Auburn agriculture honors outstanding alums
Ten accomplished professionals who hold degrees from Auburn University’s College of Agriculture have been selected as recipients of the college’s 2016 Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards will be presented in a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Auburn Alumni Center.
Following are the award winners by department, school or program.
CLAY SCOFIELD— Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
B.S., ’04, Agricultural Business and Economics
Scofield is a successful third-generation poultry farmer who in 2005 established his own operation, Clay Scofield Farms, in Guntersville. Five years later, he entered state politics and is now in his second term as a member of the Alabama Senate, representing District 9, which includes Marshall and parts of Madison, Blount and DeKalb counties. As a state lawmaker, Scofield has been a strong supporter of agricultural initiatives in the Alabama Legislature and serves on the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.
TOM BONNER— Department of Animal Sciences
B.S., ’01; M.S., ’03, Animal Sciences
After completing his master’s degree, Bonner spent nine years with the food-packaging giant Sealed Air Corp. and its Cryovac brand. While there, he was awarded a patent for developing the award-winning and widely used Cryovac Grip & Tear® vacuum-packaged bag for the food industry. In 2012, he joined the Birmingham-based food manufacturer supply company John R. White Co. Inc., where he currently is national account sales and technical manager, overseeing $30 million per year in sales throughout the Southeast and nationally.
DANNY HOLMBERG— Department of Biosystems Engineering
B.S., ’80, Agricultural Engineering
Holmberg, who went on to earn a master’s degree in engineering from Auburn in 1982, was named vice president of Krebs Engineering in Montgomery in 2003 after 21 years with the Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board of the City of Montgomery. He retired from the Board as assistant general manager. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in developing engineering solutions that ensure clean, safe supplies of drinking water and proper wastewater disposal.
DONALD BALL— Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
M.S., ’73; Ph.D., ’76, Agronomy
Over his 34-year career as a faculty member and Extension agronomist in what formerly was the Department of Agronomy and Soils, Ball developed the premier forage program in the country and gained a reputation as the foremost authority on forages in the South. The Auburn resident retired in 2010 as professor emeritus and in the years since has worked as a consultant on forage production and cultivation.
FRANK RANDLE— Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
B.S., ’75, Integrated Pest Management
Randle is known throughout Lee County and surrounding areas as the owner of Randle Farms, a “community-supported agriculture” operation he started in the mid-1970s and now runs with sons Franklin and Zach. He also has a reputation nationally as an agricultural pioneer in low-impact, sustainable agriculture and exemplifies the use of integrated strategies for optimizing plant and animal production. In addition to sales to CSA and individual customers, Randle Farms products are featured in several top Auburn-area restaurants.
JEFF MCMANUS— Department of Horticulture
B.S., ’88, Horticulture
By the time he was hired as director of Landscape, Airport and Golf Operations at the University of Mississippi in 2000, McManus had made a name for himself as a masterful landscaper at two luxury resorts in Florida. At Ole Miss, he has transformed the 1,500-acre campus in Oxford, Mississippi, into one of the best-landscaped public properties in the U.S. He is a noted speaker and trainer on leadership development and has two books, “Prune Like a Pro” and, forthcoming, “Growing Landscape Weeders to Leaders.”
STANLEY COOK— School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences
M.S., ’78, Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
From his first Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources job as state fish hatchery supervisor to his later role as chief of the department’s inland fisheries division, Cook was a strong leader for the management and production of, not just game fish, but all aquatic species. The Hope Hull resident retired from 32 years with the agency in 2015 but remains as a fisheries adviser and represents the department as a member of the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group, which is responsible for developing a statewide water management plan.
AMANDA RIALS—Department of Poultry Science
B.S. ’04, Poultry Science
Rials is food safety quality assurance manager for Tyson Foods in Bentonville, Arkansas. In addition to her rapid advancement in and continued success with Tyson, she has remained highly involved with poultry science at Auburn, serving as a mentor and coach to current students. She also has been instrumental in placing numerous Auburn poultry science students in internships and graduates into jobs with Tyson.
SALLY CREDILLE— Agricultural Communications
B.S., ’06, Agricultural Communications
Credille began her career as senior public relations manager with Eberly and Collard, an Atlanta public relations agency specializing in home, garden and agribusiness, but returned to Auburn in 2008 for a position as communications manager in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. In 2013, she joined St. Louis–based Osborn + Barr, an agriculture communications agency, working with such clients as the United Soybean Board. Today, she is an associate director in the agency’s Kansas City office.
MITCHELL PATE—Alumni Service Award
B.S., ’85, Poultry Science
In 2006, after more than two decades in the commercial poultry industry, Pate came to Auburn as director of the Poultry Research Farm Unit. He has been a dedicated supporter of the College of Agriculture through the years and is extremely involved with and connected to events hosted by the college, the Agricultural Alumni Association and the college’s development office to help ensure their success. He also is a strong advocate for the college and the poultry science department in the numerous professional associations of which he is a member.
Nominations for the 2016 alumni awards were submitted by departments and units within the College of Agriculture. The final selection was made by a committee that included the college’s interim dean, associate deans, department heads and unit directors.
OFFICE OF AG COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
Auburn University College of Agriculture
Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station
3 COMER HALL
AUBURN, AL 36849