Issue: 291

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AG ONLINE
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The College of Agriculture Newsletter
Iowa State University
March 29, 2004 No. 291

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COLLEGE NEWS
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CORN RESEARCH FUNDING SEMINAR TODAY AT 3 P.M.
Corn research needs and funding priorities will be discussed at a seminar today from 3 to 4 p.m. in Food Sciences room 1951. The seminar was organized by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), which has an annual research budget of more than $1.3 million.

HORTICULTURE STUDENTS DEFEND NATIONAL TITLE
Last week, horticulture undergraduates Jennifer Hoyer, Joe Jenkins, Jenny Petersen and Aaron Steil took first place at a student competition at the 2004 Mid-America Collegiate Horticulture Society conference at Michigan State University. This is the second year in a row Iowa State has won first place. The competition has three sections: plant identification, general horticulture knowledge and plant judging. Steil, a senior from Dubuque, won third place in plant identification and individual first place overall. Jenkins, a junior from Melcher, won individual third place overall. Hoyer, a senior from Ames, tied for first place in general knowledge. Other students attending the competition were Elizabeth Myers, a senior from Mason City, and Ben Morris, a senior from New Hampton.

MELVIN RECEIVES SERVICE HONOR FROM WALLACE'S FARMER
Stewart Melvin received the 2004 Master Farmer Exceptional Service Award from Wallace's Farmer magazine at the Master Farmers of Iowa spring meeting in Des Moines on March 18. Melvin is a professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering and director of Iowa State Water Resources Research Institute. Melvin's research has focused on addressing environmental issues in agricultural systems for more than 30 years.

AG EDUCATION STUDENT DIRECTS STATE SCIENCE FAIR
Andrea Spencer, a graduate student in agricultural education and studies, directed the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa at Hilton Coliseum this past weekend. Spencer was profiled in the Ames Daily Tribune at: Gene Grossman, chair of Princeton University's department of economics, will discuss international protection of intellectual property on Tuesday, March 30, at 3:40 p.m., 160 Heady. Grossman has written extensively on international trade and is well known for his work on the international competitiveness of research-intensive industries. He also co-authored a paper on the environmental impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement. For more information: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/calendar/papers/grossmanpaper2004.pdf

FOOD SAFETY AND SECURITY WORKSHOP APRIL 22
The latest information on food safety and security programming will be offered to food processors, food suppliers and other interested people at a workshop on April 22 at the Adventureland Inn, Altoona. "Protecting Our Food Supply: Food Safety and Security Workshop" is sponsored by ISU's Institute for Food Safety and Security and ISU Extension. A food recall workshop on April 23 will assist food processors in designing recall protocols for their products. For information, contact Sam Beattie, 4-3357 or beatties@iastate.edu. Details also are available on the Web, http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/404/safety.htm

BIGMAP SYMPOSIUM ON RISK ASSESSMENT OF CORN PRODUCTS
ISU's Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP) will hold a risk assessment symposium on April 22 at the Comfort Suites, Ames. The program will include the latest developments in scientific, regulatory, industry and the public arena on production of pharmaceuticals and industrial products from corn. BIGMAP was created to address critical issues surrounding genetically modified agricultural products. The symposium program and registration details are on-line, http://www.seeds.iastate.edu/info.htm. Contact Melissa Swanson, mabee@iastate.edu or 4-6821.

ISU RESEARCHERS STUDY PORK PRODUCTION ALTERNATIVES
There is a growing demand for pork products made from pigs raised outdoors or in a deep-bedded system without the use of antibiotics, growth promotants or animal by-products. Iowa State researchers are studying the feasibility of indoor winter farrowing without the use of crates. Learn more in "Agriculture in Action" at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/agaction/agaction.php?date=2004-03-25&f...

NEW WEB SITE OUTLINES EMERGENCY CATTLE COMPOSTING RESEARCH
Ongoing research at Iowa State is showing composting may be a viable way to dispose of large animal carcasses during emergency situations. A new Web site provides information on the research, preliminary results and guidelines for producers. Learn more: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2004releases/compost.html

ENVIRONMENT, FEMINISM AND FOOD CONFERENCE APRIL 9-10
A two-day conference, "Environment: Personal as Political -- Women, Food and Environmental Ethics," will be held April 9-10 in the Memorial Union. The event is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences International Programs, the College of Agriculture, the Bioethics Program and the Women's Studies program. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required and due April 2. Registration forms are available at http://www.iastate.edu/~wsprogram/Enviromentconference/EnviromEthics.doc. For information: Karen Kessel, 4-5599 or kkessel@iastate.edu, or Whitney Sanford, wsanford@iastate.edu or 4-6018.

