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 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.
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!
The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy’s very own soil team placed second in group judging and second overall out of eight teams in the soils contest hosted by Kansas State University. The team consists of 11 members; Jacob Wright, Kelli Roush, Erik Fevold, Eric Bro, Hannah Weber, John Green, Tristan Dittmer, Jacob Schultz, Austin Day, Collin Stark, and Catherine Thom. The team is coached by Amber Anderson, and her two assistants are Danny Brummel and Josh McDanel.
Women in Agronomy is an organization within the Department of Agronomy that focuses on the wonderful women in this major. Women in Agronomy began over 15 years ago, but over the past five or six years, it has become more and more active! Stephanie Zumbach works hard to plan events for young agronomy women so that they know they have a place in agronomy and in agriculture. Connecting these ladies to other women who are also agronomy majors, both professionally and socially, as well as connecting them to other women in agriculture is one of the biggest take away from being involved with Women in Agronomy.
The Master of Science in Agronomy distance education program kicked off its 20th anniversary by tailgating at the ISU vs Akron football game on Saturday, September 22. Faculty, staff, current students and alumni were invited to celebrate 20 years of success. Including the hard work and dedication of two specific faculty members.
Dr. Ken Moore
Arden Campbell award for dedicated service to the program as director for several years.
Student Impact award for his dedication to the students through advising and serving as major professor.
Hannah Holdsworth has just begun her first year here at Iowa State University in Agronomy, but she comes bringing in lots of experience already. In fact, this past summer she competed in the State FFA Agronomy CDE and placed as the overall top individual. Back in 2017, Hannah joined the agronomy team of the Denison FFA Chapter where they competed in the state FFA agronomy competition. The team received second, and Hannah also received second individually.
Valeria Cano Camacho spent her summer on one of Hawaii’s islands, Big Island, where she was a summer field intern for Ulu Mau Puani. All summer long, she helped with six different projects. Some of those projects included: collecting data, extension and outreach, and lab work.
“It was different every day. Some days I would be hiking up a volcano to find berries and other days I would be working with elementary students and learning about the Kohala Field System,” Valeria said about her favorite part of working on Big Island.
Not many people can say that they placed 11th as an undergrad competing against Ph.D. students. Kelli Roush is the lucky holder of this title. The third International Soil Judging competition was held a week before the 21st World Soil Congress.
The soils in Ro de Janero, Brazil are very different from here in Iowa. Kelli had the opportunity to see an Oxisol, but most of the soils she worked with were Ultisols or Alfisols. They spent three days practicing and learning about the environment they were in before the competition started. Kelli and the other team members had to adapt to the way Brazil judges their soils.
Our incoming freshman spent the weekend before classes start on a tour of agriculture industry and farms in northeast Iowa. They toured Beck's Hybrids in Marshalltown, Pioneer Hi-Bred in Reinbeck and Landus Co-op in Dike. A stop at UNI allowed them to cool down (the air conditioning broke on the bus) and learn about urban soil conservation on the UNI campus. Near Nashua they learned about soil health from the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service.