Four innovators in agriculture received $17,000 in monetary awards and research funding jointly presented by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, an independent federal government agency, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The awards honor scientists, educators and high-school students for their contributions to science and research in agriculture.
"The individuals chosen to receive these awards have demonstrated a hunger for forward-thinking scientific knowledge and the desire to secure the future of American agriculture for generations to come," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "We applaud these innovators of tomorrow and recognize the need for more like them."
Andrew Sharpley, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas, is the recipient of the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. Dr. Sharpley's research focuses on the transport of phosphorous in agriculture systems and its influence on the environment, specifically water quality. He also led work on a phosphorous index that allows farmers to efficiently manage nutrient additions to the soil.
Matthew Eddy, an agriculture education teacher at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, is the recipient of the $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award. Eddy has taught agriculture education for 13 years. In 2009, he participated in the first Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education program and was designated a master teacher in 2012. Eddy's agriculture education curriculum emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math concepts.
The Agriscience Student Awards honor high-school students who have made a significant and positive contribution to the field of agricultural science.
Jill Dolowich, a senior at Jericho High School, Jericho, N.Y., and Michelle Chin, a junior at West Shore High School, Melbourne, Fla., received Agriscience Student Awards of $1,000 each.
Dolowich has studied entomology extensively at both Yale University and Michigan State University and is interested in environmentalism and conservation. This includes teaching people about declining insect populations such as honeybees. A National Young Naturalist Award Winner in 2011, Dolowich plans to attend Yale University in the fall.
Chin's agriculture research focuses on genetic engineering and biotechnology with organic and transgenic crops. She was a finalist at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and hopes that her research will help alleviate chemical run-off and environmental pollution.
"The American Farm Bureau Federation is proud to partner with the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation in recognizing these individuals for their achievements and contributions to the fields of agriculture education and research," Stallman said.