Farm Progress

Interim directors named for ISU Beginning Farmer Center, Center for Ag Law and Iowa Nutrient Research Center.

May 12, 2017

3 Min Read
FILLING IN: The promotion of ISU’s John Lawrence to a vice president created other openings. William Edwards is now interim director of ISU’s Beginning Farmer Center. Hongwei Xin is the new assistant dean for research and interim director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center.

An Iowa State University emeritus professor of economics, William Edwards has been named interim director of two Extension-focused centers in the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: the Beginning Farmer Center and the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. Edwards will take on responsibilities previously held by John Lawrence, who in April was named ISU’s acting vice president for Extension and outreach.

The Beginning Farmer Center, created by the Iowa Legislature in 1994, conducts programs for farmers who want to transition their farm business to the next generation or for those who want to get into farming. The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation was established by the Iowa Board of Regents in 2006. CALT provides timely, objective information to ag producers, professionals and agribusinesses on important developments in ag law and taxation, and is a primary source of professional educational training in ag law and taxation. One of the center’s programs is the annual farm income tax schools, which ISU has conducted for nearly 45 years.

Edwards served 39 years on the economics faculty and as an ISU Extension farm management specialist, retiring in 2013. His expertise centers on farm management, ag finance, risk management, crop insurance, government programs, farm leasing and machinery management.

As an economist, Edwards oversaw development of some of the most requested information offered by ISU Extension, including the annual cash rental rate and custom farming rate surveys. For more than 30 years, he provided leadership for the Agricultural Credit School, an annual workshop sponsored by ISU and the Iowa Bankers Association. He directed an annual workshop for crop insurance agents from 2004 to 2012.

Edwards has been honored many times during his career, including the 2016 Faculty-­Staff Inspiration Award from the ISU Alumni Association, the 2014 Iowa Master Farmer Award for Exceptional Service to Agriculture and the 2014 Distinguished Service to Iowa Agriculture Award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

Assistant dean for research named
In a related announcement, ISU named an acclaimed researcher in animal environment engineering as the new assistant dean for research in the College of Ag and Life Sciences.

Hongwei Xin, a Charles F. Curtiss distinguished professor who holds the Iowa Egg Council Endowed Professorship in the agricultural and biosystems engineering and animal science departments, was recently named to the newly created position effective April 1. Xin also serves as director of the Egg Industry Center at ISU.

“Dr. Xin has extensive experience in basic and applied research, as well as working with industry partners on research issues,” said Joe Colletti, the college’s senior associate dean. “He and his team at the Egg Industry Center were at the forefront of responding to the avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest in 2015, and are implementing research projects to determine ways to prevent another.”

The assistant dean for research will be a member of the dean’s leadership team in the College of Ag and Life Sciences and will work with the college’s senior associate dean to direct and support its research activities. Xin will focus on the promotion of animal-related research, facilitate linkage with the Agriculture Experiment Station research and economic development efforts, and promote international research partnerships.

Iowa Nutrient Research Center
Xin’s five-year appointment includes continuing to direct the Egg Industry Center and conduct research. He also will serve as interim director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at ISU.

In 2016, Xin received the Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award for leadership in research and design of enhanced poultry and livestock production systems from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Xin is a native of China, who earned a bachelor’s degree in ag engineering at Shenyang Agricultural University in 1982, and a master’s degree in ag engineering in 1985 at the University of Nebraska, where he also earned a doctorate degree in bio-environmental engineering in 1989.

Source: Iowa State University


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