Issue: 171

COLLEGE NEWS

- Dean Ross presentation from budget meeting on the web

- Sign up for advanced LEA/RN workshop in june

- A look at the USDA CSREES budget proposal for FY2002

- Gift establishes Spencer Sustainable Agriculture Award

- Global consortium’s conference 2001 in July

- German travel and study program open for students

- Need summer help? International interns available

- A slice of heaven wins this year’s Pizz-A-Thon

- Young germbusters visit microbiology department

- Tenth annual Teachers’ Academy on Ag Awareness in June

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Parks Library has extensive ag resources on the Web

INFOGRAZING

- Jobs for ISU ag graduates: Nearly 82 percent have one, others are going to school

- Jobs for ISU ag graduates: Top 20 employers

INTERNAL VOICES

- Convocation speaker cites college cornerstones

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Far-reaching impact of withering public ag research funds

MARGINALIA

- Letters from kids: Microbiology and lessons about soap

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C O L L E G E N E W S

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DEAN ROSS PRESENTATION FROM BUDGET MEETING ON THE WEB

About 100 College of Agriculture faculty and staff attended a May 15 meeting to discuss the impact of state budget cuts. A copy of Dean Ross’s presentation is on the Web in PDF form, along with comments and suggestions from those who attended. Go to http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/budget.html.

SIGN UP FOR ADVANCED LEA/RN WORKSHOP IN JUNE

An advanced workshop on "Learning-Centered College Classrooms" will be offered by Project LEA/RN June 18-21. At least 12 participants are needed. The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on each day in 225 Bessey. Agriculture faculty and graduate students are eligible to attend if they’ve previously taken an introductory LEA/RN workshop. The workshop is free. Costs are covered by a USDA Higher Education Challenge Grant. Persons wishing to enroll should contact Justin Benna, jvb@iastate.edu, as soon as possible. For more information: Steve Jungst, 4-1587 or sejungst@iastate.edu.

A LOOK AT THE USDA CSREES BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FY2002

President Bush's FY2002 budget proposal for USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (the source of much of the federal dollars for the College of Agriculture and Experiment Station) includes $869.6 million in discretionary funding. Discretionary funds are the portion of the budget that the House and Senate agricultural appropriations committees can increase or decrease. Mandatory funding includes $120 million for the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems, which awards competitive grants for critical and emerging issues. The Fund for Rural America and the Community Food Project also obtained mandatory funding. The budget proposal would sustain funding for: competitively awarded grant programs; formula allocations to states for research and extension base programs; targeted problem areas; integrated research, extension and education; expanded partnerships to reach diverse audiences; and streamlined management and improved accountability.

GIFT ESTABLISHES SPENCER SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AWARD

An endowment has been established at ISU for the Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture, which will be given to a person who has "taken a courageous position to affect, influence and advance ecological and economic stability in agricultural systems and the family farm." A gift of $20,000 from Robert Spencer of La Crosse, Wis., and Elaine Spencer of Seattle, Wash., will create the Norman and Margaretha Geiger Spencer Endowment. The Spencers made their gift in memory of their parents, both ISU alumni from the 1940s. (Robert and Elaine also are alumni.) Norman and Margaretha farmed near Sioux City for 40 years. The endowment will be administered by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

GLOBAL CONSORTIUM’S CONFERENCE 2001 IN JULY

Speakers from educational institutions in Taiwan, India, New Zealand, Hungary, Ukraine, the United States and other countries are on the program for the second international conference of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture, July 12-14, in San Francisco. Iowa State and Purdue are organizing the meeting. An ISU delegation will attend. For more information: http://www.gchera.iastate.edu/.

GERMAN TRAVEL AND STUDY PROGRAM OPEN FOR STUDENTS

The College of Agriculture is offering a travel and study program for students at Hohenheim University in Germany. There are two openings for undergraduate students. They will be provided a scholarship of approximately $400 a month for a maximum of 10 months. One opening is available for a graduate student, who will receive a scholarship of approximately $650 a month for a maximum of 10 months. A travel subsidy of $1,000 is provided, along with $500 for other expenses. German language skills are required. For more information, contact Shelley Taylor, 4-5393 or sztaylor@iastate.edu, by June 20.

