CANR student honoree presents SSSA award to Stabenow
Christine Sprunger was among 18 graduate students nationwide to be honored with a highly competitive 2014 Future Leaders in Science award by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).
Christine Sprunger, a Michigan State University (MSU) graduate student based at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners, Mich., was among 18 graduate students nationwide to be honored with a highly competitive 2014 Future Leaders in Science award by the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America also known as the “tri-societies.”
The honor took Sprunger to Washington, D.C., from March 23 to 26 for the tri-societies’ Congressional Visits Day, held March 24-25. She attended an awards ceremony, networking events and an action-packed day of training in policy, advocacy and science communication, followed by meetings with congressional staff from Michigan and Indiana, held to raise support for science, technology and research funding.
Sprunger was also chosen to present the SSSA's 2014 Excellence in Soil Stewardship award to Sen. Debbie Stabenow at the U.S. Capitol. The annual award recognizes policymakers whose leadership has strengthened U.S. agriculture and the natural resources supporting it. Stabenow chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and she helped to pass the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the “farm bill.”
“It was an honor to meet Senator Stabenow,” Sprunger said. “The importance of the farm bill cannot be overstated as it brings security to thousands of American farmers and scientists doing important research."
Sprunger said she was surprised during her visit at the extent of bipartisan support in the Capitol for agricultural science and research.
"People were generally really interested in and supportive of the need for more research," she said.
A student in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Sprunger investigates the carbon storage potential in various perennial grain crops and biofuel systems at KBS by examining root carbon quantity and quality.
Her trip to the capital coincided with National Agriculture Day (March 25).