APLU Awards

Anna Ball and Rob Kallenbach win land grant recognition

Anna Ball, professor of agricultural education and leadership, and Rob Kallenbach, professor of plant sciences and Extension forage specialist, both were presented awards by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) at its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Ball was presented a regional teaching award. Kallenbach received the 2014 Excellence in Extension Award.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. The association’s membership includes 75 U.S. land-grant institutions.

Anna BallThe Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences award given to Ball recognized her work in developing the Center for the Collaboration and Design of Educational Innovations. The CCDEI helps scientists develop innovative teaching components to the outreach and broader impacts sections of their grants and projects.

The goal of the center, created in 2011, is to show the general public the importance of research findings, and what they mean for them. For example, Ball and her team created an outreach to school children to help them better understand a scientific topic. Another project included an App to get the researcher’s newly created technology directly into the hands of the public.

Ball is moving researchers beyond just putting on a workshop. Partnering with educational experts can strengthen a grant application in the eyes of a funding agency, she said.

The Excellence in Extension Award presented to Kallenbach is given annually to one cooperative extension professional who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Cooperative Extension System sponsor the award.

Kallenbach’s educational programs help forage-livestock producers optimize pasture management. His efforts have led to more than $100 million in new investments in pasture-based dairy operations in Missouri, which in turn generate $40 million in annual milk sales and support 1,110 new jobs.

In addition, Kallenbach’s winter-feeding systems program for beef cattle has helped nearly 22,000 producers reduce annual costs by up to 30 percent. He earned his Ph.D. in agronomy from Texas Tech University.

Cooperative Extension translates science for practical applications; engages with the public by providing reliable information leading to positive action; and transforms individuals, families, communities and businesses in rural and urban areas. Extension operates through the nationwide land-grant university system and is a partnership among the federal government and state and local governments.