4-H Specialist Tonya Bain Receives the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements 

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UT Institute of Agriculture Presents Top Faculty and Staff Awards for 2022 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and Extension experts at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions luncheon on the UTIA campus in Knoxville August 16, 2022. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.  

UT Institute of Agriculture Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President Carrie Castille hosted the award winners and celebrated their work. “I am so excited to recognize excellence as exemplified by the award-winning members of our UTIA faculty and staff,” Castille says. “Their continuing commitment to our land-grant mission ensures that the Institute develops and delivers real-life solutions to improve the health and economy of our state and beyond while also enhancing our environment.” 

4-H specialist Tonya Bain, serving UT Extension’s Western Region headquartered in Jackson, is one of three statewide winners of the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements. Established by longtime supporters of the Institute of Agriculture Charles Wharton and his late wife Julie, and now supported by Charles and Lori Wharton, this award is presented to three UT Extension agents annually. These agents may conduct programs in any area, including agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and economic and resource development. The other two winners are Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences agent in Wilson County, and Anthony Shelton, director and agricultural agent in Washington County.  

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements,” Bain says. “Serving the youth and families of Tennessee has been an amazing experience and I would not trade it for anything.” 

Bain is just one month into a new assignment, following 26 years as a 4-H agent in Crockett County. In her new role, she provides leadership for coordinating 4-H events, and developing youth programming for 4-Her’s in more than 30 counties. She has received honors for her 4-H work before, including the 4-H Horse Program Friendship Award.  

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.  

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