ESSM Awards & Merits 2011 The Most Prestigious USDA Departmental Award presented by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Conifer Translational Genomics Network including Dr. Tom Byram, Dr. Konstantin Krutovsky, and PhD student Vikram Chhatre Excerpt from the letter: Congratulations! The Conifer Translational Genomics Network Coordinated Agricultural Project has been selected to receive a 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary's Honor Award in the category of Helping American promote sustainable agricultural production and biotechnology exports as America works to increase food security. These awards are the most prestigious Departmental awards presented by the Secretary of Agriculture and recognize exceptional leadership, contributions, or public service by individuals or groups who support the mission/goals of USDA. I am very pleased that you have been selected to receive a 2011 Secretary's Honor Award in recognition of your efforts to create the Conifer Translational Genomics Network Coordinated Agricultural Project. On September 14th, I look forward to recognizing you for your contributions. Sincerely Chavonda Jacobs-Young Acting Director The group from TAMU was part of a team comprising 30 researchers working from nine different institutions on a project coordinated by Dr. David Neale at UC Davis. All three are from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University and Texas Forest Service.