2013 Agricultural Achievements

* Several Kansas State University researchers were part of a team that received the 2013 USDA Secretary Honor Award for the Ogallala Aquifer Program. Researchers from several universities and agencies joined together to study the aquifer and find ways to preserve the vital water resource. The award was given for enhancing economic vitality and quality of life in rural America. December 2013

* Dirk Maier, professor and department head of grain science and industry and director of the university's international grains program, was awarded a five-year, $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, to establish the federal government's new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss at Kansas State University. December 2013

* The K-State Crops Team captured the title of national champion for the fifth year in a row. K-State teams have won the crops contest championship in 12 of the last 15 years. To win the 2013 national title, the team won both the Kansas City American Royal Collegiate Crops Contest and the Chicago Collegiate Crops Contest. December 2013

* Pavan Harshit Manepalli, master's student in grain science and industry, received the AACC International 2013 Engineering and Processing Division Best Student Paper Award for his presentation "Mathematical Modeling of Flow Behavior and Cell Structure Formation During Extrusion" at the organization's 2013 annual meeting. AACC International the premier professional organization for cereal and grain scientists. Manepalli 's major adviser is Sajid Alavi, professor of grain science and industry. December 2013

* The Crop Science Society of America presented its Gerald O. Mott Scholarship for Meritorious Graduate Students in Crop Science to K-State's Sruthi Narayanan, doctoral student in agronomy. December 2013

* Nate Spriggs, senior in agricultural economics, received the Outstanding Student Achievement Award from the Associated College Unions International's Region 11. Spriggs serves as vice president of operations of the K-State Student Union's Union Program Council and president of the Union Governing Board. December 2013

* Ximena Cibils-Stewart, master's student in entomology, received the 2013 Plant-Insect Ecosystems Legends of Entomology Award for Master Student Achievement at the 61st annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America. The award recognizes aspiring entomologists who exhibit exceptional potential during their Master of Science programs. December 2013

* Nathan Nelson, associate professor of agronomy, received the Agronomic Resident Education Award from the American Society of Agronomy. November 2013

* James Shroyer, professor of agronomy and extension crops specialist, received the Crop Science Teaching Award from Crop Science Society of America. November 2013

* The Irrigation Foundation named Cathie Lavis, associate professor of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, as the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Education Award. The award recognizes an educator who is actively teaching irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution. It honors academics that are playing a critical role in developing educated professionals with the knowledge and skills to create efficient irrigation solutions that will protect water and the environment.

* John Leslie, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and department head, and John Reese, professor of entomology, were named 2013 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Leslie and Reese are among the 388 fellows chosen this year. Their selection follows a vote by their peers in the association, who looked at potential fellows' distinguished efforts to advance science.

* Scott Schaake, associate professor of animal sciences and industry and coach of the K-State Livestock Judging Team, was named 2013 Livestock Judging Coach of the Year at the North American Livestock Expo in Louisville, Ky. November 2013

* James Coover, master's student in agronomy, received the Governor's Award for the top graduate poster at the 2013 Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas, Oct. 24-25, in Manhattan. The title of his poster was "Phosphorus sorption and desorption from ephemeral gully soils." The competition had 24 student posters. Coover's major professor is Nathan Nelson, associate professor of agronomy. November 2013

* The K-State Meats Judging Team finished third at the International Meats Judging Contest. It's the fourth year in a row that K-State has finished in the top three at this national championship. The team earned first in beef judging, second in reasons, second in overall beef, third in placings, fourth in beef grading, fifth in lamb and fifth in pork. Team members included Lane Giess, Courtney Schultz, Miguel Del Toro, Pake Ebert, Jeremy Mock, Elsie Suhr, Allie Hobson and MaryAnn Matney. The team was coached by Aaron Tapian and Garret Dietz, both master's students in animal sciences and industry, and Terry Houser, associate professor of animal sciences and industry. November 2013

* The K-State Livestock Judging Team won third overall at the national livestock judging contest in Louisville, Ky. The team finished the season as the only school to finish in the top three at both the American Royal and the North American livestock judging contests. K-State also was the only university to have all five team members recognized as a top 10 individual in at least one species or reasons at the Louisville event. Team results included first in swine, second in sheep, ninth in beef, second in oral reasons, first in performance sheep, second in performance cattle and first in all-performance classes. Team member Corey Wilkins was named to the National All-American Team. November 2013

