Issue: 170

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AG ONLINE

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The College of Agriculture Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Iowa State University

May 11, 2001 No. 170

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C O N T E N T S

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COLLEGE NEWS

- Ag faculty/staff meeting May 15 to discuss budget cuts

- European Union ag leader to meet with ISU officials

- New leader for Master Gardener program

- Agronomy and ABE learning communities recognized

- ISU farm field days begin June 12; FMD advisory in effect

- Retirement program for CAST’s Stuckey on May 16

- Farm Bureau invites poster ideas for national meeting

- A summer study-abroad update

- College of Agriculture student computer fees awarded

- Horticulture awarded funds for computers

- Graduate research assistantships for minority students

- Send good wishes to Wayne Fuller

- Ag Student Council honors four at convocation

- Retirement reception for two ag administrative staff

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Improve your chances of publishing an op-ed piece

INFOGRAZING

- Ag faculty participation in sponsored funding

- A resource for Story County families of young children

- Value-added ag: Farms, Food and Future Conference June 27

INTERNAL VOICES

- The new graduates: Enjoying what the world has to offer

EXTERNAL VOICES

- The ingenuity of plants (they’re not stupid)

- The softness of early summer days

MARGINALIA

- What the new spring graduates will be doing

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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AG FACULTY/STAFF MEETING MAY 15 TO DISCUSS BUDGET CUTS

Dean Richard Ross has scheduled a May 15 meeting for College of Agriculture faculty and staff to discuss state budget cuts and the college’s FY 2002 budget. The meeting will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Pioneer Room, Memorial Union. Faculty and staff will have an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions to meet the budget cuts.

EUROPEAN UNION AG LEADER TO MEET WITH ISU OFFICIALS

ISU agriculture officials will meet May 18 with Franz Fischler, the European Union’s commissioner for agriculture, rural development and fisheries. Dean Richard Ross, CARD Director Bruce Babcock, FAPRI Director John Beghin and other ISU economists will brief Fischler and his staff on Midwest agriculture, agricultural trade, biotechnology, environmental issues and other topics that may be discussed by Congress when crafting the next Farm Bill. The visit, which will be held in Des Moines, is one stop on Fischer’s itinerary in Iowa, which also includes meeting with Governor Vilsack and touring farms and agribusinesses.

NEW LEADER FOR MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM

Donald Lewis, entomology, has been named professor-in-charge of the Master Gardener program. Lewis will serve as administrator of the program, while continuing his duties as an extension entomologist. Lewis has taught entomology classes for the Master Gardener program since it began in 1977. He'll work with James Romer, Master Gardener coordinator, as well as local coordinators, campus faculty and staff to develop new materials, curricula and projects. To date, about 6,000 Master Gardeners have been trained throughout the state.

AGRONOMY AND ABE LEARNING COMMUNITIES RECOGNIZED

Two College of Agriculture learning communities were recognized this week at the ISU Learning Community Institute. The Agronomy 350/English 309 Learning Community and the Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Learning Community received the first-ever Outstanding Innovation Awards. Faculty and staff members of each team were recognized for their extensive collaborations with the English department, and for their contributions to the learning community program.

ISU FARM FIELD DAYS BEGIN JUNE 12; FMD ADVISORY IN EFFECT

ISU Research and Demonstration Farm field days begin June 12 at the McNay Farm near Chariton. A field-day highlight this year will be the 25th anniversary of the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm on June 26. There is an advisory for those visiting ISU farms this year because of the global outbreaks of foot and mouth disease. Persons who have been abroad recently are asked to participate in a precautionary five-day waiting period prior to visiting ISU farms with livestock. More information about the field days and the advisory can be found on the Web: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/farms/fielddays.html.

RETIREMENT PROGRAM FOR CAST’S STUCKEY ON MAY 16

Agriculture faculty, staff and students are invited to the retirement reception and program for Richard Stuckey, executive vice president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), to be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 16, in the Ensminger Conference Room, 1204 Kildee. The program begins at 3 p.m. with a welcome from Dean Richard Ross. A panel of ISU faculty (Donald Duvick, Bruce Babcock, Don Beitz and Jim McKean) will give remarks on science in the 21st century. Teresa Gruber, the new CAST executive vice president, will be introduced. For more information: 292-2125.

FARM BUREAU INVITES POSTER IDEAS FOR NATIONAL MEETING

The American Farm Bureau invites researchers to present poster papers on their projects at its national conventions. The poster papers are an opportunity for scientists to discuss their ideas with more than 6,000 farmers and ranchers. The next national convention will be held Jan. 6-7, 2002, in Reno. Deadline for submitting applications for posters is July 1, 2001. In a letter encouraging poster proposals, the Farm Bureau wrote: "With research funding to universities decreasing and the outside pressures on farmers increasing, we need to forge the strongest links possible between farmers and what they need and researchers and which projects they choose to tackle." For more information: Jim Porterfield, (847) 685-8782.

A SUMMER STUDY-ABROAD UPDATE

This month there are 104 students in seven College of Agriculture study-abroad programs traveling to Argentina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Greece, Ireland and Ukraine. There also are 12 ISU interns who will work in seven countries this summer through the college’s Summer Internship Program in Agriculture. The countries are France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Panama, Spain and Thailand.

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE STUDENT COMPUTER FEES AWARDED

Associate Dean Eric Hoiberg has approved more than $48,000 to five projects that will improve computer technology for students. The projects were recommended by the college’s Technology Advancement Committee. Funds come from student computer fees. Departments, amounts and projects are:

- agriculture education and studies, $8,958 for a server, tape backup and software licenses to support 23 student computers

- animal science, $4,975 for a server to support 43 student computers

- entomology, $2,962 for a computer to be used in class presentations involving live, video and still images of insects

- forestry, $25,780 for eight computers for a class on using global positioning systems and geographic information systems

- plant pathology, $5,404 for a hardware and software that will be used to analyze DNA and protein sequences for botany and plant pathology courses

HORTICULTURE AWARDED FUNDS FOR COMPUTERS

After reviewing recommendations from the Computation Advisory Committee (CAC), the Provost has awarded the Department of Horticulture $38,324 in student computer fees. The department had submitted a proposal in response to CAC's annual call for proposals. The award will fund the purchase of 22 computers for students to create and process digital streaming video to deliver content via the Web. The computers will be supported by a digital streaming video server, a digital video camcorder, digital processing software and Web content development software. Gail Nonnecke is the project leader and Mark Hoffman is the systems support specialist. The new computers will available for use by all ISU students.

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTSHIPS FOR MINORITY STUDENTS

As part of the College of Agriculture’s Diversity Program, the Experiment Station provides quarter-time graduate research assistantships to minority students. Applications are welcome at any time. Availability depends on the number of students currently funded. This summer and next fall, 13 students will receive assistantships, which are matched by departments or investigators. The students are working on degrees in agricultural education and studies, forestry, zoology/genetics, genetics, agronomy, entomology, plant pathology and interdepartmental genetics. (Last semester a total of 26 minority graduate students were enrolled in the college.) For more information: Mary de Baca, 4-8574 or mmdb@iastate.edu.

SEND GOOD WISHES TO WAYNE FULLER

Friends, colleagues and former students of Wayne Fuller, statistics, are invited to send letters to include in a book of letters to be presented to Fuller at the June 21-22 symposium honoring his contributions to statistics and his 70th birthday. Deadline for letters is June 9. Send them to Sandie Smith, 219 Snedecor (by e-mail, sandie@iastate.edu; by fax, 4-4433). Fuller is a distinguished professor of statistics and economics and has been a faculty member since 1959. For more information on the symposium: http://www.iastate.edu/~stat/.

AG STUDENT COUNCIL HONORS FOUR AT CONVOCATION

The Ag Student Council presented awards to graduating seniors at the college convocation last Saturday. These students were recognized: Scott David Grantz, agricultural studies and agricultural systems technology, for academic achievement; Patrick Kuehn, agricultural education, for distinguished service; Michael Ray Johnson, agricultural business, for leadership excellence; Laurie Hueneke, animal science and international agriculture, for outstanding senior.

