Campus community is invited to purchase hort farm produce

Tasting tomatoes

Horticulture senior Brad Bathey (left) and graduate student Kyle Tester sample just-harvested cherry tomatoes at the Horticulture Research Station east of Gilbert. The first produce delivery day on campus is July 18. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to purchase fruits and vegetables grown on the university's Horticulture Research Station near Gilbert.

A new year-round website will allow the ISU community to order fresh produce. The website was created during spring semester by students in Horticulture 465, Horticulture Enterprise Management: Marketing, as a project in their study of managing and operating fruit and vegetable enterprises for local markets.

"We have produce ready to sell now," said Megan Cannon, a May graduate in dietetics and nutritional sciences, summer intern at the hort station and one of the website developers.

Cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, thyme, cherry tomatoes, beets and several kale varieties are available for purchase now. In about a week, raspberries will be be available. In about two weeks, Legend tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes and blackberries will be ready. A month from now, specialty melons also will be available.

Different seasons will mean different produce. The widest variety will be readily available during the spring and summer, but apples and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes will last longer into the fall and winter months. Students in Horticulture 465, hort station staff and members of the Student Organic Farm are growing the produce for this new project.

How it works

Produce availability is updated weekly on the website. Log in using your ISU net-ID and password to see the "produce for sale" site. Orders will be available for pickup on Fridays (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) in parking lot 43 (between Bessey and Horticulture halls). Payment, due at pickup, is by cash or check only.

The first produce delivery will be Friday, July 18.

About the project

The Horticulture 465 class developed a proposal for the website and presented the plan to Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture leaders, who agreed to pay for the site design and half of the salary and benefits for an intern manage it. The horticulture department agreed to fund the other half. The hort station acts as a supporting entity for the class and the website.

The 230-acre farm is located four miles north of Ames on county road E-23, east of U.S. Highway 69. According to superintendent Nick Howell, the farm hosts 85-100 projects annually, on everything from turf grass to fish to fruits and vegetables.

FY 2014 external funding is second highest on record

External funding at Iowa State increased to $368.4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's a 12.9 percent increase from the previous year's total of $326.4 million, and the second-highest total for the university.

"As we anticipated, external funding has rebounded well from last year's federal budget sequester impact," said President Steven Leath. "We are especially pleased that funding from federal sources was up substantially, by 21.6 percent over last year's federal total."

External funding includes grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements from federal, state and local government sources and from corporations, foundations and other universities.

These funds support Iowa State researchers, students (including student financial aid), education programs, equipment purchases, buildings and extension activities. The funding is in addition to state appropriations, which support daily operations of the university. The increase in FY14 returns the university to a long-term upward trend, taking into account the federal budget anomalies of the sequestration last year and the federal stimulus in FY10. Funding that year remains the highest external funding ever at Iowa State.

"Iowa State's faculty and researchers have remained very competitive," said Sarah Nusser, vice president for research. "Because our research is well aligned with national and state priorities, as well as with industry and other funding organizations, we saw real growth in 2014."

Top sources of funding

The U.S. Department of Energy was the single largest source of federal agency funding in FY14, at $59.7 million. The second highest source was the U.S. Department of Agriculture at $57.9 million, and the third highest was the National Science Foundation at $31.6 million.

Funding from federal agencies totaled $210.1 million, up from $172.7 million the previous fiscal year. Non-federal funding, which includes state and local government, businesses, corporations, foundations, universities and colleges, totaled $158.3 million, up from $153.7 million the previous fiscal year.

Iowa State external funding: FY14



Federal by agency*






Health and Human Services












National Science Foundation




Environmental Protection Agency




Federal subtotal








Foreign federal govt


Foreign higher education


Foreign industry/corporate


Foreign nonprofits


Higher education






Iowa local govt/school districts


Non-Iowa state & local govt


Nonprofit organizations


State of Iowa


Non-federal subtotal




*Includes all formula funding, federal direct funding and regular federal grant and contract activity

Improved online classification and hiring system to launch in September

University Human Resources (UHR) is preparing to launch a major upgrade to PeopleAdmin 7.0, Iowa State’s online classification and hiring system, which will streamline the hiring process for both hiring managers and job applicants.

“We’re improving the user experience for people who apply for positions at Iowa State, as well as our colleagues across campus who manage the hiring process,” said Julie Nuter, associate vice president for UHR. “The tools available in PeopleAdmin 7.0 will make it easier to create position descriptions and post vacancies, and stay up-to-date regarding the status of open searches.”

PeopleAdmin 7.0 will go live for all position types in September, but no earlier than Sept. 8. At that time, all new positions must be posted in the new system.

For more information about the PeopleAdmin upgrade, contact Kristi Darr, 4-3753.

The upgrade also includes a new electronic letter of intent (LOI) for all non-temporary faculty and staff positions, which eliminates the use of paper LOIs; and a new onboarding process that allows new employees to complete new hire paperwork online and shares other information regarding university resources. These features will be added during the fall and early spring semesters.

According to Nuter, PeopleAdmin 7.0 also complements several of Iowa State’s strategic initiatives.

“The upgrade will make our search, hiring and onboarding processes more efficient and effective, an area of opportunity identified by the state Board of Regents’ TIER study,” Nuter said.

“Just as important, a streamlined onboarding process will ensure that, once hired, new faculty and staff have an accelerated start through an onboarding portal to complete new hire processes in a timelier manner.”

UHR is working with HR liaisons throughout the university to prepare for the launch and offering training for faculty and staff who will use the system. Training is available through face-to-face sessions or online tutorials.

Troxel Hall is golden

Green roof on Troxel Hall

Nearly three-fourths of the Troxel Hall roof is planted with vegetation, as seen from Bessey Hall. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Troxel Hall, the auditorium facility on the east side of campus, has earned Iowa State another LEED® Gold certification, the second highest level in the green building rating system. Troxel is Iowa State's eighth LEED-certified building.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998 to measure environmentally sensitive building design, construction, operations and maintenance. The standards in this voluntary program are becoming more stringent as it evolves.

Iowa State's LEED®-certified projects:

Platinum: College of Design Pavilion (2010), State Gym (2012)

Gold: Biorenewables Research Laboratory (2011), Hach Hall (2011), Small Animal Hospital at the Lloyd Veterinary Medicine Center (2013), Troxel Hall (2014)

Silver: Morrill Hall (2008), Bergstrom Football Complex (2014)

LEED measures achievements in five categories plus an innovation category (for exemplary performance in any of the five) and awards a credit total. Troxel Hall scored a 61 on the LEED 110-credit scorecard. The university applied for 66 credits.

Alumnus Doug Troxel, founder of the Change Happens Foundation, which made a $5 million gift to the project, said his family was thrilled to learn of the LEED designation for the building that bears their name.

"As a family, we are committed to supporting environmentally responsible design and construction methods, and we were excited to know our interests were shared by Iowa State leadership," Troxel said. "This high-level LEED certification confirms our dedication to supporting projects with a strong environmental focus. The philanthropic goal of the Change Happens Foundation is to concentrate on the three areas of science, the environment and education.

"Troxel Hall represents the best efforts of that goal and combines those three areas together into one very innovative learning center,"
 he said.

Following are a few examples in each category of how the Troxel project earned LEED credits:

Sustainable site

  • Six bus routes pass within one-fourth mile of the building
  • No vehicle parking stalls were added as part of this project
  • Bicycle parking availability surpasses LEED standards
  • About 65 percent of the roof is planted with vegetation
  • Plantings and white concrete (used minimally) reduce the daylight heat the building site retains

Water efficiency

  • The site has no outdoor irrigation system, and landscaping plants selected reflect this
  • Water use is reduced 36 percent from a building built to state code. Examples include ultra low-flow urinals (one pint of water per flush) in restrooms and aerators in sink faucet heads

Energy and atmosphere

  • Energy cost is 25 percent less than a similar facility built to Iowa code minimums
  • Air delivery ducts are low, air returns are high to keep conditioned air where the people are
  • A plan is in place to meter all utilities (water, chilled water, steam, lighting, electrical outlets, HVAC system) to compare actual performance to performance model

Materials and resources

  • 89 percent of construction waste was diverted from a landfill and recycled instead
  • 29 percent of building materials (by value) contain recycled materials, including carpet, plywood, restroom partitions, lab benches and cabinets
  • 30 percent of construction materials were manufactured or extracted from the earth within 500 miles of Ames
  • Building has areas dedicated to collecting and storing recyclable materials

Indoor environmental quality

  • Paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants used indoors emit no or low levels of toxins
  • Indoor air quality was tested for carbon dioxide levels and toxins prior to occupancy
  • The building's ventilation system draws in 30 percent more outside air than required by state code
  • Occupants can control indoor temperature and lighting, but lack of motion in spaces automatically adjusts levels

The university strives for gold certification or higher on new building and major renovation projects. Pending are LEED applications on the Hansen agriculture teaching facility, Harl Commons and student services mall projects in Curtiss Hall, and phase 2 (Elings and Sukup halls) of the biorenewables complex.

The great mouse-over detective could be you

If you're paranoid about clicking links in emails, you're in the right frame of mind. Eighty percent of the email coming into Iowa State servers is spam or fraud, according to information technology staff. And the consequences of one errant click range from embarrassing (having to make that sheepish call to the Solution Center) to costly (one infected machine can wreak a lot of network havoc in a short time).

Fortunately, with a few minutes of online video training, you could be sniffing out fraudulent links in your inbox and on web pages with Sherlockian precision.

IT's new "Don't Be Fooled" training video will provide you with a few key tools to determine when, for example, that click is going to take you to the real Iowa State calendar of events -- or a fraudulent pretender overseas.

The six-minute video is divided into three sections for easy viewing. At the end of instructional sections, you'll get a chance to try your new skills by determining whether sample sites are frauds or real deals.

Summer visitors to campus

While Iowa State student numbers drop noticeably in the summer, our campus visitors data spikes. Here's a quick rundown of some of the larger groups heading our way -- and when.

Group Date Participants Staying on campus
Iowa Funeral Directors Association convention May 12-15 400 no
Alumni Days May 15-16 275, senior alumni no
Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games May 22-24 2,700, all ages yes
Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 28-31 8,000, youth elementary-college plus 7,000 family members yes
Orientation: Fall 2014 June 2-July 3 5,500+ freshman and transfer students yes
Future Problem Solving Program International Conference June 12-15 2,500, youth grades 4-12 yes
USA Track & Field Iowa Association Junior Olympic Championships June 21-22 1,000 no
Iowa Reading Association Conference June 24-25 850 IRA members no
Iowa 4-H Youth Conference June 24-26 1,000, high school yes
National Junior Disability Championships July 5-12 200-250, ages 7-22, physical disabilities no
BravO National Dance & Talent Competition July 7-13 1,000, all ages no
Iowa Summer Games July 11-13, July 17-20 (main weekend), July 25-27 14,000 over 3 weekends, all ages, youth and adults yes
Farm Progress Show Aug. 26-28   no


If you have a large group (100+) coming to campus this summer, send a note to and we'll add it to the list.