STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Article Title

Changing Directions


Susan Thompson


Well-known economist sees Iowa AG through new crisis to new opportunities

In his 32 years at Iowa State, Robert Jolly had several job titles and a wide array of duties. "One of the things I always appreciated was being able to change direction without leaving town," he jokes. Jolly's most recent direction at Iowa State was leading the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative. "Dean Woteki asked me and Steve Nissan to put some wheels under the initiative," Jolly says. "We started with a multi pronged approach, working with faculty and students, developing educational materials and building entrepreneurship into the curriculum and activities." That was in 2005. It wasn't long before Jolly realized he was in familiar territory. "People sometimes think it's puzzling professors get involved in entrepreneurship. But if you look at what we do, we look for opportunities, find money, develop programs and fill needs. Those are entrepreneurial activities," he says.