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AgriLife Extension, Research professionals honored at SAAS meeting


The director of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and Texas AgriLife Research specialists received awards and appointments to officer positions at the Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists meeting held recently in Atlanta.

Dr. Ed Smith, director of AgriLife Extension, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association section.

Smith, who began his AgriLife Extension career as a county agent and later pursued a doctorate in agricultural economics, held the AgriLife Extension grain specialist position until 1988 when he was named the Distinguished Roy B. Davis Professor in Agricultural Cooperation.

In 2001, Smith became associate director of AgriLife Extension and for the past four years has been director. His educational programs and publications on farm policy have received national accolades during a 35-year career of contributions to southern agriculture, according to the award nomination.

Mike Arnold, an AgriLife Research horticulturalist and professor in the department of horticultural sciences at Texas A&M University, received the J. Creighton Miller Jr. Distinguished Educator Award from the horticultural science section for his contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching. Additionally, he was elected president-elect for the horticultural science section.

Blair Fannin, associate news editor and communications specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife, was elected president of the agricultural communications section for the 2009-2010 term. Fannin served as the sections' vice president and program chair for the past year and has been with AgriLife Communications for nine years as a news writer for Texas AgriLife Research.

The Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists began in 1899 to foster information sharing among agricultural leaders in education and industry. For more information, visit http://saasinc.org.

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