Agriculture honor society presents faculty awards, student scholarships

April 8, 2011
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Howell Medders, Division of Agriculture Communications

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GSD faculty winners

Gamma Sigma Delta faculty award recipients, from left, Richard J. Norman, Gus Lorenz and Donald C. Steinkraus.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Mary Savin, president of the Arkansas chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, presented faculty awards and student scholarships at the society’s annual awards and initiation program March 29 in the Hembree Auditorium of the AFLS Building at the University of Arkansas. Savin is an associate professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

The Research Award of Merit was presented to Richard J. Norman, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences; the Teaching Award of Merit recipient was Donald C. Steinkraus, professor of entomology; and the Extension Award of Merit was presented to Gus Lorenz, associate head of the entomology department, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Little Rock.

Student awards included the Gamma Sigma Delta Scholarship presented to Ethan Holt of Buckeye, Ariz., whose major is poultry science; the Lippert Ellis Scholarship presented to Holly Tallon, an environmental, soil and water science major from Coppell, Texas; and the John W. White Scholarship presented to Hanna Kildow of Fayetteville, whose major is agricultural education, communication and technology.

Rick Norman is internationally recognized for his research on improving the efficiency of nitrogen fertilization of rice. His Division of Agriculture research team has developed the first site-specific nitrogen soil test for rice. It is the first such test for any field crop that allows fertilizer recommendations to be made based on soil-available forms of nitrogen in the soil. This breakthrough technology will help producers apply the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed for maximum grain yield with no excess to run off in surface water. It is being implemented in a 2011 pilot program in the fields of cooperating farmers.

Gus Lorenz directs the statewide entomology extension program that assists farmers and others in managing insect pests. He created the nationally recognized County Integrated Pest Management Grants Program to fund local education on integrated pest management for Arkansas farmers and initiated the Arkansas Crop Management Conference for agricultural consultants. He collaborates with other university and industry scientists to develop and implement practical applications of sustainable pest management strategies.

Don Steinkraus teaches core courses for entomology graduate students in addition to his pest management research. He teaches a popular apiculture course and mentors the Entomology Graduate Students Association in the management of several honeybee hives. He also organizes the Insect Festival of Arkansas in Fayetteville, which is attended by several thousand visitors every two years.