UT Institute of Agriculture Presents Top Faculty and Staff Awards for 2020
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized extraordinary service from members of the faculty and staff across the state at its annual awards and promotions event, held this year on August 21, 2020. Honorees were recognized virtually during a Zoom presentation rather than a fun, in-person luncheon. This change in venue did not minimize the amazing accomplishments for 2020. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.
John Wilson, director for UT-TSU Extension Blount County, is the winner of the B. Ray Thompson Outstanding Faculty Performance Award. The award is named for B. Ray Thompson, a Knoxville businessman who made significant contributions to UT and the Institute of Agriculture. The honor is made possible by earnings from the Thompson Endowment and is presented annually to UTIA faculty who have distinguished themselves by their exceptional performance.
Wilson has served in Grundy and Marion counties and has 32 years of experience with UT Extension. He works with cattle, row crop and horticultural and agri-tourism producers and recently served as one of the virtual hosts for the Milan No-Till Field Day, co-presenting a segment on forage production.
“I’m both humbled and honored to receive the B. Ray Thompson Award,” Wilson says. “For more than three decades, I’ve been associated with very supportive coworkers. My selection here is not due to a one-person show. Early in my career, I was privileged to have some great mentors among agents and specialists. I accept this award on their behalf as well. Thank you very much.”
UT Institute of Agriculture Senior Vice President Tim Cross hosted the Zoom session for the award winners and praised them for their work. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that we take time to acknowledge the award-winning work that our faculty and staff carry out, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” Cross says. “Tennesseans can count on the real-life solutions that the UT Institute of Agriculture provides to students and stakeholders from communities throughout Tennessee and beyond to enhance the economy, conserve the environment, and develop leaders for the future.”
Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.