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K-State News
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2009 Agriculture Achievements

* The Kansas State University Crops Team has again claimed the title as national champion, a feat that K-State teams have accomplished in eight of the last 11 years. The team won both the Kansas City Board of Trade and Chicago CME Group Collegiate Crops contests to win the 2009 national championship. K-State placed first at both Kansas City and Chicago in all three phases of the contest: plant and seed identification, grain grading and seed analysis. Such a sweep of all three contest parts at both contests is a very rare event and represents one of the top rankings ever accomplished by a K-State team, according to Kevin Donnelly, K-State professor of agronomy and team coach. The Kansas City and Chicago contests took place Nov. 17 and 21, respectively. Nov. 2009

* G.A. "Art" Barnaby Jr., professor of agricultural economics and state Extension specialist at K-State, received the 2009 National Award for Excellence in Extension at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 122nd annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated high impact programming, visionary leadership and anticipation of emerging issues for clientele and the system. The recipient also has shown commitment to diversity and integration of programs in partnerships with university colleagues outside clientele. Barnaby, who also has served as an Extension specialist and instructor of agricultural economics at K-State for more than 28 years, is becoming a recognized global leader for developing practical risk management strategies. Dec. 2009

* The dean of K-State's College of Agriculture and two faculty members from K-State's department of agronomy are recipients of national honors from the American Society of Agronomy. Fred Cholick, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, received the Agronomic Service Award, which recognizes the development of agronomic service programs, practices and products for acceptance by the public; Dave Mengel, professor of agronomy, received the Werner L. Nelson Award for Diagnosis of Yield-Limiting Factors for his work in the development, acceptance and/or implementation of diagnostic techniques and approaches in the field; and Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, received the Environmental Quality Research Award for his contributions that have enhanced the basic understanding of environmental sciences in relation to agriculture, or demonstrated sound and effective management practices for maintaining or improving the quality of soil, water and air resources. Nov. 2009

* Dana Minihan, assistant academic coordinator and an instructor for K-State's department of agronomy, has been appointed to a one-year term on the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences' national advisory committee. The group is the undergraduate organization of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America. Minihan is representing the Crop Science Society of America on the advisory committee and will help plan the students' portion of the annual meetings of the three societies, which will be Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2010, in Long Beach, Calif. Nov. 2009

* Several K-State agronomy students earned awards or were elected to leadership positions at the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences portion of the 2009 annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy. A four-member K-State team won first place in the poster competition, while two K-State students tied for second in the visual presentation competition. Elected to leadership positions of the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences were K-State's Bryson Haverkamp, national treasurer; Michael Stueder, membership committee chair; Shae Pelkowski, research symposium committee chair; Hannah Christen, speech contest committee co-chair; and Jason Unruh, Quiz Bowl committee chair. Nov. 2009

* A special ice cream cone developed by two K-State graduate students is the first-place winner in an international product development competition. Angela Dodd, a master's student in food science, Carrington, N.D., and Melissa Daniel, doctoral student in animal sciences, Cypress Inn, Tenn., took first place at the recent 2009 International American Association of Cereal Chemists' Product Development Competition. The K-State duo earned a cash prize of $2,550 for their creation of the Gluten-free Fun Flavored Waffle Cone. It is the second year in a row that a K-State student team has won the competition. Oct. 2009

* Two K-State professors are winners of the prestigious Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards for 2009. Charles Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, is the recipient of the Irvin Youngberg Award for Applied Sciences, and Duy Hua, university distinguished professor of chemistry, is the recipient of the Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science. Rice is ranked among the premier soil scientists in the world, with his research in the area of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling is especially well-known. The focus of his work is how soil management influences microbiological processes, and how that affects crop productivity, the release of greenhouse gases, and global climate change. Huy's research interests include studies of bio-based polymers and the synthesis of bioactive molecules, including anti-cancer, anti-norovirus, anti-malarial and anti-Alzheimer's agents. Each award includes a plaque and a $10,000 grant for ongoing research efforts. The award money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, research assistants or other support related to research. Oct. 2009

* John Leslie, professor and head of the K-State department of plant pathology, has been named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. The designation recognizes distinguished contributions to plant pathology or the society. It is limited to no more than 0.25 percent of the society's membership in any one year. Leslie also has been named an adjunct professor at Seoul National University in South Korea. The university awards adjunct professorships as an honor and as a way to recognize professors working together with their faculty. Leslie is the first adjunct professor in the South Korean university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sept. 2009

* K-State has received a $257,000 four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a U.S.-Brazil student exchange program. The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, also known as FIPSE, award will provide for an exchange of students and faculty between the two countries. The specific project title for the program is "Providing Education in Face of Climate Change, Food and Energy Scarcity." Four universities are participating in this program. K-State is the lead university on the U.S. side, and the Federal University of Santa Maria is the lead university in Brazil, according to Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy and lead contact for the program at K-State. The other two universities involved are Mississippi State University and Brazil's Federal University of Mato Grosso. Aug. 2009

