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Long-time K-State agronomy head and soil fertility specialist to retire in June

Dave Mengel led the agronomy department from 1998 to 2005.

Dave MengelPhoto and caption available

Released: May 24, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Dave Mengel, former head of the Kansas State University Department of Agronomy and long-time extension soil fertility specialist, will retire in June.

Mengel was hired as head of the agronomy department in 1998 and served in that position until late 2005. Since stepping down as head, he has served as professor and extension soil fertility specialist at K-State. Previously, Mengel was professor of agronomy at Purdue University.

A retirement reception will be held for Mengel on Friday, June 3, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the IGP Institute Conference Center on the north side of Kimball Ave. in Manhattan. There will be a short program about 4 p.m.

“All are welcome to come celebrate the career of this dedicated teacher, researcher, and communicator,” said Gary Pierzynski, head of the K-State agronomy department and university distinguished professor of agronomy.

“I would encourage anyone who would like to submit a letter regarding Dr. Mengel and his tenure in agronomy to send it to me by June 1,” he said.

Letters for Mengel’s retirement reception can be submitted to Pierzynski at gmp@ksu.edu. For more information, contact the main agronomy office at 785-532-6101.

Mengel said the highlight of his career has been serving as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students and young faculty members, and watching them succeed in their chosen careers.

“My greatest achievement and honor has been to have worked with so many talented young people over my career, both as a professor and department head -- and hopefully to have helped them develop their careers in agronomy,” Mengel said. “It has been with a great sense of pride that I’ve seen them grow and succeed in their careers.”

Mengel has also been active in conducting research on soil fertility issues throughout Kansas, and has been a familiar face at many extension meetings around the state.

His many connections with producers, crop advisors and students have been a source of pleasure over the years, he said.

“I’ve learned more from our producers in Kansas and my students than they have ever learned from me,” he said. “These experiences will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

He plans to remain active on his farm in Riley County after he retires. He raises wheat, soybeans, grain sorghum and cattle, and especially enjoys his flock of sheep. He also plans to enjoy spending more time with his wife and family.
Those who cannot make it to Mengel’s retirement reception in Manhattan on June 3 are welcome to call him at 785-532-2166 or email him at dmengel@ksu.edu.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by:
Steve Watson, swatson@ksu.edu

Additional Information:
Dave Mengel is at 785-532-2166 or dmengel@ksu.edu