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K-State News
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2010 Agriculture Achievements

* The K-State Crops Team is the national champion for the second year in a row. K-State has now won the national crops championship in nine of the past 12 years. The team won both the Kansas City Board of Trade and Chicago CME Group Collegiate Crops contests to secure the 2010 national championship. K-State’s team placed first at Kansas City as well as Chicago in the plant and seed identification and grain grading components of the contest. The team was second in Chicago and third in Kansas City in the seed analysis component. The Kansas City and Chicago contests took place on Nov. 16 and 20, respectively. Dec. 2010

* The Horse Judging Team won the 2010 American Quarter Horse Association World Show Horse Judging Contest Nov. 18. Along with winning the overall division, they team won high team halter, high team performance, and high team reasons. Individual honors include Meg Drake as reserve high individual overall, high individual in reasons, reserve high individual in halter, and fifth high individual performance. Nov. 2010

* The Livestock Judging Team won Reserve National Champion honors at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville. The team placed first in performance classes, second in reasons, second in sheep, second in hogs, and fifth in cattle. In individual overall, Seth Keas placed first, and Jara Settles was one of 11 individuals selected to receive a 2010 All American Award from the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Team Coaches Association. Nov. 2010

* The Meat Judging Team finished third overall at the 2010 International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Neb. The team finished first in beef judging and total placings; second in lamb judging and overall beef; third in pork judging; and fourth in beef grading and reasons. Individually, Kyla Clawson finished second overall by earning first place in beef judging and in overall beef, second in beef grading, third in reasons, fourth in lamb judging, and fifth in placings. She also earned second team All-American honors. Nov. 2010

* For the third consecutive year students in K-State’s food science research and development class took home first place at the American Association of Cereal Chemists International Food Product Development Competition. No other university has achieved this benchmark in the history of the competition. The team's winning entry was a fat-free grain tea made with cracked red sorghum roasted and combined with a dried pineapple and orange fruit mix. Nov. 2010

* Four K-State researchers received a patent for their invention, "Compositions and Methods for Controlling Plant Parasitic Nematodes," which aims to control the soybean cyst nematode, a devastating parasite that causes million of dollars in crop damage each year. The researchers included: Harold Trick, professor of plant pathology; Timothy Todd, instructor of plant pathology; Michael Herman, associate professor of biology; and Judith Roe, former assistant professor of biology. Nov. 2010

* Frank White, professor of plant pathology and an international authority on the molecular basis of plant disease, was named a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in recognition of his distinguished contributions to plant pathology or society. White discovered a group of genes that are transferred from bacteria to plants during infection. He also identified bacterial genes naturally present in some plant genomes. White recently also characterized the family of bacterial virulence factors that alter the expression of plant genes and condition the plant for either susceptibility or resistance to disease. Oct. 2010

Anna Whitfield, assistant professor of plant pathology, was named an up-and-comer in virology by the American Phytopathological Society. As part of the award, Whitfield presented at the Schroth Faces of the Future Early Career Professionals Symposium on her current research and research priorities for the future, a part of the society's annual meeting. In addition to presenting, Whitfield received travel assistance funds. Oct. 2010

* The K-State Collegiate Crops Team placed first in the Central Regional Crops Contest in Manhattan, winning all three phases of the contest: seed analysis, grain grading, and plant and seed identification. In addition, the team captured the top three individual overall placings: Ben Meyer, junior, was the high individual overall, followed by Jason Unruh, senior, in second, and Nathan Stensaas, senior, in third place. The team is coached by Kevin Donnelly, K-State professor of agronomy. Oct. 2010

* The Entomological Society of America has recognized K-State's C. Michael Smith with the Recognition Award in Entomology, a $1,500 honor sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection. Honorees must be current members of the entomological society who have contributed significantly to agricultural advancement through their work in the entomology field. Smith is a Fellow of the society. He is a recognized authority in the field of plant resistance to arthropods. Oct. 2010

* Daniel Devlin, professor and extension specialist in agronomy, has received the Agronomic Extension Education Award from the American Society of Agronomy. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research. Devlin's extension and research programs focus on developing and implementing water quality extension programs, particularly related to nutrient and pesticide management and on watershed planning. Oct. 2010

