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By Barbara McBreen

MCB_0092-1.jpg-webEvery member of the 2013-14 Iowa FFA officer team was enrolled at Iowa State University last year. The nine students are from every corner of Iowa and they have some thoughts to share about FFA and their future dreams.

Josh Earll, junior in agricultural and life sciences education from Sibley, Iowa
Iowa FFA president, 2013-14

What is your favorite FFA memory?
My father is an agricultural education teacher at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School and I’ve always enjoyed spending time with him on FFA projects. Why and how does this organization benefit students? Whether it’s scholarships, class work or supervised agricultural experiences, students in FFA have many opportunities to grow as individuals. This is a student led organization. Every decision made in this organization is made by students. FFA is unique because of the opportunities students can pursue.

What is your dream?
I hope to pursue a career as an auctioneer, realtor or appraiser.

James Leonard, sophomore in agricultural business from Newton, Iowa
Iowa FFA vice-president, 2013-14

How does FFA serve others and how has it helped you become your best?
At the Washington D.C. Leadership Conference, I made lasting friendships, but I also learned a lot about myself and from students around the world. I had the chance to make a difference that week working at a battered women’s shelter. We helped clean the shelter and talked with the women at the shelter. My FFA experience also helped me conquer my public speaking fears.

What is your dream?
My goal is to pursue a career in agricultural business and accounting and ultimately go back to help manage my family farm in Jasper County.

Trey Forsyth, a junior in agricultural business from Charles City, Iowa
Iowa FFA north central state vice-president, 2013-14

How did FFA help you find your voice?
On our way to State Convention my adviser had me stand outside a restaurant to practice the FFA Creed to prepare for the state contest, while everyone else stood inside and watched. Everyone at the restaurant looked at me like I was crazy. Our chapter has carried on this tradition ever since.

What did that experience teach you about public speaking?
It taught me that sometimes the only way to get better is to go outside your comfort zone. If you never take new challenges—you will never grow as a leader.

What is your dream?
I hope to work for an agricultural business after graduating from Iowa State.

Brad Pickhinke, a junior in agricultural biochemistry from Sac City, Iowa
Iowa FFA reporter 2013-14

Is FFA just about agriculture?
FFA is about learning to be a leader and a communicator. FFA has taught me how to be an efficient communicator, leader and even how to swing dance. It excites me because of the passion and unity you see from every member across the nation. The blue jacket is sign of hard work, integrity and belief in the future of agriculture.

What is your dream?
To positively impact the lives of others at home and around the world through my work with agriculture.

Tony Moellers, a sophomore in agronomy from North Union, Iowa
Iowa FFA northeast state vice-president

What unique opportunities has FFA provided?
I would not have the skills or be where I am today without being in this organization. I have been fortunate to travel, lead and network through FFA. Being a state FFA officer has been the best experience of my life and every day brings something new. Even when you think you can’t, remember it is better to aim for the sky and miss, than to aim for a manure pile and hit it.

What is your dream?
It is my dream to use the skills I’ve learned through FFA to become successful in my career. I would like to work for Stine, Monsanto or Pioneer in the area of seed sales. I also hope to have a wonderful family.

Abrah Meyer, sophomore in agricultural business from Readlyn, Iowa
Iowa FFA state secretary

How does FFA build relationships?
I started working at the Iowa State Fair as a stage attendant for FFA during my sophomore year of high school. I met a few of my best friends there, and I will never forget the memories we shared. FFA has helped me form some of the greatest friendships in my life. I never thought that there would be so many experiences that apply to college, relationships and life in general. This year has provided me with an incredible opportunity to garner even more incredible relationships in and out of the blue jacket.

What is your dream?
Working overseas in an underdeveloped area of the world—is my dream. I hope to eventually be a source of service to people as a missionary for agriculture and faith beyond my time in the FFA.

Lauren Weirup, senior in agricultural and life sciences education from DeWitt, Iowa
Iowa FFA southeast vice-president

What do you enjoy about FFA?
FFA is about the journey. There is nothing better than a long road trip with fellow members. My favorite trip was the Washington D.C. Leadership Conference. I met people from around the United States, visited the presidential memorials and spent a service day in a garden gathering food for the needy. While achieving and serving, I developed business and speaking skills that have prepared me for the next chapter of my life.

What is your dream?
My dream is to finish my education and travel overseas to help bridge the gap in communication between the United States and other less fortunate countries. Basically, I want to help the transfer of technologies and methods from the United States to other countries to help even the playing fields and stop hunger.

Dylan Brockshus, sophomore animal science from Sibley, Iowa
Iowa FFA northwest vice-president

Why are FFA conferences important?
During my first semester at Iowa State I really enjoyed hosting several different conferences for FFA Chapter Officers and freshman members. My favorite memories involve meeting people, traveling to FFA events and participating in contests. The contests help students develop leadership and career skills for future endeavors. My favorite was the job interview event, which helped me build skills that I can use when I start my career.

What is your dream?
My dream is to have a lovely family and live in the country raising livestock and advocating for agriculture and agricultural education.

Logan Kelly, sophomore in animal ecology from Coon Rapids, Iowa
Iowa FFA southwest vice-president

Why Iowa State?
Iowa State is truly one of the best agricultural schools in the nation. When I am not learning about ecological systems, I break out of my daily routine and try new things. There is always something to do on campus, just being able to explore Iowa State is a journey all its own.

What is your dream?
My dream is to work in wildlife biology and work in the outdoors with America’s natural resources. I may get into teaching agriculture or get involved with FFA again as an adviser or alumni member.

NEWS FROM CAMPUS – Vol. 8 No.1, 2014


Jenna Tesdall, junior in global resource systems and biology, was elected president of the International Association of students in Agricultural and Related Sciences

Bailey Morrell, senior in agricultural studies, was elected national president of Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences


Mike Duffy, professor of economics, retired in April

William Edwards (’69 agricultural economics, ’71 MS, ’79 PhD), professor of economics, retired in June

Roger Elmore, professor of agronomy, retired in January

Cornelia Flora, professor of sociology, retired in May

Jan Flora, professor of sociology, retired in June

Hank Harris, professor of animal science, retired in January

James Kliebenstein, professor of economics, retired in May


Andrew VanLocke, assistant professor of agronomy

Georgeanne Artz, (’05 PhD economics), assistant professor of economics

Christopher Currey, assistant professor of horticulture

Shawn Dorius, assistant professor of sociology


Iowa State University has been ranked fifth in the world among universities in the area of agriculture and forestry by a Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. Last year, Iowa State ranked 10th among universities in agriculture and forestry.


Maynard Hogberg (’66 agricultural and life sciences education, ’72 MS animal science, ’76 PhD), professor and chair of the Iowa State University Department of Animal Science was honored with the 2014 distinguished service award from the National Pork Board for his contributions to the industry.


John Downing, ecology, evolution and organismal biology and agricultural and biosystems engineering, was awarded the Naumann-Thienemann medal by the International Society of Limnology. The award is the highest honor that can be bestowed internationally for outstanding scientific contributions to limnology.


William Edwards (’69 agricultural business,’71 MS agricultural economics, ’79 PhD), emeritus professor in economics, received the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service in Agriculture Award by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Edwards also was awarded the Gold Quill Award.


Bob Rust, emeritus professor of animal science, received the 2013 American Meat Science Association R.C. Pollock Award. Rust is the first Iowa State professor to receive the award, which is the highest honor bestowed in the association and represents exceptional contributions to meat science and the organization.


Agricultural Business Quiz Bowl Team: first place

Block and Bridle Club: first place, pride of schools: first place, chapter year book; third place, club activities; third place, webpage, National Block & Bridle Convention

Crops Judging Team: second place overall: first place, Ag Knowledge Bowl, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Crops Contest

Dairy Judging Team: fifth place, National Dairy Cattle Judging Contest

Fisheries and Wildlife Club: first place, Wildlife Society Midwest Student Conclave Quiz Bowl

Food Products Development Team: second place, Dairy Research Institute’s new product competition

Livestock Judging Team: first place, Iowa Beef Expo; first place (reasons division), Nebraska Cattleman’s Classic; second place, Sioux Empire Farm Show; third place, National Barrow Contest

Meat Judging Team: first place, Southeastern Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest; fourth place, ISU Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest

National Agri-Marketing Association: second place, NAMA Agri-Marketing Competition; first place, John Deere Signature Award; second place, Outstanding Student Chapter Award

Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club: hosted the National American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Symposium


By Barbara McBreen


Alexandria Harvey spent one semester in Venice studying soils. During her four years at Iowa State University, Harvey traveled to Austria, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia.

What happens when your plans change from attending a college in E

urope to Iowa State University? Texas native Alexandria Harvey would describe it as a whirlwind of opportunity.

Not only did Harvey (’14 environmental sciences and global resource sy

stems) learn about farming in Iowa, she also learned her great grandparents had farmed in Iowa. Last fall she visited the farm where her great grandparents farmed near Le Roy, Iowa, which is the second smallest town in Io

wa with 15 residents.

“When I came to Ames I found connections to my roots,” Harvey says. “My great grandparents lived and farmed in Iowa. I also learned that my aunt and uncle (Mike Harvey, ’88 animal science) met here and got married under the campanile.”

Enid Reyes, a minister in Rockwall, Texas, says having her daughter in Iowa wasn’t the plan. Harvey had planned to attend college in Europe, but found that Iowa State offered numerous study abroad opportunities and scholarships.

“Iowa State offered the best of both worlds, so I enrolled without ever seeing the university,” Harvey says.

Reyes can’t imagine her daughter anywhere else. She’s been so impressed by Iowa and the university’s service to students and parents, she heads north as often as she can.

Reyes recently set up and opened Grace Center for Family and Community Development in Rockwall. She was pleased to see her daughter follow a similar path of community betterment in Ames.

For the past year Harvey has served on the Ames City Council as the ex-officio student representative between the city and Iowa State University. Harvey says she was excited to see one of her projects make the two-year list of goals for the city.

“I sent out rental housing surveys and sat in on planning sessions. Addressing housing issues is listed as one of the goals for the City of Ames,” Harvey says. “I was excited to get that on the list as one of the city’s tasks.”

Serving on the council seemed like a fun thing to try, but she says it changed her perspective and her career path.

“It’s shaped my future. It’s crazy, because now I’m really interested in the role local government plays when it comes to resources. If you have good government everything else follows,” Harvey says. “The biggest indicator of food security is good government.”

An interest in food security led Harvey to an agronomy internship with Rafael Martinez-Feria, a graduate research assistant. Part of her internship involved collecting and comparing data on the effects of cover crops on erosion. She’d never worked with soil and plants before landing the internship.

“I didn’t know a major like agronomy existed,” Harvey says. “I got involved with the student organic farms. I did research at the Agronomy Farm, and I really enjoyed it.”

Mentoring also is something Harvey found at Iowa State. For the past three years she’s worked with Pat Miller, Iowa State Lectures program director. That’s how Harvey found out about the student position on the Ames city council.

“Alexandria quickly learned how important it was to take advantage of her opportunities to interact with visiting scholars, public officials and professionals,” Miller says.

The Lectures Programs hosts more than 130 speakers on campus each year. As a member of the University Committee on Lectures and co-chair of the World Affairs Series planning committee, Harvey says the program helped her build confidence.

“I got to talk to and have dinner with my idol Michael Mann, climatologist and Penn State Earth System Science Center director,” says Harvey.

Since graduation, Harvey has spent the summer in Texas. Next fall she will begin a fellowship to work on her master’s in public administration and a professional master’s in environmental science at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington.

“I think water resource management will be the next big issue. It plays into every segment of development and agriculture. Water is central to everything,” she says. “The professor I want to work with has research in Latin America and works with municipalities, so I feel like it will be a good transition.”

Harvey says she’ll miss Iowa State and Ames, but the roots she discovered here have helped her move on to a world of opportunity.



Iowa State University supporters Maury and Martha Kramer are among the donors who fund the Borlaug-Thomson internship. Pictured with a statue of Borlaug in Cresco are (left to right) Ann Staudt, Iowa Learning Farms; Matt Helmers, agricultural engineering; Jason Geiken, Iowa State University Foundation; Wendy Wintersteen, dean; Maury Kramer (‘65 MS agricultural education); Martha Kramer; David Acker, associate dean; Christina Riessen, Borlaug intern; and Dan Doeing, Borlaug intern.

By Christina Riessen and Barbara McBreen

Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his role in alleviating hunger worldwide. For the past six summers, Iowa State University students have interned at Borlaug’s boyhood home to preserve the grounds and share his story.

The story is inspiring. Borlaug (1914-2009) was an Iowa native and agricultural scientist who grew up on a farm near Cresco. He developed disease resistant wheat, which saved millions of lives during the 1960s and ’70s.

Last summer Dan Doeing, (’13 agriculture and life sciences education), received the internship and spent his summer sharing Borlaug’s story.

Along with planting and maintaining the garden at the farm, Borlaug-Thomson interns assist with the Howard County Fair, lead Borlaug farm tours and work with both the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation and the Iowa State University Howard County Extension office.

The Borlaug-Thomson internship is funded by Jack and Fran Thomson and Maury (’65 MS agricultural education) and Martha Kramer—friends of Borlaug and supporters of the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation.

“Working to preserve the legacy of such an accomplished individual made the internship rewarding,” Doeing says.

Borlaug’s belief that every child in the world should be well fed and have the opportunity to pursue an education was a key message in Doeing’s presentations to visitors to the Borlaug farm. One of Doeing’s favorite stories involved Borlaug’s choice between baseball and forestry.

Borlaug wanted to be a high school science teacher and athletic coach. He also dreamed of becoming second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, but he chose forestry.

“I remember vividly the day when I finally decided that I had to do one of two things—play baseball or be a forester because we had afternoon laboratories in forestry. You couldn’t do both,” said Norman Borlaug, as told in an audio history by Wessel’s Living History Farms.

“The first child yelled ‘Worm!’ which quickly became a victory cry that echoed through the garden,” Doeing says. “I was ecstatic that so many kids were interested in learning about Borlaug and agriculture. These are the future leaders of our world and it is essential that they understand the basics of agriculture.”

The student interns play an important role in Inspire Day, hosted by the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation Board. The interns facilitate a teaching station about Borlaug’s life at the program, which attracts more than 200 children from regional schools. The day is held in conjunction with Cresco’s annual Borlaug Harvest Fest and teaches students about agriculture, science, history and Borlaug’s life.

Inspire Day was started by Barb Schwamann, president of the Iowa Borlaug Heritage Foundation, seven years ago.

“Barb’s tireless leadership for the Inspire Day has meant a lot to me and our faculty who have participated in hands-on educational activities for local fifth graders,” says Wendy Wintersteen, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Inspire Day allows young people who come to Dr. Borlaug’s farm to catch the excitement of a future that may include walking in this great agricultural scientist’s footsteps,” Wintersteen says. “In the end, that’s the success of the partnership— measured by the wonderful faces of the students who visit the farm. Their thank-you notes are unforgettable.”

David Acker, associate dean of academic and global programs, says it’s important for students to know about Norman Borlaug.

“This internship provides an opportunity to inspire the next generation of agricultural scientists, which was a passion of Norman Borlaug,” Acker says. “It is one of the most prestigious internships offered in theCollege of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

The internship introduces students to Borlaug’s legacy and helps them share that legacy with others. Only students in Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are eligible for the internship. The awardees receive a $3,000 scholarship, a housing stipend and an eight- to 10-week paid position.


By Barbara McBreen

Celize Christy, a junior in animal science, helped students in the George Washington Carver Internship program feel at home while at Iowa State University including at this research poster presentation.

Celize Christy, a junior in animal science, helped students in the George Washington Carver Internship program feel at home while at Iowa State University including at this research poster presentation.







This summer Celize Christy helped students from across the United States follow in the footsteps of George Washington Carver as they explored agricultural science in research labs at Iowa State University.

For eight weeks Christy, a native of Dallas, worked with Theressa Cooper, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences assistant dean for diversity, to coordinate the program.

“I was asked to assist with the programand it fit with what I wanted to do,” Christy says. “It was fun to watch these young adults learn together and connect as friends.”

Christy says she was looking for a professional position for the summer and Dean Wendy Wintersteen helped connect Christy with Cooper.

“She is so personable and offered valuable guidance,” Christy says of Cooper. “She shared her experiences and helped me move ahead and grow.”

As the coordinator for the George Washington Carver Internship Program, Christy, a junior in animal science, helped manage 13 high school and 22 college students. The program, which is sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, introduces students to various areas of research. Seven of the students are part of the Science Bound program at Iowa State that recently received a grant from DuPont Pioneer. Cooper says Christy was a valuable asset this summer.

“She was engaging, pleasant and humorous, which helped the interns feel like they were part of the Iowa State community,” Cooper says.

Careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) will increase 17 percent through 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Cooper says the internship program bridges the gap between access and opportunity for multicultural populations.

The 2013 summer class was the second largest class of interns since the program started in 1997. The students were mainly from Iowa, but also included students from Puerto Rico, Texas, Illinois and Alabama. Since the start of the program faculty have mentored more than 300 interns.

From getting nightly updates about their daily experiences to hosting students at a barbecue, Christy says coordinating the program was an eye-opening experience.

“Some of the students were in programs they hadn’t thought about exploring and it opened their eyes,” Christy says. “Three students had just graduated and decided to go to Iowa State to pursue their master’s degree because of this experience.”

For Ellen Tisdale the internship provided more than a summer experience. Tisdale, who is now a graduate student with a research assistantship in genetics, says she was introduced to a caring community that encouraged her to pursue a graduate degree.

“When I got to Iowa State, I met some extremely wonderful and helpful people,” the interns in any way possible and often went out of her way to make sure we were ok.”

While she was introducing interns to campus, Christy says she also was learning more about the college.

“I met several professors and mentors and I learned from them about how they successfully pursued their careers,” Christy says.

Next summer Christy plans to study abroad and has applied for the college’s Service Learning Program in Uganda. She has been accepted into the Agricultural and Life Sciences student ambassador program. She hopes to work in international rural development after she graduates.


Meet the 2013 George Washington Carver Interns in this video


Although the exact year and date of George Washington Carver’s birth is unknown, most historians believe he was most likely born in 1864. That’s 150 years worth celebrating.

In 2014, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will honor Carver for his many scientific discoveries, achievements and his contributions to the social justice and civil rights movements. “Celebrating the Life and Legacy of George Washington Carver” events during the year will include a lecture series, seminars, student research opportunities, food tastings, displays and artistic performances.

Carver was the first African American to enroll at Iowa State in 1891. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1894, his master’s in 1896 and then became the first African American faculty member at Iowa State. As one of our most distinguished alumni, Carver went on to become a brilliant scientist and educator at the Tuskegee Institute, helping farmers with ideas he worked on when he was a student and faculty member at Iowa State. His research changed how we look at crops. His life and teaching continue to inspire millions.


The renovated office suite of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Services was dedicated Aug. 31 in honor Roger Bruene (’56 agronomy), the former director. A group of alumni, including Roger Underwood (’80 agricultural business), led a fundraising initiative to raise funds to name the offices on the ground floor of Curtiss Hall. Bruene is pictured with Underwood and Dean Wendy Wintersteen at the dedication. The hour-long ceremony is available to view on YouTube.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University recently released the updated Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based approach to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico. The strategy is designed to direct efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants and industrial facilities, and nonpoint sources, including farm fields and urban areas, in a scientific, reasonable and cost effective manner. More

Advances in soil science necessitated an update in the Corn Suitability Rating (CSR), a system for rating the crop-growing productivity of Iowa soil. Originally established in 1971, the CSR was created in response to county assessors who needed a measure to help assess the productivity of farmland. Today, the CSR is used in many additional ways, including developing land use plans, determining land values, predicting yields and negotiating cash rents. More


1,250 pounds of cooked bacon
1,076 attendees
248 days of preparation
100 pounds of bacon donated to a local food pantry
60 student organizers
16 student organizations participated
9 vendors: 3 restaurants and 6 companies or organizations
3 title sponsors: Iowa Select Farms, Elanco, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
1 motto: Life, liberty and the pursuit of bacon

See photos and video


By Barbara McBreen

Two summer internships in Uganda helped Sean Lundy, a senior in global resource systems, under¬stand the importance of working with youth in achieving sustainable international development.

Two summer internships in Uganda helped Sean Lundy, a senior in global resource systems, under¬stand the importance of working with youth in achieving sustainable international development.

Sleeping at the base of a 2,000-yearold Redwood inspired Sean Lundy to seek a career in international development. Opportunities at Iowa State University are helping his dream grow.

The summer after graduating from high school, Lundy, a senior in global resource systems and nutrition, worked for the Student Conservation Association as part of a six-member crew in Redwood National Park. Students participating in the program are sent to national parks to restore trails indigenous flora and cultural landmarks to better understand environmental conservation. For five weeks, Lundy camped in the Redwoods and hiked five miles to work carrying up to 60 pounds of gear.

“I had a lot of alone time out there to think, and I walked away knowing I wanted to do something in college that would make a difference in this world,” Lundy says.

That’s what brought him to Iowa State University.

The trail he’s since blazed led him to Uganda twice, Panama and Washington D.C. Each internship, he says, has contributed to understanding the politics, cultural influences and funding mechanisms that affect international development.

Lundy’s international experiences were fueled by scholarships. The Manatt Scholarship, Crawford Student Support Fund and “Peacemaking Award” from his home church made it possible for him to go abroad.

Tailoring International Development

In 2010, he was selected for the Uganda Service Learning Program sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL). He remembers his advisers emphasizing six-weeks seemed like a long time to students, but the key to successful development work is long-term sustainability.

“Our program is approaching international development in the correct way,” Lundy says. “We aren’t taking a blanket approach to a whole country. There are cultural differences in each region. We are tailoring our efforts to meet the needs of the Kamuli District.”

Lundy went back to Uganda the next summer to work with a non-governmental organization called Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO). He and Brian Castro, also a senior in global resource systems, spent the first few weeks collecting basic health data on children in the Kumali district who were participants in a school feeding program. The two then chose 20 families to conduct more in-depth nutritional and socio-economic case studies.

“We went to their homes and we got to know the children really well,” Lundy says. “We wanted to understand how these children lived their lives. We walked to school with them, ate the food they ate and got to know their families.”

In the Kumali district, Lundy says families as large as eight live in homes with earthen walls the size of the living room in his college apartment. Most are subsistence farmers relying on plots less than an acre. Lundy says their data indicated improvements in the nutritional status of children as a result of the school feeding program.

“The servings of extra bean porridge at the school, which is ultimately what we assessed, was extremely effective when we compared the data from 2010 to 2011,” Lundy says. “Good nutrition affects cognitive ability, physical growth and it helps children to be more successful.”

Communication Key to Sustainability
During the summer of 2012, Lundy planned to continue work on child nutrition in Haiti. Those plans had to change because of the 2010 earthquake. Iowa State would not permit students to travel to Haiti because the U.S. State Department issued travel warnings. Lundy quickly made other plans.

David Acker, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean of academic and global programs, contacted Jose Pacheco (’92 ag studies), a senior Panamaniam official, to help Lundy and Castro develop an internship with the Panamanian Ministry of Agriculture Development (MIDA) and UNICEF. The framework for the internship was modeled after their research in Uganda.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen when we landed in Panama City, but it was a phenomenal experience,” Lundy says. “The MIDA advisers did everything they could to show us what was going on in Panama and enabled us to be effective in the field.”

In Panama they focused on assessing the nutritional impact of a dairy goat project on children in eleven nutritionally deficient communities. The project’s purpose was to improve child under-nutrition through supplemental dietary goat milk.

Lundy says the goats were supposed to be sent to West Africa, but that project fell through. As a result, the Panamanian government received the goats from the United Nations and implemented a program addressing nutritional issues in remote rural areas of Panama.

“MIDA did a good job developing the project, but goats are not indigenous to Panama, so most of the farmers had no idea how to integrate goats into their agriculture practices,” Lundy says.

The results of the project highlighted common issues within sustainable development Lundy says. The need for good communication with communities is essential. Lundy and Castro provided recommendations to MIDA and UNICEF officials, who welcomed the feedback and changed the program on a national scale.

“I left Uganda two years earlier thinking I had not made as big of a difference as I had hoped. That was frustrating, but it motivated me to find other experiences that would help me build on that first trip. I think we made a tangible and quantifiable impact in those Panamanian communities,” Lundy says.

Focusing on Policy at Home
During the summer of 2013 Lundy served as an intern for the Unites States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. This provided an opportunity for him to be involved in the Farm Bill legislative process.

“It’s cool to see where all the decisions are made and observe the central nervous system of our federal government,” Lundy says. “The agriculture committee worked well together. I know agricultural policy is in good hands.”

