Agriscience Awards


To encourage and promote "cutting edge" innovation in the field of Agriscience.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 04/02/2020 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2012: In 2012, the Third Annual Agriscience Awards, sponsored by the public-private partnership of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency, and the American Farm Bureau Federation were presented on July 10, in Washington, D.C. The Awards are intended to recognize, through four monetary awards, a scientist; one high school educator; and two current high school students who are judged to exemplify excellence in the field of agriscience and to highlight the importance of agriculture in the 21st century. The 2012 Agriscience Awards recipients are:

Andrew Sharpley, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR, was awarded the $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. Dr. Sharpley's research investigates the fate of phosphorus in soil-plant-water systems in relation to soil productivity and the effects of agricultural management on water quality. He also evaluates the role of stream and river sediments in modifying phosphorus transport and response of receiving lakes and reservoirs. He developed decision-making tools for agricultural field staff to identify sensitive areas of the landscape and to target management alternatives and remedial measures that have reduced the risk of nutrient loss from farms. Dr. Sharpley works closely with producers, farmers and action agencies, stressing the dissemination and application of his research findings.

Matthew B. Eddy, Agriscience Educator and FFA Advisor, Southeast Polk High School, Pleasant Hill, IA, was awarded a $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award. Mr. Eddy has taught agriculture education for 13 years, teaching at Southeast Polk for the past eight years. Participating in the inaugural CASE curriculum institute in 2009, he earned the level of Master Teacher in 2012. Matthew's agriculture program emphasizes STEM concepts in agriculture, a rigorous curriculum that has been recognized on the State and national level. He was recently recognized as having the Iowa Outstanding High School Agriculture Education program and as a finalist for the National FFA Agriscience Teacher Award.

Michelle Chin, Junior, West Shore Jr./Sr. High School, Melbourne, FL, was awarded a $1,000 Agriscience Student Award. Michelle’s science research concentrates on genetic engineering and biotechnology using organic and transgenic crops. Under the supervision of Dr. Sixue Chen at the University of Florida, she worked on her project that uses plants to phytoremediate selenium contaminants, an effective, inexpensive and non-intrusive means of in situ reduction and removal of environmental contaminants. She hopes her research will aid worldwide efforts to alleviate chemical run-off and environmental pollution. In 2011, Michelle won the Green Connection scholarship, sponsored by the French government. Her two week trip to France to study environmental protection fostered her passion for protecting the environment, which led her to create a website to promote sustainability. She was recently selected as one of the 2012 Ying’s Scholars in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, which encourages students to help humanity through science research.

Jill Dolowich, Senior, Jericho High School, Jericho, NY, was awarded a $1,000 Agriscience Student Award. Jill has developed a strong interest in environmentalism and conservation through her extensive entomology research at both Yale University and Michigan State University. She was interested in exploring honeybee populations, and ultimately her goal was to spread the word about the environmental impact of declining insect populations. Jill has been involved in many activities throughout high school. Her passion for writing about scientific and environmental news led to her role as New York Correspondent for Mother Nature Network. She also authored an article entitled, "Flight of the Honeybees," in the Johns Hopkins University national online publication ( In the fall, Jill will attend Yale University, where she plans to major in Biology and Environmental Studies. Fiscal Year 2013: Michael P. Doyle, Ph.D. - Regents Professor and Director, Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA, was awarded the 2013 $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award. Dr. Doyle's research focuses on food safety and security and works closely with the food industry, government agencies and consumer groups on issues related to the microbiological safety of foods. He has received several awards for his research accomplishments, including the Nicholas Appert Award of the Institute of Food Technologists, the Public Health Honor Award of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Scientific Achievement Award of the American Meat Institute Foundation. He also serves on food safety committees of many scientific organizations and has served as a scientific advisor to many groups, including the World Health Organization, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Science-National Research Council, the International Life Sciences Institute-North America, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sara Clark, Ph.D. - Agriscience Educator, Sonoraville High School, Calhoun, GA, was awarded the 2013 $5,000 Agriscience Educator Award. Dr. Clark has taught agricultural education for over 20 years and motivates secondary school students to develop their personal interest from the many fields of agriscience. She provides opportunities and facilitates the learning process by providing an environment that encourages students to explore. Sonoraville High School’s Agriscience student body has won many State and national FFA CDEs through the implementation of inquiry-based learning, teaching others, and self-directed learning. Sara has taught at Sonoraville for six years and was recognized as Sonoraville’s Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Agricultural Instructor for Georgia, National FFA Alumni Instructor for Georgia, and a finalist for the National FFA Agriscience Teacher Award. She completed the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors’ program last year and is National Board certified.

