Published on 10/05/99

1999 D.W. Brooks Award Winners Announced

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Photo: Faith Peppers

Brooks Award Winners: Gale Buchanan (center), dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, congratulates 1999 D.W. Brooks Award winners (from left) Steve Brady (county extension programming), Elizabeth Andress (extension), Scott NeSmith (research) and Roger Wyatt (teaching).

Four University of Georgia faculty received the D.W. Brooks Awards for Excellence Oct. 4 in Athens.

The $5,000 annual awards go to faculty in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who excel in teaching, research and extension.

The 1999 winners are Roger Wyatt, teaching; Scott NeSmith, research; Elizabeth Andress, extension; and Stephen Brady, county extension programming.

Roger Wyatt

Wyatt, a poultry science professor, was honored for his superb classroom skills and as a dedicated advisor to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Wyatt started an upper-level course in mycotoxicology and developed segments of two graduate-level toxicology courses in an interdepartmental graduate program. The program offers students a major in toxicology at both the M.S. and Ph.D. level.

He also started the Poultry Science Club for students and "The Georgia Poultryman," an annual publication designed to foster communication with alumni and to help recruit students for poultry science.

Scott NeSmith

NeSmith, a horticulture professor at the UGA Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, helped transform a struggling crop into a growing part of Georgia's farm economy.

Blueberries suffered from erratic bloom and fruit set whenever Georgia had a mild winter. Because of NeSmith's research, the industry is expanding and is one of the most competitive in the nation.

His studies first predicted flowering based on winter temperatures, providing a clear understanding of the physical mechanisms at work.

Further studies showed precisely how to use gibberellic acid to increase yields up to 300 percent His work led to gains of more than $10 million to the Southern blueberry industry.

Elizabeth Andress

Andress, a professor and extension leader in foods and nutrition, has developed a reputation as the foremost expert on home food preservation in the United States and Canada.

To help meet the public's need to combat food-borne illnesses, Andress developed research-based educational programs related to food safety.

She helped develop and implement nutrition and food safety training programs for school food service staffs, including the annual School Nutrition Culinary Institute for school nutrition supervisors and managers, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education.

Steve Brady

Brady piloted a project in Gwinnett County to use satellite communication to train thousands of commercial pesticide applicators and landscape professionals.

He also created Creative Enterprises Horticulture Therapy Project. He and the Gwinnett Master Gardeners designed the program to train physically and mentally challenged adults in basic horticulture skills that enable them to enter the work force.

Brady spearheaded a program that converted more than 10,000 cubic yards of trees and other yard waste into mulch. And his work with distance learning made him a sought-after conference speaker nationwide.

Brooks Lecture: Zell Miller

Former Gov. Zell Miller was the featured speaker at the 1999 D.W. Brooks Lecture. In his presentation, "Georgia: Gains and Gaps," Miller said while Georgia is making great strides in attracting new business and developing a booming economy, but some Georgians are being left behind.

"No other generation of Georgians," Miller said, "has ever been in such a promising position. We are the most dynamic state in the most dynamic region in the most dynamic economy in the world."

Miller said he doesn't like to think of the down side. "But ahead I can see a hazardous split in our road," he said. "Along one path we will find anger, tension and increasing gaps between the haves and the have-nots. And I'm not talking only about a racial division. A class division scares me far more."

The CAES sponsors the annual lecture and awards in memory of D.W. Brooks, founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist, Inc., and founder of Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies.

Brooks, who died this summer, was an advisor on agriculture and trade issues to seven U.S. presidents.

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.