Department

Faster conversion of land into agricultural production in recent years has raised the region’s carbon cost of producing grains, according to recently published research from an Iowa State University scientist.

AMES, Iowa – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is honoring seven Iowa State University researchers for their work in agriculture, biological sciences, chemistry and engineering, including our Dr. Jianming Yu.

The seven are among 416 researchers from around the world who make up this year’s class of AAAS Fellows, the association announced today. The new fellows are being recognized “because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Dr. Yu joins the limited company of only 40 other faculty at Iowa State University as a AAAS Fellow.

AMES, Iowa — The Agronomy Hall auditorium at Iowa State University has been named in honor of a Webster County couple who farmed near Duncombe for many years.

The W. Kiley and Marie Powers Auditorium is located in the southwest corner of Agronomy Hall on the Iowa State campus. The auditorium, which was built as part of an addition to Agronomy Hall in 1986, is used for classes of 120 students, accommodating courses taught across the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the university.

A reception for the naming of the Powers Auditorium was recently held in Agronomy Hall with ISU President Wendy Wintersteen and relatives and friends of the Powers family.

W. Kiley and Marie Powers were Iowa farmers who believed in hard work, agricultural innovation and education. Married in 1943, the couple farmed land that was in the Powers family for more than 100 years. Kiley Powers’ grandfather, Patrick Powers, acquired land making up the farm in 1864 and 1869.

Four Agronomy students competed in the North Central Weed Science Society Student Contest at Monsanto’s Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenburg, NE on July 26. The team of Andrew Blomme, Hailey Daufeldt, Rebecca Johnson, and Heather Wilson finished second among undergraduate teams. The contest consists of events in weed identification, herbicide identification, sprayer calibration, and field problem solving. Andrew Blomme finished in first place in the individual sprayer calibration event. Bob Hartzler, Eric Jones, and John Hinz (Bayer Crop Science) served as coaches.

The Department of Agronomy is mourning a treasured member of our faculty. Dr. Raymond Arritt has passed away after experiencing a stroke. Dr. Arritt was an integral part of our agricultural meteorology team for 25 years. He was a valued contributor to research, not only within our department but around the world. Dr. Arritt’s research focused on aspects of weather and climate that relate to the land surface and agriculture including crop cover and soil moisture, changes in rainfall extremes over the central U.S. and the long-distance dispersion of pollen.

An agronomy student will be one of three Iowa Staters honored during the Gold Star Hall Ceremony this afternoon in the Memorial Union. Robert Vance Rannells of Dunlap, Iowa, enrolled at Iowa State in 1936, studying agronomy. A month before receiving his degree, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He died in April 1945 when his B-29 bomber went down in the Pacific Ocean near Japan.

Rannells was born Dec. 9, 1918, to William and Adah Rannells. Growing up in Dunlap, Rannells worked the family farm like so many other Iowa farm boys. They raised cattle and harvested corn, soybeans and alfalfa.

He trained in radio operations in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. Before leaving for active duty in the Pacific Theater, Rannells married his college sweetheart, Virginia Lynch, in March 1943.

November 5-9th is National Distance Learning Week, sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Assocation (USDLA). The Department of Agronomy recognizes the importance and value distance education provides to students across the globe. Distance education in Agronomy dates back to the 1990s with the widespread availability of the internet. Today, two distance programs are offered in the Department of Agronomy.

Masters in Agronomy

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, development of the MS in Agronomy began in 1995 and the program enrolled its first students in 1998. The program offers tremendous value and accessibility to students who work full time while attaining an advanced degree. That value has been leveraged by students in 44 states and six countries around the globe.

Our Agronomy family sent a few members to National FFA Convention during October 24th - October 28th. They put in lots of hard workout throughout the past few years, and we are so proud of their accomplishments! Check them out below!

Colin Stark:

Colin Stark is now a sophomore from Pontiac, IL. He was a member of the Pontiac FFA chapter. Colin recently just got back from National Convention where he received his American Degree. In order to receive the highest degree through the FFA, he had to meet multiple requirements. Those requirements included earning a certain amount of profit or working a certain amount of hours through his project, along with fulfilling a specific amount of community service hours. Colin’s favorite part of the trip was getting to experience convention again with his chapter for the last time.

Jensina Davis:

2019 Soil Health Conference Registration Is Open

Conference focus is on science and practices for advancing soil health

Mahdi Al-Kaisi

two hands holding soil.AMES, Iowa – The third Soil Health Conference will be held in Ames on Feb. 4-5, 2019. The event will consist of two full days of presentations on a wide variety of topics concerning soil health, with invited guest speakers from around the country.

On Tuesday, October 16th the Agronomy Learning Community spent their class time painting pumpkins for the local retirement home here in Ames, Northcrest. In fact, a few of our very own retired faculty live there now! The students were given a list of the residents and what they enjoyed, or what their hobbies were, and painted a pumpkin for each one of the residents.The pumpkins were delivered on Sunday, October 21st by the learning community. 

There are 46 residents in all, so 46 pumpkins were specially designed for each one. Some of the residents enjoyed things like fish, trumpets, the Chicago Cubs, embroidery, and pianos, along with various other hobbies and interests. The learning community has spent time together this semester doing various other activities as well, including things like movie nights, bowling and basketball. Once the holidays roll around, they will also be decorating cookies before winter break! 

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