​​Will Travel to Washington to Advocate for Agricultural Research

Shawn Butler, a graduate student in the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has received the Future Leaders in Science Award. In March, Butler and other student winners will meet with their congressional representatives to advocate for agricultural research. Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Download image.​

JACKSON, Tenn. – Shawn Butler, a graduate student in University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has received the Future Leaders in Science Award. Presented by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).  The award goes to 18 students each of whom displays high levels of interest and engagement in science advocacy. 

Award winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Congressional Visits Day on March 8, where they will meet with members of Congress and advocate for food, agriculture and natural resource research.

Butler is a Ph.D. candidate in UT’s Plant Sciences Department. His concentration is Crop Science under the direction of Tyson Raper, an assistant professor who specializes in cotton and small grain production.  Butler received his B.S. in Plant Sciences (2014) from the University of Tennessee at Martin, and his M.S. in Plant Pathology/Phytopathology (2016) from the University of Tennessee.

ASA, CSSA and SSSA are scientific societies helping more than 10,000 members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop, soil sciences and related disciplines.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service. ag.tennessee.edu​.



Dr. Tyson Raper, assistant professor, UT Department of Plant Sciences, 731-425-4707, traper@utk.edu

Ginger Rowsey, UTIA Marketing and Communications, 731-425-4768,