* K-State graduate student Chelsea Good has received a $12,000 scholarship from the National Cattlemen's Foundation. Good, who is finishing up her master's in communication studies at K-State and is headed to law school, is one of two recipients of the foundation's W.D. Farr Scholarship, which helps support young scholars in the beef industry. Good previously earned bachelor's degrees in agricultural communications and journalism, public relations, and political science from K-State in May 2008. She said she aspires to a career advocating for the beef industry and fighting for ranchers' ability to earn an honest living producing safe, healthy food without unnecessary legal intrusion. Aug. 2009

* Chuck Rice has been appointed as a member of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, a major program unit of the National Research Council. Rice, university distinguished professor of soil microbiology, joined the board this year; his term will expire in 2012. The National Research Council functions under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. The four organizations are collectively referred to as the National Academies. The mission of the National Research Council is to improve government decision making and public policy, increase public education and understanding, and promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in matters involving science, engineering, technology, and health. The institution works to inform policies and actions that have the power to improve the lives of people in the U.S. and around the world. Aug. 2009

* Jared Unrau, senior in agricultural technology management, Goessel, and Shawna Cikanek, sophomore in pre-veterinary medicine, Hutchinson, are among the nine college students from six states serving as ambassadors to Agriculture Future of America. As ambassadors to the organization, they help plan its 2009 Leaders Conference. Unrau, Cikanek and the other members of the Student Advisory Team were selected based on their academic and leadership activities. July 2009

* For the third year in a row, K-State won first place in the Agricultural Robotics Student Design Competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. K-State has won the competition every year since it was started in 2007, according to Naiqian Zhang, K-State professor of biological and agricultural engineering and faculty adviser to the K-State team, the Robocat Rebels. This year, the student teams were challenged to build robotic vehicles that navigate an artificial forest, detect existing trees, and wirelessly transmit the detection result to a display unit. The robots also had to meet certain size specifications. The competition was June 21-24 in Reno, Nev., at the society's international meeting. In the competition, teams are judged on the total performance of their robots, including accuracy and speed in tree detection. The elegance in robot design also was judged, and each team had to make a presentation and submit a report. Among eight participating teams, K-State was the only team to receive perfect scores in all areas. July 2009

* K-State's Chuck Rice, a university distinguished professor of agronomy, has been selected president-elect of the Soil Science Society of America. Rice's term as president-elect will start Jan. 1, 2010; he will assume the presidency Jan. 1, 2011. The society is an international scientific society with more than 6,000 members. It is dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. Rice has gained international fame for his work in carbon sequestration. His research has been supported by more than $15 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy and others. May 2009

* For the eighth time in the last 11 years, the K-State Crops Team won first place in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national crops contest. This year's event was April 17 at the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, and featured 17 teams from two- and four-year schools. K-State placed first in the laboratory practical, math practical, and plant and seed identification parts of the contest, and second in the agronomic quiz. Team coach is Kevin Donnelly, professor of agronomy. May 2009

* K-State's four-member Academic Quadrathlon Team will be seeking a national title after winning first place at the regional Academic Quadrathlon competition at the Midwestern Section of the American Society of Animal Science meetings in Des Moines, Iowa, March 15-16. The team also won an on-campus quadrathlon competition against other teams from K-State earlier this year. The National Collegiate Beef Quiz Bowl, sponsored by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, will be part of the association's annual convention and trade show, Jan. 27-30, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas. April 2009

* The K-State Soil Judging Team won the National Soil Judging Contest for the second year in a row, taking first place overall and first in group judging. Twenty-three teams from around the country competed at the 2009 event, March 26-April 3, at the host school, Missouri State University. The K-State team is coached by Mickey Ransom, professor of agronomy, who is assisted by Paul Hartley, graduate student in agronomy. Earning individual honors were Kelsey McGie, junior in milling science management, Iola, who placed ninth in individual judging; and Kim Kerschen, freshman in agronomy, Garden Plain, who took 12th place in individual judging. April 2009

* Two K-State students were selected to attend the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2009 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 26-27, in Arlington, Va. James Millsap, senior in agricultural business, and Dalton Henry, a senior in agricultural economics and agricultural communications, were among the 18 students from across the country chosen out of a national pool of applicants to attend the annual forum. Selections were made based on individual essays written on the topic "Agriculture as a Career." The essay competition was open to juniors and seniors majoring in agricultural-related fields at land-grant and Hispanic-serving institutions. K-State's College of Agriculture, after inviting agriculture students to submit essays, chose the essays by Millsap and Henry to submit to the USDA as K-State's entries for the competition. Jan. 2009

* The latest book by K-State's Ted Cable, professor of natural resource management, took first place in the small book division of the Interpretive Media Awards Competition in Portland, Ore. Cable's "The Compact Guide to Birds of Kansas" is a reader-friendly compilation of Kansas bird statistics and pictures of the scores of birds that can be seen in Kansas. Jan. 2009


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