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Agriculture's entrepreneuriAl spirit shines


									                  In AgrICulture And lIfe sCIenCes Vol.5 No.1, 2011

spirit shines

                                             14 Ag business student
                                                brings Cy to life

                                             18 Alumni share their
                                                secrets to success

                                             28 Innovation in action
                                                down on the farm

In AgrICulture And lIfe sCIenCes

Editor:                                                                  ’ve always thought entrepreneurs had guts.
Melea Reicks Licht
(’00 public service and administration in agriculture,
                                                                         Lots of guts.
MS ’05 agricultural and life sciences education)                            I’m what you would call a “risk-averse” person.
                                                                    Just listening to Kevin Kimle recount how he left behind
Ed Adcock, Christa Hartsook, Sherry Hoyer,                          a successful career at a well-established company to
Barbara McBreen, Brian Meyer, Melea Reicks                          strike out on his own with a brand new company made
Licht, Susan Thompson
                                                                    me sweat. No health insurance? Just the thought makes
dEsign:                                                             me feel ill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Bob Elbert
PUSH Branding and Design                                                I imagined that entrepreneurs were risk-takers
                                                                    welcoming “opportunities” that would make many of
                                                                    us squirm. Sleepless nights, dwindling bank accounts
College of Agriculture and
Life sciences Administration                                        and neglected home lives? I figured they were all part
Wendy Wintersteen (PhD ’88 entomology),                             of the game.
Dean and Director, Experiment Station                                   Then I talked with a few of our most successful entrepreneurial alumni (see
Joe Colletti, Senior Associate Dean                                 Q&A on page 18). They helped me realize that to entrepreneurs, it is about not
                                                                    taking a risk. They believe so strongly in their idea that, to them, leaving it idle
John Lawrence (’84 animal science, MS ’86
economics), Associate Dean Extension Programs                       is the real risk.
and Outreach, Director Extension Agriculture                            This issue of STORIES will offer insight into the lives of selected alumni, students,
and Natural Resources
                                                                    faculty and staff who embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is prevalent in agri-
David Acker, Associate Dean Academic and                            culture and life sciences.
Global Programs, Raymond and Mary Baker                                 This issue highlights the educational efforts of our Agricultural Entrepreneurship
Chair in Global Agriculture
                                                                    Initiative and other student programs that are giving our students the tools to strike
                                                                    out on their own, or be entrepreneurial within the organization of their choice.
CoLLEgE ContACts
                                                                        Kevin Kimle, the director of the initiative (profiled on page 6), makes entrepre-
To contact the magazine:
                                                                    neurship contagious. Through his classes and programs, entrepreneurial principles
STORIES Editor                                                      sound exciting, rewarding and achievable. Even the most risk-averse of us may
304 Curtiss Hall                                                    just be inspired to take a risk and live out our passion.
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-5616
E-mail:                                         Kind regards,

For prospective students:
Student Services
33 Curtiss Hall
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-2766                                               Melea Reicks Licht

To make a gift:
Development Office
310 Curtiss Hall
Ames, IA 50011                                                                                                          College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Phone: (515) 294-7677
E-mail:                                                                                                                                   In AgrICulture And lIfe sCIenCes Vol.5 No.1, 2011

                                                                                            on thE CovEr                       entrepreneuriAl
                                                                                                                               spirit shines

                                                                       Kevin Kimle has had more than a few
                                                                     bright ideas. As the Bruce Rastetter Chair
                                                                     in Entrepreneurship and director of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Bob Elbert

                                         Cert no. SW-COC-002357

                                                                     Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative,
                                                                                                                                                                                              14 Ag business student
                                                                                                                                                                                                 brings Cy to life

                                                                                                                                                                                              18 Alumni share their

                                                                     he helps students pursue bright futures.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 secrets to success
Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis                                                                                                                                      28 Innovation in action
                                                                                                                                                                                                 down on the farm
of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orien-
                                                                          Read more about Kimle on page 6.
tation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital
status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries
can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity
and Compliance, 3280 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.
                                                                                                                                    from the deAn

            ecently, student tuition surpassed state of Iowa funding as the primary contributor to the base
            of resources that keep our campus functioning. A main challenge now is to ensure students
             continue to receive an outstanding education and a promising future at a competitive price,
   while maintaining state support as much as we are able.
       It also means that success in external research funding is even more critical. It’s essential to be able
   to expand the frontiers of science—and, as state resources shrink, to shoulder greater responsibility for
   the vital education and training of our graduate students and a greater share of the basic infrastructure
   expenses that run our campus.
       That is why I feel fortunate and grateful our faculty in agriculture and life sciences are some of
   the very best at competing for external grants and contracts. They work very hard at it. During a
   span of six months in 2010, they submitted nearly 160 proposals to federal agencies, which remain
   a primary source for research funds.
       External sources recognize innovation. In fiscal year 2010, our faculty were awarded more than
   $58 million in sponsored funding.
       A recent shining example of success: In February, the USDA announced three major grants to study
   climate and agriculture. Iowa State was awarded one of the $20 million grants, thanks to the leadership
   of sociology professor Lois Wright Morton and a team of 42 scientists at nine land-grant universities.
       Also, John Patience, professor of animal science, received a $5 million grant to study nutrient
   utilization and feed efficiency in pigs. Basil Nikolau, professor of biochemistry, biophysics and
   molecular biology, was awarded $1.4 million to study metabolomics, a tool to understand plant
   gene function.
       And Joe Cortes of the Seed Science Center was awarded one of the most competitive grants you
   can hope for—a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant of $1.4 million to enhance seed policies
   in regions of Africa.
       Our faculty understand the ingredients of success. Whether it’s in the classroom and lab or
   engaging with partners, the ingredients remain the same—long hours, dedication, a collaborative spirit
   and an ever-present awareness of our mission. I am grateful for their efforts, and I hope you are, too.

   Wendy Wintersteen
   Endowed Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences


  4 FACuLty + stAFF                             17 EntrEPrEnEuriAL sPirit                         26 ALumni
   n	   Russ Mullen                                  n	   Sharing secrets to success                    n	   Andrea Falk Sellers
   n	   Alison Robertson                             n	 	 Setting trends in                             n	   Nick Frey
   n	   Kevin Kimle                                       undergrad education                           n	   Jay Hansen
   n	   Barb Osborn                                  n	 	 Internships sharpen                           n	   Maggie Howe
                                                          entrepreneurial edge
   n	   Perennial favorite: Robert Jolly
                                                     n	 	 Providing students
                                                                                                  32 PArtnErs
 11 studEnts                                                                                            n	 	 Plant Peddler,
   n	   Alle Buck                                                                                            Iowa State add value
                                                     n	   Bringing science to the public
   n	   Krista McCarty
                                                                                                        n	 	 BioCentury Research Farm
                                                     n	 	 Enacting the entrepreneurial                       partners with industry
   n	   Andy Edson                                        nature of ag
   n	   Matthew Burt
                                                                                                  35 invEsting in ExCELLEnCE
                                                                                                        n	   Taking students “Into the Field”
                                                                                                        n	 	 Mohn Scholarship to help
                                                                                                             students see the world

                                                                                                  A nEW tAKE
                                                                                                  ON AN OLD CLASSIC

BY THE numBErs
                                                                                                     ISU Extension’s corn production team has
                                                                                                     completed a new publication, “Corn Growth
                                                                                                     and Development,” replacing “How a Corn
                                                                                                     Plant Develops,” the previous Iowa State

                                   ToP 10 EmPLoyErs oF AgriCuLturE
                                                                                                     publication that served as the standard
                                          And LiFE sCiEnCEs grAds                                    reference on corn growth and development
                                       1. Pioneer Hi-Bred International (23)                         for more than 40 years. The first publica-
                                       2. U.S. Department of Agriculture (16)                        tion, written by ISU agronomists of previ-

                                       3-4. Iowa DNR and Monsanto Company tied (9 each)              ous eras, established the basics still used
                                       5. Iowa State University (8)                                  today for staging and communicating
                                       6-7. AgReliant Genetics and John Deere tied (7 each)          about crop development. The late John
                                       8-9. Ag Leader Technology and FC Coop (6 each)                Hanway, a well-known ISU agronomist,
          undErgrAduAtEs               10. Cargill and Dow AgroSciences/Mycogen tied (5 each)        wrote the first version in 1966, which was
                                                                                                     followed by a rewrite in 1982 by Steven

    4,001                                           98              %
                                                                                                     Ritchie, Hanway and Garren Benson.
                                                                                                                     Authors of “Corn Growth
                                                                                                                     and Development” are Lori
                                                                                                                     Abendroth, ISU Extension
               totAL EnroLLmEnt                                                                                      agricultural specialist; Roger
                                                            PLACEmEnt                                                Elmore, ISU Extension corn

                 $1.4 million+
                                                                                                                     specialist; Matthew Boyer,
                                                                                                                     former ISU agronomy grad-
                                 in sChoLArshiPs At CoLLEgE                                                          uate student; and Stephanie
                                 And dEPArtmEntAL LEvELs
                                                                                                                     Marlay, ISU agronomy spe-

                                                                                                                     cialist. The 2011 publication
        WAys to EArn A mAstEr’s onLinE                                                                               provides an in-depth look at
        Distance education masters degree programs                                                   corn, from the moment the seed is planted
        in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences:                                             all the way to maturity. It takes much of

        n   Agriculture                                                                              what is known about crop physiology and
        n   Agricultural education                                   undErgrAduAtE                   combines that with field agronomics to
        n   Agronomy                                                 mAjors                          provide students, corn growers and agron-
        n   Community development                                                                    omists current, relevant and technical
        n   Plant breeding                                                                           information. To purchase a copy of the
        n   Seed science technology                                                                  new publication or photographs visit
            and business management                                                        

                                                     ioWA stAtE nAmEd
                                                     INSTITUTIONAL FACILITY OF THE YEAR
                                                     Biofuels Digest named Iowa State its pick as Institutional Research Facility of the Year.
                                                     The publication cited the BioCentury Research Farm for its integrated research approach.
                                                     The farm provides researchers with the opportunity to integrate harvesting, transportation,
                                                     storage and processing, while offering facilities for outreach programming and industry
                                                     collaboration. It is located 10 miles west of Ames at the Iowa State Agronomy and
                                                     Agricultural and Biosystems Research Farm. (Read about a collaborative biomass
                                                     research project underway at the farm on page 34.)

2   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                         CHILDREN BORN
                                                                                         WITH RARE MPS
                                                                                         hAvE nEW hoPE
  $20 miLLion grAnt
                                                                                                                         A new study offers
                                                                                                                         hope for children
                                                                                                                         born with a rare
  PUTS IOWA STATE AT THE HELM OF                                                                                         genetic disease,
  nAtionAL CLimAtE ChAngE rEsEArCh                                                                                       according to a paper
                                                                                                                         published by the
  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s            to create a database of plot, field,                                   American Associa-
  National Institute of Food and Agriculture      farm and watershed data that can                                       tion for the Advance-
  (USDA-NIFA) has awarded a $20 million           be combined with climate data to                                       ment of Science.
  grant to Iowa State University for regional     develop scenarios based on different                                   Matthew Ellinwood,
  research on keeping Midwest cornfields          practices,” says Lois Wright Morton,                                   animal science, led
  resilient in the face of future climate         Iowa State professor of sociology                                      the research focused
  uncertainties. Iowa State researchers will      and project director. “Then, farmers                  Photo: Ed Adcock on a disorder called
  coordinate a team of 42 scientists from         in the region will have opportunities          mucopolysaccharidosis type I, or MPS I.
  10 land-grant universities and two USDA         to participate in on-farm research and         The disorder is caused by the lack of a
  Agricultural Research Service institutions      evaluate research models.” The USDA-NIFA       key enzyme that breaks down substances
  to collect and analyze data over the next       program is focused on decreasing green-        the body needs to help build normal
  five years. Researchers will begin collecting   house gas emissions and increasing carbon      nerves, bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas,
  data on carbon, nitrogen and water move-        sequestration. The long-term national          skin and connective tissue. Ellinwood has
  ment this spring from 21 research sites.        outcome is to reduce the use of energy,        been studying the disease for 12 years in
  Special equipment will be used to monitor       nitrogen and water by 10 percent and           dogs, which also suffer from the disorder.
  greenhouse gas emissions at many of the         increase carbon sequestration by 15            He and collaborators demonstrated that
  sites. The team will integrate field and        percent through resilient agriculture          beginning replacement of the enzyme
  climate data to create models and evaluate      and forest production systems.                 shortly after birth prevented irreversible
  crop management practices. “The goal is                                                        damage caused by the disease.

PROSPECTIVE PARENTS                                 LiZArd’s LoCAtion
                                                    LENGTHENS (OR SHORTENS) PREGNANCY
Wins Addy AWArd                                     ISU researchers have found the eggs
  The Parents’ Postcard Campaign coordi-            of some lizards can take a few months
  nated by college student services andmar-         to hatch, while others in the same
  keting, and designed by ZLR IGNITION,             species fully develop within several
  received a gold ADDY award from the               weeks. Researchers in the lab of Fred
  American Advertising Federation of Des            Janzen, ecology, evolution and organismal
  Moines in February. Judges from around            biology, recently published a paper in
  the country reviewed nearly 300 creative          the American Naturalist journal on their
  pieces. Entries receiving a gold ADDY are         work on geographic variation in gestation
  automatically forwarded to the district           of lizards and turtles. They believe envi-
  level competition. Ads similar to the post-       ronmental factors in the various regions
                             cards appear on        may have led to the evolution of differing
                             the back of each       gestation periods. The published research,
                             issue of STORIES.      led by Wei-Guo Du, a visiting scientist
                                                                                                 Photo: Rory Telemeco
                                                    from Hangzhou Normal University,
                                                    China, and ISU postdoc Dan Warner,
                                                    has made news—including a spot in
                                                    the New York Times.

                                                                                                                          SToRIES Vol.5 no.1     3
f A c u lt y + s tA f f

                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Bob Elbert
                                                                                                  Russ Mullen helps Meaghan Bryan, a senior in
                                                                                                  agronomy, prepare for a presentation during an
                                                                                                  entrepreneurship unit of his agronomy course.
                                                                                                  Mullen continues to innovate by using new class-
                                                                                                  room technology and adapting his curriculum.

PrACtiCing thE Cutting-EdgE
IN CLASSROOM INNOVATION                                                                                      By susan thompson

       Russ Mullen has seen 14,000 students           agriculture have come from independent          the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
       move through his classrooms since he           entrepreneurs, and I worry about the loss of    Adviser of the Year, plus received the ISU
       joined the agronomy faculty in 1978. Of        innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial      Award for Academic Advising Impact. He
       those, 10,000 were in the introductory         spirit of our agricultural workforce,” he       received the college’s Outstanding Teacher
       agronomy course, which he has been             says. “It was natural for me to incorporate     Award in 1998.
       teaching for more than 30 years.               a component that helps introduce and                 About 200 students have joined Mullen
           “This is the course and students that      strengthen entrepreneurship skills.”            on 11 international trips. This year, he led
       continue to motivate me the most,” says            The six-week unit covers basic principles   27 students on a two-week, winter break
       Mullen. “It has given me a creative oppor-     in entrepreneurship and a team competition      travel course through Panama to learn
       tunity to innovate in teaching methods         in which students develop an agricultural       about tropical agriculture.
       and improve learning tools for students.”      idea for a business and present their plans.         Mullen conducts research on the effects
           “Emphasis is placed on individualized      The unit was patterned after “The Thinker”      of environmental and biological stresses
       learning rather than large group instruction   program Mullen added in 1998.                   on seed quality, primarily soybean. And
       with one-on-one instruction in a learning          “Students are given technical problems      while he is proud of his research successes,
       center,” he says. “Students have flexibility   with ethical and environmental ramifica-        it’s clear his first love is students.
       in structuring their learning and quizzing     tions and allowed to discuss them in small           “I’ve always believed the greatest over-
       schedule, using a variety of tools such as     groups during the thinker exercise. Later,      all, long-term impact I could make as a
       computer-based video, practice learning        the questions and answers are discussed         faculty member would be to teach and
       and hands-on demonstrations.”                  by the entire group,” Mullen says. “The         advise well,” Mullen says. “Education is
           Students also apply their learning by      idea is to encourage students to develop        the primary method of societal improve-
       discussing and troubleshooting agronomic       and appreciate broader issues associated        ment. Teaching provides an exciting and
       problems in weekly small group sessions.       with technical solutions.”                      challenging environment for growth of
           Mullen serves on the faculty advisory          Mullen also teaches several other           both the teacher and learner.”
       panel for the Agricultural Entrepreneurship    courses, and advises nearly 30 students
       Initiative. “Many of our past innovations in   each year. He was honored in 2010 as

4      SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                f A c u lt y + s tA f f

Extension plant pathologist Alison Robertson
is a “plant doctor” who helps farmers diagnose
and manage crop diseases.

                                                                                                                                               Photo: Brent Pringritz

     thE doCtor is in
     groWErs’ quEstions shAPE ExtEnsion PLAnt PAthoLogist’s rEsEArCh
                                                                                   By Brian meyer

    A perfeCt dAy for AlIson robertson           2009. “We got a lot of questions about ear         better understand pathogen-crop interac-
    would hAve her stAndIng In A Corn            rots and mycotoxins,” she says. “As a result,      tions. As a plant pathologist in Iowa, where
    or soybeAn fIeld under A sCorChIng           we studied how hail affects grain quality          about 23 million acres of beans and corn are
    sun, swImmIng In hIgh humIdIty And           and disease, which was recently published.”        grown each year, Robertson says her applied
    tAkIng questIons from fArmers.                    Sometimes she feels like a jack of all        research is just as critically important.
         “I love those summer months,” says      trades, depending on what diseases are                 “At the end of the day, growers are the
    Robertson, an assistant professor of plant   rearing their heads. Each growing season           most important people to me,” she says. “I
    pathology with research and extension        is completely different, which makes               want to help them grow the healthiest, best
    responsibilities in field crop diseases.     Robertson’s job challenging. Her current hit       quality, highest yielding crops they can.”
    “I’ll take those days over any other.”       list includes anthracnose, sudden death syn-           Robertson does conduct some basic
         She listens carefully to questions      drome, Phytopthora root rot and Goss’s wilt.       research. One of her Ph.D. students modi-
    posed by corn and soybean growers.                A common thread through her work is           fied a way to evaluate soybean lines for mul-
    Many times they are seeds that germinate     providing better management information            tigene resistance to Phytopthora root rot,
    into new research.                           to growers. For her, it’s rewarding, especially    making it easier and more objective. They’re
         Take white mold.                        when she’s working closely with farmers            using the method to screen plants and look
         “2009 was a bad year for the disease.   and agronomists.                                   for new areas of potential resistance.
    In 2011, many growers will return to              “The best part is teaching people how             Besides farmers’ questions, she also
    those hard-hit fields,” says Robertson.      to diagnose the different diseases and             gets asked about her work by people who
    “The Iowa Soybean Association recently       talking about the management tactics               haven’t a clue what a plant pathologist does.
    funded a proposal of ours to research        available. I listen to growers who tell me             “I simply tell them I’m a plant doctor,”
    ways to improve white mold manage-           how they’ve managed disease problems               Robertson says. “I tell them sick plants
    ment. A lot of the ideas in our proposal     over the years. We share ideas. I’ve had           can affect productivity, which can impact
    came from growers, including evaluating      people tell me something they learned              our food supply in many ways. My job
    the effectiveness of a biological control    really helped them and saved them thou-            is to help plants stay healthy.”
    and of spraying fungicides.”                 sands of dollars. That’s the best.”
         Another good example resulted from           A majority of today’s plant pathologists
    hailstorms that shredded corn fields in      work at the genetic and molecular levels to

                                                                                                                               SToRIES Vol.5 no.1          5
                                                                                                                                                  Photo: Bob Elbert
ChAnging LivEs

KIMlE BRINgS THE INTENSITy, ENTHuSIASM                                                        By melea reicks licht

     Kevin Kimle knew he was taking                     “A light bulb went off about the power    tools similar to mutual funds for grain
     a leap of faith.                               of creating software to create efficiencies   producers.
         He had a great job working for Pioneer     in how agriculture worked. It was a cost-         “Kevin was always thinking of unique
     Hi-Bred International in business devel-       effective way to move and share informa-      ways to address problems in our industry,
     opment. He negotiated deals and per-           tion between buyers and sellers. My           and he gave me the entrepreneurial fever
     formed market analyses. In doing so he         friend, Dave Krog, and I had fresh ideas      as well,” Krog says. “He had a vision that
     used one of the first web browsers ever        on how that could play out,” Kimle says.      the Internet could bring significant value
     created to read reports from the U.S.              Kimle and Krog (’80 agronomy, MS ’82      to agriculture and in particular bring effi-
     Department of Agriculture.                     economics, PhD ’88 economics) left            ciencies and scalabilities to identity-pre-
         Kimle (’91 economics) began thinking:      Pioneer to build the business that would      served grain production and contracting.
     This technology has enormous potential         become E-Markets. The Internet-based          Kevin was very confident and had a pas-
     to serve the agriculture industry at large.    electronic commerce system was the first      sion for the vision and what we were
     He knew he could make it happen. He            of its kind in agriculture and food indus-    doing. It was a lot of fun to work with
     understood it was a leap of faith, but he      try. Following the success of E-Markets,      Kevin and build a business from scratch.”
     had faith in his idea, his abilities and the   Kimle launched Decision Commodities, a            It was this type of vision and initiative
     people he would gather around him.             company that provided risk management         that made Kimle a stand out choice for the

6    SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                              f A c u lt y + s tA f f

Kevin Kimle draws on his experience with
startups including his own, E-markets, when
teaching students about entrepreneurship.

       Bruce Rastetter Chair in Entrepreneurship          From teaching courses to one-on-                     But he says it all comes down to one
       in the College of Agriculture and Life          one student consultations, Kimle’s job              guiding principle—changing people’s lives
       Sciences, which he filled in 2009.              description is packed. A few items                  for the better.
           Rastetter, an Iowa agricultural entre-      from his to-do list include:                            “It’s about creating dialogue in the right
       preneur who created Heartland Pork and          n	 Advise students through idea                     place at the right time. We can talk technol-
       Hawkeye Renewables, endowed the posi-              creation and business planning.                  ogy or building companies, but it is about
       tion as a way to infuse entrepreneurship        n	 Connect students with                            people changing peoples’ lives in a lot of
       into the university experience.                    mentors and resources.                           different ways, whether it be professors,
           “I gave the gift with the goal of having    n	 Build outreach opportunities                     professionals or students,” Kimle says.
       a chair that taught classes on entrepre-           to foster entrepreneurship
       neurship, but more importantly that                with alumni and professionals.
       would get students excited about entre-         n	 Design and lead international
                                                                                                             oNlINE ExTRaS:
       preneurship, about why it’s important              entrepreneurship experiences.                      What makes a hawkeye
       and the opportunities it provides. Kevin        n	 Teach introduction to agricultural
                                                                                                             invest in Cyclones?

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo: ISu Foundation
       reflects that. You can see it in his students      marketing and entrepreneurship                     learn more about entrepreneur
       and when you sit in on his classes or visit        in agriculture courses.                            bruce rastetter, member of the
       with him,” Rastetter says. “The challenge                                                             Iowa board of regents and
                                                                                                             university of Iowa alum that
       is continuing to grow when you have suc-                                                              endowed kimle’s position.
       cess. Kevin is asking people to participate
       in offering internships and scholarships,
       collaborating with partners on campus
       and continuing to raise private and pub-
       lic funds to support their efforts.”
           Kimle says he loves the challenge of
       grooming future entrepreneurs at ISU.
                                                                       KEvin KimLE doEsn’t m
           “They took a chance on me,” Kimle                                                inCE                                           Words
       admits. “There’s a difference between                           Kimle uses a merit point system
                                                                                                           to evaluate his students like mos
       real-world experience and creating aca-                         But, he takes it a step farther by offe                               t professors.
                                                                                                              ring this
       demic experiences. At its core, this is an                      “interpretation” of students’ final
                                                                                                           letter grades.
       enterprise-building job. But aspects are
       different than any other job I’ve had.”                          a your work is fantastic. i’m energized by you
                                                                                                                           r words,
           Kimle got his first taste of running                              ideas and actions. you took this assi
                                                                                                                  gnment seriously,
       a business as a teenager when his dad                                exceeded expectations and exhibite
                                                                                                                  d great effort and
       turned over his family’s hog operation                               insight. i would be proud to show
                                                                                                                this work to others.
       to him on their diversified farm in                             B solid work, but it lacks sizzle. your
                                                                                                               work was diligent
       Nebraska. His degree in agricultural                                according to the assignment and
                                                                                                           standards and was
       business from the University of Nebraska                            completed on time. some parts of
                                                                                                            the work lacked
       and a series of internships with small                              completeness or thorough attentio
                                                                                                             n to detail.
       startups helped him graduate from
                                                                      C i’m getting a little bored reading your assignm
       “shovel mechanic” to entrepreneur.                                                                                   ent or listening to your pre-
                                                                           sentation. parts of the assignment
           He also worked a stint for Senator                                                                    were missing, incomplete and lack
                                                                           careful attention. clearly, this coul                                      ing
                                                                                                                d have used more effort and cari
       Dave Karnes in Washington, D.C., before                                                                                                    ng.
       he earned his master’s in economics from                       D   i’m agitated that you wasted my
                                                                                                               time. there are major missing piec
                                                                          in the assignment, and it’s difficult                                     es
       Iowa State under the direction of Marvin                                                                  to detect much concern on your
                                                                          part about your work.
       Hayenga, whom Kimle still considers a
       trusted adviser.                                              F ugh. you’re wasting my time and yours. you
                                                                                                                         just plain did not try.
f A c u lt y + s tA f f

       SEEING STUDENTS                                                                                                  By ed Adcock

                                                         through PArEnts’ EyEs
                                                         Barb osborn sees a little of her children          and calm the fears of nervous parents is
                                                         in each student she advises.                       legendary.” Her abilities have garnered
                                                             Osborn says helping her children cope          her the recognition of her peers. She won
                                                         with transferring to Iowa State made her           college awards for learning community
                                                                        a better adviser for the horti-     coordination in 2009, student recruitment
                                                                        culture department.                 and retention in 2006 and outstanding
                                                                            She’s the department’s head     advising in 2005. She was awarded the
                                                                        adviser, assigning students         University Award for Academic Advising
                                                                        to advisers based on their          Impact in 2010.
                                                                        commodity interests, such               Students frequently hang out in her office.
                                                                        as turfgrass or fruit crops. But        “Some have likened Barb to the kindly
                                                                        she keeps students who might        camp counselor, dispensing equal amounts
                                                                        not know what area they are         of guidance and support, and when neces-
                                                                        interested in.                      sary, a dash of tough love,” Iles says.
                                                                            “I take a lot of the transfer       Osborn’s parents got her involved in
                                                                        students too, because I really      horticulture. Helping them garden gave
                                                                        enjoy looking at their tran-        way to working at a golf course in high
                                                                        scripts to figure out how to        school. Turfgrass and landscaping are still
                                                                 Photo: Bob Elbert

                                                                        best utilize their courses for      her personal interests.
                                                                        a degree,” Osborn says.                 She earned a bachelor’s degree in agri-
                                                                            Three of Osborn’s children      cultural education from Iowa State in 1983.
                                                                        are Iowa Staters. Her oldest        Osborn applied her training to restore the
Barb Osborn (right) is the horticulture department’s
award-winning student adviser. Helping members           daughter graduated with a food science             vocational agriculture program at Dexfield
of the horticulture club with a fundraiser is just one   degree, her second oldest daughter is a            High, using horticulture to attract urban
of many ways she earns accolades for supporting
students and their families.                             senior in the College of Human Sciences            students. After earning a master’s degree
                                                         and her older son will transfer to horti-          in 1988 in ag education she taught com-
                                                         culture’s turfgrass management program             mercial horticulture at Des Moines Area
      “Some have likened                                 this fall. All went to community colleges          Community College before taking her pres-
                                                         and she helped them plan their courses             ent position in 1998.
       Barb to the kindly                                to get needed credits.                                 Besides advising, Osborn teaches
       camp counselor,                                       In a way, Osborn becomes part of each          an orientation course in which seeking
       dispensing equal                                  advisee’s extended family.                         employment is a key component. She
                                                                                                            sounds like a doting parent describing
                                                             “It is not uncommon for me to have a
       amounts of guidance                               phone call from a parent at 10 o’clock at          her goals for students.
       and support, and                                  night or an email for no other reason than             “I want to see our students in a better
                                                         to check in or to say, ‘Hi,’” she says.            place when they leave than when they
       when necessary, a                                 “Developing a rapport with them makes              come in, and by that I want them to be
       dash of tough love.”                              me a better adviser because I understand           employed,” Osborn says.
                                                         where the student comes from.”
                                                             Jeff Iles, horticulture department chair,
                                                         says Osborn’s “ability to assist students

8       SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                    p e r e n n i A l fAV o r i t e

dirECtions                                                                                                            Robert Jolly, emeritus
                                                                                                                      professor of economics,
                                                                                                                      worked “seven years,
                                                                                                                      dawn to dusk” to help
                                                                                                                      usher Iowa agriculture
                               By susan thompson
                                                                                                                      through the farm crisis,
                                                                                                                      and secure additional
                                                                                                                      funding for ag research.
THROugH CRISIS TO NEW OPPORTuNITIES                                                                                                       Photo: Bob Elbert

In his 32 years at Iowa State, Robert Jolly    was very involved in developing programs        Now international activities occupy
had several job titles and a wide array of     to help farmers, lenders and communities     some of Jolly’s retirement days. He works
duties. “One of the things I always appre-     survive the farm crisis. I agreed to a part- part-time for an Irish dairy and beef
ciated was being able to change direction      time position to look at strategic issues    nutrition company he describes as “a
without leaving town,” he jokes.               the Experiment Station was facing, since     second generation entrepreneurial busi-
    Jolly’s most recent direction at Iowa      state funding for agri-                                        ness, using wonderfully
State was leading the Agricultural Entre-      cultural research had                                          innovative technology.”
                                                                          “When I look back at
preneurship Initiative.                        languished.”                                                       He also is involved with
    “Dean Woteki asked me and Steve               There was a strong       the things that were               a startup non-governmental
Nissan to put some wheels under the initia-    sense Iowa didn’t           the most rewarding,                organization based in
tive,” Jolly says. “We started with a multi-   want to go through           it was usually pulling            Chicago that provides
pronged approach, working with faculty         another farm crisis,        together people and                financing and technical
and students, developing educational           and Jolly saw that as        money to work on a                assistance to firms in
materials and building entrepreneurship        a good opportunity to        project. I have always            dairy supply chains.
into the curriculum and activities.”           increase funding for        gotten the greatest                   “The idea is to help
    That was in 2005. It wasn’t long before    agricultural research.       satisfaction taking               farmers in developing
Jolly realized he was in familiar territory.      He and others                                               countries grow their
                                                                           the university to the
    “People sometimes think it’s puzzling      developed a legislative                                        farm businesses and
professors get involved in entrepreneur-       proposal to double the                                         cooperatives while
ship. But if you look at what we do, we        state’s appropriation                                          providing an acceptable
look for opportunities, find money, develop    for agricultural research, and garnered      rate of return for investors,” he says.
programs and fill needs. Those are entre-      enough political support that the proposal      These international efforts follow the
preneurial activities,” he says.               was approved. For Jolly that success was     same pattern Jolly exhibited during his
    Jolly was hired by Iowa State in 1979 as   a “career highlight.”                        time at Iowa State.
an extension economist, but soon added            International work was another impor-        “When I look back at the things that
research and teaching to his responsibili-     tant part of Jolly’s Iowa State career. As   were the most rewarding, it was usually
ties. In 1985, an administrative position      Eastern Europe began to collapse, he         pulling together people and money to
came his way.                                  worked on projects in the former Soviet      work on a project,” he says. “I have
    “Dean Kolmer asked me to move into         Union, followed by more recent efforts       always gotten the greatest satisfaction
an assistant dean position. At the time, I     in China and India.                          taking the university to the people.”

                                                                                                                        SToRIES Vol.5 no.1          9
f A c u lt y n e w s + s e r V i c e

KLing APPointEd to                                 HONEYMAN ADDS
                                                   NEW DUTIES WITH
Catherine Kling, professor of economics,           BioCEntury FArm,
began serving a three-year term in January on      LEoPoLd CEntEr
the board of trustees of the International food    Mark honeyman, professor of animal science and coordinator
                    policy research Institute.     of Isu research and demonstration farms, has been named
                    IfprI is an international      associate director of the bioCentury research farm where he
                    agricultural research          will integrate biomass field research within the farm’s opera-
                    organization headquar-         tions and help ensure compatibility of the farm’s activities
                    tered in washington,           with other Isu research farms. honeyman also has assumed
                    d.C., with a mission of        responsibilities of interim director of the leopold Center for
                    providing policy solutions     sustainable Agriculture. former interim director lois Wright Morton, sociology,
                    that reduce poverty and        stepped down to lead a regional research project on climate and agriculture. honeyman
                    end hunger and malnutri-       has coordinated Isu’s research and demonstration farms network for 26 years. he
                    tion worldwide.                served on the original task force that helped define the leopold Center in the 1980s.
      Photo: Bob Elbert

hEArty HELLOS                                      FACULTY NAMED FELLOWS                                 FEhr honorEd By
                                                   OF NATIONAL SOCIETIES
Nick Dolce joined the college development
                                                       Maynard hogberg, animal science,
                                                                                                         AMERICAN SOYBEAN
office as a director of development. dolce         n

comes from the university of Illinois at spring-       chair and professor, American society             ASSOCIATION
field where he was associate director of               of Animal science                                 Charles f. distinguished professor of
development and assistant athletic director        n   Bryony Bonning, entomology                        Agronomy Walt Fehr is the recipient
for development.                                       professor, American                                                 of the 2011 American
                                                       Association for the                                                 soybean Association
Joe hannan was named the Isu extension                 Advancement of science                                              special meritorious
commercial horticulture specialist for central     n   Steven Fales, agronomy                                              service Award. fehr
and western Iowa. hannan, who is housed in the         professor, American                                                 was recognized for
dallas County extension office, is responsible         Association for the                                                 his “innovative plant
for providing commercial growers with educa-           Advancement of science                                              breeding program
tional resources and will conduct research at      n   Patrick Schnable, agron-                                            utilizing traditional
                                                                                    Photo: Bob Elbert
the Iowa state horticulture farm near gilbert          omy professor, American                           plant breeding methods along with
and the Armstrong research farm near lewis.            Association for the                               biotechnology to enhance the genetic
                                                       Advancement of science                            traits of soybeans.” fehr’s research
                                                   n   Jonathan Wendel, ecology, evolution               has produced more than 200 food grade
                                                       and organismal biology chair and pro-             soybean varieties grown throughout
Fond FAREWELLS                                         fessor, American Association
                                                       for the Advancement of science
                                                                                                         the united states, and he was the
                                                                                                         first to develop heart-healthy
Rich Bundy, vice president of development at the
                                                                                                         soybeans free of trans fat.
Isu foundation and former college development
team leader, accepted a leadership position at
the university of vermont as vice president of
development and alumni relations and Ceo of
the university of vermont foundation.                                                           KENEAly RECEIVES INTERNATIONAl
Rich Pirog, associate director of the leopold
                                                                                                AnimAL AgriCuLturE AWArd
                                                                                                Douglas Kenealy, the harman professor for
Center for sustainable Agriculture, became
                                                                                                excellence in teaching and learning in the
senior associate director of the Center for
                                                                                                department of Animal science, received the
sustainable food systems at michigan state
                                                                                                bouffault International Animal Agriculture
university in may. he will lead the new center’s
                                                                                                Award from the American society of Animal
efforts in the socioeconomic aspects of food
                                                                                                science. kenealy has led five international travel
systems, including production, marketing and
                                                                                                courses and mentored students from 11 coun-
economic development.
                                                                                                tries on Isu exchange programs. kenealy is a
les lewis, chair of the entomology department,                                                  university professor, professor-in-charge of the
retired in december. he had served as chair                                                     dairy science curriculum and section leader for
since 2008. prior to that he was a research                                                     animal science instruction. he is shown at right
leader and scientist with the usdA Agricultural                                                 (in red) planting trees with Isu students while
research service.                                                                               visiting trakia university in stara Zagora, bulgaria.
                                                   Contributed Photo

10      SToRIES Vol.5 no.1

“It’s not work to me. All my
 life I’ve spent the day doing
 something else and then I got
 to go home and farm. It’s a way
 of life and it’s what I love to do.”

THE BUCk                                 By Barbara mcBreen

                                                                                                                                                    Photo: Barbara McBreen

                                                                                                           Alle Buck, center top, is the third generation of her
                                                                                                           family to pursue an agriculture degree at Iowa State.
                                                                                                           Her parents, Roger (’75 farm operations) and Nylene,
                                                                                                           and her grandparents, Don (’49 farm operations) and
        THIRD gENERATION IOWA STATER WIll CARRy                                                            Ruth recently restored their 120-year-old barn listed
        ON FAMIly FARM’S PRICElESS TRADITION                                                               on the Iowa Barn Foundation All-State Barn Tour.

        In 1894, Alle Buck’s great, great grandfather       “My three uncles and my dad majored            several students she’s worked with in clubs,
        got off the train near Rhodes, Iowa and         in agriculture,” Buck says. “It wasn’t easy        learning communities and judging teams.
        bought a farm with his brother. Today,          for women to pursue degrees in agriculture             She’s also a known volunteer. She has
        Buck calls it home.                             back then, like it is now.”                        dedicated a lot of time to the Block and
            “We’ve farmed this land for over 100            After graduation this summer, Buck             Bridle club, and this spring she served on
        years and it’s in my blood,” says Buck, a       plans to build and run a swine finishing           the college’s strategic planning committee.
        senior in animal science.                       facility with her brother-in-law. Raising          She felt strongly about providing input,
            Buck is proud of her fifth-generation       livestock has taught her about life. The           especially from the student’s perspective.
        farm and even more proud that she’s a           key, she says, is putting their needs first.           “I really care about Iowa State and I have
        third-generation Iowa State student in the          “If you take care of them, they’ll take        a vested interest in its future,” Buck says.
        College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.       care of you,” Buck says.                               Coming to Iowa State opened doors for
        Her grandfather and grandmother met                 She knows farming isn’t an easy business       Buck. She credits the learning community
        at Iowa State and together they raised six      to get into, but it’s what she’d like to pursue.   experience for connecting her with life-
        children who all attended Iowa State, but       The Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative       long friends. Last summer she traveled to
        she’s the first woman to pursue a career        helped Buck understand the importance of           Greece with the entrepreneurship group
        in agriculture.                                 global markets, creative thinking and inno-        and also visited Rome, Paris, London,
                                                                 vation. The initiative also helped her    Frankfurt and Munich.
Recent grad
                                                           Photo: Barbara McBreen

                                                                 apply for a Beginning Farmer Loan             “I’ve traveled to 15 states and five
Alle Buck took
out a Beginning                                                  to rent grazing pasture for her cattle.   countries and I’d never been on an air-
Farmer Loan                                                         “It’s not work to me,” Buck says.      plane before I came to college,” Buck says.
to rent grazing
area to raise                                                    “All my life I’ve spent the day doing         Buck says she’s found her college expe-
cattle. She’s also                                               something else and then I got to go       rience rewarding because she’s developed
working with a
business partner
                                                                 home and farm. It’s a way of life         leadership and organizational skills, met
to build a swine                                                 and it’s what I love to do.”              with agricultural leaders and gathered a
finishing facility.                                                  Her sense of community is evident.    community of friends. It’s an experience and
                                                                 Walking across campus, she greets         a community that she calls, “priceless.”

                                                                                                                                      SToRIES Vol.5 no.1         11

     sustAining mEmoriEs,
     NOURISHING THE FUTURE                                                                                                  By Barbara mcBreen

                 ixing, kneading and smelling            McCarty came up with the idea,                 “I love going to the grocery store to
                 the aroma of baking bread in        which must be kept top secret until after      find the latest products,” says McCarty.
                 the farm home where she grew        the competition, after taking a gluten-       “I can’t resist buying those products
     up is a special memory for Krista McCarty.      free cooking class. She says people with       because I want to know what’s in them.”
         It’s how she remembers her mom,             Celiac disease, also known as gluten               She monitors the latest twitters on
     who died of cancer when McCarty was             intolerance, don’t have as many choices        new food products, intellectual property,
     just 11 years old.                              in the marketplace so products like this       recalls and industry news. To satisfy her
        “We would spend Saturday mornings bak-       could have a competitive advantage.            insatiable appetite to understand food
     ing bread, just the two of us,” McCarty says.       “Our challenge is finding the right        product development, she’s planning
         In part, those memories inspired            formula of flours and leavening agents         to attend graduate school.
     McCarty, a senior, to pursue a major in         to replicate the properties of gluten,”            Next year McCarty will serve
     food science. She thought about becoming        McCarty says.                                  as co-president of the Iowa State
     a nurse, but discovered food science after          Last fall, she and another product devel- University Colleges Against Cancer
     taking a tour of General Mills when she         opment team took a probiotic gum prod-         Organization. This year she led the
     was 13 years old.                               uct to the American Association of Cereal      advocacy and education committee
         She’s continued her focus on grains into    Chemists competition. The team took            for the Relay For Life in March.
     her college career. This spring McCarty         fourth place in the final round and gained     McCarty worked on displays for
     and the Iowa State University Food              the interest of several companies. The gum     the event and one display included
     Product Development Team entered a glu-         was developed with a corn zein, a protein      a paragraph from committee members
     ten-free item into a national product devel-    found in maize, which is environmentally       about why they participate. McCarty
     opment competition to be held in June.          friendly and promotes oral health.             posted this:

                                                                                                        “I Relay for my mom. She passed away
                                                                                                         from her three and a half year battle
                                                                                                         with cancer when I was 11. I Relay
                                                                                                         for all children, so they may never
                                                                                                         experience the loss of a parent to
                                                                                                         cancer. I Relay for all families who
                                                                                                         must go through the fight of having
                                                                                                         a family member with cancer. I support
                                                                                                         the fight against cancer because
                                                                                                         I do not want anyone to go through
                                                                                                         the struggle of being told, ‘You have
                                                                                                         cancer.’ I Relay to encourage everyone
                                                                                                         to have hope because one day we will
                                                                                                         find a cure!”

                                                                                                         Krista McCarty learned to love baking at
                                                                                                         an early age, making bread each Saturday
                                                                                                         with her mom. McCarty honors her mother’s
                                                                                                         memory through her service in the ISU
                                                                                                         Colleges Against Cancer organization
                                                                                                         while she pursues a major in food science.
                                                                                    Photo: Bob Elbert

12   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1

tAKing on
oF FArming
By Barbara mcBreen

        ven though he’s managing a farm          to help calculate cost, returns,
        two hours away from Ames while           markets, outlooks and prices.
        tackling a full class schedule, Andy     He says the conference is just
Edson doesn’t see himself as an entrepre-        one of many resources offered
neur. He says it’s how you approach busi-        at Iowa State.
ness that defines entrepreneur.                      “It gives you the tools to
    “Some people think that anyone who           evaluate the most profitable
starts a business is an entrepreneur,” says      options,” Edson says.
Edson, a junior in agricultural business.            Although he’s had to cut

                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Suzanne Edson
“An entrepreneur is someone who is inno-         back on club activities, he’s
vative and tries to do things differently.”      continued to stay active in
    Edson, who is part of the fifth genera-      the National Agri-marketing
tion to grow up on his family farm, plans        Association. In April, the
to partner with his dad and perhaps run          team attended the national            Andy Edson is always looking for ways to take his
the operation in the future. It’s a transition   competition in Kansas City            farming operation to new heights. The junior
                                                                                       in agricultural business farms 600 acres near
they have slowly begun. Edson started            and presented a marketing             Nashua, Iowa, while taking a full class load.
farming 14 acres three years ago on their        plan for a sub-clinical mastitis
farm near Nashua, Iowa. In 2009, a neigh-        treatment. Edson says the
bor asked him to farm another 600 acres.         product doesn’t contain antibiotics, so          Network student club offers resources
    “Paying rent and writing bigger checks       dairy producers wouldn’t have to dispose         and opportunities to meet with farmers
was a new experience, but that’s how I           of milk after applying the product.              and experts.
learn,” Edson says.                                  Edson also gained marketing experi-             “There is a lot of interest in the student
    Variable rate planting, auto-steer and       ence during his summer internship at             club,” says Mike Duffy, economics professor,
field mapping analysis are just a few of the     Insta-Pro International. The company             director of the Beginning Farmer Center
technologies Edson hopes to set up on his        sells oilseed processing and dry extruder        and club adviser.
family’s farm in the future.                     equipment throughout the world.                     More than 50 percent of Iowa’s farmers
    “There’s a lot of room to grow with              “I collected data on existing markets        are over age 55. Duffy says resources like
technology and that’s what I’m hoping            and investigated possible ways they could        the Beginning Farmer Center and the stu-
to bring to the operation,” Edson says.          expand their markets,” Edson says.               dent club are important because they can
    This year Edson attended the Beginning           Edson’s story isn’t typical. Less than       help retiring farmers connect with students
Farmer’s Conference where he learned             15 percent of the college’s graduates plan like Edson and others who want to farm.
about the Ag Decision Maker program.             to go into production farming. For students
It offers numerous decision-making tools         who want to farm, the Beginning Farmers

                                                                                                                             SToRIES Vol.5 no.1   13

                      “When you put on Cy’s
                       costume, it transforms you.
                       It’s hard to describe, but
                      you instantly perform.”

