Issue: 119

COLLEGE NEWS

- ISU and ARS agree to jointly run National Swine Center

- ISU ag alumnus named head of USDA CSREES

- More than 200 graduates expected at convocation

- ISU meeting on GMO corn attracts 300 at ICN sites

- Clear Lake meeting outlines ISU water quality study

- ISU signs agreement with Thailand ag university

- Elementary students plant trees at ISU Arboretum

- Forestry pays tribute to student killed in accident

- Disease-preventing foods the focus of Food Industry Day

- Schedule courses in Brenton Center by May 10

- George Washington Carver posters available

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Harvard proposes ten rules for e-mail

INFOGRAZING

- By the numbers: 1998 year in review for ISU research farms

- Computers as integral part of ISU classes in FY98

INTERNAL VOICES

- Who will weave rug of Iowa’s landscape in next decade?

EXTERNAL VOICES

- State lawmaker appreciates efforts of ISU institute

MARGINALIA

- Word of mouth: Cricket record within spitting distance

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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ISU AND ARS AGREE TO JOINTLY RUN NATIONAL SWINE CENTER

ISU and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have agreed to jointly operate the National Swine Research and Information Center on campus. The 20-year agreement ensures that the building will be used for its original purpose -- research on pork industry issues. The university signed a memorandum of understanding with ARS on April 27. Initial research will focus on developing nutritional and microbiological approaches to reducing hog odor while enhancing feed efficiency, hog reproduction and growth.

ISU AG ALUMNUS NAMED HEAD OF USDA CSREES

An ISU agriculture alumnus is the new head of the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). Charles Laughlin, who earned his ISU bachelor's degree in horticulture in 1963, was named CSREES administrator this week by Miley Gonzalez, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. (Gonzalez also has an ISU ag connection -- he was assistant director of International Agriculture Programs from 1988-91.) Since 1996 Laughlin has been the dean and director of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He also has held administrative positions at Colorado State, Georgia, Mississippi State, Michigan State and Florida. CSREES links the research and education programs of the USDA and works with the nation’s land-grant institutions, experiment stations and cooperative extension services.

MORE THAN 200 GRADUATES EXPECTED AT CONVOCATION

Tonia Hesse, senior in dairy science and former Ag Council president, will address her fellow graduates at the College of Agriculture convocation May 8 in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. More than 200 spring and summer graduates will be recognized individually at the convocation, which begins at 9 a.m. A reception begins at 8:15 a.m. Faculty and staff are invited.

ISU MEETING ON GMO CORN ATTRACTS 300 AT ICN SITES

Three hundred people attended a statewide ICN meeting Wednesday night to get answers on marketing genetically modified (or GMO) corn. The meeting, sponsored by ISU Extension, the College of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, was held to discuss the ramifications of a recent decision by grain exporting companies not to buy GMO corn that had not been approved for import by the European Union. The two-hour meeting began with a short program featuring ISU, IDALS and seed company personnel, who then fielded about 70 questions from attendees at 30 sites around Iowa. More information on GMO corn issues can be found on an ISU Extension web site, http://www.exnet.iastate.edu/feci/VGMO/, or ISU’s Iowa Grain Quality Initiative site, http://www.exnet.iastate.edu/Pages/grain/news/gmo/gmo.htm.

CLEAR LAKE MEETING OUTLINES ISU WATER QUALITY STUDY

A public meeting was held Thursday night in Clear Lake to discuss an Iowa Department of Natural Resources project to protect and enhance the lake as a recreation site. The project, to be conducted by ISU, will provide the DNR with a diagnostic and feasibility study to be used in planning a restoration program for Clear Lake, Ventura Marsh and the area watershed. ISU has conducted water-quality studies of the lake in response to contamination concerns over the past year. The new project will involve ISU scientists and students in animal ecology, geology, agronomy and other departments. John Downing, animal ecology, attended Thursday’s meeting to brief citizens on the proposed project. According to Downing, the Iowa Legislature this week passed legislation to fund this and other surface water quality improvement projects. For more information: Downing, 4-2734 or downing@iastate.edu.

ISU SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH THAILAND AG UNIVERSITY

On Thursday, ISU and Kasetsart University officials signed a memorandum of agreement for academic and research exchanges involving faculty and students. Richard Seagrave, ISU interim provost, and Supot Faungfupong, Kasetsart vice president for research and academic research, signed the agreement at a ceremony attended by Dean David Topel and other College of Agriculture and Kasetsart officials. Faungfupong earned his Ph.D. in agronomy at ISU. Kasetsart University was founded in 1943 to promote subjects in agricultural sciences.

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS PLANT TREES AT ISU ARBORETUM

Today (Friday) is National Arbor Day. The natural thing is to plant trees, which is what Mark Vitosh and Jim Callahan are doing with the help of 70 Ames grade-school students. Vitosh, forestry extension, and Callahan, arborist with facilities planning and management, said the Edwards Elementary fifth graders invited the first and second graders from the school to help plant trees in the ISU Arboretum southwest of campus. The students will plant about 120 oak and ash trees and seedlings.

FORESTRY PAYS TRIBUTE TO STUDENT KILLED IN ACCIDENT

On Wednesday the Department of Forestry planted a white oak tree on the east lawn of Bessey Hall in memory of Andrew Mathias, a junior who died in a traffic accident on Jan. 23. Mathias, a native of Birmingham, Iowa, was a member of the Forestry Club and co-chair of the club’s wild game banquet. Mathias had worked as a research aide in the department. A couple weeks ago the Office of Student Affairs honored Mathias posthumously as one of the university’s top student employees. The Forestry Club also has renamed its club involvement scholarship to honor Mathias.

