Issue: 156

AG ONLINE

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The College of Agriculture Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Iowa State University

October 13, 2000 No. 156

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C O N T E N T S

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C O N T E N T S

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COLLEGE NEWS

- Funeral arrangements for Jackie Topel

- New dairy center to open Saturday in Calmar

- Next brown-bag lunch: College's role in Iowa 2010 plan

- High school FFA students digging for honors

- Ag Career Day: Bullish job market for graduates

- Netherlands scholar wants to talk teaching cases

- I-HELP fellow to present economics seminar

- Agronomy, economics plan study abroad in Costa Rica

- Des Moines Water Works manager to speak Oct. 16

- Ag Week activities set for Oct. 23-27

- Ag Alumni Forum posted to the Web

- College seeks alumni ambassadors

- Ag Alumni Society plans event at Oct. 21 homecoming game

- Start thinking women’s basketball -- mark Nov. 29

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Writers’ enjoyment (or lack thereof) shows on the page

- Traits of good writers or other creative people

INFOGRAZING

- Agriculture heads topics on new government search site

INTERNAL VOICES

- Soil judging team goes for the gold (swoosh!)

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Memories of first jobs: Customer service, hot chocolate

MARGINALIA

- Thoughts on aging as autumn leaves begin to fall

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR JACKIE TOPEL

Jackie Topel died early this morning (Friday) at home in Ames. She was 62. She was the wife of David Topel, dean of the College of Agriculture from 1988 through early this year. Visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Stevens Memorial Chapel, 607 28th St. The funeral will be held at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16, at Collegiate Presbyterian Church, 159 North Sheldon. Memorials have been designated to go to the church, unless individuals designate otherwise.

NEW DAIRY CENTER TO OPEN SATURDAY IN CALMAR

A ribbon-cutting and open house will be held Saturday, Oct. 14, for the Northeast Iowa Community-Based Dairy Foundation’s Dairy Center near the Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in Calmar. ISU President Richard Seagrave and other ISU officials will attend. In 1999 a trio of partners agreed to form the new program: NICC; the Northeast Iowa Community-based Dairy Foundation (a citizens group); and ISU (including the colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine, the Experiment Station and ISU Extension). A $4.2 million facility was constructed to be a hub for dairy research, outreach and education. It will house a 150-head herd. The center’s goal is to help ensure the long-term success of the region's dairy industry, which accounts for more than 70 percent of Iowa’s dairy cattle.

NEXT BROWN-BAG LUNCH: COLLEGE'S ROLE IN IOWA 2010 PLAN

Governor Vilsack created Iowa 2010 to involve interested citizens in developing a plan for Iowa's future. A report on the first outcomes of this process can be found on the Web, http://www.iowa2010.state.ia.us/Home.htm. The College of Agriculture's role in the plan is the topic of the next brown-bag lunch, noon, Oct. 25, 142 Curtiss. Faculty, staff and students are invited. Beverages and dessert will be provided.

HIGH SCHOOL FFA STUDENTS DIGGING FOR HONORS

More than 120 high school students will participate in the 18th annual state FFA soil-judging contest near Colo on Saturday, Oct. 14. The event is coordinated by ISU, the Iowa Department of Education and the state FFA association. After a written test, the students will judge soil profiles in soil pits. Associate Dean Jerry Miller said the event helps students better understand agricultural and non-agricultural uses of soil.

AG CAREER DAY: BULLISH JOB MARKET FOR GRADUATES

Despite lean times on the farm, many agricultural employers are anxious to hire workers, says Mike Gaul, director of agriculture career services. Evidence of the job market’s strength can be found at Agriculture Career Day on Oct. 24. The annual job fair is near capacity. Nearly 145 employers are expected to participate. Ag Career Day will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union. A list of employers planning to attend is regularly updated on the Web at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/careerservices/acd.html.

NETHERLANDS SCHOLAR WANTS TO TALK TEACHING CASES

A visiting scholar from the Netherlands would like to meet with ISU faculty who are interested in developing teaching cases to improve students’ competencies in management and decision-making. Robert van Haarlem of Wageningen Agricultural University is visiting the ag education and studies department and International Agriculture Programs. He wants to gauge ISU interest in a collaboration on teaching cases (a teaching technique involving dialogue and discussion of issues). Van Haarlem has set a meeting for 3 p.m., Oct. 25 (location to be determined). Contact him by e-mail: Rob.vanHaarlem@alg.oob.wau.nl.

