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FREP’s Mark Cady named president of California Chapter of American Society of Agronomy

FREP Supervisor Mark Cady (left) accepts the presidential gavel of the California Chapter of American Society of Agronomy from UC Davis Associate Professor Daniel Geisseler Feb. 7 at the 2024 California Plant and Soil Conference in Fresno.

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) Supervisor Mark Cady on Feb. 7 became president of the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy (CalASA).

“I’m excited to take on this responsibility,” Cady said. “My goals include trying to offer the best conference ever and helping our chapter develop a stronger relationship with our parent organization based in Madison, Wisconsin.”

CalASA was founded in April 1971 by California agronomists wanting a conference focused on California agricultural sciences. The CalASA annual conference was launched in January 1972 and has been held every year since. The purpose of the annual California Plant and Soil Conference is the same as the national chapter: to promote research, disseminate scientific information, foster high standards of educational and ethical conduct in the profession, and facilitate robust cooperation among organizations with similar missions.

This is Cady’s seventh year as a CalASA board member. Now in his fourth year on the CalASA executive board, the president position rotated to him for one year. CalASA presidential duties include organizing board activities and ensuring all tasks and processes are going according to plan for the California Plant and Soil Conference to occur at the beginning of each year.

“The value of the conference is it’s not simply high-level research reports, but more like relevant scientific topics suitable for academics and producers in the field,” Cady said. “The audience is a great mix of students and people with established careers interacting in a way that would not otherwise be possible.”

American Society of Agronomy (ASA) membership includes agricultural academics, private crop advisors and those working in crop, plant and soil sciences. ASA also is the home organization of the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program. CDFA’s FREP has a relationship with ASA in that FREP helped establish the California Nitrogen Specialty certification for CCAs. Crop advisors must have this certification to approve irrigation and nitrogen management plans in California’s Central Valley.

Click here for more information about CalASA or the annual California Plant and Soil Conference.

“If you’re involved in any way with agricultural sciences, this is a great conference that we invite you to participate in,” Cady said. “And you’re by definition a member of CalASA if you attend the conference.”

Fun Trivia Fact: Cady’s spouse, Casey Walsh Cady, was president of CalASA in 2003, making them the second husband-wife team to have served different terms as CalASA president.

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