Alumni of Crop and Soil Sciences Honored at CALS 2021 Awards Ceremony | Crop and Soil Sciences
Alumni and friends of the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) recently came together over the 2021 Alumni Weekend to honor several notable individuals for their contributions to communities agriculture and life sciences. CALS Dean Richard Linton hosted the event hosted by North Carolina state sports broadcaster Andrew Sanders. The alumni recipients were celebrated in a lunchtime meeting which was also broadcast live and checked in for the first time.
Crop and soil sciences honor two of his
The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences was proud to recognize two alumni from our department.
- Dr Harold Coble, outstanding CALS alumnus
- Dr Colby Moorberg, Outstanding Young CALS Graduate
CALS presents these awards annually to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the college’s outstanding graduates and their dedicated work and service for NC State University and the benefit of the citizens of North Carolina.
The award selection criteria include excellence in the implementation of progressive state, national or international programs; the development of improved technology or science; or other outstanding achievements in agriculture and life sciences.
Dr. Harold Coble – Outstanding CALS 2021 Alumni
Harold Coble grew up on a diverse 150 acre family farm in Alamance County. He began his North Carolina State studies in applied mathematics, but was brought back to his agricultural roots to study crop science. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agronomy from NC State, followed by a doctorate in agronomy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Coble returned to the Wolfpack in 1970, where he was a professor of crop science for 30 years, teaching weed biology, supervising 54 graduate students, and researching weed population dynamics.
His message to young teachers was perseverance. “Keep going,” Coble said. “You never know when your job will become the industry’s biggest talking point. What you do is important. Just keep doing it. “
Coble also worked as an agronomist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the Bureau of Pest Management Policy for 14 years. He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and is now President and CEO of Coble Agronomics.
“I deeply appreciated this award because it represents all the good people I have worked with throughout my career,” said Coble. “No one wins an award like this alone. It takes a set of people who work together on important issues.
Dr Colby Moorberg – CALS 2021 Exceptional Young Alumni
Colby Moorberg was interested in wetlands and soil science throughout his youth on a family farm in northern Iowa. He received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Iowa State University, then moved to the state of North Carolina, where he earned a master’s and doctorate in soil science. His research focused on phosphorus dynamics in restored wetland soils in Carolina Bay wetlands. After graduating, Moorberg secured a postdoctoral position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington.
Now an associate professor of soil science at Kansas State University, Moorberg teaches, coaches the soil assessment team, and manages the university’s hydropedology lab. He is a full member of the Kansas State Faculty and received the Early Career Award from the Soil Science Society of America (2021), among others.
“It has been an honor to receive the NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Young Alumni Award,” said Moorberg. “I really enjoyed my time at NC State during my graduate studies. I made a lot of good friends and really enjoyed all of the faculty, staff and other graduate students. The mentorship and continued collaboration I have received from Dr Vepraskas and many other professors in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences have prepared me for a successful career and made awards like this possible.
He confessed that the awards ceremony brought back welcome nostalgia.
“It was nice to be back in Raleigh to see what has changed and what has remained the same,” Moorberg said. “The last time I was there was when I graduated in 2014. My family and I arrived a few days before the awards ceremony for sightseeing. It was nice to walk through the halls of Williams Hall again and see some familiar faces. It was also nice to watch an NC State football game and cheer on the pack. I hope to come back as soon as possible. ”
Examples of reflection and action
Dr. Jeff Mullahey, head of the North Carolina State Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, stressed the importance of the department’s strong network and pipeline of alumni.
“Excellence in our research and academic programs frequently attracts and retains high performing thought leaders like Drs. Coble and Moorberg. These researchers are passionate about teaching and are committed to our most impactful form of work – training our next generation of agricultural and environmental scientists. We admire their high caliber work and are grateful for their contribution to our students and to those across the country.
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