A native of McAllen, Siders earned a bachelor's degree in crop and soil science from Texas A&M University at Kingsville in 1987 and a master's degree in crops-weed science from Texas Tech University in 1989. He began his Extension career in 1990 as an IPM agent serving Castro and Lamb counties. From 1993 to 1996, he served as an Extension agent for agriculture, first in Floyd County and then in Terry County. He has been in his current position since October 1996.

The goal of the two-county IPM program Siders coordinates is scouting cotton for destructive insect pests and helping establish a good base of crop consultants to serve producers.

The growers group bestows this plaque each year at its annual spring meeting to recognize exemplary service to South Plains cotton producers. The award is alternately given to an Extension agriculture agent or IPM agent, based on the results of a peer ballot.

"Kerry Siders consistently earns the respect of his colleagues and South Plains producers. His expertise and dedication to agriculture are apparent in his excellent work," said Jett Major, Extension district director based in Lubbock. "This award is a fitting tribute to his expertise and his dedication in delivering high quality educational programs and relevant applied research that benefits sustainable agriculture in Hockley and Cochran counties."

Siders is a past recipient of the Texas Pest Management Association's excellence in IPM award and its outstanding specialist award. Both accolades recognize outstanding service and dedication to the Texas IPM Program.

The Texas IPM Program is a cooperative effort between Texas A&M University and the grower-managed TPMA. It is designed to help crop producers across the state adopt cultural pest control methods that are safe, efficient, technically sound and environmentally friendly.

e-mail: t-mcalavy@tamu.edu