                          trying Cy
                          By Barbara mcBreen
                                                 ON FOR                           siZE
                                               JuNIOR IN Ag BuSINESS FINDS A PERFECT FIT
                                               Cy isn’t shy. Cy dances, hugs and throws      once before he graduated and say he’d
                                               high-fives to enthuse and entertain Iowa      been Cy for 15 minutes. After attending
                                               State University fans.                        a meeting before try-outs he decided to
                                                   Matt Burt, a junior in agricultural       take the challenge and compete.
                                               business, has been watching Cy all his            “They gave us directions on how to plan
                                               life. His parents and older brother went      a five minute skit,” Burt says. “It was very
                                               to Iowa State, and he grew up attending       competitive.”
                                               Iowa State games.                                 Along with running with the Iowa State
                                                   Burt always knew he would be a Cyclone.   flag and performing the Cy strut, Burt and
                                               He never guessed he would be Cy.              his friends put together a winning skit.
                                                   Last year he went to the mascot squad     They had Cy working out to the theme
                                               tryout so he could try on Cy’s suit just      song from the Rocky movie; challenging

14   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1

                                                        volunteers like Burt whose dedication           in showmanship. The Marshalltown
                                                        and enthusiasm make Cy shine.                   native was raised on a farrow-to-finish
                                                            Squad leader Noelle Lichty, a senior        and row-crop farm and has shown live-
                                                        in marketing, also appreciates Burt’s           stock at the Tama County Fair and the
                                                        performances.                                   Iowa State Fair.
                                                            “I can always tell when Matt is in the          Burt plans to pursue a career in agri-
                                                        Cy suit because he interacts with fans and      culture and hopes to go into farming
                                                        he is always entertaining,” Lichty says.        someday. He’s had an internship as an
                                                            Once students qualify to perform as         Agri-Gold sales representative and as a
                                                        Cy they are eligible to keep the position       crop scout. After he graduates he’d like
                                                        until graduation, which means Burt will         to get experience in banking, lending
                                                        perform the Cy dance until he graduates         or commodity trading.
                                                        in 2012. He says he was looking forward             “I chose agricultural business because
                                                        to attending the games, but was surprised       there are so many things you can do with
                                                        how different it feels to be on the field       it,” Burt says.
                                                        and part of the game.                               For now, he’ll continue to turn any-
                                                            “It’s fun and you feel more involved in     time he hears a call for Cy. He’s always
                                                        Iowa State athletics as the mascot,” Burt       ready to suit up as the Cyclone hero to
                                    Photo: Steve Pope

                                                        says. “I traveled to the Kansas State foot-     strut, dance, offer high-fives and even
                                                        ball game and I thought it was amazing          crowd surf.
                                                        walking into Arrowhead Stadium.”
                                                            Burt’s most memorable moment,
                                                                                                                            oNlINE ExTRaS:
                                                        “crowd surfing,” Burt says. “My friends
rival fans to arm wrestle, a tug of war, a              picked me up and I was passed halfway                                Check out more photos of burt strutting his Cy stuff.
race; and finally beating a University of               up the student section.”
Iowa fan in football.                                       Burt has tried to do the Cy dance for
    After making the elite team of seven                friends without the costume, but it just
                                                                                                        Photo: Bob Elbert

students, his first performance was a                   isn’t the same.
two-day tour promoting Iowa State with                      “When you put on Cy’s costume, it
the athletic department’s coaches and                   transforms you. It’s hard to describe, but
administrators. Traveling in a first-class              you instantly perform,” Burt says.
tour bus around the state, Burt says, “was                  Burt has also put his dance moves to
amazingly cool.”                                        work for a good cause. He was part of the
    Cy the Cardinal, which is the mascot’s              Alpha Gamma Rho team during the ISU
official name, first hit the field at a 1954            Dance Marathon held in January to raise
Iowa State homecoming game. Cy was the                  money for the Children’s Miracle Network
winning idea in a nationwide contest to                 and the University of Iowa Children’s
find a mascot to fit the “Cyclone” role. Cy             Hospital. The event raised more than
performs at every Cyclone sporting event                $260,000 for the charities.
and several off-campus special events.                      “It was special to hear the kids’ stories
    Mascot squad members don’t get paid or              and how the money is helping their fami-
receive special recognition, says Mary Pink,            lies,” Burt says.                                                   When Matt Burt, a member of Alpha Gamma
                                                                                                                            Rho, isn’t suited up as Cy he is involved
Iowa State University associate athletics                   Although he’s never auditioned for                              in Greek Week and ISU Dance Marathon
director for marketing. She appreciates                 any other role, he has had experience                               raising money for children’s charities.

                                                                                                                                                     SToRIES Vol.5 no.1        15
student AchieVement

                                                      FOOD PANTRY
                                                      For studEnts, By studEnts
                                                      OPENS ITS DOORS
                                                      As part of a class assignment, students in the department of food science and human
                                                      nutrition transfer and major Change learning Community were asked to think about
                                                      ways to help support food assistance needs in the community. the result was planning
                                                      an on-campus food pantry. the shop (students helping our peers) opened in february
                                                      in the food sciences building. pictured are the organization’s officers (front to back)
                                                      andrew Pugh, Sarah Schwanebeck, hailey Boudreau, Melissa Van Norden, Kelsey
                                                      Webb, Kara Moss, amanda haffarnan and Tania lee. the opening of the shop garnered
                                                      national television coverage and a spot in an Inside higher ed article. watch the video
                                                      and read more about the shop at
Photo: Brenna Wetzler

STUDENT JUDGING TEAMS                                 Ag And LiFE
rAnK high                                             sCiEnCEs
n    Turf Club, first place, Collegiate turf bowl     MAN AND WOMAN
     Competition golf Course superintendents
     Association of America (ninth win in 10 years)   OF THE YEAR
n    Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Team,              Elizabeth Baudler, senior in animal science, and
     first place, Accelerated genetics                Jacob hunter, senior in agricultural and life sci-
     Intercollegiate dairy Judging Contest            ences education, were named the 2011 College of
n    livestock Judging Team, high team overall        Agriculture and life sciences Ag woman and Ag
     northern lights Contest, high team honors        man of the year as part of the Ag day celebration
     sioux empire farm show, and second               in march. Awardees are selected by their peers on
     high team overall at Aksarben                    the college student council based on “recognizing
n    Crops Judging Team, first place Ag               a true ambassador of agriculture that positively
     knowledge bowl, second place Crops               promotes agriculture through college clubs and
     Contest north American Colleges and              industry relations and shows a passion for the           Photo: Barbara McBreen
     teachers of Agriculture                          agricultural and life sciences industry.”
n    Soil Judging Team, first
     place, American society of
     Agronomy region 5 Collegiate
     soil Judging Contest                                                                                      HAIL TO
                                                                                                               thE ChiEF
n    Dairy Products Evaluation Team,
     second in team all-product at the
     89th national Collegiate dairy                                                                            Dakota hoben (left), senior in agricultural
     products evaluation Contest                                                                               business, was elected president of the
n    Food Product Development                                                                                  government of the student body in
     Team, fourth in the American                                                                              march. he and vice president Jared
     Association of Cereal Chemists                                                                            Knight, junior in political science,
     product development contest                                                                               won the executive slate with a platform
                                                                                                               focused on “the three ‘Cs’: clubs,
                                                                                                               classroom and community.”

                                                                                            Photo: ISu Daily

16        SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                ENTREPRENEuR Ia l S PIRIT

LEGACY OF EntrEPrEnEurshiP                                                  FArmEr EntrEPrEnEurs
“our agriculture and life sciences alumni have begun an entrepre-           IMPROVE COMMuNITy VITAlITy
 neurial tradition at Iowa state university. twenty percent of our
 alumni have started for-profit businesses. part of our challenge and       A substantial number of Iowa farm families start and operate
 opportunity is instilling that tradition in students by connecting         businesses in addition to their regular farming operations,
 them with alumni and one other.”                                           according to an ISU Extension study conducted in 2007. From
—kevin kimle, director, Agricultural entrepreneurship Initiative            equipment repair and construction to seed sales and financial
                                                                            services, farmers were finding numerous ways to increase their
A recent survey of Iowa State University alumni who graduated               income and improve their community’s social and economic
between 1986-2006 proves the tradition exists.                              vitality. Responses
n	 16 percent of ISU grads started at least one business                    from 144 farmer
n	 Most common: Firms serving agricultural markets followed                 entrepreneurs who
   by retail and information technology.                                    participated in the
n	 Undergraduates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences         2007 Iowa Farm and
   and the College of Design had the highest entrepreneurship rates         Rural Life Poll show
n	 The entrepreneurship rate among Iowa State University                    more than half of their
   graduates is more than double the rate of the general population         businesses had been
n	 On average, alumni founded their first business 10 years                 in operation for more
   after graduating                                                         than 20 years, and
n	 Nearly 79 percent of all businesses were still in operation (this is a   25 percent of the
   much higher survival rate than the national average of 31 percent)       businesses were
n	 On average, entrepreneurs and former entrepreneurs                       construction or retail companies. The farmer entrepreneurs
   earn more than their non-entrepreneur counterparts                       reported their businesses provided 369 full-time and 201 part-
n	 Nearly 20,000 businesses were created (223,000 jobs).                    time jobs in their communities. About one-third of the proprietors
   About 72 percent established in Iowa or Midwest.                         were interested in growing their businesses to have an impact
n	 These companies had 2007 revenues of $64 billion                         locally, statewide or nationally.

 Agriculture and life sciences play a central      soybean breeding. In fiscal year 2010, the     technologies
 role in Iowa State University’s reputation        top licensed technologies for discoveries      that included:
 for moving research discoveries into the          in agriculture and life sciences included:     n A genetic test to

 marketplace.                                                  n A sweet, disease-resistant          identify dwarfism
     In 2007, a                                                   watermelon variety                 in cattle
 national report on                                           n A natural pre-emergence weed      n Alternatives to

 technology transfer                                             control for lawns and gardens       antibiotics in animals
 called Iowa State a                                     n A method to increase and               n Genes to protect soybeans

 “licensing powerhouse”                                      maintain muscle mass in humans          from disease caused
 and a model of economic development               n A precise fertilizer application                by Phytophthora
 activity. A key reason: ISU’s long-estab-             system, the Impellicone, that reduces      n Genetic traits to

 lished service to agriculture and other               anhydrous ammonia used on crops               improve pork tenderness
 industries through extension, outreach            n Genes and genetic markers                    n Mobile RNA signals to

 and research partnerships that resulted in        for improved reproductive                         enhance plant growth
 personal, trusted relationships.                  traits in animals                                 and development
     Those diverse relationships pay off.               In fiscal year 2010,                          Since 2003, 42 percent of all
 The ISU Research Foundation maintains             agriculture and life                           Iowa State University patents (81)
 a portfolio of 482 active license and             sciences faculty were                          have been issued for discoveries
 option agreements—two-thirds are                  issued six patents and                         in biotechnology, life sciences
 plant germplasm and most are products of          filed five others, for                         and agriculture.
                                                                                                                            SToRIES Vol.5 no.1   17

Q:   i’vE got grEAt idEAs
     And PAssion. noW WhAt?
     Do you believe there’s something inher-        What’s the best decision you made as          how important are mentors? Who was
     ent about agriculture or life sciences that    a college student at Iowa State that          a mentor to you and what made them
     (pardon the express) provides a rich soil      influenced your life as an entrepreneur?      invaluable to you?
     for growing entrepreneurs?                     J. Lyell Clarke: One was my decision          Clarke: I had three people that were most
     Roger Underwood: Absolutely! Agricul-          to get a graduate degree and working for      important. My father taught me about
     ture and life sciences are changing rapidly    Wayne Rowley, professor of entomology,        business and hard work. Wayne Rowley
     due to the many “input” advancements in        who became a very good friend of mine.        about hard work and science—it’s because
     seed (genetics), equipment and services        If I hadn’t gone to grad school I’m not       of Wayne that it took me until my mid-
     and “output” advances such as food,            sure I’d be where I am now. I wouldn’t        forties to realize not everyone worked on
     energy and feed utilization. In all of these   have the appreciation for the research        Saturdays. My father-in-law about the
     changes there is unending opportunity          and development and technology that           importance of family. Each mentor will
     for entrepreneurs to create new value.         we’ve made part of our company.               provide a different piece of the puzzle
     Entrepreneurs thrive when any market is                                                      for you, will see potential in you.
     changing rapidly so the ag and life sciences   Murray Wise: There used to be a weekly,
     markets are ripe for entrepreneurship.         required noncredit class called Agricul-      Underwood: Mentors are critical to one’s
                                                    ture 100 that brought in successful ag        success. Mentors can help smooth the
     Charles Sukup: There really is something       professionals that had a major impact         rough ride when making operational
     with agriculture and the people in it that     on me. Dwane Sandage’s (of the Sandage        decisions or thinking through the big
     see the day-in and day-out risk that con-      farmland management companies) presen-        and small decisions that will arise. Vallie
     tributes to an entrepreneurial attitude.       tation was so unique and so creative. It      Pellett, a no-nonsense local farmer, taught
     Farming is being independent and being         had such a strong influence on me that        me the value of hard work, the basics of
     an entrepreneur. You’re in control of many     I ended up going to work for him three        production agriculture and how simple
     things, but in the big picture you’re not in   or four years after graduating. As a result   decisions can be critical decisions. Paul
     control of weather, government programs        I bought a portion of his company and         Pellett, a fertilizer and ag chemical
     or markets. You have to focus on what          that turned into Westchester Group, a         retailer, taught me the value of making
     you can control. That is a good analogy        successful asset management venture.          money creatively. Paul taught me that
     for all sorts of entrepreneurs.                                                              the best money you will ever make is

