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Johanns Honors CSREES Employees in Annual Awards Ceremony

News Release

Jennifer Martin, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2006 – Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recognized nine employees from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service for exemplary service and achievements during the 59th annual USDA Honor Awards Ceremony. Their outstanding work was done while participating in interagency and interdepartmental collaborations.

“CSREES is proud of the contributions our employees have made in advancing agriculture,” said Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “Their vision, leadership and commitment to their work is deserving of the honor they have received from the Secretary.”

The Army 4-H Youth Development Project was recognized for its collaboration of federal agencies, using public resources wisely and meeting critical challenges facing American children when a parent is deployed. CSREES National Program Leader Sharon Wright and Gen. John Macdonald of the U.S. Army lead the project. CSREES staff members Janice Clark, James Kahler, Cathann Kress and C. Eddy Mentzer were also honored for their collaborations with team members from the U.S. Army, Auburn University, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, University of Maryland and Washington State University.

The Asian Soybean Rust team was recognized for planning, rapid response and recovery of a potential disaster that was averted by using science-based and technological strategies or addressing and mitigating risks for a potentially devastating plant disease, the Asian Soybean Rust. CSREES national program leaders Kitty Cardwell and William Hoffman represented CSREES on the team. Marty Draper, CSREES national program leader, was also recognized for his work on the team while representing South Dakota State University. The team is comprised of individuals from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, CSREES, and the Risk Management Agency, as well as Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, North Carolina State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of California-Davis, University of Illinois, Iowa State University and South Dakota State University.

Shirley Gerrior, CSREES national program leader, was honored for her work with the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in developing the MyPyramid Food Guidance System. The group received for the outstanding development and implementation of the MyPyramid Food Guidance System that provides personalized guidance to help Americans follow the Dietary Guidelines through MyPyramid.gov.

The Honor Awards are the most prestigious awards presented by USDA. This year there are 34 individual and group award winners. They are being honored for outstanding service in many fields, including stewardship of natural resources, scientific research, animal and plant disease control, environmental innovations, education outreach, emergency response to disasters, food safety, farm and food program delivery, trade and export development, and rural economic development. USDA also honored employees who had performed individual acts of heroism and courage.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.