MSU agronomy professor receives national agronomy Early Career Award

Contact: Meg Henderson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A member of Mississippi State University’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences is receiving the American Society of Agronomy’s Early Career Award.

Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa
Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa, assistant research professor of crop stress physiology in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, accepted the award at the recent annual meeting of the ASA­ Southern Branch in Oklahoma City. He was nominated for the award by fellow MSU agronomist and W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor Raja Reddy.

“Raju joined the plant and soil sciences department in 2020 and built a cutting-edge research program, based on the ever-changing needs of the agricultural community, in a very short time,” Reddy said. “Raju’s leadership and his nationally recognized research, rooted in stakeholder needs, contribute to the culture of scholarship and excellence valued by the scientific community.”

Rangappa’s work, in partnership with MSU’s Geosystems Research Institute, focuses on identifying phenotypes and varieties for climate-resilient agricultural systems. In addition to his work at MSU, Rangappa has been an ASA member since 2016. He currently serves as associate editor of the two flagship journals published jointly by ASA, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America: Agronomy Journal and Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment.

“Receiving the 2023 Early Career Award from the ASA Southern Branch is a source of immense pride,” Rangappa said. “This recognition serves as an inspiration to consistently strive for excellence in all that I do.”

The Early Career Award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of agronomy within seven years of completing their final degree. The winner is presented with a certificate and $2,000.

“I am thankful for my talented students, insightful mentors and amazing collaborators for their unwavering support,” Rangappa said. “They have made this accomplishment possible.”  

MSU plant and soil sciences graduate students also represented the university at the meeting. Doctoral student Namita Sinha, of Starkville, took first place in the Ph.D. division for her poster, and Idaho Falls, Idaho-native Bryna Haile’s poster took second place in the Master of Science division. Master’s students Calyn Adams, of Chesterfield, Virginia, and Will Rutland, of Leland, took first and second place, respectively, for their oral presentations in the Master of Science division.

The American Society of Agronomy is an international scientific and professional society that empowers scientists, educators and practitioners in developing, disseminating and applying agronomic solutions to feed and sustain the world. To learn more, visit

For more information about the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, visit

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