Wallaces Farmer

Awards bestowed by ISU Agricultural Honor Society

Outstanding students, faculty and alumni are recognized at annual ISU awards event.

May 4, 2016

2 Min Read

The Iowa Chapter of the Honor Society of Agriculture, known as Gamma Sigma Delta, presented its annual awards April 21 to Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni, faculty and students.

Two individuals’ accomplishments were recognized with the 2016 Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Thomas Loynachan, professor of agronomy. The award recognizes an outstanding individual for distinguished achievement in agriculture over a sustained period of time. 


Northey graduated from Iowa State in 1981 with a degree in agricultural business. Throughout his career, Northey has been a leader in a variety of farm groups and has traveled around the world to view agriculture and promote Iowa’s products. 

Loynachan is a past president of the ISU Gamma Sigma Delta chapter and past recipient of the chapter’s Teaching Award of Merit. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. Loynachan plans to retire from ISU this summer after 38 years of service.

Alumni awards, mission awards, teaching awards for 2016
The Alumni Award of Merit was presented to Larry Shover, president of the Iowa State Dairy Association, an Iowa Distinguished Dairyman and an honorary member of the ISU Dairy Science Club. He earned a bachelor’s degree in dairy science from ISU in 1969. 

Mission Awards were presented to faculty in the college who have made exceptional contributions in helping Iowa State achieve its mission:

• John Patience, professor of animal science; Research Mission Award

• Ann Marie VanDerZanden, professor of horticulture, Louise Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teacher and director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; Teaching Mission Award

• Hongwei Xin, distinguished professor in agriculture and biosystems engineering and director of the Egg Industry Center; Extension Mission Award

• Jack Dekkers, distinguished professor in animal science; International Mission Award

Two undergrads honored for scholarship achievement
The honor society also recognized undergraduate students: Ashley Vaughan, biology major from Clive, received the Sophomore Scholarship; Sarah Myers, animal science major from Sabula, got the Senior Scholarship. The awards are presented to students who earn the highest grade point average in the sophomore and senior classes.

Gamma Sigma Delta is a faculty-governed honor society that selects its members from students, graduate students, faculty and alumni for the promotion and recognition of high achievement. Its purpose is to encourage excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits and high standards of scholarship in all areas of ag science and education.

This spring five faculty and 101 students (15 juniors, 30 seniors and 56 graduate and veterinary medicine students) were nominated and approved for membership in the honor society. Barbara Clawson, program coordinator and senior lecturer in the Department of Horticulture, is the incoming president.

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