Mark Liebig is USDA-ARS Scientist of the Year

-- WASHINGTON - Dr. Mark Liebig, soil scientist at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, N.D., was presented the NPA Early Career Research Scientist Award at a recent ceremony in Washington. Liebig was recognized for improved u...

-- WASHINGTON - Dr. Mark Liebig, soil scientist at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan, N.D., was presented the NPA Early Career Research Scientist Award at a recent ceremony in Washington. Liebig was recognized for improved understanding of the impact of farming and ranching practices on soil and on emissions of greenhouse gases, for contributing to the development of a carbon credit program for North Dakota and for quantifying organic farming's beneficial effects on soil quality. The Scientist of the Year Awards commend the creative efforts, scientific leadership and major research achievements of USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists. Other Area Early Career Research Scientist Award winners: Kristin D. Bilyeu, ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit, Columbia, Mo., for developing germplasm and genetic markers to help breeders develop soybeans whose oil does not need hydrogenation and is free of trans fatty acids; Todd R. Callaway, ARS Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, College Station, Texas, for the first successful demonstration of using naturally occurring viruses to control E. coli O157:H7 in livestock; Wade Crow, ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for enhancing the value of remote sensing observations for farm applications that include water quality monitoring, crop yield forecasting, irrigation scheduling and predicting droughts and floods; William A. Dozier III, ARS Poultry Research Unit, Mississippi State, Starkville, Miss., for improving production efficiency of broiler chickens through better nutrition and increased ventilation in summer heat and for having a major impact on guidelines for the humane treatment of chickens; Darrell R. Kapczynski, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Athens, Ga., for the development of improved vaccines and other control measures to protect poultry against avian viral diseases, including avian flu; Tracy C. Leskey, ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, W.Va., for development of bait traps for monitoring insects such as the plum curculio, which attacks plum, apple and other fruit trees, and for developing lures and other compounds that disrupt the mating of dogwood borers, which attack apple trees as well as dogwoods.

Kragnes gets national co-op director award -- WASHINGTON - David Kragnes, who recently ended his time as chairman of the board of American Crystal Sugar Co., recently was awarded the Farmer Cooperative Director of the Year award by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. The NCFC represents about 50 regional and national farmer cooperatives and, through them, their 2,800 local co-ops, as well as state cooperatives. Kragnes, who was nominated by Crystal, won the "12 years and fewer tenure" award. Kragnes of Felton, Minn., raises 468 acres of sugar beets on a 1,500-acre farm, which also produces wheat, soybeans and corn.

Jolene Jokela Veo is top Minnesota auctioneer -- BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Jolene Jokela Veo of Park Rapids, Minn., recently was named the 2008 State Champion Auctioneer in Bloomington, Minn. Jokela Veo, who began working for her family's business, Jokela Auction Co., as a child and has been auctioneering for 30 years, will serve for the next year as a goodwill ambassador for the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association.

Richter named 2008 Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador-- MANKATO, Minn. - Le Sueur County (Minn.) Pork Ambassador Kate Richter will serve as the 2008 Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador. Richter is a sophomore at South Dakota State University, Brookings, where she is an ag education and animal science major. Richter will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Minnesota Pork Board. She will represent Minnesota's 4,800 pork-producing families at various pork-related functions across the state. The first runner-up is Erin Harris of Morris, Minn., who represented the Stevens County (Minn.) Pork Producers Association. Harris attends North Dakota State University, Fargo, where her major is animal science. As first runner-up, she will receive a $750 scholarship and an additional $250 for her winning essay on anthropomorphism. Second runner-up is Brittany Meidl of Springfield, Minn., representing the Brown County (Minn.) Pork Producers Association. Meidl majors in medical biology at Southwest State University in Marshall. The pork ambassador candidates selected Tricia Michels of Le Sueur, Minn., as the congeniality recipient. Michels is an agribusiness major at South Central Technical College in Mankato, Minn.

Other notables . . .


-- Scholarship winners: Shellie Moore Collins, Chattanooga, Okla., and Stacia Berry, Cheyenne, Wyo., were awarded the 2008 OXO World Traveler Ambassador Scholarship during the 2008 National Western Stock Show in Denver.

-- McCormick promotions: Wayne Buchberger, previously a territory manager in the Midwest, has been named vice president of sales for tractor manufacturer McCormick USA. Rodney Miller has been promoted to executive vice president of sales and marketing and will coordinate the overall sales and marketing efforts for McCormick in the U.S. market. Ray Spinks is returning to the United Kingdom to assume the role of sales director for the UK Commercial division.

- Agweek Wire Reports

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