Issue: 185

...................................................

AG ONLINE

...................................................

The College of Agriculture Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Iowa State University

December 14, 2001No. 185

...................................................

CONTENTS

...................................................

COLLEGE NEWS

- Holiday open house for students today, next week for faculty and staff

- Convocation to recognize fall graduates

- Dean urges offices to consider holiday hours

- Executive council meeting to discuss restructuring/budget

- Sutherland vows to repay kindness

- Former ISU microbiologist takes USDA post

- Horticulture Club still has holiday plants

- Creating the Engaged University book free on the web

- Families learn about passing on the farm

- FAPRI group presents preliminary baseline review

- ISU ranks second in meat and poultry education

- Study abroad trip to Turkey on tap

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- The write tools for the job

INFOGRAZING

- Stem cell research topic of retreat

- Local food system conference Jan. 26

- P&S award nominees sought

- NRI proposals need to be resubmitted

- Funding opportunity in bio-terrorism research

- Carver Trust grant program seeks risky research

- University research grants for spring sought

- NSF grant program looks at biocomplexity in the environment

INTERNAL VOICES

- Kirschenmann: A realistic look at mid-size farms

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Murano: Food safety requires team work

MARGINALIA

- Buzzing isn't just for bees anymore

...................................................

COLLEGE NEWS

...................................................

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE FOR STUDENTS TODAY, NEXT WEEK FOR FACULTY AND STAFF

From 3 to 5 p.m. this afternoon (Friday) College of Agriculture students may celebrate the holiday with administrators. The event takes place at the Farm House Museum, the same location for the faculty/staff holiday reception Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served at both.

CONVOCATION TO RECOGNIZE FALL GRADUATES

Faculty and staff are invited to help honor the achievements of fall graduates at the college's convocation Dec. 22. Doors at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium open at 8:30 a.m. with a reception, and the ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. About 162 graduates will be recognized individually. Matthew Norman, agronomy senior, will give the address. The Ag Council Senior Awards will be presented to: William Fields, animal ecology, for academic achievement; Melanie Hjelm, agricultural education and animal science, for distinguished service; Ryan Bristle, agricultural studies, for leadership excellence; and Kris Brunscheen, agricultural business, for outstanding senior.

DEAN URGES OFFICES TO CONSIDER HOLIDAY HOURS

Dean Richard Ross encourages College of Agriculture offices to close or schedule special holiday hours as requested by Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance. In a Dec. 4 e-mail, Madden asked unit heads to be liberal in allowing employees to take time off over the holiday period (which runs from after commencement Saturday, Dec. 22, through New Years Day, Jan. 1). To save energy and operation costs over the winter holiday break, ISU administrators are encouraging minimum or no staffing in university offices that don't necessarily have to be open. Madden's message can be seen at: http://www.iastate.edu/news/today/01/dec/winter.html

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING TO DISCUSS RESTRUCTURING/BUDGET

Next Friday, Dec. 21, the dean will convene his executive council meeting, which is held three times a year to get stakeholder feedback. Department restructuring proposals and budget items are on the agenda. Executive council members are: Pam Bolin of Clarksville, Dennis Friest of Radcliffe, Tim Kapucian of Keystone, Greg Lamka of Polk City, Bill Latham of Alexander, John Moline of Manson, Charles Norris of Mason City, Craig Pfantz of State Center, Mark Truesdell of Des Moines and Wythe Willey of Cedar Rapids.

SUTHERLAND VOWS TO REPAY KINDNESS

When animal science alumnus Tom Sutherland was captured by terrorists and held hostage in Iran from 1985 to 1991, he often thought of Iowa State. Locked in a dark basement for six years, he still received news from home. He knew that every year on the anniversary of his kidnapping, the bells of Iowa State tolled for him. At his release on Nov. 18, 1991, Sutherland told the world, "I was very, very moved when I heard on 'Voice of America' a recording of the bells of Iowa State. ..." Recently Sutherland was awarded a $51 million judgment against Iran. A 1996 law allows American victims to sue certain countries that sponsor terrorists. Sutherland said he plans to give a gift to ISU's animal science department for an endowed faculty position.

FORMER ISU MICROBIOLOGIST TAKES USDA POST

In October, Elsa Murano, an ISU microbiology faculty member from 1990 to 1995, was sworn in as the USDA's undersecretary for food safety. Murano held the Sadie Hatfield Endowed Professorship in Agriculture at Texas A&M University and was director of the Center for Food Safety there. As undersecretary, she is USDA's top food safety official. The position was previously held by Catherine Woteki, who was recently named College of Agriculture dean. (See External Voices.)

