The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences presented its annual D.W. Brooks Faculty Awards for Excellence on Oct. 2. The 2007 winners are Adam J. Davis, teaching; Terence J. Centner, research; Dan L. Horton, extension; and Peggy P. Bledsoe, public service extension.
Brooks, founder of Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies and Gold Kist Inc., which merged with Pilgrim’s Pride in 2007, was an adviser on agriculture and trade issues to seven U.S. presidents. Although he died in 1999, his agriculture promotion lives on through those honored each year.
Before Davis arrived at CAES, students in the biological sciences and animal health majors had fewer opportunities for internships. Davis, an associate professor of poultry science, directed the program coordinating student internships, helping students with placement and developing business relationships to enhance internships.
As a professor of agricultural and applied economics, Centner teaches three dual-level law courses and is an undergraduate coordinator and pre-law adviser in the college. His research focuses on agricultural and environmental policy issues and analysis of problems that affect farmers’ and firms’ profitability.
Horton, a fruit and ornamental entomologist, has focused his career on anticipating trends to enhance services to Georgia growers. In 1994, he and colleagues from Clemson University and the University of Tennessee put together a meeting of fruit growers, extension agents, scientists and administrators from seven Southeastern states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From this meeting came multi-state programs in weed science, pomology and entomology. Regional successes inspired the birth of the Southern Small Fruit Consortium, which now enjoys much success.
A Cooperative Extension coordinator in Houston County, Bledsoe has seen the county rapidly transformed from a rural county to a fast-growing urban area. She focuses on improving the quality of life in her community, using university research to address issues.
The award program included the annual Brooks Lecture. Eric Larson of the Princeton Environmental Institute spoke about systematic ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.