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Campus Chatter - October 31, 2018

Scientists can earn scholarship to National Biodiesel Conference

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — University-level science majors interested in learning about all aspects of the biodiesel industry can apply for a travel scholarship to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 21-24 in San Diego, Calif.

The application process is open to members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel for travel scholarships. Some students will be selected to present on their research or outreach activities. Student opportunities include a poster session and breakout session to present their research, a pre-conference biodiesel educational overview and a private mentoring mixer with prominent biodiesel scientists.

The National Biodiesel Board, the United Soybean Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation sponsor the scholarships, which amount to a $600 travel reimbursement and complimentary registration (a $1,200 value). Apply by Nov. 19 at

Indiana Farm Bureau names 2018 adult scholarship winners

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) and the Farm Bureau Foundation recently awarded 13 scholarships to college students involved in agriculture, and two adult education scholarships.

Peyton Mohler, Clinton County, received the Marion Stackhouse Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. Mohler is a Purdue University student studying farm management.

In addition, two $1,000 scholarships are offered to members of two collegiate Farm Bureau chapters. This year, Purdue students Kathleen Jacobs and Josephine Cameron received these.

Ten students, one per INFB district, received $500 Carolyn Hegel Memorial Scholarship awards. Students are listed below with the school they attend and their home county.

•Andrew Chupp, Purdue – Marshall County

•Abigail Weaver, Purdue – Elkhart County

•Peyton Mohler, Purdue – Clinton County

•Cora Hill, Black Hawk College, East Campus – Huntington County

•Ryan Solomon, Purdue – Boone County

•McKayla Mohr, Undeclared – Hancock County

•Jake McCormick, Purdue – Sullivan County

•Kylie Arnholt, Purdue – Bartholomew County

•Lisa Bloodworth, Vincennes University – Gibson County

•Morgan Ritzi, Purdue – Dearborn County

In addition, INFB awarded two Career Enrichment Scholarships. Winners must be 21 years of age or older and intend to use the funds to enrich their professional career, for a workshop, seminar, credit or non-credit class, or degree program, up to $500. Jamie Schilmiller of Floyd County and Alan Duttlinger of Tippecanoe County were awarded the scholarships.

AFIA recognizes scientists with nutrition research awards

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Assoc. (AFIA) honored two individuals in the animal science field at the American Society of Animal Science annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Juan Loor, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois received the AFIA-ASAS Ruminant Animal Nutrition Research Award, and Ruurd Zijlstra, Ph.D. of the University of Alberta, Canada, received the AFIA-ASAS Non-Ruminant Animal Nutrition Research Award.

Loor is an associate professor of animal sciences and nutritional sciences. He is known for his innovative research that merged ruminant nutrition with molecular biology into cattle nutrigenomics. He has trained 20 doctorate and 12 master’s students and six post-doctoral fellows, as well as mentored 25 foreign graduate students.

Loor holds a doctorate in animal science with a focus on dairy nutrition and a master’s degree in dairy science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of California, Davis.

Zijlstra is a professor of swine and carbohydrate nutrition and also serves as chair of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science. He has supervised 24 graduate students and 16 post-doctoral fellows.

Zijlstra holds a doctorate from the U of I and degrees from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands.

Illinois Agri-Women announce 2018 scholarship winners

GRIGGSVILLE, Ill. — Jordan Johns of Pontiac is the winner of the 2018 Illinois Agri-Women Agricultural Education Scholarship. This $1,500 is awarded annually to an agriculture education major finishing their degree in the upcoming year – Johns is a senior in agricultural education this fall at the University of Illinois. She attended Pontiac Township High School.

The Women Changing the Face of Agriculture (WCFA) conference takes place each spring to encourage young women to interact with women in agriculture, learn more about careers in the industry and network with agricultural leaders from across the country. Each year, three “WCFA Agent of Change” $1,000 scholarships are awarded to college students who aspire to make a difference through their careers in the agricultural industry.

