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.”
Bruce Steelman, UT Extension agent in Lincoln County, is one of three statewide winners of the TAAA&S-Hicks Awards of Excellence. Established by the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists and other endowment funds, this award is presented annually to up to three agricultural Extension faculty who are also members of TAAA&S. The award is also named in honor of UT Extension Dean Emeritus Billy Hicks. The other winners for 2022 are Ryan Blair, UT Extension area specialist, Western Region, and Jason Garrett with UT Extension in Overton County.
“I am honored for being selected to receive the Hicks Award of Excellence,” Steelman says. “Having worked as an agent during Dr. Hicks’ tenure, makes this honor even more special. I have enjoyed my 37 years of service in Extension and I’m looking forward to a few more. Thanks to my past and current co-workers, specialists, and especially the clientele which I have thoroughly enjoyed working with, and the fellowship and friendship.”
Steelman is the principal agricultural agent for Lincoln County, having moved there within the past year. His UT Extension career also includes time as an agent and director in Bledsoe and Cannon counties. He has worked with the Cattlemen’s Association in all the areas where he’s served and won awards from the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association. He has also worked a great deal with livestock projects and county fairs and helped develop the Oren Wood Apple Farm, one of the largest agri-tourism operations in Tennessee. He has also been involved with tomato, pumpkin and soybean trials, and worked to secure funding for the Cannon County Farmers Market.
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.