Issue: 1137

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Online
January 11, 2021

Top Stories

STORIES of Innovation and Resiliency
The latest issue of STORIES, the college’s alumni magazine, features faculty, staff and students that have demonstrated innovation, resiliency and commitment at levels never before experienced at Iowa State University. There has been “tremendous achievement in teaching research and extension amid a global pandemic, civic stress, drought and wind…” writes Dean Daniel Robison in his letter to alumni and friends. “Every day we are working to breathe life into the CALS Advantage – advocating for what’s important, innovating with an entrepreneurial mindset, grounding oneself in a discipline, and leading.” More Request a print copy from


Selecting and Managing Gilts for Optimal Reproductive Potential
Jason Ross, animal science, coauthored an article in National Hog Farmer on selecting and managing gilts for optimal reproductive potential. The article reviews findings from research, including a series of Iowa State studies looking at developmental changes in vulva size as a potential biomarker for reproductive related traits. More

Extension and Outreach

New YouTube Channel for Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute
The Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute has a new YouTube channel featuring educational resources for winemakers and cellar workers. Eight videos have been created to help with math calculations associated with various winemaking processes. Videos on additional topics will be coming soon. More

New Publication Addresses Scoring Beef Cows
The Iowa Beef Center has released a new four-page publication explaining seasonal differences in scoring beef cows. Evaluating Body Condition of Beef Cows in Winter is available as a free download at the Iowa State Extension Store. More

ANR Extension Staff Spotlight: Mahdi Al-Kaisi
Mahdi Al-Kaisi is a professor of agronomy and extension soil management specialist. His work focuses on the integration of tillage, cover crops and crop rotation to the relation of yield and soil carbon sequestration. More

Around the College

COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards Announced
Recipients of the COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards have been announced. The following individuals and teams from CALS departments were recognized. More

  • Claudia Lemper-Manahl, plant pathology and microbiology – Excellence in Face-to-Face Instruction
  • Alejandro Plastina, economics – Excellence in Remote Instruction
  • Grant Thompson, horticulture – Excellence in Remote Instruction
  • Nicholas Gabler, animal science – Research Impact
  • Lily Wang, statistics – Research Impact
  • Ryan Andrews, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology – Graduate Student Research Impact
  • Amanda Bries, food science and human nutrition – Graduate Student Research Impact
  • Emma Helm, animal science – Graduate Student Research Impact
  • Urminder Singh, genetics, development and cell biology – Graduate Student Research Impact
  • CALS Social Media + Diversity and Inclusion teams – Principles of Community Champion
  • Ben Chamberlain and Nate Dobbels, agricultural education and studies – Exemplary Student Support
  • Jenny Macken, sociology – Exemplary Student Support

AIM Team Honored with Global Food Safety and Quality Award
The global packaging Anticipatory Issues Management team was recognized with McDonald’s 2020 Global Food Safety and Quality award. Keith Vorst, food science and human nutrition, is a member of the North American AIM team and the only representative from an academic institution out of all the teams from around the world. He leads the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium at Iowa State.

Sue Finestead to Retire Jan. 14
Sue Finestead, account specialist with CALS Global Programs, will retire on Thursday, Jan. 14, 42 years to the day after joining Iowa State and the college. In addition to providing accounting support for hundreds of program directors, international visitors and students from all countries, she also coordinated the Global Newsletter. Comments, photographs and well wishes can be shared online. More

Save the Date: CALS Virtual Town Hall Jan. 29
A college virtual town hall meeting will be held on Jan. 29 at noon via WebEx. Participants can also join the meeting by phone. For higher quality, choose one of the following numbers based on your location: (301) 715-8592, (312) 626-6799, (646) 558-8656, (253) 215-8782, (346) 248-7799 or (669) 900-6833 (webinar ID: 825 6836 7201).


Jan. 13: Pollinator Plus Webinar
An Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at noon, will discuss Iowa pollinators, the threats they face and opportunities for establishing high quality pollinator habitat. More

Jan 14: Miscanthus Virtual Field Day
A virtual field day on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. will explore the opportunities and challenges of growing miscanthus. Emily Heaton, agronomy, will present. The field day is hosted by Iowa Learning Farms in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and the Conservation Learning Group. More

Jan. 19-20: Iowa Specialty Producers Conference
The Iowa Specialty Producers Conference is scheduled for Jan. 19-20 and will take place online. It is the second joint gathering of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and the Iowa Wine Growers Association and will feature experts from ISU Extension and Outreach. More

Jan. 20: Climate and Weather Predictions Webinar
Denis Todey, director of USDA’s Climate Hub in Ames, will discuss drought and other potential challenges for 2021 in a webinar scheduled for Jan. 20 from noon to 1 p.m. The webinar is offered by ISU Extension and Outreach’s Dairy Team. More

Communications Kiosk

Oral vs. Written vs. Verbal
Use oral to refer to spoken words: He gave an oral promise. Use written to refer to words committed to paper: We had a written agreement. Use verbal to compare words with some other form of communication: His tears revealed the sentiments that his poor verbal skills could not express. (Associated Press Stylebook, 2019 edition, pg. 212)


President Wintersteen Featured in National Conversations on Innovation
The Dec. 23 Alliance for Iowa State message highlighted President Wendy Wintersteen’s involvement in national conversations on innovation. In December, Wintersteen spoke at two national forums on the future of innovation in America. More

NRPF Grant Awarded to Digitize ISU Lectures
The ISU Library received grant funding from the National Recording Preservation Foundation to digitize 991 audio recordings of ISU lectures. The selection spans the 1970s to the 1990s and were nominated based on their high cultural, historical and aesthetic value, as well as the endangered nature of magnetic media, the lack of access options for this medium, the high research value and demand for the selection, and the ability to share them publicly, free of restrictions. More The first batch of 48 recordings are now available online via Aviary. More

COVID-19 Vaccines Focus of Jan. 15 Town Hall
A university town hall meeting focusing on COVID-19 vaccines will be held Friday, Jan. 15, from 2 to 3 p.m. via WebEx. A panel will address questions about availability and distribution of vaccines on campus and in the Ames community. More

P&S Professional Development Conference to be Virtual
The 2021 P&S Professional Development conference will be held virtually on Feb. 25. This year’s theme is Cultivate Your Adventure: Growing Through Change. Registration will open Jan. 25. 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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