Working in Washington D.C. offered him valuable insight to the role politics plays in international development.

The internship also presented several networking opportunities, such as lunch with Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Tina May, profes­sional senior staff for the Senate committee, says Lundy was articulate and understood international development.

“Senate Agriculture Committee interns are a critical part of the team. It isn’t easy to get one of these internships, especially not in the middle of passing a five-year Farm Bill,” May says. “Sean’s application and subsequent work on the Committee exemplified all of the qualities we expect of our interns. We were continually impressed with his work and expect to see Sean doing great things in the future.”

A Life Worth Watching
Lundy lives by advice given to him a while ago, “One day your life will flash before your eyes—do something worth watching.”

To that end, Lundy has served as presi­dent of MEDLIFE (Medicine, Education and Development for Low-Income Families Everywhere), an organization that coordinates mobile health clinics in Latin America. He is also vice president of the Global Health and AIDS Coalition, which he co-founded. The coalition advocates increased access to medication and healthcare. It also promotes aware­ness about the resource constraints and disparities in global health.

Lundy wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he came to Iowa State, but majoring in global resource systems and getting involved in clubs allowed him to make a difference at home and abroad.


By Barbara McBreen

From BaconFest to Block and Bridle to the Iowa Statehouse, Kristin Liska, a junior in animal science, is known as an "energized leader." She met with Iowa legislators as part of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program.

From BaconFest to Block and Bridle to the Iowa Statehouse, Kristin Liska, a junior in animal science, is known as an “energized leader.” She met with Iowa legislators as part of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program.

Kristin believes everyone involved in agriculture needs to understand the policy discussions at the local, state and national level.

Liska, a junior in animal science, believes in proactively telling the story
of agriculture. That’s the message she shared in an animal science class preparing to tour Midwest farms and agricultural industries this summer.

“It’s important for producers to under- stand the discussion behind the issues and provide input because it can affect their operation,” Liska says.

Being selected for the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program was an important achievement for Liska, who says she couldn’t wait to participate. In March, the group met at the Iowa Statehouse in Des Moines to learn how to approach Iowa’s policy leaders. The group holds informational meetings throughout the year.

This summer Liska has an internship with a company that fits into her advocacy goal. She’s working for CMA—a public relations company in Kansas City that reviews agricultural topics, gathers expert opinions and publishes stories.

“The groups that produce negative articles about agriculture are not talking to farmers, they are talking to consumers,” Liska says. “That’s what we need to do. We need to share our story and show consumers that we care about animals, we care about water quality and we care about the land.”

As she enters her senior year, Liska plans to continue her ambitious schedule. Last semester she helped organize the 93rd National Block and Bridle convention—the first time the event has been held in Ames. This fall she’s co-chairing the first annual BaconFest event, which will be held on campus in October.

“The BaconFest is challenging because we normally have a final report from the previous year to help plan an event, but this is a first time event,” Liska says. “We just have
to grab it by the horns and go.”

The toughest choice Liska’s made is changing her career focus. She grew up thinking she would be a veterinarian, but figured out that she was more interested in communications and advocating for agriculture.

Curtis Youngs, an animal science faculty adviser, says Liska is an energized leader who exudes enthusiasm. During his 23 years of academic advising, Youngs consistently shares a message with his students—be passionate about what
you do.

“That’s what I preach to students,” Youngs says. “They will spend most
of their lives at work, so it’s important to find a career which they can passionately pursue. Kristin has found that in agricultural advocacy.”

Liska received a Legacy Scholarship as both of her parents graduated from Iowa State. Her parents, Bob (’87 agronomy) and Stephanie (’87 public service and administration in agriculture), live in Wayne, Nebraska.

The 93rd National Block and Bridle Convention, the first one ever to take place at Iowa State University, was held in April. The Iowa State Block and Bridle Club hosted the event. More than 500 students attended and participated in industry tours throughout Iowa. John Lawrence, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Maynard Hogberg, professor and chair of the animal science department, spoke at the awards banquet. Iowa State placed first in the yearbook competition, fourth in chapter activities and Adair Boysen (’12 agriculture and life sciences education) was named Outstanding Senior. Visit 93rd National Block & Bridle Convention Facebook page for to view photos from the conference.


By Haley Banwart

As part of her internship with Iowa Learning Farms, NASA scholarship winner Rebecca Meerdink traveled across Iowa to educate about sustainable water and land use.

As part of her internship with Iowa Learning Farms, NASA scholarship winner Rebecca Meerdink traveled across Iowa to educate about sustainable water and land use.

Four NASA scholarships; three research projects; two years of interning; one amazing student experience. That sums up Rebecca Meerdink’s college experience.

The senior in environmental science is a four-time winner of the Space Grant Consortium scholarship that gives students the opportunity to experience a personalized research project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Meerdink first learned of the NASA scholarship from her older sister who was also a successful applicant of the award. The scholarship gave Meerdink the oppor- tunity to participate in a series of innovative research projects under the supervision of Amy Kaleita, associate professor in agriculture and biosystems engineering. One such project tested the impact
of LED lights on soybean yields, relating to the efforts of growing plants in space.

Meerdink’s most recent project involves studying the frequencies of nitrate, a substance known for playing a large role in water quality impairments. Her goal is to create a reasonably priced sensor that can take real-time measurements of nitrate levels in fields and streams so farmers can better gauge when to apply fertilizers.

“It is my hope that my work will help increase the data pool for farmers and researchers alike,” she says.

Giorgi Chighladze, an agricultural and biosystems engineering research assistant, has been assisting Meerdink with her research.

“Her work advances our research by using radio frequencies to detect chemical footprints that help identify nitrate response. NASA is doing similar work to detect for water on Mars,” Chighladze says.

Meerdink also had the opportunity to intern with the Iowa Learning Farms during the past two summers and gain hands-on experience. She studied the relationships between land use and water by taking field samples to test water quality.

Meerdink traveled across the state of Iowa with a unique fleet of trailers known as the Conservation Station, making appearances at events such as field days, county fairs and farmers markets. The Conservation Station trio is equipped with creative learning modules, simulators and other hands-on activities that demonstrate the importance of practicing good conservation.

Meerdink was trained to give presentations while using the Conservation Station’s educational activities and tools.

“Using effective communication skills was a good challenge for me,” Meerdink says. “It was always encouraging when the kids were enthused and asked good questions or wanted to know more.”

Based on her involvement with both experimental research and educating others about the environment, Meerdink is looking for a career with a blend of fieldwork and public speaking.

“There is still much work to be done to educate the masses,” Meerdink says. “In order to accelerate progress, research must be done to obtain accurate information, which then needs to be effectively communicated to the public.”

Her first step is graduate school. She’s considering programs in agricultural drainage, cover crops, land management and water quality.



By Barbara McBreen

Gary High wore a graduation robe for the first time in his life when he accepted his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology this May. High received his GED in the Navy 30 years ago.

Gary High wore a graduation robe for the first time in his life when he accepted his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology this May. High received his GED in the Navy 30 years ago.

Five years ago Gary High considered himself computer illiterate, now he’s operating robots and analyzing plastics using complex computer systems.

At 51 years old, he’s considered a “nontraditional” student. High has always worked in jobs that required mechanical knowledge, so pursuing an industrial technology degree made sense. High graduated in May.

“I dropped out of high school in 10th grade and I went from not being able
to answer an email to graduating with
a bachelor’s degree,” High says.

His wife, Dawn High (’01 dietetics), encouraged him to go to college. She was a nontraditional student at Iowa State and understood the challenges and the rewards.

“Gary is motivated,” Dawn says. “When he told me he wanted to go back to school, I said, ‘Let’s figure out how to make it happen.’”

In order to enroll in classes Gary had to check on his GED tests, which he took 30 years earlier while serving in the Navy. When he learned he had passed, he signed up for two courses at Ellsworth Community College. He tried it, liked it and graduated with the first associate degree in engineering from Ellsworth.

“It seemed every time I turned around I was given new opportunities,” Gary says.

Doors continued to open when he came to Iowa State. He started in aerodynamics, but his adviser told him to stick with what he knew. He knew mechanical systems.

His mechanical experience began in 1979 as a boiler technician and fire room supervisor in the Navy. After six years he was honorably discharged and awarded the Sea Service Ribbon and the Humanitarian Service Medal, which is awarded for meritorious participation in military acts or operations of a humanitarian nature. He went on to work as an injection mold operator, truck driver, bulldozer operator and started a trucking company.

David Grewell, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, says Gary is an inspiration to other students. The first thing Grewell noticed is that Gary works with his younger peers as a team player. He says that was evident when Gary joined the robotics team, which took third place in the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering competition in 2011.

“He was like a kid on the robotics team, but at the same time he provided the down-to-earth seriousness that kept the group focused,” Grewell says.

“The robotic team caught my interest because it was a diverse group of young students with the enthusiasm to excel at applied technology,” Gary says. “I found the experience satisfying and I made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

That teamwork was also evident in a multi-disciplinary lean management project combining students from Jacqulyn Baughman’s technology systems management course and David Cantor’s supply chain management class. The students evaluated the supply room at the Cardiovascular Unit at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. The team’s goal was to improve inventory management and reduce costs.

“It’s all about efficiency,” Gary says. “In this class we tried to eliminate excess inventory because that translates into extra costs.”

Baughman, a lecturer in agricultural and biosystems engineering, says Gary is a leader in many ways and readily shares his knowledge and experience with other students.

“He knows when to lead, but he knows when to step back because the other students need that experience,” Baughman says.

Grewell says Gary’s story is one he’ll never forget.

“He drives from Iowa Falls every day and he is the one student who is in class early,” Grewell says. “Gary is a great success story.”

Gary’s leadership and knowledge
were helpful when Grewell took a group of students to Taiwan for his International Industrial Academic Leadership Experience class. Gary remembers Taiwan from his years in the Navy.

“I was there 30 years ago and it wasn’t developed at all. Today, Taiwan is having an industrial boom,” Gary says.

While he was in Taiwan he talked to his dad using the web conferencing tool Skype. Gary’s dad had just been diagnosed with cancer, so it was important to stay in touch.

“I was computer illiterate when I started college, but my dad was still in the crank phone era and it was amazing for him,” Gary says.

His father passed away in December, but Gary says one of the last things his dad told him was how proud he was of his achievements.


By Barbara McBreen

Scott Thellman is a first-generation farmer in Lawrence, Kansas.The senior in agricultural business started selling hay when he was 15. He’s expanded to include vegetables grown in high-tunnel structures.

Scott Thellman is a first-generation farmer in Lawrence, Kansas.The senior in agricultural business started selling hay when he was 15. He’s expanded to include vegetables grown in high-tunnel structures.

“Growing the future of local agriculture, one plant at a time.”

That’s Scott Thellman’s mission statement for a business he started when he was just 15 years old.

Thellman, a senior in agricultural business, started a haying business with the purchase of a rusty hay rake and baler for $100.

“I saved some of the money I earned from working on a local sweet corn farm and put it into fixing up the equipment that was sitting across from our house abandoned in a field,” Thellman says.

After refurbishing the equipment, Thellman managed to harvest close to 1,000 small square bales on his parent’s land near Lawrence, Kansas. The bales sold quickly, and he realized he had found an underserved market.

“When I look back on my first few years I can’t believe I stayed with it. My old equipment was constantly breaking down. One time, I even had two flat tires on the baler at the same time,” Thellman laughs. “When I started, I wasn’t mechanically inclined, but now I can fix anything.”

After high school Thellman took a year off to concentrate on his business

while deciding where to attend college. He says Iowa State University stood out as one of the premier agricultural schools in the country with a strong entrepreneurship program.

As a freshman, he immediately saw the advantages and potential of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. Thellman, who now serves on the initiative’s student advisory board says the program introduces students to successful agricultural entrepreneurs and strategic business and marketing ideas. It also allows students to fashion their own career path with guidance from entrepreneurial mentors.

“The program improved how I make business decisions that affect my overall profitability and success,” Thellman says.

Kevin Kimle, director of the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative, says Thellman was a student in his class as a freshman. Kimle describes how Thellman had his laptop open one morning before class, sharing information with classmates about recent stock trades he had made.

“It’s so powerful for students to see other students who are practicing entrepreneurs,” Kimle says. “Scott
is an example of the classic story of tinkering with something, finding it works and finding a market.”

