Issue: 147

COLLEGE NEWS

- College salary allocations determined

- Reimans speak on past and future of the gardens

- Update on construction at Reiman Gardens

- Ag alumni return to ISU

- Director search for Social / Behavioral Institute

- Farewell planned for Dennis Olson June 16

- Congressman Latham visits Bear Creek research site

- Open house on ISU biocomposite research June 14

- Beef nutrition field day to show off farm improvements

- The Engaged College: Dietetic interns helping communities

- Corn dogs and you: Iowa State Fair volunteers needed

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- What’s in a biotech word? Thoughts on neutral ground

- What’s in a biotech word? Thoughts for agri-marketers

INFOGRAZING

- Report on climate change and ag available online

- University tries to sell software to put courses online

INTERNAL VOICES

- Butler on the science of the people

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Kirschenmann on being at home with the soil

MARGINALIA

- If you think the glass is half full, you may live longer

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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COLLEGE SALARY ALLOCATIONS DETERMINED

Departments and units in the College of Agriculture have received funds for salary increases. University policy is that satisfactory performance for faculty and P&S staff will be recognized with at least a 1.33 percent salary increase, and higher increases will be based on merit, market and equity factors. Ag departments and units received funds for a 2.86 percent increase for faculty and 3.10 percent for P&S staff. (Funds held for faculty promotions account for the difference.) AFSCME staff members receive increases consistent with the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the State of Iowa. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa will act on salaries at its July meeting.

REIMANS SPEAK ON PAST AND FUTURE OF THE GARDENS

On Thursday, Roy and Bobbi Reiman spoke about the growth of the Reiman Gardens since it opened in 1995 and talked about the gardens’ future. The couple answered questions at a garden talk held in the Mahlstede Learning Center at the gardens. They said they looked forward to the completion of a planned $7.8 million conservatory that will contain an auditorium, tea room and butterfly "wing." Roy Reiman said the addition will make the gardens a year-around attraction expected to draw as many as 300,000 visitors a year, six times the present number. Murray Blackwelder, vice president of external affairs, said the conservatory will make the gardens a popular destination for travelers, and its addition will increase the gardens’ budget to $1.5 million from its present $400,000.

UPDATE ON CONSTRUCTION AT REIMAN GARDENS

The pond in the Reiman Gardens’ new Town and Country Garden has been installed and the waterfalls are running. Construction has begun on a garden house that will be part of the Town and Country Garden. Work also is started on a Formal Lawn Garden and Prairie Vista Garden. The work is expected to be finished by the end of October. A bid was let last week for the Arboretum Garden on the southern edge of the gardens. It will natural Iowa landscapes and feature an escarpment garden, which will simulate rocky cliffs along major waterways. It is scheduled to be finished this fall.

AG ALUMNI RETURN TO ISU

Thirty-eight agriculture graduates are among the 250-some alumni who are on campus for ISU Alumni Days, which ends tomorrow (Saturday). An ag alumni golf event planned for Saturday has been cancelled.

DIRECTOR SEARCH FOR SOCIAL / BEHAVIORAL INSTITUTE

Rand Conger is stepping down as director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research. Conger, who has been director since 1988 when the institute was established as the Social and Behavioral Research Center for Rural Health, will return to the sociology faculty to teach and conduct research. Two ISU faculty members are candidates to succeed Conger. An open forum was held Thursday for Ronald Simons, associate director of the institute and a sociology professor. An open forum for psychology professor Carolyn Cutrona will be held at 9 a.m., June 14, Gold Room, Memorial Union.

FAREWELL PLANNED FOR DENNIS OLSON ON JUNE 16

A farewell reception will be held for Dennis Olson on Friday, June 16, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Kildee Hall Atrium. Olson is director of the Utilization Center for Agricultural Products and the NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center. The professor of animal science and food science and human nutrition has been a faculty member since 1980. He will become vice president of research and development for food applications for the Titan SureBeam Corporation in Omaha. Olson’s last day is July 10.

