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Sources: Fred Cholick, 785-532-6147,;
Dave Mengel, 785-532-2166,;
and Chuck Rice,785-532-7217,
News release prepared by: Steve Watson, 785-532-7105,

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The dean of Kansas State University'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.

The awards were presented at the society's annual meetings in Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 2-5.

The K-State honorees include:

* Fred Cholick, dean of the K-State College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, the Agronomic Service Award. The focus of the award, which is given for development of agronomic service programs, practices and products for acceptance by the public, is on agronomic service with associated educational, public relations and administrative contributions of industrial agronomists, governmental, industrial or university administrators, and others. Cholick, who also is a professor of agronomy, has been a wheat breeder, worked in international agriculture development and has provided leadership for federal agricultural funding and farm bill legislation. He has been dean of the K-State College of Agriculture since 2004.

* Dave Mengel, professor of agronomy, the Werner L. Nelson Award for Diagnosis of Yield-Limiting Factors for outstanding performance in the development, acceptance and/or implementation of diagnostic techniques and approaches in the field. Selection criteria include the creativity and innovation of the nominee. Mengel came to K-State in 1998 as head of the department of agronomy, stepping down in 2005. His current responsibilities include teaching, research and extension. He also supervises K-State's Soil Testing Lab. Prior to joining K-State, Mengel was on the faculty at the Louisiana State University Rice Experiment Station from 1975-79, working in rice and rotational crop fertilization. He also worked at Purdue University from 1979-1998, where he had teaching, research and extension responsibilities in soil fertility and crop production.

* Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, the Environmental Quality Research Award for 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. An award-winning soil scientist, Rice was a member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its work.

Rice recently received the Irvin Youngberg Award for Applied Sciences from the University of Kansas, and was named one of five team leaders for a $20 million Kansas NSF EPSCoR project researching global climate change and renewable energy research. Rice came to K-State in 1988, was promoted to full professor in 1998 and earned the university's highest academic rank of university distinguished professor in 2009. He is the 2010 president-elect of the Soil Science Society of America, served as associate editor of the Soil Science Society of America Journal and is Fellow of American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.