Dr. Lanny Ashlock
Dr. Lanny Ashlock has been known as “Mr. Soybean” in Arkansas throughout his career as Extension Soybean Specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. For more than 20 years, soybean growers throughout the state looked to Ashlock because of his wealth of experience and complete knowledge of the crop.
His field research led to the implementation of many innovations, including successful use of the early planted soybean systems and adoption of shorter season Group IV and Group V varieties. The ‘80s were a difficult decade for soybean growers and Ashlock is pleased to have been a part of the team that led to growers adapting to the early maturing varieties. Because they could be planted and harvested earlier, these varieties were able to escape much of the harmful effects of the drought farmers were having to contend with at the time. And, due in large part to his efforts, statewide yields improved and today 65 to 70 percent of soybean acres are early maturing varieties. Ashlock says that while he has been instrumental in other areas, that may be his greatest contribution to the industry.
It has been said that Lanny Ashlock never refused a request for help and traveled as many miles as necessary to assist bean growers in producing a quality crop. Besides field research and advice, Ashlock contributed to many soybean publications, including the nationally known Soybean Production Handbook and annual Soybean Variety Update. Though now retired as Extension Soybean Specialist, Ashlock spends much of his time actively supporting and helping develop the burgeoning edamame vegetable soybean industry in Arkansas.
Ashlock has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to the industry including Progressive Farmer’s “Man of the Year in Arkansas Agriculture” award, Pioneer Award, Extension Specialist Outstanding Career Award, and American Soybean Industry Merit Award, United Soybean Board Award, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Award, among others.