Agricultural alumni group honors five for contributions

AUBURN, Ala.—The Auburn University Agricultural Alumni Association recently announced the 2016 inductees into the Alabama Agricultural Hall of Honor and the 2015 Pioneer Award recipients. The five will be recognized for their contributions to Alabama agriculture during a banquet Thursday, Feb. 4, at the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel and Conference Center.

Chosen by a vote of the association’s members, each year’s inductee class includes three Hall of Honor members along with two Pioneer Award recipients. Pioneer Award recipients are recognized posthumously.

This year’s Hall of Honor inductees are Jim Cravey of Shalimar, Florida, honoree in the agribusiness sector; Wayne Thames of Evergreen, production-sector honoree; and education/government inductee Stanley Wilson of Auburn. Pioneer Awards will be presented to the families of the late Walter “Sonny” Corcoran of Eufaula and Ralph Harris of Auburn.

 Cravey is a Covington County native who held various leadership positions with the Alabama Farmers Federation during his 34-year tenure there, retiring in 2004 as senior director of its Commodity Department and director of its Dairy Division. Cravey temporarily returned to the workforce in 2013 to serve as interim executive director of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association. He now operates a farm and hunting lodge with his brother, Albert.

Thames is a cattle farmer in Conecuh County and an inductee into the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame. A past president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Thames has also served on the Alabama Agricultural Development Authority and the USDA’s Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board.

Wilson is a former assistant dean in Auburn’s College of Agriculture and director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. He also served as the university’s vice president for agriculture, home economics and veterinary medicine and later as executive vice president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Formerly a cattle farmer, Wilson donated his herd of Angus cattle and all his farming equipment to the College of Agriculture’s beef teaching unit upon retiring from the operation in 2001. The unit was subsequently named in his honor.

Pioneer Award honoree Ralph Harris spent more than 40 years as a faculty member and then department head in Auburn’s Department of Animal Sciences, where he taught animal nutrition and was a favorite among students. A member of the Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame, Harris was a native of Winfield.

Corcoran was a Barbour County farmer who played a key role in the implementation of the Boll Weevil Eradication Program in Alabama. He held leadership roles in numerous organizations, including the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and the National Cotton Council.

Tickets to the 2016 Hall of Honor banquet are $50 per person; opportunities for corporate sponsorships are also available. Ticket and sponsorship reservation forms are online here. For more information, contact Amanda Martin at 334-844-8900 or

The Agricultural Alumni Association established the Hall of Honor in 1984. The awards banquet is held each year in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting. Learn more about the Hall of Honor and Pioneer Awards here.


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Nov 3, 2015 | Uncategorized

<p><a href="" target="_self">Mary Catherine Gaston</a></p>

Mary Catherine Gaston

Mary Catherine Gaston is a freelance writer who specializes in agricultural and rural topics. She finds time to write in the midst of homeschooling two children and helping her husband Wes on their row crop and cattle farm near Plains, Georgia. MC holds degrees from Auburn University and Virginia Tech.

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