CALS ARS awards

Recipients of this year’s Agricultural Research Station awards include, from left, Nancy Esser, Kenneth Albrecht and Scott Chapman.

Three individuals were recently honored by UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences for their outstanding contributions to the Agricultural Research Stations program during an annual reception and dinner. This year’s ARS award recipients included Kenneth Albrecht, who received a recognition award for research; Scott Chapman, who also received a recognition award for research; and Nancy Esser, who received an ARS staff award.

Albrecht, a professor of agronomy, joined CALS in 1986 to conduct research and teach in the area of forage crop management and utilization. His research program looks at the influence of management and environmental factors on the growth, development, and quality of crops used for hay, silage and pastures, as well as the use of perennial legumes in sustainable forage and cropping systems.

Albrecht has been an active researcher on many of the Agricultural Research Stations over the years, including Arlington, Marshfield, Spooner and Lancaster. He has collaborated with many other university researchers on a wide range of topics, including intercropping maize and Kura clover as a sustainable system for feed and biofuel production and pasture-grazing systems. Albrecht’s work has carried through from the planting of the seed to the end utilization of the resulting crops in dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep. He also has a strong record of producing helpful publications for growers and producers.

Chapman, a researcher in the Department of Entomology, is directly responsible for and supports many projects in the entomology department. Since joining the department in 2003, Chapman has been lending a hand to others, providing valuable advice and assistance in many ways, often above and beyond his own duties. In one instance, during a dry stretch, he developed a way to irrigate an alfalfa research project in a field where irrigation was not done. Through his efforts, this project was saved, allowing the graduate student to collect data and move forward with the overall research project.

In addition to his own research projects, Chapman has assisted Agricultural Research Station management with insect pest control problems. He plays an important role in CALS/Extension outreach efforts by providing the latest research information during large producer meetings, field day events and training workshops.

Esser, superintendent at the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station, has worked tirelessly to make that station a premier destination for CALS researchers, USDA scientists, student learners and station stakeholders.

Under her leadership, the station successfully rears heifers for the Dairy Science and Prairie du Sac herds. Esser pays close attention to detail, a trait that serves the station well in many ways. She meticulously manages station budgets to ensure all station needs will be met and efficiencies are gleaned when possible.

Esser is committed to the station’s mission to expand the knowledge base necessary to improve dairy herd management and dairy herd nutrition through the use of regionally grown forages. And she is eager to share this knowledge with others, embracing the concept of the Wisconsin Idea by developing new partnerships with Mid State Technical College, Central Wisconsin watershed groups, Farm Technology Days, Farm Industry Short Course and others.

Esser is known for being open to hearing new and improved ways of doing things, another trait that has contributed to the station’s success.