NEED SUMMER HELP? INTERNATIONAL INTERNS AVAILABLE

International Agriculture Programs is seeking internship opportunities for six international exchange students. If you are looking for summer help, please consider one of these students from Mexico, Spain and Germany. Their interests include animal science, agricultural economics, agricultural mechanical engineering, nutrition and resource and environmental economics. For more information: Shelley Taylor, 4-5393 or sztaylor@iastate.edu, or Eduarda Becerra 4-3972 or ebecerra@iastate.edu.

A SLICE OF HEAVEN WINS THIS YEAR’S PIZZ-A-THON

Twenty-eight middle-school students from six Iowa schools participated in the 2001 Pizz-A-Thon May 18-19. Since 1996 the event has brought teams of young people to campus to learn more about agriculture, food and careers as they compete in a pizza development contest. The team from North Iowa Middle School, Thompson, won top honors for its "Slice of Heaven" pizza, which was made with marshmallows, chocolate chips, strawberries and cream cheese. West Hancock Middle School of Britt and Kanawha also won awards for marketing and teamwork. Eldon Weber, agricultural education and studies, coordinates the event and has worked with educators in North Carolina and Illinois on using the Pizz-A-Thon model. Plans are underway to conduct a Pizz-A-Thon at the Clay County Fair in Spencer this year.

YOUNG GERMBUSTERS VISIT MICROBIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

This month the Department of Microbiology has hosted several groups of Ames area third and fourth graders to learn more about microbes and become "germbusters." Sixty students from Fellows Elementary in Ames visited on two days early in May. In labs led by Joan Cunnick, they conducted experiments to predict where germs can be found; to discover useful microbes in fresh milk and yogurt and spoilage microbes in old milk; and, with some "glitterbug lotion" and a black light, to determine how clean their hands really were after washing. In other times of the year, Cunnick visits elementary schools to talk about microbes. (See "Marginalia" below.)

TENTH ANNUAL TEACHERS’ ACADEMY ON AG AWARENESS IN JUNE

Sixty-five elementary school teachers will meet in Ames June 11-16 for the 10th annual Teachers’ Academy on Agricultural Awareness. The teachers, who are sponsored by local Farm Bureau organizations and commodity groups, attend to learn more about Iowa’s agriculture and how it can be used as a theme for instruction. Cary Trexler, agricultural education and studies, directs the academy, and will teach two sessions during the week at the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association headquarters.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

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.

June 27: Farms, Food and the Future Conference, Polk County Convention Center, Des Moines, http://www2.state.ia.us/agriculture/FarmFoodFuture.htm.

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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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PARKS LIBRARY HAS EXTENSIVE AG RESOURCES ON THE WEB

If you're looking for sources of agricultural information, a good place to start is the Park Library's e-Library and its Agricultural Resources on the Web. Links to information include subsections such as: indexes and abstracts, agricultural economics & statistics, agricultural education/extension, agricultural engineering, agronomy (plant/soil sciences), animal sciences, associations/institutes/organizations, biotechnology, botany, entomology, forestry, genetics (plant), horticulture, plant pathology, sustainable agriculture, USDA/governmental, weather/climate data and electronic journals. It is located at: http://www.lib.iastate.edu/collections/eresourc/agricu.html.

