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Michigan Ag Leaders Honored During ANR Week
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Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) honored leaders in agriculture and natural resources for leadership at the community, state and national levels. Lou Anna Simon, MSU president, and Douglas Buhler, interim dean of the CANR, presented the awards during the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon held March 8 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.


Source: Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Contact: Eileen Gianiodis, 517-432-1555 ext. 230

Michigan Agriculture Leaders Honored During ANR Week Luncheon

Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) honored leaders in agriculture and natural resources for leadership at the community, state and national levels.

Lou Anna Simon, MSU president, and Douglas Buhler, interim dean of the CANR, presented the awards during the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon held March 8 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.

The following awards were presented during the luncheon: Tammy Hyatt, Lapeer County Education and Technology Center agriscience teacher and FFA advisor, was presented with the Outstanding Agriculture Educator Award. Consumers Energy and the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association present the award annually.

Hyatt earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MSU in horticulture and agriculture and Extension education, respectively. She has taught at the center for more than 20 years during which she has advised 111 State FFA Degree recipients, 51 Outstanding Junior recipients and 17 member recipients.

She is a past recipient of the Michigan Education Association Excellence Award and the Michigan Occupational Special Populations Association Teacher of the Year Award. The Michigan Farm Bureau named her Educator of the Year in 1999, and the Michigan Horticulture Teachers Association (MHTA) named her the Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Hyatt has served as president of the Michigan Association of Agriscience Educators and the MHTA. Hyatt and her husband, Dennis, operate a farm of more than 175 head of cattle and some breeding ewes.

John Kerr, associate professor in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS), was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Kerr was recognized for his enthusiastic teaching, as a passionate student advisor, extensive researcher and dedicated volunteer.

Kerr earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Swarthmore College. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Cairo. At MSU, Kerr teaches numerous courses in international development. His research, at the local and international levels, produced a seemingly endless list of peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and grants. Kerr has written numerous grants, including a three-year $580,000 grant to investigate property rights, environmental services and poverty in India.

Additionally, Kerr has studied socioeconomic issues related to the sustainability of natural resources since the 1990s. His recent work focuses on market-based approaches to managing these resources and their implications for impoverished farmers. He also provides research for the MSU Recycling Center and the Office of Sustainability to find ways to reduce waste and promote recycling behavior and energy efficiency on campus.

The CANR Alumni Association also conferred awards honoring outstanding work within agriculture and natural resources education, industries and organizations, and strong commitment to the college.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards were presented to Thomas Hefferan and Donald Krebs. Hefferan graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in biosystems engineering with an emphasis on food engineering. Krebs graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in packaging.

Hefferan’s expertise in "Clean-in-Place" (CIP) technology for food processing systems helped him earn his current role in charge of all of Eli Lilly’s CIP systems in the Puerto Rican production facilities. At Eli Lilly, Hefferan has been responsible for all technical aspects of nine fully automated recirculation CIP systems, supporting the fermentation/primary recovery and purification facilities.

Krebs is a medical device packaging engineer for Edwards Lifesciences, a company that develops products for heart valve and blow flow monitoring in Irvine, Calif. During his career with Edwards Lifesciences, Krebs developed a strategy to save the company more than $800,000 in packaging costs over two years. He organizes the involvement of Young MSU Packaging Alumni to do charity work in impoverished areas of Jamaica.

Bradley C. des Lauriers was presented with the Alumni Service Award. A tireless supporter of MSU’s construction management program over the years, des Lauriers has served several terms on the Construction Management Alumni Board of Directors and regularly attended meetings from his homes in Illinois and South Carolina. In 1986, he established the Bradley Clifton des Lauriers Fund, assisting students with various expenses within the construction management program.

He attended MSU on the GI Bill within the Air Force ROTC and graduated in 1954. Des Lauriers earned a master’s of business administration from the Ohio State University in 1959 and became a major player in the manufactured housing industry. In 1968, he founded Hilton Spacemaster Corporation, based in Elkhardt, Ind. The company contracted, shipped and installed mobile offices.

In the 1970s, des Lauriers found a niche for his company providing temporary offices for bank branches and classrooms for school districts. Later that decade, he formed a mobile unit called Continental Spacemaster Corporation that built standard construction site offices as well as X-ray booths and the first mobile CAT scan units. In his retirement, des Lauriers founded American Rover Inc., which sold Wells Cargo trailers and ventilated closets and portable closet systems.