I-HELP FELLOW TO PRESENT ECONOMICS SEMINAR

On Oct. 25, economist Mike Christie of the University of Wales will present a seminar on his research on developing cost-effective recreation strategies in Scotland. Christie is one of 19 fellows who are on campus this fall in the International Higher Education Loan Program (I-HELP). He has been working with ISU economist Catherine Kling. The seminar begins at noon, 568 Heady.

AGRONOMY, ECONOMICS PLAN STUDY ABROAD IN COSTA RICA

The departments of agronomy and economics are organizing a study-abroad program to Costa Rica during spring break 2001. An informational meeting will be held Oct. 18, 4:30 p.m., 3140 Agronomy. Ken Moore, agronomy, and William Edwards, economics, are group leaders. For more information: 4-3972.

DES MOINES WATER WORKS MANAGER TO SPEAK OCT. 16

L.D. McMullen, CEO and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, will speak on emerging water quality issues with Iowa's municipalities on Monday, Oct. 16, 4:10 p.m., 1131 National Swine Research and Information Center. The seminar is sponsored by the Iowa State Water Resources Research Institute. Other upcoming institute seminars include: Oct. 23, graduate student Danelle Haake on microbial carbon and nitrogen in riparian soils of northeast Missouri; and Oct. 30, graduate student Larry Wulf on pesticide fate in field and wetland soils. For more information: Jill Smart, 4-8921 or smarty@iastate.edu.

AG WEEK ACTIVITIES SET FOR OCT. 23-27

Several Ag Week activities have been scheduled for Oct. 23-27. (On Oct. 19, Alpha Zeta and Ag Business Club will hold mock interviews at 6:30 p.m. in 2020 and 2050 Agronomy.) They include:

- Muffins for ag faculty/staff (PSA Club), 7:30 a.m., Oct. 23, Curtiss rotunda.

- Ag Week kickoff (International Ag Club), 11:50 a.m., Oct. 23, Curtiss rotunda or steps.

- Ag Council prize patrol looking for those wearing college t-shirts, Oct. 23.

- Farm machinery display (AST Club) near Memorial Union all week.

- Costume dance (Dairy Science and Soil and Water Conservation clubs), 8 p.m., Oct. 23, Hunky Dory’s.

- Volleyball tournament (NAMA), 7 p.m., Oct. 24, Leid Rec Center.

- Barbecue (ASAE Club), 11:30 a.m., Oct. 25, Davidson Hall. During the meal, Hort Club and Forestry Club will do bobbing for apples, and Rodeo Club will have a roping contest.

- Hayride/barbecue (Block & Bridle), 7 p.m., Oct. 25, Dairy Farm.

- Scavenger hunt (Ag Ed and Farm Op clubs), 10 p.m., Oct. 25, Curtiss steps.

- Chili cook-off (Pre-Vet Club, MANRRS), 5 p.m., Oct. 26, Farm Bureau Pavilion.

- Ag Council Ag Week wrap-up, 5:30 p.m., Oct. 26, Farm Bureau Pavilion.

For more information: Laurie Huineke, 292-5305 or lhuineke@iastate.edu, and Scott Grantz, 233-8975 or sgrantz@iastate.edu.

AG ALUMNI FORUM POSTED TO THE WEB

The Ag Alumni Forum, a newsletter mailed to nearly 30,000 ISU ag alumni, is available as a PDF document, http://www.ag.iastate.edu/alumni/Ag_Alumni_Forum_2000.pdf. In the issue, Dean Ross talks about his plans for the next two years. Also, two alumni -- butter-cow artist Duffy Lyon and Iowa banker Roger Rinderknecht -- are profiled.

COLLEGE SEEKS ALUMNI AMBASSADORS

The college is looking for ag alumni who would be willing to share their passion for agriculture and ag careers with prospective students. Informational meetings for those interested in becoming "alumni ambassadors" will be held in five Iowa communities to be visited by Dean Ross this fall. For more information: Paula Teig, 4-4548 or pteig@iastate.edu.

AG ALUMNI SOCIETY PLANS EVENT AT OCT. 21 HOMECOMING GAME

At the Oct. 21 homecoming football game, the College of Agriculture Alumni Society will welcome alumni in the ISU Alumni Association’s tent in the southwest corner of the Iowa State Center parking lot. For more information: Mike Telford, 4-7677 or agalumni@iastate.edu.

