Issue: 160

COLLEGE NEWS

- Borlaug to participate in ISU farm’s anniversary event

- Help congratulate graduating seniors on Saturday

- ISU-led groups to explore soybean industry in Brazil

- Dean Ross wraps up Iowa community visits in January

- Copies of farmers and society essay at Leopold Center

- College’s representative on child-care committee

- Deadline Dec. 22 for 4-H conference workshop proposals

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Condition your wrists

INFOGRAZING

- Deadline Feb. 28 For World Food Prize nominations

INTERNAL VOICES

- Flux crucial to organism’s (and university’s) health

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Pesticide threats to wildlife may be dwindling

MARGINALIA

- Lard-driven boilers no pork barrel project

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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BORLAUG TO PARTICIPATE IN ISU FARM’S ANNIVERSARY EVENT

Nobel Prize laureate Norman Borlaug has accepted an invitation to take part in the 25th anniversary celebration of ISU’s Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. The event is scheduled for June 26 at the farm. Program planning is underway. Borlaug, distinguished professor of international agriculture at Texas A&M University, is a native of Howard County, one of the counties served by the farm. The farm was established in 1976 by the Northeast Iowa Experimental Association, a local nonprofit group of farmers and other citizens.

HELP CONGRATULATE GRADUATING SENIORS ON SATURDAY

Faculty and staff are invited to help recognize new graduates at the College of Agriculture convocation Saturday, Dec. 16. Most of the nearly 200 college graduates are expected to participate in the event. The Ag Council will present senior awards to: Aaron Patton, horticulture, for academic achievement; Terrance Campbell, public service and administration in agriculture, for distinguished service; Andrea Dexter, agricultural business, for leadership excellence; and Susan Miller, agricultural business, for outstanding senior. Refreshments will be served, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. The program begins at 9:30 a.m.

ISU-LED GROUPS TO EXPLORE SOYBEAN INDUSTRY IN BRAZIL

Next March two programs will take Iowa farmers and ISU faculty and staff to Brazil to learn about soybean production there. Eighteen farmers have signed up for a tour sponsored by the college and the Iowa Farm Bureau, and led by Rogerio Borges, agronomy, and Phillip Baumel, economics. The other program is a professional development program supported by a Cargill grant and led by Keith Whigham, agronomy. Eight faculty and staff (from plant pathology, agronomy, ISU Extension, and Research and Demonstration Farms) will participate. The two groups will meet together at some point during their time in Brazil.

DEAN ROSS WRAPS UP IOWA COMMUNITY VISITS IN JANUARY

Dean Ross will visit Elkader on Jan. 4, the last of five Iowa community visits. The dean also has visited Hartley, West Des Moines, Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. The Dutch-treat dinners with the dean begin at 6 p.m. For more information: Mike Telford, (515) 294-3303 or mtelford@iastate.edu.

COPIES OF FARMERS AND SOCIETY ESSAY AT LEOPOLD CENTER

In his director’s message in the winter issue of the Leopold Letter, Fred Kirschenmann cites an essay in the September/October "World Watch" magazine on the role farmers play in society. The Leopold Center is distributing copies of the essay, written by Worldwatch Institute researcher Brian Halweil. Call 4-3711 or stop by 209 Curtiss.

COLLEGE’S REPRESENTATIVE ON CHILD-CARE COMMITTEE

Linda Mosman, a secretary in animal science, has been named the College of Agriculture’s representative on the University Child Care Committee. The committee advises ISU administration on child-care needs of students, faculty and staff. Mosman can be contacted at 4-2724 or lmosman@iastate.edu. (Two other committee members have college ties: sociologist Peter Korsching represents the Faculty Senate and agronomy graduate student Jerry Neppel represents the Graduate Student Senate.)

DEADLINE DEC. 22 FOR 4-H CONFERENCE WORKSHOP PROPOSALS

A reminder that the deadline is Dec. 22 for workshop proposals for the 2001 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, June 26-28. Agriculture faculty and staff are encouraged to submit ideas. For more information: Wendy Brock, 4-1607 or brockw@iastate.edu.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

Dec. 19: Deadline, promotion and tenure materials, 138 Curtiss.

Dec. 22: Deadline, workshop proposals, 2001 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, 4-1607.

Jan. 3: Foreign travel grant applications due, 138 Curtiss.

Jan. 12: Deadline, scheduling off-campus distance education courses, fall semester, 4-6950.

Jan. 12: Summit on Future of Agricultural Education in Iowa, Scheman Building, 4-5872.

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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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CONDITION YOUR WRISTS

Working at a keyboard all day can be a pain. The best way to prevent repetitive stress injuries is to condition your body to do the work, just as professional athletes prepare for their jobs. That's the approach taken by advice presented on efit.com, http://www.efit.com/servlet/article/health/28067.html. The article details stretches and exercises to avoid wrist injuries.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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DEADLINE FEB. 28 FOR WORLD FOOD PRIZE NOMINATIONS

The World Food Prize Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2001 prize. The deadline is Feb. 28. The World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have enhanced food production and distribution and increased food availability and accessibility. For more information: http://www.worldfoodprize.org.

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

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FLUX CRUCIAL TO ORGANISM’S (AND UNIVERSITY’S) HEALTH

James Olson, distinguished professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, died on Sept. 22. Olson, a pioneer in vitamin A research, was an ISU faculty member for 25 years. One of his lesser-known duties was editing his department's newsletter. The December issue included his last editorial contributions. As a preface to an article listing new and departing faculty and staff, Olson wrote: "The steady states that exist in organisms and in cells are highly deceptive, inasmuch as components of cells are constantly being synthesized and catabolized. Indeed, that regulation of these fluxes is crucial to the health of the organism. Academe is not much different, except that people rather than molecules are replaced."

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

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PESTICIDE THREATS TO WILDLIFE MAY BE DWINDLING

This year more than 10,000 carcasses of birds and animals were delivered to the New York state wildlife pathology lab in response to the outbreak of West Nile virus. The carcasses were examined as public health officials scrambled to investigate sources and transmission patterns of the virus. One result has been an accidental scientific payoff -- a vast new database of wildlife death. What the examinations did not turn up is as revealing as what they did: in all the huge volume of specimens, relatively few animals died from accidental pesticide exposure. The specter that has haunted the naturalist/environmental movement since Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring" is waning, said Ward Stone, lab director. "We're moving from a phase when pesticides like DDT and chlordane were the great threats to wildlife into a time when exotic diseases are becoming more and more important," Stone said. (New York Times, Nov. 27)

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M A R G I N A L I A

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LARD-DRIVEN BOILERS NO PORK BARREL PROJECT

There's nothing quite like lard for making flaky pie crust. Penn State researchers say when it comes to firing up an industrial boiler, there's nothing quite like lard either. They found that lard, along with inedible pig fat -- also known as choice white grease -- can be used to replace No. 6 fuel oil. The researchers showed that lard and choice white grease could be burned in a boiler that normally runs on No. 6 oil (which is heavier than the oil used in home furnaces) with little or no need to modify the equipment. Gallon for gallon, the pork fat produced slightly less energy than oil, but burned cleaner. Although lard is a solid at room temperature, boilers that burn No. 6 oil generally heat the oil first to about 120 degrees, which is high enough to melt the fat. Currently, lard and choice white grease sell for more than fuel oil. But should that change, meat packers that use boilers could keep the home fires burning with their own byproducts. (New York Times, Aug. 29)

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: Jan. 6 DEADLINE: Jan. 4

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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