Faculty and students from the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Soil and Crop Sciences recently received recognition from the Tri-Societies international annual meeting in Baltimore.
The Tri-Societies conference includes oral and poster presentations as well as award presentations to members of the Crop Sciences Society of America, CSSA; the American Society of Agronomy, ASA; and the Soil Sciences Society of America, SSSA. This year’s theme was “Communication and Public Engagement for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet.”
“We are very proud of our representation this year at the international meeting,” said David Baltensperger, Ph.D., head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. “Our faculty and students are a tribute to this department and Texas A&M.”
Seth Murray, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research corn breeder, professor and Eugene Butler Endowed Chair in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, was named CSSA president, after serving the past year as president-elect. He will serve from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2023.
Murray’s research focuses on solving large-scale problems in crop production through plant breeding and technology, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, or drones, in agricultural decision- making.
He is a world-renowned expert on crop field phenotyping. His research program focuses on quantitative genetic discovery and applied corn breeding for Texas. He has released multiple corn hybrids bred for the southern U.S.’s longer growing season and multiple stresses, characterizing them as “foundational to our future inbred and hybrid production and breeding efforts.”
Chris Barron ’24, of Slidell, Louisiana, majoring in plant and environmental soil science with an emphasis in crop science and biochemistry and a minor in genetics, takes over as president of the Students of Agronomy, Soil and Environmental Sciences, SASES.
Barron plans to work as a seed and plant geneticist to improve corn drought tolerance and vitamin content for application in sub-Saharan Africa. At Texas A&M, he is a member of the Agronomy Society and an ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed by CSSA, ASA and SSSA. It is presented for outstanding contributions through education, national and international service and research.
— The CSSA recognized Steve Hague, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program leader, professor and cotton breeder in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Bryan-College Station, as a 2022 Fellow award recipient.
Hague teaches several conventionally delivered undergraduate courses, leads high-impact learning experiences such as internships and study-abroad programs, has mentored numerous graduate students and served on various educational committees. His research program focuses on developing cotton germplasm with enhanced yield, fiber quality and stress resistance.
— Tony Provin, Ph.D., soil chemist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Bryan-College Station, was honored with the ASA Fellow title. Provin started his career in 1996 as an assistant professor, specialist and director of the Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory. He has addressed numerous clientele issues in the urban, agronomic and environmental sectors.
Provin’s program has garnered more than $20 million in service fees, private grant dollars, state funds and federal grant dollars. He has more than 140 publications, with an additional 200-plus AgriLife Extension and laboratory publications and 1,598 citations.
— Khushboo Rastogi, a doctoral student in genetics and genomics, and Sarah Kezar, a doctoral candidate in weed science, were selected to be one of the prestigious “Bayer Crop Science Encompass Fellows, 2022-2023” by members of the Agronomy, Crop Science and Soil Science Society of America. The one-year program is designed to help students further their careers in agronomic, crop, soil and environmental sciences. Rastogi, a graduate teaching assistant, is also a Gerald O. Mott Awardee. Kezar is also a past Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Fellow.
Award and scholarship winners
— Qingwu Xue, Ph.D., professor and AgriLife Research crop stress physiologist, Amarillo, was presented the Tengtou Agricultural Science Award.
— Shuyu Liu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research small grains geneticist, Amarillo, received the Distinguished Career Award from The Association of Chinese Soil and Plant Scientists in North America.
— Ariana Lazo received the. Lazo is majoring in plant and environmental soil science with an emphasis in soil and water.
— Grace Bodine earned the J. Fielding Reed Scholarship. Bodine is majoring in honors plant and environmental soil science with a soil and water emphasis.
— Bishwa Sapkota received the Nelson Yield-Limiting Factors Graduate Student Scholarship. Sapkota is a doctoral student studying digital agriculture and remote sensing-data science.
— Gustavo Silva was selected as a recipient of the American Society of Agronomy Graduate Leadership Conference Award. Silva is a master’s student in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
Student poster, paper, oral contest winners
— Holly Lane, a former master’s student, and Murray co-authored a paper selected as a top five paper in the C-1 division of Crop Science.
— Chris Barron – first — research oral presentation section 1.
— Micaela Murphy – first — Darrell S. Metcalf Journalism Award.
— Natalie Evans – fourth — speech contest.
— Jose Diaz – third — turfgrass science poster.
— Khushboo Rastogi – third — crop breeding and genetics graduate student poster.
— Christian Hitzelberger – third – plant genetics resources graduate student oral/poster.
— Andrew Osburn – third — turfgrass pest management oral.
— Christopher Cobos – first — soil and water management professionals general oral.
— Sk Musfiq Us Salehin – first — soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions oral.
— Sk Musfiq Us Salehin – second – soil and water management, oral and poster.
— Donovan Davis – second — soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions oral.
— Donavan Davis – first — climate change agriculture poster.
— Dinesh Phuyal – second — climate change and agriculture poster.
— Kisman Bhattarai – second – sensor-based nutrient management oral.
— Gustavo Silva – first — organic systems poster.
— Gustavo Silva – first — weedy and invasive species oral.
— Ubaldo Torres – first — precision agriculture poster.
— Matthew Kutugata – second — precision agriculture poster.
— Sarah Kezar – second — weedy and invasive species oral.
— Rebeccah Ortiz – first – semi-arid dryland cropping systems poster.