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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Welch Named a Top ARS Scientist for 2003 / January 22, 2004 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

With ICP emission spectrometry, plant physiologist Ross Welch can determine the amount of iron and zinc in this liquid obtained by acid-digesting bean seeds. Click the image for additional information about it.
With ICP emission spectrometry, Ross Welch can determine the amount of iron and zinc in this liquid.  Click the image for additional information about it.


National news release

Magazine feature about Welch's research (Jan. 03)

Welch Named a Top ARS Scientist for 2003

By Luis Pons
January 22, 2004

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 22--The Agricultural Research Service has named plant physiologist Ross M. Welch as an “Outstanding Research Scientist of 2003" for combining research with outreach in efforts to halt malnutrition worldwide. ARS, the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Welch, who works at the ARS U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory in Ithaca, NY, will receive a plaque, a cash award, and additional funding for pioneering research and global outreach programs aimed at developing sustainable agricultural systems that support adequate human nutrition, healthier foods and better lives for all. He will be honored at a ceremony today.

The U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory is part of the ARS North Atlantic Area, which supports research in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, as well as New York. The laboratory, opened in 1940, focuses on the relationship between the soil-plant system and the nutritional quality of plant foods.

Welch has more than 30 years of service with ARS. Since joining the Ithaca laboratory in 1972, he has applied his expertise in plant nutrition, agricultural production and human nutrition toward developing new strategies for improving staple food crops as sources of micronutrients for humans.

Welch has been instrumental in convincing international agricultural and human nutrition communities to develop a new global plant breeding effort to improve the micronutrient density of staple food crops such as rice, wheat, corn, beans and cassava. Micronutrient malnutrition affects more than 3 billion people in both the developed and developing world.

Welch is also a professor of plant nutrition in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University. A native of Lancaster, Calif., and a resident of Ithaca, Welch has authored or co-authored 245 publications, including 95 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is an elected fellow of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy, receiving the Northeast Regional Agronomy Research Award in 1992. He holds a bachelor of science degree in soil science from California State Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo, and master of science and doctoral degrees in soil science from the University of California-Davis.

Last Modified: 2/19/2014
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