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Phone: 405.744.5395
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Jeff Edwards to head OSU plant and soil sciences department

Longtime Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension small grains specialist Jeff Edwards has been named the new head of OSU’s department of plant and soil sciences.
Jeff Edwards to head OSU plant and soil sciences department

Jeff Edwards

The action was officially approved by the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges during the board’s June 19 meeting. Edwards began serving as interim head on June 1. His effective appointment date as department head begins Aug. 3.

Thomas Coon, vice president, dean and director of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources – of which the department is a part – is pleased to have Edwards join the division’s administrative team.

“Dr. Edwards’ proven leadership and extensive knowledge relative to DASNR’s teaching, research and Extension efforts in the plant and soil sciences will pay great dividends to our land-grant mission of helping Oklahomans improve the quality of life for them, their families and their communities,” Coon said.

DASNR is comprised of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

Coon credits Edwards as being a significant contributor and leader on the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, which has been responsible for many improved varieties made available to wheat growers throughout Oklahoma and the region.

“Dr. Edwards was honored with the national Excellence in Extension Award two years ago in recognition of the widespread positive influence he has had in service to Oklahoma producers, related agribusinesses and our state’s agricultural industry,” he said.

Oklahoma is the nation’s fifth-leading producer of wheat amongst the states. Overall, Oklahoma’s agriculture sector adds more than $7.9 billion in value to the state economy on a yearly basis, according to National Agricultural Statistics Service data.

In addition, Edwards’ contributions in the development and release of 12 improved wheat varieties has helped generate more than $1.4 million in intellectual property revenue for the university.

A member of the DASNR faculty since 2004 and holder of the OSU Warth Distinguished Professorship in Agronomy since 2011, Edwards has served as principal or co-principal investigator on external grants totaling more than $7.9 million.

Edwards has not only been a much-in-demand speaker at professional and industry meetings, he has been a guest lecturer in OSU classrooms and has served as the primary instructor for the Introduction to Weed Science laboratory and Plant Environment Interactions course.

“The affiliation our state agencies have with our college plays an important role in ensuring CASNR students are exposed to the most up-to-date research-based information and scientific advances,” Coon said. “Dr. Edwards has been instrumental in enhancing our ability to provide students with timely and relevant educational experiences.”

Edwards has received numerous professional and academic accolades and honors, including the 2012 Crop Science Citation of Excellence for Associate Editors, 2011 Agronomy Journal Outstanding Reviewer Award and the American Society of Agronomy’s 2010 and 2008 Educational Materials awards. He was honored as “Wheat Promoter of the Year” by the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association in 2007.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business from Western Kentucky University in 1995, Edwards earned his Master of Science degree in weed science and doctoral degree in crop physiology from the University of Arkansas in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
143 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: donald.stotts@okstate.edu

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