resiliency in Iowa agriculture, after discussing its future a year and a half after its state funding ended. The center’s advisory board recently made the decision based on feedback from a volunteer external committee, consisting of academic and agricultural professionals familiar with Leopold’s work and the state’s agricultural needs. Center Director Mark Rasmussen said the center’s contributions over the past 30 years have provided and supported research that improved the resilience of Iowa farms and rural communities and, moving forward, enhancing resiliency will remain the priority for the center. The new mission statement is available online.

CALS Online: Next Issue Jan. 7
CALS Online will take the next two weeks off for the holidays. It will resume Monday, Jan. 7. Happy holidays.

Communications Kiosk

Give Good Sound Bites
Journalists rarely quote explanatory statements. The sound bite, however, adds interest and puts things in perspective. Jim Schaeffer of Trent University worked on species at risk in Ontario and wanted the government to update its Endangered Species Act. “When interviewed by a reporter from the Canadian Press, I told him that the Act dated back to 1971 and that ‘During that time, Gordie Howe was still playing hockey, Paul McCartney had just established the group Wings, and Watergate was known only as a hotel. We need new legislation.’ A dozen newspapers, including editorials, picked up this quote,” Schaeffer said. “We made our point, and the government passed new and stronger legislation.” (Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter, Nancy Baron, 2010, pgs. 128-129.)


Proposals Due Feb. 15 for ReACT Exhibition Series
The University Museums, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Senior Vice President for Finance and University Services, invites proposals for the 2019 ReACT Exhibition Series to be resumed at the Christian Petersen Art Museum for fall 2019-2020. Focused on offering engagement opportunities that foster social relevance and address provocative and challenging issues that arise on campus, ReACT exhibitions are intended to be a safe and respectful environment in which to express and explore reactions, opinions and perspectives of national current event issues relevant to the ISU community. Proposals are due Feb. 15. More

CALS Alumnus Featured in Angus Association Documentary
Dave Nichols, an alumnus of CALS, is featured on the American Angus Association’s documentary, “I Am Angus: The Art of Greatness,” on Dec. 24 and Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. on RFD-TV. The documentary features five iconic individuals who have impacted the Angus industry and cattle business. More


Bobeck on the Color of Yolks
Many companies are purging artificial colors from their foods. But colors send important signals about food, and companies aren’t going to stop playing into those perceptions. The color of egg yolks, for example, is primarily determined by carotenoids – naturally occurring pigments in plants – that hens eat, according to Elizabeth Bobeck, animal science, who contributed to the article published by the Associated Press on Dec. 10. It’s easy to change yolk colors by simply altering hens’ diet, she said. 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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