Georgia’s cotton farmers rely heavily on their local University of Georgia (UGA) Cooperative Extension agent for many things. Agents are known for delivering timely and accurate information, which is instrumental for the success of Georgia’s farmers.
For the seventeenth year in a row, the Georgia Cotton Commission sponsored the King Cotton Awards to recognize outstanding contributions of county agents to Georgia cotton producers. The Senior Award is for agents with 10 or more years of experience, while the Junior Award, named the Allen B. Fulford Award, is for those with less than 10 years of service. The latter award honors the accomplishments and memory of Allen B. Fulford as a county Extension agent and state cotton agronomist. The awards were presented at the 2017 Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting & Professional Improvement Conference held in Columbus in November.
The 2017 Senior King Cotton Award winner is Andrew Sawyer of Wilcox County, where he serves as Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. He previously served as the ANR agent in Thomas County. Sawyer has conducted variety trials with producers, and has put an emphasis on educating growers about new technologies and techniques. He has worked tirelessly to educate the community on cotton through various means, including a weekly radio show that reached over 250,000 people. For this, he received the Communications award from the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents. Sawyer also has a blog that gives farmers, agribusinesses, and the general public with timely tips and educational information concerning agriculture and the environment. He received both a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master of Plant Pathology and Pest Management from the University of Georgia, where he also was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band.
The 2017 Allen B. Fulford Award recipient is Jennifer Miller of Jeff Davis County, where she serves as ANR Agent. She began her career with Gold Kist, and came to UGA Extension in 2006 as the 4-H Agent in Wheeler County. She later served as the ANR Agent in Montgomery County and covered Treutlen County for part of that time. Miller participates in the Statewide On-Farm Variety trials, a statewide project managed by county agents and Dr. Jared Whitaker, UGA Cotton Agronomist. She has also conducted trials that have focused on irrigation and nematodes. Miller has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from UGA, where she majored in Agriscience & Environmental Systems.
The Georgia Cotton Commission is a producer-funded organization located in Perry, Georgia. The Commission began in 1965. Georgia cotton producers pay an assessment enabling the Commission to invest in programs of research, promotion, and education on behalf of all cotton producers of Georgia. For more information about the Georgia Cotton Commission please call 478-988-4235 or on the web at www.georgiacottoncommission.org.