UF Agronomy Chair Earns Crop Science Society of America’s Top Honor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Diane Rowland may be just a few months into leading the University of Florida/IFAS agronomy department, but the leadership she’s long displayed in her field will soon garner her a prestigious honor.

Diane Rowland (UF/IFAS)

Each year, the Crop Science Society of America presents awards to member scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the field of agronomy through education, national and international service, and research. Rowland was selected this year to receive its highest honor, fellow, and will be recognized at the CSSA Awards Ceremony on Nov. 13.

“To be recognized by CSSA is a great personal honor to me because I have such great respect for the people and the expertise represented in the society,” Rowland said. “This is an international society, so this organization really represents the global leaders in crop science.”

CSSA only recognizes up to 0.3% of its members as fellows. In a news release explaining Rowland’s selection, the society praises her work involving crop stress and drought tolerance. It also highlights the national acclaim of the UF/IFAS Center for Stress Resilient Agriculture, which Rowland founded about two years ago, and UF’s internationally recognized agroecology graduate program, which she helped develop from the ground up.

Rowland has also been a leader within CSSA, dating back to 2006, serving as both chair and a board representative for the society’s crop physiology division. The member who nominated Rowland for the award also served with her in the division.

Rowland continues her career in leadership as the new chair of the UF/IFAS agronomy department, which she says represents the “natural evolution” of her work as a researcher. Now, she looks forward to helping faculty secure funding and further the study of feeding the world.

“Once I started in agricultural research, I found it was the perfect place for me,” she said. “My research had relevance for an issue of global importance: the sustainability of the world’s food security while safeguarding natural resources. What better job could you ask for?”

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS website at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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