Extension irrigation specialist receives national award
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- An irrigation specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service has gained national recognition for his outreach related to water conservation practices.
Drew Gholson received the Early Career Award in Extension, Engagement and Outreach from the Universities Council on Water Resources during the organization’s annual national conference in June.
Gholson, the state Extension irrigation specialist, is based at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. He is a scientist with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and serves as the MSU coordinator for the National Center for Alluvial Aquifer Research.
Gholson developed a program that trains county MSU Extension agents to conduct on-farm demonstrations of soil moisture sensors for growers. More than 25 of the demonstrations offer a season-long learning experience to the grower. Participants reported 100% increased knowledge about reading sensors and making irrigation timing decisions.
Jason Krutz, director of the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute at MSU, said Gholson recently received the Outstanding Extension Grantsmanship Award from MSU Extension in recognition of his success in gaining grant funding through various agencies.
“Dr. Gholson is a skillful team leader who effectively engages and interacts with a broad range of county Extension agents, specialists, farmers and agencies,” Krutz said. “He has secured more than $6 million from state and national funding agencies as principal or coprincipal investigator to support his Extension and research programs.”
Since he joined MSU Extension in 2019, Gholson has presented at over 100 Extension workshops, grower meetings or agent training events, and he has made 34 invited or oral conference presentations on topics such as private water wells, water quality, water conservation and irrigation management.
Universities Council on Water Resources is a consortium of academic institutions and affiliates invested in water-related research, education and outreach.