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K-State Today

November 3, 2023

Vara Prasad honored with awards by the Crop Science Society of America

Submitted by Sanders Barbee

Prasad along with his wife Lakshmi at the CSSA  Annual Meeting ceremony.

Following years of dedication to the agriculture community and numerous contributions to research and development, P.V. Vara Prasad, distinguished professor, R.O. Kruse endowed professor and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification, or SIIL, at Kansas State University, received two awards from the Crop Science Society of America, or CSSA, at its 2023 international meeting.

The Crop Science Society of America is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the vision to improve the world through crop science. Founded in 1956, the association is the professional home to members dedicated to discovering and applying plant science solutions to improve the human condition and protect the planet.

The first award, the International Crop Science Award, is given to only one crop scientist who has made significant contributions in research, teaching, extension or administration outside of the United States. The focus of this award is on creativity and innovation in bringing about specific changes in practices, products or programs in the crops area at the international level.

Prasad has been actively engaged with international work around the globe in more than 20 different countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. His crops, agronomy and soils work has had a major impact in tackling the critical issues of food security, improved nutrition, resilience and inclusive, sustainable, agriculture-led economic growth. His research projects in international agriculture focus on holistic and systems approaches with special emphasis on sustainable agricultural intensification, climate-smart and nutrition-smart agricultural practices.

Prasad has written/co-written more than 410 journal articles and book chapters and is identified as a top 1% of scientists in the world, receiving more than 45 prestigious awards from universities and national and international organizations throughout his career. He advised 24 graduate students as major advisor and more than 50 students as an advisory committee member. In addition, he trained more than 210 visiting scholars from 15 different countries. He gave more than 150 invited talks in 40 different countries.

The second award, the Crop Science Distinguished Service Award, recognizes an individual or team who has made an exceptional contribution to the profession of crop science. This award recognizes an individual or team who advances crop science through efforts to develop or improve programs, practices and products designed to promote crop science. The awardee displays distinguished administration, research, teaching, extension activities and commercial activities, or any combination of these to advance the science, practice, outreach and status of the profession as a member of the CSSA. Prasad's exemplary scientific contributions and achievements through his national and international research, and his dedicated commitment to inclusive capacity building and outreach efforts, make him the ideal recipient for what is one of the most prestigious honors that the CSSA awards.

The Crop Science Distinguished Service Award for CSSA also considers service to the Crop Science Society, and Prasad has long been a dedicated and active member of this scientific group. He has years of service to the CSSA Board, and served as President of CSSA in 2021. He currently serves as the CSSA representative for the board of representatives on the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, or CAST, and is vice-chair for the Plant Working Group of CAST. He also served on the International Commission on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification from 2020-2022. Additionally, Prasad is an elected fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Prasad received both of these awards on Oct. 30 at the joint annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.