The 2018 recipients include: Hannah Colleen Spangler, who attended Bushnell Prairie City High School and is studying agriculture leadership education at the University of Illinois; Sierra Rene Day of Cerro Gordo, who attended Cerro Gordo High School and is at Lake Land College – she plans to continue her education at Kansas State University where she will study animal science and agricultural communications; and Peyton Marie Gehrs of Carbondale, recently graduated from Southern Illinois University, where she is currently taking graduate courses in plant, soil and agricultural systems/literacy/education.

For more information about Illinois Agri-Women scholarships and opportunities, visit and to learn more about the 2019 WCFA conference, visit

Tennessee professor named Fellow by Poultry Science Assoc.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Michael O. Smith, a professor in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Department of Animal Science, has been elected a Fellow in the Poultry Science Assoc. (PSA).

Smith, who specializes in poultry production, was born in Jamaica and holds a Diploma in Agriculture from the Jamaica School of Agriculture (JSA). He earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture, a master’s in animal science and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Oklahoma State University.

He began his UT career as an assistant professor in 1988 and rose to the rank of professor in 2003. He served as acting assistant dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for two years during 1999-2000. Smith teaches courses in poultry production, serves as the scholarship coordinator for the Herbert College of Agriculture and also holds an appointment with UT AgResearch conducting poultry management studies under heat stress conditions.

He regularly advises 60-80 students annually as well as serves as faculty advisor to the UT Poultry Science Club. Over the years, he has mentored 15 doctoral students, master’s students and visiting scholars as well as served on the graduate committees of 30 others.

Smith and his wife, Dr. Delores Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies, have three adult sons and one granddaughter.

Illinois scientist receives American Geophysical Union award

URBANA, Ill. — The American Geophysical Union (AGU) announced one of its 2018 Global Environmental Change Early Career awards will go to Kaiyu Guan, assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Guan is also a Blue Waters Professor at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at U of I. The AGU gives this award annually in recognition of early-career scientists for outstanding contributions in research, educational or societal impacts in the area of global environmental change, especially through interdisciplinary approaches.

Guan, an environmental scientist, says his research uses his expertise in geosciences and ecology along with satellite and supercomputing tools to address fundamental science questions, with the ultimate goal of providing solutions for real-life problems. He tackles grand challenges such as field-level crop monitoring and forecasting at continental scales, water management and sustainability and global food security.

Guan will receive the award during the annual AGU meeting in Washington, D.C., this December.

Novus names OSU’s Bielke as 2018 Outstanding Scholar

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Novus International, Inc. announced that Dr. Lisa R. Bielke, professor of animal sciences at The Ohio State University, was recognized as the 2018 Novus Outstanding Scholar at the Poultry Science Assoc. annual meeting.

This prestigious award is given to an individual who serves as an exemplary scholar in her area of expertise, who has made significant contributions to the industry through her work. The selection is organized by Novus's industry-leading research and development and technical service teams.

Bielke focuses her current research on poultry health with emphasis on enteric diseases and the ante mortem control of food pathogens, including projects developing vaccine technologies, probiotics and creating tools and assays to better assess gastrointestinal challenges. Her collaborations have resulted in numerous commercial vaccines for hard-to-treat diseases such as salmonella, camplyobacter, eimeria, avian influenza and necrotic enteritis.

Start selecting 2019 Illinois performance tested bulls for sale

URBANA, Ill. — Seedstock breeders should begin identifying bulls they plan to consign to the 2019 Illinois Performance Tested (IPT) Bull Sale. The IPT Bull Sale is the leadoff event for the annual Illinois Beef Expo.

The sale is scheduled for Feb. 21 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The sale accepts older as well as younger bulls, with a birth date from Jan. 1, 2017, through March 2018.

The sale continues to expand its market through the use of an online bidding service. This allows the sale to continue to offer buyers several bidding options. The online bidding service is helping the sale build upon an already distinguished reputation in the state of Illinois and the Midwest.

Breeders are eligible to sell eight bulls in the 2019 sale, with two of these bulls not requiring a nomination fee. However, consignors selling more than six will require that they index above the average for their breed at cataloging. Also, first-time consignors are limited to nominating two bulls.

Nomination deadline and fees are three-tiered, with the following dates and costs: Nov. 15, $75; Dec. 1, $100; and Dec. 15, $125. A copy of the rules and regulations and nomination form, along with past sale information, is posted at

The rules and regulation information can also be obtained by contacting Travis Meteer at 217-430-7030 or

DOE invests in sorghum disease resistance research at U of I

URBANA, Ill. — Sorghum, a more drought-tolerant cousin to corn, is grown throughout the dry Western Corn Belt region of the United States. The crop is traditionally grown for the grain, but newer cultivars have been developed to maximize vegetative biomass, a key trait for lignocellulosic bioenergy production.

But before sorghum can meet its full potential as a bioenergy crop, it will need to become more resistant to diseases that can reduce its ability to produce biomass. With the announcement of a $1.1 million grant for sorghum disease resistance research led by the University of Illinois, the Department of Energy is signaling a new investment in the future of the crop.

Tiffany Jamann, assistant professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at U of I, is the principal investigator on the grant.

Sorghum is susceptible to infection by the fungus that causes sorghum leaf blight, which is associated with decreased yields, reduced forage quality and quantity and an increased risk of infection by other diseases, including anthracnose. Interestingly, the same fungus infects corn, a fact Jamann and her research partners ultimately hope to use to increase resistance in sorghum.

Jamann will work with research partners Santiago Mideros, also from U of I, and Bill Rooney from Texas A&M University over the next three years to identify resistance genes in sorghum using approaches that harness natural genetic variation in the plant. Next, they will test the efficacy of those genes in resisting sorghum leaf blight and anthracnose. Finally, they will investigate the fungus itself to identify genes responsible for host specificity on sorghum.

NCGA, BASF accepting applications for scholarships

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — The National Corn Growers Assoc. (NCGA) and BASF Corp. announced they are accepting applications for five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree during the 2019-20 school year.

For the first time, NCGA will accept applications from students pursuing degrees in all subject areas. Previously, only those pursuing those in agriculture-related fields were considered.

Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate study, and they or a parent or legal guardian must be an NCGA member. Scholarship applications must be received by Dec. 1. This year all scholarship applications will be completed online.

Recipients will be selected in early 2019. Each, and a parent or guardian, will enjoy travel and lodging to attend the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla., to be recognized at the NCGA Banquet and have the opportunity to learn more about modern agriculture.

This is the 12th year for the partnership between BASF and NCGA. The complete rules and application can be found at

More than 40 honored at 2018 AAEA’s Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 1,700 participants attended the 2018 Agricultural and Applied Economics Assoc. (AAEA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in August. AAEA recognized five Fellows and handed out 26 awards at this year’s Awards and Fellows Recognition Ceremony, including the following from this region:

•AAEA 2018 Fellows: Thomas Jayne from Michigan State University

•Undergraduate Academic Bowl: University of Kentucky (Josey Moore, Zoe Gabrielson, Erica Rogers)

•Undergraduate Outstanding Paper Competition: Skyler Schneekloth of Iowa State University

•Outstanding Chapter Award: Iowa State University (Advisor Georgeanne Artz)

•Graduate Student Case Study Competition: Michigan State University, advised by Robert Myers (Braeden Van Deynze, Stephan Morgan and Samantha Padilla)

•Distinguished Graduate Teaching, 10 or More Years’ Experience: Gerald Shively, Purdue University

•Distinguished Extension, Less than 10 Years’ Experience: Lee Schulz, Iowa State University

•Distinguished Extension, 10 or More Years’ Experience: Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

•Distinguished Outreach: Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky

•Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis: Scott Irwin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dwight Sanders, Southern Illinois University

•Anthony Grano Scholarship: Chinonso Etumnu, Purdue University

•Sylvia Lane Mentor Fellowship: Graciela Andrango, Western Illinois University

•Chester O. McCorkle Jr. Student Scholarship: Jose Nuno, Purdue University