The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU) will honor 12 leaders in agriculture and natural resources for leadership at the community, state and/or national levels during the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center March 7.
The CANR Alumni Association will bestow nine awards during the luncheon, the CANR dean gives three Distinguished Service Awards, and the outstanding agriculture educator of the year is recognized.
The Agriscience Teacher of the Year Award will be presented to David K. Mellor. The award recognizes a Michigan agriculture, food and natural resources teacher who has been active in his or her community, region and state in promoting the National FFA Organization’s vision.
David K. Mellor is an agriscience teacher and FFA advisor at Saline High School, where he’s been working with students since 1999.
A Rhode Island native, he graduated with a degree in applied sciences from MSU in 1975. His interest in agriculture was cultivated in early childhood when he was responsible for daily care of his grandfather’s rhubarb patch at age 5. Mellor participated in FFA during high school, serving as a chapter officer, competing in national FFA career development event and earning the American Farmer Degree in 1971.
After earning his degree at MSU, Mellor completed his student teaching in Marshall’s Harbor Beach High School. There, he taught students who earned state degrees and a state-winning farm management team.
In 1977, he moved to Bellevue High School’s agriculture program to assist with an environmental curriculum and outdoor learning center. Shortly thereafter, he returned to Rhode Island to care for ailing parents. It turned into a 15-year absence from teaching.
He worked with Kroger Food Stores in advertising and sales, Miller Brewing company in sales and marketing and then with Chemlawn Landscape Services.
In 1994, Mellor returned to the classroom at Manchester and Saline high schools. In one year, he grew both failing programs from less than 10 students to more than 60 at both schools. In 1999, he joined Saline High School full time.
At Saline High School, Mellor has worked with students who have won a national turfgrass proficiency award, 13 American degrees, 126 state degrees, four star state farmers and three runners up. The program at Saline has been awarded more than $75,000 in grants to build an environmental learning center, school greenhouse and indoor hydroponics program.
He was awarded the Honorary State Degree in 2003 and the Honorary American FFA Degree for his work at the FFA state and national level. In 2010, the Saline ag science program was awarded the Educational Excellence Award by the Michigan Association of School Boards.
Mellor was tapped by the Food and Drug Administration to be a teacher trainer for their food safety and nutrition curriculum. He is a founding member of the Saline Celtic Festival Committee, is an advisor to the Michigan Brewers Guild and service on the scientific advisory board for Youngevity International, a nutrition company in California.