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Ag Report


Agricultural Economics

Aleksan Shanoyan, assistant professor, received the Undergraduate Teaching Award for 10 or less years of experience from the Western Agricultural Economics Association. 

G. Art Barnaby, professor, and Barry Flinchbaugh, professor emeritus, were selected for Farm Credit’s Fresh Perspectives Top 100 Honorees for their passion in guiding agricultural interests through the complex global market. Flinchbaugh earned the additional honor of being in the Top 10. 


See Learning in the Pits pages 8–9, Sorghum’s Popularity Keeps on Growing pages 12-13, and GSD awards presented page 21.

Animal Sciences and Industry

Karen Blakeslee, extension associate and coordinator of the Rapid Response Center, earned the 2016 President’s Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals in the Leadership Category.

Elizabeth Boyle, professor and extension specialist, has been named an American Meat Science Association Fellow. She also received the 2016 AMSA Signal Service Award. 

Barry Bradford, professor of dairy nutrition, was appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. FFAR, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to fund innovative research in food and agriculture. He also received the Outstanding Young Teacher Award at the Midwest American Society of Animal Science meeting.

Larry Corah, professor emeritus and retired vice president of Certified Angus Beef, LLC, received the 2016 Livestock Publications Council Headliner Award.

Melvin Hunt, professor emeritus, was recognized at the Reciprocal Meat Conference as an American Meat Science Association Mentor.

Evan Titgemeyer, professor of  ruminant nutrition, received the 2016 American Society of Animal Science Fellow Award in the Research Category at the ASAS annual meeting

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Danny Rogers (B.S. ’76 agricultural engineering, M.S. ’77 civil engineering), professor and irrigation specialist, earned the 2016 GB Gunlogson Countryside Engineering Award.

Three K-State faculty are among 16 professors named fellows of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at its July international meeting — Gary Clark, senior associate dean in the College of Engineering; Joe Harner, department head; and Xiuzhi Susan Sun, university distinguished professor of grain science and industry.

Communications and Agricultural Education

Awards presented at the Association for Communication Excellence annual meeting: Lauri Baker, associate professor, Award of Excellence, Research; Gloria Holcombe, editor, Award of Excellence, Publishing and Graphic Design; Cassie Wandersee, master’s student, Outstanding Thesis Proposal; Jennifer Ray (M.S. ’15) Outstanding Thesis; Jeremy D’Angelo, master’s student, and Jason Ellis, associate professor, Outstanding Research Poster; Gloria Holcombe, Megan Macy, marketing specialist, Bob Holcombe, graphic designer, Brad Beckman, videographer, Katie Allen, former communications specialist, and Don Donnert, photographer, Bronze Award for the K-State Research and Extension annual report. Donna Sheffield serves as ACE development officer; and Baker was elected research director.

Lauri Baker also received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award at the NACTA conference.

Steve Harbstreit, associate professor of agricultural education, received the Kansas Association for Career and Technical Education Lifetime Achievement Award.


Professor C. Michael “Mike” Smith received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Plant Resistance to Insects working group for his notable contributions to the fields of plant resistance and entomology. 

Grain Science and Industry

Wilbur Endowed Professor Subramanyam Bhadriraju’s work on controlling stored grain pests was cited twice in the The Leaflet by the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre in Australia.

Horticulture and Natural Resources

Adam Ahlers, assistant professor of wildlife and outdoor management, was one of 10 individuals selected from North America to participate in the 2016 The Wildlife Society Leadership Institute.

More than 150 researchers and urban food systems experts attended the 2016 Urban Food Systems Symposium, June 22–25, at K-State Olathe. The event looked at the current and future state of food production and food security in large cities. 

K-State Research and Extension

Gregg Hadley, assistant director for agriculture, natural resources and community development, earned the National Epsilon Sigma Phi Administrative Leadership Award for the North Central Region.

Trudy Rice, community development specialist, received the Distinguished National Service Award from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals at the organization’s annual meeting. She was chosen president-elect and also received the National Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Award for the North Central Region.

GSD awards presented

Gamma Sigma Delta, agricultural honor society, recognized students, faculty, and an alumnus at its annual spring reception on April 15.

