James Allen Wrather, professor of plant microbiology and pathology at the University of Missouri - Columbia, who is based at the Delta Center in Portageville, was recognized for his education efforts related to the soybean cyst nematode.
Wrather has focused his research and Extension efforts to prevent U.S. soybean farmer yield losses to disease, compiling disease-loss estimates for major diseases in each soybean-producing state.
His disease loss estimate publication has established priorities to reduce disease losses through state research and Extension programs in both the public and private sectors, and is among the most cited scientific journals in the United States.
Wrather’s career has also led to teamwork among states in Extension education to reduce losses attributed to the soybean cyst nematode. In addition, his efforts to educate growers about the soybean cyst nematode management is credited with helping to lower damage by 66 percent in the southern United States over the past 20 years.
In addition to Wrather, the United Soybean Board also recognized individuals and organizations in the categories of International Marketing, Domestic Marketing, Production, New Uses and Producer Communications.
Among those honored was Steven T. Sonka, director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory in Urbana, Ill. Sonka was recognized for his continual leadership that led to improved coordination of research and information-sharing within the soybean industry, including the first-ever Global Soy Forum.
Others recognized include: the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, the Indiana Soybean Board International Marketing Committee; the Ohio Soybean Council; Thomas A. Hammer, president of the National Oilseed Processors Association; Thomas Kurth and Urethane Soy Systems Company (USSC) of Princeton, Ill; Ag Processing, Inc. of Omaha, Neb., for instituting first value-based marketing system in the soybean industry; and Bhima Vijayendran, director of commercial development for the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio for being integral to the development of new uses for soybeans, including a soy-based PVC plasticizer.
"Each winner has made a direct, positive impact on the soybean industry and U.S. soybean producers," said USB Chairman David Durham, a soybean farmer from Hardin, Mo. "We appreciate their exceptional dedication to the soybean checkoff and look forward to their future accomplishments."
The United Soybean Board is made up of 62 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers.