Singh receives NCWSS Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

by Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture

Mandeep Singh, doctoral candidate in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the 78th Annual Meeting of North Central Weed Science Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dec. 11-14, 2023.

This award recognizes one outstanding graduate student who is a NCWSS student member and is actively involved in the society, as well as a contributor to the field of weed science through extension, research and teaching. Students are judged on their involvement in NCWSS and other activities in weed science, such as extension, teaching, research publications and other presentations of research, academic records, and honors and awards.

Singh grew up on a farm in Punjab, India, in a Sikh family. He was actively involved in every aspect of farming, from pre-sowing seedbed preparations to post-harvest handling of cotton, rice and wheat. His desire to combine his practical experience with the scientific knowledge of agriculture began at an early age.

In 2017, Singh received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture with minors in agronomy, soil science and agroforestry from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India.

During semester breaks in the very hot months of June and July, Singh would return home to work alongside his father. The experiences of the hard work of farming instilled in him a love for agriculture and a profound respect for the relentless labor that farmers invest in their livelihoods.

Singh enrolled in an extension program called Rural Agricultural Work Experience during his final year of earning his bachelor's degree. He spent one month in a village with farmers discussing best management practices for crop management and increasing resource use efficiency. This experience ignited a deep passion for extending knowledge and educating growers on the latest agricultural technologies and practices. Here, he discovered his calling – to bridge the gap between academia and the agricultural community.

Singh completed an agronomy master’s degree at Punjab Agricultural University in 2019. During this time, he witnessed the increasing challenges posed by a multiple herbicide-resistant grass, Phalaris minor, in wheat in his home state. This motivated him to continue his studies.

In 2021 he began his doctoral studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln under the guidance of Amit Jhala, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture associate department head, professor and extension weed management specialist.

Singh’s research focus is on gene flow, evapotranspiration and the management of herbicide-resistant corn volunteers in corn. Additionally, his research interests include exploring weed-water interactions and conducting meta-analyses to synthesize literature on integrated weed management practices. He has demonstrated his research and interacted with growers, extension educators, industry representatives and scientists at the Weed Management Field Days and conferences. Singh has published seven peer-reviewed articles as the first author/co-author, one extension publication, and two extension articles.

Singh plans to continue working in a research and extension role dedicated to solving the weed-related problems faced by farmers.

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Mandeep Singh
Mandeep Singh