Issue: 141

COLLEGE NEWS

- Research forum March 22 for strategic plan

- Faculty voting on sustainable ag graduate program

- ISU part of land-grants exhibit on Capitol Hill

- Investing in future of ag science and education

- Summit on Future of Ag Education draws 102

- Summit on Future of Ag Education: Comments and views

- Spring is near: National Ag Week breakfast on March 24

- Spring is near: Time to tune up the lawnmower

- Spring is near: Order your mulch to be delivered

- Grant workshop on CSREES initiative postponed

- Seeking students for Panama summer internships

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Editing counts, or eleven words on how to be boring

INFOGRAZING

- Another busy year for ISU’s Plant Disease Clinic

- Calling all judges for Science & Technology Fair

INTERNAL VOICES

- What we talk about when we talk sustainable

- Not just the girl in the class: An ag business pioneer

EXTERNAL VOICES

- The unpredictable lava flow of science

MARGINALIA

- Imagining the Land: In an open field on a clear night

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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RESEARCH FORUM MARCH 22 FOR STRATEGIC PLAN

The second of two open forums to identify research issues for the College of Agriculture’s strategic plan will be held Wednesday, March 22, 4 to 5 p.m. in 1204 Kildee (Ensminger Room). Faculty, staff and members of the public are invited For more information: Sue Lamont, 4-4100 or sjlamont@iastate.edu.

FACULTY VOTING ON SUSTAINABLE AG GRADUATE PROGRAM

On March 10 the College of Agriculture’s curriculum committee approved a proposal for an interdisciplinary graduate program in sustainable agriculture. An e-mail ballot on the proposal has been sent to college faculty. The ballot needs to be returned to Joe Colletti, chair of the committee, on March 24. For more information: Colletti, 4-4912 or colletti@iastate.edu, or Tom Richard, 4-0465 or tlr@iastate.edu. A web document on the proposal is available: http://www.ae.iastate.edu/SA_Program.html.

ISU PART OF LAND-GRANT EXHIBITION ON CAPITOL HILL

On March 7 more than 45 exhibits from land-grant universities from across the U.S. were displayed on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges sponsored the event, "Agricultural Research & Education - Serving the Nation: A University Science and Education Exhibition on Capitol Hill." ISU had two exhibits at the event, one on the North Central Integrated Pest Management Research and Education Program and another on the work of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research. Wendy Wintersteen, interim executive associate dean, and Ron Simons, sociology, staffed the displays. The event was well-attended by Congressional members and their staffs.

INVESTING IN FUTURE OF AG SCIENCE AND EDUCATION

The importance of investing in agricultural science and education was emphasized to Iowa’s Congressional leaders last week by ISU administrators and Iowans who serve on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET). CARET is a grassroots organization working to enhance support of food and agricultural programs at land-grant universities. Iowa’s CARET representatives are Donald Latham of Alexander and Joyce Neill of Corning. The group’s report to Iowa’s senators and representatives included examples of how ISU research, teaching and extension are helping Iowans. A PDF of the report can be downloaded: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/CARET.pdf.

SUMMIT ON FUTURE OF AG EDUCATION DRAWS 102

On March 9 the Summit on the Future of Agricultural Education in Iowa drew 102 educators, government officials and business people. The Governor's Council on Agricultural Education invited participants to discuss education on Iowa's food system and share ideas about the council's recent report, "Grand Plan for Agricultural Education in Iowa." Robert Martin, council chair and head of the agricultural education and studies department, said one outcome of the conference was an agenda for action. Soon a summit proceedings will be posted on the agricultural education and studies home page (http://www.ageds.iastate.edu). A follow-up summit is planned in August for groups to share activities being used to educate Iowans about food and fiber systems.

SUMMIT ON FUTURE OF AG EDUCATION: COMMENTS AND VIEWS

Undersecretary of Agriculture Miley Gonzalez challenged those attending the summit to think beyond agriculture’s traditional audience and concentrate on the consumer, and emphasized that communication is vital. Gov. Tom Vilsack said agriculture is the most complex industry offering exciting opportunities, which is not the way it is usually portrayed. Former Dean Topel said agriculture should be a part of each course a student takes and called on agriculture teachers to take the lead in accomplishing that task.

SPRING IS NEAR: NATIONAL AG WEEK BREAKFAST ON MARCH 24

Faculty and staff are invited to a National Agriculture Week breakfast on Friday, March 24, at 7:30 a.m. in the rotunda of Curtiss Hall. The event is hosted by the Ag Student Council. Students who will earn the title Ag Man and Ag Woman of the Year will be announced.

SPRING IS NEAR: TIME TO TUNE UP THE LAWNMOWER

The Agricultural Systems Technology Club will be tuning up lawn mowers again this year. A flat fee is charged for service with parts at an extra price. The tune-up will be held 1 to 6 p.m. on March 31 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 1 in the courtyard behind Davidson Hall. For more information: 4-2311.

SPRING IS NEAR: ORDER YOUR MULCH TO BE DELIVERED

The ISU Rodeo Club is holding its annual mulch sale. Club members will deliver mulch bags April 7-8. Per-bag cost for the wood-chip mulch is $4.50 with a four-bag minimum purchase. Delivery area is restricted to Ames, Huxley, Slater or Kelly. Order forms can be found in 23 Curtiss and in departmental offices. For more information: Lesa Call, 292-9332.

