Foreword – Spring 2017


This spring I attended the Iowa Young Professionals in Agriculture Executive Breakfast at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center. Mark Core (’87 agricultural and life sciences education), executive vice-president and chief marketing officer of Vermeer Corporation, served on a panel about change—dealing with it and leading it.

Mark talked about the changing supply of potential employees for rural Iowa.  Attracting people to rural Iowa through job creation, quality healthcare and schools and access to broadband, draws people to support community infrastructure.

This fuels everything from volunteer fire departments to local FFA chapters to civic organizations and everything in-between. That’s where Iowa State comes in. Partnering with companies like Vermeer in collaborative research, talent acquisition and internship programs drives economic development and helps communities grow. That especially benefits our new alumni— nearly 70 percent of whom start their careers in Iowa.

In this issue you’ll learn how the Center for Crops Utilization Research is helping companies refine their industrial processes to maximize efficiency and profits (page 18). You’ll hear from Kevin Kimle (’91 MS economics), director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, on the ecosystem of entrepreneurship (page 14) and learn about the initiative’s latest impacts supporting agricultural start-ups. From local foods (page 25) to the incredible egg (page 28) to the impact of trusted counsel in farm management (page 31), you’ll see how the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides connections, talent and technology to fuel economic development.

In closing, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mark the occasion of this, our 20th issue of STORIES magazine. In my first foreword, I laid out our team’s mission to share stories that inform, educate and inspire—stories that connect you with the people who make our college one of the premier institutions of agriculture and life sciences in the world. Our stories are your stories. Thank you for allowing me the honor of sharing them with the world.

I invite you to join me. Share your copy of STORIES with a friend or neighbor when you’re through, or share a link to our stories via  I can’t wait to discover what the next 20 issues have in store for us!

Kind regards,

Melea Reicks Licht