Issue: 385

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COLLEGE NEWS
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BLACKMER MEMORIAL SERVICE ON TUESDAY
Agronomy professor Fred Blackmer died Saturday, Jan. 28, after a lengthy illness. A memorial service and dinner will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 4:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson, 307 S. Wilson Ave. Blackmer joined ISU in 1978 as a adjunct assistant professor after earning an ISU doctorate in soil microbiology and biochemistry in 1977. He advised 17 master’s students and 19 doctoral students from eight countries as well as hosting many international visiting scientists. He wrote more than 350 publications and received 14 professional awards, most recently the W.L. Nelson Award for Diagnosis of Yield-Limiting Factors last November at the meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests tributes be sent to a scholarship fund: Fred Blackmer Agriculture Scholarship, c/o JSCS Foundation, Home State Bank 115 State Street, Jefferson, IA 50129.

DAVID TO COVER ISU STATISTICS HISTORY TODAY
H.A. David, former head of the Department of Statistics, will give a seminar today (Monday) on the origins of the statistics department at Iowa State. The seminar will begin at 4:10 p.m. in 1213 Hoover Hall. Coffee will precede the seminar at 3:45 p.m. in 104 Snedecor Hall.

CIAG INVITES SPRING GRANT APPLICATIONS
The Center for Integrated Animal Genomics invites grant applications for funding through its spring grant program. Applications are being accepted for three programs: Competitive Research Grants Program, Genomics Scholar/Fellows Program and Genomics Symposia and Workshops Program. These grants further CIAG's goals of encouraging collaboration among researchers, enhancing research competitiveness and promoting cutting-edge research in genomics areas. The application deadline is March 20. Funding is available starting July 1. Details about the grant programs can be found at: http://www.ciag.iastate.edu/program_spring.html

YOUNGS ELECTED SOCIETY FOUNDATION PRESIDENT
Curtis Youngs, animal science, was elected president of the International Embryo Transfer Society Foundation at the society's annual conference Jan. 8-10. Youngs previously has served the foundation as a board member, treasurer and vice president. The foundation that supports society educational activities.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HEARS FROM FARM BUREAU LEADERS
The College of Agriculture’s ACES learning community met with Iowa Farm Bureau officials Sunday to discuss agriculture’s future. Farm Bureau President Craig Lang and Vice President Craig Hill addressed a group of about 30 current and past ACES members. The globalization of agriculture was a main part of their presentation.

BEEF BREEDING STOCK SOLD AT NATIONAL SHOW
Cattle, embryos and semen from Iowa State Beef Teaching Center and the McNay Research and Demonstration Farm breeding project were sold last month at the 100th National Western Stock Show in Denver. One of the highlights was the sale of ISU MS Imaging A504 for $14,000. Other heifers sold for $2,750 and $3,000. The pick of Beef Teaching’s 2006 embryo calves sold for $5,000. Sales of embryos and semen from the McNay breeding project totaled $32,750.

ALUM JOINS CSREES PLANT AND ANIMAL SYSTEMS UNIT
Dawn Thilmany has joined the USDA-CSREES Plant and Animal Systems Unit as interim program leader for organics. She is an agricultural economist specializing in small and alternative agribusiness management issues, rural economic development and consumer marketing at Colorado State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in public service and administration in agriculture and international agriculture from Iowa State in 1990.

ISU FACULTY LEAD DISCUSSION AT NATIONAL ENERGY CONFERENCE
Last week, Iowa State faculty led a session at a national conference on energy for a sustainable and secure future. More than 800 scientists and decision-makers were expected to participate in the Sixth National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, D.C. More: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2006releases/bioenergy.html

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULED FEB. 16
The future of agricultural education in Iowa will be discussed beginning at 6:30 p.m., Feb 16, at a public hearing broadcast on the Iowa Communications Network. Robert Martin, chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies at Iowa State and member of the Governor’s Council on Agricultural Education, is helping to coordinate the public hearing. More: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2006releases/agedhearing.html

HORTICULTURE STUDENT VICTIM OF AUTO ACCIDENT
Horiculture junior Amalia “Amy” Rodgers of rural Boone died Jan. 18 in a single-vehicle accident at Ledges State Park. Memorial services were held Jan. 27 at First Presbyterian Church of Boone. Memorials may be given to the family to be used at their discretion.

