CASNR Alumni Association presents awards

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Alumni Association honored three Nebraskans and the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication with awards.

Ernie Weyeneth received the 2014 CASNR Alumni Association Service Award, Ron Hanson received the 2014 CASNR Alumni Association Legacy Award, Daryl Cisney received the 2014 CASNR Alumni Association Achievement Award and the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication received the 2014 Award for Engagement of Emeriti Faculty.

The Service Award recognizes an individual for outstanding service to the college or to the college alumni association. Weyeneth has served as the president of the Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation since its inception in 1996 and also serves as the President of the Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard Educational Foundation, which manages an apple orchard and vineyard in Nebraska City to educate visitors on the importance of innovation in agriculture.

The orchard has developed a strategic partnership with UNL Extension over the past 10 years. Weyeneth also has been a passionate supporter of the animal science department's judging teams. In his role with the Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard, he has developed internships and opportunities for students to engage in undergraduate research and independent study.

The Legacy Award recognizes an individual whose significant contributions have made a lasting impact to the college and university. Hanson serves as the Neal E. Harlan Professor of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at UNL.

In addition to teaching over 800 students in his classes each academic year, he serves as faculty academic adviser to 90 department majors for CASNR.

His 40-year college teaching and student-advising career has earned a total of 29 University honors and national awards. He also has received the USDA Excellence in University Teaching Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is the highest national teaching honor granted to a college professor in the area of agricultural and food sciences, and was the recipient of the 2013 NACTA Distinguished Educator Award, which is the highest national honor that the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture can give.

The Achievement Award recognizes a CASNR graduate who has made significant contributions to the college or to Nebraska agricultural and natural resources over the course of his or her career.

Cisney is a Certified Professional in Rangeland Management. He attended UNL as a non-traditional student, studying range management with adviser James Stubbendieck.

After completing the Livestock Management on Range and Pasture course, he became dedicated to assisting in range management education in any way that he could.

During his last semester at UNL he assisted in developing a laboratory manual for this course. He also became involved in the Nebraska Youth Range Camp and Range Judging.

The Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication received the 2014 CASNR Alumni Association Engagement of Emeriti Faculty Award.

This award acknowledges the importance of retired faculty and the value of keeping them engaged in the campus community. This college-wide departmental award recognizes the unit that is effective and innovative in engaging its retired faculty.

The ALEC department provides formal office space, complete with telephone, computer, and physical file space, and provides computer software upgrades for all locally based retired faculty. It also hosts an emeriti faculty coffee, provides parking passes for emeriti needing access to East Campus facilities, provides ALEC in Action Weekly and invites retired faculty to participate in the annual departmental photo.

Awards were presented at the CASNR Week Banquet April 13. CASNR honor students and their parents, alumni members, faculty and staff attended the banquet. CASNR week is planned by the college's students to celebrate excellence and the benefits of agriculture and natural resources in Nebraska.