DISEASE-PREVENTING FOODS THE FOCUS OF FOOD INDUSTRY DAY

"Hype or Hope? What the Food Industry Needs to Know About Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods" is the theme of the fourth annual Iowa Food Industry Day, May 19 in the Food Sciences Building. The event, hosted by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Center for Crops Utilization Research, is organized for Iowa food manufacturers. Faculty and students also are invited at no cost, except for a $10 charge for those who attend a bratwurst luncheon. The meeting runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On the program are several ISU faculty member and David Hettinga, vice president of research, technology and engineering for Land O’Lakes. If you plan to attend, pre-register by contacting Connie Hardy, 4-3394 or Bill LaGrange, 4-3156, or send a note to pgh@iastate.edu.

SCHEDULE FALL COURSES IN BRENTON CENTER BY MAY 10

The Brenton Center is accepting requests for scheduling classes and events in the center’s classrooms for the fall semester. First priority is given to College of Agriculture courses that will be delivered via ICN and/or videotape, followed by college courses that require the technologies available in the classrooms. To qualify for priority scheduling, submit requests by May 10. Contact Richard Carter, 4-6950 or ricarter@iastate.edu. If you’re unfamiliar with the center’s capabilities, refer to the Web site at: http://www.brenton.iastate.edu. Faculty and department heads will be notified of classroom assignments by May 17.

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER POSTERS AVAILABLE

Anyone who would like a poster used to observe the 1998-99 all-university celebration of the legacy of George Washington Carver can pick up one in Jerry Klonglan’s office, 137 Curtiss.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

May 7: Graduate commencement.

May 8: College of Agriculture convocation for graduating seniors, C.Y. Stephens, 9 a.m.

May 8: Undergraduate commencement.

May 16-18: From Jay L. Lush to Genomics: Visions for Animal Breeding and Genetics Symposium, Scheman Bldg., 4-6202.

May 19: Iowa Food Industry Day, Food Sciences Bldg., 4-3394.

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C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I O S K

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HARVARD PROPOSES TEN RULES FOR E-MAIL

In the March 29 issue of PC World magazine, the Harvard Business School proposes 10 commandments for e-mail, which has grown to an estimated 2.1 billion messages sent each day in the United States. The rules include:

Delete any e-mail with information you don't need to know or act on

Avoid attachments, which can waste a lot of time converting or may harbor viruses

Don't send e-mail when you're tired or furious

Never substitute e-mail for a necessary face-to-face meeting

The entire list can be found on the Web at: http://www2.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0,1510,10306,00.html

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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BY THE NUMBERS: 1998 YEAR IN REVIEW FOR ISU RESEARCH FARMS

Number of research plots: 41,870

Number of researchers and project leaders: 101

Number of field days: 37

Number of visitors: 11,460

Percentage increase in visitors from 1997: 34

Number of beef cattle: 2,558

Number of pigs: 1,811

Number of cows: 1,029

Number of sheep: 558

Number of horses: 5

Number of tractors older than 1990: 49

Number of tractors newer than 1990: 17

Number of combines: 8

Number of tornadoes: 1

Number of windstorms with 100 mph winds: 1 or 2

(Source: ISU Research and Demonstration Farms)

COMPUTERS AS INTEGRAL PART OF ISU CLASSES IN FY98

Percentage of College of Agriculture course sections (1,034) in which computers were used as an integral part of instruction: 42

Percentage for all ISU courses: 46

(Source: Office of Institutional Research, April)

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I N T E R N A L V O I C E S

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WHO WILL WEAVE RUG OF IOWA’S LANDSCAPE IN NEXT DECADE?

"Aldo Leopold said: ‘It is the individual farmer who must weave the greater part of the rug on which America stands. Shall he weave into it only the sober yarns which warm the feet, or also some of the colors which warm the eye and the heart? The landscape of any farm is the owner's portrait of himself.’ . . . The next decade will be critical to Iowa’s land and its rural people. Trends in agriculture alarm many. There is little doubt Aldo Leopold felt that natural resources management cannot be managed in a vacuum, that people are a critical part of a stable sustainable landscape. Agriculture must find a ‘kinder and more gentle steam shovel.’ More attention to the orchestra of the rivers must be on the university’s collective conscience. Farmers must be given the chance to weave a colored rug on the land." Dennis Keeney, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, in a speech given at the April 19 Gamma Sigma Delta banquet. The full text can be found at: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/centers/leopold/dkgsdtalk.html

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E X T E R N A L V O I C E S

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STATE LAWMAKER APPRECIATES EFFORTS OF ISU INSTITUTE

"I want you to know that Rand (Conger) wanted to work with me on Des Moines’ problems long before I was elected to the legislature. He built trust in the black community by listening to us and involving us. And now with all the political interest in Iowa, it's a great time to tell aspiring leaders what we're learning about our community." State representative Wayne Ford of Des Moines, speaking this week to 120 people attending a dinner to observe the 10th anniversary of ISU’s Institute for Social and Behavioral Research. Rand Conger is director of the institute, which was founded in 1988 as the Social and Behavioral Research Center for Rural Health. Among many other projects, the institute has conducted studies with African American families in Des Moines and other cities.

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M A R G I N A L I A

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WORD OF MOUTH: CRICKET RECORD WITHIN SPITTING DISTANCE

The highlight of Purdue University’s annual Bug Bowl -- which features an insect petting zoo and cockroach races -- is the cricket-spitting contest. Entomology professor Tom Turpin (who earned his Ph.D. in entomology at ISU in 1971) reports that Purdue is negotiating a spit-off challenge from Penn State. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the current record as 32 feet, 1.25 inches. (Wall Street Journal, April 23)

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