2019 PrecisionAg® Awards of Excellence Recipients Announced

The PrecisionAg® Institute is proud to announce the recipients of the PrecisionAg® Awards of Excellence for 2019.

These five outstanding individuals have demonstrated exceptional work in the use and adoption of precision agriculture technologies and practices. The recipients include:


Crop Adviser/Entrepreneur Award
Brittany Ullrich, Winfield United
Ullrich is Digital Technical Lead at WinField United, working with retailers and farmers to incorporate technology into their businesses and operations. Ullrich started her career with WinField United as an R7 Tool Specialist and has been an integral to the tool's continuing evolution. Ullrich translates her "in the trenches" work with retailers and farmers into helping Winfield United build tools and systems that are customer-responsive and deliver clear value.

"She finds great satisfaction in knowing that it used to take 15 minutes to pull up a single satellite image and now it takes mere seconds to see multiple years' worth of images with the tool," says Amanda Neely, Ag Technology Success Team Lead at the company.

Educator/Researcher Award
Wesley M. Porter, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Porter is currently responsible for precision agriculture and irrigation Extension education and research at the university. He has developed a reputation for innovative programs that are well-grounded in practical application. As an engineer by training, he has expertise in the application of control systems, data management, and machine systems. From an agronomic perspective, Porter has become an expert in water use efficiency and optimizing crop establishment. He is well-versed in many precision agriculture topics including zone management, variable-rate irrigation, using yield monitor data, UAV applications, and spatial crop management.

"He also has a unique ability to bridge agronomic and engineering disciplines," says Randy Taylor, Professor and Extension Engineer at Oklahoma State University, and winner of the 2015 Legacy Award. "This is especially important in precision agriculture as most successful teams are comprised of these two disciplines."

Farmer Award
Brent Rendel, Miami, OK
Rendel farms 3,000 acres of winter wheat, winter canola, corn, grain sorghum and soybeans in the extreme northeast corner of the state. For the past two decades-plus, Rendel has been a cooperator with Oklahoma State University Extension specialist and researchers. He was the first to bring winter canola into his area as rotational crop, and worked with OSU to evaluate using minimum-tillage beds on his poorly drained crop ground. Rendel was also the earliest adopter and advocate of the N-Rich Strip, GreenSeeker (NDVI), and Sensor-Based Nitrogen Rate Calculator (SBNRC) methodology.

"In fact, adopter is not the best term to use - developer is more accurate," says Brian Arnall, Associate Professor at Oklahoma State University. "Brent hosted the earliest on-farm studies and provided feedback on every iteration of the sensor and online calculator. He has been a leader in developing technologies and practices via sound science for Oklahoma and the surrounding areas."

Legacy Award
Brett Whelan, University of Sydney - Australia
Whelan, Associate Professor of Precision Agriculture, is an internationally renowned precision ag researcher. In 1995, he helped established the Australian Centre for Precision Agriculture (ACPA), an internationally-recognized research and teaching entity at the University of Sydney. Whelan has continued pioneering research in the field of precision ag, with the help of numerous commercial farmers, commodity research and development organizations, and research colleagues. He convenes the annual Symposium on Precision Ag in Australasia, first held by the ACPA in 1997, and now one of the world's longest running national forums for developments in the industry. The ACPA evolved into the Precision Agriculture Laboratory (PA Lab) through which he continues to provide research and information for the wider national and international agricultural communities.

Special Legacy Award to Dave Junge
In addition to the adjudicated award recipients, a special Legacy Award is being presented on behalf of the PrecisionAg Institute to honor the work of Dave Junge, the innovator behind the mixing and blending systems developed by Junge Control of Cedar Rapids, IA (Junge Control was acquired by Ag Growth International in March, 2018). Junge passed away from pancreatic cancer in May of this year.

Mary Junge, his wife and Vice President/CFO of Junge Control, will be accepting the award on his behalf.

The awards will be presented during a special ceremony at the 2019 InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, MO, on Tuesday, July 23.

"The PrecisionAg Institute is proud to add these five recipients to the more than 50 individuals and organizations who have been honored with a PrecisionAg Award of Excellence," says Paul Schrimpf, Director of the PrecisionAg Institute's award program. "The stories of their tremendous accomplishments and pursuit of excellence should serve as inspiration to everyone working to make precision technology an integral and indispensable part of modern crop production."

About the PrecisionAg Institute -- The PrecisionAg® Institute, an initiative of Meister Media Worldwide's PrecisionAg® Global brand, is a consortium of industry organizations that has been a leading source of research, advocacy, and education in the areas precision agriculture and digital farming since 2006. Through membership, partner organizations gain valuable market insights, and their combined resources and expertise reveal best practices and improved ag technology solutions from the farm-gate to the dinner plate. For more information visit http://www.precisionag.com/institute.

About Meister Media Worldwide -- Empowering Global Agriculture
Meister Media Worldwide, founded in 1932 with world headquarters in Willoughby, OH, USA, and operating divisions in Mexico and China is the leading business media and information company serving global agribusiness. Meister Media brands, with products and services in print, digital, events, custom business services and data products, engage agricultural sectors around the globe to provide safe and abundant food to feed a growing world. The mission of Meister Media is to be the trusted partner empowering the business of global agriculture to grow a better world. Contact us for more information. info@meistermedia.com

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