Decatur County Extension Agent D. Eddie McGriff will receive the prestigious D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Public Service for county extension programming Oct. 2 in Athens, Ga.
McGriff was cited for his leadership in one of the most agriculturally diverse counties in the Southeast. In 1999, farm income in Decatur County was more than $170 million, with an economic impact of almost a half billion. He has been recognized as a leader in cotton education and is the only Georgia county agent to receive the Cotton Foundation's Cotton Extension Award recognizing the nation's top county agent.
McGriff's reputation reaches beyond the United States. He has led peanut tours in Australia and Argentina and has been consulted about peanut production problems in those countries, as well as in Mexico and Azerbaijan. He was part of a team of agricultural agronomists and economists that helped during the North Korean famine.
Nationally Known for Media Work
McGriff's media work has also earned him national recognition. His weekly newspaper column won first-place honors from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, and the state organization has awarded him 13 awards in publications awards categories. He worked with the local newspaper to develop a 16-page annual agriculture review and forecast that has been distributed statewide. He also hosts a daily radio program that updates county farmers on the latest agricultural news and publishes seven commodity newsletters.
Besides his contributions to the county as an Extension Service agent, McGriff is also a community service volunteer. He is an active member of the Decatur County Chamber of Commerce, Council for the Arts, Council for Troubled Children, County Emergency Board and Kiwanis Club. He serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher for Bainbridge First Baptist Church.
D.W. Brooks Awards, Lecture
The annual Brooks awards are presented to UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty who excel in teaching, research, extension and international agriculture. The awards include a framed certificate and a $5,000 cash award. Other honorees this year are: Steve L. Brown, for excellence in Extension programming; Michael Dirr, teaching; John Ruter, research; and Manjeet Chinnan, international agriculture.
Before the awards ceremony, William F. Kirk, vice president of DuPont Biosolutions Enterprise, will deliver the D.W. Brooks Lecture: "The 21st Century -- An Agribusiness Odyssey."
The lecture and awards are named for the late 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.
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)