Iowa State University

Iowa public universities continue to face difficult decisions such as financial backing and enrollment. IPR’s Dean Borg talks with Iowa State University President Steven Leath and President Ben Allen from the University of Northern Iowa about challenges they face including program closings, financial backing, and future plans for their schools.

On July 2nd 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which created Land Grant Colleges and made higher education accessible to millions of working class Americans. Today's "Talk of Iowa" focused on how the legislation’s impacted Iowa, the first state to accept it’s provisions. One of the show's guests, Allison Sheridan, oversaw the Morrill Act exhibit at Iowa State University and edited the book, “The Land-Grant Act and the People’s College: Iowa State University". Sheridan is the Museum Collections Manager and Communications Coordinator at ISU. 

On July 2nd 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which created Land Grant Colleges and made higher education accessible to millions of working class Americans.  Today's "Talk of Iowa" focused on how the legislation’s impacted Iowa, the first state to accept it’s provisions. One of the show's guests, Allison Sheridan, oversaw the Morrill Act exhibit at Iowa State University and edited the book, “The Land-Grant Act and the People’s College: Iowa State University". Sheridan is the Museum Collections Manager and Communications Coordinator at ISU.

Calm before the Corn

May 29, 2012
Clay Masters / IPR

Corn has been good to farmers. Helping fuel a boom in the ag sector. And as this year’s record corn forecast indicates, Midwestern farmers can’t seem to plant enough of the grain. Even with concerns growing about the effectiveness of today’s high-tech genetically engineered seeds, farmers aren’t backing down.

The land is dry and the wind blows hard in Sac County, Iowa.  For Darwin Bettin it’s a good day to be inside selling insurance. He also farms 500 acres of corn and soybeans in western Iowa.

This April is now acting a lot more like a typical April in Iowa. Horticulturists Cindy Haynes and Richard Jauron of Iowa State University are our guests. We’ll talk about how the freezing overnight temperatures of late have affected fruit trees and other plants around the state and we'll take your questions.

A shipment of precious cargo will begin its journey from the east coast to Iowa tomorrow morning. Crouching on 2 pallets inside a box-truck, are a pair of panthers; they were sculpted by one of Iowa’s most famous artists. The lost-and-found story is told by Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

Our unusually warm late winter and early spring weather has transformed the landscape and lulled some of us into a false sense of security. On this week's Horticulture program, Charity speaks to Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture and Linda Naeve, Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture, about what we can plant right now what we should absolutely not plant now, even if the weather is so nice.

It’s too early to plant, but it’s not too early for farmers to get out in their fields. This hour we discuss strips of prairie that can strengthen a field of corn or soybeans and other soil conservation techniques. We’ll also talk about how farmers decide when to plant in a year that's turned out be one of the warmest late winters in Iowa history. Guests include Jim Gillespie of the Iowa Department of Agriculture; Dr. Richard Cruse of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; and Forest City-area farmer, Riley Lewis.

Can you picture your back yard as a small farm--with herbs, flowers and vegetables growing in place of the Kentucky Blue Grass? It can happen, if you learn a few basics. On today's Horticulture Friday, we hear about a spring course from Iowa State University Extension, "Learn How to Have a Homegrown Lifestyle." It will be offered at 11 Iowa locations beginning March 29. It's for folks who want to reconnect with the land, grown food for their own use and create a sustainable landscape. Andy Larson of ISU Extension will tell us more about the course.

If everything you know about Iowa history you learned in fifth grade, now might be a good time for a refresher course. In a program that originally aired last September, Charity speaks with historians Dorothy Schwieder, Professor Emerita of History at Iowa State University and Thomas Morain of Graceland University in Lamoni. Their book is Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie.

Join host Ben Kieffer as he talks with the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Professor Dan Shechtman.  We’ll hear the story behind his discovery of a type of crystal so unusual at the time that it upended the scientific world and about his reaction to the moment he was given the news of his Nobel Prize.  Dan Shechtman is a professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University, a research scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

"Punxsutawney Phil" may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but we all know that gardening season is just around the corner. It's Horticulture Friday today, and Charity looks at organic gardening and the new Plant Hardiness Zone map from the USDA. We'll find out why you might not want to invest in too many "Zone 5" plants just yet. Guests are Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulture and Kathleen Delate, Prof. of Horticulture at ISU.

Iowa State University will host the Iowa final for the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Charity talks with Spelling Bee Director Paige Kimball about the growth and popularity of the event and how television has changed the perception of the competition. Also joining the conversation is an Iowa educator who served as the Head Judge for the competition, plus a Des Moines student who reached the spelling bee finals. Later, a literary consultant looks at effective teaching of spelling in early childhood education.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with PBS senior correspondent and former “Talk of the Nation” host Ray Suarez who will deliver the 2012 UI Health Care Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The 112th Congress convenes next week.  We'll check in with Iowa 1st District Congressman Bruce Braley on his priorities, including working with the Postal Service to streamline costs in an effort to keep a number of small town post offices open. Later, Iowa State University Associate Professor of Psychology Doug Gentile sheds light on new research understanding the positive and negative ways in which video games can affect cognition and behavior. 

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