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Ag Report


Department Updates

Agricultural Economics

Brian Coffey (Ph.D. ’05), assistant professor, volunteered in Tajikistan with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, working with local fruit and vegetable growers to encourage strategic marketing and business planning.


Gary Pierzynski, university distinguished professor and department head, represented the Food and Agriculture Organization Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils at the United Nations celebration of World Soil Day on Dec. 5.

Anita Dille, professor, earned the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Weed Science Society of America at the organization’s annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

Mary Beth Kirkham, professor, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany with a minor in soil science. She was the first UW-Madison female graduate student in soil science. 

Colby Moorberg, assistant professor, received the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Outstanding Service Award for engaging the next generation of conservationists.

Animal Sciences and Industry

The department hosted the 50th annual Swine Day on Nov. 16. It is the oldest and longest running swine event in the country. “Attending Swine Day and being able to network with industry professionals makes me excited about the field I am going into,” said Annie Clark, swine nutrition doctoral student. Visit KSUSwine.org to download copies of research reports and watch videos.

Evan Titgemeyer, graduate program director and research coordinator, has been named interim department head. Ken Odde, who led the unit for 11 years, will continue to teach and conduct research in the department.

Communications and Agricultural Education

At the Agricultural Media Summit, the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow placed first in membership, leadership, and community categories as well as being named the 2017 Chapter of the Year.


Entomology Society of America recognition: Professor Raymond Cloyd earned the 2018 Distinguished Achievement in Horticultural Entomology Award from the ESA–North Central Branch. Kun Yan Zhu, university distinguished professor, is vice president-elect for Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology section of ESA. Adjunct faculty with USDA/ARS Dana Nayduch is vice president-elect for Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology (MUVE) section and chair of the Journal of Medical Entomology Editorial Board and Lee Cohnstaedt is MUVE section representative for the Journal of Medical Entomology.

International IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Symposium: Two teams received International IPM Awards of Excellence: The North Central Soybean Entomology Research and Extension Team with Associate Professor Brian McCornack and the Megacopta (Kudzu Bug) Working Group with Department Head John Ruberson.

Food Science Institute

Carol Shanklin, dean of K-State’s Graduate School and professor of dietetics, received the 2018 Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award. FSI encompasses faculty in 11 departments.

Grain Science and Industry

On February 3, the department hosted a Feeding the Future Discovery Day for 57 prospective junior high, high school, and college students. ree interactive labs involved milling wheat into our, producing breads and cakes, and making pet treats. 

Horticulture and Natural Resources

The Friends of the K-State Gardens hosted Planting a Seed to Grow the Gardens, An Evening Extraordinaire fundraiser at the Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom on Dec. 7, 2017. Bill and Sharon Snyder were distinguished guests, and the Westervelt family were honored guests. Approximately 100 people attended and more than $62,000 was raised for the gardens. Contact Scott McElwain, mcelwain@ksu.edu.

K-State professor Jack Fry and Amika Chandra, associate professor, Texas A&M University, developed KSUZ 0802, trade named Innovation™ Zoysia, which is being planted at turf farms across the U.S. and overseas. It is poised to benefit the turf industry from Indiana to Florida and from Virginia to Texas.

K-State Research and Extension

Freddie Lamm ’90, Northwest Research-Extension Center; Dan Rogers ’76, ’77, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Jonathan Aguilar ’09, Southwest Research-Extension Center; and Andres Patrignani, Department of Agronomy, with other members of USDA-NIFA Multistate Project W-3128, are joint recipients of the 2017 National Water and Energy Conservation Award provided by the Irrigation Association. K-State has been active in this multistate project since 1992 with early participation by Lamm, who initiated subsurface drip irrigation research in 1989.

Beth Drescher earned the 4-H Meritorius Award and the 4-H Military Partnership Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents for her work as K-State Research and Extension, Sedgwick County 4-H Youth Development agent from 1996-2017. She now works as a grant specialist at the Kansas State Polytechnic Campus.

John Strickler, professor emeritus for the Kansas Forest Service, was recognized by seven professional Kansas natural resource societies. The 2018 Kansas Conservation Champion Award honors his outstanding long-term dedication, innovation and leadership for the conservation, protection, enhancement and stewardship of Kansas’ natural heritage and resources.

Phillip Stahlman earned the 2018 Public Service Award from the Weed Science Society of America for advancing public understanding of the scientific principles of weed science. He retired in 2017 after 42 years of service to K-State, mostly at the Agricultural Research Center in Hays.

Plant Pathology

Richard Todd, associate professor, received one of five $50,000 grants awarded by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and the Hall Family Foundation to research fungi that produce bioactive compounds with harmful or beneficial effects on human and animal health.

Bikram Gill, university distinguished professor, spoke at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center March 14 dedication of the new 12,750 square-foot greenhouse expansion. The four new bays will house critical wheat research for the K-State Wheat Genetics Resource Center and the Poland Lab for Wheat Genetics and Heartland Plant Innovations.

Rodrigo Pedrozo, postdoctoral research fellow, was selected as the Public Policy Early Career Intern for the American Phytopathological Society.

In Memoriam

Jack Riley, 77, Manhattan, died Dec. 26, 2017. He was active in beef cattle research, especially in the areas of protein requirements, crop residue utilization, and feed additives. He loved teaching and advising students, and he taught more than 7,000 students over 35 years in the classroom. He was faculty coordinator of the K-State Beef Research Unit for 16 years and served as head of the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry for 17 years.

Norman C. Warminski, 75, Wichita, died Sept. 21, 2017. He worked as a county extension agent in Johnson, Harvey, and Sedgwick counties. He helped establish Botanica, The Wichita Gardens; the Wichita Extension Master Gardener program; and the Wichita Garden Show.

Robert Clore, 75, Manhattan, died Nov. 7, 2017. He taught in the Art Department for 32 years and coached the K-State Rodeo Team from 1971 to 1979.