By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia
Brooks, founder of Gold Kist Inc. and Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies, was an advisor on agriculture and trade issues to seven U.S. presidents. Although he died in 1999, his promotion of agriculture lives on through those honored each year.
The 2006 winners are Allan M. Armitage, teaching; Joseph F. Frank, research; John P. Beasley, extension; Sandra F. McKinney, public service extension programs; and Anna V.A. Resurreccion, international agriculture. Each will receive $5,000.
The awards program included the annual Brooks lecture. Pedro Sanchez spoke on the African Green Revolution and the Millennium Villages Project. Sanchez is director of the Center for Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment and senior research scholar and director of the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Armitage has evaluated garden plants in Montreal, Quebec; East Lansing, Mich.; and now Athens, Ga. Lately, his research focuses on using woody shrubs for the greenhouse and retail industry.
The author of 11 books, Armitage is best known for his classroom and reference text, “Herbaceous Garden Perennials, a Treatise of Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes.” His interest in new crops for the garden, greenhouse and field has taken him to gardens worldwide. He also directs the UGA Horticulture Gardens, which are supported by growers and plant breeders internationally.
Frank, a CAES food science and microbiology professor, teaches food microbiology courses in the department of food science and technology. From 1999 to 2001, he served as interim head of the department.
His research covers the microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods and the role of bacterial cultures in dairy product quality. His research accomplishments include showing how biofilm growth affects Listeria monocytogenes survival in food processing environments, developing ways to observe viable pathogenic bacteria on food tissues treated with antimicrobials, and finding that capsule-producing lactic acid bacteria can improve the texture of low-fat dairy products.
Beasley, a UGA Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist, is based at the CAES Tifton campus. His applied research program focuses on peanut management and economically competitive production systems.
His priority is to develop educational programs and deliver peanut production information to county Extension agents and Georgia peanut growers. He works closely with other faculty on the UGA peanut team to develop and deliver information that makes Georgia farms more productive and profitable.
McKinney, the UGA Extension coordinator for Crisp County, has excelled in Extension 4-H youth development. Her innovative educational programs have garnered state, national and international recognition.
Under McKinney’s direction, Crisp County 4-H was one of five youth groups in the world to receive the Albert Schweitzer International Youth Group of the Year Award for their environmental work in waste management, beautification and education. Another Crisp project, “Taking the Sting Out of the Mosquito Threat,” was the only 4-H project in the nation selected to appear on a video showcasing exceptional after-school programming.
Resurreccion, a professor of food science and technology, has distinguished herself through international research and exceptional creativity. She has helped globalize the CAES peanut processing and utilization research program.
Resurreccion developed a research program on ways to measure and quantify consumer preferences and the sensory quality of food. She uses this information to design, develop and optimize food products for global markets. She’s also a principal investigator or co-investigator on five U.S. Agency for International Development Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt and Bulgaria.
(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.)