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The American Forage and Grassland Council awarded Dr. Don Ball, alumni professor in the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Soils at Auburn University, the 2015 Distinguished Grasslander Award at its annual conference in St. Louis.

The Distinguished Grasslander Award is presented to individuals who, during their careers, have served the forage and grassland segment of agriculture with distinction. Don With DG Award Plaque.JPG

“My goal has always been to use my time as efficiently and effectively as possible in providing information about forage crops to the public so as to increase profit, enhance lifestyles and protect the environment,” Ball said.

Alabama Extension Director, Dr. Gary Lemme said Ball has made a lasting mark in many areas of Extension research.

“Dr. Ball’s Extension programs and advice have increased the profitability cattle producers and the management of millions of acres of pastures and hay land in the United States,” Lemme said. “Dr. Ball continues to be a role model for modern Extension specialists because of his ability to translate emerging research into everyday management recommendations that can be implemented by farmers and cattle producers.”

Ball began work with Alabama Extension in 1976, when he was hired as the Extension forage crop agronomist. He served in this capacity until January 2011. He is currently a consultant with four Oregon Forage Seed Commissions.

Ball registered the bermudagrass ecotype ‘Russell’ and now there are more than 50,000 acres of this grass in the Southeast. He conducted dozens of on-farm trials, and wrote many popular and technical articles, as well as several national-oriented forage and livestock publications.

In addition to his recent honor, Ball has received many Extension honors during his career: the Auburn University Extension Excellence Award in 1988, the Professional Excellence Award in 1991, the Agronomic Extension Excellence Award in 1993, and the Distinguished Service Award in 1999.