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Faculty and Alumni Receive UW-Extension Awards

By Trista Gropp

Nov. 12, 2010--University of Wisconsin-River Falls faculty and alumni were honored with awards at the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension (ANRE) Connections and Engagement State Conference in Madison in October. The conference recognizes individuals and teams for outstanding programming and mentoring efforts.

Purnendu Vasavada, professor of food science, was awarded a Program Innovation Award for his work with the UWRF Food Microbiology Symposium. The award is given to a team or individual with an innovative program that uses new approaches, techniques, content, and technology.

Vasavada has organized the international symposium at UWRF for 30 years. The symposium provides continuing education opportunities for food industry professionals on contemporary issues and topics in food safety and microbiology, emerging pathogens, detection and characterization of pathogens and toxins, food industry trends, and developments impacting food safety.

“This symposium and workshop brings a lot of visibility to the campus and community,” says Stephen Ridley, former dean of UWRF’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science. “As a result, there are people on literally every continent of the world who have heard of, or been to, River Falls.”

Also at the ANRE Conference, a Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness Award was given to a UW-Extension team made up of many UWRF alumni and a faculty member. Agriculture agents of the UW-Extension Western District were recognized for a project on farm succession in western Wisconsin.

The team of UW-Extension agents included UWRF alumni: Maria Bendixen, B.S. ’02; Bob Cropp, B.S. ’75; Carl Duley, B.S. ’83; Randy Knapp, B.S. ’71; the late Lee Milligan, B.S. ’76, M.S. ’85; Ryan Sterry, B.S. ’04; Jon Zander, B.S. ’86; Greg Andrews, M.S. ’90; Bill Halfman, B.S. ’89; Tim Jergenson, B.S. ‘73 and faculty member Gregg Hadley, professor of agricultural economics. The team created a comprehensive program designed to provide tools and information to address the critical issues of farm ownership transition across generations during times of dynamic change in agriculture.


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