* Several K-State agronomy students earned honors and recognition at the 2013 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America national meetings, Nov. 3-6, in Tampa, Fla. Pavithra Arachchige won second place in poster presentation and third place in oral presentation, Soil Chemistry Division, Soil Science Society of America graduate student competition. Ray Asebedo took third place in oral presentation, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition Division, Soil Science Society of America graduate student competition. Sarah Battenfield won third place in poster in Division C-1, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop Science Society of America graduate student competition. Bryson Haverkamp placed third in poster presentation, Division C-3, Crop Ecology, Management & Quality, Crop Science Society of America graduate student competition. Kyle Shroyer gained honorable mention for poster presentation, Division C-2 Crop Physiology and Metabolism, Crop Science Society of America graduate student competition. Dilooshi Weerasooriya won third place in poster presentation, ACS528 Diversity Student Poster Competition. Also at the competition, the Wheat State Agronomy Club took third place in club poster competition, Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences. November 2013

* Mary Beth Kirkham, professor of agronomy, won the Irvin Youngberg award for Applied Sciences from the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards. Kirkham is an international authority on the plant-water relations of winter wheat and the uptake of heavy metals by crops grown on polluted soil. She was the first to document the effects of elevated levels of carbon dioxide on crops grown under semi-arid conditions. October 2013

* Guihua Bai, professor of agronomy and research geneticist with the USDA, and Daniel W. Sweeney, professor at the Southeast Agricultural Research Center, were named fellows of the Crop Science Society of America. Only .3 percent of the society’s active and emeritus members may be elected fellow. October 2013

* Vara Prasad, professor of crop ecophysiology, received the Outstanding Senior Scientist Award from the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin. October 2013

* For his dedication to extension, Daryl Buchholz, associate director for extension and applied research at Kansas State University, was honored with the Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Ruby Award, the highest award granted in extension nationwide, at the Galaxy IV Conference, Sept. 16-20, in Pittsburgh, Pa. October 2013

* The American Royal Association awarded $2,500 scholarships to K-State students Logan Britton, senior in agricultural economics; Nathan Laudan, senior in food science and industry; and Nathan Stinson, junior in agricultural economics. October 2013

* Sruthi Narayanan, doctoral student in the department of agronomy, received the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin. October 2013

* The agronomy department received state climate office designation from the American Association of State Climatologists. September 2013

* Jim Strine, district forester with the Kansas Forest Service in Hays, received the Presidential Field Forester Award for District 9 from the Society of American Foresters. The award is presented to foresters who have dedicated their professional careers to the application of forestry on the ground using sound scientific methods and adaptive management strategies. September 2013

* Joel DeRouchey, professor of animal sciences and industry and extension specialist, was named to Vance Publishing's list of "40 Under 40 in Agriculture." Honorees were selected for their leadership and commitment in advancing the cause of doubling food production by 2050. September 2013

* Ronnie Sullivan, sophomore in agribusiness, was among the 56 undergraduate college students named to the first class of Cargill Global Scholars. The new scholarship program selected college students from Brazil, China, Russia, India and the United States to receive funds to help cover their educational expenses and to participate in leadership development and enrichment activities with Cargill leaders. September 2013

* The National Science Foundation named K-State as its lead institution for the world's first Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on wheat. It is the first National Science Foundation-established research center for any crop plant, and focuses on improving the food production and disease resistance of wheat and other crop plants, as well as serve as a training hub for graduate students and young researchers. August 2013

* Dan Sweeney, professor of agronomy, was named a Crop Science Society of America fellow for 2013. The fellow designation is the highest recognition bestowed by the society. Sweeney, who is based at the K-State Southeast Agricultural Research Center in Parsons, is one of just 43 scientists who have the distinction of being named fellow of the three professional societies in his field: the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America and the Crop Science Society of America. August 2013

* K-State received a $13.7 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet. The center will help end poverty and increase crop food supplies in semiarid Africa by improving the sorghum and millet crops in three African countries. July 2013

* A website that compares university programs across the United States has ranked several College of Agriculture programs in the Top 10 as compared with similar programs at peer institutions. PHDS.org ranks K-State's department of plant pathology at No. 10 nationally among 162 plant sciences departments, and at No. 1 among all plant pathology departments. Among similar programs, K-State's agricultural economics program is ranked No. 4; the entomology doctoral program is ranked No. 8; and the interdepartmental food science program No. 9. In the "Research Productivity category," the university’s animal science doctoral program ranked No. 5 among animal and dairy science programs nationally. July 2013

* A team of Kansas State University students was named the 2013 Reserve Champions of the National Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon, July 8-9, in conjunction with the Joint American Society of Animal Science/American Dairy Science Association meetings in Indianapolis. The competition includes four events: laboratory practicum, quiz bowl, oral presentation and written exam. The material in the events covers animal science and industry information, with the oral presentation focusing on contemporary issue topics in animal agriculture. July 2013

* The K-State Meats Judging Team won the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging conference and competition at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia. The championship team included Lane Giess, MaryAnn Matney, Elsie Suhr and Allison Hobson. The team also placed first in beef judging, first overall in question and reasons and was runner up in overall pricings. The team was coached by Terry Houser, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, and Aaron Tapian and Garret Dietz, master's students in animal sciences. July 2013

* Four faculty members received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Association Teacher Fellow Award: Scott Schaake, associate professor of animal sciences and industry; Jason Ellis, associate professor of communications and agricultural education; Ganga Hettiarachchi, assistant professor of agronomy; and Teresa Douthit, assistant professor of animal sciences and industry. The award recognizes individuals whose efforts represent the very best in agricultural higher education. July 2013

* Jim Nelssen, professor of animal sciences and industry, was part of a multistate team that earned the North Central Region Excellence in Multistate Research Award from the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. The award is given to successful, coordinated, high-impact research and extension efforts conducted by scientists from agricultural experiment stations and cooperative extension units at land-grant universities. July 2013

* Four animal sciences and industry faculty members were honored at the American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association Joint Annual Meeting. The honorees and their honors: Michael Dikeman, professor, American Society of Animal Science Fellow Teaching Award; Jim Drouillard, professor, American Society of Animal Science American Feed Industry Association Award – Ruminant Nutrition; Mike Brouk, associate professor, received the American Dairy Science Association Pioneer Hi-bred Forage Award; and Barry Bradford, associate professor, American Dairy Science Association Lallemand Animal Nutrition Award for Scientific Excellence in Dairy Nutrition. July 2013

* Jessica Winkler, doctoral student and graduate research assistant in animal science, won the first Graduate Student Poster Contest at the annual meeting of the National American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. Her poster, "The Impact of Correct Exams (Regrades) on Final Exam Scores," and was co-authored by Andrea Sexten, assistant professor of animal sciences and industry; Ashley Rhodes, May 2013 doctoral graduate in curriculum and instruction; and Tim Rozell, Winker's adviser and associate professor of animal sciences and industry. July 2013

* Alexandra "Alex" Christiansen placed third in the Reciprocal Meat Conference Master of Science division graduate student research poster competition, June 16-19, at Auburn University. Her poster was "Nutritional Composition and Color Comparison of Heritage Bred Chickens (120 day growth) vs. Commercial (50 day growth) Broilers. July 2013

* Kai "Karl" Yuan, doctoral student in animal science, won the National Milk Producers Federation Graduate Student Paper Presentation Contest in Dairy Production in the Ph.D. Division at the joint meeting of the American Society of Animal Science and American Dairy Science Association. The honor includes a travel grant, sponsored by Novus, to present at the European Federation of Animal Science meeting in Europe next year. July 2013

* A U.S. patent has been granted to a K-State-developed "candy" that stimulates the growth, health and reproductive functions of cattle, bulls and other livestock. The technology was developed by Jim Drouillard, professor of animal sciences and industry, who discovered a specific combination of molasses, oilseeds and oilseed extracts that when heated and evaporated, formed a substance that improves absorption of specific omega-3 fatty acids. June 2013

 * Two graduate students in grain science received fellowships from the AACC International Foundation. Juhui Jung, master's student in grain science, was awarded the $3,000 AACCI Milling and Baking Division's M. Rella Dwyer Graduate Fellowship, and Oscar Ramos, doctoral student in grain science, was awarded the $2,000 AACCI Fellowship. June 2013

 * K-State entomologist Brian McCornack was awarded a North Central Branch Entomological Society of America Educational Project Award for a Web-based app. McCornack has created several valuable Web-based solution apps for enhancing the capacity of growers to manage their crops, and to more effectively and safely manage insect pests in their crops. June 2013

 * The Society of American Foresters recognized Bob Atchison as a fellow. The recognition is bestowed upon Atchison by his peers for outstanding service to the society and to the profession. June 2013

* Terry Houser, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, was named a recipient of the American Meat Science Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award. May 2013

* The Dairy Judging Team took reserve champion honors at the Western National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Richmond, Utah. It was the highest finish for the university at this contest. Representing the university at the event were Nathaniel McGee, senior in agricultural education; Maggie Seile, junior in agricultural communications and journalism; and Kyle Jacobs, senior in agricultural education. The team is coached by Jon Pretz, master's student in animal sciences and industry. May 2013

* Casey Droddy, junior in agricultural communications and journalism, and Jake Erceg, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, were selected members of the 2013-2014 Agriculture Future of America leadership team. Droddy was named a student advisory team member and Erceg was named a campus ambassador. May 2013

* Cathie Lavis, associate professor and extension specialist of landscape horticulture, received the American Horticultural Society 2013 Teaching Award. This national award is given to an individual whose abilities to share horticultural knowledge with others has contributed to a better public understanding of the plant world and its importance on society. May 2013

* Jim Drouillard, professor of animal sciences and industry, was named a recipient of the the 2013 American Feed Industry Association Award in Ruminant Nutrition Research. May 2013

* Teresa Douthit, assistant professor of animal sciences and industry, and Scott Schaake, associate professor of animal sciences and industry, been named teacher fellows for 2013 by the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. May 2013

* Kaitlin Morgan, sophomore in animal sciences and industry and agricultural communications, Deerfield, and Barret Wellemeyer, sophomore in civil engineering, Derby, are among the 50 honorable mentions selected nationally for the 2013 Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship.

