Friday, April 12, 2018 – Reynolds Alumni Center

2013 J.W. Burch Award: Gene Stevens

Gene Stevens

Gene Stevens, Extension professor based at the Jake Fisher Delta Research Center, conducts applied research with rice, cotton and soybeans. As a member of the Extension Commercial Agriculture program, he is part of a large interdisciplinary team that educates clientele on innovative farming practices that can increase yields, increase profitability, reduce inputs and conserve natural resources.


Stevens' hands-on research and relentless thirst for knowledge on rice production has given him a tremendous and deep background for his presentations and publications. This background also makes him the one-stop shop for all questions relating to pivot-irrigated rice. To me, the essence of being an Extension specialist is having both the in-depth scientific knowledge and the hands-on experience on a subject. This combination facilitates the development of wisdom to teach clientele how to apply the scientific knowledge in the real world.

—Steven Melvin, irrigation application specialist, Lindsay Corporation


“Dr. Stevens excels in his ability to produce both high quality research in the areas of crop production and fertility management, and to relay that applied research to Extension field staff such as me,” said Anthony Ohmes, regional agronomy specialist. “Dr. Stevens is always available via e-mail, phone or field visits when his expertise is needed.”

“Dr. Stevens does his work with excellence,” said Ron Massey, Extension professor. “This is perhaps best demonstrated by the confidence that the Howard Buffet Foundation puts into his work. Howard Buffet has personally accompanied Dr. Stevens as he worked on projects in South Africa and Arizona dealing with irrigation water efficiency. Dr. Stevens is not an irrigation specialist, but his creativity combined with the excellence he pours into his projects caused an exacting Mr. Buffet to trust him and seek his counsel on agricultural projects.”

“Farmers in southeast Missouri know they can count on Gene to provide answers to their most difficult problems,” commented Kevin Bradley, associate professor. “Gene is recognized as an expert in his field and is always very helpful, prompt with a response, and willing to lend a hand however he can.”