Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture
Adam Striegel, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln Doctor of Plant Health student and an agronomy master's student specializing in weed science, received a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award at the 2019 NACTA Conference at the College of Southern Idaho. The award is in recognition of his commitment, excellence and scholarship in college teaching in agricultural disciplines.
Striegel serves as the coach for the successful university undergraduate Intercollegiate Crops Judging Team preparing students for regional and national crops judging competitions. The team has placed in the top three in the last 13 regional and national crops judging contests.
He has developed and taught a one-credit independent study course for the past 5 semesters to prepare students for competition at NACTA and Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences contests.
The course focuses on plant identification, field entomology and plant pathology. The course has proved popular with enrollment almost tripling since the first semester, a feat Striegel attributes entirely to students seeing the value in the course and encouraging their peers to enroll.
“The success indicates the hard work and energy put together by Adam in this course to train students. Adam has been the sole instructor of this course and has done so despite the heavy course load he has carried as a Doctor of Plant Heath student,” said Amit Jhala, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and Nebraska Extension weed management specialist.
His passion for agronomy and teaching is quite evident based on the positive course evaluations from students and the Crops Judging Team contest results.
“The success of our judging team and growth in this team as a part of our agronomy major culture is evidence of the impact of Striegel’s creative work and energy investment,” said Don Lee, professor of agronomy and horticulture.
Striegel developed a Crops Judging Handbook for use in the class. The handbook covers the identification of nearly 140 crop and weed species, 40 insects and 30 diseases. He created high quality seed photographs of nearly 125 crop and weed species used in the handbook Striegel also serves as the Nebraska FFA State Agronomy superintendent, offering a Career Development Event to 400 students each spring.
Jhala, and Gary Hein, director of the Doctor of Plant Health Program, are Striegel’s advisors.
NACTA is a professional society that focuses on promoting, recognizing and rewarding excellence in teaching agriculture and related areas at the post-secondary level in North America. Members of NACTA are from two-year and four-year colleges, public and private, and have a common bond of teaching agriculture and related subjects. Through the use of competitive awards, NACTA annually recognizes outstanding teaching and publication.