The Alabama Farmers Federation has presented its 2014 Service to Agriculture Award to Jim Bannon, director emeritus of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station’s outlying units. The farm organization awarded Bannon its highest honor in recognition of his diligent work to improve agriculture in the state and nation.

Bannon retired from 27 years as an Auburn and AAES employee on Aug. 31.

A College of Agriculture alumnus with a bachelor’s in vocational agriculture and master’s in agronomy, Bannon worked from 1972 to 1974 as assistant superintendent of the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center in Headland, leaving to obtain a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Louisiana State University. He spent the next 11 years as a private-sector researcher, first with Monsanto and later with Mycogen. At Monsanto, he was part of the team that developed Roundup.

In 1989, he returned to Auburn to serve as director of the E.V. Smith Research Center. Ten years later, he was appointed interim director of the AAES’ outlying units and was named director in 2001.

At Bannon’s retirement reception, Alfa Farmers honored Bannon with a $100,000 gift to Auburn’s Alpha Gamma Rho chapter. Bannon serves as the agriculture fraternity’s adviser.