Jillian Drake, Senior, Fallbrook Union High School, Fallbrook, CA, was awarded a 2013 $1,000 Agriscience Student Award. Jillian’s agriscience research has concentrated on the plant pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibcter’ which causes severe diseases in citrus and solanceous crops, such as tomato, potato and pepper. She has worked at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus & Dates in Riverside, CA. Jillian completed multi-year projects researching new methods of disease detection and the role of bacteriophage in disease expression for this pathogen. As this bacterium is non-culturable, it requires DNA analysis for its detection, and through her research Jillian was able to validate a new method of DNA extraction of the psyllid vector which was more efficient and less costly, while maintaining sensitivity. Additionally, Jillian was able to determine that lytic bacteriophage appears to increase disease virulence within plants infected with this pathogen. Jillian plans to continue her research at the USDA-ARS laboratory on this pathogen. Jillian has received numerous awards for her agriscience research, including the California Star in Agriscience Award, the FFA California State overall best individual project multiple times, as well as the California State proficiency in both Agriscience Research Plant Division and Integrated Systems.

Kellie Einck, Junior, South O'Brien High School, Paullina, IA, was awarded a 2013 $1,000 Agriscience Student Award. Kellie's love of science inspired her to concentrate her research on alternative energy fuels. During an animal science class, she noticed a correlation between a ruminant animal's digestion process through its four stomachs and ethanol fermentation. After that, she constructed an artificial rumen and hopes to improve efficiency in ethanol production through perfecting her research using bacteria from bovine rumen. Currently, Kellie is enrolled at Northwest Iowa Community College in Diesel Technology while maintaining a 3.98 GPA at South O’Brien High School. She presented her science research at the National FFA Agriscience Fair twice, earning 4th and 6th place. At the International Sustainable Worlds science fair in Houston, she received Honorable Mention, and in 2012 she won DuPont Pioneer’s Women of Innovation scholarship. Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available
Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Coins and Fellowship Foundation, Title IV, Section 400-429, Public Law 102-281, 106 Stat. 139-145, 20 U.S.C 5701-5708.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Nominees must be involved in the field of Agriscience research or Agriscience education in one of the following areas: scientist; current high school educator; or current high school students.
Beneficiary Eligibility
In public/private partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Foundation will present eight Agriscience Awards to U.S. citizens permitted by their employer or any other relevant authority to accept a monetary award bestowed by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency. Four monetary awards will be presented as follows: $10,000 Distinguished Agriscience Scientist Award will be presented to a scientist who is making or has recently made significant and positive contributions in the field of agriscience.
$5,000 Agriscience Educator Award will be presented to a current high school educator, with at least 5 years of teaching experience, and who emphasizes concepts, principles and applications in their curriculum to promote the study of agriscience to students.
Two $1,000 Agriscience Student Awards will be presented to current high school students who are making or have recently made significant and positive contributions related to the study of agriscience.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Only Nominations that meet the eligibility requirements stated above are accepted. Nominations will be accepted from all 50 States. All Nominations are received online at The deadline is Tuesday, January 29, 2013.
Award Procedure
The Awards are sponsored by a public-private partnership between the Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation. All Nominations are read by the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation to select the Semifinalists. Nominators are notified if a Nominee is selected as a Semifinalist and asked to provide background material to support the Nomination. A national Evaluation Committee reviews, ranks and comments on each Semifinalist. The Board of Trustees ultimately selects the winners of each award. The Award will be presented in Washington, D.C., on July 8, 2013.
Feb 12, 2013
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
No restrictions.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No reports are required.
Not Applicable.
No Data Available.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Direct lump sum payments to recipients at Awards ceremony. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None. Main Foundation website:
Headquarters Office
Judith Shellenberger, 110 Genesee Street, Suite 390, Auburn, New York 13021 Email: JUDITHMSCOLUMBUS@CS.COM Phone: (315) 258-0090 Fax: (315) 258-0093.
Website Address or http;://
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 12 $0; FY 13 est $0; and FY 14 est $0 - Two research awards totalling $50,000 for FY 2010 and FY 2011. Discontinued in FY 2012. (Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 12 $17,000; FY 13 est $17,000; and FY 14 est $17,000 - Eight direct payments of unrestricted use awards totalling $95,000 in lump sum payments in FY 2010 and FY 2011. In 2012 and 2013, four direct payment of unrestricted use totalling $17,000 will be presented.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$1,000 - $10,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


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