Earn High USDA Honor Awards
By Jan Suszkiw
July 8, 2002
An eco-friendly pest control, a soil
testing kit, and a Spanish-language news service are among the many
achievements for which Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and other personnel were
recognized today at the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's annual honor awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman presented the awards at 12:30 p.m. at the
Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in
Washington. The ARS honorees and the categories in which they won their awards
For "Expanding Economic and Trade Opportunities for U.S. Agricultural
Director/Group Leader Donald E. Koeltzow, chemist Okkyung K. Chung, and
agricultural engineer Floyd E. Dowell, all at the agency's Grain Marketing and
Production Research Center (GMPRC) in
Manhattan, Kan., are the ARS members of the Hard White Wheat Commercialization
team. They assisted Kansas State University
cooperators in devising a plan for releasing new wheat cultivars with increased
bran and fiber. They also participated in quality evaluations for those wheats,
which, in turn, have generated greater sales and acceptance by domestic and
For "Maintaining and Enhancing the Nation's Natural Resources and
Entomologist/Group Leader Richard L. Hellmich,
Corn Insects and Crop
Genetics Research Unit, Ames, Iowa, and Adrianna D. Hewings, ARS Midwest
Area Director, Peoria, Ill. As ARS members on the Monarch Consortium Team, they
are being honored for their work helping facilitate and carry out research
addressing Bt corn's impact on monarch butterflies. This work provided a
scientific basis for regulatory decisions made concerning Bt corn. Bt stands
for Bacillus thuringiensis, a common soil bacterium that makes proteins with
insecticide-like properties. Bt corn is genetically modified to produce one of
these proteins, which makes it selective against certain caterpillar pests.
Director Laurence D. Chandler, Red
River Valley Agricultural Research Center, Fargo, N. D. Chandler has been a
driving force behind areawide pest management programs in South Dakota and
other Corn Belt states to control corn rootworms. Chandler also is being
honored for his success in expanding the Fargo center's research capabilities.
Soil scientist John W. Doran, Soil and Water Conservation Research
Unit, Lincoln, Neb. In addition to visionary research, Doran's
award-winning achievements include developing a practical test kit and resource
materials that farmers and other agricultural professionals can use to monitor
soil health. The kit and interpretive guides also serve as tools by which they
can gauge how sustainable their land management practices are.
Research leader, Dale F. Heermann, Water Management Research Unit, Fort
Collins, Colo. Heermann's water conservation and management research culminated
in the formation of a multi-disciplinary team to integrate precision farming
systems with center-pivot and linear-move irrigation technologies. The aim is
to conserve limited water sources as well as prevent degradation of the
nation's water quality.
For "Operating an Efficient, Effective, and Discrimination-Free
Director/Group Leader, Sandy Miller Hays,
Beltsville, Md., and El
Servicio Noticiero team members Sean T. Adams, Guadalupe Chavez Jr.
(formerly ARS), James F. De Quattro, Marcos A. Ocadiz Sr., Flor de Maria
Schroder, and Nancy M. Vanatta. The team created a daily news service and other
materials to deliver information in Spanish about ARS findings to the nation's
growing Hispanic population.
For "Promoting Health by Providing Access to Safe, Affordable, and
Chemist George E. Inglett, National
Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Ill. Inglett's
achievements include developing and patenting nutraceutical ingredients,
notably Oatrim, Nutrim, Z-Trim, and Soytrim. He also successfully transferred
these inventions to the food industry for development into viable commercial
products benefitting consumers.
Soil scientist D. Michael Glenn and entomologist Gary J. Puterka, both at
the Appalachian Fruit Research Station,
Kearneysville, W.Va. They invented, developed, tested and transferred
technology for "Surround Crop Protectant," a non-toxic alternative to
conventional pesticides that is now sold by Engelhard Corporation. Their
invention, made of processed kaolin particle film, can be sprayed directly onto
plants and protects their leaves and fruit from environmental stresses such as
extreme heat and ultraviolet radiation.
Research leader, Philipp W. Simon,
Vegetable Crops Research Unit,
Madison, Wis. Simon's leadership in carrot genetics research has given rise to
new germplasm packed with high carotene, improved flavor, and other agronomic
traits important to the baby or cut and peel markets.
Research leader, Donald W. Thayer,
Food Safety Intervention
Technologies Research Unit, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa.
Thayer's contributions to food safety include researching the use of ionizing
radiation to control food-borne pathogens in poultry and red meats such as
The following ARS employees are being honored based on award nominations by
other USDA agencies:
Biotechnology Coordinator, Michael G. Schechtman,
Office of Pest Management
Policy, Washington, D.C. Along with other members of the Economic Research
Service's (ERS) Food and Agricultural
Policy Report Team, Schechtman is being recognized for contributions in helping
shape agricultural policy as well as budget and legislative proposals.
Vern D. Damsteegt, Tim R. Gottwald, Ralph Scorza and Jerry K. Uyemoto are
ARS members on the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension
Service's (CSREES) Multi-state Project
Northeastern-501. They're being honored for collaborating with other federal,
state, university and agricultural industry personnel to contain the plum pox
virus and prevent its spread to U.S. stone fruits.
Horticulturist Ralph Scorza, Appalachian
Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, W.Va. The ARS member on the CSREES'
Grapevine Biotechnology Research Group, Scorza and others researched
biotechnological approaches to protecting grapes from Pierce's Disease, of
particular menace to the fruit and wine industries of California and Florida.
Veterinary medical officers David L. Suarez (Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory,
Athens, Ga.), Lynda C. Kelley (Office of Director, Athens, Ga.), and James E.
Keen (Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal
Research Center, Clay Center, Neb.) are the ARS members on the
Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service's Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom (UK) Team. Its
members are being honored for their contributions to making sure foot-and-mouth
disease outbreaks in U.K. livestock don't reach the United States.
Martin L. Clark, Ruth L. Coy, James F. De Quattro, Sandy Miller Hays, Marcos
A. Ocadiz Sr. and Amy R. Spillman. All are ARS Information Staff employees who
participated on USDA's Homeland Security Emergency Support Team. Its members
are being recognized for outstanding performance of duty in support of national
security emergency measures at USDA arising from the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001, in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Amy A. Barringer, James A. Higgins, Christina A. Hohn, Jeff S. Karns, Mike
P. Kiley and Michael L. Perdue. All are in Beltsville, Md., and served as ARS
members on USDA's Terrorism Response Group. They're being recognized for their
participation on communication initiatives, employee security measures, and
emergency response activities arising from September 11 and subsequent anthrax