Issue: 1081

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Nov. 18, 2019

Top Stories

College Website Features New Landing Page for Research
The CALS website now includes a new landing page for research, CALS Research Advances, designed to showcase the diversity and caliber of research going on in our college with a more visual presence that reflects recent CALS website updates. Find the new landing page at the “Research” button at the top of the CALS homepage. Features include short highlights of noteworthy projects, CALS research-related stats, an automatically updating set of current CALS research news stories and links to departmental research pages. If you have comments or questions, contact Ann Robinson in the CALS Communications Service,, 4-3066. More


Multi-purpose Oxbows Effective for Nutrient Reduction
New research shows that “multi-purpose oxbows” can effectively reduce nitrate-nitrogen, earning them a spot in the Iowa Nutrient Research Strategy’s menu of conservation options. The INRS science team reviewed the emerging research for two years before concluding that multi-purpose oxbows -- those designed to both provide habitat and reduce nitrate loads delivered by tile drainage – are an effective practice for agricultural water quality improvement. The Iowa Nutrient Research Center, led by Matt Helmers, is involved with this effort. More

Teaching and Students

CALS Study Abroad to Host Student Travel Panel
CALS Global Programs is celebrating International Education Week with two events. Global Trivia will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall rotunda. A student travel panel will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in 0013 Curtiss Hall. The events are open to all students. More

FSHN Silent Auction Scheduled for Dec. 4
The Food Science Club, Culinary Science Club, Dairy Products Evaluation Club and Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness Club are organizing the annual FSHN Silent Auction, set for Dec. 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the LeBaron foyer. There will be food available, time to bid on silent auction items and the opportunity to build a community with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. All proceeds benefit the four clubs. More

Extension and Outreach

Crop Protection Network Launches Disease Loss Estimate Tool
ISU’s Crop Protection Network recently launched its new “Field Crop Disease Loss Calculator” research tool, complete with years of historical data for estimated losses caused by disease in corn and soybeans in the U.S. and Ontario, Canada. The calculator sources annual disease loss estimates from university experts, coupled with data from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and can be sorted by state, U.S. region, crop and disease. More

IPIC to Hold Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness Workshops
The Iowa Pork Industry Center, in collaboration with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, will hold six workshops in December to address preparations for an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. The IPIC team will explain what the state and federal response might include in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., and how producers can individually prepare for such an outbreak on their farm. More

Around the College

Paving Project Uses New Soy-based Asphalt
ISU’s BioCentury Research Farm recently used a bio-polymer asphalt created using high oleic soybean oil to pave the farm’s parking lots. The project used the equivalent of 400 bushels of soybeans. The project is an extension of ISU research using high oleic soybean oil to replace other expensive, highly volatile compounds used as a binder in the creation of asphalt products. The research was conducted with a checkoff investment from the Iowa Soybean Association. More

The Conversation: Midwest Farmers Support Trade Policies Despite the Costs
In a Nov. 14 essay distributed nationally by The Conversation, Walter Suza, agronomy, speaks about what the loss of plant biodiversity could mean for human health and medicines available in the future. The essay is titled “Dwindling tropical rainforests mean lost medicines yet to be discovered in their plants.” More

Arti Singh AgOnline Teacher of the Year
Arti Singh, agronomy, received the 2019 AgOnline Teacher of the Year Award presented by the Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer. AgOnline students nominated Singh for her dedication, work ethic and expertise in delivering Agronomy 544: Host-Pest Interactions. More

FundISU: Growing Education through School Lunches
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods’ work to end hunger and improve children’s education by contributing to the Kamuli District, Uganda, school garden and lunch programs. Support raised will provide learning opportunities and nutritious meals to almost 3,000 children on each school day. More

CALS Award Nomination Deadline Nov. 19
Nominations for awards presented by CALS are due Tuesday, 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.

CALS Online: Next Full Issue Dec. 2
CALS Online will not be publishing a full issue on Nov. 25, the week of Thanksgiving. It will resume Monday, Dec. 2.


Nov. 19: CALS Chat with Dean Robison
Dean Robison is holding the first in a series of informal drop-in events around the college on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 8 to 9:30 a.m. in the Dean’s Gallery, 130 Curtiss Hall. Plan to come for morning refreshments and conversation.

Nov. 20: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
Iowa Learning Farms will host its monthly webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 12 p.m. Erika Lundy, extension beef specialist, and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomist, will review ISU research focused on grazing cover crops. More

Communications Kiosk

Differ From vs. Differ With
To differ from means to be unlike. To differ with means to disagree. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2019 edition, pg. 85)


Iowa State Delivers $3.4 Billion Impact to State Economy
Iowa State University’s $3.4 billion impact on the state of Iowa reflects service to families, communities and businesses and benefits to society from an expanded economy and improved quality of life, according to an economic impact and investment analysis conducted for the Iowa Board of Regents. “The study demonstrates that Iowa State University provides an exceptional value and return on investment for our students and all Iowans,” said ISU President Wendy Wintersteen. More

ISU $3.4 Billion Impact Study: Iowa Pork Industry Center in CALS
(Included in last week’s Regents’ study on economic impact was the following item). ISU Extension advances the pork industry. Extension specialists with the Iowa Pork Industry Center partnered with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and other allied industry leaders to develop and deliver hands-on ventilation training and education to pork producers throughout the state. A portable trailer demonstrating state-of-the-art technology was transported across the state to deliver seven training workshops. A total of 171 producers participated in the workshops. The number of animals influenced by those attending the workshop was more than 63 million pigs and more than 1.2 million sows.

ISU $3.4 Billion Impact Study: FSHN Start-Up Gross-Wen Technologies
(Included in last week’s Regents’ study on economic impact was the following item). Conceived at ISU, Gross-Wen Technologies aims to revolutionize waste-water treatment. Martin Gross and Zhiyou Wen [food science and human nutrition] developed and patented the revolutionary revolving algal biofilm system at ISU that launched Gross-Wen Technologies. The RAB system uses algae to capture nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. This algae can then be used as feedstocks for high-value products including slow-release fertilizer, high-protein foods and supplements, livestock and aquaculture feeds and pharmaceutical products. GWT’s RAB system provides communities with a sustainable, effective, reliable and affordable option for meeting new, heightened water-quality standards. The system has been tested in pilot facilities in Chicago and Cresco, Iowa, and GWT sold its first installation to the community of Slater, Iowa, in 2018.

Submit Proposals to Present at ISCORE by Dec. 2
A call for proposals has been released for the Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity, scheduled for March 6. The comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity is free and open to the ISU community. Proposals to present at ISCORE are due online by Dec. 2. More

World Food Prize Foundation Announces New President
The World Food Prize Foundation has named Barbara Stinson as president of the organization, effective Jan. 4, 2020. Stinson previously served as a co-founder and senior partner of the Meridian Institute, a nonprofit organization that guides collaboration and drives action to address our world’s most complex challenges. She will succeed Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, who will retire on Jan. 3 after 20 years as president of the World Food Prize Foundation. More


Mark Licht: It’s Time to Change, Again
In a Nov. 13 blog post for Iowa Learning Farms, Mark Licht, agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist, talks about change. “Just like changes throughout these 150 years brought greater production and ability to feed more people, we are at another formative point in advancing agricultural systems. Our systems need to be conservation focused. The time to adopt cover crops, conservation tillage, CREP wetlands, saturated buffers, bioreactors, and diverse rotations is now.” 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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