News from Campus — Fall 2020

The 2020 QS World University Rankings of agricultural and forestry programs ranked Iowa State University in the top 4% worldwide — 16 out of 401 institutions in 2020. Iowa State University’s agricultural programs remain in the top 10 among U.S. universities (6), up one place from a year ago.

The new Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm, located south of Ames, was dedicated in March. The facility features spaces for teaching and research, as well as a welcome area where visitors can see first-hand examples of Iowa egg production systems. The nearly $7 million facility was made possible solely through private funding. Shortly after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic this March, 8,000 layer chicks were moved into the new facility in less than an hour.

U.S. News and World Report magazine declared Iowa State’s department of agricultural and biosystems engineering graduate programs No. 1 in the nation. And, for the second year in a row, Iowa State’s agricultural and biosystems undergraduate program was ranked No. 2 among all national public universities (tying two other universities) by U.S. News and World Report.

The Horticulture Research Station and outlying ISU Research and Demonstration Farms have donated nearly 9,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Iowa Food Bank and Food at First food bank in Ames, Iowa, throughout 2020.

Bees have taken up residence in 20 Cyclone-colored hives at the ISU Horticulture Research Station north of Ames. The bees provide hands-on learning opportunities for students, and their first batch of honey was sold through the research station’s produce sales. Future batches may be available for purchase at the ISU Bookstore and ISU Alumni Center.


  • 4,534 students – 3,954 undergraduates, 580 graduate students – Fall 2020
  • 92% retention of first-year students (top percentage on campus)
  • 10.7% multicultural CALS undergrads (college record), 17% multicultural ISU undergrads
  • 57% women CALS undergrads, 43% women ISU undergrads
  • Largest enrollment by major (together these total 72% of CALS undergrad enrollment): animal science, animal ecology, agricultural business, agronomy, agricultural studies, industrial technology and biology

After a 50-year hiatus, the ISU Creamery opened for business in August and has been scooping ice cream for campus and community customers ever since. Six traditional flavors were initially offered, and later this fall eight flavors were added to the menu to represent Iowa State’s seven colleges and the graduate college. The Creamery serves to educate and prepare students for careers in the dairy industry. Located in 2953 Food Sciences, the Creamery is  open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • David Acker, associate dean, global engagement
  • Carmen Bain, associate dean, academic innovation
  • Gwen Beattie, interim professor and chair, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Robert Earle Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Bacteriology
  • Jamie Benning (’01 agronomy, ’03 MS soil science), assistant director, ag and natural resources extension and outreach
  • Jodi Cornell, director, CALS Study Abroad
  • John Crespi, director, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Richard Gates, director, Egg Industry Center
  • Jay Harmon, associate dean, extension and outreach programs
  • Terry Houser (’01 MS animal science, meat science/food science and technology, ’04 PhD), professor-in-charge, ISU Meats Laboratory, Smithfield Foods Chair in Meat Science Extension
  • Ray Klein, director, CALS Office of Partnerships
  • Melea Reicks Licht (’00 public service and administration in ag, ’05 MS ag and life sciences education), interim director, CALS College Relations
  • Skyler Rinker, James and Clare Frevert Ag 450 Professor
  • Shelley Taylor, director, CALS Global Programs
  • Daniel Thomson (’90 animal science, ’00 DVM), professor and chair, Department of Animal Science
  • Curtiss Youngs, Ensminger Endowed Chair of International
    Animal Agriculture


  • Don Beermann (’71 animal science), professor and chair of the Department of Animal Science, retired in January.
  • Denise Bjelland, director of the college’s Global Agriculture Programs, retired in April.
  • Joe Cordray (‘71 animal science), ISU Extension and Outreach meats science specialist and director of the ISU Meats Laboratory, retired in January.
  • Matthew Ellinwood, associate professor of animal science, retired in June.
  • Richard Jauron (’79 horticulture), ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturalist, retired in September.
  • Robert Martin, professor and past chair of agricultural education and studies, retired in December 2019.
  • Max Rothschild, C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences, retired in June.
  • Marshall Ruble (’78 animal science), manager of the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center and beef teaching farm manager, retired in May.
  • Charles Schwab, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and ISU Extension and Outreach safety specialist, retired in October.
  • Leo Timms, Morrill Professor and ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialist, retired in September 2019.
  • Lester Wilson, university professor in food science and human nutrition, retired in November.