MAFES scientist Dhillon honored with early career award for contributions to agricultural research

Jagmandeep Dhillon

Jagmandeep Dhillon (Photo By: Submitted)

By: Sam Hughes

Mississippi State University Assistant Professor Jagmandeep Dhillon has received the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin (AASIO) Early Career Agricultural Scientist Award for his contributions to agricultural research.

AASIO gives this award annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by an early-career agricultural scientist of Indian origin in any area of agricultural science. Dhillon's Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES) research is focused on corn agronomy.

His research topics have economic and environmental implications; they explore mitigation strategies for crop contamination, the optimization of fertilizers, the evaluation of the impact of climate change on Mississippi crops and the use of emerging agricultural technology and artificial intelligence.

"Climate change and market volatility pose significant challenges to the agricultural sector. Through our research efforts, we aim to proactively equip producers in Mississippi and beyond with timely information, enabling them to adapt and thrive in the face of these complex circumstances," Dhillon said.

In addition to his research, Dhillon teaches two graduate-level courses and has seven graduate students and has successfully graduated four graduate students during his three years in MSU's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. He has published 44 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, 20 of which during his time at MSU. Dhillon is currently serving as treasurer of the Southern Regional Branch of the American Society of Agronomy.

On his family's farm in Punjab, India, Dhillon worked as a farmhand throughout his childhood. His fascination with the farm's machinery led him to pursue higher education in agricultural engineering to address the challenges that farmers face.

"I remember fondly the first time my father told me that nitrogen has the ability to move in the soil. I was like, 'What? It's not alive -- how is it moving?' This made sense later when I took chemistry," Dhillon said. "These interactions with my father and helping with farm operations definitely had a tremendous effect on my career."

Dhillon said the Early Career Agricultural Scientist Award has given him a sense of validation as a junior MSU faculty member.

"I am very thankful and humbled to have received this award because it represents hours of hard work I have put in alongside my students and collaborators. This is a great motivation to stay focused and consistently deliver scientific solutions to benefit producers," Dhillon said.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station scientists discover agricultural solutions to improve yields and profitability. For more about MAFES, visit

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