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News Release

University of Minnesota announces 2009 Siehl Prize For Excellence in Agriculture laureates

Media Note: Photos and biographical details are available after the announcement from Becky Beyers at bbeyers@umn.edu

Contacts: Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, (612) 626-5754
Mark Cassutt, University News Service, (612) 624-8038

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/18/2009) — A pioneering corn breeder, an innovative former dean who fostered international cooperation and the founder of one of Minnesota’s most successful farms are this year’s recipients of the prestigious Siehl Prize For Excellence in Agriculture.

The prize is awarded annually by the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Recipients are chosen for three categories: knowledge (teaching, research and outreach); production agriculture and agribusiness. This year’s winners are:

- A. Forrest Troyer (agribusiness): As one of the world’s most effective corn breeders, Troyer developed or co-developed 40 commercial corn hybrids for major agribusinesses that sold more than 60 million bags of seed corn -- enough to plant all the corn in North America for two years.

- William Hueg (knowledge): As director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and a University of Minnesota administrator, he developed an interdisciplinary approach in agricultural research that led to significant advances in addressing state and national global challenges in agriculture.

- Bob Christensen (production agriculture): Since he co-founded Christensen Farms in 1974 with his brother and only a handful of hogs, the family business has grown exponentially. Today, it employs 1,200 people, contracts with more than 450 family farmers and produces enough pork each year to feed 14 million people.

The recipients were announced today at the Minnesota State Capitol, as part of the celebration of National Ag Week. They will be honored at a ceremony in May.

The Siehl Prize was created in the early 1990s by a generous gift from New Ulm-area livestock breeder and businessman Eldon Siehl, a dedicated philanthropist who had a lifelong interest in agricultural systems. Siehl was concerned that people were losing touch with their agrarian roots and wanted his gift to ensure that achievements in agriculture would be recognized and celebrated. Recipients receive a $50,000 award as well as a sculpture and lapel pin designed by Minnesota artist Thomas Rose especially for the Siehl Prize.

The recipients were announced today at the Minnesota State Capitol as part of the celebration of National Ag Week, sponsored by the Minnesota Farm Bureau. The laureates will be honored at a ceremony in May.

Dist: Usuals, radio, MN Dailies, MN Ag, Capitol

Tags: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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