|Stewart to be Honored as ARS Hall of |
Dr. B.A. Stewart is joining the ranks of the “best of the best.”
Stewart, director of the Institute for Dryland Agriculture and distinguished professor of agriculture at West Texas A&M University, has been tabbed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) as a 2009 inductee of its coveted Science Hall of Fame. He is one of three 2009 inductees who will be honored Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the Science Hall of Fame ceremony and dinner at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
The ARS Hall of Fame, located in the ARS National Visitor Center in Beltsville, Md., was established in 1986 and represents the “best of the best” in agricultural research. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards presented by ARS. Stewart will join the ranks of more than 70 other Hall of Fame members for his “exceptional research on soil and crop management practices and outstanding leadership of local, national and international research programs to sustain our natural resources.”
Criteria for Hall of Fame membership requires its members to have recognized accomplishments in the agricultural research community, achieved major impact on agricultural research, be of worthy character and hold a record of nationally recognized achievements in the world of science.
Stewart, a native of Erick, Okla., received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. He worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation and Production Research Laboratory for 40 years before coming to WTAMU in 1993. From 1953-57, he had a joint appointment as a research soil scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station in Stillwater, Okla., and from 1957-68, he was a research soil scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Fort Collins, Colo. He directed the USDA’s Bushland laboratory from 1968-1993.
Nominations for the honor can be made by any ARS employee. Dr. Terry A. Howell, acting laboratory director and research leader with USDA-ARS in Bushland, took an active role in nominating Stewart for the ARS Hall of Fame.
“Dr. Stewart excels in each of the Hall of Fame criteria areas,” he said. “Dr. Jean Steiner, now laboratory director of the Grazinglands Research Laboratory at El Reno, Okla., and I knew Dr. Stewart was in the ARS class for the ‘best of the best’ before we prepared the nomination. His impact on science was truly important and shaped research before its time—like on water quality even before EPA developed water quality guidelines.
“He certainly impacted our careers, and his impact extends far beyond his ARS career. He’s not only highly regarded by students but is widely noted internationally and nationally in soil science and agronomy as well as in water management.”
Stewart also has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications during his career and edited or co-edited more than 50 books. He has conducted annual training workshops on Sustainable Agroecosystems and Environmental Issues for participants from 31 countries from all continents except Antarctica. He also keeps a busy teaching schedule at WTAMU and was instrumental on the committee that developed and implemented the University’s new doctoral program in agriculture.
“Dr. Stewart is known literally around the world and is, arguably, one of the top 10 soil scientists in the world today,” Dr. James Clark, dean of the College of Agriculture, Science, and Engineering, said. “He could have easily ridden off into the sunset after his ARS career, but instead chose to come to WTAMU because of his passion for dryland agriculture and a sincere desire to have an impact on the next generation of agriculturalists.”
More information about the ARS Science Hall of Fame can be found here.