Weed Science Society of America names Sprague 2018 Outstanding Extension Award winner

The Weed Science Society of America has honored Michigan State University professor and MSU Extension specialist Christy Sprague with the 2018 Outstanding Extension Award for her science, programming and service to growers.

February 15, 2018

Christy Sprague

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Weed Science Society of America has honored Michigan State University (MSU) professor and MSU Extension specialist Christy Sprague with the 2018 Outstanding Extension Award for her science, programming and service to growers. She was among more than two dozen individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science during the organization’s recent annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

“I was both greatly honored and humbled to receive the award,” Sprague said. “I have one of the greatest jobs at MSU: I have an Extension appointment that gives me the opportunity to not only work just with students but to teach farmers, ag retailers and others about weeds and weed management. It is an extremely rewarding feeling to be able to help someone and make a positive impact on their farming operation.”

Sprague's research and outreach appointment in the Department of Soil, Plant and Microbial Sciences focuses on integrated weed management, which means she examines weed biology and ecology and their interactions with other pests and pest/crop management practices. Michigan is a state of diverse soils where farmers grow a variety of field crops, so her work includes soybeans, sugar beets, dry beans and potatoes. Her work with growers has increased revenues and decreased weed control costs.

“It is a daunting task to know the weeds and herbicide restrictions in these various cropping systems and then to conduct the research and provide Extension and agribusinesses with weed management recommendations,” said Karen Renner, professor in the MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and one of her nominators. “Dr. Sprague has done an exceptional job in learning the weed control issues across the state and tailoring her research and Extension recommendations to the needs of the agriculture clientele.”

In addition to her Extension work, Sprague has supported the next generation of specialists. She is actively involved in graduate student research and advising as well as academic publishing. Her research, outreach, collaborations and publications are regionally, nationally and internationally known for their excellence.

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