Issue: 1075

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Oct. 7, 2019

Top Stories

CALS Alum Impacting Agricultural Industry in D.C.
Molly Foley graduated from ISU in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and public service and administration. She has since earned a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is currently director of intergovernmental affairs and public engagement for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, part of the Executive Office of the President. Foley was recently featured on the sociology department website where she talked about the PSA major, now called agriculture and society. More On Sept. 16, Foley visited her home department of sociology and met with undergraduates majoring in agriculture and society to discuss career pathways and share her experiences working in public policy.


New Study Details the Benefits of Updating Agricultural Drainage Infrastructure
Massive networks of drains, pipes and tiles that enable food production on much of the world’s most productive cropland are due for expansion and replacement to meet the demands of agricultural intensification and climate change. How that infrastructure is updated will have enormous consequences on food production and the environment, according to a new study co-authored by Michael Castellano and Sotirios Archontoulis, agronomy, and Matthew Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. More

EEOB Research: Corn and Soybean Rotation and Long-term Tradeoffs for Soil Health
A new study led by Steven Hall, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, examines the mechanisms that drive the decomposition of organic matter in soils that undergo long-term corn and soybean crop rotations. The study shows how corn and soybean rotations can provide important environmental and management benefits for farmers, but the practice also comes with tradeoffs that some farmers may wish to address by adjusting their management practices. More

INRC Video: Making Cover Crops Work
A new Iowa Nutrient Research Center video, "The Right Strategies: Making Cover Crops Work for Iowa Farmers and Water Quality" features INRC Director Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering, Mark Licht, agronomy and Extension cropping systems specialist, and Alison Robertson, plant pathology and microbiology and Extension field crop pathologist. The three share highlights of INRC-funded research projects aimed at overcoming some of the barriers to cover cropping in Iowa. The 8-minute video is on the INRC homepage. 

Teaching and Students

CALS Student, Alum Selected for World Food Prize Carver Intern Program
A CALS student and alum have been selected for the George Washington Carver Intern program through the World Food Prize Foundation. Megan Adam, senior in agriculture and society, and Aryaa Regmi, ’19 global resource systems and environmental studies, will learn first-hand the public and private side of operating an international nonprofit organization and increase their understanding of the international fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. More

FundISU: Support Sought for Block and Bridle National Convention
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched in support of the Block and Bridle Club. ISU will host the 100th National Block and Bridle Convention in Ames on April 2-5, 2020. Iowa State’s club was one of four inaugural clubs to become a chapter in 1919. Contributions on FundISU, the crowdfunding site on the ISU Foundation website, will be used to fund speakers and tours. The goal is $5,000 and the campaign runs through Oct. 20. More

Teaching Tips Available from the NACTA Journal
“New teachers welcome help with developing their teaching style. Established teachers need new, fresh ideas for their teaching, or they need to be reminded of some concepts they may have forgotten in the daily routine of teaching. Sometimes teachers just need to read something encouraging.” With these words, Rick Parker, editor of the NACTA Journal for 16 years, introduced a collection of teaching tips and notes published by North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. Extra copies of the publication are available from the department of agricultural education and studies on a first come, first served basis. Contact Suzanne Showalter ( to have a copy sent through campus mail, or to pick up in Curtiss 206B.

Extension and Outreach

New Podcast Series is Resource for Agricultural Educators
“Welcome to Class” is a new serial podcast by ANR Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program. The series examines a wide array of agricultural topics and shares tips on how best to illustrate, explain and teach these topics from a classroom perspective. More

New Publication to Help Fish Farmers Improve Leadership Skills
To help fish farmers improve their leadership skills, ISU Extension and Outreach and the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center have published a fact sheet called “Leadership Development Training for Aquaculture Producers.” The two-page publication was written by Carole Engle, a nationwide leader in aquaculture, and explains why fish producers need to become the spokespeople for their industry. Joe Morris, natural resource ecology and management, is director of the NCRAC, which is located in CALS. More

Muscatine Island Research Farm to Hold Sand Prairie Cleanup Day
One of the unique assets of ISU’s Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm, located along the Mississippi River in southeast Iowa, is a remnant sand prairie. This natural landscape is home to rare plant species and wildlife, including prickly pear cactus and sand bur-reed. However, the sand prairie has become invaded over time by several species of trees, including cedar, sumac and elm. To make better use of this property, a cleanup day is planned for Oct. 12. More

Around the College

College Announces Finalists for Chair of Animal Science
CALS has announced five finalists for chair of the department of animal science. At 2 p.m. on the first day of each candidate’s interview, a one-hour public seminar will be held in the Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee Hall. The seminars will be recorded and made available online. Each candidate’s application materials are also available online, along with an electronic evaluation form for feedback. More

  • Oct. 28-29: Michael Orth, chair and professor, department of animal and food sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
  • Oct. 30-31: Richard Coffey, chair, department of animal and food sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.
  • Nov. 5-6: Mark Boggess, director, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Neb.
  • Nov. 7-8: Joseph Cassady, professor and head, department of animal science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.
  • Nov. 13-14: Daniel Thomson, Jones Professor of Production :Medicine and Epidemiology in Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State  University, Manhattan, Kan.

Isenhart and Johnson Receive Kolmer Research Award
Tom Isenhart, natural resource ecology and management, and Anna Johnson, animal science, received the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research at the CALS convocation in September. The award honors faculty or staff who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of Iowans through research. More

FMC Partners with Iowa Soybean Research Center
FMC has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center as an industry partner. In this role, FMC will have a representative on the ISRC’s industry advisory council, which provides guidance on research priorities for the center. More

CALS Announces New Staff at Research Farms
CALS has announced that the Muscatine Island Research Farm in Fruitland and the Southeast Research Farm in Crawfordsville will be sharing staff. Agricultural specialists Dominic Snyder and Cody Schneider, and superintendent Myron Rees, will co-manage the two research farms. Chad Hesseltine has been hired as an agricultural specialist and will be working at both farms as well. At the Northeast Research Farm in Nashua, Shannon Hoyle was hired in June as an agricultural specialist. More  

ABE’s Latest Impact Report Available Online
The 2018-2019 Impact Report for the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is available online. Recently, the department’s undergraduate program was ranked second overall, and second among public universities, for best undergraduate agricultural and biosystems engineering program in the nation. Its graduate program remains number one in the rankings. In this edition of the impact report, they share the work behind those rankings. More

CALS United Way Online Auction Starts Today
The CALS-sponsored online auction to raise money for the 2019 ISU United Way Campaign started today, Oct. 7. Bids on auction items will be accepted through Thursday, Oct. 11. An email will be sent with more information.

Save the Date: Town Hall Meeting on Oct. 15
CALS will hold a town hall meeting for all college faculty and staff on Oct. 15 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Dolezal Auditorium in Curtiss Hall, Room 127. Feel free to bring your lunch. Beverages and cookies will be provided. Dean Dan Robison will provide a welcome and remarks. Key topics will be enrollment, budget and future plans for the college. Bring your questions, comments and ideas.  

CALS Award Nomination Deadline Nov. 19
Nominations for awards presented by CALS are due Nov. 19. The list of college awards and nominating guidelines are available online. They will be reviewed by the CALS Awards Committee during December and presented during the annual CALS Awards Ceremony, scheduled for March 24. Nominations for most awards presented by ISU need to be submitted to the college first. The college deadline for university award nominations is Nov. 19. The CALS Awards Committee will review and forward the best two to three nominations for each award. The list of university awards and nominating guidelines are available online. University awards are presented at the ISU Fall Convocation in September. The award page on the CALS website provides a complete list of awards available, frequently asked questions and a list of past recipients. Contact your departmental awards committee for additional information.


Oct. 8: CALS Career Day
The Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Day is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center. More than 260 employers will be present, including at least 30 new organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Sugar Corporation, J.R. Simplot, Scripps Research Institute and other life sciences firms and employers. “This is the largest event of its kind in the country,” said Mike Gaul, director of CALS Career Services. “It’s as plain as day that these companies hold our students in incredibly high regard.” The career fair is open to all ISU students and alumni as well as the general public. More

Oct. 10: Feeding the World Seminar Series
The Feeding the World seminar series continues Thursday, Oct. 10, at 3:40 to 5 p.m. in 1204 Kildee Hall, Ensminger Room. Jos Van Orshoven, dean of the faculty of Bioscience Engineering at the University of Leuven in Belgium, will present “The European Union’s Scheme for Support to Farmers in Areas with Natural Constraints to Agriculture.”

Oct. 12: Bacon Expo
The annual Bacon Expo will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Organized by CALS students, the Bacon Expo is a family focused event where participants can sample creative bacon treats and enjoy live entertainment and educational displays about the pork industry. More

Oct. 13: Seeds: Diversity of Wonder
A screening of “Seeds: Diversity of Wonder,” a six-part documentary produced by the ISU Seed Science Center, will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. Thor Hanson, biologist, Guggenheim Fellow, Switzer Environmental Fellow and award-winning author of “The Triumph of Seeds,” is featured in the film and will be present at the screening to discuss his research and writing on the natural and human history of seeds. This presentation is in partnership with the Seed Science Center’s 2019 Everson Global Seed Symposium on Oct. 14-15. More


Mosher on Solar-Powered Dehydrator
In an Oct. 1 article for, Gretchen Mosher, agricultural and biosystems engineering, comments on a solar-powered dehydrator that could help small farmers reduce food waste. “If it takes energy and takes resources that folks don’t have to use or to burn, they’re not going to use it,” she said. “And it will just become one of those projects that the Western people come in and develop and then it sits there after they leave.” 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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