Undergraduate Research: Jessica Bramhall and Erin Bush, both seniors in agronomy

Masters Teaching: Michelle Scarpace, master’s student in agronomy Doctoral Teaching: Rodrigo Pedrozo, doctoral student in plant pathology Doctoral Research: Sridevi Nakka, agronomy 

Distinguished Faculty: Gary Pierzynski, university distinguished professor of agronomy and department head

Early Career: Peter Tomlinson, assistant professor of agronomy and extension specialist for environmental quality 

Excellence in Extension: DeAnn Presley (M.S. ’02, Ph.D. ’07 agronomy), associate professor of environmental soil science and management

Outstanding Research: Praveen Vadlani, Lortscher Endowed Associate Professor of grain science and industry 

Teaching: Kevin Donnelly (B.S. ’72, M.S. ’74 agronomy), professor of crop science

Distinguished Alumnus: Fernando Garcia (M.S. ’89, Ph.D. ’92 agronomy), regional director of the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Buenos Aires

BRI Research Fellows announced

The Biosecurity Research Institute recognized 13 researchers as inaugural members of the Marty Vanier and Bob Krause BRI Research Fellows Program, including William Bockus and James Stack, professors of plant pathology; Randall Phebus, professor of animal sciences and industry; and Barbara Valent, university distinguished professor of plant pathology.

“Researchers at BRI are already studying prominent pathogens proposed for NBAF (National Bio and Agro-defense Facility), and they’re making progress on vaccines against diseases that threaten animal and human health,” said Peter Dorhout, vice president for research.

Celebrating 665 years of service 

Twenty-three College of Agriculture/
K-State Research and Extension retirees were recognized April 19 at the K-State Alumni Center. These individuals had a combined 665 years of service, an average of 28 years. Thank you for your dedication and service. The names, most recent title and unit, and number of years:

Philip Barnes, associate professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, 35; Robert Bauernfeind, professor and extension specialist, Entomology, 37; Elizabeth “Libby” Curry, family and consumer sciences specialist, Northwest Area, 41; Martha Flanagan, family and consumer sciences agent, Cherokee County, 20; Diann Gerstner, family and consumer sciences/4-H Youth Development agent, Thomas County, 10; Mary Meck Higgins, human nutrition specialist and registered dietitian, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and, Health, 30; Lynette Hoffman, accountant, Agriculture Dean’s Office, 37; Susan Jackson, family and consumer sciences agent, Harvey County, 26; Rhonda Janke, associate professor, Horticulture and Natural Resources, 21; Greg LeValley, printing coordinator, Communications and Agricultural Education, 38; James Marsden, professor, Animal Sciences and Industry, 21; Peggy Shaw McBee, Wildlife Outdoor Enterprise Management program director, Horticulture and Natural Resources, 15; Jan McMahon, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program agent,  Sedgwick County, 32; Jim Mengarelli, 4-H Youth Development agent, Wildcat District, 30; Linda Mirt, family and consumer sciences/4-H Youth Development agent, Sumner County, 40; James “Pat” Murphy, professor, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, 45; John Reese, professor, Entomology, 33; Vernon Schaffer, agronomist and farm manager, Agronomy, 29; Richard Umscheid, business manager, Grain Science and Industry, 12; John Unruh, professor, Animal Sciences and Industry, 27; Charisse West, administrative assistant, Agriculture Dean’s Office, 24; Teresa Weixelman, programmer for K-MAR-105 Association, Agricultural Economics, 45; and Nancy Zimmerli-Cates, publishing coordinator, Communications and Agricultural Education, 17.

In memoriam

Wayne Geyer, 82, Manhattan, died July 7, 2016. He joined the faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor of horticulture. He retired in 2014 as a professor with more than 47 years of service.

Leniel “Len” Harbers, 81, Manhattan, died April 18, 2016. He was a professor of animal sciences from 1964 until retirement. He participated in numerous foreign assignments and served as temporary assistant dean of the Graduate School in the late ’80s. 

Arliss Honstead, 101,Manhattan, died July 23, 2016. From 1947 to 1974, she was a home demonstration agent in Doniphan, Jackson, and Cowley counties; assistant state 4-H club leader; extension specialist in 4-H club work; and extension specialist, 4-H and Youth.

Vernon Carl Larson, 93, Manhattan, died on April 23, 2016. He was director of international agriculture programs and established formal relationships between K-State and universities and institutes in Paraguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, France, China, and Botswana. He helped form the Association of U.S. University Directors of International Agriculture Programs and the Mid-America International Agriculture Consortium. 

Jim Morrill, 85, Manhattan, died July 27, 2016. He was a professor of animal sciences for 33 years. After retiring, he did consulting work in the U.S. and numerous foreign countries, including 40 trips to Mexico and 24 to Honduras. 

Joseph G. Ponte Jr., 90, Manhattan, died April 21, 2016. After 17 years with the ITT Continental Baking Company, he joined the Department of Grain Science and Industry, where he taught classes, conducted research, and was involved with extension and consulting in Egypt, China, and other countries.