Dr. Drew Lyon named Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture

Dr. Drew Lyon named Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture

May 9, 2008

Dr. Drew Lyon, Extension Dryland Crops Specialist at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, has been named the first Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture.

Charlie Fenster, Eunice Fenster and Drew Lyon (from left) share a moment during the ceremony honoring Lyon as the first Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture.
Charlie Fenster, Eunice Fenster and Drew Lyon (from left) share a moment during the ceremony honoring Lyon as the first Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture.

This is the first established professorship for faculty in UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources who are at an off-campus location.

The position is supported by the Charles R. and Eunice R. Fenster Professorship Fund. The Fensters live in Gering. Charlie Fenster is a professor emeritus at the Panhandle Center, where he spent several decades conducting research and extension activities related to dryland crops in western Nebraska. Fenster was an innovator of conservation farming practices in Nebraska. His work on conservation tillage and ecofallow is fundamental to the environmentally sound cultural practices used in dryland farming today.

The Fenster Professorship is intended to perpetuate scientific progress in dryland agriculture by supporting research and extension programs that enhance the profitability and sustainability of dryland agriculture in the Nebraska Panhandle. Lyon has served as the dryland cropping systems specialist at the Panhandle Center since 1990. He was recommended for the Fenster Professorship by a nominating committee, which noted that he has developed and provided a strong research and education program that addresses dryland cropping system intensification, improved control of winter annual grass weeds in winter wheat, more efficient use of precipitation, and increasing the profit potential of dryland crops. He also has led efforts to encourage the adoption of hard white wheat, which earned him the 2001 Man of the Year Award from the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association.

One of his current efforts is pursuing funding to initiate research into dryland organic crop production at the High Plains Agricultural Lab near Sidney.

In addition to his varied educational programs in western Nebraska, featuring web sites, educational sessions and conferences, field days, technical publications, research presentations, symposia and papers, Lyon's expertise has been recognized elsewhere. He was invited to chair an expert panel review for USDA-Agricultural Research Service Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in North Dakota, and to present a symposium paper on conservation tillage at the Fourth International Crop Science Congress in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, in 2004.

He has published 50 refereed journal articles, 63 Extension publications, five book chapters, one refereed proceedings paper, and numerous web pages for wheat production.

He was named Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2005 and received the 2001 Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award of Merit. He is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Western Society of Weed Science, and Weed Science Society of America.

His previous work experience includes nearly three years as a University of Illinois Assistant County Agricultural Advisor and Technical Service Representative with American Cyanamid in Michigan in 1989 and 1990. Educational degrees include a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985 and 1988, respectively.

Panhandle REC News Release