18   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                             Contributed Photos
John “Lyell” Clarke III (PhD ’88   Charles Sukup (’76 ag engineer-    Roger Underwood (’80 ag busi-      Murray Wise (’73 plant pathol-
entomology), President and         ing, M.S. ’82), President, Sukup   ness), founder and former CEO      ogy), CEO, Chairman, West-
CEO, Clarke, global mosquito       Manufacturing, grain bins and      Becker Underwood, non-pesti-       chester Group, Inc., agricultural
control and aquatic services       drying equipment                   cide specialty chemical and        asset management
                                                                      biological products

the money you never spend. My father, Ray     Clarke: Passion is not overrated—that’s        will realize you are serious. Most are
Underwood, taught me about the value of       what it is all about. We talk about passion    happy to let you tap into their knowledge.
the customer, including sales and market-     as a core value of our company. We are
ing strategies. I learned from my dad that    passionate about public health. Our            Underwood: Don’t be afraid to take a
the best idea can be worthless without        employees will do anything if there is a       calculated leap at creating value from an
loyal customers who are served properly.      major emergency. It’s all hands on deck.       idea or strategy. Always be on alert for an
                                              If you’re not passionate about what you’re     opportunity that needs to be exploited as
how do you make the world listen to you       looking for in a job, if it doesn’t fit your   a new business or new product. But when
when you know you’ve got a great idea?        value system and you’re not passionate         you see that window of opportunity, go
Sukup: There is too much shouting in this     about it, then you need to find another        through it sooner rather than later. There
world. You can’t just shout louder. You       job or you’ll be miserable.                    is always some other entrepreneur who will
need to be consistent and persevere. You                                                     see the opportunity and capitalize on it.
need to show up and not give up. Sow          What have you found to be the most
the seed all over the place and a few will    underrated skill or resource for being         Sukup: Keep trying. Work hard. Be honest.
fall in good soil and take root and grow.     entrepreneurial?                               Be moral. You get ahead by helping others
                                              Sukup: Perseverance and                        get ahead. Go for it. The worst advice is
Underwood: Keep it simple. I found that       contrarian thinking                            to be a risk taker. There are a lot of bad
I needed to be able to explain my idea in     Wise: Accounting                               ideas out there, too, and people need to
so few words that the listener needed to      Underwood: Financial under-                    figure out what is a good idea. Successful
be able to hear my idea and explain it        standing, managing cash flow                   entrepreneurs never felt like they were
right back to me—otherwise it was too         Clarke: Salesmanship                           taking a big risk. They saw the need and
complicated.                                                                                 had the vision.
                                              What’s the most inspiring thing
Is “passion” an overrated word in             you could say to someone who                   Wise: If you are starting a new business
the entrepreneurial world or is it still      is a fledgling entrepreneur, or who            venture you probably are underestimating
at the heart of innovation?                   may be and doesn’t know it yet?                the amount of capital you need. I cannot
Wise: Passion is underrated. I firmly         Clarke: Be prepared to work very hard.         stress enough the need to be well capital-
believe if you don’t have a passion for       If you follow your heart and your passion,     ized. Whatever you think you need, you
what you’re about to embark on, your          you’ll find it’s not hard work at all. You     are probably undercapitalized by at least
probability of success will be minimized.     can’t wait to go to work. Don’t be afraid      50 percent.
I know very few successful people in life     to ask people to mentor you. If they
that don’t have tremendous passion for        know you’re interested in their industry,
what they do.                                 innovation or a particular market, they

                                                                                                                       SToRIES Vol.5 no.1                         19

     By melea reicks licht
     THE COllEgE OF AgRICulTuRE                                         neurship. “Donor, administration and            of the entrepreneurial process and busi-
     AND lIFE SCIENCES DOESN’T                                          faculty support is really important, but        ness management.
     FOllOW TRENDS IN ENTREPRE-                                         the growth in entrepreneurship education            In an economics course, “Entrepre-
     NEuRIAl EDuCATION FOR                                              at universities like Iowa State is ultimately   neurship in Agriculture,” there is no text-
     uNDERgRADuATES IN AgRI-                                            driven by the interest of the students.”        book. Students use case studies to explore
     CulTuRE AND lIFE SCIENCES—                                             The initiative was established in           the entrepreneurial process and how to
     IT SETS THEM.                                                      2005, by a $1.6 million gift from Roger         develop their own business plans. At the
         As home to the Agricultural Entrepre-                          (’80 agricultural business) and Connie          conclusion of the course, student teams
     neurship Initiative, Iowa State was the                            Underwood, of the Ames-based company            present their ideas to a panel of experts and
     first university in the nation to have such                        Becker Underwood.                               the top three teams win a monetary prize.
     a program fostering agricultural business                              “Iowa State’s entrepreneurship classes          An experimental course in small business
     development among students.                                        can help show the curious student if he or      management exposes students to entrepre-
         “Entrepreneurship is the fastest growing                       she is an entrepreneur that should strike       neurial ideas early in their careers. Also
     segment of higher education,” says Kevin                           out on their own, or an entrepreneur that       largely based on case studies, it covers man-
     Kimle, director of the initiative and Bruce                        should work inside someone else’s organi-       agement skills and business development.
     Rastetter Chair in Agricultural Entrepre-                          zation,” says Roger Underwood. “Both                Entrepreneurial issues are integrated
                                                                        types of entrepreneurs can deliver fresh        into several courses across the college’s
                                                                        value by thinking smarter, acting faster and    curriculum with special emphasis in Intro-
                                                                        out inventing or out maneuvering others.”       duction to Agronomy (see page 4), Agricul-
                                                    Photo: Bob Elbert

                                                                        (He shares more thoughts on entrepreneur-       tural Selling and Farm Business Manage-
                                                                        ship in a Q&A session on page 18.)              ment. The college is also offering a new
                                                                            Kimle and Stacey Noe are at the helm of     experimental course on farm appraisals
                                                                        the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initia-       that includes entrepreneurial concepts.
                                                                        tive. Noe coordinates the efforts of the            Students who desire official recogni-
                                                                        initiative, assists with advising students      tion of their efforts can declare a minor
                                                                        and helps students design entrepreneurial       in Entrepreneurial Studies. The minor
                                                                        experiences to meet their needs.                requires entrepreneurship and related
                                                                                                                        courses and experiential credits earned
                                                                        By the Books                                    working alongside successful entrepre-
     Students in the Entrepreneurship in Agricul-                       Entrepreneurial education isn’t necessarily     neurs. Noe and Kimle advise those
     ture course prepare for their final presentation
     in which student teams present business                            done by the book, but formal classroom          students and connect them with entre-
     plans to a panel of experts.                                       education helps build core competencies         preneurs to earn their experiential credits.

20   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                           Initiative coordinator Stacey Noe (left) helps students Carly
                                                                                           Cummings and Michael Koenig find entrepreneurial experi-
                                                                                           ences to match their interests. Cummings has been involved
                                                                                           in a number of the initiative’s programs and Koenig was
                                                                                           selected for the initiative’s new Student Incubator program.

                                                                                                                                       Photo: Barbara McBreen

    “Good connections are those with alumni      to take his ideas for launching a mobile         uct and develop marketing ideas. This year
that have passion and are willing to share       application to identify weeds, insects           students were charged with finding a new
and give back. We identify entrepreneurs         and diseases to the next level.                  use for optical sensing technology. Koenig
through online searches, conferences and             The Student Incubator helps students         and the winning team created a product
tradeshows and through the alumni asso-          develop a business plan for revenue-generat-     called SmartChute using the technology to
ciation database,” Noe says. “We look for        ing or investment-ready firms by accelerating    work with cattle. Faculty and entrepreneurs
entrepreneurs from a variety of areas, and       the process of idea creation, business devel-    evaluate the teams based on creativity, inno-
welcome interested alumni to contact us.”        opment and planning. The program provides        vation and value creation. Teams earn prizes
    The Agricultural Entrepreneurship            coaching, mentoring, educational program-        based on their performance. Students can
Initiative also coordinates study abroad         ming, access to subject matter experts and       win cash, study abroad scholarships, dinner
programs and domestic travel with an             investors and other resources necessary          with notable ag business leaders and Iowa
emphasis on entrepreneurship. Seventy            for early-stage venture development.             State versus Iowa football tickets.
students have participated in trips to               “I first developed the concept for my            “These opportunities are designed
China, Germany, Greece and California.           business in the ‘Entrepreneurship in Agri-       to be challenging and mind-opening.
New Zealand, Ireland and other U.S.              culture’ class last semester,” says Koenig. “I   We give students a chance to apply the
locations are slated for future trips.           am really excited to continue to develop the     knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom
                                                 business with all the support I’m receiving.”    to real-life situations in the agriculture
real-World Experience                                Koenig also was a member of the winning      industry,” Noe says.
Michael Koenig, senior in agricultural edu-      team at the initiative’s 2011 Ag Innovation          The Agricultural Entrepreneurship
cation, has been selected for the initiative’s   and Value Creation Competition. Fourteen         Initiative will continue to expand entrepre-
recently launched Student Incubator pro-         student teams competed in the annual event,      neurial experiences for undergraduates
gram. He says the program will allow him         which challenges students to create a prod-      both in and outside the classroom.

                                                 Koenig (right) and his business partners
                                                 and fellow agriculture and life sciences
                                                 students Holden Nyhus (left) and Stuart
                                                 McCulloh won one of the top prizes in                   oNlINE ExTRaS:
                                                 the statewide Pappajohn New Venture
                                                 Business Plan Competition. They received                                    visit the Agricultural
                                                 $5,000 to help grow their venture Scout                                     entrepreneurship
                                                 Pro—a mobile application to identify                                        Initiative online.
                                                 weeds, insects and diseases.

                                                                                                                             SToRIES Vol.5 no.1          21

    EntrEPrEnEuriAL                                                                               EdgE
    By Barbara mcBreen

                orking alongside the owner of a      business two weeks after graduation.             and learned how to partner and network
                company is standard practice for         “I met a lot of people, including distrib-   with them. We hope all our interns learn
                interns participating in the Agri-   uters and suppliers, which turned out to         about working with customers and run-
    cultural Entrepreneurship Initiative in the      be significantly important when I opened         ning a smart business,” Terrell says.
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.        my own garden center,” Mairet says.                  Terrell says the interns also are a
        Stacy Noe, program coordinator for the           Starting a business at the height of the     resource for companies.
    initiative, manages the internship program.      economic downturn was a challenge. But               “The students add energy, new ideas
    It started with three students in 2007, and      Mairet says he’s surviving because he views      and the horticultural knowledge to help
    today more than 40 companies have partic-        his business plan as a living document,          our customers,” Terrell says. “The intern-
    ipated to support 20 internships annually.       which means it could change. At some             ships can lead to new hires for our com-
        “The biggest difference compared to          point, Mairet says, he’d like to offer intern-   pany. Just this year we hired a past intern
    typical internships is that these students are   ships through his company.                       as a full-time assistant grower.”
    exposed to the challenges of running the             “Entrepreneurs always warned me that it’s        Dakota Hoben, a junior in agricultural
    business because they are involved in the        rough,” Mairet says. “When I talk to students    business, interned at the Iowa Agribusiness
    operation of the entire company,” Noe says.      I tend to focus on that message, because if      Export Partnership in Des Moines. One of
        Entrepreneurial mentors are matched          they can hear those negatives and go for it      the most important lessons he learned was
    with the right students for the best experi-     anyway, they are true entrepreneurs.”            that partnering with businesses abroad is
    ence. That match worked for Shane Mairet             Kate Terrell, a nursery manager              hard work and requires strong relationships.
    (’09 horticulture) when he interned at           at Wallace’s Garden Center, mentored                 “Planning a trade mission requires a
    Wallace’s Garden Center in Bettendorf,           Mairet. She says the interns get hands-          lot of communication and trust,” Hoben
    Iowa. The internship served as a spring-         on, real-world experiences.                      says. “I really learned to value those per-
    board for Mairet, who opened his own                 “Shane dealt with a lot of our vendors       sonal interactions with trip participants as
                                                                                                                  we strived to make sure all the
                                                                                                             Contributed Photo

                                                                                                                  details for the business mission
                                                                                                                  were ready to go.”
                                                                                                                      This summer 17 interns
                                                                                                                  are working throughout Iowa
                                                                                                                  and as far away as Detroit. They
                                                                                                                  will sharpen their business skills
                                                                                                                  learning about landscaping, dairy
                                                                                                                  processing, marketing and pro-
                                                                                                                  cessing wine, turning algae into
                                                                                                                  feed and making prosciutto.

                                                                                                                                 Shane Mairet opened Mairet’s
                                                                                                                                 Garden Center in Muscatine, Iowa,
                                                                                                                                 two weeks after graduating in hor-
                                                                                                                                 ticulture in 2009. He says the skills
                                                                                                                                 he learned and connections he
                                                                                                                                 made during his internships have
                                                                                                                                 helped as a business owner.
                                                                      Contributed Photo
                                                                     Iowa State University’s student chapter of the National Agri-
                                                                     Marketing Association has earned several national awards
                                                                     in recent years including Outstanding Chapter twice in the
                                                                     last five years and the 2011 John Deere Signature Award.

PrACtiCE MAkES PERFECT                                                                                     By melea reicks licht

undergraduate students are                    marketing and communications careers           service, a business plan and pitching their
exposed to practical marketing and            by bringing in speakers from industry,         ideas in a formal presentation. Team
communication skills in the Iowa              we take them on agency tours, do service       members also earn three credits in agri-
State student chapter of the National         projects and provide networking opportu-       cultural education and studies.
Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).            nities that sometimes lead to internships         The Iowa State student chapter earned
   Stacey Noe with the Agricultural           and jobs after graduation.”                    the John Deere Signature Award for overall
Entrepreneurship Initiative, and Lori             The chapter’s marketing team competes      points accrued for student participation,
Youngberg, program assistant for the          against other universities in an annual        involvement in the national competition,
college’s distance programs, advise the       marketing competition that showcases           scholarship awards and annual report
group’s 60 students.                          the talent of Iowa State students on a         at NAMA’s 2011 annual conference and
   “What we do in NAMA is directly appli-     national stage. The competition gives          trade show. Noe also has been recognized
cable to what ag marketing professionals      undergrads a chance to build and practice      nationally by earning the Outstanding
do,” says Noe. “We expose students to         skills in developing a new product or          Adviser award in 2007 and 2010.

