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New Mexico State University

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NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences honors staff

New Mexico State University's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, or ACES, presented awards to faculty, staff and others who have made agricultural contributions in an awards ceremony held last month at the NMSU Golf Course Banquet Room.


The New Mexico Outstanding Leadership Award went to Alisa Ogden. Ogden was the first female president of the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association and worked with legislators in the areas of agriculture, youth and education. She regularly volunteers with local schools, FFA and 4-H events.

Joe Nelson was given the Leyendecker Agriculturist of Distinction Award. Nelson helped establish the New Mexico Dry Onion Commission in 1984 which provides financial support for onion research and marketing and has helped New Mexico remain strong in onion production. Nelson has done much consulting work and decided to farm full-time after his retirement.

Receiving the Fabian Garcia Founders' Award of Excellence was Marvin Clary. Clary has been an agronomist with Border Foods for more than 20 years, managing green chile and jalapeno production. Clary works on integrated pest management strategies to ensure sustainable chile production in the region and is currently the secretary of the New Mexico Chile Association.

The Charles Tharp Farms Distinguished Service Award was given to Calvin Bailey, who worked for ACES for more than 40 years. Bailey currently works in rangeland research and teaching activities at the Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center. His colleagues say he is greatly respected in the New Mexico Cattle industry and his knowledge of Brangus cattle has made a tremendous impact on Chihuahuan Desert cattle production in the United States and Mexico.

Mary Louise Montoya was the recipient of the Malone Farms Endowed Distinguished Staff Award, off-campus. Montoya maintains the Mora Research Center's financial records and communicates with personnel on daily activities key to the function of the center. Montoya keeps others informed of up-to-date changes to any university policy and procedures and her colleagues say that her positive attitude and outlook are contagious.

The Mobley Family Endowed Distinguished Research Award was given to Bernhard Leinauer. During his 12 years at NMSU, Leinauer has done much research and established a nationally and internationally recognized applied turfgrass program. His research program addresses issues of water use efficiency for homeowners, golf courses and public schools. His research also addresses drought and salinity tolerance and the potential use of effluent water for turf.

Wanda Eastman was the recipient of the Kringle the Cat Distinguished Teaching Award. Eastman has been in ACES for 20 years and is a professor and a certified diabetes educator with experience and expertise in nutrition and food service systems management. Eastman has distinguished herself as an educator, academic adviser and co-adviser to the student organization Human Nutrition and Food Science Association. Her students say she is energetic, enthusiastic and makes learning fun.

The Distinguished Staff Award, on-campus, went to Rosanne Norris. Norris is an administrative assistant in the Agricultural Business and Agricultural Economics Department. Her colleagues say she has done an excellent job of creating good working relationships between units on campus and with constituents in communities across New Mexico. They say Norris is someone who takes on challenges with enthusiasm, resulting in a job well done and of the highest quality.

The Distinguished Professional Staff Award, on-campus, went to Maurice Craig. Craig directs the New Mexico IR-4 Field Program which is a collaborative effort between the Cooperative Extension Service and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. He has also developed an industry panel that allows communication between those in the field and key regulatory personnel to address current needs involving different chemicals in the production of various crops.

Receiving the Distinguished Professional Staff Award, off-campus, was Tammy Parsons. Following the untimely death of John Harrington, the Mora Research Center superintendent, Parsons stepped forward to take on the role. Since then she has coordinated research activities, maintenance activities and budgets for several projects that are underway. She also helped prepare project reports and new contracts with agencies such as the New Mexico State Forestry Division and Santa Clara Pueblo.

The Distinguished Extension Award went to Michael Patrick. Patrick has more than 25 years of Extension and outreach experience. He currently works assisting New Mexican small farmers and limited resource farmers with increasing their profits and sustainability of production. He also trains county agents, local government officials, and community and business leaders in basic profitability.

Receiving the Distinguished County Agent Award was Patrick Torres. Torres is a member of the organizing committee of the organic farming conference and co-organizer of the New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp. He also serves in a number of advisory positions including the Beef industry Improvement Initiative of New Mexico, the New Mexico Small Farm and Ranch Task Force and the New Mexico Extension Horse Advisory Council.

Mark Uchanski was honored with the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award. Uchanski was recognized for his involvement in student mentoring, teaching and advising to students in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Uchasnki is co-adviser to the Organization of Aggie Students Inspiring Sustainability, where he mentors students interested in the sustainability of anthropogenically affected natural systems.

Brenda Bishop was the recipient of the Outstanding 4-H Agent Award. Bishop was honored for her 25 years of service as a 4-H agent who has shown commitment to education and compassion for young people.

The Team Award went to the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, or RAIPAP. The program has assisted more than 5,000 Hispanic and Native American families with one-on-one educational programs in the areas like sustainable agriculture, marketing and small business development.

The FCS Industry Leader Award went to Merrilyn Cummings, a professor emeritus in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Cummings taught family and consumer sciences education in the department for 25 years, is the co-author of a leading textbook on instructional methods and published more than 30 journal articles. Cummings is also an active member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and recently served as chair of the nominating committee.

Receiving the HRTM Industry Leader Award was Bob Daws. Daws is president of the one of the largest nationwide alcoholic beverage distributors National Distributing Company, or NDC. He helped to create the Las Cruces "Novembrew" beer festival whose proceeds have allowed the NDC scholarship to be endowed at $10,000.

Todd Pinnell was the recipient of the Outstanding Agriculture Teacher Award. Pinell has been teaching agriculture in New Mexico for 21 years, 12 of which were in Texico. This is the second time in a row the New Mexico Agricultural Teachers Association selected him to receive the Outstanding Teacher Award.

The Extension Advocate Award went to Sonja Jo Serna who provides information to each county office throughout the state. Serna won the award for her Extension advocacy and dedication to new technologies.

Patrick Torres was the recipient of the Distinguished County Faculty Award. Torres established one of the strongest Master Gardener programs in the state and is well known for his workshops and programs. He has also worked in a leadership role in the Small Farm and Ranch Task Force and helped to develop and implement the New Mexico Youth Ranch Management Camp.

The New Specialist Award went to Fahzy Abdul Rahman. Rahman uses traditional and non-traditional channels to distribute Extension program information. He averages about 10 newsletter articles, five conference presentations, five face-to-face training programs and four NMSU How-To publications per year.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Rick Richardson. Richardson holds statewide workshops that focus on horses, beef, sheep, pigs, goats and dairy cattle for 4-H leaders, parents and Extension staff. In his current position, he has cultivated partnerships with the National Rifle Association, the New Mexico Livestock Board, the New Mexico State Fair and the Southern New Mexico State Fair.

To view photographs of the award winners visit http://aces.nmsu.edu/employee/awardrecipients/2012/welcome.html.