Issue: 1106

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
May 18, 2020

Top Stories

Economics/CARD Web Page Details Economic Impacts of COVID-19
Researchers in the Department of Economics and the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development are examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Iowa, regional and global economies. Data include Iowa unemployment figures; where Iowans are going since the lockdown began; and an “Ask an Economist” feature. Forthcoming on the new page will be weekly updates to corn, soybean, ethanol, pork and beef markets that will automatically adjust as new data become available. More

CALS to Establish Office of Partnerships with Klein as Director, June 1
Last week, Dean Robison announced that, effective June 1, he was establishing an Office of Partnerships with Ray Klein as its inaugural director. The purpose of the CALS Office of Partnerships will be to create and nurture public-private partnerships of all kinds that result in new investors in CALS programs and new revenues that help fulfill the college’s mission. An anonymous donor is providing financial support to cover Klein’s position, as well as support to establish the new office and launch this new effort. Klein has served the college 18 years in the development office, including 12 years as the executive development officer and unit lead. His new office will be in the Rastetter Agricultural Entrepreneurship Suite in Curtiss Hall.
Roelfs to Serve as Interim Senior Director of Development
With Ray Klein’s new position (see above), Sarah Roelfs has agreed to serve as Interim Senior Director of Development and unit lead for CALS until the ISU Foundation completes a search to replace Klein. Roelfs, a CALS alum, was an integral member of the college’s development team for eight years before joining the ISU Foundation’s gift planning team last year. Roelfs and Klein will work with the college to ensure a smooth transition of donor relationships. As his new role develops, Klein will continue to be a partner with the ISU Foundation.


GDCB Researchers Will Use NIH Grant to Break New Ground in Gene Editing
A new grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Maura McGrail and Jeffrey Essner, genetics, development and cell biology, to continue to develop gene editing technologies to model human disease in zebrafish. The research will build new tools to determine which genes have therapeutic potential to treat human genetic diseases that affect the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems. More 

Registration Open for Pig Survivability Conference
The Improving Pig Survivability Project is now in its second year of multi-institutional collaborative work with university faculty and staff, swine producers and allied industry partners. Jason Ross, animal science and director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU, is the project leader. An upcoming component of the project is the International Conference on Pig Survivability set for Oct. 28-29 in Omaha. Registration is now open on the conference website. More

Leopold Center 2019 Annual Report Online
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s 2019 annual report is now online, with an emphasis on partnerships with Whiterock Conservancy, the Leopold Landscape Alliance, Iowa Learning Farms and others. It includes research reports on calcium carbonate nodule formation in Iowa’s loess soils and on the effects of grazing systems on methane emissions in pastures. More

Teaching and Students

Young Ambassador for Microbiology Creates New Path for Service During Pandemic
Graham Redweik, Ph.D. student in food science and human nutrition and interdepartmental microbiology, was selected this spring as a Young Ambassador for the American Society of Microbiology. He is among a cohort of 38 emerging scientists from around the world. More

Horticulture Student Designs Landscape for ISU Sculpture Garden
Ellen Sattler, senior in horticulture and English, is a University Museums intern assigned to the Elizabeth and Byron Anderson Sculpture Garden surrounding Morrill Hall. During spring semester she researched and selected plants and determined their location. Sattler will spend part of her summer weeding, watering and pruning in the garden. More

Student Receives C.R. Weber Award for Excellence in Plant Breeding
Daniel Kohlhase, a doctoral student in plant breeding working with Michelle Graham, agronomy, has received the Department of Agronomy’s C.R. Weber Award for Excellence in Plant Breeding. His research investigates the molecular response of soybean to iron deficiency using various techniques such as RNA sequencing, grafting and virus induced gene silencing. The C. R. Weber Award, established in 1981, recognizes outstanding academic and research accomplishments by plant breeding graduate students. C. R. Weber was an ISU professor of agronomy who made outstanding contributions to plant breeding, particularly in soybeans. The award was established by his family and friends to reward ISU graduate students with the same goal for excellence to which he aspired.

Video: My Favorite CALS Mentor
Justin Wigdahl, who graduated this month with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, shares insights about his favorite mentor, Barb Clawson. During his college career, Wigdahl organized horticulture club plant sales, pursued multiple internships, and participated in horticulture and landscape competitions. More

Dean Robison’s Message to 2020 Lavender Graduates
As part of the 23rd annual Lavender Graduation Ceremony (conducted virtually this month), Dean Robison offered heartfelt congratulations to graduates from CALS and across campus. The Lavender Graduation Ceremony is one of the many traditions LGBTIQA+ students, faculty and staff have created for themselves at Iowa State. More

Extension and Outreach

Support Available for Food System Leaders
ISU Extension and Outreach is providing resources for local and regional food systems that are looking for technical support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food System Team can assist farmers, food businesses, cities, schools and other on a variety of topics. More

Webinar: Tools and Techniques for Online Sales
To help businesses take full advantage of online sales, ISU Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program and Community and Economic Development program will hold a webinar on Tuesday, May 19, at 2 p.m. Martin Guerrero, e-commerce specialist with Square, will lead a 90-minute presentation on how to take your business online. More Additional webinars and podcasts are available on the Back to Business Iowa website, another project of ISU Extension and Outreach.