GRANT WORKSHOP ON CSREES INITIATIVE POSTPONED

A USDA-CSREES grantsmanship workshop has been postponed. The workshop, a live web broadcast, had been planned for Thursday, March 16, in Curtiss Hall, Kildee Hall and at the College of Veterinary Medicine. The topic was the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems, a new $113 million program. The postponement resulted from renewed funding discussions in Congress. More information on the program, which has a May 8 submission deadline, can be found at: http://www.reeusda.gov/ifafs/

SEEKING STUDENTS FOR PANAMA SUMMER INTERNSHIPS

A College of Agriculture summer program in Panama will provide students with two-month internships. Students will live and work in the City of Knowledge, a 300-acre campus between the Panama Canal and a tropical rain forest. Internship areas include conservation, sustainable agriculture, watershed management, ecology, biology, health, ecotourism and indigenous studies. Please let students know of this opportunity. For more information: Ag Study Abroad Office, 4-3972.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

March 20: Dinner for David Topel, Holiday Inn Gateway Center, 5:30 p.m., 4-7677.

March 22: Research open forum for strategic plan, 1204 Kildee, 4 p.m.

March 28: Preliminary Results of Assessment of AgComm: Information You Can Use, AgComm workshop, 8 Brenton Center, noon.

March 28: Ag Business Club’s Future of Farming Forum, 127 Curtiss, 7 p.m.

March to June 5: "Warm, Soft & Fuzzy" art exhibit, 1204 Kildee.

April 12: Science in Agriculture Day at ISU.

April 14-16: Veishea.

April 24: College faculty/staff professional development program on engagement, Holiday Inn Gateway Center, 3:30 p.m.

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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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EDITING COUNTS, OR ELEVEN WORDS ON HOW TO BE BORING

"The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out." - Voltaire.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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ANOTHER BUSY YEAR FOR ISU’S PLANT DISEASE CLINIC

In 1999 the Plant Disease Clinic received 1,588 plant samples for diagnosis, 2,588 soil samples for soybean cyst nematode testing, and more than 1,300 telephone inquiries. Plant samples are sent in by extension staff, the public and commercial firms. Fifty-six percent of them were taken from trees and 15 percent from crops. Plant samples came from all but two counties, and 46 samples came from out of state. About 55 percent of the soil samples had either low or moderate SCN infestation. About 44 percent had no infestation. All but nine counties have SCN infestation. Faculty and staff in seven college departments provide answers and recommendations for those who send in samples.

CALLING ALL JUDGES FOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FAIR

Judges are needed for the Iowa State Science and Technology Fair, March 31 and April 1, Hilton Coliseum. The fair, which ISU has hosted since 1997, helps the university promote science education and showcase the talents of faculty and staff. For more information: Howard Shapiro, 4-6365 or hshapiro@iastate.edu.

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

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WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ‘SUSTAINABLE’

The word "sustainable" peppers many discussions on agriculture. How do we strengthen rural communities to ensure they are sustainable places to live? How do we plan for a sustainable agriculture that supplies food for the world’s population while protecting the environment? How do we ensure our economic competitiveness is sustainable in global markets? A common thread in talks about sustainability is a desire to preserve something good -- our natural resources -- for future generations, says Interim Dean Richard Ross. "What we’re really talking about is quality of life. It’s as simple as that." Ross has written an article on sustainability that has been distributed to media for National Agriculture Week, March 19-25. Check the web to see the full article: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/deanmessage.html.

NOT JUST THE GIRL IN THE CLASS: AN AG BUSINESS PIONEER

On March 4 the Ag Business Club presented Kristy Mather of Laurens with the Pioneer in Agriculture Award. In 1975 she was the first woman to graduate from ISU’s agricultural business program. Mather, who now has a tax and accounting business and helps run a farm, reminisced about being one of the few females in her program: "The stares I got were something else. I was even asked if I was there to get my M.R.S. degree. It took a couple of quarters before I felt like I was accepted as a friend and not just ‘the girl in the class.’ There were rarely any females in my classes once I got through the freshman basics . . . I would choose Ag Bus again. It remains and continues to be a field where women are accepted and can excel. More and more I encounter females where I used to only see males." Last fall 25 percent of students enrolled in ag business as a primary major were women, the highest percentage ever in the program.

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

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THE UNPREDICTABLE LAVA FLOW OF SCIENCE

"Scientific knowledge does not grow incrementally down a predictable track. Rather it grows volcano-like, sometimes oozing in patient rivulets, sometimes erupting in fiery ferment, and occasionally exploding, blowing away the rock of established truth. Pedantic, linear teaching rarely conveys the true drama and mystery of the human quest for knowledge. School plods where human imagination naturally leaps." Lewis J. Perelman, from "School’s Out: Hyperlearning, the New Technology and the End of Education," Avon Books, 1993.

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M A R G I N A L I A

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IMAGINING THE LAND: IN AN OPEN FIELD ON A CLEAR NIGHT

On Tuesday, March 21, poet and writer Pattiann Rogers will speak on campus as part of the Imagining the Land Reading Series. The College of Agriculture is one of the series’ sponsors. Her presentation, "In An Open Field on a Clear Night," will begin at 8 p.m. in the College of Design Auditorium. At 4 p.m. that day Rogers will participate in a panel discussion on "The Poetics of Science," also in the design auditorium. At 2 p.m., Rogers will give a craft lecture on poetry in the English department, 212 Ross.

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: March 31 DEADLINE: March 29

EDITORS

Brian Meyer, bmeyer@iastate.edu, and Ed Adcock, edadcock@iastate.edu

Phone: (515) 294-5616 Web site: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/

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Ag Online, the newsletter for faculty and staff in Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture, is e-mailed every other Friday. To subscribe, send your name, e-mail address and the message "Ag Online subscribe" to bmeyer@iastate.edu. To unsubscribe, send "Ag Online unsubscribe."

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