Issue: 1118

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
August 10, 2020 

Top Stories

Benning Named Assistant Director of ANR
Jamie Benning has been named the new assistant director for Agriculture and Natural Resources with ISU Extension and Outreach. For six years she led the water quality program at Iowa State and for seven years before that, she worked in the agronomy and sociology departments helping support research and leading watershed and climate extension programs. Benning replaces Chris Mondak who retired in 2018. She will work alongside Jay Harmon, CALS associate dean and director for Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach at Iowa State. More

Knight Named Acting Lead for ANR Communications
Traci Knight, communications specialist with Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension in CALS, has been named acting lead of the communications office effective Aug. 1. Knight replaces Grant Wall who has taken a position with USDA in Kansas City. Contact Knight at


Agronomists Collaborate with FluroSat on Nitrogen Management Tool
An Iowa State research group including Sotirios Archontoulis and Michael Castellano, agronomy, are collaborating with FluroSat, a company in agronomic decision support and remote field sensing, on a project to advance predictability of nitrogen management. More

Teaching and Students

Horticulture Research Station Supports Graduate Student Scientists
Since 2011, the Horticulture Research Station has supported two to three assistantships for master’s students who conduct on-farm research and learn about the day-to-day management of horticulture enterprises. Olivia Meyer is helping test a new smart sprayer, working with Mark Gleason, plant pathology and microbiology. Taylor Mauch is studying the agronomic benefits of biochar, working with Ajay Nair, horticulture. More

Dairy Science Club Donates Ice Cream to Local Organizations
The Dairy Science Club recently donated 2,200 cups of their homemade ice cream to three local organizations – the ISU Food Pantry, Salvation Army of Ames and Food at First of Ames. When the 2020 spring semester was moved to an online format due to COVID-19, the club had to discontinue their weekly ice cream sales to students and faculty on campus. Rather than let the ice cream go to waste, the club decided to donate it to community organizations in need. More

CALS Graduate Creates Resources for Youth Leadership 
Building blocks are the foundation of a new 4-H leadership resource created by Haley Jones, an agricultural education and studies graduate and now an Iowa 4-H youth development specialist. Her Building Blocks curriculum will soon become a series, with youth entrepreneurship as its next focus. More

Extension and Outreach

Podcast Series for Ag Educators Returns for Second Season
The Integrated Pest Management program at Iowa State is offering a second season of its agriculture educator podcast series Welcome to Class. The podcast examines agricultural topics and shares tips on how best to illustrate, explain and teach these topics from a classroom perspective. More

Virtual Food Systems Certifications to Be Offered Online
The Community Food Systems team at ISU Extension and Outreach are offering its Local Food Leader and Community Food Systems trainings and certifications in a virtual format. Each certification includes cohort workshops hosted through Zoom and online curricula through Moodle. More

Iowa Tree Challenge Encourages Outdoor Exploration
Iowans are encouraged to head outside and take pictures of themselves with as many varieties of trees as they can for the “TREE-mendous Iowa Tree Challenge” by Water Rocks! Entries are accepted through Aug. 17. More

ANR Extension Staff Spotlight: Billy Beck
Billy Beck, assistant professor in natural resource ecology and management and extension state forestry specialist, is responsible for forestry extension and educational programming in Iowa’s 99 counties. His focus is on the impact of trees, forests and forestry on water quality and flood mitigation in Midwestern watersheds. More

Around the College

Interviews to Resume for Entomology/Plant Path Chair
Interviews for the chair of entomology and plant pathology and microbiology will resume at the end of this month. Heike Bucking will interview on Aug. 27-28; Shirley Luckhart on Sept. 1-2. Their CV and cover letter are available online, along with a feedback survey and seminar recordings for candidates David Andow and Steve Harris. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the seminars will be closed to faculty and staff. There will be a session with each candidate at 11 a.m. on the first day as well as a lunch with limited space available. Sign-up to attend is available online.

Iowa Soybean Research Center Celebrates Soybean Month in Iowa
Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation recognizing August as Soybean Month in Iowa on Aug. 5. Iowa ranks second nationally in soybean production with a value exceeding $4.5 billion annually. The Iowa Soybean Research Center works in partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association, industry leaders, farmers and researchers at Iowa State with the goal of identifying and funding research in the areas of soybean production and protection. More 

New Manager Named for Hansen Center
Jordan Eggman will replace recently retired Marshall Ruble as the new building manager at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agricultural Student Learning Center. Eggman is an Iowa State graduate and while in college worked at the Beef Teaching Farm. He returns to Iowa from Northwest Missouri State University where he was a beef herdsman. More

In Memoriam: Lee Teng-hui, Former President of Taiwan
Lee Teng-hui, who studied agricultural economics at Iowa State in 1953, died on July 30. He was 97. Lee served as president of Taiwan from 1988 to 2000, the first to be elected by popular vote in Taiwan. The ISU Alumni Association presented him with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1988 and the Distinguished Achievement Citation in 1993 for his many contributions in the development of Taiwan’s agricultural system and establishing efficient health programs for the country. More


Aug. 12: Webinar Features New Research Farm
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 12, featuring the new Sustainable Advanced Bioeconomy Research farm.  Emily Heaton, agronomy, will explain how greenhouse gas and water changes are being measured at field-scale in perennial and annual crops at the SABR farm. The knowledge gained from this research is used to inform government agency recommendations and private valuation of ecosystem services. More

Aug. 13: CALS Town Hall Meeting
Dean Robison will lead a CALS town hall meeting for faculty and staff on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. via Zoom (passcode 280303). Besides Zoom, participants can join the meeting by phone. For higher quality, choose one of the following numbers based on your location: (312) 626-6799, (646) 558-8656, (301) 715-8592, (346) 248-7799, (669) 900-6833 or (253) 215-8782. The webinar ID is 890 1824 9771, with passcode 280303.

Communications Kiosk

Updated Recommendations for Using Photos with ISU Work
When using photos with information about research, teaching and extension at Iowa State, use the following protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • A group or multi-person photo needs to show each person wearing a face covering or following the current physical distancing guidelines. 
  • An individual photo needs to show the person wearing a face covering or clarify that the photographer was following the current physical distancing guidelines.
  • If the group or individual photo was taken prior to COVID-19 and shows no face coverings being worn or physical distancing guidelines being followed, clarify that the photo was taken prior to COVID-19. 

Contact Iowa State’s Strategic Relations and Communications office for more information.


Diversity and Inclusion Office Releases Podcast Series
As a follow-up to a campus conversation June 17 – a panel and Q&A session on how white action and accountability can combat anti-blackness and systems-based racism – the diversity and inclusion office is releasing a podcast series in the lead-up to the fall semester. The first four episodes are available now: "Race and Racism," How to Be an Anti-Racist," "Intension vs. Impact" and “Preparing for Fall 2020.” Another episode will come out Aug. 14. More


Olympian Swims with Full Glass of Milk on Her Head
American swimming gold medalist Katie Ledecky has shared a video showing her swim the length of a pool with a full glass of chocolate milk on her head, never spilling a drop. The swim was part of the TikTok Got Milk? Challenge, a promotional campaign from the Milk Processor Education Program, a dairy industry-funded group. They have revived the Got Milk? ad slogan that began in 1994 and have encouraged people to share oddball milk videos. 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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