Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- August 13, 2003

Cal Poly Professor Emeritus Wins International Agriculture Engineering Award

Cal Poly professor emeritus John L. Merriam was awarded the 2003 Kishida International Award for his contributions to the irrigation industry, with special recognition for his work with developing nations.

The American Society of Agricultural Engineers presented the award to Merriam at a ceremony in the Las Vegas Riviera Hotel on July 30.

Even after his retirement in 1978, Merriam continued consulting and promoting educational activities and philanthropic programs to advance his vision of improving social and agricultural welfare in developing countries through irrigation and water management programs. He designed and supervised construction of flexible supply pipeline demonstrations and production projects in Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan and assisted in the nationwide program in Egypt.

Merriam and his family established the Merriam Endowment for Irrigation and Water Management within the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department at Cal Poly. The endowment provides assistance to the faculty department and students for support, travel and scholarships. The Merriams also created the Fund For Furthering Flexible Irrigation and the Merriam Irrigation Education Foundation to provide follow-up maintenance, education, and support work for projects and other activities.
Two awards were also created for outstanding professional contributions in the field of irrigation: the United States Committee on Irrigation and Drainage Merriam Improved Irrigation award and the ASAE Award for the Advancement of Surface Irrigation. The ASAE scholarship offers a $1,000 grant to be awarded annually to an ASAE undergraduate student with technical interest in soil and water.
The Kishida International Award includes a plaque and a $1,000 cash award.

Contact: Natalie Connelly (805) 756-1511

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