2000 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Public Service Extension
In his 17 years as a County Extension Agent, Eddie McGriff has distinguished himself as one of the outstanding agricultural agents in the state of Georgia. For the past 13 years Eddie has provided leadership for the entire Extension program in Decatur County, one of the largest and most diverse agricultural counties in the Southeastern United States. In 1999, farm income in Decatur County was 173 million dollars, with an economic impact of almost a half billion dollars. Decatur County leads the state with more than 90,000 acres of irrigated cropland.
Cotton, peanuts, and vegetables are all extremely important crops in Decatur County. Because of this, Eddie has worked tirelessly to become an educational leader in the production of these commodities. He has conducted numerous on-farm research projects in order to help his producers become more efficient and more profitable. He conducts an average of 33 production and marketing meetings each year to keep producers up to date on the latest agricultural innovations.
As recognition for his outstanding efforts, Eddie has been the recipient of 52 state and national awards since 1986. He is the only Georgia agent to have received the Cotton Foundation's Cotton Extension Award, which recognizes the nation's top county agent. He is also the only Georgia agent to win the New York Cotton Exchange Award for the nation's top county Extension education program in cotton marketing.
Eddie is not only known nationally, but he has been very active internationally as well. He has coordinated and led peanut tours to Australia in 1997 and 1999, and to Argentina in 1998. While in Australia, he gave presentations on vegetable production as well as peanut production. Because of his expertise, he has been consulted regarding peanut production problems in Mexico, Australia, Argentina, and Azerbaijan. He was also asked to be a part of an elite team of agricultural agronomists and economists to help during the North Korean famine. Other countries that Eddie has visited on agricultural tours include Switzerland and West Africa.
In Decatur County, Eddie is well known for his outstanding media work. His weekly newspaper column has won first place nationally and also has been a state winner 13 times in the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents' publication awards category. He annually writes dozens of feature articles in addition to his weekly column. He helped the local newspaper develop a 16 page annual agriculture review and forecast that has been distributed statewide as an example of promoting agriculture. In addition to his newspaper work, Eddie also hosts a daily radio program which he uses to update county farmers on the latest agricultural news, and he publishes seven commodity newsletters.
In addition to being an outstanding county agent, Eddie is also an outstanding community member and citizen. He has been an active member of the Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, the Decatur County Council for the Arts, the Decatur County Council for Troubled Children, the Decatur County Emergency Board, the Decatur County ASCS Committee, and the Kiwanis Club. He is also a member of the Bainbridge First Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon and teaches Sunday School.
As an Extension Educator, Eddie McGriff is one of the best of the best and a very deserving recipient of the D.W. Brooks Faculty Award of Excellence, Public Service Extension Programs.