Leon Wrage Achievement Award

Leon WrageUpon retirement in 2005, SDABA recognized Leon J Wrage as going "above and beyond" in his service to the crop production industry, and presented him with an award at the SD Ag Expo. Since then, the Leon J Wrage award has been given each year to other individuals for exemplary service to the crop production industry.

About Leon

Having spent his childhood on a farm in McCook County, South Dakota, Leon has a natural affinity for agriculture. He earned a Master's degree in Agronomy at SDSU in 1964 and was an Extension Crop Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for five years prior to returning to South Dakota in 1969. Leon served as Extension Weed Specialist at South Dakota State University for 35 years.

During his tenure at SDSU, Leon worked closely with producers, industry representatives, commercial applicators and homeowners on weed management and control.

2017:  Virgil Sinning

Virgil served as in inspector for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture for 29 years, retiring on February 8, 2016. As an inspector he was essential to the Department’s mission and the front line in protecting producer and consumer interests. Virgil has protected consumers by inspecting feed, fertilizer, and pesticide storage facilities, and investigated numerous pesticide spills, spray drifts, and fertilizer spills.

He earned a reputation for fairness and educating the public on regulatory compliance. Virgil took many of people under his wing and showed then the ropes and when that gruff voice of his spoke, you listened !!

2016:  Dr. Gregg Carlson

For over 40 years, Dr. Gregg Carlson held a research, teaching and/or extension appointment as an Agronomist – Soil Scientist at South Dakota State University. His research efforts have been directed at the mathematics of applied precision agronomic recommendations, and he has authored or co-authored several hundred popular and peer reviewed agronomic articles and spoken at many more producer oriented meetings. Dr. Carlson developed and taught SDSU’s first precision farming course beginning in the early 1980’s, and counts most of South Dakota’s practicing agronomists as his previous students. He has served as the Interim Head of SDSU’s Plant Science Department and as the Interim Director of the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service. Dr. Carlson retired from SDSU in the summer of 2015 but this spring semester, spring 2016, he is teaching SDSU’s PS 440, Precision Agronomy and PS 483, Irrigation. He continues to work daily on popular and peer reviewed publications. Dr. Carlson believes and promotes South Dakota’s greatest economic development opportunity, increased agronomic production and profitability through precise and intense agronomic management.

2015: Darrell Deneke

Darrell is the Extension IPM Program Coordinator at South Dakota State University. In his position, he provides educational and current information on integrated pest management in order to act as an information source to the extension educators, producers, ag industry, and crop consultants. Darrell also assists in the planning and implementation of herbicide plot work so that the knowledge gained from the studies can be used in Extension educational programs. He is the author of many publications as he assists the Extension Weed Specialist with the review and interpretation of pesticide labels. Darrell also consults and coordinates the activities of Extension Pest Specialists in order to provide a unified Integrated Pest Management Program.

The South Dakota Agri-Business Association was honored to present Darrell with this award for his commitment to the crop production industry for all that he does at SDSU along with putting together the IPM Field School for Agronomy Professionals and for his service on the South Dakota CCA Board of Directors.

2014: Ron Christensen

Ron received a degree in Chemical Engineering and began his career at the South Dakota Department of Ag in 1974. His career in Agriculture continued as a Crop Consultant and positions with Dekalb and Monsanto. Ron was instrumental in the training and education of the following critical product advancements in SD: RUR Soybeans; RUR Corn; BT Corn; Yield Guard; VT3; Drought Guard; Smart Stax; and RUP XTEND.

Throughout his career, Ron has been a respected source of information for the ag industry. He retired from Monsanto December 31, 2013. We thank Ron for his dedication to agriculture and for going "above and beyond" in his service to the crop production industry.

2013: Kendall Peterson

Kendall Peterson has been a true leader in our Ag Industry, and played a vital role in its success over the years. Kendall graduated college from the University of South Dakota, and then had many successful years with Monsanto early in his career, but his true passion was in Ag Retail, and being close to his family farm in Northville, SD.

He started Spink County Fertilizer & Chemical in the early 80�s, and with help from his daughter Amber, and wife Linda, developed it into a thriving successful business before his retirement in 2007. Kendall�s innovative mindset and vision of the future has made him well respected in the Ag Community.

2012: Jim Wilson, SDSU, Retired

Jim served as the Extension Pesticide Coordinator at South Dakota State Uiversity since 1989. Jim has coordinated the pesticide recertification program for many years and retired in December of 2011. Prior to working at SDSU, he was a County Extension Agent in Day County from 1980-1989. He has a PhD, a Masters Degree and a Bachelors degree from SDSU.

2011: Scott Hier, SD Wheat Growers

Scott began his career in agronomy as an intern at Bath Fertilizer while attending Lake Area Technical Institute. He worked his way through the Agronomy Department beginning as an applicator, truck driver and spray operator.

Scott was named Location Manager of Bath Fertilizer in 1985. In 1994, he oversaw the move and development of a new facility as Bath Fertilizer relocated to its current site east of Aberdeen. While at Bath Fertilizer, he was awarded the National Environmental Respect Award in 1994. In 2000, Scott was named Vice President of Agronomy and moved to South Dakota Wheat Growers headquarters in Aberdeen where he supervised a team of four product managers.

In his 36 years with South Dakota Wheat Growers, Scott was very instrumental in growing the company�s fertilizer and chemical business, as well as being involved in launching a precision ag program.

2010: Roger Moe

The"2010 Leon Wrage Achievement Award" honored former board member of the South Dakota Agri-Business Association, Roger Moe. Roger served three terms on the board from 1984-1996 and was President in both 1973 and 1974. He began his career in 1967, and worked for companies such as Chevron, Occidental, Midwest UAP, Helena, and United Suppliers.

2009: Paul Luetjen

Paul Luetjen with Syngenta Seed Care, Sioux Falls, was presented with the Leon Wrage Achievement Award during AG EXPO 2009. Paul is a member of the South Dakota Agri-Business Association, a former member of the Board of Directors of the South Dakota Fertilizer and Ag Chemical Association and served as its president in 1993. Paul has served on the CCA Board of directors since its inception, has held several offices on the board including Vice President.

2008: Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller, former President of C&R Supply, Sioux Falls was presented with the Leon Wrage Achievement Award during AG EXPO 2008. Dusty has exhibited outstanding commitment to SDABA by serving on the AG EXPO committee since 1994 and as its Co-chair from 1999-2012. He also served two terms as a committed member of the SDABA Board of Directors.

2007: Craig W Myron

2006: Dr. Marty Draper

2005: Leon J Wrage

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