Daryl Buchholz, associate director for extension and applied research at Kansas State University, has been honored with the Epsilon Sigma Phi Distinguished Service Ruby Award, the highest award granted in extension nationwide.
The award was presented to Buchholz at the Galaxy IV Conference in mid-September in Pittsburgh, Penn. The conference, hosted every five years by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, is a national professional improvement conference for extension organizations.
Buchholz has been with K-State Research and Extension since 1992 but his career as an extension professional spans more than 33 years.
Although he discovered his calling for extension work in graduate school, Buchholz, a native of South Dakota, said he has experienced extension in some way throughout his life. First, it was the Belmont Baby Beef 4-H Club, where Buchholz said he took part in projects including livestock, clothing, horticulture, foods and others that his parents thought would help him become a confident, well-rounded individual and leader. He followed his 4-H days by attending South Dakota State University and becoming the first-generation college graduate in his family.
Buchholz then moved on to pursue graduate degrees at two other land-grant universities—Oklahoma State University for a master's degree and Kansas State University for a Ph.D. He worked in the University of Missouri's agronomy department as an extension soil fertility specialist for 12 years before returning to K-State, where he has served in a number of leadership roles.
As an associate professor of agronomy, Buchholz put his practical outlook to use. He developed and implemented extension programs in soil fertility, fertilizer use efficiency, soil testing, environmental and water quality, no-till cropping management, and site-specific crop management to assist growers, dealers, and the public in understanding principles of nutrient management and using those principles for agricultural improvement.