CAES Alumni Class Notes Summer 2020


1960s

Danny B. Hogan (BSA — Animal Science, '66) was inducted into the National Association of Conservation Districts Southeast Hall of Fame. Hogan is a board member of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts and a Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor representing Laurens County, Georgia. Hogan utilizes conservation tillage on the 600 acres he farms with his son, Richard Hogan. They also manage 40 acres of pastureland, 104 acres of hay land and 700 acres of timberland.  Of the 700 acres of woodland, 119 acres are enrolled in the Longleaf CRP Program. Hogan’s farm also raises Black Angus and Limousine cattle and Paint and Quarter Horses for show and sale. Danny Hogan is a third-generation farmer and has been farming for over 45 years. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his conservation efforts including being named Laurens County Conservationist of the Year, Forest Stewardship Certification and was the 2008 Governor’s Stewardship Award winner for Georgia. In 2017 he was inducted into the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts Hall of Fame. Hogan is a member of Georgia Department of Agriculture Equine Commodity Board, past chairman of Central Georgia Conservation District and past president of the Georgia Association of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. He is currently the Georgia representative for the National Association of Conservation Districts, a member of the Georgia Water Council Board, Upper Oconee State Water Planning Council, and in 2019, was appointed to the Equine Advisory Committee by Georgia State Veterinarian Robert M. Cobb.

Carl Nichols (BSA — Animal Science, '68) received the John H. and Maybelle L. Costello National Breeder Award from the United Professional Horsemen's Association.

Suzanne Poppell-Sellers (BSA — Dairy Science, '68) retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs after 35 years of service.

1970s

Michael Mullen (PhD — Entomology, '70) retired as a research entomologist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Manhattan, Kansas, working in Stored Product Entomology in 2004. He ran a successful consulting business until being diagnosed with Parkinson's and later underwent a double bypass, from which he is recovering under the care of his wife of 46 years, Kathi Mullen. He spends as much time as possible with the youngest of his eight grandchildren, teaching him an appreciation of entomology.

Gary Farmer (BSA — Agricultural Education, '71) received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Region V Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tom Hendrix (BSA — General Agriculture, ’74), CEO of Hendrix Used Cars is a past national manager of the National Managers Association.

Thomas Tankersley (BSA — Ag Economics, '79; MAEX — Agricultural Extension, ’89) and Becky Tankersley, a 1981 graduate of the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education, received the U.S. Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award.

Jim Webb (BSA — Animal Science, '79) is a loan workout officer for special asset management with Carolina Farm Credit.

1980s

Gary Black (BSA — Agricultural Education, '80) was recognized on Georgia Trend Magazine's 100 Most Influential Georgians list. Black has served as the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture since 2010.

Keith Kelly (BSA — Agricultural Economics, ’80) is president and CEO of KPI.

Marty Smith (BSA — Agricultural Economics, '80) serves as the 2020-2021 president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

Albert Shultz (BSA — Animal and Dairy Science, '81) is source one account coordinator with Tarkett.

Sammy Perkins (BSA — Agronomy, '82) is a cattle farmer in Whigham, Georgia.

Bobby Hopkins (BSA — Agricultural and Applied Economics, '83) works in sales for Agrisel USA.

John Bernard (MS — Dairy Science, '84; PhD — Animal & Dairy Science, '87) was awarded with the 2020 Nutrition Professionals Inc. Applied Dairy Nutrition Award. Bernard, a professor in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Animal and Dairy Science on the UGA Tifton campus, is an expert in the nutrition and management of dairy cattle with the objective of improving efficiency, cow comfort and profitability.

Gail Meads (BSA — Agricultural and Applied Economics, '84) is self-employed as a soil scientist in Buckhead, Georgia.

Holly Scoggins (BSA — Agricultural Economics, '84; MS— Horticulture, '95) was conferred the title of associate professor emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Clarence "Bubba" Harper (BSA — Dairy Science, '85) is a senior supply chain and product support consultant for Andromeda Systems Incorporated. Harper retired as a colonel after a 28-year career with the United States Marine Corps and is planning to start a small beef cattle farm in Madison, Georgia.