HORTICULTURE CLUB STILL HAS HOLIDAY PLANTS

Plants are available for sale at discounted prices. Poinsettias are available in red, pink, marble and white. The club also is offering winter rose poinsettias and narcissus paper whites. The plants will be available in the horticulture greenhouse on an appointment basis. Contact Aaron Steil, liets581@iastate.edu, 817-0416; Tom Hughes, dthughes@iastate.edu, 231-6004; or Megan McConnell, mcconnem@iastate.edu, 572-7670.

CREATING THE ENGAGED UNIVERSITY BOOK FREE ON THE WEB

If you were involved in the Vision 2020 project, you may find your name in a new book. The book, "Creating the Engaged University: Iowa's Model for Change," is co-authored by Bill Silag and Ann Fields, Vision 2020 program coordinators. The eight-year education initiative, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, challenged Iowa State and community colleges to create pilot projects and models for change. The book is available free at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/pubs/v2020.htm, or contact the Extension Distribution Center, 4-5247, and ask for publication EDC 225. Shipping and handling charges may apply.

FAMILIES LEARN ABOUT PASSING ON THE FARM

The first session of the Ag Link Seminar in November attracted 30 students and their families. The seminar is sponsored by the Beginning Farmer Center and the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. Topics included conflict resolution, goal setting, business analysis, farm planning, management and working together as an inter-generational farm family. A second session is planned for March 2. The break allows families to review class information and do some homework between sessions. Feedback from families indicates that the Ag Link seminars are useful for the transition into multi-generation operations. For more information: Lynn Jones, 4-0898, or John Baker, (515) 331-8900.

FAPRI GROUP PRESENTS PRELIMINARY BASELINE REVIEW

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) group is in Washington, D.C., to present the preliminary baseline review to invited reviewers. Each year FAPRI develops an outlook for agricultural exports over the next decade. John Beghin, St├ęphane DeCara, Jay Fabiosa, Cheng Fang and Holger Matthey were the presenters for the Dec. 12-14 meetings.

ISU RANKS SECOND IN MEAT AND POULTRY EDUCATION

In the November issue of Meat & Poultry magazine, Iowa State is ranked second in the nation among universities offering meat and poultry-related education programs. The article notes ISU's reputation for high-quality graduates who go into careers in the meat and poultry industry; "unique" facilities, including the electron beam irradiation system; and strong programs in food safety, food science and meat export research. The rankings primarily were based on informal surveys of industry professionals. In the surveys, the magazine noted that two of the faculty names that "kept popping up" were Iowa State animal science professors Joe Cordray and Joe Sebranek. The magazine has more than 18,000 subscribers. Number one on the magazine's list was Texas A&M.

STUDY ABROAD TRIP TO TURKEY ON TAP

A study-abroad trip to turkey is planned Aug. 1-21, 2002. The trip will include time in the Black Sea region visiting farms, forests and wild areas with stays in small towns along the coast. The historic treasures of west central Turkey and several days in Istanbul also are included. For further information: Dick Schultz, 4-7602 or rschultz@iastate.edu, or visit Ag Study Abroad website, http://www.ag.iastate.edu/international/.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

Dec. 22: College convocation for graduates, 9:30 a.m., C.Y. Stephens Auditorium

Jan. 1: Study-abroad proposals for 2002 winter break due, Shelley Taylor, 4-5393

Jan. 11: Deadline, scheduling fall 2002 off-campus courses

Jan. 28: "Agroterrorism," Think Tank on Animal Agriculture with Norman Cheville, dean of veterinary medicine

.......................................................................

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

.......................................................................

THE WRITE TOOLS FOR THE JOB

Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar at The Poynter Institute, compares the tools of writing to those of a carpenter. Here's his abbreviated list for composing better sentences and paragraphs: 1. Begin sentences with subjects and verbs, letting subordinate elements branch off to the right. Even a very long sentence can be clear and powerful when subject and verb make meaning early. 2. Use verbs in their strongest form, the simple present or past tense. Strong verbs create action, save words, and reveal the players. Beware of adverbs. Too often, they dilute the meaning of the verb or repeat it: "The building was completely destroyed." 3. Place strong words and the beginning of sentences and paragraphs, and at the end. The period acts as a stop sign. Any word next to the period plays jazz. For the complete list, go to http://www.geocities.com/RodeoDrive/2385/writing_tools.html.

...................................................

INFOGRAZING

...................................................

STEM CELL RESEARCH TOPIC OF RETREAT

At a Jan. 10 Iowa State faculty retreat, ethical issues surrounding stem cell research will be debated. The retreat will be held at The Gateway Center. For more information: http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/Bioethics/retreat_2002/program.html, or Gary Comstock, 4-0054.

LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM CONFERENCE JAN. 26

The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture is holding its seventh annual Local Food System Conference on Jan. 26 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Cedar Falls. Carolyn Raffensperger, executive director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, will be the keynote speaker. A pre-conference farmer-to-farmer workshop will be held Jan. 25. Workshop organizers include the UNI Local Food project, ISU Extension Value-added Agriculture Program, ISU Extension Sustainable Agriculture, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Wheatsfield Grocery. For more information: Jan Libbey, (641) 495-6367 or libland@frontiernet.net.

P&S AWARD NOMINEES SOUGHT

Nomination forms and endorsement letters for the Regents Award for Staff Excellence are due Feb. 1. For more information: http://www.iastate.edu/~ps_info/Awards.html

NRI PROPOSALS NEED TO BE RESUBMITTED

CSREES has asked researchers to resubmit applications for the FY 2002 National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program because of mail delivery problems at USDA. Institutions that have not received confirmation of receipt of proposals sent in response to the Nov. 15 deadline are requested to resubmit their proposals by Dec. 21. For more information: Elena Polouchkina, 4-8493 or elenap@iastate.edu.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY IN BIOTERRORISM RESEARCH

NIH has announced an accelerated bioterrorism research program. For more information: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/bioterrorism/. Or contact Elena Polouchkina, 4-8493 or elenap@iastate.edu.

CARVER TRUST GRANT PROGRAM SEEKS RISKY RESEARCH Bold, risky, innovative projects in the biological, physical and technological sciences are sought by the Carver Trust Grants program. For more information: http://grants-svr.admin.iastate.edu/vpr/guidelines/carver.html. Or contact Dorothy Pimlott, 4-6344 or dpimlott@iastate.edu.

UNIVERSITY RESEARCH GRANTS FOR SPRING SOUGHT Spring 2002 competition for University Research Grants is beginning. The seed-money program helps recently hired faculty and research staff. For more information: http://grants-svr.admin.iastate.edu/vpr/guidelines/urg.html. Or contact Dorothy Pimlott, 4-6344 or dpimlott@iastate.edu.

NSF GRANT PROGRAM LOOKS AT BIOCOMPLEXITY IN THE ENVIRONMENT This competition stresses the richness of biological systems and their capacity for adaptation and self-organizing behavior. For more information: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf02010/nsf02010.html

...................................................

INTERNAL VOICES

...................................................

KIRSCHENMANN: A REALISTIC LOOK AT MID-SIZED FARMS "What farmers need to do is find ways to reduce their input costs, and capture more of the market share," says Kirschenmann. "That means that increasingly, there is just not a future for mid-size farmers in undifferentiated products. It's very sad in a way, but it's the realistic way to look at things." Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, speaking at the Nov. 20 Iowa Forage Conference in Des Moines, as reported on the Agriculture Online website.

...................................................

EXTERNAL VOICES

...................................................

MURANO: FOOD SAFETY REQUIRES TEAM WORK

An excerpt from Elsa Murano's remarks to the Senate Ag, Nutrition and Forestry Committee during her confirmation hearing as undersecretary for food safety (see College News): "I have been a researcher and teacher in the field of food safety both at Iowa State and Texas A&M universities... Throughout my career as a researcher, I have become keenly aware of the importance of sound scientific studies and how these can help provide us with critical information we need to make decisions that will truly reduce the risk of foodborne illness. I have also observed the need for a proactive approach, one that does not react to food safety crises but rather anticipates risks. The events of Sept. 11 are a reminder to all of us that we need to be diligent in order to prevent threats to our food supply as much as humanly possible . . . We're all in this together -- government, consumers, industry, educators and scientists. It is only through a team approach, working in total transparency and standing on the truth of science, that we will accomplish our goal for America of having the safest food supply possible."

...................................................

MARGINALIA

...................................................

BUZZING ISN'T JUST FOR BEES ANYMORE

The BuzzWhack website, http://www.BuzzWhack.com, keeps track of the latest buzzwords. The site is dedicated to demystifying buzzwords, which it defines as important-sounding words or phrases used primarily to impress others. Some examples:

Cockroach: An apparently small problem that, when discovered, leads to uncovering many other problems.

Meatloaf: Unsolicited mass e-mail, circulated by friends or office mates via group e-mail lists, consisting of jokes, anecdotes and other trivia. Where spam is commercial, meatloaf is homemade.

Verbing: The practice of turning a perfectly good noun into a verb. Example: "We're transitioning to the new building in April, just after we finish databasing the surveys."

Deja moo: The nagging feeling that you've heard this bull before.

........................................................

AG ONLINE

........................................................

NEXT ISSUE: Jan. 4DEADLINE: Jan. 3

EDITORS

Brian Meyer, bmeyer@iastate.edu, and Ed Adcock, edadcock@iastate.edu Phone: (515) 294-5616Web site: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/

SUBSCRIBE

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.

Share