* Jianming Yu, associate professor of agronomy, has received the Early Career Professional Award from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. His research focuses on developing novel methods of utilizing cutting-edge genetic and genomic tools for complex trait dissection and plant breeding. Oct. 2010

* Guihua Bai and Daniel Devlin have been named fellows of the American Society of Agronomy. Members of the society nominate worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only 0.3 percent of the society’s active and emeritus members may be elected a fellow. Bai is a U.S. Department of Agriculture Research plant geneticist and adjunct professor in agronomy; Devlin is a professor and extension specialist in agronomy. Bai is one of the directors of USDA's Central Small Grain Genotyping Lab and K-State Sequence Facility. His research focuses mainly on hard winter wheat molecular breeding and wheat resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Devlin's extension and research programs focus on developing and implementing water quality extension programs, particularly related to nutrient and pesticide management and on watershed planning. Oct. 2010

* Mary B. Kirkham, professor of agronomy, is the recipient of the Crop Science Research Award from the Crop Science Society of America. The annual award is presented for outstanding contributions to crop science through research. Kirkham's research activities include the uptake of heavy metals by crops and the physiology of drought resistance. Kirkham is on the editorial board of several journals, including Crop Science, Soil Science and Agricultural Water Management. She teaches a class on plant-water relations, works with graduate students, and participates in national and international meetings. Oct. 2010

* James Shroyer, professor and extension crops specialist and Extension agronomy state leader, has been named a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America. Members of the society nominate worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only 0.3 percent of the society’s active and emeritus members may be elected fellow. Shroyer's research focuses on wheat and alfalfa production and management. He has served as associate editor for the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, and has been active in the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. Oct. 2010

* Gerard Kluitenberg, professor of soil and environmental physics at K-State, has received the Don and Betty Kirkham Soil Physics Award from the Soil Science Society of America. The award recognizes mid-career soil scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the area of soil physics. Kluitenberg's primary research focus is the development of thermal sensors for measuring soil physical properties and quantifying water flow in soils. He has been chair of Division S-1 of the society, and has been associate editor for the Soil Science Society of America Journal. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. Oct. 2010

* Ron Wilson, a Kansas cowboy poet and rural development specialist at K-State, has been named the first outreach ambassador of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. As outreach ambassador, Wilson will help educate about the positive and important contributions of multicultural peoples to the settling of the American West. Wilson is director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at K-State. He also writes and performs cowboy poetry and studies Western history. June 2010

* Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, has been selected again to join other leading international scientists as part of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rice has been chosen to become one of just two lead authors from the U.S. for the chapter on agriculture in the panel's upcoming Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change. The assessment report is expected to be released in 2014. Altogether, there will be 201 lead authors involved in writing the upcoming report; of which only 29 are from the U.S., including Rice. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was honored as co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for its Fourth Assessment Report, on which Rice served as an author. June 2010

* John Leslie, department head and professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University, is a new honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Leslie was inducted into the academy based on his career achievements, according to the academy's nomination committee. To be considered for membership, candidates must be active scientists in a foreign country whose research is recognized on an international level is and especially pertinent to Hungarian scientists. Honorary members must also neither live in Hungary nor have a connection to Hungary via their parentage. Leslie is one of 35 members elected in 2010. Leslie's contributions to the field of plant pathology include 133 scientific papers, six books and 24 book chapters. Several of his papers are highly regarded in the field, including one that gave a new synthesis of the evolutionary consequences of molecular recombination events, and another paper which shed new light on the role of vegetative incompatibility in preserving pathogenic traits. He also created the first well-received map of G. moniliformis. May 2010

* Gary Pierzynski, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and professor of agronomy at K-State, will serve as president-elect of the Soil Science Society of America beginning Jan. 1, 2011; he assumes the role of president Jan. 1, 2012. He will be the third K-State agronomy faculty member to serve as president of the Soil Science Society of America, succeeding K-State's Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, who will serve as society president in 2011. An international scientific society with more than 6,000 members, the Soil Science Society of America is dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. May 2010

* K-State's Jeff Gwirtz, associate professor of milling science and management, has been honored with the 2010 Thaddeus Bownik Award from the International Association of Operative Millers. The award is presented annually by the association in recognition of a member's many years of support and contributions to the flour milling and grain processing industry, and for special contributions to the association as a member of the board of directors and standing or special committees. Gwirtz, who has been a member of the International Association of Operative Millers since 1983, has served on several different association committees and has had various roles within the organization. May 2010

* David Wetzel, K-State professor of grain science and industry, has been named one of two Fellows of the American Association of Cereal Chemistry International for 2010. This is one of the top international honors in cereal chemistry. Wetzel is internationally known for the localized chemical analysis of biological material at the cellular and subcellular levels using infrared microscopy. He has pioneered the use of infrared microscopy to study various biological materials. May 2010

* K-State entomologist John C. Reese has been recognized for his career contributions in making crops and other plants resistant to insects. Reese was honored at the International Plant Resistance to Insects 19th biennial workshop in March  in Charleston, S.C. The award noted his outstanding and meritorious contributions to plant resistance to insects. Reese teaches K-State's premier course in host plant resistance. May 2010

* A K-State Soil Judging Team won third place winner in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national soil judging contest. The competition was April 15-17 at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla. A total of 22 teams -- including two teams from K-State -- and 93 individuals competed in the event. Paul Hartley, graduate student in agronomy, Strong City, and Mickey Ransom, professor of agronomy, served as coaches for the team. Kelsey McGie, senior in milling science and management,Iola, served as assistant coach. April 2010

* The K-State Crops Team took first place in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national crops contest April 16 at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla. A total of 22 teams competed, 13 in the four-year division and nine in the two-year division. The K-State team also took home four of the top five individual placings. It is the second straight title in the contest for the K-State team, and the team's ninth title in the last 12 years, according to Kevin Donnelly, team coach and a K-State professor of agronomy. The contest has four components: laboratory practical, agronomic exam, math practical, and plant and seed identification. The K-State team placed first in the laboratory, math and identification components, and second in the exam. April 2010

* Three K-State entomology faculty members were recognized at the annual meeting of the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America. Raymond Cloyd, associate professor of entomology, received the Award of Excellence in Integrated Pest Management, while Jim Nechols, professor of entomology, was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, and John Reese, professor of entomology, was the recipient of the Recognition Award in Entomology. April 2010

* Sajid Alavi, associate professor of grain science and industry at K-State, received the 2010 Young Research Scientist Award from AACC International, formerly the American Association of Cereal Chemists. The honor is presented to a scientist younger than 40 for contributions to basic and applied cereal science research. Alavi's area of specialization is extrusion, a widely used processing technology for food, feed, pet food and industrial products. He said extrusion will play an increasing role in meeting the challenges of adding value to agricultural commodities and providing safe and nutritious foods for an increasing global population. April 2010

* To put the nature and history back into cross-state travel along the Interstate, K-State's Ted Cable has published "Driving Across Missouri: A Guide to I-70." In the book, Cable and co-author LuAnn Cadden breathe history and culture back into Missouri's Interstate 70 landscapes. The new book is a companion to "Driving Across Kansas: A Guide to I-70," which Cable co-authored in 2003. Cable, a naturalist, is a professor of park management and conservation, is an expert interpreter who takes facts about the natural environment and turns them into stories and experiences to help people understand the world's natural resources. March 2010

* A K-State professor who believes in providing extensive hands-on learning opportunities for her students received the 2009 North Central Region Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching the Food and Agricultural Sciences. Kim Williams, professor of greenhouse management in K-State's department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, was among six winners from regions around the U.S. of the $2,000 award. The awards program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Higher Education Programs, Science and Education Resources Development and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The program recognizes a select group of college and university teachers who excel at teaching, make a positive impact on student learning and influence other teachers by example. Williams is K-State's seventh regional winner in the awards program. K-State also has had three national winners. Feb. 2010


2009 Agriculture

College of Agriculture