ISU College of Ag Awards Presented Oct. 20

Monsanto's Ted Crosbie and Carl Whitcomb of Lacebark Inc. honored.

Two men who have made important contributions to the agriculture industry were honored Oct. 20 as part of an Iowa State University's Alumni Association awards ceremony. Both awards are given annually by the Iowa State College of Agriculture. In addition, an award presented for the first time in 2006 went to a retired professor and his wife.

Receiving the 2006 Floyd Andre Award was Ted Crosbie of Earlham. The award honors an ISU alum who has made an outstanding contribution to production agriculture, ag business or who has significantly influenced Iowa agriculture.

Crosbie is vice president of Global Breeding at Monsanto. Under his direction, breeding research teams supply more than 1,000 commercial varieties and hybrids each year to farmers around the world. This accounts for about 40% of the world's commercial production of seven crops. He supervises more than 800 employees in 25 countries, including 150 plant breeders. The Global Plant Breeding Group is one of the largest research departments within Monsanto.

Instrumental in raising funds

In Iowa, Crosbie has been instrumental in gaining financial support for research in biotechnology. He was one of the leaders who successfully campaigned for the $30.5 million Molecular Biology Building at ISU, which was built in 1991. In addition, he helped raise $18 million for research between 1987 and 1990. He was born and raised on a northwest Iowa farm.

The 2006 Henry A. Wallace Award was presented to Carl Whitcomb. The Wallace Award honors an ISU alum who has made an outstanding contribution to national or international ag through leadership, research, teaching or writing.

Carl Whitcomb, president of Lacebark Inc., in Stillwater, Okla., has published numerous books and research papers on plant production techniques. He has 27 patents, 12 trademarks and continues research on a variety of topics. His published research on woody plant propagation is used widely by nurseries and is known as the "Whitcomb System."

Whitcomb's plant materials guides, the "Know It and Grow It" books, have gained him household recognition. Before becoming president of Lacebark Inc., he was a faculty member at the University of Florida and Oklahoma State University.

Whitcomb pioneered air-root-pruning containers for trees and other plants. His research resulted in developing a system that is used to grow millions of plants under the name RootMaker®. He also developed a red-flowered crape myrtle called Red Rocket, which will be featured at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

First year for ISU's new Carver Award

This is the first year for the College of Agriculture's George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes alumni or friends who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the agricultural, food, environmental, social and life sciences.

The 2006 recipients are Harold "Sande" and Margo McNabb of Ames. Sande, a university plant pathology professor emeritus, taught more than 3,000 students and mentored 300 interns during his 47 years at ISU. After reading George Washington Carver's books, he began tutoring students in the sixth grade and decided to pursue a career in teaching and research. He began his teaching career at ISU in 1954 and received the first Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Phytopathological Society in 1989.

In 1986, Margo was in articles featuring the Women of the Year in Ames. She also received Iowa Congressional District 4 Distinguished Service Award in 1992.

The McNabbs are dedicated to providing students with opportunities to excel in science. They have financially supported diversity initiatives in the College of Agriculture and participated in planning two national Minorities in Agricultural and Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) conferences. In 2002 they received the City of Ames Humanitarian of the Year Award and in 2006 were listed in the State Science and Technology Fair Iowa Hall of Fame.

Other people who received awards

Three other people with ties to the College of Ag also were honored Oct. 20.

Donald Jordahl, West Des Moines, received a bachelor's degree in ag education in 1958. He received the ISU Alumni Association Impact Award. Jim Almquist, Urbandale, received the ISU Alumni Association National Service Award. Almquist earned a bachelor's degree in animal science in 1954 and a master's in rural sociology in 1962. Alex Olson, Mason City, is a 2002 graduate in ag business. He received the Harold Pride Service Medallion, which recognizes devoted service to ISU through the Memorial Union.

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