The Department of Agronomy maintains a strong extension program to support agents and their clientele. Primary ongoing support methods include
posting the weekly Agronomy e-Update newsletter,
providing speakers for local and regional meetings, and
conducting webinars on timely topics.
Several recent personnel changes will affect K-State Research and Extension.
* Gary Pierzynski has returned to his duties as permanent department head after serving for 2 1/2 years as interim dean of the College of Agriculture. During that time, Bill Schapaugh served as interim department head of Agronomy. Bill has returned to his full-time research and teaching position as soybean breeder.
* Lucas Haag is the new Northwest Area crops and soils specialist. He will complete his Ph.D. program at K-State in fall 2012 and assume his new position in early 2013. Lucas has an extensive background in practical agronomic research, having been a research assistant at the Southwest Research-Extension Center in Tribune. He has spoken at meetings, such as Cover Your Acres, the Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association, and many local meetings.
* Kraig Roozeboom, former cropping systems and crop production specialist, has assumed the cropping systems research and teaching position formerly held by Scott Staggenborg. Kraig will honor his speaking commitments but will not be taking on new extension assignments. A search will begin as soon as possible to fill the specialist position.
* Todd White, forage agronomist, has resigned to accept a position in his native New Zealand. Although this is a research and teaching position, it is an important support position for extension. The drought has created a severe forage shortage, highlighting the importance of forages in the state and the importance of this position within the department. A search will begin as soon as possible.
* The Southwest Area crops and soils specialist position remains open. A search was conducted in 2012, but no candidate was hired. A new search has begun. In the meantime, John Holman, agronomist at the Southwest Research-Extension Center in Garden City has been providing support for this position.
* We have re-opened the search for an agronomist at the Southeast Agricultural Research Center. Two previous searches produced no suitable results.
* Eric Adee has been hired as the agronomist-in-charge at the Kansas River Valley and East Central experiment fields. Randall Nelson has been hired as the agronomist-in-charge at the North Central Experiment Field. Both have extensive practical research experience and a strong commitment to serving the needs of the agents and producers in their respective areas.
* Peter Tomlinson has been hired as the environmental quality specialist, assuming the position formerly held by Dan Devlin, who is now director of KCARE. Peter has done extensive research into earthworms and land application of animal wastes and will work closely with agents on environmental issues.
* Other new department faculty include Anandhi Swamy, assistant professor in climate research (a new position), and Mithila Jugulam, assistant professor in weed science. The department is increasing its commitment to climate research by filling the vacant micrometeorologist position and creating a research climatologist position. This will help the department increase the quantity and quality of weather data in the state. The weather collection sites across the state will get more attention and maintenance as a result.