A sEAt At
By ed Adcock
Twice a year students get the chance to          Agricultural Entrepre-
                                                 neurs Roundtables
quiz agribusiness leaders who have grown         give students like
their ideas into successful ventures at the      Josie Rudolph, a 2009
Agricultural Entrepreneurs Roundtable            grad in ag communi-
                                                 cations, a chance to
Event. Organizers invite a diverse group         network with success-
of entrepreneurs to have dinner and talk         ful entrepreneurs like
                                                 Bruce Rastetter of
with college students. The professionals         Hawkeye Renewables.
vary by discipline, age and gender and
represent new and established companies.
                                                                                                                                              Contributed Photo
    “The goal is to get students exposed
to different forms of opportunity recogni-    by the group of students at the roundtable.    better business people than they otherwise
tion and to learn through the experiences        And while he believes the urge to           would be by going to school and being
different entrepreneurs had,” says Stacey     develop a business is “genetic,” activities    involved in this type of thing,” Stine says.
Noe, Agricultural Entrepreneurship            like the roundtable are helpful.                   Getting to network with business people
Initiative coordinator.                          “Good coaching will not turn you from       of Stine’s caliber attracts many students,
    Harry Stine, president and founder of     a nonathlete into an athlete, but it will      Noe says. She limits participants at each
Stine Seed Co., was the keynote speaker at    enhance you and make you better. The           event to about 40 to allow students greater
the spring event in 2010. He was impressed    same principle applies here. They can be       access to the visiting professionals.

                                                                                                                         SToRIES Vol.5 no.1         23


     By Barbara mcBreen

                hen you walk into Harrisvac-              and making progress in
                cines Inc. you can feel the energy.       finding solutions to PRRS
                The glass doors surrounding               and other diseases.”
     the reception area reveal offices with                   Since its start, the com-
     employees intently studying computer                 pany has grown from one lab
     screens and deep in discussion.                      with two scientists to four

                                                                                                                                                                  Photo: Bob Elbert
         Like any startup, this scene has taken           labs with 20 employees.
     time and energy to establish.                        In February, the company
         The business got its start in 2005 when          received the Tibbetts Award
     Hank Harris, professor of animal science             from the U. S. Small Business                    Hank Harris (left) discovered a vaccine to prevent
                                                                                                           a reproductive disease in pigs. His son Joel (right)
     and veterinary diagnostic and production             Administration for advancing technological
                                                                                                           is chief marketing officer for Harrisvaccines.
     animal medicine at Iowa State University,            innovation and economic growth.
     and Matt Erdman, a doctoral student, dis-                Harrisvaccines Inc. is just one of 60 ten-
     covered a vaccine to prevent Porcine Repro-          ants currently housed at the ISU Research             “Every situation is different,” Upah says.
     ductive Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).                 Park south of the Iowa State University          “It’s not the easiest thing in the world to
         The PRRS virus causes infertility and            campus. Steve Carter, director of the ISU        take that basic bench research and create
     reproductive problems in pigs and can be             Research Park and the ISU Pappajohn Cen-         a successful business. We are not attorneys,
     economically devastating to producers.               ter for Entrepreneurship, says the nonprofit     but we can help them understand, in busi-
     The two scientists decided to start the              organization provides an environment that        ness terms, what needs to be addressed.”
     business in order to market, develop and             encourages scientists who want to make                Businesses in the research park range
     distribute the vaccine. The company                  their research available to the public.          from startups to large international com-
     started out as Sirrah and changed its                    “Our primary purpose is economic             panies that include biotechnology, cyber-
     name to Harrisvaccines Inc. in 2008.                 development. We want to keep these ideas         innovation, agriculture, health, wellness and
         “In 2009, Harrisvaccines was the                 in Iowa and we are set up to encourage and       more. Harris is an example of a successful
     first company to market a vaccine for                support these new companies,” Carter says.       scientist who is continually innovating and
     the novel H1N1 virus for swine,” Harris                  For the past 10 years Mike Upah has          pursuing new ideas, Carter says.
     says. “Today the company is thriving                 led the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepre-            “He has the energy and drive to take
                                                          neurship’s business development program.         these ideas and put them into the world
                                                          He says the program has helped more              because he believes it will benefit society,”
                                                          than 150 businesses like Harris’ during          Carter says. “He could have published
                                                          that time. Helping entrepreneurs under-          an article about the research and been
                                                          stand Iowa State policies, licensing and         done with it, but it was his desire to
                                                          product marketability are just a few of          help others.”
                                                          the services the center offers.

                                                      Professor Hank Harris is the president
                                                      and founder of Harrisvaccines Inc., which
                                                      received the Tibbetts award from the Small
                                                      Business Administration for its technological
                                                      innovation and entrepreneurship.
                                  Photo: Bob Elbert

24   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
   ENACTING THE                                                                By sherry hoyer


HE DIDN’T KNOW IT AT THE TIME,                       That 4-H project from 1966?
BuT A 1966 SWINE SEEDSTOCK 4-H                  It lives on as Kerns Farms Corp./
PROJECT WAS THE FIRST STEP IN                   KK Landrace. Also under Kerns’
STEVE KERNS’ INNOVATIVE CAREER                  ownership: KFC Agri-Services
THAT NOW SPANS COMMuNITIES,                     (the company he started while
COMPANIES AND CONTINENTS.                       an undergraduate); MULTIGENE
    “I came to Iowa State in 1970 as a fresh-   USA, LLC, a joint venture with
man in animal science pre-vet. By the end       Multigene Plus from France;
of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to         International Boar Semen; and,
work only with swine,” Kerns says. “Under       new in fall 2010, Heirloom Swine
the direction of Lauren Christian (’58 animal   Farms, a niche market joint ven-
science), Lanoy Hazel (’41 PHD genetics),       ture producing Berkshire pork
Al Christian and others, I started doing        for high end chefs and restaurants
ultrasonic animal evaluation on swine           throughout the country.
breeding stock for independent breeders              “I learned early on in my career
and swine test stations.”                       to always be looking forward. I’ve
    For several years the Clearfield, Iowa,     tried to be at the forefront of
native spent his winter and summer quar-        adopting and adapting new tech-
ters doing ultrasound scanning in states        nology or the next generation of
                                                                                      Photo: Jeff Deyoung, Iowa Farmer Today

east of the Mississippi River and pursued       ideas,” Kerns says. “Attending
his studies during the fall and spring.         meetings, serving on a variety of
    Kerns (’81 animal science) gained           advisory boards for industry and
unmatched experience during this time           education and networking with
that led to the creation of his first company   people in and out of the swine
offering ultrasound evaluation in 1977.         industry is valuable.”
Mentor Lauren Christian encouraged him to            The Kerns home operation is
finish his degree before Iowa State switched    as multifaceted as his profession.
                                                                                                                               Steve Kerns sorts hogs in one of his barns near
to the semester system.                              His wife, Becky, and sons Karl, a soph-                                   Clearfield. Kerns started his first business as an
    “I returned to our home farm to start       omore in animal science at Iowa State, and                                     undergrad at ISU in 1977, which is still in operation.
expanding in Landrace genetics, and we          Matt, a junior in high school, all are part of
began offering centralized production           the operation. The family has six farms pro-
sales in Nevada, Iowa,” Kerns says. “A few      ducing five breeds of boars and gilts; 115                                     serves on committees on the National Pork
years later I started traveling with P.S.       row crop and hay acres; 200 acres of pasture                                   Board and National Pork Producers Council.
Dhillion of American Technologies to            for 55 registered Angus cattle; and 200 boars                                  In 2000 he and Becky were honored with
work with his clients in Greece, Thailand,      in stud producing semen for fresh and fro-                                     the Master Seedstock Producer Award.
Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan        zen domestic and international sales.                                             In honor of his distinguished career,
and China. I gained a wealth of interna-             He has held numerous leadership                                           Kerns was inducted into the Iowa State
tional contacts and clients.”                   positions in the Iowa Pork Producers                                           University Animal Science Hall of Fame
    Kerns’ career continues to thrive.          Association, including president. He also                                      in 2010.

                                                                                                                                                           SToRIES Vol.5 no.1       25

           Andrea Falk Sellers is an attorney
           at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
           in Kansas City. Her background in
           science gives her the knowledge
           to work on patents, technology
           licensing agreements, trademarks
           and copyrights.

                                                                                                                                                         Contributed Photo
     For PAtEnt AttornEy
By Barbara mcBreen

      Andrea Falk Sellers feels at ease advising       biochemistry at Iowa State, but changed           increased from seven universities to 100
      her clients as both a scientist and entrepre-    paths as a junior. She credits Don Beitz,         and from 700 innovations to 10,000.
      neur. With a career path that took her from      Iowa State University Distinguished                   At Stinson Morrison Hecker she is
      decoding DNA to drawing up patents, she          Professor in animal science, for giving           known for her expertise in intellectual
      is as much of an entrepreneur as the clients     her the guidance to pursue a career outside       property development and protection.
      she counsels.                                    the laboratory.                                   Tony Strait, Associate General Counsel
          “Entrepreneurs take advantage of new             “I decided I didn’t want to be a scientist,   at Ceva U.S. Holdings Inc., says her under-
      opportunities. They aren’t afraid to change      but I wanted to stay connected to science.        standing of science allows her to compre-
      paths and try something new,” says Andrea        Dr. Beitz arranged a meeting with the             hend the unique characteristics and market
      Falk Sellers (’94 agricultural biochemistry),    patent attorneys that represented his lab         positioning of its animal health products.
      partner at Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP           at Iowa State—it was the best of both                 “She gets our business, which makes
      in Kansas City.                                  worlds,” says Falk Sellers.                       her very effective and efficient in helping
          Falk Sellers works on patents, technol-          Falk Sellers received her law degree          us achieve our objectives,” Strait says.
      ogy licensing agreements, trademarks and         from the University of Iowa in 1997. She              The Iowa State Program for Women in
      copyrights. She’s in the heart of the nation’s   recently returned to the law firm after three     Science and Engineering introduced Falk
      animal health corridor and many of her           years as associate general counsel for the        Sellers to the lab and her career in science.
      clients are agricultural-based companies         Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation,                 She spent the summer before her senior
      in industries ranging from veterinary            the world’s largest foundation devoted            year in high school learning about sequenc-
      products to agrichemicals.                       to entrepreneurship.                              ing gels and decoding DNA.
          “One day I might be talking to an inven-         While at Kauffman, Falk Sellers worked            In October, Falk Sellers was recognized
      tor about a new chemical compound and            on an internet startup initiative, the iBridge    by the College of Agriculture and Life
      the next day I could be working on a world-      Network, designed to make university              Sciences for her achievements and received
      wide patent strategy for a potential break-      innovations more transparent and acces-           the Superior Achievement Award for Early
      through drug technology,” she says.              sible to potential licensees, including entre-    or Mid-Career Alumni.
          Falk Sellers started out in agricultural     preneurs. During her tenure, the network

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sun                                           By melea reicks licht


A person would count themselves lucky to       party vintners. Frey says
have enjoyed one successful career on the      they have a few very
cusp of scientific breakthroughs in agri-      large growers with more
                                                                            Contributed Photo
culture and improving farmer-profitability.    than 1,000 acres, but
    Nick Frey has had two.                     most members have
    Frey (’70 agronomy) had a 25-year          100 acres or less and
career in research and new business            40 percent grow on
development with Pioneer Hybrid                                                                 As president of the Sonoma County Winegrape
                                               less than 20 acres.
                                                                                                Commission, Nick Frey does a little bit of everything,
International during the beginning of              “The growers here are much like              including harvest grapes alongside consumers at
biotechnology. He left the industry and        growers around the world—good peo-               Sonoma County Grape Camp. The organization
                                                                                                provides marketing and education programs for
set out to enjoy the blue skies and warm       ple, down-to-earth. The growers on my            grape growers in the region.
temperatures of Sonoma County.                 board are working for the interests of all
    Along with great food, wine and            grape growers and not for their personal            “We want people to connect with our
weather, he found a new career using his       agenda,” Frey says.                              growers. We host sommeliers, offer tast-
science and communication skills to work           Grower education is an important part        ings and tours in our vineyards. We go
with the Sonoma County Winegrape               of the commission. It offers integrated pest     on the road jointly with vintners to major
Commission.                                    management meetings; organic producer            U.S. cities to host tasting events,” Frey
    As president, Frey directs $1.2 million    groups; pruning contests for vineyard            says. “We also offer a fantasy grape camp
annually from grower assessments to            employees and youth; tradeshows; and             that pampers guests with great food and
promote Sonoma County as one of the            several programs on marketing, profit-           wine for two and a half days while experi-
world’s premier grape growing regions.         ability and issues affecting grape demand.       encing the harvest and crush first hand.”
The commission also funds research             They also offer an employee development             Frey says building relationships
on vineyard pests and diseases and con-        program for Spanish speakers.                    among growers, customers and “gate-
ducts grower education.                            Frey says they partner with vintners         keepers” like sommeliers, retailers and
    Frey admits the diverse, small-scale       and the county tourism bureau to get the         the media is essential to building their
agriculture of the wine grape industry         most bang for their marketing buck.              regional brand.
seemed pretty foreign to him when he           Working together the county pulls in
made the move from Iowa.                       $1.3 billion each year from tourism.
    “I had no experience in grapes when            They target consumers and wineries                 oNlINE ExTRaS:
I accepted this job, but my training in        through conventional marketing, but                    Get a taste of Sonoma County
agronomy and plant physiology translates       much of their efforts are online. Their                sonoma County is especially known for its pinot
pretty well. And, my experience commu-         website is rich with interactive features              noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet sauvignon and
nicating in the controversial early days       like maps, wine guides, grower profiles                Zinfandel. you can find out more about their
                                                                                                      wines and the people who grow them online.
of biotech has come in handy,” Frey says.      and a grape marketplace. The commis-
    The commission consists of 1,800           sion also has a presence on Facebook,
independent growers who sell to third          Twitter and YouTube.

                                                                                                                            SToRIES Vol.5 no.1      27

Jay Hansen and family have built a dairy enterprise around
their Holstein herd in northeast Iowa including an on-farm
creamery, a retail store and ice cream shop and a dairy outlet.

