Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture is now Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. It's a trend occurring throughout colleges across the nation.

“Iowa State University has a 150-year tradition of excellence in agriculture. The new name for the college is the right direction to take as we enter new chapter for the many areas touched by agriculture and the life sciences in Iowa,” says Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

She says, the new name “more accurately describes the long-held and the modern emphasis and breadth of the college...it will help us communicate our contemporary programs and directions.”

Dan Frieberg of Cumming, chair of the college’s advisory council, notes, “Iowa State University, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in particular, is in a high-stakes battle for the best and brightest. We can’t afford to lose students from urban areas or any other background just because their perception of agriculture is dated or inappropriate. For many, the addition of life sciences may prove more fitting to the kind of future they see for themselves.”

New emerging opportunities, such as bioeconomy, plant and animal genomics, environmental stewardship, food and nutrition — are connected with basic sciences, Wintersteen says.

Perhaps most importantly, the college has high hopes that the new name will help attract a new generation of students. “The new name will help us to better convey the breadth of programs we offer,” says David Acker, associate dean of academic and global programs. “We want to encourage prospective students to explore the wide variety of majors the college offers.”

“Agriculture is very technical, very scientific and very much about biology,” says Frieberg, who earned his bachelor of science in farm operations from the college. “Plant and animal genomics, for example, will be just as revolutionary for agriculture as human genomics will be for human medicine. Life sciences is very much an appropriate expansion of what modern and future agriculture is and will be.”

Source: Iowa State University