AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences presented research awards Aug. 28 to a professor of economics and an extension agricultural engineer.
Bruce Babcock, an economics professor who holds the Cargill Endowed Chair of Energy Economics and directs the Biobased Industry Center, and Mark Hanna, an agricultural engineer with ISU Extension and Outreach, were presented the Dean Lee R. Kolmer Award for Excellence in Applied Research at the college’s fall convocation. The award is named for a former college dean and honors faculty or staff who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of Iowans by the application of their research.
Babcock was recognized for his work in agricultural economics, including the design of crop insurance programs that the vast majority of Iowa farmers use for risk management. He also has explored the targeting of conservation programs and the optimization of “green” payments. His current work focuses on the interaction between the agricultural and energy markets as bioenergy markets develop.
Babcock joined Iowa State in 1990 and was director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development for about 13 years. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics of resource use and agricultural economics, respectively, at the University of California, Davis in 1980 and 1981; and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics in 1987 at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hanna was recognized for his research to find practical solutions to challenges faced by crop producers. One example, was the invention of a device that equalized the output of anhydrous ammonia applicators after he discovered the amount of fertilizer varied considerably between injectors. It was named as one of the top 10 agricultural engineering products released in the past 20 years by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural engineering from Iowa State in 1973, 1975 and 1991.