Dr. Girish Panicker receives the 2020 Lifetime Organic Achievement Award

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) recognized one of Alcorn State University’s professors for his commitment to agricultural research and innovation.

Dr. Girish Panicker, professor and director of Conservation Research in the School of Agriculture, was presented with the Lifetime Organic Achievement Award from the Society in June. The organization announced 36 nominees for the award, with Alcorn, the University of California, Davis, Rutgers, and the University of Tennessee being one the finalists.

ASA is a progressive international scientific and professional society that empowers scientists, educators, and practitioners in developing, disseminating, and applying agronomic solutions to feed and sustain the world. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, ASA is a professional home for more than 7,000 members and more than 12,000 certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of agronomy.

Receiving the prestigious award is one of Panicker’s most significant career achievements. He’s thankful for the recognition.

“I consider this award to be my greatest accomplishment in my many years of professional work in Asia, Africa, and North America,” said Panicker. “I feel honored, gracious, thankful, and humbled to have attained it. I am overwhelmed by the satisfactory outcome, and it gives me a feeling of success. I am thankful for the opportunities, skills, and challenges that I have faced that have helped me on my journey to professional victory. This award is a dream come true.”

Providing a healthy environment for people to thrive is Panicker’s mission. He feels that this award will allow him to spread his message of good health to an even broader audience.

“Years of my innovative research is a revitalizing encounter to keep the soil and humans healthy. This award has given me a voice that I can use in the best interest of expanding agricultural science. These innovations will help keep our planet and the swiftly growing population healthy.”

Panicker is proud to represent the University around the world. His goal is to bring to the forefront innovative research that the School of Agriculture is conducting.

“I feel very fortunate and proud to have become a part of the Alcorn family. I have always been excited to represent this historic and celebrated institution locally, nationally, and internationally because it is the first among the 107 HBCUs, first among the nineteen 1890 land grant colleges, and first in Mississippi to teach agricultural science.”

The pursuit of promoting good health continues for Panicker, as he recently received a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to introduce 192 varieties of watermelons from around the globe to research the best-grafted watermelons. Of the varieties, Panicker is studying muskmelons and watermelons and ways of sustaining production and protecting the fruit from devastating diseases.