Steve Jones, News Service, (515)-294-4778
AGRICULTURE, VETERINARY MEDICINE AND NATURAL RESOURCES NEWS FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
ODOR ISSUES UNMATCHED IN IOWA'S AGRICULTURAL HISTORY
Battles at the Statehouse and in rural areas over hog odor and size of livestock operations are as divisive as any agricultural controversy to hit Iowa, says agricultural historian Doug Hurt. "There's been nothing on this level before in terms of breadth and depth of the issue," said Hurt, director of Iowa State's Center for Agricultural History. He said past skirmishes, involving the adoption of technology on the farm or landlord vs. tenant issues, don't match the current debate. "The dynamics are unprecedented," he added. "It's an entirely new dimension because it affects farmers and non-farmers alike." He said the controversy is complex, involving the environment, economics, family issues, science and politics. Contact Hurt at (515) 294-5620 or Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778.
NEW SWINE DIET REPORT RELEASED APRIL 14-15
The National Research Council's 10th edition of the Nutrient Requirements of Swine will be released April 14-15 via a satellite symposium originating from ISU. The program will be downlinked to more than 25 sites in the U.S. and Canada. The audience will be feed industry and consulting nutritionists, animal scientists, feed additive suppliers, veterinarians, extension specialists and others interested in determining nutrient requirements for all phases of pork production. Contact Palmer Holden, extension swine specialist, (515) 294-2240, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
PLANT DIVERSITY ESSENTIAL TO ENRICH CROP GENE POOLS
A recently released international study reported that one of every eight plant species is in danger of extinction. "This is a heritage that you can't recreate," said Ken Frey, ISU professor emeritus of agronomy. The importance of plant genetic diversity is one topic tackled in the National Plant Breeding Study headed by Frey. One goal of the study has been to develop a national plan to enrich the gene pools for all U.S. crops. "The new, improved crop cultivars that will be developed in the next 10 to 30 years will come from crop gene pools we enrich today," said Frey. Gene-pool enrichment involves basic research on transferring useful genes from wild or undeveloped species into crops. This work has been conducted primarily by government and university scientists, "but it's largely uncoordinated, underfunded and absent for many crops," Frey said. "Consequently, U.S. plant breeders are ill- prepared to develop crops to meet the country's future food, health, environmental and export demands." Frey recently issued a report outlining recommendations to improve gene-pool enrichment for U.S. crops. Contact Frey at (515) 294-7607 or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
ISU TO HOLD SEVEN FORUMS ON RURAL JOB QUALITY
Jobs in rural communities often involve low pay, long hours, long commutes and low job security. Many workers hold two or more jobs to make ends meet. In April and May, ISU Extension and the Northwest Area Foundation are sponsoring seven forums around the state to discuss the quality of jobs in rural Iowa. The meetings are part of a new project to help communities design strategies that result in high-quality jobs. Three Iowa communities will eventually be selected for a pilot program. The forums are free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. Dates and locations are April 21, Storm Lake; April 23, Corning; April 27, Lamoni; April 30, Kalona; May 4, New Hampton; May 7, Iowa Falls; and May 16, Ames. The Ames forum will include an ICN broadcast to eight locations. For more information, contact sociologists Terry Besser, (515) 294-6508, and Vanessa Burnett, (515) 294-4095, or Brian Meyer, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0706.
TENTH SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE DAY AT ISU
April 21 will mark the 10th anniversary of Iowa State University's "Science in Agriculture" day. More than 130 high school students will attend the event to learn how science interacts with agriculture, while exploring ISU's agriculture curriculum, career opportunities and the ISU campus. Students can attend three of about 20 sessions offered. A few seminar titles are Plant-eating Fungi; Agronomy Private Eye; Soil -- Take a Look, It's Alive!; Insect Sex Pheromones; Farming for Fun and Profit; and Little Things Mean a Lot: Microscopy and You. Contact the event coordinator, Sherry Pogranichniy, (515) 294-3273, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
EARTH WEEK SYMPOSIUM ON WORLD FOOD PRODUCTION
The ethics of increasing world food production will be debated at an Earth Week Bioethics Symposium at ISU on April 25. The symposium will look at whether the world needs more food production, what effect more production might have on the world population and the environment, and the roles of economic, political and social inequity in world hunger. Speakers will include Ricardo Salvador, ISU agronomist; Luther Tweeten, Ohio State University professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology; and Mathis Wackernagel, professor and coordinator of the Center for Sustainability Studies at the Universidad Anahuac de Xalapa in Mexico. A luncheon will be patterned after the way the world eats -- a few will eat a first-class meal, some will eat a basic meal and the majority will eat a bowl of rice. Contact the event coordinator, Clark Ford, (515) 294-0343, or Susan Thompson, Agriculture Information, (515) 294-0705.
ISU SETS FARM FIELD DAYS FOR SUMMER AND FALL
ISU has scheduled 18 field days this summer and fall at its research and demonstration farms around the state. Field days give farmers and the public a chance to view the progress of experiments and talk with researchers. The summer field days will begin June 16, and the fall field days begin Aug. 25. Crop production is the subject of most of the field days and many include livestock studies. A global positioning system field day will be held Aug. 25. at the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua. A field day on swine production in hoop structures will be held Sept. 1 at the Rhodes Research and Demonstration Farm near Rhodes.
Starting June 30, there also will be seven Home Garden Demonstration Field Days at the farms. At these field days, visitors can view gardening techniques and new plant varieties. More information about all of the ISU field days is available by calling the research and demonstration farm office at (515) 294- 4620 or (800) 532-2354. Those with Internet access can check the World Wide Web at: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/farms/fielddays.html. Contact Mark Honeyman, Research and Demonstration Farms, (515) 294-4621, or Ed Adcock, Agriculture Information, (515) 294- 2314.
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