Sorghum groups announce industry awards
The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association’s annual appreciation banquet was the setting for presentation of annual service awards and recognition of outgoing board members and yield contest winners by the NeGSPA and the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board. The awards are presented annually to recognize an individual or organization for contributions to the development, promotion and advancement of the grain sorghum industry.
NeGSPA—Industry Service Award
Ron Gardner, regional sales manager for Fontanelle Hybrids, was honored by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association for his support and contributions to the Association, especially in the area of education and industry support. He has worked with NeGSPA for many years as a generous supporter and promoter for the producer education projects directed by NeGSPA, in particular sorghum seminars, hybrid demonstration plots, and field day programs.
“As a member of allied industry and as a farmer, Ron possesses a strong understanding and appreciation for sorghum and how and where it fits into cropping systems,” said Don Bloss, Pawnee City, NeGSPA president. “Involvement and support from allied industry is vital to our existence and success and Ron epitomizes what it means to be a true industry partner.”
Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board—Service to Sorghum Award
The Service Award presented by the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board was given to Jeff Pedersen, retired plant geneticist, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Neb.
“Dr. Pedersen is cited for his conduct of sound science and valuable research toward improved sorghum hybrids and his sharing of that knowledge among the scientific community,” said John Dvoracek, Farwell, Nebraska Sorghum Board chairman. “He has released over 150 sorghum lines, germplasms, populations and genetic stocks. These releases had unique attributes that were fully tested and were in productive genetic lines so they could be used directly by seed companies and other breeders.”
It is notable, as well, that his brown midrib genetic stocks are widely used by industry with germplasm having been transferred to 38 companies and institutions in the U.S., Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and Canada. He has been named a USDA-ARS Scientist of the Year.
Recognition was given to Kenneth Herz, Lawrence, Neb., on his retirement following four years on the NeGSPA board of directors. He served as the treasurer during his time on the board and also coordinated the hybrid demonstration plot for three years. Prior to service on the NeGSPA board, Herz represented District No. 3 on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board from 1998 to 2007.
The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board recognized Burdette Piening for his tenure representing District No. 2 on the Board from 2001-12. Piening served as chairman for three years and was the Board’s delegate to the U.S. Grains Council.