Mike Lewis (BSA — Agricultural Economics, '86), president of American Tank Maintenance, was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned or managed businesses. It is the second year the business has been recognized.

Calvin Perry (BSAE — Agriculture Engineering, '86; MS — Agriculture Engineering, '88) was promoted to public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Chip Blalock (BSA — Animal Science, '87) received an honorary American Degree at the 92nd FFA convention and the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Cooperation award for Region Five on behalf of Sunbelt Expo.

Brian Kemp (BSA — Agricultural Mechanization Technology, '87) was recognized on Georgia Trend Magazine's 100 Most Influential Georgians list. Kemp was elected governor of Georgia in 2018.

Roger Swint (BSA — Agronomy, '87) is chief of the Morrow Fire Department in Morrow, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Swint joined his father, the late Willis Swint (BSA — Animal Husbandry, '50) in the family business, Swint's Feed and Garden Supply in Jonesboro, Georgia. He pursued a career with the City of Morrow Fire Department in 2004 as a firefighter-EMT after serving as a volunteer firefighter with the City of Jonesboro for 25 years. In 2016, just three weeks before his father passed away, Swint was promoted to fire chief in Morrow.

James Woodard (BSA — Agricultural Education, '87; EDS — Agricultural Education, '93; EdD — Educational Leadership, '15) was named director of Agricultural Education, chairperson of the National FFA Board of Directors and National FFA Advisor by the National Council for Agricultural Education in November 2019. He received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Region V Awards Outstanding Service Citation in June.

Shelly M. Prescott (BSA — Horticulture, '88) was named Educator of the Year by the Georgia Green Industry Association.

Ted Wynne (BSA — Agronomy, '89) is retiring from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension as Newton County Extension Coordinator after 30 years of service.

1990s

Todd Callaway (BSA — Biological Science, '93; MS — Animal Science, '96) was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Stan Deal (BSA — Agronomy, '93) is president of the Georgia Young Farmer program, the adult education component of Georgia's Agricultural Education program.

Ken Hardy (BSA — Entomology, '93) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Hardy Farm Peanuts as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses. This is the second consecutive year that Hardy’s Peanuts has made the Bulldog 100.

Dee Dee Mesaros (BSA — Food Science, '93) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Southland Pediatric Therapy as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses.

Kara Davis (BSA — Animal Science, '94; MED — Adult Education, '04) was promoted to senior public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Dan Moser (MS — Animal Science, '94; PhD — Animal & Dairy Science, '97) is now the associate dean for academic programs for Kansas State University's College of Agriculture.

Daniel Price (BSA — Agriculture Education, '94; MED — Adult Education, '04) was promoted to senior public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Brandi McGonagill (BSA — Animal Science '95; MED — Agricultural Education, '98) was promoted to senior public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Terry Lynn Barber (BSA — Agricultural Education, '96; MED — Agricultural Education, '99) began a new job as assistant superintendent for Ware County School System.

Brad Hardy (BSA — Agricultural Communications, '96) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Hardy Farm Peanuts as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses. This is the second consecutive year that Hardy’s Peanuts has made the Bulldog 100.

Ronald G. Holt (BSA — Biological Sciences, '97) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Two Maids and a Mop as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses. This is the seventh consecutive year that Two Maids and a Mop has made the Bulldog 100.

David Jones (BSA — Agricultural and Applied Economics, '97) is a senior software engineer with OFS Fitel.

Allen McCorvey (BSA — Agricultural and Applied Economics, ’97) is vice president and an agribusiness banker with Ameris Bank.

Peyman Fatemi (MS — Food Science, '98) has a new job as vice president of Technical and Regulatory Services at IEH laboratories and Consulting Group.

Audrey Luke-Morgan (MS — Agricultural Economics, '98) received a promotion to associate professor with tenure from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Christy E. Seyfert (BSA — Food Science, '98) began new job as executive director of government affairs at American Soybean Association.

Jaime Foster (BSA — Animal Science, '99) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Georgia Grinders as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned or managed businesses. This is the second consecutive year that Georgia Grinders has made the Bulldog 100.

2000s

Tim Coolong (BSA — Horticulture '00; MS — Horticulture '03'; PhD — Horticulture '07) was promoted to professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Becca A. Turner (BSA — Agricultural Communications, '00) received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Cooperation Award on behalf of Sunbelt.

Ryan Wilson (BSA — Poultry Science '00) was promoted to division manager with Sanderson in Adele and Moultrie, Georgia.

Lawton Stewart (BSA — Animal Science, '01) was promoted to professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Elliott Marsh (BSA — Agricultural Economics — '02; MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '11) started a new position as financial advisor at Edward Jones in Statesboro, Georgia. He also recently became a board member for the University of Georgia Alumni Association.

Sarah E. "Beth" Oleson (BSA — Agricultural Communications, '02; MS— Food Science, '05) was recognized in the Produce Business 40 Under 40 Class of 2019.

Justin Seibert (BSA — Turfgrass Management, '02) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for The Sign Brothers as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses.

Jillian Bohlen (BSA — Dairy Science '03; MS — Animal Science '05) was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Corey Dortch (BSA — Agricultural Communications '03; MED — College Student Affairs and Administration '05; PhD— Higher Education '11) is part of the 2020 Class of Leadership Georgia.

Michelle Samuel-Foo (MS — Agronomy, '03; PhD— Entomology, '08) an assistant professor of biology at Alabama State University, was named president of the Southeastern Entomological Society of America. The society is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Today, it has more than 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government.

Swagata “Ban” Banerjee (PhD — Agricultural Economics, '04) is included in Marquis Who’s Who in America and received the 2019 Scholar Award from the Kentucky State University’s College of Business and Computational Sciences – the college's highest faculty award – in recognition of a position of prominence in discipline through scholarship and/or creative research activities. He was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Kentucky Governor’s Economic Opportunity Commission.

Brent Credille (BSA — Biological Science, '04) was promoted to associate professor in the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Marc Irvin (BSA — Biological Sciences, '04) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Irvin Retail Group as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses.

Myria C. Shipman (BSA — Animal Science, '04; MAL— Agricultural Leadership, '06) was hired as a science teacher at Lanier Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Brian Jordan (BSA — Biological Science '05; PhD— Poultry Science, '12) was promoted to associate professor in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

Tate O'Rouke (ABJ — Telecommunication Arts, '05; AB — Political Science, '05; MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '16) is part of the 2020 Class of Leadership Georgia.

Lanie A. Riner (BSA — Horticulture, '05) is the new executive director for the Georgia Green Industry Association.

Sydne Smith (BSA — Agricultural Communications, '05; MPA — Public Administration, '07) serves as state director for U.S. Senator Kelly Leoffler.

Travis Smith (BSA — Agribusiness, '05; MS — Agriculture and Applied Economics, '08) was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Tiffany Walraven (BSA — Biological Sciences, '05; MPA — Public Administration, '07) was elected to a fourth term on the City of Pembroke Council and named to the 20 under 40 by the Georgia Municipal Association.

Jiang "John" Chen (PhD — Entomology, '06) is a scientist with Sorrento Therapeutics.

Laura Croom (MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '06) is an assistant principal at Seminole County Elementary School in Donalsonville, Georgia.

Ray Daniels (BSA – Agribusiness, '06) is the marketing director of the enterprise team at OneDigital Health and Benefits.

April Tankersley Davis (BSA — Agricultural Education, '06; MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '15) received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Region V Awards for Ideas Unlimited.

Sudeep Jain (MS— Food Science, '06) is the director of quality assurance at Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) in Novi, Michigan. MMPA is a milk-marketing and milk product manufacturing cooperative that serves the milk producers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. The company markets raw milk and manufactures powdered milks, butter, cheese and ultra-filtered milk. His team is responsible for quality and food safety of the products, regulatory compliance, and research and development activities.

