2022 Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award: Laura Lindsey

2022 Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award: Laura Lindsey

Laura Lindsey has been doing research in agriculture much longer than the decade she has been on faculty at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.

Laura Lindsey and student in labLindsey’s mother taught seventh-grade science and got her daughter excited about science fairs. With that and her high school FFA involvement, it was natural for Lindsey to pursue agricultural research as an Ohio State undergraduate and master’s student.

For her current research efforts, Lindsey has won the science fair, in a way: She was named the winner of the 2022 CFAES Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award.

“It feels great to win a research award when your research is to support Extension in the industry in Ohio,” she said. “It is a great honor to win this award and be recognized for my research efforts.”

Lindsey is the Ohio State University Extension state specialist for soybean and small-grain production, and her research focuses on maximizing yields while maintaining economic and environmental sustainability for Ohio farmers. OSU Extension is CFAES’ statewide research arm.

“My goal in my program is to give best recommendations for farmers and really work with farmers to improve their production systems,” she said. “Research is really important. When I give recommendations to farmers or the industry, I want them to be sound, research-based recommendations.”

The Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award is given to researchers at the faculty, assistant professor, or associate professor level. It comes with a $1,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant toward the recipient’s research.

Lindsey has a bachelor’s in environmental science and a master’s in soil science, both from Ohio State. She earned her PhD in crop and soil sciences from Michigan State University in 2012.

“I’m an agronomist, so my research is to understand best management practices for farmers to maximize their soybean and small-grain yield while also being profitable and sustainable,” she said.

As an associate professor at Ohio State, Lindsey is also working to prepare a new generation of agricultural researchers.

“Graduate students are extremely important in my research,” she said. “With agronomy, it’s very labor-intensive. We do a lot of stand counts, tiller counts, soil samples. So, we need a lot of students to help collect those very extensive measurements. And then there’s always a need for people in the agricultural industry, so those students then are getting trained to go into industry.”

Lindsey said that in her lab, the motto is “teamwork makes the dream work.”

“So, having great students, technicians, research stations, farmer cooperators, and colleagues makes my job easy and enjoyable.”