Plant science students receive national agronomy awards

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Plant science students receive national agronomy awards

Fresno State senior Nancy Valdez and junior Georgina Reyes Solorio were honored as Greenfield Scholars by the American Society of Agronomy and the International Certified Crop Adviser program.

The plant science students were among four selected nationally based on their grade point averages, experience and awards, career goals and educational and certification plans to become crop advisers or professional agronomists.

Recipients will be honored at the associations’ annual conference Oct. 22 to 25 in Tampa, Florida, that will include 7,000 scientists, professionals, educators and students, and will be matched with Certified Crop Adviser mentors to develop leadership skills.

Both students are founding members of the Fresno State soil judging team that advanced to the national competition the past two years.

Reyes Solorio (of Livingston) finished second in the regional soil judging competition in February and led the six-member Fresno State team. The former plant science club president also serves as a vice president for the California Women for Agriculture area chapter, agricultural ambassador for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and as a FFA field day and state conference committee member. She has worked for SynTech Research and assists with agricultural research and product development, field trials, crop and soil sampling and crop and pest evaluation.

Valdez (of Wasco) has gained practical experience through internships with Wonderful Citrus and Grapery Inc. She also assists in campus research on oomycete water molds found in irrigation water that have damaging effects on pistachio seedlings. She has helped organize student career fairs and dinners, assisted with the state FFA field day judging competition and worked with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, 4-H, FFA and plant science club community education programs.

Plant science senior Vivian Maier (of Belmont) was one of 22 ASA Golden Scholar honorees chosen nationally based on her contributions to agronomy through education, service and research. She will also attend the ASA national conference in October.

In February she was one of 28 college students selected to attend the USDA Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia, as part of its student diversity program and met with federal and state, agency and industry leaders. She serves as legislative director of the California Women for Agriculture area chapter and president of the campus plant science club. This summer she is conducting research on hydroponics and will make a research presentation at the University of Jonestown in Guyana.

Fresno State students have previously received four Greenfield Scholar honors: Sarah Parry in 2015 and Aldo Garcia, Yie Wu and May Nhia Yang in 2016 plus two Golden Opportunity Scholar awards in 2015 (Sarah Parry and Julie Pedraza).

For more information on the American Science of Agronomy and its college student awards, visit www.agronomy.org/awards/view.