December 15, 2022
Manny Reyes receives Cambodian Medal of Honor for conservation agriculture work
The Royal Government of Cambodia presented a Medal of Honor to Manny Reyes, research professor in the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, or SIIL, at Kansas State University and coordinator of the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition, or CESAIN. The center was established in 2016 by the lab at the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID-Cambodia Mission.
Reyes received the Medal of Honor from Veng Sakhon, minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Cambodia. This honor was a recognition for his exceptional contribution to the field of conservation agriculture and sustainable intensification in Cambodia. Reyes played a significant role in the creation of the Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification Consortium in Cambodia. Since 2018, this consortium has provided a platform and mechanism to promote and implement activities related to conservation agriculture in Cambodia. The Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab and CESAIN are key collaborating partners in this consortium.
"This award is a testament to the team of the SIIL's resolve for Cambodia to be food secure and resilient in light of the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy to reduce hunger, poverty, and nutrition," Reyes said.
The USAID-Cambodia Mission support was crucial for supporting efforts of the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition, Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification Consortium and Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab, which are focused on increasing agricultural production and creating new opportunities and avenues to improve food, nutrition and climate security in Cambodia.
"It is a great accomplishment and honor for Manny Reyes and his leadership on conservation and regenerative agricultural practices that are key to improving productivity and protecting natural resources in Cambodia," said Vara Prasad, director of the SIIL and university distinguished professor at K-State. "I commend Manny Reyes' commitment, hard work and passion for international agricultural research and the capacity building of youth. He is truly deserving of this award, and it also brings recognition to K-State and its leadership in international programs around the world."
Reyes joined SIIL in 2016 and led activities in Cambodia. He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, a Master of Philosophy from Cranfield University in England, and a doctorate from Louisiana State University. Before joining K-State, he was on the faculty at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for 23 years. Throughout his career, he conducted research and capacity-building activities in many countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras and the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of the Philippines Los Baños; the Teacher of Year Award and Collaborator of Year from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model Ambassador Award.