News from Campus – Fall 2014

Hansen Center, Ellings, Sukup Halls Dedicated, Offer Modern Edge

Iowa State University celebrated the dedication of Elings Hall and Sukup Hall, two new buildings that serve as the home for the agricultural and biosystems engineering department, and the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center this fall. The modern, state-of-the-art facilities “create a nearly unmatched learning environment for all students who are pursuing careers in agriculture and related fields,” says ISU President Steven Leath. Take a virtual tour of the new buildings at

Iowa State Researchers Join Federal Effort Vs. Hypoxia

Water quality researchers and extension specialists at Iowa State University have joined with scientists at 11 other land-grant universities in the Mississippi River watershed and the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Hypoxia Task Force in a formal partnership to strengthen efforts to reduce the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about ISU’s work to reduce hypoxia in the “dead zone” at

Pesek Receives Presidential Award, Portrait Unveiled

John Pesek (’14 honorary alumnus), Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Emeritus Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, was presented with the American Society of Agronomy Presidential Award on campus on Oct. 15. The ceremony also included the unveiling of a portrait in his honor that will hang in the second floor of Agronomy Hall. Pesek served as head of the agronomy department from 1964 to 1990. He also served as interim dean of agriculture from 1987 to 1988. He is world renowned for his role in the 1989 National Academy of Sciences Report on Alternative Agriculture. More

Appointments, faculty service:

Agricultural engineer Jay Harmon has been named the interim director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center. Harmon, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and an extension livestock housing specialist, brings expertise in pork production systems to the position, which promotes efficient pork production technologies in Iowa.

Max Morris is the new chair of the Department of Statistics at Iowa State University. He succeeds Kenneth Koehler, University Professor, who served as chair since 2003 and remains on the faculty. The statistics department is coadministered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

CALS students lead nation-wide

Award-winning clubs and teams help agriculture and life sciences students become outstanding leaders. Recent top finishes include:

  • Agricultural Business Club, outstanding student chapter in the nation for the eighth time in nine years.
  • Food Product Development Team, second in the national Nutritious Foods for Kids Competition.
  • Soil Judging Team, first place at Region 5 Collegiate Soil Judging contest.
  • Crops Team, second place in the four-year school division at the 2014 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Crops Contest.
  • Livestock Judging Team, third at the Arksarben Stock Show.

Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm Marks 50th Anniversary

Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm Sept. 10. The AEA Research Farm, as it’s called, consists of about 1,160 acres located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30. It is devoted to mainly agronomy and agricultural and biosystems engineering department research projects, with other Iowa State academic departments, centers and Extension and Outreach, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Crop Improvement Association participating.

Several facilities have been added around the AEA Farm in recent years: the BioCentury Research Farm, Livestock Environment Buildings Research Complex and the Field Extension Education Laboratory.
Melon Mania Smashes Fruit For Fundraiser

Establish and Grow, a philanthropy organized by Iowa State students and staff, raised more than $1,400 for children in Uganda with Melon Mania. At the September event more than 2,000 melons were used in carnival games. Since research performed on some melons made them unqualified to donate for eating students decided to have fun and raise money with them before they became compost. Melon bowling, melon sculpture, melon pinball, strong-man toss and a hammer versus melon station helped raise enough money to provide about 300 Ugandan children school lunch for an entire year.