Farm Progress

Catherine Woteki served as dean of ISU College of Agriculture from 2002 to 2005.

July 27, 2017

3 Min Read
CURTISS HALL: This is the home of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on the Ames campus.

Catherine Woteki, who served six years as undersecretary for research, education and economics and was chief scientist for USDA, has joined the faculty of Iowa State University’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Woteki, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, returns to ISU where she served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director of the Agriculture Experiment Station from 2002 to 2005. Her appointment was effective July 1.

“Dr. Woteki brings a wealth of knowledge about agriculture, food, nutrition and health from her years of service with USDA, her work in industry and academia,” says Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of the food science and human nutrition department. “With her unique background, Dr. Woteki is a well-respected scholar and a leader in science policy. We are looking forward to having her incorporate those experiences into our courses and faculty research projects.”

Oversaw 4 key agencies at USDA
Woteki served as undersecretary for USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area from 2010 to 2016. Her responsibilities included oversight of the area’s four agencies: Agricultural Research Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service. Woteki also served as the first undersecretary for food safety at USDA from 1997 to 2001. Before her most recent post at USDA, she worked as global director of scientific and regulatory affairs for Mars Inc.

In 1999, Woteki was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, now known as the National Academy of Medicine. ISU now has four professors who have been inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Medicine: Woteki; Alicia Carriquiry, distinguished professor of statistics; James Roth, distinguished professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine; and Diane Birt, distinguished professor of food science and human nutrition.

Woteki also has held previous faculty appointments at the University of Maryland and the University of Nebraska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Mary Washington College and a doctorate in human nutrition from Virginia Tech.

ISU Fruit and Vegetable Field Day is Aug. 7
In other news from ISU, the university’s annual Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Aug. 7 will feature research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, Extension personnel, nonprofit organizations and master gardeners.

The field day will run from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at the ISU Horticulture Research Station, 55519 170th St., near Ames. No charge for registration, but it is required for a meal count, at

The event provides an opportunity to interact with researchers and evaluate research projects focusing on high-tunnel pepper and peach production, tomato grafting, the integration of poultry and vegetable production, pest management in gourd crops, viticulture, hops production, and honeybee health and behavior studies. Equipment and tools used in small-scale fruit and vegetable production systems also will be displayed. The field day will demonstrate a potato digger and vegetable wash station.

Funding for the event is provided by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Specialty Crop Block grants. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Source: Iowa State University

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