Tom Sloan, one of Thellman’s custom- baling customers in Lawrence, says Thellman has gone from using equipment that constantly broke down to technology that monitors inputs and yields. The data was invaluable during last year’s drought.

“I’m getting maximum yields because he’s helping me manage my hay ground,” Sloan says.

Thellman’s Juniper Hill Farms, LLC produces a variety of crops, with recent expansions into certified organic vegetables and small grains. He says expanding into the vegetable market required a new set of skills and business strategies.

One strategic change he’s made in his operation is a shift from price-taking to price-making. He says if you have the right products for a specific market you can set your price instead of taking the prices set by the market.

“We provide square bales, certified organic vegetables and custom baling,” Thellman says. “These niche products are in high demand, which gives us
the ability to negotiate our prices with customers. It really comes down to the relationship you have with your products, your customers and your community.”

A portion of his farm is now USDA Certified Organic. Thellman says the certification allowed him to market both organic and conventionally grown forages and vegetables. Long term the certification will reduce input costs, increase sustainability and grow demand for his products.

Barb Kerr, a customer who buys organic hay, agrees. It was the only USDA Certified Organic hay she could find.

“Scotty’s one of the most serious young farmers I know,” Kerr says. “The organic methods he uses provide better hay and it’s cheaper in the long run. He’s found a way to help his customers and it’s great.”

Thellman began using high tunnel structures in 2010 funded with National

Resources Conservation Service grants. The tunnel extends Thellman’s vegetable growing season.

His goal this year is to expand his market into more restaurants and grocery stores and increase production. At the same time he wants to make sure his products are affordable and available to all members of his community.

“In 2012, we donated over 400 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks,” Thellman says. “Good business means that you truly serve every member of your community, which is a good feeling.”

Online Extra: In his own words: Read Scott Thellman’s thoughts on becoming a farmer in a blog post online.


Jianming Yu, Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding, agronomy
Gretchen Mosher (PhD ’11 industrial and agricultural technology), researcher in food safety and grain quality and director of undergraduate services, agricultural and biosystems engineering
Daniel Andersen (MS ’08 agricultural engineering, PhD ’12), assistant professor, manure management and water quality matters, agricultural and biosystems engineering
Patrick Gunn, assistant professor, cow-calf specialist, animal science

Dan Otto, professor of economics and ISU Extension economist, retired in October
Dennis Shannon (‘69 agronomy), ISU Research and Demonstration Farms, retired in December
Phil Spike (PhD ’75 animal science), professor of animal science, retired in January
Jean Tilley, food science and human nutrition, retired in February

An international consortium of scientists that includes Jonathan Wendel, distinguished professor and chair
of the Department
of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, has mapped the genome sequence for cotton in a paper published in the journal “Nature.” The sequencing of the genome will have sweeping ramifications for cotton growers, plant biologists and producers who grow other cash crops. Wendel received the 2012 International Cotton Genome Initiative Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cotton Research at the initiative’s conference in October. For details about Wendel’s research visit www.news.iastate.edu/news/2012/12/20/cottongenome.

Michael Retallick (PhD ’05 agricultural and life sciences education), agricultural education and studies, received the New Teacher Award at the Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Awards Program at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities annual meeting in Denver in November. The award honors college and university instructors who demonstrate
a commitment to a career in teaching and exhibit meritorious teaching with seven or less years of experience in higher education.

An agricultural educator from Tennessee has been named the new CALS assistant dean
for diversity. Theressa Cooper, former director of Academic Success Programs and Outreach Initiatives at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, began Feb. 1. She will coordinate, manage and implement the college’s existing diversity programs, such as the George Washington Carver Summer Internship program and Graduate Assistant Research Match program. She also will lead efforts to identify new opportunities to enhance diversity and connect with minority serving institutions nationwide. To learn more about Cooper and her position visit www.cals.iastate.edu/news/releases.

Agricultural Business Club: 2012 National Outstanding Chapter, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (seventh consecutive title); first place 2012 Academic Quiz Bowl
Block and Bridle Club: hosted the 93rd National Block and Bridle Conference in April attended by 500 students; first place yearbook, webpage and first-place outstanding senior
Crops Team: first place crops contest and Ag Knowledge Bowl
Dairy Products Evaluation Team: fourth place 91st National Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest and third place at the Regional Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest
Food Product Development: third place AACCI Product Development Competition in Hollywood, Fla.
Livestock Judging Team: first place Sioux Empire Farm Show Livestock Judging Contest; first place Iowa Beef Expo; High Team Overall honors at the Aksarben Stock Show and Rodeo
Meats Judging Team: first place Southeastern Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest
National Agri-Marketing Association: first in 2012 John Deere Signature Award Competition at the NAMA Agri-Marketing Competition
Soil Judging Team: second place overall at the 2013 National Collegiate Soil Contest hosted by the University of Wisconsin, Platteville
Turf Club: first place 2012 Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Education Conference (12th win out of the past 14 years)

Max Rothschild, animal science, and fellow research team members at the U.S. Agency for International Development Bureau for Food Security received a Meritorious Honor Group Award for its outstanding vision, teamwork and dedication in designing and implementing USAID’s programs in support of the Feed the Future Research Strategy, building strong linkages that span USAID’s Missions, Bureaus and partners, especially U.S. universities, CGIAR Centers and the private sector.


By Barbara McBreen

The summer of 2012 was a hot one, but that didn’t stop Bethany Olson from training for competitive cross-country.

Bethany Olson

“You have to love running—whether it’s 100 plus degrees or 21 below—you have to work out,” says Olson, a senior in agricultural business and international agriculture.

As a member of the Iowa State University Women’s Track and Cross Country teams Olson trained hard this summer to reach her mileage total of 85 miles per week. An important goal because she believes cross- country competition is about teamwork.

“If you don’t put your time in, you are letting your team down,” Olson says. “There are no timeouts when you compete in cross country because it’s an individual contribution to the team.”

The teamwork paid off last year when Iowa State University’s Women’s team brought home Iowa State’s first Big 12 Championship trophy. Corey Ihmels, Iowa State University director of men and women’s track and cross country, says it’s because of athletes like Olson.

“The easy part is doing the hard work, the hard part is balance. I ask students to manage life, school, get enough rest and eat well,” Ihmels says. “Bethany is very involved academically and she’s a committed athlete. She’s doing things right.”

Olson’s a team player in everything she does, but balancing all her interests is a challenge. Along with Cyclone athletics, Olson is a member of the Agricultural Business Club, Alpha Zeta, the Honors Program, Collegiate FFA, Lyrica (an Iowa State women’s choir), the Student Athlete Advisory Council and serves as a student ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

One of Olson’s interests is travel. In grade school Olson listed traveling the world as one of her lifelong goals. She started her college travels in Argentina as part of an agronomy and economics travel course during spring break. The twelve-day trip was packed with farm and ag industry tours along with a few tourist stops.

Olson wrote an 80-page report summarizing the trip and credited Sergio Lence’s connections for making the trip a hands- on tour. Lence, a professor of economics and course adviser, grew up on a farm near Carlos Casares in the Province of Buenos Aires.

“Students like Bethany make the effort of leading travel courses worthwhile and motivate me to continue doing them,” Lence says.

Nathan Johnston, a senior in agricultural business, also went to Argentina with Olson. The two grew up four miles apart from each other near Jewell, Iowa. They both have similar career plans. Johnston says the long-standing joke between them is who will be the other one’s boss.

“In high school we were involved in 4-H, cross country and FFA co-presidents together. We followed each other to Iowa State and both went into the ag business program,” Johnston says. “It’s been great to have a friend like Bethany at Iowa State.”

In June, Olson continued her international studies and traveled to Southeast Asia after being selected to participate in the International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. Grains Foundation and the National FFA. She and Karl Kerns, a junior in animal science, were among twelve students nationwide to participate in a trip to Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

The group toured an aquaculture farm on the Mekong River in Vietnam and met with commodity representatives in Saigon. Olson says the experience emphasized Iowa’s global connection to agriculture, especially when they visited the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade in Singapore.

Both study abroad opportunities fit Olson’s plans to pursue a career in marketing and with an agricultural business or organization that includes international connections.

“I hope to have a career that is focused on furthering the productivity of farmers and their agricultural practices around the world, while helping consumers under- stand that agriculture is an important and necessary part of their lives,” Olson says.

Olson is co-chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Ag Career Day. Her past awards include recognition as a Foreman Scholar and the Branstad-Reynolds Undergraduate Scholar. She was raised on a fifth-generation family farm and graduated valedictorian of the South Hamilton High School Class of 2009


Andrew Paxson grew up enjoying the outdoors in the in Fox River Valley area northwest of Chicago. As president of the student Soil Water and Conservation Club he builds ground water flow models.

By Barbara McBreen

Andrew Paxson spent his summer biking, canoeing, mussel hunting, weeding and educating others about the importance of ecological preservation. It was an intern- ship that fit him perfectly.

“We covered ecology, history, philosophy, economics, botany and geology all in nine weeks,” Paxson says. “The internship helped me understand that I’d like to pursue a career in ecological restoration.”

Paxson, a senior in environmental science, spent last summer as an intern with the McHenry County Conservation District at Glacial Park. It’s an area north-west of Chicago and north of Algonquin, Ill. The 3,500-acre park is located one hour north of where Paxson grew up hiking and enjoying water sports.

“I like to challenge interns with basic questions,” says Tom Simpson, field station ecologist with the McHenry County Conser- vation District. “This summer we had many involved discussions about how and why we do conservation. Andrew was always engaged in the discussion, which helped everyone else participate.”

This summer brought hot, dry weather to most of the Midwest, which made it challenging to work outside Paxson says. At times he was worried about starting fires with vehicles used in the park. As streambeds began to dry up, he also participated in a mussel rescue and survey.

“We were on our hands and knees in the river trying to find these mussels in the mud, it was like finding gold,” Paxson says.

When he returned to Iowa State this fall, he found the drought also dried up his water-sampling job. For the past three years Paxson has taken water and sediment samples from Squaw Creek to measure E. coli. The water sampling not only provided a job, but a basis for his research.

“The data is interesting because we have samples from flood years and from last spring when the creek began drying up,” Paxson says.

Michelle Soupir, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, says Paxson’s help with data collection will provide the basis for stream modeling. The project not only measured E. coli in the water, but also in the streambed.

“He went out weekly and collected water and sediment samples,” Soupir says. “We found that bacteria concentrations in the bottom sediment was higher than the overlying waters.”

Paxon’s research focused on plotting
E. coli concentrations in watersheds using geographic information systems technology. The results will be included in a modeling project used to predict E. coli concentrations in streams. He presented his research in poster sessions through the Science With Practice program and at the Research at the Capitol event in Des Moines. Both programs give undergraduate students research experience with mentors and faculty.

Paxson served as president of the Soil and Water Conservation Club Student Chapter from 2009 to 2012, which builds water flow models for educational groups. He also was a member of the Skunk River Navy, a student group that cleans trash out of the river. He also gained practical experience serving on Iowa State University’s Storm water committee.


Brandi Malchow, junior in agricultural biochemistry, hopes to follow in the footsteps of her adviser and mentor Don Beitz .

By Calee  Himes

If Brandi Malchow could major in everything, she would.

After spending a semester at a university without a tradition of agriculture, the junior from St. Cloud, Minn ultimately chose agricultural biochemistry at Iowa State University. It fed her interest in biochemistry that began in advanced biology in high school and her longing to be reconnected with her agricultural roots that were seeded in FFA.

Agricultural biochemistry combines science and math to help further the understanding of human, plant and animal life. With diverse interest areas combined, agricultural biochemistry is a perfect fifit for Malchow, who sees it as a means for “understanding molecular mechanisms of various life processes.”

Malchow loves her major, but is especially thankful for her adviser, Don Beitz, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences in animal science and in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. She credits him for helping shape her Iowa State career.

She even aspires to become a “female version of Beitz”, she jokes. Like Beitz, she wants to earn a Ph.D. and become a research professor and adviser. Finding a future that involves helping others is a must for Malchow. She’s especially interested in studying diabetes, Chron’s disease or another pressing health issue related to digestion.

“Brandi is Ms. Enthusiasm,” Beitz says. “She works hard for her grades and is very involved in activities outside the classroom.”

That’s likely because one of the first things Beitz told Malchow was to work really hard, but play even harder.

Malchow took Beitz’s statement to heart.

“Academics and activities are two separate things and both deserve equal time and attention,” she says.