The Alumni Service Award was presented to Sheila M. (Nugent) Burkhardt. Burkhardt earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU in 1987 and began her career with the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) in 1988. She is director of member relations and public affairs for the association, where she is responsible for creating and implementing various educational and informational programs for members, young farmers and youth. Burkhardt works on legislative issues impacting the dairy industry and communicates with the MMPA membership regarding legislative and industry issues.

She has served as president of MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association and has been a member of the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation since 1996, serving as President of the Foundation from 2000-2002. Burkhardt also serves as a member of the Michigan 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees.

Michael D. Moore was presented with the Outstanding Alumnus Award. A 1961 forestry graduate, Moore has had a long and distinguished career in natural resources. After work in Central America through the Peace Corps and the local Extension services, Moore served in the U.S. Navy, working in the Panama Canal Zone, where he was personal aide to commandant and received letters of commendation.

Following his naval service and a brief stint teaching at the University of Michigan, Moore joined the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). There, he worked in a variety of roles including field deputy director for southern lower Michigan and deputy director for resource management in the executive office.

Moore served a variety of natural resource-related organizations, including as general chair of the National Convention of the Society of American Foresters, member of the Michigan Emergency Planning and several others. In 2010, the governor appointed him to the Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board. Following his retirement from the DNR, Moore was executive director of the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation. He continued to be involved with the Department of Forestry, serving as emcee at the 100th Anniversary of the MSU Department of Forestry in 2002 and as guest lecturer for several classes. He is a registered forester and author of numerous publications, including a history of the Michigan state forests published by MSU Press.

MSU Migrant Student Services was presented with the Distinguished Partner in Study Abroad Programs Award to acknowledge the importance of those who enable the program’s endeavors. Migrant Student Services has been integral to the conceptualization and operation of the International Engagement in Mexico Spring Break Program, offered through CARRS. This program provides students with the opportunity to engage local communities through hands-on projects and program assistance to Mexican human service agencies.

Diane Doberneck was presented with the H. Paul Roberts Award for Distinguished Service in Study Abroad Programs. The award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated sustained commitment and excellent service to CANR Study Abroad. Doberneck is a specialist in the Bailey Scholars Program and University Outreach and Engagement.

Linda Young was presented with the G. Malcolm Trout Recognition of Service Award from the G. Malcolm Trout Council, a body of individuals from university, industry and government that develops funding in support of student scholarships, a visiting scholar program and an annual lecture held in the fall. Young recently retired after 32 years with MSU, the last 27 of which were spent in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. For many years she assisted the council in the development and administration of the scholarship and seminar programs.

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to John W. Amos and Charlotte Louise Wenham. Amos is owner of Amos Farms, a fruit growing operation in the Williamsburg/Elk Rapids area. He and his family have shown unwavering dedication to assisting the research of Extension and MSU AgBioResearch, offering trees on their farm for research. He has volunteered for the Weather Service Cooperative Program for 20 years, recording temperature and rainfall measurements.

Amos is a long-term active member of the MSU Horticulture Society, a member of the Whitewater Township Board and chair for the Elk Rapids Fire Department.

Wenham is the epitome of an engaged alumna who supports the agriculture and natural resources industries and has given back to MSU through countless hours of volunteer support and advocacy. Wenham earned bachelor and master’s degrees from MSU in 1968 and 1979, and went on to earn a doctorate from Western Michigan University in education administration.

Her professional career has been devoted to K–12 public education, serving as teacher, middle school principal, curriculum director and assistant superintendent, all in St. Joseph Public Schools. She currently works as a partner and consultant in her own firm – Wood, Wenham & Henderson, working with Michigan school districts interested in utilizing "interest-based bargaining."

As a volunteer, Wenham has shared her knowledge and facilitation skills with many non-profits, political organizations, churches and small businesses as well as the St. Joseph County MSU Extension. She has also served as a member of the St. Joseph County Extension Council and a member of the State Extension and Experiment Station Council. In the last six years, she has been a citizen advocate for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a Michigan delegate to the Council for Agriculture, Extension and Teaching, traveling to Washington D.C., to represent MSU.

The luncheon is hosted annually by the CANR, MSU AgBioREsearch, MSU Extension and the CANR Alumni Association, with support from Consumers Energy, DTE Energy and the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association.