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ARS Employees Recognized at Agriculture Secretary's 2004 Honor Awards Ceremony

By Luis Pons
June 25, 2004

WASHINGTON, June 25--U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today honored staff of USDA's Agricultural Research Service for exemplary contributions in agricultural research. These awards were presented this afternoon at the 58th Annual Secretary's Honor Awards Ceremony held in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.

"These awards highlight the dedication and talents of ARS employees who contribute in so many ways to improving the world around us," said ARS Acting Administrator Edward B. Knipling. "The accomplishments of each of these honorees exemplify public service at its best."

ARS honorees were recognized for developing a soybean variety lacking that vegetable's major human allergen, improving soybean irrigation and production system technology, making advances toward better understanding risks posed by protozoan parasites to the environment and to food and water supplies, and other accomplishments.

The Honor Awards are the most prestigious awards given by USDA and the Plow Award is the highest USDA Honor Award. These awards were presented to the following individuals and teams:

Eliot M. Herman
More about Herman's research.

  • Eliot M. Herman, ARS, St. Louis, Missouri--Plow award for developing a hypoallergenic soybean that yields a higher percentage of soybeans versus other protein in animal rations and human foods.
  • Protozoan Parasite Epidemiology Team, ARS, Beltsville, Maryland--Plow award for conducting intensive surveillance research for protozoan parasites by incorporating novel molecular epidemiological approaches that have greatly enhanced our understanding of risks to the environment, food and water supply.

Agronomist Larry Heatherly
More about Heatherly's research.

  • Larry G. Heatherly, ARS, Stoneville, Mississippi--Plow award for leading research in soybean irrigation technology, the stale seedbed planting system and the early soybean production system for the mid-southern region of the United States which resulted in increased yields and profits.

Foods with Fantesk
More about Fanta's research.

  • George F. Fanta and team members, ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Illinois--Honor award for outstanding efforts in developing a starch-lipid composite material for food and industrial applications called "Fantesk" and for effectively transferring this technology to industry.

William Orts
More about wheat starch research.

  • Gregory M. Glenn and William J. Orts, ARS Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit, Albany, California--Honor award for creating a market for U.S. wheat producers through the use of wheat starch to develop food-service packaging products.

Sterilizing fruit flies.
More about Vargas' research.

  • Roger I. Vargas and team members, ARS U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, Hawaii--Honor award for developing an effective and sustainable area-wide program to suppress fruit flies in Hawaii. This program will enable the expansion of fruit and vegetable production in rural Hawaii.

More about Casey's research.

  • Thomas A. Casey and team members, National Animal Disease Center, Ames, Iowa-- Honor award for discovering and commercially developing imaging technology that provides the meat-processing industry with a new mechanism to detect organic carcass contamination.

Leafy spurgeMore about Anderson's research.

  • Gerald L. Anderson and team members, ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney, Montana--Honor award for developing and implementing a biologically based, integrated leafy spurge management effort throughout the United States and Canada. This approach preserves natural resources, controls leafy spurge and protects the environment.

Ray Carruthers.More about Carruthers' research.

  • Raymond I. Carruthers and C. Jack DeLoach, ARS Western Regional Research Center, Albany, California, and ARS Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, Texas--Honor award for leading a consortium that developed and implemented an innovative, cost-effective and environmentally friendly biological control management strategy to control invasive salt cedar in riparian areas.
  • David L. Suarez and team members, ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Athens, Georgia--Honor award for developing and implementing rapid diagnostic tests, vaccine evaluation and policy development to control an exotic Newcastle disease outbreak in the United States.

More about conference.

  • Richard V. Greene and team members, ARS Office of International Research Programs, Beltsville, Maryland--Honor award for outstanding management and logistical oversight in implementing a global-scale ministerial conference on agricultural science and technology.
  • Wayne H. Funkhouser, ARS Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Beltsville, Maryland--Honor award for extraordinary dedication and creativity in protecting consumers' health and well-being through his support of the Food Safety and Inspection Service Food Safety Mobile. The Food Safety Mobile delivered food and safety information to a variety of communities.