She’s a member of Student Admissions Representatives, the Transfer Ambassador Program, Women in Science and Engineering and is a Cyclone Aide—all of these programs tap into Brandi’s desire to mentor new students and help them navigate their first few semesters of college. And she tutors math, science and Spanish at Woodward-Granger High School.

Malchow’s planning to attend the Emerging Leaders Retreat, an overnight, off-campus retreat for students interested in building leadership skills, and will spend a semester at Louisiana State University in the spring as a national exchange student. She’s always been curious about living somewhere else and is intrigued by the south. She also hopes this experience will expand her network while she’s researching graduate schools.

She enjoys being so involved because it’s a great way to network with people she wouldn’t otherwise encounter in her major. In fact, the Cyclone Aide program is where she met most of her friends.

Malchow sees every day as a new adventure. “Every day is the best day ever,” she exclaims. Whether she’s going over math problems with a student, conducting a campus tour or taking a calculus test, she looks forward to something new and exciting each day.


Darrin Rahn

Darrin Rahn talks as fast as he walks and for good reason – he’s normally juggling meetings, mentoring, working, studying and writing marketing plans.

Interpreting statistical data intrigues Rahn. That’s why he’s combined two majors – agricultural business and marketing. He’s also the go-to person for marketing solutions.

He helped Dakota Hoben (’12 ag business) successfully campaign for president of the government of the student body. And he’s written award-winning marketing plans for both a product development team and the National Agri-Marketing Association competition.

“When I do marketing it’s driven from the quantitative and research perspective, the creative side is just the cherry on top,” Rahn says.

Rahn is well known in the college. In 2011, he was elected to serve as the president of the Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council. As president he saw how clubs interact in the college and how the college interacts with other colleges.

“It was fascinating,” Rahn says.

He also took the lead on organizing a successful Ag Week, starting with an ad campaign. The “Our Roots Run Deep” slogan was printed on posters and t–shirts to increase awareness about the week’s activities and opportunities available in agriculture. The fall event included a first-time student concert and full-page newspaper advertisements outlining the weeklong schedule, which included free lunches, lectures, entertainment and a food drive.

His interest in figures also helped him in his work with Mike Duffy, an economist who analyzes farmland price trends in Iowa. This year, Iowa land prices hit record highs and Rahn was part of the team that put the data together.

Along with being involved in clubs, committees and mentoring activities, he’s also made the Dean’s list every semester.

“Being involved is what I do,” Rahn says.

Rahn is interested in the consumer end of food production. He says he was inspired by his internship with Hormel Foods Corporation. In June, he started his dream job in Minneapolis at Target as a sourcing business analyst, where he’ll collaborate with global vendors, designer partners and buyers to deliver and source Target store brand products from concept into stores. His long-term career goals are becoming a merchandise buyer or in brand management within the grocery and food product categories.


Maurice Aduto, a senior in natural resource ecology and management, hopes to return to his native South Sudan to aid in the development and protection of the country's natural resources.

You’re 12 years old. You live in a mud hut with a tin roof in a desert. You eat one bowl of grain a day and you live among 70,000 refugees in a place known as “nowhere.”

These are recent memories for Maurice Aduto. It’s also what drives him to seek opportunities and make a difference in his homeland of South Sudan, a country that gained independence in 2011 after a 22-year civil war.

When Aduto was a young child herding cattle with his uncles, brothers and cousins the problems of Sudan’s war seemed far away. His family lived in Chukudum, a village near the Uganda border in east Africa.

The village was known for its fertile land and abundant harvests. Aduto has fond memories of the tranquil valley where he played. He also remembers his British-trained elementary school teachers, who taught him the importance of education.

Things changed in his village as the war moved south. The violence threatened Aduto’s family. The soldiers were killing children.

Many families decided to send their children to Kenya for safety. Aduto was sent and he remembers running for an entire week, evading soldiers and wild animals before reaching the border.

“It was a long journey. We only traveled at night, “Aduto says. “People were dying from lack of water and food.”

When the refugees reached the Kenyan border the United Nations took them to the Kakuma refugee camp. The camp’s name means “nowhere” in Swahilli. Aduto spent the next six years in a dusty maze of refugees from eight nations. To survive he focused on a lesson he carried in his soul.

“In middle school the teacher told us that school is everything,” Aduto says. “The pen is everything. It is the key to your life.”

Aduto and his family spent two years navigating through red tape to get to the United States. When he arrived in Des Moines he was 20 years old and considered too old to attend high school. Aduto persuaded officials to allow him to finish his last year. He supported himself with a part-time maintenance job, survived on $90 a week and graduated in 2007.

One of Aduto’s goals was to attend college. He was inspired by the numerous opportunities he could see in the United States.

“I talked to my high school counselor who helped me find scholarships that fit my status and public universities that I could join,” Aduto says.

Iowa State University’s Multicultural Vision Program offered him a scholarship and a chance. The award is given to high school seniors who demonstrate academic ability and maturity, despite adverse situations. Aduto fit the description.

His first semester at Iowa State was difficult. Aduto knew his grandparents, who had raised him, had died in the war. It suddenly overwhelmed him.

“I felt so bad and I wondered what the point was to be here. I couldn’t focus,” Aduto says. “Then I realized many of the wishes my grandparents gave me had come true.”

He continued and decided to major in animal ecology and minor in forestry. Skills he could take to South Sudan, which is rich in wildlife and natural resources.

Aduto also found a trusted friend and adviser in John Burnett, a student services specialist in the natural resource ecology and management department. Burnett and coworkers helped Aduto return to his village in 2009 to attend reburial ceremonies for his grandparents.

“Maurice’s life is about his connections with his family and his home country,” Burnett says. “He has overcome unimaginable adversity, but he still maintains those connections.”

With the help of Burnett, Aduto became a U.S. citizen on Oct. 14, 2011, just 47 days before returning to South Sudan. This time Aduto returned to oversee a reburial ceremony for his father, who had been killed by robbers in the spring of 2011.

On July 9, 2011, the Republic of South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan. As president of the South Sudanese Student Association at Iowa State, Aduto helped exiled residents register to vote and cast their votes in the election, which was held Jan. 9, 2011. More than 98 percent of South Sudan’s residents voted to separate.

Aduto, who is a senior at Iowa State, plans to return to South Sudan. He says his generation represents the seeds that have been scattered throughout the world.

“We are the seeds that are vital to the development of South Sudan,” Aduto says. “Most of us who came here are the children of war. To go back is tough, but to take the initiative and make the sacrifices to go back is important for the future of South Sudan.”


Jenny English sports some fabulous footwear. From a tour of duty in Afghanistan, to studying abroad in Mexico, to twirling in a dance studio on the ISU campus, her student experience is like no other.

Carly Martin, junior in agricultural education and studies, communications option, chats with Jenny English, senior in animal science and member of the Army National Guard, about what it’s like to walk in her shoes.

What have you been involved with at Iowa State?

I am animal science pre-vet and I have a minor in Spanish and nutritional sciences. I also have drill training one weekend each month for the Army National Guard. I work for Diane Spurlock in her lab and I’m a Student Admissions Representative. I’m a member of ballroom dancing club, too.

You stay pretty busy! Is there a particular animal that you are most interested in?

I joined Block and Bridle as a freshman and participated in the Little North American Showmanship contest winning the novice showmanship award for swine. This experience made me realize I was most interested in learning about and working with swine.

I actually grew up on a swine farm so they’re my favorite, too. How will you pursue your interest in working with swine?

Currently I’m working in the swine nutrition lab researching feed digestibility. This summer, I will apply to vet school and intern with Iowa Select Farms.

Do you have a favorite activity that you have been part of at Iowa State?

Being a Student Admissions Representative. I love being able to give students tours around campus and get them excited about coming here.

How did you decide to join the Army National Guard?

Some of my high school classmates in Le Grand, Iowa, encouraged me to join. After learning about the benefits such as full paid tuition, books and living expense, I went through the training.

When you were deployed what did you enjoy most and what were your biggest challenges?

After my junior year at ISU I was deployed to Afghanistan for a year. I enjoyed being able to take part in more of the hands-on experiences like creating Purple and Bronze Star awards for soldiers and working with people from many different states and countries. I was also assigned to interact with locals to help gain and build their trust with the United States. The hardest part was being away from my family, especially when my mom passed away in a car accident in January of 2011.

Was it tough to transition back to campus?

My return back to Iowa and my studies went more smoothly than I expected. While deployed, I took online classes and that really helped me transition back. My family and friends were a great support, too. I still keep in touch with students from my unit that attend Iowa State.

What other international experience have you had?

In the spring of 2009, I studied abroad in Mexico for three months as part of a Spanish language immersion course.

Looking back, what have you learned from your time on campus and abroad?

People are one of the best resources you can have. The advice and mentoring I’ve received have opened up so many doors and opportunities that I couldn’t achieve on my own.



The college’s Agricultural Weekend Experience (AWE) gives students majoring in agriculture and life sciences the opportunity to interact with Iowa families and the agriculture community. Participants spend the weekend as guests on a working family farm. This fall, 11 students participated in the AWE program. Carly Martin, student intern in the college communications office, coordinated the program. The ISU Agricultural Endowment Board and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences sponsor AWE. Participants say the program helped broaden their understanding of agriculture.

“I saw that farming is not as cheap as I thought it was. It made me realize that you never know how something is until you get out there and experience it, which is what this program has allowed me to do.” Khadija Brown, a freshman in animal science pre-vet from Chicago.

“The weekend answered many of my questions with first-hand examples like allowing us to use the equipment.” Chawn McGrath, a freshman in animal science from Pennsylvania.

“This program is very beneficial for any student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Whether a student has a farming background or not, it can give someone a new perspective on how farms are operated.” Katelyn Gardner, a junior in public service and administration from Vinton.

“The AWE program showed me what a true Iowa family farm is like and it was interesting to see all the hard work and challenges that go along with farming.” Kelsey Regan, a junior in agricultural biosystems technology from Davenport.


Four of the five student-recipients of the ISU Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award were from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The award recognizes outstanding seniors who display high character, outstanding achievement in academics and university/community activities and promise for continuing these exemplary qualities as alumni. CALS recipients for 2012 were: Sam Bird, global resource systems and economics; Sagar Chawla, biology and global resource systems; Scott Henry, agricultural business, finance and international agriculture; and Amy Peyton, agricultural business, economics, public service and administration in agriculture and international agriculture.


Danielle Hamilton, a senior in agricultural and life sciences education, was elected president of the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization and Logan Lyon, a junior in agronomy, was elected president-elect at the group’s national meeting in November. Rachel Owen, a senior in global resource systems and agronomy, was elected national vice president of Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences at the American Society of Agronomy in October.


Four women from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were honored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics on the sixth annual Women Impacting ISU calendar. Molly Heintz (right), a senior in animal science; Alejandra Navarro, a senior in animal ecology; Sharon Bird, associate professor of sociology; and Shelley Taylor, assistant director of Global Agriculture Programs were selected to appear on the 2012 calendar.


Write your story and continue the adventure you started in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: That was the advice of convocation speaker Ashley Dermody, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy in December. Hear her complete address and see a photo slideshow online at www.cals.iastate.edu/stories


June 15, 2012 Students No Comments

Bart Howard

Bart Howard was known on campus for the costumes he wore to class around Halloween — and for being an excellent student.

He donned a cap and gown when he graduated magna cum laude in December with degrees in forestry and agricultural business. Howard was selected to represent the college at commencement as its student marshal to honor his accomplishments.

He also was a letter winner on the track team and was selected to represent the student chapter of the Society of American Foresters at its national convention last fall. Howard had impressive internships every year of his college career, and is working as an arborist for Ryan Lawn and Tree in Kansas City.

“Bart is constantly on the move,” says Richard Schultz, university professor of natural resource ecology and management, who served as his escort as marshal, and led a study abroad trip to China that Howard completed.

“I’m most proud of my family; how my parents raised me and how close I am with my sisters, Holly and Hannah,” Howard says.

The three siblings had majors in natural resource fields and lived together while going to school. Holly graduated in 2010 (animal ecology, environmental studies and biology). Hannah plans to graduate in fall 2013 with a forestry degree and spring 2013 with an animal ecology degree.

They were by his side to celebrate his graduation.


Informed consumers make healthier choices eating in or dining out.

Understanding the nutritional content of food is important, says Lauren Mitchell, a senior in dietetics. She summarized current research as part of her “Fast Food Findings” presentation in a food science and human nutrition communications class.

Mitchell found that about half of fast food restaurants provide customers with nutritional information, but not on the menu. She found that customers don’t look at the nutritional information if it’s not on the menu.

