NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences holds Awards Day
The New Mexico State University College of Agriculture and Home Economics honored faculty, staff and others who have contributed to agriculture and the university during the annual Awards Day, April 24, at the New Mexico State University Golf Course Club House.
The Leyendecker Agriculturist of Distinction was awarded to Caren Cowan, who is the executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. Cowan has served the college on many search and advisory committees, as an agro-security lecturer, as a board member for the New Mexico Agriculture Leadership Program and as a member of the College Name Review Team.
Gene Baca received the New Mexico Outstanding Leader Award. During the past 22 years, Baca has led Bueno Foods as a senior vice president, a director and a stockholder. He also is the president of the New Mexico Chile Association.
The Fabian Garcia Founder's Award was given to Steve Loring, assistant director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Loring is the chair of the university council on the year of sustainability and also serves as the interim chair of the learning and curriculum sub-committee.
Neil Burcham, associate professor in the animal and range sciences department, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award. Burcham has served NMSU and the livestock industry for 40 years. He also has coached the livestock judging team and is the Extension swine specialist.
The Distinguished Research Award was given to Kirk McDaniel, a professor in the animal and range sciences department. McDaniel has led efforts such as the Rangeland Ecology Project, the Locoweed Project, and the salt cedar initiative.
Mary Acosta was given the Distinguished Staff Award (on campus), while Jackie Clark received the Distinguished Staff Award (off campus). Acosta is an audit budget technician for Extension Plant Sciences and Clark has been the administrative secretary for the Cooperative Extension Service in Roosevelt County for 24 years.
Extension specialist Robert Flynn was honored with the Distinguished Extension Award for his work on Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans. Flynn also speaks at numerous producer conferences, crop workshops and training sessions.
Plant and environmental sciences professor Geno Picchioni was named Distinguished Teacher. Picchioni not only teaches and advises, but also serves students by nominating them for awards, alerting them to scholarships and helping them find internships and jobs.
Manoj Shukla, an assistant professor in the plant and environmental sciences department, received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Teaching Award. Shukla is credited with rescuing the soil physics program, bringing class enrollment to its highest in 15 years.
The Team Award was given to Fit Families, a collaboration between NMSU, the New Mexico Department of Health, community agencies, elementary schools, health professionals and a private foundation.
Elaine Crnkovic received the Family and Consumer Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award. Crnkovic is the chief executive officer of Cedar Springs Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo., and was the first intern placed by the marriage and family therapy program at the Mesilla Valley Hospital.
Jim Bradbury and Al Lucero were given the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Industry Leader Award. Both men are active members of the HRTM Board of Advisors. Bradbury is the president of the Santa Fe Hospitality Group and Lucero is the owner of one of Santa Fe's most successful and famous restaurants, Maria's New Mexican Kitchen.
Socorro County 4-H agent Teresa Dean received the 4-H Foundation Award. Dean established many programs and events during her time as the 4-H agent in both Socorro and Otero counties.
NMSU alumnus Jesus Trujillo received the Outstanding High School Agriculture Teacher Award. Trujillo built the agriculture education program at Hagerman High School into one of the top five programs of its kind in the state.