* Three students from the College of Agriculture, all members of the university's chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, won awards in the photo or speaking contests at the national society's 28th annual Career Fair and Training Conference. Lonell Brown, senior in animal sciences and industry, received first place in the photo contest; Simone Holliday, sophomore in animal sciences and industry and chapter president, received second place in the photo contest; and Taneysha Howard, junior in agricultural communications and journalism, received second place in the public speaking contest. April 2013

* Damien Downes, plant pathology-based doctoral student in the interdepartmental genetics graduate program, won a Student Poster Prize at the 10th International Aspergillus Meeting. The prize was sponsored by the industrial biotechnology company Novozymes. Downes also won a Genetics Society of America-sponsored Best Student Poster Award in the Functional and Comparative Genomics and Gene Regulation category at the 27th Fungal Genetics Conference. April 2013

* Randall Phebus, professor of food safety in the animal sciences and industry department and core faculty in the K-State Food Science Institute, was the 2013 recipient of the International Association for Food Protection Elmer Marth Educator Award. The award recognizes an active member for dedicated and exceptional contributions to the educator profession. April 2013

* Robert Weaber, K-State Research and Extension beef breeding and cow/calf specialist, received the 2013 American Dairy Science Association/American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award. His work focuses on cow-calf production and shows producers how to use certain genetic selection tools. By selecting animals with certain genetic traits, cattle producers can improve meat production and animal health. Weaber also encourages cattle producers to collect data and track genetic progress in their herds. March 2013

* Jennifer Minick Bormann, an associate professor of animal sciences and industry, received the 2013 American Dairy Science Association/American Society of Animal Science Midwest Section Outstanding Young Teacher Award. The award is given to educators who make significant contributions early in their careers. The 2013 award is sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science Foundation. Bormann teaches six classes and advises 60 undergraduate students at K-State. She is also the primary adviser to the K-State Pre-Vet Club. March 2013

* Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, has been appointed to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, or CIAT, board of trustees for his expertise on soils and climate. The center’s mission is to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human health in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture. Rice is one of 10 board members. March 2013

* Christine Wilson, assistant dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture, was accepted for the 2012-2014 Food Systems Leadership Institute, an executive leadership development program for academia, industry and government. The institute enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems. The institute experience prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs, and to assume broader leadership responsibilities within their organizations. February 2013.

* The Meats Judging Team won reserve high team overall at the Iowa State Invitational Meats Judging Contest. K-State was the high team in pork judging, specifications, cured ham and total placings. February 2013.

* Jim Drouillard, professor of animal sciences and industry, developed a technique that enriches ground beef with omega-3 fatty acids -- fatty acids that have been shown to reduce heart disease, cholesterol and high blood pressure. The enriched ground beef is named GreatO Premium Ground Beef and is being sold through Manhattan-based company NBO3 Technologies LLC. February 2013

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $5.08 million to a team of researchers, led by Xiuzhi "Susan" Sun, university distinguished professor of grain science and industry, to study the potential of the oilseed camelina as an environmentally-friendly commercial biofuel feedstock, particularly for biodiesel and jet fuel. The overall goal is to make oilseed camelina a cost-effective bioenergy and bio-based product feedstock. January 2013

* Ismael E. Badillo-Vargas, doctoral student in plant pathology, was awarded a predoctoral fellowship grant of more than $71,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his research on the tomato spotted wilt virus and its relationship to thrips. The competitive scholarship is for agricultural students who have two more years to complete their doctoral degree programs. Recipients receive two years of funding for research expenditures, tuition, a graduate research salary and conference travel. January 2013

* Entomology doctoral student Shelly Wiggam-Ricketts won the award for best student presentation by the Kansas chapter of The Wildlife Society at the 2013 Kansas Natural Resources Conference. Her poster presentation was "Pollinator Resource Use in Rangelands that Utilize Patch-burn Grazing." Wiggam-Ricketts is working under the mentorship of entomology professors Gregory Zolnerowich and David Margolies. January 2013


2012 Agriculture

2011 Agriculture

2010 Agriculture

2009 Agriculture

College of Agriculture