START THINKING WOMEN’S BASKETBALL -- MARK NOV. 29

The College of Agriculture will sponsor the ISU women’s basketball game versus Creighton on Nov. 29. Ag students can obtain tickets for $1. For faculty and staff and their friends and family, the cost is $3 per ticket. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the college’s scholarship fund. There will be a spirit rally and refreshments before the game in the Scheman Building. For more information: Mike Telford, 4-7677 or agalumni@iastate.edu.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

Oct. 16: Deadline, Dean of Agriculture’s International Research Grants Program, 4-8493

Oct. 16: World Food Day downlink, ASB, 4-3079.

Oct. 23-27: ISU Ag Week.

Oct. 25: College brown-bag lunch, 142 Curtiss, noon.

Nov. 15: Deadline, International Funding for Graduate Students and Postdocs Program, 4-8493.

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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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WRITERS’ ENJOYMENT (OR LACK THEREOF) SHOWS ON THE PAGE

Readers can tell when writers don’t enjoy what they’re doing, says Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He recently spoke to the local chapter of Agricultural Communicators in Education. In a study he conducted, essays written by disinterested writers were judged boring by readers. The best-read work was produced by writers who enjoyed writing. People who don’t like to write often don’t know what they want to say or how to say it, he says. If writing doesn’t matter to them, they treat it a chore, like moving bricks or mowing the lawn. Csikszentmihalyi, a professor at Claremont Graduate University, has studied creativity for 40 years.

TRAITS OF GOOD WRITERS OR OTHER CREATIVE PEOPLE

Csikszentmihalyi listed several traits that distinguish good writers or other creative people. They know how to evaluate themselves and ask whether what they’re doing is the best they can do. They find the right skill level to meet the challenge of their work and its intended audience so that it’s packaged in a way that’s not overdone or underdone. They have the ability to focus and concentrate, and to be completely given to the medium. And they learn what helps prompt creativity and allow those prompts to occur in their lives.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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AGRICULTURE HEADS TOPICS ON NEW GOVERNMENT SEARCH SITE

"Agriculture and Food" heads the list of main topics on FirstGov (http://FirstGov.gov), a new U.S. government Web site that provides a single online portal connecting to information from all federal agency Web pages. Using FirstGov, citizens can apply for student loans, plan for retirement, track Social Security benefits, get advice on buying a first home or starting a small business, reserve a campsite in a national park, arrange to watch a space shuttle launch, or conduct research at the Library of Congress.

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

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SOIL JUDGING TEAM GOES FOR THE GOLD (SWOOSH!)

From an Oct. 3 column in the Iowa State Daily written by agronomy senior Rachel Faber: "Over the past several weeks, we’ve been subjected to the schmaltzy melodrama that is the time-delayed Millennial Olympiad . . . As a member of the ISU Millennial Soil Judging Team, I could feel nothing but empathy for my peers in Sydney . . . This life of glory is not all that easy. There is the pressure to keep your mind sharp to determine landforms. You must hone your hand muscles to discern the amount of clay in a sample of soil. And you have to learn to deal with the price of fame . . . [At a competition in Missouri] I pioneered the first attempt at corporate sponsorship of soil judging. I transformed my black rubber boots by tastefully applying duct tape swooshes on the side. Air Dirt."

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

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MEMORIES OF FIRST JOBS: CUSTOMER SERVICE, HOT CHOCOLATE

In the August issue of Fast Company Magazine, writer Jill Rosenfeld asked 15 business leaders about the most important lessons they learned in their first jobs. Robert Joss, dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, worked as a boy on his grandfather's farm: "I remember when my grandfather, my brother and I would go door to door delivering milk, cream and eggs. I learned firsthand how you get customers: one at a time . . . A lot of people think that the new economy has new truths. It doesn't. The old truths are still there -- the new economy just has new risks and new opportunities." Charles Katz, co-founder of 1stUp.com and a one-time snow shoveler, said, "One of the most important lessons I learned was that after any hard day of work, a good cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows will cure what ails you." For the full story: http://www.fastcompany.com/online/37//one.html

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M A R G I N A L I A

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THOUGHTS ON AGING AS AUTUMN LEAVES BEGIN TO FALL

"It is time we stop denying our growing older and look at the actuality of our own experience, and that of other women and men who have gone beyond denial to a new place in their sixties, seventies, eighties . . . The problem is, first of all, how to break through the cocoon of our illusory youth and risk a new stage in life, where there are not prescribed role models to follow, no guideposts, no rigid rules or visible rewards, to step out into the true existential unknown of these new years of life now open to us, and to find our own terms for living it." Betty Friedan, in her book "The Fountain of Age," 1993.

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: Oct. 27 DEADLINE: Oct. 25

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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