‘tiL thE CoWs
                                                                                       By melea reicks licht


       The curious faces of children peer out               Hansen’s herd of 175 Holsteins gives         idea by Iowa State’s Ron Orth with the
       farmhouse windows, greeting recent                more than 1,200 gallons of milk per day.        Iowa Institute of Cooperatives. After
       visitors to the Hansen Family dairy farm          They raise their own replacement heifers        studying as many ‘what if’ scenarios
       in northeast Iowa.                                and have an additional 25 dry cows. They        as possible, we started processing and
           Those little faces are the seventh gen-       don’t use growth hormones to produce            things have just worked out,” Hansen says.
       eration of the family to be raised on the         milk and their milk is non-homogenized.            Jay can sound like a marketing analyst.
       land since the 1860s.                                                                             He talks in terms like market radius (25
           Although the dairy operation near             Coming home to farm                             miles surrounding the farm) and managing
       Hudson, Iowa, may be reminiscent of a             About 10 years ago, the Hansens expanded        supply and demand. He says they initially
       different era, Jay Hansen (’71 agricultural       the herd to allow two of their sons to join     focused on smaller grocery stores, daycares
       education), his wife Jeanne and their family      the operation. When their other two sons        and nursing homes. In time, larger grocery
       are keyed in to current consumer trends.          expressed interest in joining the operation,    stores contacted Hansen to stock their
           Their workday begins before 4 a.m.            Jay knew they would need to expand again        products due to customer requests.
       with the first milking. The cows will be          to support five families.                          “Our product sells itself. It has flavor
       milked again at 4 p.m. Every 12 hours,                In response, they added on-farm pro-        to die for. Once they taste it, people keep
       every day, the milking continues.                 cessing. Their first milk was bottled in        coming back,” Hansen says.
           “We’re a little old fashioned,” Jay says.     2004, and within two years, the Hansens            Hansen is quick to point out he’s “no
       Our animals spend as much time outside            were selling all the milk they could produce.   entrepreneur.” What he admits to, is being
       as possible.”                                         “We were introduced to the processing       innovative. “We’re just doing what farmers

28     SToRIES Vol.5 no.1

Photos: Bob Elbert

                                                                                                   A day at the Hansen Dairy farm is anything but typical.
                                                                                                   During one recent visit Brad Hansen and his kids
      have done for years—finding innovative            Oldest son Brent is in charge of sales     bagged fresh cheese curds (left), while Jay and Jean
      ways to make money.”                          and delivery, making 125 weekly stops.         took a moment to chat with visitors. The couple, who
                                                                                                   recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary,
          Today their dairy enterprises consist     Youngest son Brad, an ISU elementary           work alongside their four sons. Blair (right) trimmed
      of J&J Dairy, their Holstein herd; Hansen’s   education grad, works in processing            hooves with his brother Blake while Brent was out
                                                                                                   delivering product.
      Farm Fresh Dairy, farm-processed creamery     and prepping product. The Hansen’s
      products; Moo Roo, a Waterloo retail store    fifth child, daughter Lynn, is a fellow        wants to sell more locally grown food to
      serving up their hard-dip ice cream and       Iowa Stater with a degree in elementary        restaurants and food suppliers. Jay says
      selling their milk, cheese curds, butter,     education. She lives in Omaha with her         it has significantly broadened their prod-
      cream and other local products; and           husband and children.                          ucts’ reach.
      Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy Outlet in               Jeanne is in charge of public relations,       Jay and Jeanne continue to innovate.
      Cedar Falls. In total they have nearly        which includes a thriving agritourism          They are building a unique domed home
      20 employees in addition to 7 family          business that attracts nearly 3,000 school     and visitor’s center in preparation for
      members involved in various roles.            children, 4-Hers, seniors and other visi-      future generations of Hansens.
                                                    tors annually.
      A typical day at the hansen farm?                 The Hansens believe they are market-
      One recent spring day included milking,       ing more than milk. It’s a relationship
      making cheese curds, draining butter,         with their customers. The trust is                     oNlINE ExTRaS:
      loading and making deliveries, grooming       apparent with on-farm pick up of                        see scenes from a day in the life of hansen’s dairy.
      hooves and catching a loose bull. And         products available on
      that was just before noon.                    the honor system. Each
         It’s hard to imagine how they keep         day as many as 30 cus-
      everything straight. But both Jay and         tomers help themselves                                WhAt’s With thE WALLABiEs?
      Jeanne have a supporting team of family       to what they need from                                the hansens’ unique logo of a wallaby with
      members who help keep everything              a cooler adjacent to the                              a holstein in its pouch “mooroo” was inspired
      running smoothly.                             processing area, sign-                                by son blake’s vacation in Australia. he was
         Blair (’00 dairy science), the third       ing in and leaving pay-                               so taken with the animals he suggested the
      oldest of the Hansen children, handles        ment in a drop box.                                   family buy a few and make them their logo,
                                                                                                          so they had a few shipped in. “they sell a lot
      herd feeding, nutrition and the family’s          The family recently
                                                                                                          of milk,” Jay says with a smile. the walla-
      crop program growing alfalfa and corn.        took on a new market-
                                                                                                          bies also play a large role in the farm’s agri-
      Son Blake is in charge of herd manage-        ing partnership with                                  tourism, helping to draw in more than 3,000
      ment and milking, and Blake‘s wife,           Hawkeye Foodservice                                   visitors annually.
      Jordan, manages the farm’s website.           Distributers, which

                                                                                                                                SToRIES Vol.5 no.1        29

     tWo ACrEs,
     onE FArm                                                    By melea reicks licht

                                                           aggie Howe’s products are a         certified organic, fair trade and locally
                                                           bit different from those of most    produced ingredients whenever possible.
                                                           Iowa farmers.                           Their key to success has been finding
                                                  Handmade, natural bath and body care         a loyal customer base online and creating
                                              products and luxury pampering items              products they need and want. Prairieland
                                              like “magic mud” are among the offerings         Herbs offers difficult-to-find products like
     Maggie Howe has found her own place
     in agriculture by partnering with her    created from the bounty of her herb farm         natural hair, baby and pet care that “come
     mother to create natural bath and body   Praireland Herbs, near Woodward.                 up high in Google search rankings” accord-
     care products from the herbs grown on
     their two-acre farm.                         Howe and her mother and business             ing to Howe. They do offer their products
                                              partner Donna Julseth are at home with           at local farmers markets, but 75-80 percent
                                                                       other niche farmers     of their business is done online with orders
                                                                       in her area, as well    placed from around the world.
                                                                       as conventional             “Since we’re literally in the middle of
                                                                       farmers. As she         a cornfield we always knew we couldn’t
                                                                       says, they all strive   rely on people walking in the door,” Howe
                                                                       for the same goal.      says. “We know our customers through
                                                                           “We are taking      our blog, Facebook and e-mails. We take
                                                                       our land and skills     Midwest friendliness and put it online.”
                                                                       and using that to           Howe says working with her mom is
                                                                       create a sustainable    “fantastic.” Howe focuses on product devel-
                                                                       livelihood. Everyone    opment, marketing, promotion and the
                                                                       wants to do that        farm’s online presence. With a background
                                                                       whether they grow       in conservation education, Julseth is espe-
                                                                       sheep or corn or veg-   cially suited for growing the herbs and deal-
                                                                 Photo: John gibney

                                                                       etables,” Howe says.    ing with customers. Julseth also teaches
                                                                       “We can learn a lot     classes and brings in other educators to
                                                                       from each other.”       offer how-to sessions on making lip balm,
                                                                           Howe (’98 public    natural dying, growing herbs, drying herbs
                                                                       service and admin-      and cooking with herbs, among others.
                                                                       istration in agricul-       From a young age, Howe always knew
                                              ture, environmental studies), and Julseth        she’d be her own boss. And she has used
                                              have been growing herbs for their bath           her education and inherent can-do spirit
                                              and body products for nearly 13 years            to find her own place in agriculture.
                                              on the two acres Howe grew up on.                    “There’s many different reasons
                                                  Their products contain no synthetic          women come to niche agriculture
                                              colors or preservatives, and Howe says           today, but to succeed they have to
                                              they are made with ingredients found             believe in themselves and partner
                                              in a typical kitchen. Olive oil, cooking         and trust others in their agriculture
                                              oil, flour, honey, oatmeal and beeswax           network,” Howe says.
                                              round out their list of ingredients. They            Value-added and niche enterprises seem
                                              are not certified organic, “too much             to hold special opportunities for women
                                              paperwork,” Howe says, but they buy              entrepreneurs. Howe has seen it first hand.

30   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                                                             Alumin news Brief

ioWA stAtE                                        YOUNG ALUM MAkES A
                                                  stAtEmEnt As EntrEPrEnEur
                                                                                                                                                             ALumni givEn
FAmiLy EArns                                      Mike Taylor (’03 agricultural                                                                              toP honors

                                                                                                      Photo: ISu Alumni Association
ADVANCED DEGREES                                  studies) was among young                                                                                   By isu ALumni AssoCiAtion
FROM FFA                                          Iowa state Alumni named                                                                                    And isu FoundAtion
the entire Ronald Zelle family of waverly         “stAtement makers” by the
                                                                                                                                                             two college alumni were honored at the
was awarded American ffA degrees at               Isu Alumni Association for
                                                                                                                                                             2011 Isu Alumni Association and the Isu
the organization’s national convention            their early personal and pro-
                                                                                                                                                             foundation distinguished Awards Ceremony
in october. Ronald (’83 agricultural and          fessional accomplishments.
                                                                                                                                                             in April. Rodney Ganey (’78 sociology, ms ‘81)
life sciences education, ms ‘87) is the           taylor says entrepreneurship is a way of
                                                                                                                                                             of henderson, nev., was presented the distin-
agricultural education instructor and the         life in his household. After minoring in entre-
                                                                                                                                                             guished Alumni Award by the Isu Alumni
ffA adviser for nashua plainfield schools.        preneurship at Iowa state, he built taylor
                                                                                                                                                             Association. Roger underwood (’80 agricul-
he was awarded the honorary American              Companies from the ground up. today he
                                                                                                                                                             tural business) of Ames, received the knoll
                             ffA degree           and his wife, lindsay, are partners in several
                                                                                                                                                             Cardinal and gold Award from the Isu foun-
                             teacher award        businesses—including row crop and beef
                                                                                                                                                             dation. read more about the awardees at
                             in recognition of    production agriculture, wholesale distri-
                             his educational      bution, commercial real estate, property
                             achievements.        management, retail pharmacies and
                             his wife, Mary       e-commerce retail businesses. And,
                             Beth (’86 agri-      he says, his 4-year-old daughter runs
                             cultural and
                             life sciences
           Contributed Photo education),
                                                  a mean lemonade stand.
                                                                                                                                                 1948 grAd   INDUCTED TO ISU ATHLETICS
received the honorary American ffA
degree in the other community members
                                                                                                                                                             hALL oF FAmE
division. their daughter, debra, a junior                                                                                                            Ray Wehde, in the white jersey (’48 dairy
majoring in horticulture, and son, benjamin,                                                                                                         industry), was one of 10 alumni who were
a sophomore majoring in agricultural                                                                                                                 inducted into the Isu Athletics hall of fame in
business and computer science, were                                                                                                                  october. he is pictured enjoying a quick pick
awarded American ffA degrees for their
                                                                                  Contributed Photo                                                  up game with his twin brother roy (’48 dairy
participation in ffA.                             meet other “stAtement makers”                                                                      industry), in the red jersey, who also played
                                                  at                                                                     for the Cyclones. ray is considered Iowa
                                                                                                                                                     state’s first nbA draftee. he was inducted
                                                                                                                                                     into the hall of fame for basketball and track
                                                                                                                                                     and field. his name appears among the 129
                                                                                                                                                     hall of famers on the All-America walls,

ListEn uP: ALUMNI LECTURES                                                                                                                           a new display around Jack trice stadium.
                                                                                                                                                    “enrolling as freshmen and going onto that
OFFERED AS PODCASTS                                                                                                                                  beautiful campus with its buildings and every-
                                                                                                                                                     thing, now that was awe-inspiring for a couple
James Borel (’78 agricultural business),         at Iowa state in march. stewart was the first
executive vice president of dupont, pre-         graduate of science bound, Iowa state’s                                                             of country boys,’’ says wehde in an interview
sented the 2011 Carl and marjory hertz           program to increase the number of ethnically                                                        with the sioux City Journal. “I remember the
lecture on emerging Issues in Agriculture        diverse Iowa youth pursuing science, tech-                                                          freshman team was open to anyone and
in April at Iowa state. borel presented “how     nology, engineering and math careers.                                                               sometimes there were 90 kids there trying
Agricultural Innovation and Collaboration                                                                                                            to catch the coach’s eye.’’ read more from
will shape the future of the world” drawing      Neil E. harl (’55 agricultural education, ms                                                        wehde at
on his experience leading dupont’s produc-       ’65 economics), shared leadership lessons
tion agriculture businesses, dupont Crop         learned throughout his career as he gave the
protection and pioneer hi-bred. he shared        2010 william k. deal endowed leadership
ideas on how advances in agricultural sci-       lecture in october. harl is a Charles f. Curtiss
ence will play a major role in shaping the       distinguished professor in Agriculture and
future of global society and addressing          life sciences and emeritus professor of eco-
world hunger.                                    nomics specializing in farm finance, taxation,
                                                 estate planning, business planning and agri-
Charles Stewart, Jr. (’00 agricultural bio-      cultural law. harl’s presentation was titled,
                                                                                                                                      Photo: ISu Athletics

chemistry), research associate at the salk       “building an enduring leadership platform.”
Institute for biological studies in san diego,
offered the lecture “fighting hunger: A dnA      to download podcasts of the lectures visit
engineer’s path to science and success” for a link.

                                                                                                                                                                                 SToRIES Vol.5 no.1      31
pA r t n e r s

For PLAntPEddLErs
       By christa hartsook

              or Mike and Rachel Gooder “value      to produce Hiemalis Begonias for the North       ful corn and soybean production, is a net
              added” has been second nature for     American market. Through that initial            importer of food products. That’s not right.”
              more than 30 years.                   partnership, another division was added.             To the Gooders, it was clear Iowa
           The owners of Plantpeddler in Cresco,    Plantpeddler Young Plants imports cuttings       needed more local food production. They
       Iowa, purchased the greenhouse just a        from around the world for value-added pro-       researched varieties and learned a lot
       month after Mike (’80 horticulture) grad-    cessing by rooting and starting them prior       about greenhouse production.
       uated from Iowa State University and a       to shipping to other greenhouses and mar-            “The idea is not only to produce local
       few days after they exchanged wedding        kets throughout the United States. The           food for the area, but to balance the sea-
       vows. It didn’t take them long to start      young-plant production and distribution          sonality of the product lines and divisions
       adding value and addressing new markets      happens year-round at the facilities, serving    we have here,” says Rachel. “We have
       in wholesale. They added a new division      more than 2,500 customers worldwide.             established relationships with our outlets.
       to their local greenhouse, Plantpeddler          The addition of the different divisions      We can both benefit through our providing
       Wholesale, providing weekly truck service    allowed the staff to grow to 12 full-time,       them a food product in addition to the
       to a regional market.                        22 part-time and 12 seasonal employees,          ornamental lines.”
           “We realized pretty early on that we’d   making it a significant employer in                  Plantpeddler replaced 30,000 poinsettia
       have to keep diversifying our business and   Howard County.                                   plants with a trial of three acres of vegetables
       looking for new opportunities to add value       Within recent years, the Gooders found       to determine the best varieties for green-
       to what we were producing,” says Rachel.     renewed energy and enthusiasm in the pro-        house production. The operation began
           By 2000, Plantpeddler had gone global.   duction of local foods in their greenhouse.      marketing under the name Stone Creek
       Rachel (’79 horticulture) and Mike part-         “A few years ago, we had a startling reve-   Farms. “We decided to focus on lettuce,
       nered with Dummen, a German company,         lation,” says Mike. “Iowa, for all its wonder-   tomatoes and cucumbers,” says Rachel.

