The Arkansas chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, presented its annual achievement awards April 24 to faculty and students. Jason Apple, professor of animal science in the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, distributed the awards during ceremonies on campus.
Three faculty awards were presented to Nathan Slaton, professor of crop, soil and environmental sciences, who received the Research Award of Merit; Don Edgar, assistant professor of agricultural and extension education, who received the Teaching Award of Merit, and John Jennings, professor of animal science, who received the Extension Award of Merit.
Slaton’s research program encompasses five crops and multiple plant-essential nutrients and involves both lab and field research. His most notable and comprehensive achievement during the last five years has been in development of soil-test based potassium fertilization guidelines for rice and soybeans. Slaton’s research has been adopted widely because of its practical nature, long-term implications and his effective communication and demonstration of research results.
Edgar has taught seven different courses averaging 12 or more hours each semester. According to Gamma Sigma Delta, Edgar integrates basic tenets of good teaching with methodologies that consider the needs of the technology-centered, relationship-dependent students of today. Edgar also serves as the lead coordinator of the teaching block for pre-service teachers in agricultural education. This entails traveling the state to observe and provide constructive feedback for each student teacher.
Jennings has demonstrated the ability to conduct projects in cooperation with the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council, NRCS, Arkansas Soil Districts, USDA-ARS faculty, other extension specialists, UA research and teaching faculty and experiment station faculty. The forage producers from Arkansas as well as those across the Southeastern and Midwestern U.S. have benefited from Jennings' ability to work with these and other organizations.
Students receiving scholarships from the society were Kelley Jacks, a child development major from Little Rock who was awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta Scholarship; Molly Morledge, a child development major from Little Rock who was awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta Lippert T. Ellis Scholarship, and Rikki Minkler, a dietetics major from Bakersfield, Mo., who was awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta John W. White Scholarship.
Eighteen awards were presented to students for oral and poster presentations on topics in their disciplines at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels. A list of the winners and their presentations' titles is online here.