Robert N. Brewer joined the Auburn University Department of Poultry Science faculty in 1969 and served as department head from 1987 until his retirement in 2000.
Brewer, who passed away in 2015, was instrumental in establishing numerous scholarship endowments that continue to have a strong impact. He also led efforts to significantly improve the department’s facilities, his crowning achievement being the grand opening of the Poultry Science Building in 2005.
Clearly, Brewer was the driving force behind the concept and execution of the building project, and his motivation was not for himself but for the poultry industry, faculty and students.
In 2016, Poultry Science Club officers began discussing the best way to commemorate Brewer and his contributions to the department and industry among students. After considering several strong ideas, the officers, with the approval of current department head Donald Conner, instituted a commemorative service award for students who go above and beyond in their service to the department and commitment to the poultry industry.
“For those of us who were able to meet and know Dr. Brewer, finding a way to remember his service to the industry and his dedication to our department needed to happen,” said Karri Fievet, poultry science club president for 2015-2016.
Faculty and peers can nominate students for the Brewer Service Award each spring. Winners will receive a cash award, and their names will be added to a commemorative plaque that will be displayed in the Poultry Science Building that Brewer invested so much time and care to make a reality.
Conner applauded officers for this student-driven effort.
“Dr. Brewer has truly left a strong legacy that will serve to advance poultry science and Alabama agriculture well into the future,” he said.
The inaugural award was bestowed May 6 on Jon Roberts, senior in poultry science. Nominated by multiple faculty, Roberts was especially recognized for his coordination of the Farm-2-Fork chicken sales.
The Farm-2-Fork smoked chicken sales financially support the Poultry Science club, while simultaneously involving students in the farm-to-fork production of poultry products. Students are responsible for the entire process, from placing and growing out chicks to smoking, packaging and selling the final product. The Farm-2-Fork project often demands many hours and volunteers, a process which Roberts coordinated professionally, rallying students to attend without any glitches or setbacks.
Roberts is an exemplary student, club officer and supporter of the department. Throughout his undergraduate career, his dedication to serving the programs and events that support the mission areas of research, instruction and extension at the department have been above-and-beyond.
“We are blessed with many servant leaders in the department.”, said Codi Plaster, student services coordinator, “Jon is an exemplary student, club officer and supporter of the department. Even before he transferred to Auburn to continue his undergraduate career as a transfer student, his dedication to serving the programs and events that support the mission of the department have been above-and-beyond.”