Issue: 1172

CALS Online and Dean’s Message
Sept. 13, 2021

Dean’s Message

Hello CALS – I hope you enjoyed the beautiful September weekend, all the way from cool to hot to cool again, from great Cyclone football expectations to "it could have been a better outcome," and including your own personal reflections on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the profound impact and changes it has brought. A full weekend for sure. As we start the fourth week of the semester, let me once again thank you for continuing to engage with our wonderful students, pursue our land-grant university missions and strive in every way we do… This week I’ll attend… More

Top Stories

CALS Fall Enrollment Reflects Positive Momentum
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences enrollment for fall 2021 is 4,401 students – 3,844 undergraduates and 557 graduate students. While this represents a decline in total enrollment from fall 2020, there is some very encouraging momentum on priority outcomes such as recruitment and graduation rates. CALS contributes significantly to the nearly 60% of students on campus enrolled in STEM majors, helping to solidify ISU’s leadership as a university of science and technology. (More on ISU’s enrollment.) 

  • CALS awarded 1,235 degrees in 2020-2021 – the fifth largest amount in the last decade.
  • ISU celebrated a first-year retention rate of 87%. CALS led all colleges on campus, retaining 90.6% of first-year students.
  • CALS increased the number of newly recruited students by 3.2%compared to last fall.
  • Multicultural representation in CALS increased, with a record 12%of undergraduate students identifying as ethnicities other than white.
  • Several undergraduate programs increased enrollment over 2020 levels, including agriculture and society, animal science and pre-vet, biochemistry, biology, culinary food science, dietetics, genetics and horticulture.
  • The largest undergraduate majors are animal science, animal ecology, agricultural business, biology, agricultural studies, industrial technology and agronomy, making up 68% of CALS enrollment.
  • More than 57% of CALS undergraduate students are women. University-wide, female students make up just over 43% of the student population.
  • More than 30% of CALS undergraduate students are from states other than Iowa, reflecting a university effort to expand recruitment markets. University-wide non-residents make up more than 35% of the student population.


Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator adds Iowa State as Channel Partner
Iowa State has been invited to participate as a channel partner in the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator – the first and currently only channel partner from the state of Iowa. IN2 will assist agriculture and clean technology companies in accelerating their paths to market. The sustainable agriculture cohort will focus on startups with products and services that can benefit the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy savings, soil protection and/or biodiversity. Entrepreneurs and startups in Iowa that would like to be considered for referral to IN2 are asked to contact Nadilia Gomez ( no later than Oct. 6. More

Teaching and Students

Horticulture Club Holding Fall Mum Sale
The Horticulture Club is selling mums and mixed fall baskets. Customers need to fill out an online order form and submit by Wednesday, Sept. 15. A 6” container of red or yellow mums is $6; a 12” mixed fall basket is $20. Flowers will be ready for pick-up at Horticulture Hall on Sept. 28-29 at the greenhouse Head House entrance. Payment by cash or check will be collected at pick-up.

Extension and Outreach

Western Iowa Experimental Association to Hold 75th Anniversary Field Day
The Western Iowa Experimental Association will hold a 75th anniversary field day on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Western Research and Demonstration Farm near Castana. Jay Harmon, CALS associate dean and director for agriculture and natural resources with ISU Extension and Outreach, will provide a keynote address. More  

Precision Agriculture Technology Focus of Learning Farms Webinar
The Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at noon, will feature Ryan Bergman, agricultural and biosystems engineering. Bergman works on developing and implementing precision agriculture technologies with a recent focus on application. More

Extension’s Garden Project Grows Across the State
The Growing Together Iowa project helps counties combat food insecurity by donating produce grown in community gardens to food pantries. The program is co-funded by ISU Extension and Outreach, and over the past five years it has donated 441,000 pounds of fresh produce. More

New Guide Published for Saltwater Shrimp Producers in the Midwest
Joe Morris, natural resource ecology and management and director of the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center based at Iowa State, is editor of a new publication for producers of fresh, saltwater shrimp in the Midwest. Small-Scale, Year-Round Shrimp Farming in Temperate Climates is available for free at the Iowa State Extension Store. More

Around the College

U.S. Farm Report Features Economists and ABE Researchers
U.S. Farm Report kicked off their 2021 college roadshow season at Iowa State. Broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 11, the show features Tyne Morgan along with: panelists Dermot Hayes and Lee Schulz, economics, and Iowa State alum and AgriTalk host Chip Flory (14:05 and 35:54 minute marks); Chad Hart, economics (2:20); Cyclone Power Pullers (26:15); Peiyang Li (29:00), Jacek Koziel (31:00), Baitong Chen (32:09) and Adina Howe and Jared Flater (43:12), showcasing research projects in agricultural and biosystems engineering; and Gannon Cook, senior in agricultural business (55:24). More


Sept. 16: Errington Lecture
The 2021 Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture will be held Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. via WebEx. Nalini Nadkarni, professor of biology and forest ecologist at the University of Utah, will present “A Question of Values: Weaving Science and Society for Forest Conservation.” Co-sponsors include CALS; the departments of agronomy, ecology, evolution and organismal biology, and natural resource ecology and management; and the ecology and evolutionary biology graduate program. More

Sept. 20: Save the Date
Dean Robison will be hosting a CALS Chat on Sept. 20 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Food Sciences Building Courtyard. The informal, drop-in event will be an opportunity for casual conversation. Pre-packaged ISU Creamery ice cream will be served.

Oct. 8: Dean’s Town Hall
Dean Robison has scheduled a Town Hall for Oct. 8 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in 2050 Agronomy Hall. The event will be recorded and posted following the event for those who cannot attend.

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 Thursday.


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