Faculty News Archive


Throughout the years, many Crop and Soil Sciences faculty have been honored with the coveted D.W. Brooks Award. 

The D.W. Brooks Lecture Series and Faculty Awards for Excellence are named for a Georgian whose contributions to agriculture are respected worldwide. An alumnus of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, D.W. Brooks (BSA—Agronomy, 1922, MSA—Agronomy, 1924) devoted his career to improving lives through innovations in agriculture.


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D.W. Brooks Lecture & Awards



D.W. Brooks Awards - Crop and Soil Sciences Honorees

Excellence in Teaching

Excellence in Research

Excellent in Extension

Excellence in Global Programs

Faculty Honors & Awards



Dr. George Vellidis Named Distinguished Alumnus

The University of Florida's Agricultural and Biological Engineering department has named CRSS faculty member George Vellidis a 2021 distinguished alumnus. The department bestows these awards annually to honor their alumni and friends who work to further enhance our discipline and industry.

Dr. Vellidis is among the honorees for his work applying applying principles of engineering and the sciences to measure, model, and manage the interaction between agricultural production systems and the environment.

Congratulations, Dr. Vellidis!

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Faculty Member Pam Knox Testifies Before House Ag Committee

On Thursday, February 25, Pam Knox, Agricultural Climatologist and Director of the UGA Weather Network, testified before the full House Agriculture Committee by Zoom on the topic of “Climate Change and the U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Sectors.” She was invited to participate by the Committee Chairman, Representative David Scott of Georgia’s 13th District.

In her written testimony, submitted ahead of the hearing, she described how agriculture and forestry are both affected by climate change and are also contributing to it. She discussed ways that farmers are currently adapting to the changes we are already seeing in climate and how Extension can help them deal with increases in extreme weather, a more variable water cycle, and warmer temperatures.

She also stressed the need for access to more data to help producers use climate-smart management techniques such as smart irrigation to make better use of available water supplies and reduce excessive use of agricultural chemicals. 

View the videotaped testimony here. Ms. Knox’s 5-minute introductory remarks begin at 28:15.


Dr. Lisa Baxter Receives Early Career Award

Lisa Baxter, assistant professor and Extension forage agronomist, received the Early Career Award from the American Forage and Grassland Council during the organization's 2021 annual conference held in Savannah, Georgia.

Additionally, Dr. Baxter's online outreach effort, "Lego Forage Specialist," won first place in the AFGC's video contest. Click here to view the video on Facebook.

Congratulations, Dr. Baxter, on these honors!


Gary Hawkins Honored at NACAA

Gary L. Hawkins received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents during the 2019 Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Gary L. Hawkins was one of several honorees who represent the top two percent of the membership selected by their peers and the Director of Extension. The following represents the awardee's recognition citation:

Dr. Hawkins has worked for the University of Georgia for 18 years and served as the Water Resources Specialist for 4 years. He provides statewide training and programs in the areas of pollution prevention, alternative energy, water quality, and water quantity.  Dr. Hawkins has served as a GACAA committee chair and is currently GACAA Vice-President. He has also served as President of the GA ANREP, GA JCEP Chair, and on the Galaxy planning committee.


CRSS Researchers Awarded $10M USDA Sustainable Agricultural Systems Grant

The AFRI-Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAS) program awarded $10 million to the project “Enhancing the Sustainability of US Cropping Systems through Cover Crops and an Innovative Information and Technology Network."

The funding will support a coalition of university, non-profit, and federal scientists (~100 scientists from 35 institutions) with expertise in crop management, systems modeling, social science, technology (sensing technology, computer science, and AI/machine learning experts), and human-centered design (farmer-driven research, technology, and outreach).

Dr. Miguel Cabrera (Crop and Soil Sciences professor) and Dr. Jennifer Jo Thompson (Crop and Soil Sciences Assistant Research Scientist), along with ALEC faculty members Alexa Lamm and Kevan Lamm, are part of the UGA team that will contribute to on-farm field research with Georgia farmers, help to develop decision-tools for adaptive cover crop management, coordinate efforts to study the effectiveness of this information network as a model for integrating participatory research and practice, and serve as external evaluators on the project.

Visit the Project's Website


CRSS Father-Daughter Duo Honored at GACAA

Michasia Harris Dowdy, Extension ANR agent in Brooks County and Crop and Soil Sciences alumna, and her father, Glen Harris, CRSS Professor and Extension Agronomist, were both honored at the 2019 meeting of the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents held in Dublin, Georgia in early November.

Dowdy (left) received the Southwest District Young Professional award while Harris (right) was honored as the Senior Specialist of the Year.

Congratulations to both!


Dr. Robin Buell to join UGA as Georgia Research Alliance/Georgia Seed Development Eminent Scholar 

Robin Buell, University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and a renowned plant genomics expert, will join UGA in fall 2021 as the new Georgia Research Alliance/Georgia Seed Development Eminent Scholar.

GRA Eminent Scholars are acknowledged leaders in areas of science that are strategically important to the state of Georgia and its research universities. Buell, who will be appointed as a professor of crop and soil sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is the eighth GRA Eminent Scholar recruited to UGA since 2015 and the 20th overall. She will be UGA’s 19th currently serving Eminent Scholar. The endowment for Buell’s position is co-supported by a contribution from Georgia Seed Development.

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Hancock Receives American Forage and Grassland Council (AGFC) Medallion Award

Dennis Hancock, CRSS Professor and Forage Crops Extension Specialist, was awarded the AFGC's Medallion Award, the organization's highest honor. Hancock was presented the award at the AFGC's annual conference in January.

According to the AFCG's website, recipients of the Medallion Award must have made such outstanding contributions on behalf of forages and grasslands and the American Forage and Grassland Council to have earned national recognition for work in research, teaching, Extension, production, or industrial development.

Congratulations to Dr. Hancock on a well-deserved honor!

Faculty Honors & Awards

USDA-NIFA Grant Awarded

Dr. Nik Filipov, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Nick Hill, UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Dr. Todd Callaway, Department of Animal and Dairy Science, and Dr. Garret Suen, University of Wisconsin Department of Bacteriology received a $500,000 USDA-NIFA grant to investigate “dysregulated microbiome, metabolome, and microbiome-metabolome interactions in beef cattle grazing toxic tall fescue.”



Katrien Devos Named Distinguished Research Professor

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George Vellidis Named University Professor

George Vellidis, professor in the department of crop and soil sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was bestowed the title of University Professor.

The University Professorship recognizes individuals whose research and service to the university and community have helped improve the quality with which the university serves its missions. 

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Wayne Hanna and Brian Schwartz Receive Legislative Recognition

Dr. Wayne Hanna and Dr. Brian Schwartz received special legislative recognition from the Georgia House and Senate for the development of TifTuf turfgrass.

Watch the Video


Crop and Soil Sciences Faculty Contribute to Conservation Tillage Production Guide for the SE

Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast: Production, Profitability and Stewardship is a comprehensive guide on conservation tillage systems for farms in the southeastern United States. It provides information on the core components of conservation tillage systems as well as addressing regional considerations.

Contributors from the department are: Dory Franklin, Julia Gaskin, and Gary Hawkins.

Download the Guide


Monfort and Tubbs Receive the 2020 American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES) Bailey Award

Congratulations go out to Dr. Scott Monfort and Dr. Scott Tubbs for receiving the 2020 Bailey Award.

This award was established in honor of Wallace K. Bailey, an eminent peanut scientist and recognizes the best paper presented at the previous year’s Annual Meeting.

All session papers presented by APRES members at the Annual Meeting are eligible. Nominations are selected based on the oral paper presentation at the previous year’s Annual Meeting, and final awards are made after critiquing submitted manuscripts.