FOOD SAFETY AND SECURITY WORKSHOP APRIL 22
The latest information on food safety and security programming will be offered to food processors, food suppliers and other interested individuals at a workshop on Thursday, April 22, at the Adventureland Inn in Altoona. "Protecting Our Food Supply: Food Safety and Security Workshop" is sponsored by ISU's Institute for Food Safety and Security and ISU Extension. A food recall workshop on April 23 will assist food processors in designing recall protocols for their products. For information, contact Sam Beattie, 4-3357 or beatties@iastate.edu. Details also are available on the Web at: http://www.ucs.iastate.edu/404/safety.htm

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS

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 2-3: Mower servicing days, 1 to 6 April 2 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 3 in the Davidson Hall Courtyard, which is across Pammel Drive from the Molecular Biology Building, contact: 4-2311
April 15: Sigma Alpha basket online auction bidding deadline, noon, http://www.ag.iastate.edu/SAauction/
April 21: NASA Food Technology Commercial Space Center symposium, Scheman Building, more: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/centers/ftcsc/pages/symp.htm

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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ELIMINATE THE "UM": CHECK YOUR VOICE MAIL

Denise Elliott of Briefings Publishing Group recommends eliminating filler words such as "Well," "You know," "Like," "Uh" or "Um," because they take precision out of your sentences and make you sound uncertain. Play back your voice-mail message to see there are space fillers you need to work on. (Briefings Publishing Group, March 12)

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INFOGRAZING

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BIOETHICS SERIES THIS WEEK: ANIMALS IN EDUCATION, WORLD HUNGER

Two ISU Bioethics Lecture series programs will be held this week. Jonathan Balcombe, science director for the U.S. Humane Society, will speak tonight, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Cardinal Room, Memorial Union, on "Dissecting Science: Alternatives to Animal Use in Biology and Veterinary Education." Balcombe is the author of "The Use of Animals in Higher Education: Problems, Alternatives and Recommendations." On Thursday, April 1, Hugh Lafollette, professor of philosophy at East Tennessee State University, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Great Hall, Memorial Union. The title of his speech is "World Hunger and Moral Responsibility." He is the author of "Morality and Personal Relationships," and a wide variety of works in bioethics, practical ethics and policy and ethical theory.

TAKING BROADBAND TO THE LAST 'LAST MILE': RURAL AMERICA

When tech people talk about providing residential users with new phone and Internet services, they talk about the challenges of wiring that "last mile" separating your home from the main network. But beyond those last miles now being wired in cities and suburbs, there are still miles and miles of rural America to go . . . These days, when the Internet teems with complex Web sites and oversized files for downloading, broadband is no longer a luxury: it's a necessity. The need to get high-speed access to rural areas is analogous to the rural electrification project that began to transform America in the late 1930's. One of the most critical issues facing this country is the increasing economic and cultural isolation of rural communities -- the abandonment and the ultimate re-democratization of the landscape. No business would settle in a town that lacked electricity, and we are now at the point where no business will settle in a town that lacks broadband access . . . It's unlikely that established telecommunications giants will be the ones to bring broadband to the open country. It is going to take the initiative and inventiveness of local communities, partnering with government and small tech companies, to get the job done. My hope is that the wait will be worth it, as it often is with technology. Latecomers have a way of leapfrogging over early adopters. Rural America could end up with higher connection speeds than most urban and suburban residential customers now enjoy. (Verlyn Klinkenborg,writing in the March 24 edition of the New York Times)

TELECOMMUTING HELPING RETAIN SKILLED WORKERS
Telecommuting has long been cited as a way to save money on office space and reduce environmental degradation by cutting down on commuting, but increasingly employers are finding that by allowing flexible telecommuting arrangements, they can attract and retain the skilled workers they need. About 3,000 of Bell Canada's 45,000 employees work from home full-time and another 9,000 do so part-time. That's more than 25 percent of the company's total workforce. At IBM Canada, 80 percent of employees have the option of telecommuting at least part of the time, and about 25 percent are full-time telecommuters. "There's a huge supply of people who want this option," says Bob Fortier, president of the Canadian Telework Association. He notes that in coming years, when companies are facing an aging workforce and skills shortages, telecommuting will be become an increasingly useful tool for attracting the kind of people they need to maximize productivity. (The Globe and Mail, March 18) http://www.globetechnology.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040318.gttwtele18/B...

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EXTERNAL VOICES

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THE HATCHING CHALLENGE, PART ONE

"An unhatched egg is to me the greatest challenge in life."

- E.B. White

THE HATCHING CHALLENGE, PART TWO

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."

- C.S. Lewis

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MARGINALIA

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EARLY MEAT EATERS MAY HAVE HAD GENETIC ADVANTAGE

University of Southern California researchers believe human ancestors developed "meat-tolerant genes" to offset high cholesterol and chronic diseases associated with a meat-rich diet. And in "an unexpected evolutionary twist," the higher tolerance to meat brought humans slower aging and a longer lifespan. But the lack of exercise and moderation in meat eating has overcome the genetic advantages, according to researchers Caleb Finch and Craig Stanford, whose study appeared in the Quarterly Review of Biology.

Next issue: April 5

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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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Ed Adcock

Communications Specialist

Agriculture Communications Service

Iowa State University

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