In fact, the studies she reviewed showed that only six people out of 4,311 actually read the information posted on walls or the counter before ordering. Her solution—post the calorie content beside each menu item.

“I think people will still eat out even if the calories are posted, but they may choose smaller serving sizes,” Mitchell says.

The articles she reviewed indicated that most families choose fast food because it’s convenient, inexpensive and they like the taste of the food. She also found that 25 percent of Americans eat out every day and spent 49 percent of their food budget outside the home in 2006.

The key to eating nutritional meals, Mitchell says, is planning. If you do eat out, she suggests choosing healthier options, smaller portions and reading the nutritional information. Although she eats fast food on occasion, she prefers to cook her meals. She believes there’s a general misconception in today’s culture that it’s difficult to cook.

“If you can read a recipe, you can cook,” Mitchell says.

She attributes her love for food to her large family and nine years of cooking and exhibiting food projects through 4-H. She’s also a proponent of taking time to eat three meals a day.

“Eating is more than nourishing your body,” Mitchell says. “When people talk about their favorite memories, most of those are tied to food.”

Since she transferred from Iowa Central Community College she’s visited a Meredith test kitchen and volunteered at the Food and Wine Expo in Des Moines. She also became one of the first peer mentors in the food science and human nutrition department’s transfer student learning community.

This year, Mitchell is excited to work as a teaching assistant for the Pasta Pasta Cooking Workshop. She’s also been involved in Collegiate 4-H, the Student Dietetic Association and the culinary science club.

Mitchell says she’s undecided about her plans after she completes her internship next year. She has an interest in serving as a community-based dietician, which means she would be working to change eating behaviors at the community level or helping people understand the nutritional information on labels and in restaurants.

Click here for Mitchell’s Italian cream cake recipe


Dakota Hoben is a recognized leader on campus. And it’s not just because he was elected president of the Government of the Student Body. With four majors, the senior in agricultural business, international agriculture, economics and political science says he seeks out leadership opportunities to serve others.

“If you want to see things change for the better you need to be involved and be in a position of influence,” Hoben says. “In any leadership position it’s about giving back and as GSB president it’s about working for the students.”

The GSB position was something he pursued after a two-year stint as a GSB senator. He’s lightened his student load this year to meet those duties and engage his fellow students. His campaign goals include improving access to funds for student organizations, establishing financial literacy programs and improving dead week policies to reflect the purpose of the week, which is to prepare for final exams.

Getting involved and taking charge is something Hoben learned in high school and through his 4-H and FFA activities. His school was fairly small, which meant students could be involved in several activities.

Hoben says sometimes leading involves being in the right place at the right time. In 2007 he received the Governor’s Meritorious Life Saving Award along with 11 other Grandview high school students for their quick response after a tornado hit their hometown. As soon as it passed the boys began checking homes to see if anyone needed help. They found a 91-yearold woman who was trapped and was rescued by Hoben and four other boys.

“We happened to be where we were needed,” he says.

That sense of caring and service to others has continued throughout his college career. Hoben served on the search committee to select a new Iowa State University president and was one of 12 students nationwide to be selected for the International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership Program to study international trade and marketing in Panama and Columbia. He also is an active ambassador for the college helping recruit high school students. Hoben served as the alumni chair and says he enjoyed networking and interacting with alums.

Other leadership opportunities have taken him around the world. Hoben worked as a summer intern in 2010 at the Iowa Agribusiness Export Partnership in Des Moines. He helped plan and lead a group of agricultural entrepreneurs to China to explore business opportunities.

“You hear about the growing middle class market in China and businesses think they can go to China and start making money,” Hoben says. “But that’s not the case. The businesses making money now were there 20 years ago. It takes a long time to grow a business in China.”

As far as the future, there are no limits for Hoben. He’s especially interested in international agriculture and helping the industry navigate through global change.

Click here for Hoben’s brownie recipe


Nate Looker was on his way to his research station in the cloud forest above Guatemala City when the rainy season arrived early. The excess rains washed away the road forcing the VW pickup carrying Looker and two fellow researchers toward a ravine of mud. Fortunately they saved themselves and the vehicle, but the only road to his data station was left impassable.

Undeterred, Looker, a senior in global resource systems, returned to Guatemala City to remap his research strategy.

Last spring Looker spent the semester studying the ecohydrology of Guatemala. He can talk for hours about the discoveries he made during his internship experience. Along with a rich understanding of the culture and ecosystems, he unearthed a few adventures.

Looker came to Guatemala to measure the water intake of tree species in two different ecosystems in the Sierra de las Minas mountain range. The range stretches 100 miles along southeastern Guatemala and supplies water to 10 percent of the country.

The native Iowan found the mountainous ecosystems fascinating. The mountain ridges support an elfin forest of windblown vegetation averaging three feet tall. The cloud forest, a contradiction in terms, forms just below the mountain ridge. Covered by fog most of the time, the water-rich ecosystem has little sunlight creating stunted vegetation and epiphytic growth, which means many plants, like moss, grow on top of other plants.

“The cloud forest ecosystem, which is rare to begin with, is particularly vulnerable to changes in climate and land use,” Looker says. “It’s important to understand how these changes impact ecosystem services, such as water output.”

The lower elevations support a pine and oak forest, which is where Looker moved his sensors after losing access to the cloud forest. He built 32 sap-flow sensors to monitor the water intake in trees. The research is part of a World Wildlife Foundation project that is monitoring hydrological patterns throughout Mesoamerica.

“The sensor is a device you stab into a tree. It establishes a heat pulse to measure changes in sap flux,” Looker says. “The idea is to understand how water use relates to species and climatic conditions.”

This year Looker was the first Iowa State student to be named both a Udall Scholar and a Goldwater Scholar. The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to students who study environmental and American Indian issues and show promise of making significant contributions through scientific advances, service or community action. Goldwater is the nation’s premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Despite setbacks and a shortage of materials for the sensors, Looker described his internship as an awesome experience. He plans to pursue a doctorate in landscape ecology and a career doing research for a university or an international research institution.

He says he’s mesmerized by the forests and pointed out that Guatemala means “the place of trees.” For Looker this adventure included a glimpse of what those trees, ecosystems and mountains mean to Guatemala.

Click here for Looker’s Indian rice pudding recipe


Breaking egg protein molecules into smaller structures isn’t as simple as separating the yolk from the whites.

Himali Samaraweera, a doctoral student in meat science, is studying the characteristics of phosphopeptides, smallersegments of protein, which are taken from the phosvitin, a main protein in egg yolk.

“I’m researching methods to break down phosvitin to produce phosphopeptides for use as supplements, nutraceuticals and antioxidants materials,” Samaraweera says.

The goal of the research is to add value to protein separated from eggs. Dong Ahn, Iowa State University animal science professor, is overseeing the research. His group developed methods to separate the phosvitin from eggs on a larger scale for industrial use.

Since Iowa is the top producer of eggs in the United States, Ahn says finding ways to separate and breakdown phosvitin could add value to eggs and benefit producers. Phosvitin costs $1 a milligram and there are 200 milligrams in an egg.

“If we can find ways to break phosvitin down to small pieces using organic agents we would increase the value of eggs,” Ahn says.

A phosvitin molecule is difficult to separate without using solvents or chemicals, which can’t be used in products used for human consumption. Samaraweera is testing and analyzing methods to crack the phosvitin structure using organic materials with some pre-treatments.

“I’m using six different enzymes to break the protein down into small peptides for various functions,” Samaraweera says.

One function would be to use those elements as binding agents in iron and calcium supplements.

“This supplementing agent would allow 90 percent of the iron and calcium absorption in humans as opposed to the 10 to 20 percent that we see now,” Ahn says.

Samaraweera came to Iowa State from Sri Lanka in 2008 after hearing about the meat science department’s excellent reputation. Professors at the University of Peradeniya, where she will join the faculty after she graduates next year, also recommended it.

Along with research and lab work, Samaraweera currently works as a teacher’s assistant in two labs and has moderated meat science short courses. She says she enjoys overseeing the labs and looks forward to teaching after she graduates.

She’s also been involved in club activities, serving as treasurer for the meat science club and helping with club fundraisers. Samaraweera also is a member of the Sri Lanka Association and helped bring Buddhists monks to Ames as guest lecturers.

Click here for Samaraweera’s recipe for rice milk cake


Andy Edson is always looking for ways to take his farming operation to new heights.

Even though he’s managing a farm two hours away from Ames while tackling a full class schedule, Andy Edson doesn’t see himself as an entrepreneur.  He says it’s how you approach business that defines entrepreneur.

“Some people think that anyone who starts a business is an entrepreneur,” says Edson, a junior in agricultural business. “An entrepreneur is someone who is innovative and tries to do things differently.”

Edson, who is part of the fifth generation to grow up on his family farm, plans to partner with his dad and perhaps run the operation in the future. It’s a transition they have slowly begun. Edson started farming 14 acres three years ago on their farm near Nashua, Iowa. In 2009, a neighbor asked him to farm another 600 acres.

“Paying rent and writing bigger checks was a new experience, but that’s how I learn,” Edson says.

Variable rate planting, auto-steer and field mapping analysis are just a few of the technologies Edson hopes to set up on his family’s farm in the future.

“There’s a lot of room to grow with technology and that’s what I’m hoping
to bring to the operation,” Edson says.

This year Edson attended the Beginning Farmer’s Conference where he learned about the Ag Decision Maker program.  It offers numerous decision-making tools to help calculate cost, returns, markets, outlooks and prices.  He says the conference is just one of many resources offered at Iowa State.

“It gives you the tools to evaluate the most profitable options,” Edson says.

Although he’s had to cut back on club activities, he’s continued to stay active in the National Agri-marketing Association. In April, the team attended the national competition in Kansas City and presented a marketing plan for a sub-clinical mastitis treatment. Edson says the product doesn’t contain antibiotics, so dairy producers wouldn’t have to dispose of milk after applying the product.

Edson also gained marketing experience during his summer internship at Insta-Pro International. The company sells oilseed processing and dry extruder equipment throughout the world.

“I collected data on existing markets and investigated possible ways they could expand their markets,” Edson says.

Edson’s story isn’t typical. Less than 15 percent of the college’s graduates plan to go into production farming. For students who want to farm, the Beginning Farmers Network student club offers resources and opportunities to meet with farmers and experts.

“There is a lot of interest in the student club,” says Mike Duffy, economics professor, director of the Beginning Farmer Center and club adviser.

More than 50 percent of Iowa’s farmers are over age 55. Duffy says resources like the Beginning Farmer Center and the student club are important because they can help retiring farmers connect with students like Edson and others who want to farm.


Alle Buck, her parents, Roger (’75 farm operations) and Nylene, and her grandparents, Don (’49 farm operations) and Ruth recently restored their 120-year-old barn listed on the Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour.

In 1894, Alle Buck’s great, great grandfather got off the train near Rhodes, Iowa and bought a farm with his brother. Today, Buck calls it home.

“We’ve farmed this land for over 100 years and it’s in my blood,” says Buck, a senior in animal science.

Buck is proud of her fifth-generation farm and even more proud that she’s a third-generation Iowa State student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Her grandfather and grandmother met at Iowa State and together they raised six children who all attended Iowa State, but she’s the first woman to pursue a career in agriculture.

“My three uncles and my dad majored in agriculture,” Buck says. “It wasn’t easy for women to pursue degrees in agriculture back then, like it is now.”

After graduation this summer, Buck plans to build and run a swine finishing facility with her brother-in-law. Raising livestock has taught her about life. The key, she says, is putting their needs first. “If you take care of them, they’ll take care of you,” Buck says.

She knows farming isn’t an easy business to get into, but it’s what she’d like to pursue.  The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative helped Buck understand the importance of global markets, creative thinking and innovation.  The initiative also helped her apply for a Beginning Farmer Loan to rent grazing pasture for her cattle.

“It’s not work to me,” Buck says.

“All my life I’ve spent the day doing something else and then I got to go home and farm. It’s a way of life and it’s what I love to do.”

Her sense of community is evident.  Walking across campus, she greets several students she’s worked with in clubs, learning communities and judging teams.

She’s also a known volunteer. She has dedicated a lot of time to the Block and Bridle club, and this spring she served on the college’s strategic planning committee.  She felt strongly about providing input, especially from the student’s perspective.

“I really care about Iowa State and I have a vested interest in its future,” Buck says.

