Agriscience Awards
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The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation are honored to have awarded the achievements of the following 2013 Agriscience Awards Columbus Scholars:

$10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award

Michael P. Doyle, Ph.D.
Regents Professor and Director
Center for Food Safety
University of Georgia
Griffin, Georgia
Dr. Doyle's research focuses on food safety and security and works closely with the food industry, government agencies and consumer groups on issues related to the microbiological safety of foods. He has received several awards for his research accomplishments, including the Nicholas Appert Award of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Public Health Honor Award of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Scientific Achievement Award of the American Meat Institute Foundation. He also serves on food safety committees of many scientific organizations and has served as a scientific advisor to many groups, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Science-National Research Council, the International Life Sciences Institute-North America, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

$5,000 Agriscience Educator Award

Sara Clark, Ph.D
Agriscience Educator
Sonoraville High School
Calhoun, Georgia
Dr. Clark has taught agricultural education for over 20 years and motivates secondary school students to develop their personal interest from the many fields of agriscience. She provides opportunities and facilitates the learning process by providing an environment that encourages students to explore. Sonoraville High School’s Agriscience student body has won many State and national FFA CDEs through the implementation of inquiry-based learning, teaching others, and self-directed learning. Sara has taught at Sonoraville for six years and was recognized as Sonoraville’s Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Agricultural Instructor for Georgia, National FFA Alumni Instructor for Georgia, and a finalist for the National FFA Agriscience Teacher Award. She completed the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors’ program last year and is National Board certified.

$1,000 Agriscience Student Award

Jillian Drake
Fallbrook Union High School
Fallbrook, California
Jillian’s agriscience research has concentrated on the plant pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibcter’ which causes severe diseases in citrus and solanceous crops, such as tomato, potato and pepper. She has worked at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates in Riverside, CA. Jillian completed multi-year projects researching new methods of disease detection and the role of bacteriophage in disease expression for this pathogen. As this bacterium is non-culturable, it requires DNA analysis for its detection, and through her research Jillian was able to validate a new method of DNA extraction of the psyllid vector which was more efficient and less costly, while maintaining sensitivity. Additionally, Jillian was able to determine that lytic bacteriophage appears to increase disease virulence within plants infected with this pathogen. Jillian plans to continue her research at the USDA-ARS laboratory on this pathogen. Jillian has received numerous awards for her agriscience research, including the California Star in Agriscience Award, the FFA California State overall best individual project multiple times, as well as the Callifornia State proficiency in both Agriscience Research Plant Division and Integrated Systems.

$1,000 Agriscience Student Award

Kellie Einck
South O'Brien High School
Paullina, Iowa
Kellie's love of science inspired her to concentrate her research on alternative energy fuels. During an animal science class, she noticed a correlation between a ruminant animal's digestion process through its four stomachs and ethanol fermentation. After that, she constructed an artificial rumen and hopes to improve efficiency in ethanol production through perfecting her research using bacteria from bovine rumen. Currently, Kellie is enrolled at Northwest Iowa Community College in Diesel Technology while maintaining a 3.98 GPA at South O’Brien High School. She presented her science research at the National FFA Agriscience Fair twice, earning 4th and 6th place. At the International Sustainable Worlds science fair in Houston, she received Honorable Mention, and in 2012 she won DuPont Pioneer’s Women of Innovation scholarship.

To view past recipients, click here.

Questions? Please contact the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation at