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News Release

PMC Manager Wins National Award

Rich Wynia receives the Meritorious Service Award from John Englert and Wayne Honeycutt.Rich Wynia, Plant Materials Center Manager of the Plant Materials Center (PMC) in Manhattan, Kansas, recently received the Meritorious Service Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) during the April 2015  National Plant Materials Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas.  The award was presented by John Englert, NRCS’ National Plant Materials Manager, and Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, NRCS Deputy Chief for Science and Technology to the Kansas Plant Materials Center.  Wynia was recognized for more than 30 years of service to Kansas and plant material science.  He has demonstrated excellence in plant and technology development and transfer, developed lasting partnerships, and has mentored new employees.  Wynia has made a lasting contribution to the Plant Materials Program (PMP) and especially to the PMC. 

The purpose of the PMP is to assemble, select, improve, test, and release plant varieties for conservation uses.  The program also develops state-of-the-art technology necessary for successful conservation plantings that reduce soil erosion and improve water and air quality.  Released plant materials can be used to achieve the conservation of highly erosive soils, range and pasture improvement, buffers, wildlife and wetland improvement, water and air quality improvement, increased biodiversity and invasive species reduction.  During PMC’s history, over 30 plant varieties have been released, and Rich has been a part of at least 10. 

The Manhattan PMC is one of 27 plant centers nationwide that uses plants to solve natural resource problems.  It is owned and operated by the NRCS.  The PMC offers services to a diverse region of the Heartland including Kansas, Nebraska, northern Oklahoma, and northeastern Colorado.  The PMC  maintains and provides industry with foundation native grass and forb seed.  Recently soil health studies have dominated PMC activities including warm and cool season cover crop plantings that have documented yield, carbon and nitrogen production, cover crop broadcasting into commodity crop study, and radish variety study.  All of the studies are used for field days and meeting demonstrations.

For additional information about the PMC and the plant materials program go to: