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NRCS Employee Awarded International Engineer Honor

story by Jaime Tankersley

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agriculture Engineer Ann M. Ross is the recipient of the 2011 Roger R. and Laura M. Yoerger Preprofessional Engineer of the Year Award. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) presented Ross with the award during their recent international meeting held in Louisville, Kentucky.

"This award is a direct reflection and recognition of her distinguished leadership, community service, and premier demonstration of academic engineering excellence," says Elisha Kuehn, USDA-NRCS assistance state conservationist for field offices in San Angelo.

Ross, a Tomball, Texas native, graduated this past May from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with an emphasis on environmental and natural resources. Ross is currently employed as an agriculture engineer in the USDA-NRCS field office in Brady, Texas.

"It is an honor to represent ASABE as the Yoerger Preprofessional Engineer of the year; it gives me the opportunity to continue to serve ASABE and the profession by assisting in the selection of future award winners and making their contributions to the society known," Ross said.

With a boundless amount of energy toward her commitment to the profession, she has continued to expand her knowledge and experiences.

Ross, backed by a flawless scholastic record, put her professionalism and leadership skills to work early during her collegiate career. She has assisted in recruitment events for both the biological and agricultural engineering departments and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS).

During her time at Texas A&M she also served on the department's Accreditation Board of Engineering Technology review committee, the Mexico Exchange Program committee, and served as public relations chair on the COALS committee. In addition, she served as chapter counselor for Alpha Lambda Delta honor society.

Ross was bestowed with a great passion for teaching and learning. She has worked with people of all ages, mentoring young children through school, Special Olympics, church programs, and assisting in the care of elderly nursing home residents. She took those skills abroad while participating in the Belgium environmental soil and water study program and taught the local students.

At the half-way mark in her college education Ross decided to switch gears from her devoted discipline of cotton engineering and accept an internship with USDA-NRCS. This unlocked the door to a whelm of new experiences. While interning in Bryan, Texas, she assisted in the design of ponds, irrigation pipelines, artificial wetlands and emergency protection structures. This two year venture turned into a full time position with the agency upon graduation.

"I am looking forward to my future as an NRCS engineer and being able to contribute to the long-term conservation of the environment and our natural resources through my designs and teaching others." Ross said.

Presently Ross continues to devote time to ASABE and serves as the Texas Section Vice Chair of Public Relations and Meetings Committee Chair for the Young Professionals division of ASABE.

As this year's award winner she has the honor of aiding in the selection of next year's recipient.

"Being selected as this year's award winner is a three year commitment to ASABE that I am eager to embark on. It is a true honor to be among those that have received this award," Ross noted.

Ann Ross, USDA-NRCS, Agriculture Engineer Ann Ross, USDA-NRCS, Agriculture Engineer
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Agriculture Engineer Ann M. Ross is the recipient of the 2011 Roger R. and Laura M. Yoerger Preprofessional Engineer of the Year Award.