Dallas L. Hartzog
Dallas L. Hartzog grew up in an era when planting and harvesting crops took precedence over getting an education. In spite of only six to seven months available to attend school each year, he did well and with financial support from a government loan and part-time jobs, Hartzog was able to attend Auburn University. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy in 1964 and a master’s degree in Soil Fertility in 1966. Hartzog then began what he describes as an enchanted life and a calling to serve the people in rural Alabama, a career that lasted 41 years.
Starting as an assistant county agent, he soon became the leading peanut agronomist in the state. He worked closely with the Alabama Peanut Producers Association to help secure funding for on-farm demonstration plots, which placed research into real farm situations. Always with producers’ concerns and best interest at heart, Hartzog focused his research trials on actual problems producers were having and worked to make sure solutions were immediate and profitable.
Hartzog is an excellent ambassador and technical spokesman for Auburn and the peanut industry. He actively explains peanut production to food writers, buyers, manufacturers, international forums and students. The unselfishness and accessibility that is standard for Hartzog gained him the confidence and respect of an entire industry and reflected well on the state and Auburn University’s agricultural programs.
Named Man of the Year in Alabama Agriculture by Progressive Farmer magazine in 2001, he is well-known for his knowledge. Hartzog offers three keys to success in working with farmers: offer solid information that is helpful, be direct and care.
Hartzog credits his success to professors such as Joe Hood, Howard Rogers, Clarence Scarsbrook, Fred Adams, Dennis Rouse, Keith Patrick and John Weir—a whole faculty who cared and always took time to mentor an appreciative student.
Dallas and wife, Joann Steely, have three children: Susan, Tim and Michael; and four grandchildren.