WILLOUGHBY, Ohio -- The PrecisionAg Institute has announced the recipients of the 2009 PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence. This is the third annual presentation of these awards, designed to celebrate the people and programs that have helped agriculture realize the full benefits of technology to improve agronomy, efficiency, and stewardship in crop production.

This year's winners are as follows:

Precision Farmer of the Year: Robert Blair, Kendrick, ID

Precision Crop Adviser/Entrepreneur of the Year: Quentin Rund, PAQ Interactive

Precision Agriculture Educator/Researcher of the Year: David Clay, South Dakota State University

Precision Agriculture Legacy Award: David Waits, SST Software

In 2009, the Awards were divided into four categories to ensure that individuals would be judged more closely with their peers in the industry. The four categories were as follows:

Precision Farmer of the Year
This award is to recognize an individual who has embraced precision technology and techniques in his/her farming operation with demonstrated impacts on production systems through improved yield, input use efficiency, and/or profitability as well as improvements in land stewardship through resource conservation and environmental enhancement.

Precision Crop Adviser/Entrepreneur of the Year
This award is to recognize an individual or team who have established a demonstrable expertise in precision technologies and practices by devising a new tool/concept/procedure, or who have used their expertise to the benefit of their grower-customers. This award recognizes individuals in a position directly advising farmers, such as crop advisers, consultants, retailers, government advisers or local Extension, or an entrepreneur working in developing new technologies or methods for use by farmers.

Precision Agriculture Educator/Researcher of the Year
This award recognizes an individual whose research and/or education program has advanced the principles and/or expanded the practice of precision agriculture. Consideration was given to those individuals who have worked closely with manufacturers, consultants and growers on precision-focused research and outreach.

Precision Agriculture Legacy Award
This award recognizes an individual who has a made extensive contributions to precision agriculture over the course of his/her career. The successful nominee must have a minimum of 15 years of involvement in precision agriculture but does not have to be currently active in the profession.

"This year's winners reveal the enormous positive effect that dedicated individuals can have on an industry," notes Paul Schrimpf, group editor of PrecisionAg.com. "Each has made a significant impact on precision agriculture education and adoption through tireless work and boundless enthusiasm. Their success stories should serve to inspire us all to achieve more in the field of precision agriculture."

"Encouraging innovation, and helping to educate others on the new ideas out there is an important part of what the PrecisionAg Institute is working to achieve," says Institute Director K. Elliott Nowels. "It is our privilege to honor these leaders. Their dedication and innovative spirit has helped to shape the course of agricultural technology and encourage education and advocacy throughout the industry."

The PrecisionAg Institute incorporates a variety of integrated media offerings to help precision agriculture practitioners better understand and use precision agriculture technology. PrecisionAg Institute activities in 2009 include the Institute's PrecisionAg WORKS educational campaign, the Institute's online advocacy web site, www.precisionagworks.com, the PrecisionAg eNews, regional precision agriculture events and the PrecisionAg Award of Excellence.

SOURCE: The PrecisionAg Institute.