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Western Illinois University alumnus Larry Steckel was recently recognized by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) for his contributions to the field of weed science. Steckel, who graduated with his bachelor's degree from the WIU School of Agriculture in 1987, was honored with the WSSA's "Outstanding Extension Award" for 2015 during the organization's annual meeting held this year in Lexington, KY. Steckel is a professor in the University of Tennessee's Department of Plant Sciences.
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WIU School of Ag Alum Honored for Contributions to Weed Science Field by Weed Science Society of America

April 16, 2015


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MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University alumnus Larry Steckel was recently recognized by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) for his contributions to the field of weed science. Steckel, who graduated with his bachelor's degree from the WIU School of Agriculture in 1987, was honored with the WSSA's "Outstanding Extension Award" for 2015 during the organization's annual meeting held this year in Lexington, KY. Steckel is a professor in the University of Tennessee's Department of Plant Sciences.

According to the WSSA website, during his career, Steckel, a former agronomist with Pioneer Hi Bred International, has received many honors in the weed science field.

"[Dr. Steckel] has received several awards for his extension, outreach and research efforts, including recognitions from Gamma Sigma Delta and the [University of Tennessee's] Institute of Agriculture. He has an extensive applied research program on weed management in agronomic crops, including glyphosate-resistant horseweed, giant ragweed and Palmer amaranth. He and his graduate students also evaluate novel integrated weed management technologies," the WSSA website noted.

Steckel, who is originally from Carrollton (IL), said he chose Western for his undergraduate education because he had an older cousin who had a good experience while at Western. He also noted that a number of individuals in his life motivated him to pursue advanced degrees and a career in higher education.

"I had relatives who went on for higher degrees and then got good jobs. The most notable person who influenced me was WIU's Dr. Gordon Roskamp. I took many classes from him and worked as an undergrad research assistant in his weed science program. Dr. Roskamp [retired] encouraged me to further my education, and I was one of many from WIU who went on to get higher degrees (most in weed science) with his direction. Some of the others would include Dr. Bill Johnson, professor at Purdue; Dr. Boyd Carrey with Monsanto; Darren Bohanon with Bayer Crop Sciences; Joel Walsh with Monsanto; Terry Carmody with Syngenta; and Dr. Greg Steckel with the University of Illinois," he said.

WIU School of Agriculture Director noted that Steckel is a wonderful example of how a student's undergraduate education provides the foundation for graduate studies, as well as as for professional careers.

"Faculty members do have a direct impact on a student's choice to pursue a graduate level degree program or not. The School of Agriculture takes great pride in knowing what our former students are doing in their careers and how their undergraduate degree programs assisted them to springboard into different career options or additional degree programs," Baker said. "Dr. Steckel does a wonderful job of identifying other WIU School of Agriculture alumni that have had a stellar career in the area of agronomy. We would also like to thank Dr. Steckel for his excellent service to agricultural producers across the country."

Steckel also noted the most rewarding parts of his work have to do with helping farmers and students.

"My favorite aspect, and where I feel I have the most impact, is helping generate answers as farmers try to navigate through difficult management decisions each year. The other rewarding experience is working with graduate students, much like Dr. Roskamp did for me," he said.

Read the entire article about Steckel's award on the WSSA website at www.morningagclips.com/weed-science-society-2015-winners/.

Learn more about the WIU School of Agriculture at wiu.edu/ag.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (WIUNews@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations