Nearly 100 people gathered at the Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station February 26 to celebrate the long and prosperous career of Dr. Frank Hons.
Current and former colleagues, family and friends were in attendance. Many shared stories and memories of Dr. Hons.
All but three years of Dr. Hons 44-year career were spent here at Texas A&M University, beginning in 1972 when he was a graduate research assistant working on his Master’s degree in soil chemistry.
After earning his PhD in Soil Science, Dr. Hons went to Texas Tech for three years before returning to A&M as an assistant professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department in 1981. He became an Associate Professor in 1986 and a full professor in 1991.
Throughout his career, Dr. Hons taught at least one semester of Soil Fertility and Fertilizers every year, reaching more than 1,800 students. He was on the advisory committee for more than fifty graduate students, and was the major professor for forty-two who have gone on to distinguished careers.
He served as a faculty advisor to the TAMU student agronomy society and as an instructor at the NRCS designed the post –graduate curriculum for the Bi-national Fulbright Program in Egypt and was a commissioned lecturer at the Assiut University there for several years.
Dr. Hons research has had a tremendous impact. He was part of a team that developed an integrated production system to generate methane from sorghum with a potential annual benefit to producers of $1 billion. His research on carbon sequestration lead to a greater understanding of the long term effects of management practices on crop yields and soil quality, which enhanced adoption of conservation tillage practices. He led a team that developed and assisted in the implementation of a plan to revegetate the USEPA’s largest Superfund site. His long term cropping system experiments in College Station have been in place for over 33 years and continue to provide valuable information about yield, long term sustainability, and the interactive effects of tillage, crop rotation and nitrogen fertilization.
He has been named as a Fellow for the American Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America. In 2005 he was the recipient of a TAES Faculty Fellow award. He was named as an Outstanding Young Man of America in 1979 and went on to earn numerous other awards including the Soil and Crop Sciences Superior Achievement Award for Teaching, TAES Award in Excellence for Team Research; and the American Society of Agronomy Agronomic Resident Education Award.
His teaching and research will continue to have an impact in the world of soil science for many years to come.