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Dr. Jeff Volenec Receives University of Missouri CAFNR Column Award

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources honored six recipients with the 2023 CAFNR Column Award for Distinguished Alumni. This is the only award specifically for alumni presented by the college – the highest honor bestowed by the College in celebration of outstanding alumni. The awardee class includes one graduate from each of CAFNR’s six divisions, reflecting the six historic columns at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Jeff Volenec receiving Column Award

Dr. Jeff Volenec speaking after receiving Column Award

Dr. Jeff Volenec, Interim Department Head and Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, was one of the recipients. His tenure with Purdue’s Department of Agronomy began in 1983. Dr. Volenec’s research resides at the intersection of agriculture and the environment. His work aims to understand how crop plants adapt to stress, including climate change.

Throughout his career, Dr. Volenec has advanced the education of future generations of crop scientists, having mentored more than 50 master’s and Ph.D. students in his lab, as well as 17 postdoctoral scholars.

Dr. Volenec was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America in 1993, and was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1997.

He has served as research fellow at the Institute for Grassland and Environmental Research in Aberystwyth, Wales; a nonresident fellow at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla., and on the graduate faculty at the University of Tasmania, Australia.

As one of only a few certified senior ecologists in his profession, Dr. Volenec has advised members of Congress and the National Academy of Sciences on matters related to climate change, agriculture and the environment.

“Jeff Volenec exemplifies the qualities of sustained excellence in research, education, professional service and leadership that are embodied in the CAFNR Column Award for distinguished alumni. I give him my strongest recommendation,” said Robert Sharp, Curators’ Distinguished Professor, Division of Plant Science and Technology.

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