Crop Science Society of America Presents Awards in Long Beach


The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) will recognize the following individuals at the 2010 Awards Ceremony on Oct. 31-Nov. 3 during their Annual Meetings in Long Beach, CA, The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to crop science through education, national and international service, and research.

  • Jianming Yu, Kansas State University –Early Career Professional Award and Young Crop Scientist Award. Jianming Yu is an associate professor in the Agronomy Department at Kansas State University. Dr. Yu received a B.S. from Northwestern Agricultural University, M.S. from Kansas State University, and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. His program focuses on developing novel methods of utilizing cutting-edge genetic and genomic tools for complex trait dissection and plant breeding. Yu served an associate editor for the journals Crop Science, and Theoretical and Applied Genetics. The Early Career Professional Award recognizes early career members who have made an outstanding contribution in agronomy, crop science, and/or soil science within seven years of completing their final degree. The Young Crop Scientist Award recognizes a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution in any area of crop science by the age of 37. Specifically, the recipient is cited for teaching abilities, effectiveness in extension and service activities, significance and originality of basic and applied research, and effectiveness in administrative areas.
  • Daniel G. Debouck, University of California-Davis – Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources. Daniel G. Debouck is leader of the Genetic Resources Program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the State Agricultural University of Gembloux, Belgium. His program operates the CIAT gene bank and advances research for the conservation of bean, cassava and tropical forage germplasm. Dr. Debouck has been active in bean germplasm exploration in fourteen Latin American countries since the 1970s, and served as reviewer for Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.
  • Milton C. Engelke, Texas A&M University – Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award. Milton C. Engelke is an associate center director of AgriLife Urban Solutions Center, a Texas A&M AgriLife Faculty Fellow, and professor of turfgrass breeding and genetics with Texas A&M. He received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and M.S. and Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His program focused on breeding, genetics and management of buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass, and worked extensively with Creeping Bentgrass for abiotic stress tolerance. He has been active in the Societies for more than 40 years. The Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award is supported by a fund developed by Division C-5 Turfgrass Science. The award is presented in recognition of significant career contributions in turfgrass science.
  • Shree Singh, University of Idaho – International Service in Crop Science Award. Shree Singh is a professor, plant breeder and geneticist in the Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences Department at University of Idaho. He also directs the Dry Bean Genetics and Breeding Program. Dr. Singh received a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He focuses on breeding for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Singh served as a member and Chair of the International Service in Crop Science Award and member of the CSSA Fellow and ASA Fellow Award committees, and President of the Western Society of Crop Science.
  • Drew Lyon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Crop Science Extension Education Award. Drew Lyon is a professor and the extension dryland cropping systems specialist at the University of Nebraska Panhandle research and extension center located in Scottsbluff. Dr. Lyon received a B.S. from the University of Illinois and M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research and Extension responsibilities include the investigation and development of resource efficient cropping systems for dryland crops that emphasize water management, weed control, and soil conservation. Drew has served as an associate editor for Crop Science and Agronomy Journal, and has served in elected positions with the Crop Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, and the Western Society of Weed Science.
  • Mary B. Kirkham, Kansas State University – Crop Science Research Award. Mary B. Kirkham is a professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University with degrees from Wellesley College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Research activities include the uptake of heavy metals by crops and the physiology of drought resistance. Dr. Kirkham is on the editorial board of several journals, including Crop Science, Soil Science, and Agricultural Water Management, and teaches a class on plant-water relations, works with graduate students, and participates in national and international meetings.
  • Dale G. Blevins, University of Missouri-Columbia – Crop Science Teaching Award. Dale G. Blevins is a professor of crop physiology in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri. Dr. Blevins received a B.S. in chemistry at Southwest Missouri State College, M.S. in soils at the University of Missouri, and Ph.D. in plant physiology at the University of Kentucky. His research program focuses mainly on crop physiology and plant nutrition. Blevins served as an associate editor of Crop Science and has taught graduate courses in crop physiology and plant nutrition, and undergraduate courses in plant physiology and plant structure and function. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and a Kemper (Teaching) Fellow at the University of Missouri.
  • Jan Spears, North Carolina State University – Seed Science Award. Jan Spears is a professor and seed extension specialist in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University. She also serves as the departmental undergraduate teaching coordinator. Dr. Spears received a B.S. from the University of Florida, M.S. from Oregon State University and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Her seed extension program focuses on seed production and seed biology. She teaches several undergraduate courses related to seed science and agronomic crop production.
  • Ron Philips, Purdue University – CSSA Presidential Award. Ron Phillips is Regents Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota and member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Purdue, a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and postdoctoral training at Cornell University. Dr. Phillips has advised 55 graduate students and 23 postdoctoral scientists and taught plant genetics. He has been in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics for 42 years. His research program was one of the early programs in modern plant biotechnology related to agriculture.
  • Julie DeMeester – Congressional Science Fellowship. Julie DeMeester works for Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), with a focus on climate change, environment, and agriculture. Dr. DeMeester received a B.S. in integrated science and technology from James Madison University in 2001. She then went on to receive a Ph.D. in environmental science at Duke University in 2003, where she investigated wetlands, invasives, and nitrogen cycling. DeMeester now aspires to convey science to non-technical audiences, becoming an effective intermediary between scientists, policy-makers and the public on environmental issues.

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), founded in 1955, is an international scientific society comprised of 6,000+ members with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Members advance the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crop breeding and genetics; crop physiology; crop ecology, management, and quality; seed physiology, production, and technology; turfgrass science; forage and grazinglands; genomics, molecular genetics, and biotechnology; and biomedical and enhanced plants.

CSSA fosters the transfer of knowledge through an array of programs and services, including publications, meetings, career services, and science policy initiatives. For more information, visit

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