Hard-working industry and university personnel were honored for their achievements at recent annual meetings.

In December, Joe Machado, marketing alfalfa assistant for America’s Alfalfa, was awarded the Jim Kuhn Leadership Award by the California Alfalfa & Forage Association during the California Alfalfa & Grains Symposium. The award is given yearly to a person or organization for their lasting contributions to the California alfalfa industry.

Machado has worked in the seed industry for 31 years, helping growers “improve production and the bottom line,” according to CAFA. “His many years of experience make him sought after, and working with growers is his passion.”

Ray Smith was named the American Forage & Grassland Council’s (AFGC) Medallion Award winner at that organization’s annual meeting held Jan. 7-8. Smith, University of Kentucky Extension forage specialist, works closely with county agents and producers across the state, conducts applied forage research for Kentucky and the transition zone and helps organize multi-county, state and regional forage conferences.

He’s been a fixture on the AFGC board, serving as secretary from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2009 to 2010, was a co-chair at two annual meetings and chair of the 2012 and 2013 conferences.

Also honored during the Covington, KY, AFGC meeting was Vivien Allen, recently retired Texas Tech University forage agronomist. Allen, the first woman to graduate in the University of Tennessee-Martin general agriculture program, was awarded the Distinguished Grasslander Award by Howard Straub, out-going AFGC president.

Allen has been a leading U.S. researcher on tall-fescue grazing and how cattle can efficiently use minerals in forage diets. While at Texas Tech, she also led a team of scientists showing how “a dwindling supply of groundwater for row-crop irrigation can be conserved by efficient water management, choice of forage species and financial decision-making,” according to AFGC (see our stories, "Water Worries: Declining Aquifers Threaten Agriculture," and "Trouble In Texas").