The Auburn Agricultural Alumni Association will salute five Alabamians who have had a major impact on Alabama agriculture during its 2018 Alabama Agriculture Hall of Honor banquet Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel and Conference Center.
Three of the five individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Honor, and two will be recognized posthumously as Pioneer Award recipients.
The Hall of Honor inductees for 2018 are Glynn Debter of Horton, honoree in the production category; Horace Horn of Greenville in the agribusiness sector; and education/government inductee Ron Shumack of Conecuh County’s Lenox community.
Debter is a lifelong cattleman whose exceptional breeding and management programs at the family ranch over the past 60-plus years have helped advance the Hereford breed in Alabama and nationally and have earned Debter Hereford Farm a reputation as one of the premier Hereford ranches in the U.S.
Horn, currently vice president of external affairs at PowerSouth Energy, has contributed to and championed rural economic development across Alabama since the 1980s. He is a former poultry producer and small-business owner and, in the ’90s, was state director of USDA’s Farmers Home Administration, renamed Rural Development during his time of service.
Shumack is an Auburn University agricultural education alumnus who worked for 36 years as a faculty member, researcher, extension specialist and administrator in Auburn’s College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and then served as executive director of the Alabama Agricultural Land Grant Alliance.
Pioneer Awards will be presented to the families of the late Thomas Eden Jr. of Auburn and William Jesse Forrester of Dothan.
Eden, a 1950 Auburn ornamental horticulture graduate, was a horticulture department instructor and taught landscape design on the Alabama Educational Television Network for several years before joining the Alabama Textile Manufacturers as executive director in 1969. In 1984, he started Garden of Eden, a nursery and landscape company near Auburn that is now in its 33rd year.
Forrester was a business and civic leader who co-founded Sanitary Dairy in Dothan and built it into one of the most forward-thinking dairies in the South. He worked to advance agriculture in the Wiregrass region in myriad ways, including as a Dothan Chamber of Commerce and First National Bank of Dothan director.
Tickets to the 2018 Alabama Agriculture Hall of Honor banquet are $50 per person and can be ordered online. Corporate sponsorships also are available. The deadline for ticket orders is Jan. 8.
The Auburn Agricultural Alumni Association established the Hall of Honor in 1984 and the Pioneer Award 11 years later. The awards banquet is held each year in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting.