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Terence J. Centner

Terence Centner
Date Honored: 10/02/2007

2007 D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Research

Department: Agricultural and Applied Economics

Terence “Terry” J. Centner, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, provides a legal component to the teaching and research programs at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Professor Centner’s research focuses on agricultural and environmental policy issues and analysis of contemporary problems that affect producer and firm profitability. Among his peers, he has redefined the standard of excellence for agricultural legal research by using scholarly analyses followed by multidisciplinary applications to compare options. Because of his research, scientists and policy makers have eliminated some of the legal impediments that diminish the economic returns of our agricultural sector.

Professor Centner’s research has led to numerous changes in laws and regulations. One of the most significant involved protecting Vidalia onions against counterfeiters. By securing federal trademark protection for Vidalia onions through a certification mark denoting regional origin, the onions were granted Mark No. 1,709,019 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Research on anti-nuisance protection led to the revision of the Georgia Right-to-Farm Law. This law has been critical in curbing nuisance lawsuits against agricultural producers and business firms. After the Iowa Right-to-Farm Law was held unconstitutional, Centner examined right-to-farm laws to articulate legal justification for upholding them as valid exercises of police power. This research should help preserve important agricultural protection.

His book, Empty Pastures, probes the changes taking place in our rural landscapes. The
dwindling numbers of livestock in America, he says, are a symptom of a broader transformation, one with serious consequences for the rural landscape and its inhabitants.

Professor Centner teaches three dual-level law courses and currently serves as an undergraduate coordinator and pre-law advisor.

A national and international expert in the field of agricultural law and applied policy research, Professor Centner’s work has been shared with more than 50 audiences in 25 foreign countries. His stature in the agricultural law community was acknowledged by his selection as president of the American Agricultural Law Association, the American chair of the Second Anglo-American Agricultural Law Symposium and the Professional Scholarship Award by the American Agricultural Law Association.

His past service includes chairing the college’s Faculty Council executive committee and serving on the University Council’s executive committee.

He earned a bachelor’s of science with distinction from Cornell University, a juris doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a legum magister from the University of Arkansas.

In 1990, Professor Centner conducted research as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Goettingen, and, in 2001, he taught as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Mannheim.