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UTIA Professor Earns SAEA Lifetime Achievement Award

Burton C. English Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Agricultural Economics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Burton C. English, professor at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), has received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA).

The award is given in recognition of his significant and enduring contributions to the agricultural economics profession. English accepted the award in February at the 2021 SAEA annual meeting, which was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

English is a pioneer in the field of bioenergy research and is recognized internationally as an expert, garnering him numerous awards including a Certificate of Merit from the U.S. Department of Energy. With four decades of bioenergy research under his belt, he is currently focused on a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to research sustainable aviation fuel development in the Southeast, a potential game changer for rural farming communities. English and a team of researchers are currently analyzing three different supply chains including a supply chain with the objective of supplying 40 percent of renewable aviation fuel for the Nashville International Airport. This research has the potential not only to boost the state and region’s economy, but it also has national and worldwide implications with regard to developing a sustainable agricultural solution that could ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He recently delivered a report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture outlining methods to incentivize the development of the bioenergy industry.

In addition to bioenergy research, English also analyzes and reports on the economic impacts of a wide range of agricultural and natural resource policies and programs. He is often invited to present these findings to congressional committees and state and federal government agencies.

“We take great pride in Dr. English’s cutting-edge and mission-oriented research in the areas of bioenergy and sustainable agriculture. He has been a catalyst, a leader and a servant in forming interdisciplinary teams to conduct translational research,” said Hongwei Xin, dean of UT AgResearch. “He is also a caring mentor for junior faculty. This Lifetime Achievement Award is extremely fitting to recognize his outstanding accomplishments and impacts.”

English is also a founding member of both the Agri-Industry Modeling and Analysis Group (AIM-AG) and the Biobased Energy Analysis Group (BEAG). AIM-AG’s mission is to assess and project the impacts of agri-industry development on the Tennessee economy, while the mission of BEAG is to provide decision makers in government and industry with up-to-date economic and environmental analyses of the biobased industry at the firm, state, regional and national levels.

In 2019, the UT Institute of Agriculture honored him with the designation of Institute Professor, the highest faculty honor bestowed. Other awards include the UT Chancellor’s Award for Research, the UT AgResearch Impact Award, the UTIA Research Team Award and the Success in Multidisciplinary Research Award, to name a few.

His research has attracted more than $32 million in external funding. He has contributed to 140 journal articles, 20 book chapters, seven books, 223 abstracts or proceedings and 282 bulletins or reports.

English earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University, a master’s in agricultural economics from New Mexico State University and a bachelor’s in forestry from Iowa State University. He has been a faculty member in UTIA’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics for 34 years.

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.

Media Contact

Tina M. Johnson

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics