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Agricultural News

OSU Extension Small Grains Specialist Receives National Award

Fri, 01 Nov 2013 11:01:09 CDT

OSU Extension Small Grains Specialist Receives National Award
He has brought in more than $4.5 million in external funding to Oklahoma State University. He has published one book chapter, 40 refereed journal articles and 82 fact sheets or similar Extension materials.

He has been active and is recognized as a leader within professional societies, and was awarded the Warth Distinguished Professorship in Agronomy at OSU in 2011. The list of accomplishments goes on and on for Jeff Edwards, OSU Cooperative Extension small grains specialist.

That list will get a little longer as Edwards has been selected to receive the National Excellence in Extension Award during the 126th Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The award is given annually to one Extension professional who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served.

"It has been an honor to serve the people of the great state of Oklahoma over the past decade," Edwards said. "This award not only recognizes my program, but also the outstanding support provided by the Oklahoma wheat industry and the programmatic freedom within the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service that has allowed me to incorporate social media and new technologies into my program."

When he assumed leadership of the OSU Small Grains Extension program in 2004, the program relied mostly on print media and had little to no web presence. As indicated by his publication of more than 80 fact sheets, Edwards has not abandoned print media or the stakeholders who rely on these publications; however, he also has strived to make use of the web and social media to provide information more rapidly and to a larger audience.

"Since coming to OSU, Dr. Edwards has established a world renowned Extension program known for using cutting-edge technologies to deliver high-quality and high-impact programming to Oklahoma and Southern Plains agricultural producers," said David Porter, plant and soil sciences department head. "While doing so, he has quickly risen through the ranks and firmly established himself as a leader at the local, state and national levels."

As a leader in the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, Edwards has worked to increase adoption of improved wheat cultivars and IPM practices. In 2010 alone, the adoption of a disease and Hessian-fly resistant cultivar on eight percent of the state's wheat acres equated to a roughly 4.2 million bushels of wheat increase statewide with a market value of approximately $40 million.

"Validation of variety performance before commercialization is an absolute necessity in any plant breeding program," said Brett Carver, Regents professor in wheat breeding and genetics, wheat genetics chair in agriculture at OSU. "Dr. Edwards has provided, not only the time and talent, but, moreover, the trusted and respected resource essential to scientific validation of 15 OSU wheat varieties since 2004. It is no coincidence that two of those varieties have occupied leading positions in planted wheat acres since 2010."



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