We had some visitors on Monday! Over 40 seventh graders from AGWSR (Ackley, Geneva, Wellsburg, Steamboat Rock) visited Agronomy Hall as part of a visit to Iowa State University organized by the North Central hub of IowaSTEM. The students learned about what we do here at agronomy, from wind turbines impact on agriculture to bioenergy to the change in global climate.

Using science to address food insecurity is Catherine Leafstedt’s passion. It’s a passion that’s driven her for the past four years and it’s one reason she’s been accepted to the University of Cambridge in England to pursue graduate school.

Leafstedt, who has a double major in agronomy and global resource systems, has had many internships and experiences both in the United States and around the world.

Our crops team traveled to the Kansas Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Crops Contest on Friday, March 9 in Manhattan, Kansas. Overall, the team placed second in the four-year division.

Individual placings:

2nd place - Joshua DeGroot

4th place - Daniel Feucht

6th place - Andrew Blomme

10th place - Elizabeth Widder

Iowa State junior Aimee Schulz is aiming to make a difference when it comes to global food security, and she's doing this through identifying ways to protect the genetic lines of indigenous maize. Or, what most of us refer to as corn.

Aimee took on an ambitious research adventure her freshman year in Assistant Professor Matthew Hufford's genetics lab at Iowa State to identify the human and environmental factors impacting indigenous varieties of maize in southwestern Mexico.

Jordan and Rebecca Vittetoe first met in an Iowa State soils class where they sat next to each other for the whole semester. Their first unofficial date they planned to study for their soils final but spent most of the time talking and not studying. They were married on November 14th, 2015 in Rebecca’s hometown, LeMars, Iowa.

Rebecca is an extension field agronomist for ISU and Jordan works as a Pioneer Sales Associate for a local Pioneer Dealer.

Puerto Rico's Hurricane Recovery Complicates Ag Businesses' Seed Research

Written by Amy Mayer and reprinted with permission from Harvest Media Publications


Puerto Rico’s hot winter days and warm nights have played a key role in the global seed business for more than 30 years. So, the devastation wrought on the U.S. territory by Hurricane Maria in September stretches to the croplands of the Midwest and Great Plains.

Fields in Puerto Rico are used for research, development and/or testing of up to 85 percent of the commercial corn, soybean and other hybrid seeds grown in the U.S., according to the Puerto Rico Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Association.

This citation honors College of Agriculture and Life Sciences early- or mid-career alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their discipline, field or area of expertise. This award is given to individuals who have graduated within the last 15 years. Selection is made by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

AMES, Iowa ­­– An Iowa State University sophomore studying agronomy and global resource systems is the 2017 recipient of an endowed scholarship honoring global food security advocate David Lambert.

Emily Hugen from Monroe, Iowa, received the David Lambert ‘Hunger Fighter’ Memorial Scholarship honoring Lambert’s lifetime efforts addressing global food security and child malnutrition. The presentation was made during a luncheon held in conjunction with the World Food Prize’s 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International symposium.

Norman Borlaug was an Iowan who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for improving crop productivity and saving more than one billion people from starvation. Reading Borlaug's biography started Catherine Leafstedt, senior in agronomy down a path to fight world hunger.

“It was such a cool experience to learn about someone who applied science and was able to have such an incredible impact,” Leafstedt said. “His biography got me interested in the World Food Prize programs and the use of science to grow food and help others.”

Valeria Cano Camacho, a junior in agronomy,was presented the George Washington Carver Spirit of Innovation and Service Award on Sept. 21 in Ankeny. Cano Camacho was one of five undergraduate students nationwide to receive the award. This is the second year the award was presented as a tribute to the legacy of George Washington Carver, recognizing the efforts of young people striving to achieve their dreams and discovering the relevance in following in the footsteps of Carver — emulating his curiosity about life and nature, his generosity of spirit and his dedication to progress.


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