Dr. Paul Sun, the developer of hybrid alfalfa, received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA) at its annual meeting in New Orleans this week.
Sun is a special project scientist for Dairyland Seed Co., Inc. He has more than 40 years of plant breeding experience. “Just as Henry Wallace revolutionized U.S. agriculture with the commercialization of hybrid corn, Dr. Sun led the development of hybrid alfalfa using the patented msSunstra technology,” wrote Charleston/Orwig’s Lyle Orwig, Dairy Today’s Jim Dickrell and Hoard’s Dairyman’s Steve Larson in their letter of nomination.
It took Sun some 20 years to bring hybrid alfalfa to market in 2001. Since that time, more than 5,000 on-farm plot harvests have shown a 15% productivity advantage for hybrid alfalfa.
AAEA’s Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor bestowed by the organization. It has been presenting the award since 1947, with this year’s award sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland.