Issue: 1087

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
Jan. 13, 2020

Top Stories

Prairie Strips Now Eligible for Conservation Reserve Program
Prairie strips are now an eligible and recognized practice under the federal Conservation Reserve Program, which grants farmers a yearly rental payment for taking environmentally sensitive acres out of production and establishing conservation practices on the land. ISU scientists who pioneered much of the research on prairie strips over the last decade, including Lisa Schulte Moore and Omar de Kok-Mercado, natural resource ecology and management, helped develop the USDA policy. More  


Study Looks at Integrated Organic Crop and Livestock Production
The integration of crop and livestock production on organic farms doesn't appear to pose substantial food safety risks and could yield benefits for producers, according to a study involving Kathleen Delate, horticulture and agronomy, and Angela Shaw, food science and human nutrition. The experiments involved three sites in the Midwest on which acres were rotated between organic and crop and livestock production. More  

Study of Cardiac Muscles in Flies Could Lead to New Therapies in Humans
Researchers may have discovered a way to turn back the clock on aging heart muscles in fruit flies, a development that could lead to new therapies for older humans with heart disease. Hua Bai, genetics, development and cell biology, led the study, published recently in the academic journal Autophagy. More 

Teaching and Students

Seed Science Center Accepting Scholarship Applications
The Seed Science Center and the Iowa Seed Association are accepting applications for 11 scholarships worth $11,500. The scholarships are open to students in any major in CALS and are awarded on the bases of academic excellence, leadership skills, interpersonal skills and interest in the seed industry or seed science. More  

Sustainability Scholarships for Undergraduates Available
Junior and senior undergraduates at Iowa four-year colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals to a new sustainability scholarship program sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and CALS. Awards of up to $1,000 will be provided to support planned learning and participation experiences for students interested in the broad area of sustainability. Applicants are required to work with a faculty mentor at the student’s educational institution. The deadline for submission is Feb. 15. More  

Around the College

220 Participate in CALS-Wide Diversity Training Program
Nearly 220 CALS faculty and staff participated in a CALS-wide diversity awareness program on Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Advanced Teaching and Research Building. Those who participated, in either a three-hour morning or three-hour afternoon session, represented 15 departments and units in the college. The program was led by Justin Brown, founder of Diversity Awareness Program, which promotes diversity and cultural awareness in all aspects of university life. Brown also led a student-focused workshop on campus back in October. The program, organized by CALS Assistant Dean for Diversity Theressa Cooper, will be offered again at a date to be determined.
Thomson Named Chair of Animal Science Department
Daniel Thomson has been named chair of the Department of Animal Science. Thomson is an internationally known leader, researcher and instructor in animal health management, animal welfare and beef cattle production. He has been serving as the Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology at Kansas State University and founded the Beef Cattle Institute in Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Thomson will begin his new duties on April 6. He succeeds Donald Beerman, who served as chair of the department since 2015 and retired Jan. 7. John Patience, a professor of animal science at Iowa State, will serve as interim chair of the department through April 6. More 

Iowa State Meats Laboratory Welcomes New Leader
Terry Houser has been named professor-in-charge of the ISU Meats Laboratory. He succeeds Joe Cordray, who retired Jan. 3 after more than 50 years of professional involvement in ISU's meat science program. The ISU Meats Laboratory is a federally inspected facility, with complete slaughtering and processing capabilities of all major livestock meats and poultry. Most of the animals processed are from the university's own farms and are harvested for teaching, research and extension purposes. More 

INRC Launches Water Research Seminar Series
The Iowa Nutrient Research Center is launching a monthly seminar series on "Water Research Past, Present and Future," beginning Jan. 22 with a presentation by sociologist Pete Nowak, with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Sessions January through April will be held in 1306 Elings Hall, ending with a field tour in May. Sessions are free and open to the public, and can be accessed live through Zoom. More 

Timms and ISU Dairy Farm Featured on KCCI News
Leo Timms, retired ISU dairy specialist, and the ISU Dairy Farm were featured in a Jan. 9 KCCI newscast. Iowa is producing a record-breaking 5.4 billion pounds of milk, but people are drinking less. More  

In Memoriam: Carol Greiner, Communications Service
Carol Greiner, former technical editor for the CALS Communications Service, died Jan. 4. She was 90. Greiner worked on Extension and Experiment Station publications for the college for more than 40 years, retiring in 1997. She worked in both Morrill Hall and Curtiss Hall as an Ag Experiment Station editor of journal papers, reports and publications. Services were held Jan. 9. Memorials can be directed to the Ames Public Library. More


Jan. 15: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar
The Iowa Learning Farms will host its monthly webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 12 p.m. Matt Helmers, director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, will discuss the center and some of the impacts from research projects funded by the center, as well as current activities. More 

Jan. 15: 2020 Women Impacting ISU Calendar
A reception recognizing the 12 honorees on the 2020 Women Impacting ISU calendar will be held Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room/South Ballroom. The program will begin at 4 p.m. Honorees include Angela Shaw, food science and human nutrition, Audrey Kennis, student retention coordinator for CALS, and Kelsey Culbertson, senior in environmental science. This is the fourteenth annual calendar where the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics honors women whose leadership has made a difference at ISU. More  

Communications Kiosk

Recur – Not Reoccur
One definition of recur is to happen or occur again. Use recur, recurred or recurring. Do not use “reoccur.” (Associated Press Stylebook, 2019 edition, pg. 246)


Iowa DNR Releases Monarch Champion Stories
To help spread awareness of the need for monarch conservation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources visited with three landowners who are making a difference for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators by planting prairie – Phyllis Kimball in Ringgold County, Mark Wetmore in Woodbury County, and Virginia Ekstrand in Henry County. Iowa DNR is a member of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium led by Iowa State.

New Biotechnology Regulation Website Launched
In recognition of January 2020 as National Biotechnology Month, USDA, FDA and EPA launched a Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation. The website describes the federal review process for certain biotechnology products and allows users to submit questions to the three agencies. The goals are to provide enhanced customer service to innovators and developers, while ensuring Americans continue to enjoy the safest and most affordable food supply in the world and can learn more about the safe use of biotechnology innovations. More  


One-Minute Video: What is Biochar?
Marshall McDaniel, agronomy, talks about biochar in the Iowa Water Center’s latest edition of Ask a Scientist. “Biochar is any material, usually plant material, combusted without oxygen,” he explains. “It ends up being a very spongy structure that you can add as a soil additive. It holds a lot of nutrients in it, can also hold water and have some other beneficial impacts on soils.” 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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