Coming to Iowa State opened doors for Buck. She credits the learning community experience for connecting her with lifelong friends. Last summer she traveled to Greece with the entrepreneurship group and also visited Rome, Paris, London, Frankfurt and Munich.

“I’ve traveled to 15 states and five countries and I’d never been on an airplane before I came to college,” Buck says.

Buck says she’s found her college experience rewarding because she’s developed leadership and organizational skills, met with agricultural leaders and gathered a community of friends. It’s an experience and a community that she calls, “priceless.”


“When you put on Cy’s costume, it transforms you. It’s hard to describe, but you instantly perform.”- Matt Burt

Cy isn’t shy. Cy dances, hugs and throws high-fives to enthuse and entertain Iowa State University fans.

Matt Burt, a junior in agricultural business, has been watching Cy all his life. His parents and older brother went to Iowa State, and he grew up attending Iowa State games.

Burt always knew he would be a Cyclone.  He never guessed he would be Cy.

Last year he went to the mascot squad tryout so he could try on Cy’s suit just once before he graduated and say he’d been Cy for 15 minutes. After attending a meeting before try-outs he decided to take the challenge and compete.

“They gave us directions on how to plan a five minute skit,” Burt says. “It was very competitive.”

Along with running with the Iowa State flag and performing the Cy strut, Burt and his friends put together a winning skit. They had Cy working out to the theme song from the Rocky movie; challenging rival fans to arm wrestle, a tug of war, a race; and finally beating a University of Iowa fan in football.

After making the elite team of seven students, his first performance was a two-day tour promoting Iowa State with the athletic department’s coaches and administrators. Traveling in a first-class tour bus around the state, Burt says, “was amazingly cool.”

Cy the Cardinal, which is the mascot’s official name, first hit the field at a 1954 Iowa State homecoming game. Cy was the winning idea in a nationwide contest to find a mascot to fit the “Cyclone” role. Cy performs at every Cyclone sporting event and several off-campus special events.

Mascot squad members don’t get paid or receive special recognition, says Mary Pink, Iowa State University associate athletics director for marketing. She appreciates volunteers like Burt whose dedication and enthusiasm make Cy shine.

Squad leader Noelle Lichty, a senior in marketing, also appreciates Burt’s performances.  “I can always tell when Matt is in the Cy suit because he interacts with fans and he is always entertaining,” Lichty says.

Once students qualify to perform as Cy they are eligible to keep the position until graduation, which means Burt will perform the Cy dance until he graduates in 2012. He says he was looking forward to attending the games, but was surprised how different it feels to be on the field and part of the game.

“It’s fun and you feel more involved in Iowa State athletics as the mascot,” Burt says. “I traveled to the Kansas State football game and I thought it was amazing walking into Arrowhead Stadium.”

Burt’s most memorable moment, “crowd surfing,” Burt says. “My friends picked me up and I was passed halfway up the student section.”  Burt has tried to do the Cy dance for friends without the costume, but it just isn’t the same.

“When you put on Cy’s costume, it transforms you. It’s hard to describe, but you instantly perform,” Burt says.

When Matt Burt, a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, isn’t suited up as Cy he is involved in Greek Week and ISU Dance Marathon raising money for children’s charities.

Burt has also put his dance moves to work for a good cause. He was part of the Alpha Gamma Rho team during the ISU Dance Marathon held in January to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. The event raised more than $260,000 for the charities.

“It was special to hear the kids’ stories and how the money is helping their families,” Burt says.

Although he’s never auditioned for any other role, he has had experience in showmanship. The Marshalltown native was raised on a farrow-to-finish and row-crop farm and has shown livestock at the Tama County Fair and the Iowa State Fair.

Check out more photos of Matt Burt strutting his Cy Stuff.


Krista McCarty learned to love baking at an early age, making bread each Saturday with her mom.

Mixing, kneading and smelling the aroma of baking bread in the farm home where she grew up is a special memory for Krista McCarty.

It’s how she remembers her mom, who died of cancer when McCarty was just 11 years old.

“ We would spend Saturday mornings baking bread, just the two of us,” McCarty says.  In part, those memories inspired McCarty, a senior, to pursue a major in food science. She thought about becoming a nurse, but discovered food science after taking a tour of General Mills when she
was 13 years old.

She’s continued her focus on grains into her college career. This spring McCarty and the Iowa State University Food Product Development Team entered a gluten-free item into a national product development competition to be held in June.

McCarty came up with the idea, which must be kept top secret until after
the competition, after taking a glutenfree cooking class.  She says people with Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, don’t have as many choices in the marketplace so products like this could have a competitive advantage.

“Our challenge is finding the right formula of flours and leavening agents to replicate the properties of gluten,”McCarty says.

Last fall, she and another product development team took a probiotic gum product to the American Association of Cereal Chemists competition The team took fourth place in the final round and gained the interest of several companies.  The gum was developed with a corn zein, a protein found in maize, which is environmentally friendly and promotes oral health.

“I love going to the grocery store to find the latest products,” says McCarty. “I can’t resist buying those products because I want to know what’s in them.”

She monitors the latest twitters on new food products, intellectual property, recalls and industry news. To satisfy her insatiable appetite to understand food product development, she’s planning to attend graduate school.

Next year McCarty will serve as co-president of the Iowa State University Colleges Against Cancer Organization.  This year she led the advocacy and education committee for the Relay For Life in March. McCarty worked on displays for the event and one display included a paragraph from committee members about why they participate.  McCarty posted this:

“I Relay for my mom.  She passed away from her three and a half year battle with cancer when I was 11.  I Relay for all children, so they may never experience the loss of a parent to cancer.  I Relay for all families who must go through the fight of having a family member with cancer.  I support the fight against cancer because I do not want anyone to go through the struggle of being told, ‘You have cancer.’  I Relay to encourage everyone to have hope because one day we will find a cure!”


Briana McNeal studied the nutritional needs of women and children in a school in H.D. Kote, India.

By Barbra McBreen

Briana McNeal believes in dreaming big.

Before the junior in global resource systems and dietetics enrolled at Iowa State she thought she would become a famous chef like Emeril Lagasse. But now she feels she can help more people by teaching them how to cook and eat nutritiously.

“I wanted to own a fancy restaurant and use the profits to fund a gourmet soup kitchen, so people who couldn’t afford that food would be able to get it,” McNeal says. “Now, I think I can help more people by teaching them how to eat.”

In high school in Austin, Texas, McNeal listed the Nobel Peace Prize as one of her lifelong goals. When she moved to Ames she was delighted to hear about the World Food Prize ceremonies in Des Moines, an event she plans to attend someday.

Traveling to India has been a dream of McNeal’s since the second grade. That’s when her best friend’s mom, who was from India, dressed her in a saree as part of a class presentation. “It was the best moment of my life,” says McNeal.

Her dream to travel to India came true this summer when she spent four weeks in Karnataka, India on a summer travel course. During her stay she and 12 other students studied the nutritional needs of women and children.

In an area where 46 percent of the children are malnourished, McNeal says their goal was to understand why. At one stop during the trip she served rice from a metal bucket to students attending a middle school. McNeal noticed that the students were much smaller than children the same age in the United States.

“We looked into whether they were having transportation or financial barriers,” McNeal says. “We also provided some cooking tips to increase nutrients.”

Cultural compliance was something her group also considered. Telling people to decrease rice and increase vegetables is easy, but since rice is an ingrained cultural tradition it’s not a simple change.

“They have no reason to listen to us because we have not lived in their shoes,” McNeal says.

The students also visited small farms. McNeal talked to one farmer who took home a six-figure salary or 9 million rupees from just two acres. McNeal doesn’t have a farm background, so she says it was a valuable experience to talk to farmers.

Traveling through southern India was an inspiring and jaw-dropping experience for McNeal. At one stop she posed for a photo in front of a 300-year-old jackfruit tree. McNeal says the owner knew the name of his ancestor that planted the tree nine generations earlier.

This year she’s continuing to study India and plans to return to do her internship before she graduates. As part of her global resource systems major she’ll continue to monitor events in India’s southern region and learn the Hindi language.


Learning the xylophone from pupils at Namasagali Primary School was part of Sam Bird’s experience during the Uganda Service Learning Study Abroad Program.

By Barbara McBreen

An op-ed piece for the Ames High School newspaper landed Sam Bird in Uganda, where he has taught students how to build beehives.

Bird, a senior in global resource systems, says he wrote the op-ed because all of Iowa is tied to agriculture, “but the average student in Ames didn’t appreciate that connection.”

The letter caught the attention of David Acker, associate dean of academic and global programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Bird says he was originally headed to San Francisco to attend college. That changed when Acker contacted him and explained the global resource systems major at Iowa State.

Students who choose the major focus on an international region of their choice. Before graduating they learn the language and an understanding of the region’s issues.

Bird was one of the first students to sign up for the major. He also was one of the first student peer mentors in the major’s learning community. He says it’s amazing what he’s learned from other students.

“They go to Thailand, Morocco, India, China, all over the world,” Bird says. “It’s what my classmates do during the summer.”

Uganda was Bird’s choice because he’d already spent three weeks there during high school. During that visit he met students younger than he was caring for entire families.

“If you ever see the issues these families have to deal with—it really hits you,” Bird says.

The summer after his first year in college he returned to Uganda with the ISU-Makerere University Uganda Service Learning Program, which is organized by the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (read more about this partnership on page 31).

Students from both universities worked together to teach English, improve the school garden and formed teams to teach specific skills. Bird’s group decided to teach beekeeping.

The Makerere University students suggested teaching beekeeping because the children could use their basket weaving skills to weave beehives. Also, establishing hives at the school would help teachers continue lessons on beekeeping. And the products, like honey, could be harvested and consumed or sold.

Bird says he didn’t think the students had caught on, until one morning they noticed an extra beehive.

“One student came over and said he had made the beehive,” Bird says. “Little bits of progress, like that beehive, is how to start to make a difference, whether it’s in Uganda or Iowa.”

The message Bird shares with his peers, international students and even United Nations leaders, is that we all have to work together to make the world sustainable. It’s an issue that’s interwoven with agriculture because he says, “we all need to eat.”

Bird participated in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in 2009 and was recently selected as a Udall Scholar. He plans to attend graduate school to study applied economics and its implications for agriculture and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.


STORIES online extras:

Read about Sam Bird’s selection as a Udall Scholar, his experience attending policy meetings at the United Nations and find out more about the global resource systems major.


Ashlee Hespen visits the Church of Annunciation in the oldest quarters of Blagoevgrad, the Bulgarian city that is home to American University.

By Ashlee Hespen

Ashlee Hespen, junior in public service and administration in agriculture from Conrad, Iowa, spent four months of 2010 as an exchange student at American University in Bulgaria. She blogged about her experience, and the following account is her entry for Feb. 23, 2010.  Visit her blog at http://ahespen.wordpress.com.

Now that I’ve been here for a month and a half, I’m truly beginning to realize the diversity sitting right in front of me. American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) is more diverse than I could have ever imagined. Students from various countries across the world attend this private university of 1,000 students. In the main building, which previously hosted Soviet headquarters, hang the flags from all the countries, which have had students attend AUBG in the past and present. So far, I’ve met students from over 20 countries!

In the last week, I’ve taken the initiative to jump outside of the group of exchange students and spend time with full-time students. This past Friday, I was invited by a Bulgarian friend to join his group of friends. So I jumped right in to my greatest evening of diversity yet! There were about 20 students there, from Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and a couple other countries.

This evening was so special because the friends took turn playing the guitar and singing songs from their own countries. It was so interesting to sit there and listen to the different music being played and feel the emotion of the music without understanding a single word. It was also neat because their languages are Slavic, so they understand each other. And luckily enough, my friend was kind enough to translate the jokes and conservations for me. There were Serbian snacks shared throughout the night and it was peaceful as we listened to the Bistritsa River flow near us. During many of the songs, the whole group would join in and they also played a couple American songs.

In class the following Monday, we watched a video “A Class Divided,” about Jane Elliot, an Iowa teacher who did an exercise with her third grade students shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It made me reflect on my life back home. Friday was probably the first time I’ve ever felt, even in the slightest way, a minority. Although there were times I couldn’t understand anything going on, I was able to enjoy the company and experience a variety of new cultures.

I am so happy to have this study abroad experience in such a diverse setting and am looking forward to all there is to learn from my newly found Bulgarian friends, as well as all of the students I can befriend while I’m here. Each day, I appreciate the diversity even further and I’m looking forward to going home with a broader worldview!


Aurelio Curbelo (left), director of the Ag Multicultural Programs Office, and Brian Castro, lead the March of the Flags parade in September. Castro is president of ISU Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences and involved in the Latino Heritage Committee.

By Barbara McBreen

Moving from Chicago’s south side to Ames, Iowa was a culture shock for Brian Castro.

“I could hear myself breathe,” says Castro, a sophomore with a double major in animal science and global resource systems.

In Chicago, the third largest city in the nation, traffic, people and noise are a constant. Castro says it took a while to get used to the open horizons and acres of corn.

Immersing himself into new situations isn’t something new for Castro. He’s a first generation American and his first language is Spanish. His parents moved from Mexico to pursue the American dream in Chicago before he was born. Castro says he often surprises others when he answers his cell phone and speaks fluent Spanish.

“When people first meet me—they hardly notice that I have an accent,” Castro says. “Then my phone rings and I speak Spanish a hundred-miles a minute.”

In Chicago, Castro attended the Chicago High School of Agriculture. The high school attracted Castro because of his interest in animals. That interest and the guidance of Aurelio Curbelo, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences multicultural coordinator, brought him to Iowa State.

“We kept in contact all four years and he kept me informed about opportunities at Iowa State,” Castro says.

In high school, he was an avid fan of the FFA. He says the FFA taught him valuable leadership and communication skills. During his senior year he served as president of the FFA chapter, which is the largest in Illinois and the fourth largest in the United States.

Being involved is important, Castro says, and he leads by example. Castro is the president of the Iowa State chapter of the Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). In October, he helped organize a welcome breakfast for the largest ag career fair in the nation.

Castro also serves as the treasurer for the Latino Heritage Committee. The group celebrated Latino Heritage month in September with a parade of flags, dances, dinners and a fiesta.

“We like to show people what our heritage is about, so we host events to celebrate our Latin background,” Castro says.

From picking up cans at tailgates for charity to cleaning up the Skunk River, service and involvement top Castro’s list. He’s a pledge with the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity because of its extensive philanthropic goals, including helping with events to raise funds for the Girl’s and Boy’s Club in Ames.

Last summer, Castro took another cultural plunge and joined a group of

his peers in Uganda as part of the ISU-Makerere University Uganda Service Learning Program. He says the experience broadened his understanding about the problems related to nutrition throughout the world.

“Now, I want to focus my studies on international nutrition,” Castro says, “especially protein deficiency in children.”


By Barbara McBreen

The Bronze Star is presented to individuals who have performed a brave or praiseworthy act while serving in the United States military during times of combat.

Tyler Bauman is one of those individuals.

In 2002, as a freshman in animal science, Bauman was deployed to Kuwait after his first week at Iowa State University. There he managed Kuwait’s Ash Shuaybah Seaport. After his first tour, Bauman wanted to do more, so he volunteered for a second deployment to Iraq where he worked as a gun truck driver. He logged more than 30,000 accident-free miles during combat patrols.

Bauman received the Bronze star for his service in Iraq and reached the rank of staff sergeant.

“We had to outfit convoys with gun trucks for protection,” Bauman says. “We were a heavily outfitted patrol with a lot of weapons systems.”

Adapting to change was Bauman’s biggest challenge when he returned home. He says soldiers are focused on their job during deployment and remember home as their safe zone.

“A lot of people had changed and I had changed, but I expected everyone to be the same when I returned,” Bauman says. “I spent 19 years learning things one way and one year completely altered my perspective.”

Bauman, now a graduating senior, is the Cyclone Battalion Commander in the Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC). He understands the importance of helping juniors train for national rankings. In 2008, he was ranked 67 out of 4,700 ROTC students for his academic and leadership performance at the national level.

ROTC training is rigorous and demanding. From the daily runs to executing mission exercises in full combat gear, it’s all part of a program to develop discipline, Bauman says. At one ROTC training exercise in April, Bauman talked and joked with peers before exercises began. His demeanor became more serious when he had to address one of his cadets. He says undergraduates look up to him because he’s had combat experience.

“Having a combat patch has this effect on new cadets, they understand that I know what’s going on and I have experience,” Bauman says. “I’ve been exposed to war and I have realistic view about how the military works in a combat environment.”

Military training provided Bauman with the discipline and leadership skills he uses today. He says after returning to campus from his second deployment he was more focused and made the Dean’s list seven consecutive semesters. Bauman pursues the highest standards in everything he does. It’s resulted in a list of awards including this year’s Class of 2010 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award and the L.N. Hazel Award.

Bauman’s passion is poultry science. In the sixth grade he brought eight chicks home from a school incubation project and he’s been fascinated ever since.

“I just love chickens. They are so simple,” Bauman says.

Collecting fresh eggs is part of Bauman’s daily routine. He may be one of the few egg producers in Ames. In a new garage, which he and his father built, you’ll find 16 laying hens in a spacious coop with an outdoor run. Bauman says one of the hens is blind, so he hand delivers her to a nest every evening.

Between studies, ROTC and serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant for two animal science classes, Bauman enjoys building and remodeling. He’s remodeled his home, fenced the yard, paved the driveway, built a garage and takes care of his chickens. He grew up on the edge of Adel, Iowa and picked up his skills working for his father at the grain elevator.

Bauman graduated in May with several honors he attributes to his nine years of service in the Army Reserves. Next fall Bauman will enter vet school at Iowa State. He plans to become a food animal veterinarian and he hopes to go into farming.


By Barbara McBreen

Standing center stage under the dome of Iowa’s capitol building in Des Moines, Jennifer Blaser spoke to a crowd of more than 100 about the importance of student research.

“Undergraduate research is an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, investigate diverse career paths and hone research skills,” Blaser says.

At the Iowa Regent Universities Fifth Annual Research in the Capitol, Blaser, a junior in microbiology, was chosen as the student speaker for the event held in March. She also was one of the 60 students showcasing research results during a poster presentation. Blaser’s research focused on her summer internship at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center and Department of Pharmacology.

“We looked at a bacterial cocaine estrase, which is an enzyme, and hypothesized that it would cleave the cocaine molecule and make it biologically inactive, thus protecting the heart,” Blaser says. “It’s a potential therapy for cocaine overdose.”

As president of the Microbiology Club, she helped organize a field day last fall for 60 high school students to come to campus and learn about microbiology.

At the field day students studied laboratory techniques, diagnostic testing and microscopy. Blaser says the goal is to get more students interested in science based careers.

“We want to open students’ minds to the possibility of pursuing a career in the sciences,” Blaser says.

At an open house during this spring’s Veishea celebration, the Microbiology Club enticed visitors to walk through a giant bacterial cell or purchase a stuffed microbe. Blaser says the open house is another opportunity to educate prospective students and parents.

Blaser, who plans to become a doctor, is not new to the medical field. In high school she traveled to Belize on a mission trip with her father, who is a physician. There she served as a pharmacy technician. She also went to Costa Rica and Nicaragua on an international service trip where she helped diagnose patients under a doctor’s supervision.

During the past year she’s served as vice president of membership for the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Organization, vice president of selections for Cardinal Key Honorary and vice president of the Pre-medical Club. She also promotes Iowa State as an admissions representative and takes prospective students and parents on campus tours.

“It’s all volunteer and we are all passionate about showing off the Iowa State campus,” Blaser says.

Blaser understands the importance of a campus visit. It’s one of the reasons she chose Iowa State. She says the campus was much larger than her high school, but people on campus were friendly and welcoming. And, she says, it’s been a perfect fit.

“Iowa State has given me more than I could possibly have imagined through the numerous opportunities to succeed in academics, service and leadership,” Blaser says.


By Barbara McBreen

Spring is a busy time at the Wildlife Care Clinic. Erica Eaves can attest to that. Early in April she spent one 10-hour day working with veterinarians trying to save a bobcat.

“The bobcat had been hit by a car and both its rear legs and pelvis were fractured,” Eaves says. “We spent most of the day with the bobcat, but it didn’t make it because its wounds were several days old.”

That was a trying day for Eaves, a junior in animal ecology, who is passionate about rehabilitating injured wild animals.

“It’s so rewarding to help animals and send them back to their natural habitat,” Eaves says.

Eaves knew she wanted to work with animals, but wasn’t interested in becoming a veterinarian. She didn’t know where her major would take her until she began working at the clinic. Now, she works 20 hours a week during the school year and up to 60 hours a week during the summer.

Walking through the three-room clinic, which is housed inside the Iowa State University Veterinary Medical Center, Eaves describes each animal’s history, injury and behavior.

“I grew up catching frogs and other animals in our yard,” Eaves says. “I always knew I wanted to do something with animals.”

As Eaves holds Screechy, an eastern screech owl and permanent resident at the clinic, she talks about how he hasn’t forgiven her for the daily cheek swabs she did last fall. The testing was part of her undergraduate research project comparing bacteria in the digestive tract of captive birds to birds in the wild. Her results and analysis showed there was a difference.

As Screechy eyes Eaves suspiciously, she explains that most animals in the clinic are not given names to prevent human attachment.

Next to Screechy’s cage is a one-winged American kestrel. Eaves says the kestrel was found on the tarmac at the Des Moines Airport, so she may have been hit by a plane. The doctors decided to amputate her wing to save her life.

“Most of our patients are here because of human contact,” Eaves says. “Many patients have been hit by cars, but several baby animals are brought in mistakenly because people think they are orphaned.”

The student-run clinic survives on donations and Eaves is enthusiastic about marketing the program and its educational events. After she graduates in 2011, Eaves plans to pursue a career in wildlife rehabilitation and work in a clinic similar to the one in Ames.


To visit the Wildlife Care Clinic online or learn how to donate, visit http://vetmed.iastate.edu/vmc/wcc.


By Barbara McBreen

When the Iowa State University women’s basketball team made it to the “Sweet 16” B.J. Brugman was watching, analyzing and hoping for a win.

Brugman, a junior in agricultural business, is a point guard for the women’s scout team. That means he studies the plays of the opposing team and employs those same plays during practice sessions to give Iowa State the edge.

“My cousin was on the team 10 years ago and I remember hearing about it, so when I came to Iowa State I contacted the coach and asked about it,” Brugman says.

Playing opposite Alison Lacey, Iowa State’s point guard, isn’t an easy job, Brugman says, but it keeps him on his toes. Lacey, who graduated in May, was drafted by the WNBA Seattle Storms.

Latoja Schaben, the assistant Iowa State women’s basketball coach, said she recruited Brugman as soon as she saw him play. As the scout team point guard he’s a dedicated leader that keeps the team focused, which means the women’s team gets a good workout.

“Basically their job is to get our team ready,” Schaben says. “They have to learn the opposing teams plays in 20 minutes and to do that you have to know the game and understand it.”

Scout team members don’t get paid, but they do get a uniform, shoes and tickets to home games. Even though the practice schedule is demanding – nine hours a week – it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

“It really gives you a different perspective when you watch the game,” Brugman says.

The Iowa State women’s basketball team made it to the final NCAA tournament, but lost its first game to the University of Connecticut. Brugman is proud to have been part of the scout team that may have helped the Iowa State place among the top 16 teams nationally.

Playing on the scout team has kept Brugman in shape, but he hopes his college degree will help him attain another goal. Someday he’d like to hold the position of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

For now he’s the vice president of alumni relations for Alpha Gamma Rho and served as the co-chair for the 2010 Veishea entertainment committee. Organizing and implementing entertainment for the largest student-run event in the nation was challenging and rewarding.

“We had a full house at every event,” Brugman says. “The committee worked extremely hard to bring in a variety of artists. It was exciting to see it all come together.”

This summer Brugman has an internship at CHS Inc., which manufactures soybean oil, as a grain merchandiser in Mankato, Minn.
“Last summer I worked for Syngenta on the production side and this summer I’ll help clients decide when to sell,” Brugman says.

Next year he’ll continue to play on the Iowa State women’s basketball scout team. He’ll also take on a more responsibilities as the general co-chair for the 2011 Veishea.



21 Jul 2014


I was born and raised in Kansas, but Iowa is my home. I’ve come to know Iowa as a very special place. It’s where I’ve spent much of my life and career. It is a privilege to serve as the dean of agriculture at Iowa’s land grant university, on behalf …


21 Jul 2014


We’re all Iowans. Our time on campus unites us all as Iowans, if only for a few years. When I interview alumni, especially those from out of state, I always ask them what drew them to Iowa State and what made their time in Ames special. Some mention the picturesque, …