RETIREMENT RECEPTION FOR TWO AG ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

A retirement reception for Janie Lohnes, Agriculture Student Services, and Karen Klaiber, Agriculture Career Services, will be held Friday, June 29, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Dairy Industry Courtyard. Lohnes, a student services specialist, has worked more than 20 years at ISU. Klaiber has worked full-time at ISU almost 19 years, and has been the secretary in career services since 1984.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

May 10-13: Post-transcriptional Control of Gene Expression in Plants, Plant Sciences Institute Symposium, http://molebio.iastate.edu/~gfst/phomepg.html.

May 17-18: "Molecular Genetic Diversity in Crops," 2001 Plant Science Lecture Series, Memorial Union, 4-7826.

May 21-24: Project LEA/RN introductory workshop, 225 Bessey, 8:30-4:30, 4-1587.

June 18-21: Project LEA/RN advanced workshop, 225 Bessey 8:30-4:30, 4-1587.

June 19: Proposal deadline, USDA Fund for Rural America, http://www.reeusda.gov/fra/.

June 21-24: "Functions and Actions of Retinoids and Carotenoids: Building on the Vision of James A. Olson," symposium, Scheman Building, http://molebio.iastate.edu/~gfst/olsonsymp.html.

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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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IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF PUBLISHING AN OP-ED PIECE

Richard Doak, Des Moines Register editorial page editor, recently spoke in Ames to a group of agricultural writers about getting op-ed pieces published in the Register. He said there’s a difference between an op-ed and a letter to the editor. If you're responding to something in the news or to another writer, a letter is probably best. Op-eds are generally stand-alone essays. Only one out of 20 submissions is accepted. Here are some of Doak’s tips on writing an op-ed that will be accepted:

- Write a provocative beginning, grabbing the reader's attention in the first few sentences. Put supporting arguments in the middle and write a strong conclusion.

- Use plain English, leaving out technical jargon. And use proper grammar.

- Write on a timely topic that can be connected to current news.

- Take a position. Academics often want to lay out all the options without taking a position.

- Don't attempt a point-by-point rebuttal of an earlier article. These are rejected.

- The Register wants op-ed pieces that are 700 to 750 words long.

- Know the paper's timetable. At the Register, op-eds are planned a week in advance, with the Sunday section planned two weeks in advance.

If you'd like more help an op-eds, call Agriculture Communications, 4-5616.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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AG FACULTY PARTICIPATION IN SPONSORED FUNDING

ISU’s Faculty Participation Index, which is calculated every summer, records the participation of tenured and tenure-track faculty as principal investigators or co-principal investigators for any sponsored funding during the previous three years. The 2000 index was based on FY98, 99 and 00. Participation rate in the College of Agriculture was 79 percent (415 faculty members). Departments with 100 percent participation included animal ecology, entomology, forestry, microbiology and plant pathology. Campus-wide, the participation rate was 58 percent. Listed among the top 10 departments with the highest numbers of participating faculty were economics (53), agronomy (52), animal science (52) and sociology (39). (ISU Research and Graduate Education newsletter, November 2000)

A RESOURCE FOR STORY COUNTY FAMILIES OF YOUNG CHILDREN

Story County Family is a website for parents and service providers. The website, developed by ISU Center for Child Care Resources, is a directory on Story County services and programs for families of young children, infants to five years old. There’s information on topics such as children with special needs; early care and education; family entertainment and activities; and nutrition. Story County Family is located at: http://www.storycountyfamily.org/.

VALUE-ADDED AG: FARMS, FOOD AND FUTURE CONFERENCE JUNE 27

The Farms, Food and Future Conference will be held June 27 at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines. Participants will learn more about Iowa’s food and fiber products and how to beef up their bottom line by adding value to Iowa’s commodities. Speakers will include Mark Drabenstott, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Gov. Vilsack. Iowa foods will be featured at a trade show and an Iowa Food Festival. The conference is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and others, including ISU Extension. For more information: http://www.state.ia.us/agriculture.

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

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THE NEW GRADUATES: ENJOYING WHAT THE WORLD HAS TO OFFER

Post-ISU plans of graduating seniors in agriculture were read during the May 5 college convocation (see also "Marginalia"). Students submitted brief write-ups on their plans prior to graduation. Daniel Kilborn, agronomy, said he’d be working on the wheat harvest this summer and then "riding his Harley around the U.S. during August." Lori Schmitz, agronomy, said she’d work as an environmental GIS expert with biomass production "while developing her second book, an environmental-fantasy novel." Sue Castelland, zoology, said "with one challenge now behind her, she’s ready to take on the next -- motherhood." Kietha Renfore, agricultural education, said she’d be establishing a career as a gospel singer. And Benjamin Nurre, forestry, said he "will be enjoying the world and what it has to offer."

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

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THE INGENUITY OF PLANTS (THEY’RE NOT STUPID)

The following excerpt is from a book review in today’s (May 11) Wall Street Journal. The reviewer is Cynthia Crossen and the book is "The Botany of Desire" by garden writer Michael Pollan. "Because plants seem so passive, it’s tempting to think they’re stupid. Here again Mr. Pollan disabused me of my anthropocentric ignorance. [Plants] embody one of the most sophisticated, almost alchemistic, life systems on earth, turning seeds, soil, water and sunlight into a rose, a zucchini or a towering oak. ‘Most of the ingenuity of plants -- that is, most of the work of a billion years of evolutionary trial and error -- has been applied to learning (or rather, inventing) the arts of biochemistry, at which plants excel beyond all human imagining,’ Mr. Pollan writes."

THE SOFTNESS OF EARY SUMMER DAYS

"The early summer days on a farm are the happiest and fairest days of the year. Lilacs bloom and make the air sweet, and then fade. Apple blossoms come with the lilacs, and the bees visit around among the apple trees. The days grow warm and soft."

- E.B. White, in "Charlotte's Web"

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M A R G I N A L I A

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WHAT THE NEW SPRING GRADUATES WILL BE DOING

Here are some career, and other, plans reported by College of Agriculture graduating seniors (also see "Internal Voices"). They were read during the May 5 college convocation:

- agronomist, Sully Coop

- will work in seed industry a few years, then return to farming

- equipment territory manager, Unverferth

- marketing representative, John Deere

- will return home to farm with brother

- ag instructor, Southeast Polk School, Altoona

- extension intern, Butler County

- crop scout, West Central Cooperative

- assistant athletic turf manager, University of New Mexico

- second lieutenant, U.S. Army

- will join Air Force to work with satellite systems

- study ag law, Drake Law School

- production manager, Allendan Seed, Winterset

- will work on soybean research, Pioneer Hi Bred International

- pursue master’s in entomology at ISU and work for USDA-ARS

- quality control and processing engineer, Hormel Foods, Osceola

- will return to family farm and train horses

- administrative manager, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Liverpool, N.Y.

- biological science lab technician, National Veterinary Services Lab

- swine products sales representative, Elanco Animal Health

- animal caretaker, National Animal Disease Center

- hog buyer, IBP, Storm Lake

- calf specialist, Nelson Dairy Consultants, Zumbrota, Minn.

- will test combines for John Deere Harvester Works

- loan officer, Rolfe State Bank, Rolfe

- field sales manager, Successful Farming Magazine

- commodity trader, ADM, Decatur, Ill.

- foreman, Landscape Garden Centers, Sioux Falls, S.D.

- certified energy specialist, County Energy in southeast Iowa

- financial analyst, Salomon Smith Barney, Chicago

- manager of Dairy Queen on Lincoln Way, Ames

- park ranger, Ken-Carl Ranch, Littleton, Colo.

- take position with Silver State Hotshots Fire Crew, Carson City, Nev.

- will work in wetlands unit for Iowa DOT

- attend graduate school, Sackler Institute of Biomedical Sciences, NYU School of Medicine

- will work at Manchester Country Club, Manchester, N.H.

- will expand a self-owned lawn service, Nevada, Iowa

- plans to own an orchard/vineyard with a farmers’ market

- pursue law degree, specializing in intellectual property, at University of Iowa

- will work for ISU’s DNA-sequencing facility and get master’s in bioinformatics

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: May 25 DEADLINE: May 23

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."

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, disability or status as a U.S. Vietnam Era Veteran. Any persons having inquiries concerning this may contact the Director of Affirmative Action, 1031 Wallace Road Office Building, Room 101, (515) 294-7612.

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