March 10, 2015

Ag college honors students, faculty, staff, alumni

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences honored students, faculty, staff and alumni at its 63rd “All Ag” Awards Banquet on Feb. 27. 

Todd Kuethe, clinical assistant professor in land economics with the University of Illinois, returned to SIU for the evening as the Outstanding Mid-Career Alumnus award recipient. Kuethe earned his master of science degree in agribusiness economics from SIU in 2005, and earned a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 2009. He was an economist with the Farm and Rural Business Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2009-2013. 

Student nominations and votes power two of the awards given annually at this banquet: the Donald M. Elkins Excellence in Education Award and the Gary L. Minish Outstanding Mentor/Adviser Award. This year, Gary Apgar, associate professor of animal science, food and nutrition, accepted the Elkins Excellence in Education Award, and Brian Small, associate professor with the Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center, accepted the Minish Outstanding Mentor/Adviser Award. 

Student awards include scholarship awards. Here are this year’s recipients, with hometown and major:

Outstanding Senior: Cecily Haase, Staunton, human nutrition and dietetics major

Outstanding Senior Runner-up: Morgan Schulte, Breese, forestry major

Outstanding Junior: James Tobin, Farmer City, agricultural systems and education major

Outstanding Junior Runner-up: Mershon Caissie, Paxton, agribusiness economics

Outstanding Student Club: Alpha Gamma Rho

 Outstanding Student Club Runner-Up: SIU Equestrian Team 

This year’s group of i2i Scholars also received recognition at the banquet. The i2i Scholars are involved in mentored research with practical applications within the agricultural industries. The students are, by hometown, listed with major: 



Morgan Schulte, forestry

Crab Orchard

Ben Westrich, crop, soil and environmental management


Kelby Fenton, animal science

Lick Creek

Jesse Francis, animal science


Wilson Fogler, forestry


Ted Craig, foresty



Catriona Reddington, animal science 



Cassandra Goyer, animal science

Jamaica (Portmore)

Ashani Hamilton Piquini, animal science

Mexico (Xalapa)

Natalie Gulson, animal science 

The college also welcomed three new student clubs: Agronomy Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau and an SIU student chapter of Ducks Unlimited.