MSU Students, Faculty Win Agronomy Honors

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University faculty members and students received top honors at the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy meeting in Atlanta earlier this month.

Normie Buehring and Christian Baldwin, faculty members in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, were awarded for research and teaching, respectively.

A 43-year research veteran, Buehring received the Career Award in Research for his work in agricultural production systems in north Mississippi. Buehring, a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, is stationed at the Northeast Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona.

A relative newcomer to Mississippi State, assistant professor Christian Baldwin received the Early-Career Award in Teaching. Baldwin teaches turf grass science in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Four Mississippi State agronomy students also placed in oral and poster presentations.

Jesse Morrison, doctoral graduate student, earned first place for his oral presentation on eastern gamagrass. Working under the direction of professor Brian Baldwin, Morrison studies methods of improving eastern gamagrass, a nutritious, warm-season forage.

Chathurika Wijewardana, a master’s student under the direction of plant and soil sciences faculty members Brien Henry and K. Raja Reddy, won third place for her oral presentation on the effects of climate change on corn growth and development.

Firas Alsajri, a doctoral graduate student, and Ethan Norvell, an undergraduate student, placed second and third, respectively, for their poster presentations at the Feb. 1-3 meeting. Alsajri’s poster described research on soybean response to temperature. Norvell’s poster examined temperature and drought tolerance in cotton. Both students work under the direction of research professor Reddy.

The Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy serves Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands, Virginia and Texas.

The MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences offers academic degrees in agronomy, horticulture and environmental science in agricultural systems.


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