AUBURN, Ala.—The Auburn University Agricultural Alumni Association will honor five distinguished Alabama agriculturists during its 2012 Hall of Honor banquet Thursday, Feb. 23, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center in Auburn beginning at 6:15 p.m.
The 2012 inductees into the prestigious Hall of Honor will be Herman McElrath of Guntersville, the honoree in the agribusiness sector; Rudy Schmittou of Auburn, from the education/government sector; and Ben Bowden of Eufaula, representing the production agriculture sector. The Hall of Honor recognizes living Alabamians who have made significant contributions to agriculture in the state.
McElrath was one of the early leaders in establishing Alabama’s poultry and egg industry, first as co-owner and later as general manager of a highly successful commercial egg operation and has served as a leader in the Alabama Poultry and Egg Association. Schmittou, who was a faculty member in Auburn’s fisheries and allied aquacultures department for many years, is an internationally known aquaculturist whose influence ranges from west Alabama, where he helped establish a catfish cage culture initiative, to Asia and multiple other countries where he helped teach fish farming. Bowden is a row-crop farmer who long has been a leader in adopting the latest innovations in sustainable farming practices and has served as a national leader and spokesman for agriculture and sustainable farming.
Also during the banquet, the alumni group will present its posthumous Pioneer Awards to two individuals—the late George Blake Jr., a long-time faculty member in entomology at Auburn, and the late William M. Warren, a former head of the Department of Animal Sciences—in recognition of their positive impacts on Alabama’s agriculture industry in their lifetimes.
Tickets to the Hall of Honor banquet are $50 per person and must be ordered by Feb. 9. Order forms are online at www.ag.auburn.edu/alumni/hall-of-honor/. Corporate sponsorships of the event also are available at the bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. For more information on ticket purchases or sponsorship opportunities, contact Elaine Rollo at 334-844-3204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.