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Farmers Federation honors Extension agent, AU researcher

An Extension System agent and an Auburn agriculture researcher were recognized Thursday by the Alabama Farmers Federation for their service and contributions to the state’s agriculturalists. The awards were presented at the organization’s Farm & Land Expo in Mobile.

Regional Alabama Cooperative Extension System Agent Gerry Thompson received the Duncan Award for Excellence in Production Agriculture & Forestry Extension, along with $5,000 for programming costs. Duncan has worked to advance cattle-working facilities and expand their hay and alfalfa acreage.

“I am proud of this award because one of my best friends and clients (Jaffe Paysinger) nominated me for the honor,” Thompson said. “It is so meaningful to be in the same category as past animal science winners like Dr. Kent Stanford and Dr. Kim Mullenix.”

The Rittenour Award for Production Agriculture & Forestry Research was presented to Dr. Steven Li. The award recognizes Auburn faculty for “creative research.” Li is an associate professor and extension specialist focused on weed science. He received $10,000 from the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation to continue his drone presentations and on-farm research that has helped farmers across commodities harness innovative technology for crop protection.

“I appreciate it very much,” Li said. “I don’t help people for a return. I wasn’t expecting anything, but this is a pleasant surprise. And I think it’s great to know people appreciate what we do.”

Federation President Jimmy Parnell, praised the award recipients efforts.

“Our farmers need professionals like Dr. Li and Thompson on their side,” Parnell said. “They have implemented new technology, techniques and field days that have helped improve numerous farmers’ bottom lines.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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