2015 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension
Department: Plant Pathology
Blueberries are currently Georgia’s top fruit crop thanks, in part, to the work of UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Professor Phil Brannen.
Brannen, who serves as a UGA Cooperative Extension small fruits plant pathologist, has worked for 15 years to help make commercially popular fruits, like blueberries and grapes, viable crops in the sometimes soggy, sometimes sweltering, Georgia climate.
After graduating with his undergraduate degree from UGA in plant protection and pest management and master’s degree in plant pathology, he pursued doctoral work at Auburn University before returning to his home state.
As one of the state’s leading plant pathologists, he’s worked with a number of crops and has focused on developing integrated pest management systems, reducing disease pressure and teaching farmers how to use his methods to maximize their production of marketable produce.
Brannen has been an indispensable source of knowledge for Georgia’s blueberry and wine grape growers as they tackle emerging crop diseases. He’s known as an engaging and innovative trainer, who works to make sure that farmers and UGA Extension agents have the latest information on disease threats and remedies as more of Georgia’s acreage goes into fruit production.
In addition to his research and Extension work, he also teaches courses in field pathology and integrated pest management to plant pathology graduate students.
In an effort to introduce CAES students to large-scale fruit production practices, he helped to launch the “Italy: Viticulture and Enology” study abroad program and corresponding course, “Viticulture and Enology in the Mediterranean Region.” The program and course are taught in Cortona, Italy.
- News release:
Top CAES faculty and staff honored at 2015 D.W. Brooks Awards
2015 D.W. Brooks Lecture and CAES Awards on Flickr
The D.W. Brooks Awards for Excellence - November, 10, 2015