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I N F O G R A Z I N G

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JOBS FOR ISU AG GRADUATES: NEARLY 82 PERCENT HAVE ONE, OTHERS ARE GOING TO SCHOOL

Six months after graduation, 81.5 percent of College of Agriculture bachelor’s degree recipients from 1999-2000 reported they were employed. (There were 657 graduates during that period; 648 responded to an ISU survey.) Sixty-eight percent of those workers were employed in Iowa. Seventeen percent of the respondents said they were pursuing further education. (ISU Office of Institutional Research, May 2001)

JOBS FOR ISU AG GRADUATES: TOP 20 EMPLOYERS

According to the Office of Institutional Research, here are the top 20 employers of ISU College of Agriculture graduates who earned their bachelor’s degrees in 1999-2000: 1. Iowa State University 2. Cargill 3. Deere & Co. 4. Monsanto 5. Pioneer Hi-Bred International 6. Cenex/Land O’Lakes 7. Growmark 8. Swift & Co. 9. Excel 10. Firstar Bank 11. AMPC 12. Bunge 13. Fort Dodge Animal Health 14. Genex 15. Holden Seed Co. 16. Hormel Foods 17. John Deere Credit 18. Land O’Lakes Ag Services 19. Ag Leader Technology 20. tie among Alpharma Animal Health, E-Markets, Garst Seed Co., IBP, Life Investors, Mycogen Seeds, USDA Ag Research, USDA NADC and USDA National Soil Tilth Lab.

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

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CONVOCATION SPEAKER CITES COLLEGE CORNERSTONES

"Yet as I reflect on my education at Iowa State University, I realize that there are several key principles that are the foundation stones of all programs in the College of Agriculture. … The first principle is that each major, though unique, seeks to maintain the vigor, beauty, productivity and sustainability of the Iowa landscape. Second is that sustaining agriculture, natural resources and communities requires an interdisciplinary approach. Third is that working together can accomplish more than if we try to solve big issues facing agriculture by ourselves. And fourth, it is important that we must be inclusive of all disciplines and seek ways to include all viewpoints when making decisions related to food, fiber, the environment and our communities," said Stacy Wickman, forestry major, in her speech at the college convocation May 5.

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

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FAR-REACHING IMPACT OF WITHERING PUBLIC AG RESEARCH FUNDS

Once the realm of public institutions like land-grant colleges, [agricultural research] is increasingly being controlled by private companies . . . The USDA’s research budget, about $2 billion a year, has barely grown in real terms over two decades . . . In the United States, private agricultural research spending surpassed public spending in the early 1980s, and the gap has widened. By 1994, two-thirds of American plant breeding was in the private sector, according to an Iowa State University survey that is still considered authoritative . . . If public breeding withers, perhaps the biggest concern is that the improvement of crops for the developing world will falter because of low profit potential. "It’s the same phenomenon with the malaria vaccine. Why is there no malaria vaccine? Because there’s no one to pay for it," said Hubert Zandstra, director general of the International Potato Center in Peru. (New York Times, May 15)

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M A R G I N A L I A

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LETTERS FROM KIDS: MICROBIOLOGY AND LESSONS ABOUT SOAP

Recently Ames third-graders visited Joan Cunnick’s microbiology lab to conduct experiments (see item in "College News"). After the lab, Cunnick received thank-you cards from the kids. Here’s a sampling of comments from their cards:

- "Thank you for letting me experience microbiology. I think that your lab coat was very cool." [Cunnick’s lab coat was covered with colorful shapes and names of microbes.]

- "It’s nice to know you would let us in the science lab and let us put on lab coats to be a ‘real scientist’. You said there were bacteria, virus and last but not least, fungus."

- "When I wiped the swab in my mouth and in the yogurt and then on the slide I felt like a real microbiology scientist."

- "I liked the part when we swabbed a place that we thought had bacteria on it. I never knew that many germs grew on a window sill."

- "I really want to be a scientist when I grow up. I learned that bacteria grows everywhere!"

- "I learned I need to wash my hands more and with soap."

- "I learned you should not drink rotten milk."

- "I liked the swabs and the lab coat. I did not like the germs. I want to be a scientist."

- "I liked when we cleaned our hands under the black light. Science is cool!"

- And this one was written by one of the teachers: "Thank you so much for the wonderful learning experience. They are still talking about it. What’s more, they are also washing their hands with soap now!"

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AG ONLINE

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NEXT ISSUE: June 8 DEADLINE: June 6

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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