September 15, 2011

David Van Sanford, a wheat breeder and professor in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, has been selected a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.

Fellows are nominated by colleagues to receive these honors. Only 0.3 percent of the members in each society receive this recognition. He will be recognized along with other honorees during the national societies’ annual meetings Oct. 16-19 in San Antonio.

In his breeding program, Van Sanford has focused on developing high yielding, scab resistant soft red winter wheat varieties.

“Through his wheat breeding work and his service to the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, Dave Van Sanford is a national leader in the effort to improve wheat’s resistance to Fusarium head blight,” said Todd Pfeiffer, chair of the UK Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “Being named a fellow of both ASA and CSSA is worthy recognition of his research and administrative talents.”

As a member of the Crop Science Society of America, Van Sanford has served as co-chair of the organizing committee for the Golden Opportunities Scholars Institute. The institute identifies promising, high-achieving undergraduate students. These undergrads receive an opportunity to attend the society’s annual meeting for a chance to showcase their work and network with current and future colleagues. He’s also served as an associate editor of the society’s official publication, Crop Science. The journal publishes original research about crop breeding and genetics.

“It’s a great honor to receive recognition for my service and scientific contributions, but what really matters is our research is having a meaningful impact on society,” Van Sanford said.

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