Webinar: Stefanik on How Wetlands Can Benefit Iowans
Kay Stefanik, assistant director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, addressed how wetlands can benefit Iowans on a May 14 blog post for Iowa Learning Farms. She detailed wetland ecosystem services and their instrumental and intrinsic value. More May is American Wetlands Month and Stefanik will present this week’s Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, May 20, at noon. More

Asian Giant Hornet Not Yet Found in Iowa
News of the Asian Giant Hornet’s arrival in Washington state has spread a lot farther than the actual invasive insect, and there is no evidence it has arrived in Iowa or will ever be here, according to ISU Extension and Outreach entomologists Donald Lewis and Randall Cass. More

Around the College

Andersen on the Preparedness of the Pork Industry
Daniel Andersen, agricultural and biosystems engineering, contributed to an Iowa Public Radio broadcast on May 13 about the backlog of market-ready hogs that the pork industry is seeing following temporary closures at meatpacking plants across the Midwest. Andersen said the pork industry’s preparations for the possibility of an African swine fever outbreak has aided its response to the coronavirus pandemic. More

Hart and Shaw on Record Sales at Eastern Iowa Meat Lockers
Chad Hart, economics, and Angela Shaw, food science and human nutrition, contributed to an article in the May 15 issue of The Gazette on record sales at eastern Iowa meat lockers due to processing plant shutdowns. With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting the nation’s grocery supply chain, some Iowans are rediscovering long-established local sources to shorten that chain. More

Thomson Guest on Spokesman Speaks Podcast
Dan Thomson, chair of animal science, was a guest on the May 4 issue of the Spokesman Speaks podcast published by Iowa Farm Bureau. Dr. Thomson shared what his department and others are doing to help livestock farmers through the COVID-19 crisis, insights into food supply chain disruptions, and an approach to working with food retailers on issues like animal care and sustainability. More

Moschini Receives National Ag Economics Award
GianCarlo Moschini, economics, is co-author of a paper that will receive the 2020 Quality of Research Discovery Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. The paper honored was titled Valuing Product Innovation: Genetically Engineered Varieties in U.S. Corn and Soybeans, with authors Federico Ciliberto, University of Virginia; Moschini; and Edward Perry, Kansas State University. The award will be given at the 2020 AAEA Annual Awards and Fellows Ceremony scheduled for July 27 in Kansas City. More

Houser Named Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science
Terry Houser, animal science, and professor-in-charge of the ISU Meats Laboratory, has been named Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension. The endowed position was previously held by Joe Cordray, who retired in January. 

Communications Kiosk

Use of Parentheses
Parentheses are jarring to the reader and should be used sparingly. The temptation to use parenthesis is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted. Try to write it another way. If a sentence must contain incidental material, then commas or two dashes are frequently more effective. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2018 edition, pg. 326)


United Way Food Drive on Campus Is Virtual This Year
The ISU community’s annual Live United Food Drive will take place virtually May 15 to May 28. Monetary contributions will benefit 13 food pantries in Story County and ensure children and families have food during the summer months. ISU faculty, staff, students and friends can support the effort by donating via the Story County United Way website. Select “LIVE UNITED Food Drive” from the drop-down menu at the top of the page and type “Iowa State University” as the employer name. Contributions may also be sent by check to the United Way of Story County, 316 Clark Ave., Ames, IA 50010. Make checks payable to the United Way of Story County and write “ISU Live United Food Drive” in the memo line. For questions, contact the  ISU Live United Food Drive Co-Chairs: Haley Cook (, CALS, or Tara Fisher (, Ivy College of Business. 

Seed Funding for COVID-19 Research
The Office of the Vice President for Research is currently accepting applications for a new research seed funding program dedicated to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is designed to encourage faculty in all academic disciplines to apply their expertise to an aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will support the initial stages of high-risk, high-reward projects that have an interdisciplinary focus and strong potential for future external funding.  The deadline for applications is May 29. More
Achievement that’s Pandemic-Proof
Selected achievements from the first five months of 2020 are provided in the May 14 Alliance for Iowa State message. Despite challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the spring-semester achievements of faculty, staff and students demonstrate Iowa State’s commitment to serve through innovation and excellence. More


For Beef Month, Stephanie Hansen Shares a Favorite Beef Recipe
May is Beef Month. We asked Stephanie Hansen, animal science, who conducts beef nutrition research, to share one of her favorite beef recipes. Next week we’ll feature a recipe from Dan Loy, animal science and director of ISU’s Iowa Beef Center.

Stephanie Hansen’s Spicy Beefy Enchiladas

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1-2 diced fresh jalapeno peppers
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 package hot and spicy taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350F. In skillet, cook the ground beef and jalapeno pepper until the beef is evenly brown. Stir in water and taco seasoning. Simmer until water has evaporated. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together yogurt/sour cream, soup and cheese. Divide the meat mixture between tortillas. Spoon cheese mixture over meat and roll up. Place in a foil-lined baking dish. Spoon remaining cheese mixture over the top of the tortillas. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

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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