PERSPECTIVES Spring 2000: Gamma Sigma Delta initiates three, honors Dr. R. Wayne Skaggs
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Gamma Sigma Delta initiates three, honors Dr. R. Wayne Skaggs
Photos by Sheri D. Thomas

In April ceremonies, the N.C. State University chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture, initiated three individuals who have shown distinguished service and leadership. U.S. Rep. David E. Price, state Sen. Charles W. Albertson and Lu-Ann Coe, executive vice president of the N.C. Agribusiness Council, were recognized for service to the cause of agricultural development. Also honored at the awards banquet was Dr. R. Wayne Skaggs, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at N.C. State, as the 1999 recipient of Gamma Sigma Delta’s International Award for Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture.

Price represents the 4th Congressional District of North Carolina. He serves on the U.S. House Appropriations and Budget Committees. He came to Washington in 1986 after a career as an educator. Improving education and protecting the environment have been among his top priorities as a congressman. He sponsored the Price Education Affordability Act, which was passed in 1997, and he has promoted increased federal investment in biomedical and environmental research. He was the key legislator in getting initial funding to establish the College’s Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center.

Albertson is a farmer and retired plant protection quarantine officer in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Representing the 5th Senatorial District of the state, he currently serves as chairman of the Senate’s Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Select Committee on Tobacco Settlement Issues. He has been a tireless advocate for agriculture throughout more than 11 years of service in the N.C. General Assembly. He has received numerous awards for that support, including the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s 1996 Friend of Agriculture Award and the prestigious Governor’s Long Leaf Pine Award.

Coe has supported agriculture for many years, most recently through lobbying efforts for Hog Slat Inc., Farmers for Fairness Inc. and the N.C. Agribusiness Council. She serves on the Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Committee and the Agricultural Foundation board, and she is a member of the N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry Development Center.

The Distinguished Achievement in Agriculture Award, the most prestigious award presented by Gamma Sigma Delta, was presented to Skaggs for his commitment to excellence in the agricultural sciences as an international scientist, leader, educator and scholar. Skaggs is one of the world’s leading experts on soil drainage, water-table management and wetland hydrology. He developed the DRAINMOD water management model, which is used throughout the world to determine the effects of improved drainage on hydrology and water quality. He also has received the 1998 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for the most significant contribution to American agriculture in the last five years, as well as N.C. State’s highest award, the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal, and the University of North Carolina’s highest honor, the O. Max Gardner Award.

—Terri Leith

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