Rick Cartwright, associate director of agriculture and natural resources for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, has been honored for his work with the 2011 Rice Industry Award.

Cartwright received the honor during the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Austin, Texas. 

Another Arkansan also was honored at the conference. Mark Wimpy of Jonesboro, was named Rice Farmer of the Year.

“Throughout his career with the Division of Agriculture, Rick has been dedicated to improving the efficiency of rice production in Arkansas,” said Tony Windham, associate vice president--Extension for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. “Since Arkansas is the Number One producer of rice in the nation, his work has made a substantial impact on the whole industry.”

Cartwright said “I sincerely appreciate this award, recognizing that it really honors all the great people of the U of A Division of Agriculture that I have worked with over the years and the wonderful and diverse collection of farmers, county agents, consultants, and rice industry personnel it has been my privilege to serve.”

Before joining administration, Cartwright worked as a plant pathologist, helping the rice industry fight bacterial panicle blight, kernel smut and false smut.

He has diverse research, Extension and teaching experience with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture since 1992 and directly with the Cooperative Extension Service since December 1995. Cartwright grew up on farms in Stone and Searcy counties where his family raised beef cattle, broilers, and various other crops, as well as working in the timber and sawmill industry. He has been married to Lynette Warren since 1976 and they have three children and two grandchildren.

Cartwright earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of California-Davis in 1992.

His lengthy list of honors includes the John White Outstanding Extension State Faculty Award from the Division of Agriculture; the Distinguished Rice Research and Education Award from the Rice Technical Working Group; the Extension Excellence Team Award; and the Outstanding Plant Pathologist Award from the Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society.

The Rice Industry Award honors the researcher, Extension person, governmental person or association leader who has made valuable contributions to advancement of the rice industry.

To qualify, the Industry Award recipient will have been involved in the U.S. rice industry for more than five years.

The awards are sponsored by Rice Farming magazine, the USA Rice Federation and HorizonAg.

For more information on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu, arkanascrops.com, or contact your local county Extension office.