Foreword – Fall 2013

Listen. Research. Educate. Repeat.

The cyclical nature of our land-grant institution became very apparent as I was editing stories for this issue. The Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station is the program that has allowed this research cycle to continue successfully for 125 years.

Advances in plant breeding developing crops to thrive in drought conditions, gaining insight to animal and human immune systems, refining traits in livestock to achieve healthier meat products and the stewardship of our environment using prairie strips near crop fields are all examples of research making breakthroughs today that carry on the legacy of excellence set by scientists of the past.

When I worked in the agronomy department, I would hear faculty talk about a “family tree” of research with branches reflecting those who served as major professors for a multitude of graduates. These conversations, like many involving genealogy, could go on for some time. They reminded me of two important truths —one, the impact of excellent teacher-researchers is life-changing for individuals and industries and two, everything we do is built upon the success of others.

That’s evident in the stories that follow. As is the relevance of current research funded by the Experiment Station and performed by faculty on Experiment Station appointment. They are celebrating the accomplishments of researchers past by blazing new scientific trails of their own.

Kind regards,

Melea Reicks Licht