FREE 2006 MIDWEST PLAN SERVICE CATALOG
The 2006 MidWest Plan Service catalog contains more than 175 low-cost and free agricultural publications and a list of more than 100 free building plans available at the MWPS web site. More: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/news/2006releases/mwpscat.html

WEED RESEARCH LOOKS AT WINTER HABITS OF MICE
Researchers at Iowa State hope what they're learning about the winter habits of mice may lead to better weed control with less reliance on herbicides. Details: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/newsreleases/2006/012706_mice.htm

COW-CALF CONFERENCE SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 25
Forage systems, building a cowherd and a look at the “hot spots” in the beef industry will be featured at the 35th annual Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference Feb. 25. The conference will be held at the Vermeer Global Pavilion in Pella. More: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2006/jan/072402.htm

DEADLINES AND REMINDERS
Jan. 30: Nutrition and Wellness Research Center forum, 4 to 5 p.m., Cardinal Room, Memorial Union, contact: Ruth MacDonald, 4-5991 or ruthmacd@iastate.edu
Feb. 1: Sustainable Agriculture Colloquium, 3:10 p.m., 1204 Kildee Hall
Feb. 9: Grant-proposal workshop, focus on the National Science Foundation, 3 p.m., 1213 Hoover Hall
Feb. 10: Miller Faculty Fellowship Proposals due in 138 Curtiss
Feb. 15: College curriculum forum, 4:10 to 6:15 p.m., in 142 Curtiss Hall

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COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK
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AVOID USING IMPACT AS A VERB
Resist using “impact” as a verb unless it's in a physical context. Try “affect” or “influence” instead. (Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2004)

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INFOGRAZING
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TABOR EXTENSION FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONS SOUGHT
Applications are being accepted until March 31 for the Ralph L. Tabor Extension Fellowship. The fellowship offers the opportunity to live in Washington, D.C., working with the nation’s 3,066 counties, learning firsthand about the workings of Congress and federal agencies and take a lead role in enhancing the national partnership between National Association of Counties, CSREES and the nation’s land-grant universities. More: http://anrep.org/news/news-43d8f4fe2f6ae.pdf

WEB SITE VISITORS FORM REACTIONS QUICKLY
Internet users are prone to snap judgments when they visit Web sites, according to a study published in the Behavioral and Information Journal. The report says visitors take an average of one-twentieth of a second -- less than half the time it takes to blink -- to form a lasting impression. "It really is just a physiological response," said study author Gitte Lindgaard. "So Web designers have to make sure they're not offending users visually. If the first impression is negative, you'll probably drive people off." The study did not reveal what attributes generated a positive response. (Reuters/Cnet, Jan. 17))

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EXTERNAL VOICES
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CLEAN ETHANOL SUDDENLY LOOKING A LOT MORE REALISTIC
"... The timing of when ethanol goes from a dream to reality isn't just a matter of an investment here or a subsidy there. It took decades of ferment in Brazil before serendipity in the form of high gas prices and flex-fuel engines made ethanol an everyday choice for consumers. But the sooner we start, the greater our ability to shape a future that's not centered on increasingly expensive oil and gas ... Whatever the technological challenges, a world of abundant, clean ethanol is suddenly looking a lot more realistic than return to the days of cheap, inexhaustible oil."
--Adam Lashinsky and Nelson Schwartz, reporting on ethanol in a story, "How to Beat the High Cost of Gasoline Forever," Feb. 6, Fortune

STUDY: ETHANOL’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT
A new study published Jan. 27 in the journal Science concluded that ethanol yields more energy than it takes to produce and that ethanol decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Professors Daniel Kammen, Alex Farrell and others at University of California-Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy developed a model to review the current state of biofuel energy analyses. They rigorously analyzed a variety of relevant investigations and found that the studies reporting negative net energy values are flawed. All the studies show that current corn ethanol technologies reduce petroleum use significantly relative to gasoline. However, new production methods are needed if fuel ethanol is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. The study found that the production and use of ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emission by 15 percent compared to oil and gasoline use. More: http://rael.berkeley.edu/EBAMM/

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MARGINALIA
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EVOLUTION OF A DEPARTMENT: NEW ISU EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGISTS
Five new evolutionary biologists hired in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology are highlighted in a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences story. EEOB is one of six dually administered departments by the College of LAS and the College of Agriculture. Two of the new faculty members, Jeanne Serb and Stephen Proulx, are College of Agriculture hires. Check it out: http://www.las.iastate.edu/newnews/biology0206.shtml

Next issue: Feb. 6

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

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