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.
Sarah Ransom, director for UT-TSU Extension Johnson County, is the winner of the Vernon and Ida Darter Award. The honor is named for the late Extension dean emeritus Vernon W. Darter and his wife, the late Ida Darter, and recognizes excellence among the ranks of associate Extension agents.
“I was surprised and honored to receive the Vernon & Ida Darter Award,” Ransom says. “When it comes to Extension, I still view myself as learning the ranks. Being able to serve my community is what gives me joy in the job. This award may recognize me, but truly it’s my family, friends, coworkers and the people of my community who make this possible. Without their love and support, I wouldn’t be the person, or agent, that I am today. So, thank you all! I’m excited to continue serving.”
Ransom has been with UT Extension for seven years. As a family and consumer sciences agent, she works in Mountain City and teaches a water aerobics class, helping 50 community members improve their health.
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.