By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia
The annual awards ($5,000 each) recognize UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty who excel in teaching, research, extension and county extension programs. An award for international agriculture is given in even-numbered years.
The 2002 winners are Robert Shewfelt, teaching; Daniel Fletcher, research; John Baldwin, extension; Sidney Law, county programming; and Gerrit Hoogenboom, international agriculture.
The CAES sponsors the annual lecture and awards in memory of D.W. Brooks, founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc., and founder of Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies. Brooks was an advisor on agriculture and trade issues to seven U.S. presidents.
Seth Carus, senior research professor in the Center for Counterproliferation Research at the National Defense University, delivered the 2002 D.W. Brooks Lecture, "Bioterrorism, Homeland Security and the Food Supply." The lecture and awards presentations were in the Mahler Auditorium of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
Shewfelt, a food science professor, was cited for his innovative approach to teaching. He's highly rated by students and considered a leader in interactive education.
In his six years as a member of the UGA food science faculty, Shewfelt has created and redesigned many of the food science courses offered.
Fletcher, a poultry science professor, has researched poultry production and processing for 25 years. His research has had a major impact on production, processing and product export.
His research on the effect of environmental and biological factors on meat color, muscle chemistry and egg quality has changed the way producers manage poultry. The poultry industry regards Fletcher as the foremost expert on slaughter methods and their effects on meat quality.
He has received major poultry science awards, including the American Egg Board Research Award, Poultry Science Association Broiler Research Award, Poultry Products Research Award and the highly prestigious Merck Award for Achievement in Poultry Science. He also received the University of Helsinki Medal.
Baldwin, an expert in peanut production, has been responsible for developing and implementing a statewide educational program in peanut production.
He has been an integral part of the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus team since its inception and has led the group relative to agronomic matters. He conceived and developed the concepts of twin-row and strip-till planting of peanuts to reduce production costs and environmental impact.
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.
Law has been an extension agent for the 19 years, spending the last 15 of those years in Washington County.
Due to its size and diverse agriculture, Washington County demands a broad spectrum of educational programming. By fulfilling the county's educational needs, Law has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader of agricultural projects, events, activities and educational efforts.
Hoogenboom is an internationally known researcher in the development and application of crop simulation models, decision support systems and agrometeorology.
He has coordinated the development of the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer since the early 1990s among various national and international institutions.
DSSAT is a computer-based system that includes models for more than 20 agronomic crops, data utility tools and application programs for seasonal, crop rotation and spatial application of crop models. Since 1994, more than 1,000 copies of DSSAT have been sold and distributed to users in more than 90 countries.
Hoogenboom developed an automated weather monitoring network for the CAES. This network has grown from three stations in 1991 to more than 45 stations in 2002.
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)