Noble Foundation Associate Professor and Research Agronomist Dr. Twain Butler has been selected to receive the 2012 Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA). The award recognizes young crop scientists who have made an outstanding contribution in any area of crop science by the age of 40.

"Dr. Twain Butler has been an outstanding Extension specialist and researcher, and has published an impressive body of research in a variety of agronomic fields,” said Dr. Jim Muir, CSSA Young Crop Scientist Committee Chair. “However, he stands out not just because of this volume. His scientific curiosity and rigor combine to ensure that his research stretches our scientific envelope in the field of crop science, all despite his professional youth.”

Butler was selected for this award because of his many contributions to the research, breeding and advancement of forage grasses throughout his career. Butler’s research program focuses mainly on the establishment, management and production of alfalfa, tall fescue and switchgrass. His goal is develop better management practices for producers. 

“Twain starts with small-plot evaluations that lead to large-plot grazing and production economic research trials, and finally ends up with the best management plans for producers,” said Dr.  Charlie Brummer, Director of the Noble Foundation Forage Improvement Division. “It is the emphasis on producing something useful for farmers and ranchers that distinguishes his program from many others.”

As the recipient of the award, Butler will be recognized during the 2012 annual meeting at the CSSA breakfast on Oct. 23 in Cincinnati, Ohio. "Receiving this prestigious award is confirmation that I've made a meaningful contribution to my field and positively impacted the lives of farmers and ranchers," Butler said. "I'm proud to be a part of an industry and an organization that is focused on supporting agricultural producers."

Butler received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech University, his Master of Science degree from Oklahoma State University and his PhD degree from Texas A&M University. He was an assistant professor and Extension forage agronomist for Texas AgriLife Extension from 2000 to 2004.

Butler joined the Noble Foundation in 2004 when he began as assistant professor and forage research agronomist for the Forage Improvement Division. In 2009, Butler became an associate professor and has obtained $1.8 million in grant money to support his research. He has authored or co-authored 51 refereed journal articles, 61 abstracts, 16 reviewed proceedings papers, eight Extension publications, one grower guide and one book chapter.