CONGRESSMAN LATHAM VISITS BEAR CREEK RESEARCH SITE

On May 30 the Leopold Center’s Agroecology Issue Team hosted a visit by Iowa Congressman Tom Latham to the Bear Creek riparian research site near Roland. The visit was organized by Trees Forever president Shannon Ramsay. ISU’s Tom Isenhart, Bill Simpkins and Dick Schultz spoke about the research’s influence on national efforts to restore buffer zones along streams next to farmland. They also emphasized the importance of federal funds in initiating the project. The Iowa Buffer Initiative, a partnership between Trees Forever, ISU’s Department of Forestry, the Iowa Farm Bureau and Novartis, was cited as an example of how state, federal and private groups can pursue a common goal and accomplish more than individual efforts.

OPEN HOUSE ON ISU BIOCOMPOSITE RESEARCH ON JUNE 14

ISU’s Biocomposite Research Group will host an open house Wednesday, June 14, on its work to develop new manufacturing products using Iowa crop materials. The open house, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, will be held in the Center for Crops Utilization Research’s Technology Transfer Theater (1951 Food Sciences). Invitations to the event were sent to Iowa companies, economic development agencies and city and state government offices. ISU faculty and staff also are welcome to attend. Participants will learn more about research in industrial fibers, soybean-based wood adhesives, fiber-reinforced plastic materials, and wood and agricultural fiberboard. They also will tour facilities in CCUR. For more information: Monlin Kuo, forestry, 4-1225 or mlkuo@iastate.edu.

BEEF NUTRITION FIELD DAY TO SHOW OFF FARM IMPROVEMENTS

A June 15 field day will showcase new and improved facilities at ISU’s Beef Nutrition Research Farm north of Ames. A program and tour will highlight past and ongoing research in cattle production. The event will be held 5 to 8 p.m. For more information: Pete Olson, extension livestock specialist, x1polson@exnet.iastate.edu.

THE ENGAGED COLLEGE: DIETETIC INTERNS HELPING COMMUNITIES

( -- The following item is the last in a series of examples of engagement

activities in the College of Agriculture -- ) In the past, students in ISU dietetics intern program worked mainly in hospitals. But the program is becoming more community-focused. Now interns also work in schools, manufacturing companies and public-health agencies. This past year 30 interns worked in 12 communities during the six-month program. The food science and human nutrition department also is providing continuing education opportunities, including distance-education options, to professionals working with the interns. The department, cooperating with the hotel, restaurant and institution management department, is developing certificate programs for registered dietitians throughout the state. For more information: Jean Anderson, 4-7316 or janderso@iastate.edu.

CORN DOGS AND YOU: IOWA STATE FAIR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Volunteers are needed to staff the College of Agriculture exhibit at the Iowa State Fair, Aug. 10-20. Volunteers receive free admission and parking passes. Contact Marty Behrens, 4-5616 or behrens@iastate.edu.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

June 7-16: Association of Official Seed Analysts and Society of Commercial Seed Technologists annual meetings, Scheman Building, 4-6821.

June 12-15: Introduction to Learning-centered College Classrooms workshop, 4-1587.

June 13: Iowa's Land and Environment meeting, Hitchcock Nature Area Lodge, Honey Creek, 9 a.m.

June 15: Iowa's Land and Environment meeting, Holiday Inn, Davenport, 9 a.m.

June 15-16: National Biobased Products and Bioenergy Development: The Role and Capacities of the State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Conference, Scheman Building, http://www.lifelearner.iastate.edu/conference/bioenergy.htm

June 16: Iowa's Land and Environment meeting, Marriott Hotel, West Des Moines, 9 a.m.

June 19: Open forum, Andrew Novakovich, ag dean finalist, Ensminger Conference Room, 1204 Kildee, 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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WHAT’S IN A BIOTECH WORD? THOUGHTS ON NEUTRAL GROUND

Biotechnology critics like to use the word "Frankenfood" to describe genetically engineered products. Biotech advocates prefer "genetically enhanced" or "genetically improved." Are there neutral terms? According to the February-March issue of the Copy Editor newsletter, many science writers use "genetically modified," which is widely used in Europe. Often European newspapers use "GM" without spelling it out. In the U.S., "genetically engineered" also is used. The FDA uses "bioengineered foods" to describe genetically engineered foods. Some in the U.S. have tried to spell out the difference between genetically modified (traditional plant breeding techniques) and genetically engineered (biotech methods), but for the most part journalists and the public do not make those distinctions.

WHAT’S IN A BIOTECH WORD? THOUGHTS FOR AGRI-MARKETERS

According to David Schmidt of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), words that agri-marketers should use when discussing biotechnology include "enhanced," "wholesome," "natural," "trait" and "quality." Words to lose, Schmidt said, include "alter," "create," "engineered," "industry," "organism," "splice," "transgenic" and "revolutionize." Schmidt’s comments appeared in the January issue of Agri-Marketing magazine. The IFIC is a non-profit group that aims to communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition to professionals, educators, journalists and others who provide information to consumers.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND AG AVAILABLE ONLINE

A report on how climate change may affect U.S. agriculture can be downloaded from a Harvard Medical School Web site. ISU plant pathologist X.B. Yang is one of the authors. The report was the subject of a recent Congressional briefing. The site: http://www.med.harvard.edu/chge/resources.html.

UNIVERSITY TRIES TO SELL SOFTWARE TO PUT COURSES ONLINE

George Washington University is working to commercialize its Prometheus courseware system. Prometheus allows faculty members to offer distance-learning courses or to supplement in-person courses with online discussions, class notes and presentations. More than 1,000 faculty members used the system in the spring semester. Its success has led the university to try to sell Prometheus to other institutions, making the university a rival to private firms such as WebCT and Blackboard. Vanderbilt University has already agreed to license Prometheus, and other universities also are interested. (Chronicle of Higher Education, June 9)

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

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BUTLER ON THE SCIENCE OF THE PEOPLE

Recently, Lorna Michael Butler, the Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture, spoke to college and department leaders about how her plans and views. Her comments included: "A viable and vibrant agriculture of the future must include a diverse range of people and organizations who plan together to achieve profitable businesses, but also landscapes that provide a safe, healthy and attractive living environment, and high quality and reliable regional food supply. While this requires knowledge of science, it also requires indigenous knowledge -- the ‘science of the people.’ Universities, public decision-makers and organizational leaders must find more effective ways to tap both kinds of knowledge, and to convey this knowledge to ordinary people in user-friendly ways."

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

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KIRSCHENMANN ON BEING AT HOME WITH THE SOIL

An excerpt from the Frederick Kirschenmann essay, "On Becoming Lovers of the Soil," in the 1997 book, "For All Generations: Making World Agriculture More Sustainable." This week Kirschenmann was named the new director of the Leopold Center. "Now I realize that an invitation to become lovers of the soil is an alien request. It is not something that one can take to one's national government or the United Nations as part of the sustainable agriculture debate. It is not something that you can put on the agenda of national environmental organizations. It is not an issue that food activists can take to their members. It will not appeal to university researchers. It isn't even an invitation that one can readily take to organic farmers . . . But I would submit that it is absolutely fundamental to all the work that all of us are doing. Soil is the connection to ourselves. . . To be at home with the soil is truly the only way to be at home with ourselves, and therefore the only way we can be at peace with the environment and all of the earth species that are part of it. It is, literally, the common ground on which we all stand."

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M A R G I N A L I A

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IF YOU THINK THE GLASS IF HALF FULL, YOU MAY LIVE LONGER

Pessimists are at a 20 percent greater risk of premature death than optimists, according to a Mayo Clinic study. "Optimists are likely to take proactive measures against unhealthy situations," said Susan Vaughn, M.D., author of the book, "Half Empty, Half Full." Those measures may lengthen an optimist’s life. Optimism can be cultivated, Vaughn said. "Think of someone worse off than you. You’ll feel lucky, which improves your mood. And a good mood is the key to optimism." (Self Magazine, May)

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: June 23 DEADLINE: June 21

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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