32     SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                                      pA r t n e r s

                                                                                                                         WHAT MAKES OUR GRADS
                                                                                                                         SO SPECIAL AS NEW HIRES?
                           The Gooder family has been peddling plants in Creso, Iowa,
                           since just days after Rachel and Mike exchanged wedding                                       there’s a reason our placement rate for
                           vows more than 30 years ago. Daughter Abby and son John
                           are finding their own ways to carry on the family business.                                   new graduates is over 98 percent. the
                                                                                                                         College of Agriculture and life sciences’s
                                                                                                                         undergraduate experience is rich in
                                                                                                                         academic rigor, practical knowledge,
                                                                                                                         global awareness and internships.
                               The produce fills the greenhouse during    she led a team in the Ag Innovation and
                           slower months, keeping staff employed and      Value Creation Competition sponsored           together, it makes our students especially
                           facilities utilized, adding overall value to   by the college’s Agricultural Entrepre-        qualified for today’s demanding
                           the operation.                                 neurship Initiative. Abby’s product uses
                               “Mike and Rachel Gooder are marketers,”    corncobs for horticultural purposes.           agriculture and life sciences industry.
                           says Ray Hansen, director of ISU Extension’s   Her team placed first in the competition.      find out how our grads are the right fit
                           Value Added Agriculture Program. “They             “I was pleased to win the contest,” says
                                                                                                                         for your company or organization.
                           know that just the desire to produce local     Gooder, “but the really exciting part was
                           food is not enough. There has to be a          the encouragement from the panelists
                           market for it and one at which they can        afterward. They told me that if our calcu-     Contact:
Photos: Christa Hartsook

                           make a profit.”                                lations and market estimates were accurate,    Mike Gaul, career services director
                               Hansen has worked with the Gooder          then I should be really excited about pur- | (515) 294-4725
                           family through the Iowa Fruit and              suing the opportunity.”
                           Vegetable Working Group, which Mike                A summer internship at Creative Com-
                           is active in.                                  posites in Ankeny solidified Abby’s desire
                               Mike also assists with several horticul-   to turn her concept into a reality. The bio-
                           ture committees at Iowa State, providing       composite industry is assisting Abby in
                           insight on the industry. He has had an         research and development of the product,
                           advisory role in the recent construction       and the Agricultural Entrepreneurship
                           of the greenhouses on campus. The              Initiative is helping Abby develop a formal
                           Gooders also offer internships for Iowa        business plan.
                           State students at Plantpeddler.
                               In addition, Mike and Rachel are active
                                                                              Given the value already added to their
                                                                          operation, it’s no wonder the Gooders hope      a lITTlE hElP
                           in the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness
                           Initiative, working to bring local foods
                                                                          for a bright future in local foods. “We like
                                                                          the idea of supporting the local foods
                                                                                                                          from our friends
                           to communities.                                movement and getting young people
                                                                          involved in gardening and their health,”        WITh ThE hElP oF FRIENDS lIKE you,
                           next generation of gooders
                           carry on startup spirit                        says Rachel. “Naturally, we’d like to help      we can expand the college’s legacy
                           Gooder’s son John is a sophomore at Iowa       our own children to grow and transition         of launching promising careers in
                                                                          into the business, as well.”
                           State majoring in horticulture. He helped                                                      agriculture and life sciences. If you
                           make the recent transition from poinset-                                                       know a prospective student who
                           tias to produce. “It was a lot of trial and
                                                                                                                          would benefit from our college’s
                           error,” John says. “We learned a lot the
                           first three years.” John plans to work for                                                     personal attention and mentoring by
                           PlantPeddler this summer and eventually                                                        advisers, faculty and career services,
                           join the family business.                                                                      top-notch facilities and international
                               Daughter Abby, a senior in agricultural                                                    experiences, please let us know.
                           business at Iowa State, has embraced
                           value-added agriculture, too. Last year
                                                                                                                          refer a potential student to us at
pA r t n e r s

                                                                                                                        Matt Darr, agricultural and biosystems
                                                                                                                        engineer, (right) talks with Kyle Althoff
                                                                                                                        (left) and Feng Han from DuPont
                                                                                                                        Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol about their
                                                                                                                        collaborative research studying how
                                                                                                                        the quality of biomass is influenced
                                                                                                                        by harvesting and storage systems.

ArE hooPs good
homEs For BiomAss?
                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Bob Elbert

                                                                                                     By ed Adcock


       Iowa State scientists have teamed with       vested and by biological processes that           in 2008 to use the resources of interdisci-
       a company planning to build a biomass        take place during storage.                        plinary research and education programs
       ethanol plant to research how to keep            “You can’t produce ethanol from soil,”        to address critical business, infrastructure,
       the material in the best condition before    Darr says. “Any soil collected during corn        supply chain and policy issues facing the
       it is processed.                             stover harvest adds to the overall cost of        growing biobased economy.
           “The research we’re conducting is        the delivered product and it increases the            “The objective of DDCE’s work with
       focused on understanding how the qual-       byproduct handling requirements of the            Iowa State is to analyze the economic fac-
       ity of biomass is influenced by harvesting   biorefinery. Plus, in some conversion             tors impacting the supply of corn stover
       and storage systems. Enhancing the qual-     processes the added soil will actually            to a future commercial cellulosic ethanol
       ity of feedstock improves the conversion     decrease the conversion efficiency which          plant,” Althoff says.
       economics and final product quality,” says   is a significant economic factor.”                    Three hoop structures, open on the
       Matt Darr, assistant professor of agricul-       Deterioration during storage can also         ends, have been built and are being used
       tural and biosystems engineering.            induce negative economic and biomass              to store bales of stover in addition to several
           DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol        quality factors.                                  outdoor stacks of stover bales covered with
       (DDCE) is evaluating the construction            “It’s like leaving a loaf of bread on the     plastic tarps. The structures are located at
       of an ethanol plant in Story County or       counter for nine months,” Darr says. “If          the BioCentury Research Farm, which
       Webster County. The plant will use bio-      the biomass molds or deteriorates not only        is devoted to researching the production,
       mass, such as corn stover, instead of corn   are you losing money because you’re losing        harvest, storage, transportation and pro-
       grain to ferment into ethanol.               feedstock or material, but the physical           cessing of biomass materials.
           Storing biomass is a common practice,    properties and chemical properties change             Most of the material was harvested in
       but research is lacking on how well it is    during storage.”                                  central Iowa on privately owned farms
       preserved during storage. Darr’s research,       DDCE discovered Iowa State’s capabili-        that were contracted with DDCE. After
       which is sponsored by DDCE, is evaluat-      ties in this area through its participation in    the storage research, the biomass material
       ing just that.                               the Biobased Industry Center, according to        will be shipped to DDCE’s demonstration-
           Biomass quality is impacted both by      Kyle Althoff, the company’s director of feed-     scale plant where it will be evaluated for
       the cleanliness of feedstock when har-       stock development. The center was founded         its ability to be converted to ethanol.

34     SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
                                                                                                                                    inVesting in excellence

                                                        “Into the Field will give students
                                                         a broader vision of what we do
                                                         in the ag world… It’ll give us
                                                         well rounded agronomists
                                                         that will take the industry
                                                         into the next 50 years.”

                                                  Amy and Harlan Asmus of Asmus Farm
                                                  Supply have established the Into the Field
                                                  Fund to provide support for sharpening
                                                  the diagnostic, critical-thinking and communi-
                                                  cation skills of agronomy graduates.

into THE FiELd                                                                                                               By melea reicks licht

Asmus Farm Supply and the Department of                “We wanted to make an impact on the         on sharpening diagnostic, critical-thinking
Agronomy have teamed up to take students           future for ag retail and manufacturers,”        and communication skills.
“Into the Field” to prepare them for the           Asmus says. “We can cultivate the excite-           “Into the Field will give students a
demands of today’s agriculture industry.           ment of new students, carry it through          broader vision of what we do in the ag
    The Into the Field program will help           four years of college and into the field        world and show them what’s available
faculty and students develop relation-             which is how the program gets its name.”        to them,” Asmus says. “It’ll give us well-
ships with practicing agronomists and                  Kendall Lamkey, professor and chair         rounded agronomists that will take the
provide field experience for agronomy              of the agronomy department, says the            industry into the next 50 years.”
students to enhance their value and via-           program will allow students to take their           New industry partners are welcome to
bility in the workforce.                           education to the next level.                    join Into the Field to help grow the fund
    Asmus Farm Supply of Rake, Iowa, is                “At Iowa State University we are really     and potentially endow the program, and
a family-owned agricultural business spe-          good with teaching the technical knowl-         to further develop relationships with the
cializing in farm chemicals, plant nutrition,      edge that exists behind the scenes, but         agronomy department.
seed and seed treatment. Amy Asmus, vice           that is just one part of them being a pro-
                                                                                                    Contributed Photos

president of Asmus Farm Supply, sees the           fessional. Into the Field will help further
program as a win-win for companies and             round out these young people into pro-
students.                                          fessionals,” Lamkey says.
    “It has benefits for everyone in the future        The program will provide support for
as we release into the field students that are     teaching improvement. This will include
well-trained and passionate about what we          opportunities for faculty to shadow industry
love, and that is ag retail,” Asmus says.          agronomists; develop case studies for use in
    Asmus Farm Supply started the fund in          classes; pay fees to attend technology work-
2010 as part of its 50th anniversary celebra-      shops and short courses; and accommodate
tion. They asked those who had planned             travel to teaching conferences.
to present them with gifts to instead donate           As part of Into the Field the agronomy
to the fund. With a donation by Asmus,             department, in conjunction with industry,                             Amy and Harlan Asmus recently hosted members
                                                                                                                         of the agronomy faculty, including department
along with their partners, enough was              will develop a curriculum that will give                              chair Kendall Lamkey (right), to discuss strategies to
raised and pledged to kick off the program.        students a broad range of experiences.                                strengthen field experiences for undergraduates.
More will be needed to sustain the program         It will also include an experiential field
over a long period of time.                        course for agronomy seniors with a focus

                                                                                                                                                 SToRIES Vol.5 no.1       35
inVesting in excellence

     FIRST RECIPIENT OF                                                                                   in hEr oWn Words:

     mohn sChoLArshiP
                                                                                                          AMy PEyTON SHARES
                                                                                                          IMPACT OF SCHOlARSHIPS

                                                                                                          Amy peyton is featured in an Isu foundation
                                                                                                          video describing her experiences at Iowa
                                                                                                          state. peyton says receiving a privately-
     Amy Peyton is the first recipient of the Jim   students by providing an opportunity to               funded scholarship has allowed her to
     and Connie Mohn Scholarship. Peyton is a       study abroad, and help students obtain                become involved on campus and make a
     senior in agricultural business, economics     a degree,” Jim Mohn says. “We’re looking              difference by volunteering in elementary
     and public service and administration in       forward to meeting the recipients and                 schools through her sorority. watch the
     agriculture from Sac City. She will use the    seeing the impact of our gift.”                       video at
     gift to fund her study abroad experience to
     Rome on the Dean’s Global Agriculture and
     Food Leadership program where she will            Photo: ISu Foundation
     work on a team project with the United
     Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
         Jim (’75 agricultural education, animal
     science) and Connie Mohn from Cherokee,
     created the scholarship to support students
     in the College of Agriculture and Life
     Sciences as they prepare for and complete
     a study abroad experience. The couple set
     up the scholarship with a deferred gift,
     but chose to activate the account immedi-
     ately by making annual cash gifts. “We
     hope these scholarships will help retain

     CURTISS RENOVATION TO GIVE                                                EntrEPrEnEuriAL
     AmBAssAdors room to groW                                                  sChoLArshiPs:
     The Student Ag Ambassadors are making do in their current                 A SURE RETURN
     office space—a former closet in Curtiss Hall. Thankfully, a
     new workspace is in store as part of the renovation of Curtiss
                                                                               ON INVESTMENT

                                                                                                                                                        Photo: Barbara McBreen
     Hall. It’s one of many ways the renovation will benefit students.         The college awards nearly $12,000
     Plans include a student commons, meeting rooms for group                  annually in entrepreneurial scholar-
     work and interviews and a ground-level wing devoted to student            ships funded by private donors. The
     services. The Ag Ambassadors help recruit in many ways,                   family of Leonard Hermanson (’25
     including campus tours and visits, off-campus events and                  dairy science) recently set up a schol-
                                                                                                                             Carly Cummings
                                             shadow days, during               arship program to support the top
                                             which they host high              three student teams in the Entrepreneurship in Agriculture
                                             schoolers for a two-day           course. One of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative’s
                                             stay. Their new digs              prestigious scholarships honors emeritus professor Robert
                                             will give them room               Jolly who was the first director of the initiative (see story page
                                             to grow and reach even            nine). Ryan Pellett (’91 agricultural business) and his wife
                                             more potential students.          Susan endowed a scholarship for students with an aptitude
                                             Find renovation details           and involvement in entrepreneurship. Carly Cummings,
                                             and learn how you can             a junior in agricultural business minoring in international
                                             support the effort at: www.       agriculture and entrepreneurial studies, received the most
                                              recent Pellet Family Scholarship.
                            Photo: Ed Adcock

36   SToRIES Vol.5 no.1
 in our next issue

                                       CoNTINuE youR aDVENTuRE
                                       wIth IowA stAte unIversIty onlIne
In AgrICulture And lIfe sCIenCes

                                       The College of Agriculture and life Sciences offers a wide array of online
                                       courses and programs to meet your needs. These educational opportunities
EVERyoNE EaTS                          can enhance your job skills or help you prepare for a new career while
                                       providing flexible scheduling to suit your work and family life.
      science and education in
                                       online masters degrees:
      FooD PRoDuCTIoN systems
                                       • Master of Agriculture
      are served up in the next        • Master of Science in Agricultural Education
      SToRIES in Agriculture           • Master of Science in Agronomy
      and life sciences. the issue     • Masters program in Community
      will ExPloRE research
                                       • Master of Science in Plant Breeding
      and demonstration across         • Master of Science in Seed Technology
      DIVERSE production systems,        & Business Management
      insights that students gain      Continuing Education opportunities:
      into what it takes to get food   • Food Safety & Defense graduate Certificate
      FRoM FIElD To PlaTE and          • Occupational Safety Certificate
                                       • Swine Science Certificate
      how shifting CoNSuMER
      PREFERENCES impact               Learn more:
      science—and vice versa. | | (800) 747-4478
 304 Curtiss Hall
 Ames, Iowa 50011

                     When she was 9, Laura nourished her baby calf.

                                                                She was nourishing her dreams too. Laura Larson had a knack
                                                                for agriculture. At Iowa State she learned she could use her skills
                                                                for business. Through our National Agri-Marketing Association
                                                                chapter, she made a marketing plan for a colostrum replacer and
                                                                presented at a national competition. The skills she learned in an
                                                                internship through the Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative nourished a
                                                                startup business — and her career.


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