Department

Crops Team

Our Iowa State Crops Team Recently traveled to Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky to compete at the NACTA Judging Conference. The team participated in the Crops contest which consisted of Plant and Seed Identification, lab practical, including knowledge of insects, equipment, herbicides, fertilizers, and more, a math practical, and an agronomic exam.

Team members are Andrew Blomme, Shannon Breja, Jenna Cowan, and Alyssa Swehla. Individuals who also competed were Ben Kolbe, Ted Hilgerson, and Hannah Holdsworth. Dr. Mindy DeVries is their coach.

Congratulations to our spring graduates! 

Brittany Abernathy 

Meet senior Brittany Abernathy, originally from Indianola, Iowa! After graduation, Brittany will be moving to Bear, Delaware where she will be a full time employee for Corteva Agrisciences. Her favorite class during her time here was Weed ID with Dr. Hartzler.

Once Brittany moves, she is definitely going to miss being able to live so close to all of the friends that she has created during her time here. Her favorite memory while being here would have to be meeting with different professionals in the same field and hearing their different experiences and stories.

The 5th annual Experience Agronomy Day took place this past weekend. Students in 4th through 8th grade from all over the state of Iowa came to campus on April 27th to enjoy a day full of learning about different aspects of Agronomy! The morning started out with an introduction from Dr. VanLoocke. Then the students were split into groups and attended 4 different sessions with lunch and t-shirts provided at the end of the day.

The four sessions included:

          A Rainfall Simulator with Ava from the NRCS,

          The Economics of Agronomy,

          A community service project of planting and painting flowers pots for Northcrest Nursing Home,

          And finally a drone demonstration with Kevin.

Since it was a celebration of 5 years, sessions from previous years were chosen, and tweaked  just a little bit to make them different from before.

Congrats to our Graduate Students John Jones and Mauricio Tejera!

John Jones was the recipient of our Teaching Excellence Award. The purpose of this award to is recognize and encourage outstanding achievement by graduate students in teaching. John teaches our Agronomy 354 Soil and Plant Growth and he currently is assistant coach of the Iowa State University soil judging team.  

New research published this week identifies the genomic features that might have made domestication possible for corn and soybeans, two of the world’s most critical crop species.

The research, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed academic journal Genome Biology, has implications for how scientists understand domestication, or the process by which humans have been able to breed plants for desirable traits through centuries of cultivation. The researchers drew on vast amounts of data on the genomes of corn and soybeans and compared particular sections of the genomes of wild species and domestic varieties, noting where the genomes diverged most markedly.

PhD candidate John Jones was awarded with the Future Leaders in Science Award from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA. Speaking with colleagues who had attended the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Congressional Visits Day in the past led him to apply for the award. The tri-societies provide workshops and sessions for graduate students who have an interest in communicating their science to a broader audience. After interacting with actively engaged graduate students and representatives from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA science policy office, the Future Leaders of Science Award seemed like an excellent opportunity for John to expand his understanding of science communicator. 

Two Iowa State University students have been named Udall Scholars for 2019 — the first time since 2001 that more than one ISU student has been selected for the honor in the same academic year.

Carissa Moyna, a junior in civil engineering from Elkader; and Jacob Wright, a junior in agronomy and environmental studies from Weyers Cave, Virginia, are two of 55 students from across the United States selected for the prestigious award. The Udall Foundation awards scholarships for leadership, public service and commitment to issues related to the environment or Native American nations.

Moyna and Wright were selected as Udall Scholars from 443 candidates nominated by 227 colleges and universities.

Building a Better Future

Carissa Moyna

Carissa Moyna

BASF has joined the Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University as an industry partner to support emerging technology and innovations to help soybean growers produce high yielding, high quality soybeans.

“We welcome and look forward to collaborating with BASF,” said Greg Tylka, director of the Iowa Soybean Research Center and a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State. “We greatly appreciate BASF’s financial support. Their partnership with the center underscores their commitment to research in the area of soybean production and illustrates their understanding of the real-world challenges that Iowa soybean farmers face.”

Our Kevin Falk was recently awarded both the Graduate Student Leadership and Research awards from the Iowa State Graduate and Professional Student Senate. He was the only graduate student across the university to win both awards. Congratulations, Kevin!

Siblings Kelli and Mitchell Roush are teaching assistants, or TAs, for Agronomy 182, our Introduction to Soil Science class. Kelli has been a TA for four semesters and Mitchell has been for two semesters.

Mitchell’s favorite part about TA-ing with his sister is that they are able to use different methods to help students learn and understand different concepts. They both have different teaching styles, which helps if a student doesn’t understand his way, then Kelli’s method may work better for that student.

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