Agronomy and Horticulture awards banquet honors students, faculty, staff

Martin Massengale (left) and Kelsey Foster
Martin Massengale (left) and Kelsey Foster

The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture Awards Banquet was held April 4 at the Hillcrest Country Club in Lincoln. The banquet was an opportunity to honor the achievements of students, faculty and staff, past and present.

The evening included a buffet meal, alumni recognition, club and award presentations, prize drawings and a silent auction.

Kelsey Foster, a horticulture major, was awarded the Martin Massengale Outstanding Senior Award. Foster will graduate this May and plans to return to the family farm in Broken Bow, Nebraska, to expand the operation which currently specializes in seed production of native grasses.

The award honors Massengale, the president and chancellor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Grassland Studies and Foundation Distinguished Professor. Massengale has recently begun his transition into retirement after more than four decades at the university.

Sunil Kumar Kenchanmane Raju, an agronomy doctoral candidate specializing in plant breeding and genetics, was honored with the Agronomy and Horticulture Graduate Student Association Outstanding Member Award. His current research involves utilizing induced epigenetic variation in plant breeding. His work on soybean is providing valuable insights into understanding the potential of using MSH1-derived epigenome changes in developing lines with enhanced yield and yield stability.

Staff member Diane Nolan was awarded the President’s Citation, by the Horticulture Club and Pi Alpha Xi, the National Honor Society for horticulture, in recognition of outstanding service in the field of horticulture.

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