M.K. "Curly" Cook
Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame
M.K. “Curly” Cook’s first position was assistant county agent in Mitchell County. After only a few years, he was selected to serve as an area livestock specialist. He was then promoted to state livestock specialist and relocated to Athens where he was considered the most versatile livestock specialist in Georgia. He was given the responsibility of supervising the newly formed Georgia Beef Cattle Improvement Association (BCIA). Under his leadership, this program grew to one of the largest and most effective BCIAs in the nation. Cook was one of the pioneers who was instrumental in the organization of the National Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), which is still active at present.
In 1981, Cook was promoted to the head of the Extension animal science department at UGA. His leadership ability resulted in the development of several “signature” programs making the University of Georgia a leader in Extension animal science education. Always committed to Georgia’s youth, Cook’s crowning achievement was the Georgia National Fairground and Agricenter.
In 1989, Cook became associate director of the Cooperative Extension Service. He also served as director, vice president and president of the Georgia County Agents Association.
Since retiring, he has served as vice president and president of the Georgia Cattleman’s Association and president of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association. In 2005, he was appointed by Governor Perdue to the Georgia Agrirama Development Authority.
Cook’s recognitions include induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame at Panhandle State University, induction in the Georgia Cattleman’s Hall of Fame, and recipient of numerous notable honors to include the Georgia County Agents Distinguished Service Award, National Ag Alumni Volunteer Award, Southern Ag Workers Award, Georgia Honorary Farmers Award, National BIF Award, AG Alumni Extension Award and BIF Pioneer Award.