Issue: 290

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AG ONLINE
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The College of Agriculture Newsletter
Iowa State University
March 22, 2004 No. 290

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COLLEGE NEWS
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ISU TO WELCOME MANRRS CONFERENCE ON THURSDAY
The annual conference of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) opens Thursday, March 25, with a tour of Iowa State. Undergraduates, graduate students and professionals from across the nation will be welcomed by Provost Ben Allen and Dean Catherine Woteki. Visitors will take part in one of 15 educational sessions in ISU departments during the morning. Hosting departments will provide hands-on experiences as well as academic and career information. In the afternoon, the tours will continue on to facilities of Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., Deere & Co. and Cargill Inc. ISU faculty, staff and students are invited to the 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. welcoming program in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union as well as conference activities at the Polk County Convention Center that evening through Saturday evening, March 27. More at: http://www.manrrs.org. News release: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2004releases/manrrs.html. Contact Ramesh Kanwar, 4-1434 or rskanwar@iastate.edu.

SPENCER AWARD NOMINATIONS DUE MARCH 31
Researchers, educators or farmers who have helped safeguard the future of mainstream family farms in Iowa are invited to apply for the 2004 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture, administered by the Leopold Center. Nominations are due March 31. The award was established in 2001 by the family of long-time Sioux County farmers Norman and Margaretha Spencer. Nomination forms are on the web: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/spencer/spencer.html

MOWER SERVICING DAYS SET FOR APRIL 2 AND 3
The Agricultural Systems Technology Club is holding its annual lawn mower service days on April 2 and 3. The hours will be 1 to 6 p.m. on April 2 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 3 in the Davidson Hall courtyard. Service includes deck cleaning, oil change, air filter cleaning, blade sharpening and spark plug replacement. The cost is $27 for push mowers and $32 for riding mowers. Pickup and delivery are available for Ames residents -- $13 for push mowers and $18 for riding mowers. For more information: 4-2311.

ALUM TO SPEAK AT GLOBAL BUSINESS CONFERENCE
Roger Underwood (Ag Business BS 1980), founder and chief executive of Becker-Underwood, will speak April 2 at an International Business Conference hosted by the College of Business. Becker-Underwood creates and produces specialty bio-agronomic and colorant products for turf management, agriculture, seed treatment and many other industries. Underwood’s speech is titled “Think Global, Act Local: Why Every Business Should be Global” that is scheduled for the International Entrepreneurship Track. More at: http://www.bus.iastate.edu/conference/2004/agenda.asp

NASA CENTER SYMPOSIUM ON SPACE FOOD APRIL 21
The NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center will hold its first symposium, “Developing the Next Generation of Space Food Technologies: Engaging Industry and Academia,” April 21 at the Scheman Building. The symposium will promote the sharing of information among NASA Johnson Space Center scientists, commercial partners, affiliate faculty and guests. The event will highlight the College of Agriculture center’s research, outreach and educational activities over the past four years. A featured speaker will be food scientist Charles Bourland, who will talk about his 30-year career with NASA. More at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/centers/ftcsc/pages/symp.htm

PIONEER GIFT TO HELP RESEARCHERS PROTECT DISCOVERIES
A gift of $135,000 from Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. will benefit Iowa State's Office of Biotechnology by helping future plant breeders and researchers understand the ethical, economic and legal dimensions of protecting scientific discoveries. The gift will be used to fund the four projects: interdisciplinary, web-based educational activities for college students; Economics of Innovation and Science Policy lectures; intellectual property protection for germplasm and plant varieties; and research into the impact of intellectual property rights protection on producers and consumers in developing countries. More at: http://www.iastate.edu/%7enscentral/releases/2004/mar/pioneer.shtml

“HUB AND SPOKES” GUIDES TILLAGE AND MANURE MANAGEMENT
Tillage and manure management have a significant impact on surface and groundwater quality. A demonstration project led by Iowa State is helping some northern Iowa producers learn the best ways to manage crop residue and manure. Learn more in “Agriculture in Action” at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/agaction/agaction.php?date=2004-03-18&f...

