John A. Baldwin
2002 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension
Department: Crop and Soil Sciences
Dr. John A. Baldwin of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences is a recognized expert in peanut production. As an Extension Agronomist - Peanuts, Dr. Baldwin has the responsibility for developing and implementing a statewide educational program in peanut production.
Dr. Baldwin has been an integral part of the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) team since its inception and has led the group relative to agronomic matters. Dr. Baldwin conceived and developed the concepts of twin-row and strip-till planting of peanuts to reduce production costs and environmental impact without influencing TSWV. Additionally, he proceeded to show that these cultural practices would not make the peanut crop more vulnerable to TSWV damage, but would minimize the impact of the disease while achieving a 200 to 400 pounds per acre yield increase. Both cultural practices were added to the UGA-TSWV Risk Assessment Index as management components for peanut production. This index, coupled with the development of TSWV resistant cultivars, has preserved the peanut industry in Georgia.
In June of 1998, a Tri-States Area-Wide meeting of extension and research specialists from Alabama, Georgia and Florida was held in Dothan, Alabama to discuss the decreasing profitability of peanut production, future prospects for the USDA peanut program, the need to become more competitive in the world-wide marketplace and to explore possible solutions. Dr. Baldwin was selected to provide leadership in the development of the program, moderate the conference and guide the effort to develop a document identifying major constraints facing southeastern peanut producers, with the ultimate goal of developing a set of recommendations to revitalize the peanut industry from the producer to the consumer. As a result of Dr. Baldwin's outstanding leadership, the conference was highly successful. This was one of the first real efforts to bring the diverse elements of this industry to the table to discuss common problems and was one of the first significant efforts within various segments of the industry to work together to eliminate some of the major constraints facing the industry.
Dr. Robert G. Lemon, Associate Professor and Extension Agronomist - Cotton at Texas A&M University, had the following to say about Dr. Baldwin. "He has contributed significantly to the entire U.S. peanut industry. The high level of service he has provided to the academic community, Extension clientele, professional societies, and colleagues makes him unique. He has established the benchmark that many in Extension will be measured against, and will continually strive to achieve."