Trisha Stephens (BSA — Agricultural Education '06; MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '10) is the new middle-grades science teacher at Northeast Middle School in Tift County.

Matthew Chappell (PhD — Horticulture, '07) was promoted to professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Billy Mehlinger (BSA — Horticulture, '07) is a senior project program manager at AT&T.

Tracey D. Troutman (BSA — Avian Biology, '07; MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '08) is currently serving as the director of the Office of Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Washington, D.C.

Ali Hill (BSA — Food Science, '08) was promoted to vice president of sales, processing and specialty products at Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts.

David Cromley (BSA — Animal Science, '09) is part of the 2020 Class of Leadership Georgia.

Rachel Kinsaul (BSA — Animal Science, '09; MAL— Agricultural Leadership, '11) and Jason Kinsaul (BSA — Agribusiness, '09) were among the Top 10 finalists for the Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award, representing Georgia at American Farm Bureau's 2020 Annual Conference.

Carla Dean Sanford (BSA — Animal Science, '09) is employed at Montana State University in Bozeman as an assistant professor and extension beef cattle specialist.

Shu Zhang (PhD — Entomology, '09) is a project manager I with Illumina Inc.

2010s

Charlotte Meeks (BSA — Agriscience and Environmental Systems, '10; MPPPM — Plant Protection and Pest Management, '17) was promoted to public service assistant with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Kate Wilson (BSA — Agricultural Education, '10) began a new role as work-based learning coordinator at East Jackson High in Commerce, Georgia.

Micah Conoly (BSA — Agricultural Education, '11) is an agricultural loan officer at First State Bank of Blakely in the Colquitt County, Georgia, branch.

Bhabesh Dutta (PhD — Plant Pathology, '11) was promoted to associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Philip Klayman (BSA – Agricultural and Applied Economics, '11) was named to the 2020 Bulldog 100 for Three Tree Coffee Roasters as one of the fastest-growing University of Georgia alumni-owned  or managed businesses.

Rachel West (BSA — Animal and Dairy Science, '11; MSA — Animal and Dairy Science, '13) is a postdoctoral research associate with the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.

Gena Perry (BSA — Agribusiness, '11; MAB — Agribusiness, '14) started a new job as project director for global strategy with American Soybean Association/WISHH.

Olivia Poff (BSA — Animal Science, '11) received the 2020 National Collegiate Equestrian Association Distinguished Alumni Award in the Community Engagement category.

Taylor Sills (BSA — Agriculture and Applied Economics, '11) received the J.W. Fanning Distinguished Young Professional Award from the Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia.

Christopher M. Spruill (BSA — Agribusiness, '11) is now assistant director of gift accounting at the University of Georgia Foundation.

Charles Trumbo (BSA — Agricultural Education, '11) received the 2019 Skilled Trades Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Eric Ayers (BSA — Poultry Science, '12) is a sales engineer at DC Equipment.

Justin Brown (BSA — Animal Science, '12; DVM — Veterinary Medicine, '16) was promoted to assistant teaching professor of veterinary diagnostic production and animal medication at Iowa State University.

Katlyn Marchant (BSA — Agricultural Education, '12) was part of the Sweet 16 in the 2020 Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet, representing Georgia at American Farm Bureau's Annual Conference.

Brittany Saylor (BSA — Agricultural Education, '12; MPPPM— Plant Protection and Pest Management, '15) works for Vantage Southeast as a precision agriculture consultant.

Brandi Baade (BSA — Agricultural Education, '13), an agriculture education teacher, is the 2020 Pike County Ninth Grade Academy Teacher of the Year.

Thomas Baldwin (PhD — Plant Pathology, '13) started a new position as assistant professor of barley pathology at North Dakota State University.

Perri Campis (BSA — Agriscience and Environmental Systems, '13) has a new job as executive director at Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and also is serving as secretary for the Georgia Organic Peanut Association.

Jamison A. Cruce (BSA — Agricultural Education, '13) started a new job as director of government affairs at USA Rice.

Shannon Parrish (BSA — Agribusiness '13; MS — Crop & Soil Science, '16) began a new job as a loan officer for Ag South in Douglas, Georgia.