NATIVE PLANT ESTABLISHMENT FIELD DAY SET FOR MARCH 29
A native plant establishment field day will be held 1 to 3 p.m., March 29, at an Iowa State research and demonstration farm near Kelley. The USDA’s Natural Resource and Soil Conservation offices of Boone and Story counties will sponsor the field day for producers who are planting land under the Conservation Reserve Program or other government programs. Details:
http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2004releases/kelleyfd.html

LAWLER PORK PRODUCER NAMED TO ADVISORY BOARD
A Lawler pork producer has been named to ISU’s Iowa Pork Industry Center advisory board. Dale Reicks will serve three years as a producer representative on the nine-member board. IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of ISU’s colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts.

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
March 22: Think Tank on Animal Agriculture on bovine embryo transfer, 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and discussion at 7 p.m. in the Cardinal Room, Memorial Union
March 25: Block and Bridle Club cake judging and auction, 5:30 p.m., Farm Bureau Pavilion, Kildee Hall
March 25: Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture, James Estes, a U.S. Department of Interior research biologist, 8 p.m., 1414 Molecular Biology Building, more: http://www.nrem.iastate.edu/errington/current_lecture.htm
March 25-27: 2004 national Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) conference March 25 to 27 in Des Moines, more: http://www.manrrs.org/conferences/index.asp?nav=upcoming
March 29: Iowa Corn Promotion Board seminar to discuss corn research needs and funding priorities, 3 to 4 p.m., CCUR Theater, 1951 Food Sciences
March 29: Statewide Academy on Iowa Community Foundations and Philanthropy, Hotel at Gateway Center, more: http://www.cvcia.org/content/conference/
April 15: Sigma Alpha basket online auction bidding deadline, noon, http://www.ag.iastate.edu/SAauction/
April 29: Connect with Iowa, College of Agriculture faculty visit to Manning
April 30: Deadline for registering for the College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Pig Symposium May 11-13: Science and policy workshop, Global Agricultural Science and Policy Initiative, contact: Clare Hinrichs, 4-5154 or hinrichs@iastate.edu
June 4-6, contact: Janean Berhow, 4-3837 or jaberhow@iastate.edu, more at: http://www.vetmed.iastate.edu/petpigsymposium2004

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COMMUNICATION KIOSK
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COLLEGE DIRECTORY UPDATED AND ONLINE
An updated version of the College of Agriculture directory of administrative staff is now available. The directory is on the Web as a PDF and includes contact information for college, department and center personnel as well as other university and extension administration contacts. To download: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/directory.pdf

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INFOGRAZING
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PROPOSALS SOUGHT FOR NATIONAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE
June 15 is the next USDA National Research Initiative deadline. Programs for this round of applications include animal and plant biosecurity; air quality; human nutrition and obesity; animal genomics; animal genome reagents and tool development; and functional genomics of agriculturally important organisms. More at: http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/04/rfa_nri_04.htm

INTEGRATED WATER QUALITY PROPOSALS DUE APRIL 21
April 21 is the application deadline for the USDA Integrated Research, Education and Extension Competitive Grants Program for National Integrated Water Quality. More at: http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/04/rfa_com_grants_prg_04.htm

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INTERNAL VOICES
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ISU AG ENGINEERING STUDENT HAS HIGH HOPES FOR FARMING
A March 19 Associated Press story, “More Farmers Heading Back to School” (see External Voices item below), including a quote from Daniel Whitaker, 19, a freshman in agricultural engineering at Iowa State University. Whitaker said he's doing everything he can to return to the family farm to raise assorted crops, sheep, cattle and hogs. "I probably wouldn't give my right arm, because I'd need that to farm," he quipped. Whitaker, of Hillsboro, Iowa, is studying agriculture and biological systems engineering, which he says will give him an edge in raising crops that have the best yields. While many of his classmates may be giving priority to another career, with farming as a side operation, Whitaker said he hopes to make farming his main venture , while possibly going into politics, like his father, Iowa state Rep. John Whitaker. Also quoted in the story was Peter Korsching, a professor of sociology in ISU’s College of Agriculture, who said the need for skills in marketing and purchasing are forcing farmers to become more sophisticated, making higher education well worth the expense in the long run.

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EXTERNAL VOICES
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FARMERS NOT IMMUNE TO EDUCATIONAL EXPECTATIONS
"I think that the educational expectations have continued to change over time for the entire rural population and I think farmers are not immune from that."
--Robert Gibbs, economist with the USDA’s Economic Research Service, which reported the estimated number of farm operators completing four-year degrees or higher rose from 15.2 percent in 1991 to 20.4 percent in 2001 (Associated Press, March 19, http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=509&ncid=509&e=16&u=/ap/...)
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MARGINALIA
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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TREE? A FEW ISU THOUGHTS
One of the sessions during ISU’s 48th annual Shade Tree Short Course March 9-10 offered a chance for participants to tell about their favorite trees. In her welcoming remarks, Dean Cathie Woteki shared her thoughts on favorite trees. Below are the Dean’s comments and those of several other College of Agriculture faculty and staff who were involved in the short course. The Shade Tree Short Course is sponsored by the departments by the departments of entomology, horticulture, landscape architecture, natural resource ecology and management, and plant pathology.

Cathie Woteki, dean, College of Agriculture
“One of my favorite trees is the gingko because it’s a living fossil. The gingko is graceful, with exquisitely shaped leaves. It turns a glorious flame yellow in autumn. My other favorites include the American elm, the dogwood, the white oak and the fringetree. Last year we dedicated a fringetree near Lush Auditorium to the memory of one of our students, Alison Ciancio.”

Jeff Iles, chair, Department of Horticulture
“I’d like to single out a specific tree on campus. There are many landmarks associated with Iowa State, but the one I’m most fond of is the large and impressive sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) that watches over the intersection of Elwood Drive and Lincoln Way. Visitors to ISU often notice and speak fondly of this venerable old specimen. Why is it so special? Because it has been allowed to grow with minimal competition from other trees, it has developed into a tall and broadly spreading specimen and, in my estimation, it is one of the most beautiful and imposing trees in the state of Iowa. In the summer, its hulking frame is cloaked in a mantle of green, but in the dormant season -- its best season -- the tree’s mottled white, beige and brown trunk and branches are a sight to behold. I probably drive past this old friend at least once a day, and it always catches my attention and lifts my spirits.”

Donald Lewis, interim director, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension, and professor of entomology
“My favorite tree is the black walnut because of childhood memories about particular black walnut trees. One served as first base for hours and hours of backyard softball at home on the farm, and another stood in the lane and was a favorite resting place while baling hay or walking beans.”

Paula Flynn, plant disease diagnostician, Department of Plant Pathology
“My favorite tree is the buckeye because it reminds me of my Grandpa Heise. He used to drill a hole in the nuts and thread them on a string to create beautiful necklaces and bracelets for me and my sisters. I carry a couple of buckeyes in my purse for luck and for fond memories.”

Mark Gleason, professor of plant pathology and extension plant pathologist
“My favorite tree is the Kentucky coffee tree because it has no disease or insect problems and produces a beautiful tree that gives open shade.”

Chris Feeley, forestry extension program specialist, Department of Natural Resources Ecology and Management
“My favorite tree is the burr oak, the only oak native to every county in Iowa and included as part of Iowa's state tree, the oak. This tree can handle moist to dry sites and is a great yard tree. Some people may worry about the acorns, but this tree adds so much character and property value that most people look beyond the acorns.”

Next issue: March 29

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

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