Fred A. Cholick, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of Kansas State University Research and Extension, has been named a fellow in the American Society of Agronomy.
Designation as a fellow is the highest recognition awarded by the Society, and less than one half of one percent of the Society's active or emeritus members may be elected annually, says Gerry Posler, professor of agronomy (crops teaching) at Kansas State University, who nominated Cholick for the award.
Nominees for the award, which will be presented Nov. 7, 2007, in New Orleans, La., typically will have made outstanding contributions in their area of specialization, which includes research, teaching, Extension, service or administration in the public, private or commercial sector, Posler says.
As an agronomist, Cholick's career has focused on the application of soil and plant sciences in managing soil and crop production, Posler says.
Cholick grew up on a farm in Oregon and earned a bachelor's of science degree in agronomy at Oregon State University, a master's degree in agronomy at Colorado State University, and Ph.D. in agronomy and plant breeding, also at Colorado State University.
Prior to accepting his dual role at K-State (2004), Cholick's career efforts were centered at South Dakota State University (SDSU). There, he advanced from his first position as an associate professor and project leader, spring wheat breeding and genetics (in the Plant Science Department) to full professor, department head of the Plant Science Department, and then director of the Experiment Station. He was named Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences in 1998.
As project leader for the spring wheat breeding and genetics program, he released six varieties and one germplasm with multiple pest resistance, early maturity to avoid heat and drought stress and increased yield potential from spring and winter wheat germplasm pools. In 1982, for example, Cholick released Guard, and, in 1987, Shield, which were, at the time, the only two hard red spring wheat varieties in the region with resistance to the Hessian fly.
In addition to teaching graduate courses in plant breeding, Cholick also has reviewed wheat breeding programs in countries such as Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Kazakhstan, helped to develop numerous Extension programs and fact sheets on wheat breeding, and provided the leadership for a grant proposal that yielded $5.4 million for an Animal Resource Wing at SDSU.
Letters of recommendation for Cholick's nomination cited his solid scientific foundation, ability to focus discussion on important issues, establish priorities and get things done.
Numerous agriculture leaders and scientists from across the nation wrote letters in support of Cholick.