From the Dean

In my first year as dean, one of the messages I have consistently heard around the state is of the affinity Georgians have for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and of their commitment to continuing its legacy for the betterment of the state.

From the halls of the U.S. Capitol to farms across Georgia, I’ve heard moving stories of the difference this college makes in the lives of Georgia families. One congressman told me how valuable his father’s animal science degree was to their family. Another recounted the story of how his 84-year-old father considered his days of teaching entomology in this college among the most important times of his life.

This theme of legacy has been repeated among so many people. Recently, I met with David Ratcliffe, former CEO of Southern Company, who started an endowment to provide experiential learning opportunities to our students in memory of his father, Jack, who was a Phi Kappa Phi graduate from the College of Agriculture in 1933, and returned to earn a master’s degree in 1941.

Caroline Hofland graduated from CAES with two degrees in agricultural and applied economics. She now runs an international equipment company that she started in Georgia. Her daughter, Nicole, is currently a CAES student, also in agricultural and applied economics, and Caroline volunteers her time bringing other students to campus to learn about the outstanding career and study opportunities in agriculture.

Among our own administration, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Josef Broder’s family has a tremendous legacy in our college. Joe and six of his siblings are all CAES graduates. This year the Broder children endowed the Broder-Ackermann Global Citizenship Award in honor of their parents, Hans Broder and Margrit Ackermann. The award will be given each year to a CAES student who demonstrates dedication to global citizenship by working and studying abroad or engaging with the international community in Athens, Georgia. As associate dean for academic affairs, Joe works to ensure our students have the opportunities and reap the success this college afforded to so many in his family.

Many of our students and alumni were the first in their families to attend college, but history tells us that they aren’t likely to be the last.

We are fortunate to have Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue now leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He’s the first UGA alumnus to hold a Cabinet position and the first Georgian to serve in this post. As Congress begins developing the new farm bill, his strong experience and deep understanding of the value of land-grant universities will serve the nation well.

In the years ahead, we are committed to continuing the CAES legacy. We are focused on providing the world-class education, groundbreaking research and hands-on outreach that is the true spirit of this college.

Sam Pardue
Dean and Director, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences