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ARS' Knipling to attend Soils Lab celebration

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Edward B. Knipling, Administrator of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service, will be participating in the 50th anniversary celebration of the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

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The theme for the celebration at the Soils Lab is "50 Years of Research: Celebrating Yesterday, Growing Tomorrows."

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., at the Soils Lab at 803 Iowa Avenue, Morris. Laboratory tours begin at 9 a.m., followed by a "50th Anniversary Program" at 10 a.m.

In addition to Knipling, others invited to speak include Senators Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman, Rep. Collin Peterson, State Senator Bill Ingebrigtson, State Rep. Torrey Westrom, NRCS State Conservationist Bill Hunt, University of Minnesota, Morris Chancellor Jacquie Johnson, West Central Research and Outreach Center Interim Head Jerry Wright and Morris Mayor Sheldon Giese.

Following the program, a complimentary lunch will be provided by the Barnes Aastad Soil and Water Conservation Research Association.

After lunch, participants will be able to "tour" research experiments through presentations given by lab scientists and some of their collaborators. The presentations will conclude around 3 p.m.

The day will culminate by celebrating the 50 years of research and many contributions of the Soils Lab with a dinner at Oyate Hall in the Student Center of the University of Minnesota, Morris. Social hour will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at 7 p.m,, featuring locally-grown foods.

Dinner reservations are required, and can be made by contacting Sandy Groneberg, USDA-ARS, (320) 589-3411, ext. 123.

Knipling is a native of Texas, but grew up primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. He earned his B.S. in 1961 in forestry from Virginia Tech University. He received his M.A. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1966 in plant physiology from Duke University.

Knipling served in the U.S. Army 1966-68, conducting research on remote sensing of environment. He began his career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in 1968 as a research plant physiologist in Gainesville, Fla. He has also served as Area Director for ARS in Stoneville, Miss., and in Fresno, Calif., and Associate Deputy Administrator, National Program Staff, Beltsville, Md. Knipling was appointed Associate Administrator of ARS in December 1997, and was appointed Acting Administrator of ARS in December 2001. Knipling was appointed Administrator of ARS in July 2004.

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