Robert (Bob) Hutmacher, University of California Cooperative Extension cotton specialist, can add another Atta boy award to his resume and office wall. In January, the respected cotton specialist received the ‘2017 Cotton Specialist of the Year’ award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience, during the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas, Texas (see related article on page ___ of this issue).
Congratulations, Bob, on this much deserved award. Hutmacher has had a hand in a wide array of front burner cotton industry issues, including dealing with the disease Fusarium Race 4.
Across the cotton belt, many cotton specialists from land-grant universities have received Bayer’s ‘Cotton Specialist’ honor, including University of Arizona cotton specialist Randy Norton five years ago.
Awards are an important part of agriculture’s meeting season. At the Almond Industry Conference, almond grower and handler Dave Phippen was honored by the Almond Board of California as its 2016 Almond Achievement Award winner. During the California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium in December, California alfalfa grower Tom Grimes received the California Alfalfa & Forage Association’s prestigious Jim Kuhn Award.
It’s always fun to watch organizations hand out awards and the response by those who receive the recognition. Perhaps the best recognition in my view is when awards are presented and the crowds rise to their feet for a standing ovation for the winner.
Imagine being in that person’s shoes, and watching a group laud you for your accomplishments and dedication. For the recipient, it’s a mental picture complete with sound which will last a lifetime.
Likely every person would like to receive an award but not all deserving folks do. For example, numerous agricultural association committee and sub-committee members roll up their sleeves and accomplish phenomenal tasks to make their industry better. These folks less often receive the kudos they deserve.
As the current meeting season moves toward closure, let’s remember that people are organization’s greatest strengths and assets. Congratulations to the winners and non-winners who together carve out new purpose and direction for agricultural associations. It truly is a team effort which only we as humans can appreciate.
After all, the words “Thank You” are the greatest motivational tool to bring out our best in agriculture, and the human race to boot.