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.
Justin Hargrove with UT Extension Benton County is one of three statewide winners of the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists Award. The award is presented annually to three agricultural agents representing the three regions of Tennessee. The award is also named for Billy G. Hicks, dean emeritus of UT Extension. The other two winners are Adam Hopkins, area farm management specialist with UT Extension Jefferson County, and Heath Nokes, an agent with UT-TSU Extension Warren County
“I’m very honored to receive the Hicks Award of Excellence,” Hargrove says. “To say I’ve enjoyed the last seven years in Extension and the opportunities this career affords would be an understatement. I am blessed to have worked with some fantastic clients and Extension personnel over the years, especially my first county director, mentor, and friend, Tim Smith, of Obion County, who taught me so much about what it means to serve others and to stand for what is right.”
Hargrove is an agricultural agent and the Western Region fisheries responder. He’s been with UT Extension since 2013 and also worked in Obion County. He’s proud of his time leading 4-H livestock and wildlife judging teams in both counties.
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.