Mariana V. Ramirez (BSA — Food Science, '13; MS— Food Science, '16) has a new job as senior scientist for research and development in yellow cheese at the Kraft Heinz Co.

Andrea Scarrow (MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '13) was promoted to public service associate with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Taylor Walker (MS — Food Science, '13) has a new job as research development quality assurance manager at Skinny Dipped.

Zellie Duvall (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '14) is a policy and congressional advisor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Alec M. Shepherd (MAB — Agribusiness, ’14) started new job as a financial analyst at the University of Georgia Foundation.

Brittany Teets (MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '14) was promoted to public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Cain Thurmond (BSA — Agricultural and Applied Economics, '14) made the 2020 AgGrad 30 Under 30 list in the agribusiness category for his position as senior account manager at CSX Transportation in Illinois.

Rachel Harrison (BSA — Poultry Science, '15; DVM — Veterinary Medicine, '19) started a new position at Blackshear Veterinary Hospital.

Katlyn LaVelle (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '15; MAEE — Agricultural and Environmental Education, '19) has started a new position as agricultural educator at Russel Middle School in the Barrow County School System.

Nicole A. Holden (BSA — Agribusiness, '16) began a new job as an international cost proposal coordinator at Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University.

Jarred Oxford (BSA — Poultry Science, '16; MS — Poultry Science, '18; PhD — Poultry Science, '20) has joined the Jefo team as a poultry technical sales representative for the U.S.

Dowdy White (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '16) is an attorney with Hall Booth Smith in Atlanta, Georgia.

Casey L. Abernathy (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '17) started new job at Jackson EMC doing employee communications.

Jordan L. DeWitt (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '17; MAEE — Agricultural and Environmental Education, '19) began a new job as an engagement officer at the University of Georgia.

Jake D. Tench (BSA — Agriculture and Applied Economics, '17; BSA — Agribusiness, '17) has a new job as manager of public affairs for the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

Pamela Bloch (MAL — Agricultural Leadership, '18) was promoted to public service associate with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Kelly N. Cone (BSA — Agriscience and Environmental Systems, '18) has a new job as operations manager at Farmers Cooperative in Madison, Florida.

Malik Grace (BSA — Agriculture and Applied Economics, '18; BSA — Agribusiness, '18) began a new job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service as a survey statistician in Colorado.

Gracie Rowe Kuyrkendall (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '18) has started a new position with Georgia 4-H as the state 4-H events coordinator.

Luke Lineberger (BSA — Agricultural Education, '18) has been hired as an agriculture teacher at Perry High School in Perry, Georgia.

Margaret S. "Megan" Mitchell (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '18) is director of resource development for United Way in Hall County.

Ashley Smith (BSA — Agribusiness and Animal Science, '18) is now the deputy director of scheduling at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mason Goolsby (BSA — Agribusiness, '19; MAB — Agribusiness, '19) is the marketing coordinator at Shuman Farms in Reidsville, Georgia.

Alyssa Haley (BSA — Horticulture, '19) is an assistant grower at Costa Farms in Asheville, North Carolina.

Sarah Hotsuma (BSA — Horticulture, '19) works at James Greenhouses in Colbert, Georgia.

Brad K. Hounkpati (PhD — Entomology, '19) is president of Grain de Sel Togo Inc.

McCoy Savage (BSA — Agriscience and Environmental Systems, '18; BSA Turfgrass Management, '18; MAB — Agribusiness, '19) is a production supervisor trainee for Wayne Farms.

Charles K. Woerner (BSA — Agribusiness, '19) was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2020 NFL Draft.

2020s

Reaganne Coile (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '20) is a government relations assistant with the University of Georgia Office of Government Relations.

Hailey Goldberg (BSA — Applied Biotechnology, '20) is pursuing a master’s degree in biology and recombinant DNA technology at New York University.

Autumn Lankford (BSA — Agricultural Communication, '20) is executive administrator for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Margaret Lemons (BSA — Biological Sciences, '20) attending veterinary school at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.