Graduate student Anastasia Kurth has received the Dr. Jack F. and Imogene Carter Endowed Plant Sciences Graduate Fellowship.
NDSU graduate student Anastasia Kurth has been awarded the Dr. Jack F. and Imogene Carter Endowed Plant Sciences Graduate Fellowship. She is pursuing a master’s degree in plant sciences with advisor Marisol Berti, who leads the forages and biomass production project.
The fellowship is named for Jack and Imogene Carter in recognition of their dedication to North Dakota agriculture and their interest in creating a premier agronomy department for the education of generations of students.
Kurth grew up in Geneva, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and became interested in pursuing an agriculture degree after joining an FFA chapter at a nearby school district. “My grandparents grew up on farms and my extended family operates crop farms,'' Kurth said. “When I got involved in FFA and competed in the agronomy Career Development Event, I decided I wanted to pursue agronomic studies for a career in agriculture.”
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville with a double major in soil and crop science and environmental horticulture with a plant breeding and genetics emphasis.
Kurth is beginning her thesis research integrating alfalfa and winter camelina into sunflower/wheat crop rotations to determine the effects on diversity and perenniality of annual cropping systems. She started her work at NDSU on June 6.
“I already have two experiments growing in my project, and I am working with some familiar and unfamiliar crops, so I am excited to see the study through to the end,” she said.
“Anastasia is a top student with great interest in learning new things and she fits my research program perfectly,” Berti said.
Kurth’s research project is part of a $10 million Sustainable Agricultural Systems CAP project from USDA-NIFA awarded in 2021 to increase the adoption of diverse perennial circular systems to foster resilience and deliver ecosystem services. Berti is the Co-PD and lead of the project’s research objective and received $747,868 of funding for her forages research program at NDSU.
The Carters’ stated purpose for the endowment is to provide support and training for graduate students in applied agriculture and crop production. The award recipient receives additional funding above standard stipends for the research project, supporting the graduate student and other needs. The Carters understood the importance of training quality graduate students to work in university crop production research, education and Extension positions, as well as the need by private industry for researchers and sales professionals. Their goal was to make the NDSU agronomy/plant sciences program a premier university department in the nation.
Carter began working in the agronomy department at the North Dakota Agricultural College (later NDSU) in 1950 after earning his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He became department chair in 1960, retiring in 1987. He died in 2011 at age 92.
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