Issue: 19

COLLEGE NEWS

- Ag faculty approves new major

- Evaluating advisers

- Ag majors in Hixson awardees

- Visiting professors 1994-95

- Private and public transitions

- Students in Service: Design teams

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Creative problem-solving

INFOGRAZING

- Federal research funds

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Our community of concern

MARGINALIA

- And it doesn't mind the swishing tail

C O L L E G E N E W S

AG FACULTY APPROVES NEW MAJOR

The College of Agriculture faculty has approved a proposal for

a new undergraduate major in agricultural communications in the

Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. Next, the proposal

goes to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee for consideration.

It would eventually need final approval from the Board of Regents.

The department began studying the need for the new major two years

ago. The program would aim to meet the needs of students who are

interested in communication careers in agriculture. Under the

proposal, the program would use existing courses; no new courses

would be added.

EVALUATING ADVISERS

The College of Agriculture's Academic Affairs Committee has unanimously

recommended that departments have students complete annual evaluations

of their advisers. Departments are encouraged to use or modify

existing university evaluation forms, or to develop their own.

The committee, which continues to offer professional development

programs for new and present advisers, hopes that departments

will use the evaluations to improve advising. In a 1993 university

survey, College of Agriculture students gave high ratings to their

advisers and how they met their needs. For more information:

Les Wilson, committee chair (or Doug Kenealy, committee chair

beginning July 1), or Tom Polito, Student Services.

AG MAJORS IN HIXSON AWARDEES

Of the 105 Iowa high school seniors who were presented Christina

Hixson Opportunity Awards from ISU, 19 have declared majors within

the College of Agriculture. These students, who will begin classes

this fall, are the first recipients of the $2,500 awards. The

awards are given to at least one student from each Iowa county.

VISITING PROFESSORS 1994-95

Twenty College of Agriculture professors gave a total of 51 educational

presentations in 27 Iowa high schools during the 1994-95 academic

year. The Visiting Professor Program, sponsored by the college's

Office of Academic Programs, provides presentations to high school

classes at no cost. Since it began in 1990, 144 teachers at 112

schools have taken advantage of the program. Topics addressed

this year by visiting professors included agricultural careers

for the future; ethical questions of agricultural biotechnology;

and "The Amazing World Inside the Rumen, or How a Cow Can

Make Milk from Your Old Term Paper."

PRIVATE AND PUBLIC TRANSITIONS

"Our society and the international community are in accelerated

change or public transition. You are making a private transition

in a period of great public transition . . . Do not be frustrated

by the establishment and the institutions and leaders that control

the society you will join. Their job is to keep the existing system

together and functioning. Your job is to articulate your new ideas

and concepts clearly and focus on the changes in basic structures

and institutions that can support them." From the May 13

commencement address at ISU given by Stan Johnson, director, Center

for Agricultural and Rural Development, and C.F. Curtiss Distinguished

Professor of Economics.

STUDENTS IN SERVICE: DESIGN TEAMS

Agricultural and biosystems engineering students have been involved

in projects to develop solutions to environmental problems. One

design team has worked with a feedlot operator on a low-odor system

for manure collection and application that utilizes available

nutrients and prevents water and air pollution. Another design

team has worked with an Iowa manufacturer on a system that places

herbicides on soil instead of on crop residues in no-till and

low-till fields.

C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I O S K

CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING

In "The Creative Mind," author Margaret Boden describes

some of the steps that should be taken to tap into one's creativity

for problem-solving. First, creative thought is preceded by "incubation,"

or a period of intense concentration on the problem. Next, education

-- exposure to diverse experiences and subjects -- is associated

with creative thinking. Finally, play is important. Relaxing and

downtime are key to creativity; the eureka stage often occurs

when creative people take a break. (Investor's Business Daily,

May 15)

I N F O G R A Z I N G

FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDS

Some recent developments on the status of federal research funds:

The Department of Energy plans to cut more than $14 billion from

its budget over the next five years without jettisoning any research

programs. Science advocates in Congress praised the plan, but

DOE officials say it will not relieve pressure to drop several

proposed research facilities. This week the Senate approved a

budget resolution with an amendment that restored $7 billion in

funding to the National Institutes of Health. The original resolution

had cut $8 billion from NIH over the next seven years. (About

half of the federal grant monies the Experiment Station receives

are from the USDA; the other half come from other agencies. More

on the status of USDA funds next issue.)

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

OUR COMMUNITY OF CONCERN

"We are truly on the threshold of a different world, one

in which technology is creating a global community in which very

different people are forced to live together . . . Our community

of concern should extend far beyond those within our society .

. . After all, we live in a world which we now recognize is an

ecosystem, a network of interdependencies among all parts of the

earth . . . While the problems we face in the future are clearly

difficult . . . hope lies in our determination to learn compassion,

to champion justice and to embrace the entire earth as our home."

From the May 13 commencement address at the University of Northern

Iowa given by graduating senior Heather Martin. She is the daughter

of Barb Martin, an account specialist with the Experiment Station.

M A R G I N A L I A

AND IT DOESN'T MIND THE SWISHING TAIL

Cows seeking udder relief can now queue up for robotic milking.

Wearing a computer chip in her collar for identification, the

cow can amble up to the machine when she feels the urge, and a

robot equipped with ultrasonic sensors does the rest. The $250,000

three-stall milker reduces labor costs while allowing for three

milkings a day, but it can't handle high volume and is best suited

to 60-100 cow herds. The new technology, used in Holland and at

least four other countries, still is plagued with glitches and

may not be attractive in the U.S. environment of larger herds

and less government support for dairy production. But cows like

it, says a University of Guelph staff member, adding that some

cows would come through many times a day "if we let them."

(Wall Street Journal, May 8).

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